Space.com (December 10, 2009)
"A spectacular spiral light show in the sky above Norway Wednesday was caused by a Russian missile that failed just after launch, according to Russia's defense ministry.
"When the rocket motor spun out of control, it likely created the heavenly spiral of white light near where the missile was launched from a submarine in the White Sea. The Russian defense ministry confirmed to the Itar-Tass news agency that a Bulava ballistic missile test had failed.
" 'This cloud was very spectacular, and when we looked at the videos people submitted to the media, we quickly concluded that it looked like a rocket or missile out of control, thus the spiraling effect,' Paal Brekke, a senior advisor at the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo, told SPACE.com. 'I think this is the first time we have seen such a display from a launch failure.'..."
(Dagfinn Rapp, via Space.com, used w/o permission)
There was speculation that the spiral in the sky was "a UFO."
"...Before the missile test was confirmed, many people suggested the bright light pattern might have been a UFO. Russia finally admitted to the accident, which is an embarrassing mishap for a rocket that had already failed six of 13 previous tests, according to the BBC...."
Well, literally, that out-of-control rocket was a UFO for a while: an Unidentified Flying Object. Now, after the Russians fessed up to its being one of their not-entirely-successful bits of aerospace tech, it's a IFO - an Identified Flying Object.
Judging from that photo, it must have been quite a sight.
Do I "Believe In" UFOs? Yes. And, NoI an about as certain as I can be of anything, that people routinely see objects that are moving through the sky, and which they cannot identify. By definition, each of these is a UFO. If they're later identified, they become IFOs.
But that's not what most people mean, when they say "UFO." In everyday speech, a "UFO" is a spaceship, built by space aliens, who have come to Earth. Although their motives aren't entirely clear, they're apparently obsessed with mutilating cattle, buzzing motorists, abducting people and performing pregnancy tests.
Or guiding us to a groovier tomorrow.
The first sort of "UFO" - the object that's traveling in the sky and hasn't been identified? Yes I "believe in" that. I also "believe in" clouds and snow, in that sense of the term.
The second sort of "UFO" - the "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" sort? Not so much. I don't think Elvis was a space alien, either: although I made up a crazy story about that, as an "explanation" of the Montauk monster. ("July 30, 2008)
Although I don't take the ideas of flying saucer enthusiasts all that seriously, I don't discount the possibility that humanity isn't the only kind of people inhabiting this universe.
But that's a different topic.
Related posts, at