It was definitely a UFO, since no one seems to be able to say what it really was, but was it of alien origin? And did NASA deliberately cut the live video feed from the International Space Station (ISS), or was it a random outage of the space camera? Whatever the case, on July 9 a video, which was posted on YouTube and received over 2 million hits in the first week, showed something passing into view, and the debate is on as to what it is and why the video feed cut out at just that moment.
Conspiracy theorists and alien hunters believe the truth is out there, even though the only thing visible in the video is a fuzzy white/gray blob heading toward Earth. Even those who want to believe in alien life have acknowledged that the object may just be a meteor, but the fact that, according to some, NASA “cut the feed” right after the object appeared lends a certain mystery to the sighting.
Officials from NASA say no UFOs were seen from the ISS. They say that most of the time these objects turn out to be internal reflections within the space station itself, or from lights positioned outside. “Reflections from station windows, the spacecraft structure itself or lights from Earth commonly appear as artifacts in photos and videos from the orbiting laboratory, just as reflections often appear in pictures taken on Earth,” said a spokesman from NASA.
In addition, bright objects, such as meteors and space debris, fall to Earth regularly, glowing as the enter the atmosphere in a way that closely resembles the “UFO” in the video. These may appear as shooting stars from the ground.
So why was there an interruption in the feed just as the object was spotted? According to the NASA spokesman, the ISS loses its direct connection to Earth on a regular basis. As it orbits Earth it occasionally gets out of reach of the satellites that are used to send and receive video. “We used a space-based data relay network. It gives us a very good coverage area, but you do lose signal occasionally, anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. It varies from day to day.”
Many viewers of the video don’t believe that explanation for a second. “With thousands of satellites NASA has deployed over decades, there would still be ‘blind spots’ in communications with the ISS, with human lives aboard?” said Internet user Furd Helmer. “How can [NASA] claim to be on the cutting edge of space technology [if] it can [not] solve the problem of ‘blind spots’?”
According to NASA, the feed that was supposedly “cut off” is the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment, which is fully automated and cannot be shut down at a request.