Brightly lit UFOs over the UK and Russia are lighting up the sky and burning up the Internet. But do they stand up to scrutiny?
A man referring to himself as Space999dude posted a video on YouTube (see above) that shows something in the sky over the Thames Estuary near London on Feb. 5. He wrote that the object "seems too bright for a boat but I could be wrong, and looked like it was above the water. It was a very long way off and I was at full 40x zoom -- hence the shaky footage.
"I always carry a camcorder in my car ... and think more people should be looking and keeping cameras at the ready."
Space999dude's video pulled in a lot of comments, many wondering why the clip was under a minute in length. Perhaps in response to some who complained that the first video clip didn't offer any long-range perspective of the UFO, he posted a second clip to show faraway and close-up views of it.
Watch the Thames UFO Follow-up Clip:
The Huffington Post showed the video to Marc Dantonio, chief photo and video analyst for the Mutual UFO Network.
"I noticed a horizontal glow below the main object glow. It looked like water to me, so I thought it might be a classic ship mirage where a ship out at sea appears to be separated from the horizon because of the temperature differential between the air and water," Dantonio told HuffPost.
Then, when he examined the follow-up video that gave more of a faraway view, showing the UFO with the context of land and water, he was more than convinced.
"You actually see that this object is, indeed, just above the horizon water line, exactly where the ship mirage effect takes place. I believe very strongly -- maybe 98 percent -- that that's what this is."
Armed with that information, we decided to ask Dantonio to look at another video, this one reportedly shot in January in a remote Russian village in the Ural Mountains.
Watch The Donut-Shaped UFO In This Video From Russia:
According to a Russia NTV news report, this circular-shaped, donut-like UFO was seen by several witnesses who were losing sleep after their experience.
But Dantonio -- who creates special effects for several television channels and has specific contracts with the U.S. Navy, Congress and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington -- says the Russian villagers have no need for sleeping aids.
He's pretty sure this UFO was a device similar to a quad copter he built for a National Geographic special, "The Truth Behind: UFOs," which aired in December 2011.
"It looks like a radio controlled vehicle because it bobbles in the sky exactly like our quad copter," he said. "This is a perfect example of how not knowing about new technologies of nighttime flying can fool you."
Check Out These Photos Of Alleged UFO Sightings:
UFOs? Maybe They're Just...
But how would someone in an isolated Russian town nestled in the Ural Mountains even have access to the materials to build such a high-flying device?
"Oh, you can buy these things on the Internet -- that's where I intentionally bought mine. I wanted to do it completely over the Net on purpose to show that this stuff was available from your computer," Dantonio explained.
"That's why this video looks to me like a quad copter with a ring of lights around it. I think it's a manufactured vehicle. And we did it specifically to expose this technology and to educate people about these things."