Unidentified anomalous object caught on camera by astronomer

This is a curious sighting:

Man captures pictures of reported UFO.

An object spotted in the sky by several people across Pike County last week has still not been identified. One local astronomer captured pictures and video of it through his telescope.

No one seems to know.

“It wasn’t anything I recognized. Definitely not an airplane, and I’ve never seen a helicopter that looked like that,” said Allen Epling.

Sightings of the object have been reported in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, but it has yet to be identified.

Epling says even with his background in astronomy, it is unlike anything he has ever seen.

“Looked like two fluorescent bulbs, side by side, parallel, shining very brightly. It would get so bright they would seem to merge, and you could see it very clearly with the naked eye. Then it would dim down almost invisible,” he said.

Image of unidentified cylinder-shaped object captured by Epling

Here is the news video:


It does look like some sort of balloon but some commenters still will suggest a spaceship. I see no reason to think that. The luminosity could be reflective surfaces instead of generated light.

If anyone finds an update on this story before we do, please let us know.

13-Aug-2013 SOLVED: Go here

  20 comments for “Unidentified anomalous object caught on camera by astronomer

  1. October 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    A bag? How did he calculate 100000 ft?

  2. October 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    A new viral marketing campaign by Trojan.

  3. Rand
    October 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    From the video, it appears that he was aiming low towards the horizon, not up. I seriously doubt it was 100,000 feet.

    It looks like a kite to me.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Sure looks like a tube of thin, clear plastic, sealed at the ends. Not sure what the big controversy is here.

  5. Z.one
    October 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I know very little about alien spacecraft, but I love to fly kites. This object looks to me like a large “sled kite” with inflatable ribs. A kite would explain the behavior described in the video — hovering for hours with no visible means of propulsion. Thin, lightweight material reflecting sunlight would explain the shining and dimming observed. It’s hard to judge from the videos, but it appears to maintain an angle that I would expect such a kite to take, relative to the wind. The support line would not be visible from a distance. I suspect the observer’s estimate of the object’s altitude is unfounded.

    Kites have been used for hundreds of years for scientific research, military reconnaissance, and industrial applications. Of course, if we have kites used for scientific purposes then alien species could easily have advanced kite technology equipped with cloaking devices and death rays. I want one of those.

  6. am_sci
    October 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I, for one, welcome our new cylindrical overlords.

  7. Chew
    October 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Looks like a transparent solar balloon – Google Search

    Apparently this the same Allen Epling who wrote this: BeyondGenesis.com – The Untold Story of Man’s Origins

  8. Moose McNuggets
    October 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    It’s the test tube I was born in. I’ve been looking for it for years. If someone finds it, please ask it to call me. I’m currently doing genealogy work and wish to ask it a few questions.

  9. Anthony
    October 24, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Yes, Z.one, it behaves like a kite. Could it be a mylar Circoflex kite? Or at least a rectangular version of one? Judging from the apparent relative positions of the sun and the object, and given the geometry of such a kite, it seems likely.

  10. Z.one
    October 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Sharon, I was thinking more of a tethered kite than a balloon. I can’t find a good image, but more like this one — only larger, with two tubes, a single panel, translucent material… otherwise identical. 😉

  11. One Eyed Jack
    October 25, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    Thank-you. I knew I had seen one of those before. I could only find opaque solar balloons or disc shaped ones when I searched for a picture. Sharon’s example is what I thought of when I saw it.

  12. Gary Crowell
    October 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Yawn. Dry cleaning bag material comes on a roll as a long tube. Slice off ~15 feet of it and gather the ends. Inflate. Tape a couple of sheets of aluminum foil to the sides in hope that it shows up on radar.

    These people have blocked out the memory of what it was like to be 15 years old.

  13. Andrew Hansford
    October 26, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    I think it is a reflection.

    If you check the video posted by Mr. Epling:

    notice how the object moves in the frame. He says in his notes that the object is not moving that the apparent motion is his unsteady hand. But the the object DOES move relative to the background with the camera motion. There is also small vibrations where the object moves a lot more than the background. (I am assuming the features you see on the background are clouds.) IF this were a slowly hovering high sky object then should not the object and clouds move the same amount with hand jitter?

    Now take a close look at 0:51-0:56 you can see either a secondary refection or perhaps additional structure below and parallel to the object. You can see this clearly again at 1:10-1:13. AT 1:01 it looks like it goes out.

    There is also a symmetry from the top of 1 tube and the bottom of the other (01:13) but I don’t know if that is significant.

    I think it is a reflection of a handheld flashlight with a fluorescent bulb or maybe a fluorescent lantern.

  14. One Eyed Jack
    October 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Wind currents vary at different altitudes. Unless the balloon is at exactly the same altitude as the clouds, it wouldn’t necessarily move at the same speed, or even the same direction.

    I don’t see how anyone can discern movement from the video. The camera is unstable and the sky is fairly clear. I can’t reliably discern any movement.

  15. Vin
    November 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Precisely what I thought….anyone who has worked in a warehouse/factory/construction site would recognise that tube plastic easily…..yup, a bunch of bored employees ‘skylarking’.

  16. Vin
    November 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    hmmmm….he’s one of THEM!…..had to lol at the blurb at the end of the ‘review’ …” I highly recommend Beyond Genesis to anyone open to alternative religious theories and to those who have allowed science to cloud their faith.”….(though in retrospect, I don’t know if its funny or scary)

  17. Rebecca
    November 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    I am from Pike County and know Mr Epling. I and several others saw the object in the sky that day. It looked from the naked eye like a bright dot in the sky (like a star) that would alternate between very bright and dim. It did not appear to move during the approximately three hours we saw it, though the clouds would periodically move over it, covering it briefly. We have no idea what it was, but it was not a hoax. We thought that it might have been some type of military or weather balloon, but someone from the local press contacted the military, & they claimed that there were no balloons in the area at that time. It was spotted in three states. If it was a kite, than it was the biggest kite ever made.lol

  18. November 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Thanks for your comment, Rebecca. It’s great to hear from a witness. When you think “kite”, don’t think of a child’s toy. Large kites have been designed and used for weather research, harvesting wind energy, and even towing freighters at sea! One of their benefits for research is how stable they can be (maintaining position for hours). Some have been flown to altitudes of over two miles. Size and distance are very tricky to judge when an object is in the sky, with no reference points available. If the object you saw was a kite or balloon, the military might not know anything about it. It could just as easily be the product of a university or private business.

    I wasn’t there, but I stick with my statement that everything I see in the video and descriptions fits the behavior of a kite.

  19. Rebecca
    November 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Thank you. It probably was some type of kite like you describe. No one I know actually believed that it was any type of alien craft or anything like that. We all believed that there was a logical explanation to its identity, but could find no one who could tell exactly what it was. I have known Mr Epling for many years, & I just didn’t appreciate the way some of the posters were speaking about him. He is a good man who is genuinely curious about what was in the air that day.

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