Mysterious 'UFO' over Kentucky explained

16.08.2013 17:24

Google, it is cheekily said, knows
everything even, apparently, the origin of
an unidentified flying object.
On Oct. 16, 2012, residents of Pike
County, Ky., looked high in the sky to find
a strange sight. Amateur astronomer Allen
Epling described it to a local reporter as
looking "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," Epling said.
"Then, it would dim down almost
invisible ... It wasn't anything I
recognized. Definitely not an airplane, and
I've never seen a helicopter that looked
like that."
Epling wasn't the only one who noticed;
police in Kentucky, Virginia and
Tennessee got phone calls from
concerned citizens. Calls were made to
nearby airports, but government officials
could shed no light on it. The unidentified
flying object , estimated to have
reached an altitude of 60,000 feet,
remained more or less stationary for
hours, suggesting that it was tethered to
the ground somehow, or hovering under
its own power. [7 Things Most Often
Mistaken for UFOs ]
And now, the origin of the bright bulbs
has been found.
Explanations and speculations
Alien spacecraft were, of course,
suspected. The most likely explanation a
balloon of some sort was floated, but led
to further mystery and shadowy
speculation. What entity placed it there,
and what was its purpose? Was it spying
on unwitting Americans?
Or was it sampling or even creating so-
called "chemtrails," those lines in the sky
that resemble normal airplane contrails
but are suspected of being anything from
extraterrestrial signals to mind-control
experiments to weather-controlling
machinery? Many thought top-secret
chemical agents were involved, which
raises the question of what possible
purpose the chemtrails would serve. As
Bob Carroll notes in his book "The
Skeptic's Dictionary" (Wiley, 2003), "Any
biological or chemical agents released at
25,000 feet or above would be absolutely
impossible to control, making any
measurement of effects on the ground
nearly impossible ... Such an exercise
would be pointless, unless you just
wanted to pollute the atmosphere."
Besides that, the fact that the U.S.
government didn't know or, depending on
your point of view, claimed not to know
what the object was simply fueled the
speculation. Obviously, whatever was that
big and high up in the sky was not put
there by a hobbyist, and if no one at the
Air Force or Pentagon truly knew what it
was, perhaps a private company, or
maybe even a foreign power, was behind
it. The reports and news faded away, but
the mysterious object hung like a question
mark in the sky.
Secret revealed
Now, an article in Wired magazine has
revealed the secret behind the mysterious
craft: a Google-financed tech endeavor
code-named Project Loon. "The people in
Pike County were witnessing a test of
Project Loon, a breathtakingly ambitious
plan to bring the Internet to a huge swath
of as-yet-unconnected humanity via
thousands of solar-powered, high-
pressure balloons floating some 60,000
feet above Earth," wrote Wired's Steven
The balloon stayed aloft for 11 days
before reaching Canada, Levy reports .
The Project Loon balloons, while
providing fodder for UFO websites and
conspiracy theorists , travel "on the
edge of space, designed to connect people
in rural and remote areas, help fill
coverage gaps and bring people back
online after disasters," according to the
project's website. The solar-powered
balloons would circle the planet, floating
in rings about 12 miles (19 kilometers)
above Earth in the stratosphere (about
twice the altitude at which commercial
airplanes fly). "People connect to the
balloon network using a special Internet
antenna attached to their building. The
signal bounces from balloon to balloon,
then to the global Internet back on
Earth," the website reads.
The result? Low-cost Internet access .
So the mysterious UFO was, indeed, the
result of a technologically advanced
civilization, but it seems that civilization
comes in peace and is here to help us or
at least provide affordable Wi-Fi to rural