Photo from The Huffington Post.
Leslie Kean is someone in UFO research who deserves every bit of respect there is.
She is a journalist who first came to Ufology by investigating the Kecksburg case and has since written the fine book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record. So when she writes or speaks on all matters UFO, I listen. Recently, she published an article in The Huffington Post about a "Groundbreaking UFO video" from Chile. You can read the many details of the case at the link, but here is a synopsis.
The incident caught on video occurred in November of 2014. The crew of of a Chilean Navy helicopter sighted the unknown aerial object while on a routine patrol flight. Two ground bases were notified of the object, but neither base could detect the UFO on radar. Additionally, the object could not be detected on the helicopter's own radar. To make things even more weird, the object twice ejected a trail of gas or water while it was filmed by the helicopter's infrared camera (see pic above).
This video was turned over to the CEFAA, the office of the Chilean government that investigates UFOs. Yes, they really have such an official agency. Other South American nations have them as well as they have long been open about UFO phenomena. The CEFAA, along with the Chilean armed forces, undertook a prolonged study of just what was on that infrared video. Given the origin of the footage, a hoax could be ruled out with a fair amount of confidence. Planes, drones, space debris, weather anomalies, and weather balloons were all considered.
Such explanations ended up falling short according to the investigators.
"...“the great majority of committee members agreed to call the subject in question a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) due to the number of highly researched reasons that it was unanimously agreed could not explain it.” said General Ricardo Bermudez of the CEFAA.
Certainly makes one take notice. A national government spends years and resources on an investigation and determines that the object is inexplicable by any known means. Should be "groundbreaking" indeed. The real deal at last. My heart rate increased. My stomach juices began to crepitate. An actual UFO.
Wellllll.....not so fast.
Mick West at Metabunk.org has a strong explanation.
There were two different commercial airliners in the area of this sighting. As West writes:
"Based on analysis by @Trailblazer, @Trailspotter, myself, and others, There are likely TWO planes involved IB6830 and LA330. The plane that initially seems to fit best is LA330, a two engined A320, which was reported to be climbing through 20,000 feet at that exact visual position at 14:01:39. It was actually 65 miles away, not 35-50. This explain [sic] why it was not seen on radar (the actual plane was on radar, just not where they thought it was)."
The site also features copious and painstaking analysis that demonstrates why the IR video footage looks the way it does. It is suspect that after years of analysis by trained experts no one thought to check commercial air traffic in the area. Then again, if the distance and the altitude were misunderstood from beginning, everything else that is extrapolated from those points would be false as well. A simple mistake anybody could make given the circumstances.
And after watching the video I'd also have to wonder why a true UFO (I mean in the pop culture "alien" sense) would leave a fossil fuel contrail, but that's just me.
Expect this one to be debated for a while to come, but if were a pressed to make a ten dollar bet, I'd put five bucks on West's explanation, two dollars on a genuine UFO, and keep the other three so I could get a latte.
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