Those “green UFOs” that caused a stir in Australia four years ago? Researchers say they definitely weren’t alien spaceships (not like they were going to say anything different), but they still aren’t sure what they actually were.
The three green fireballs were spotted by more than 100 people in the sky over Queensland, Australia on May 16th, 2006. The potential abductees said the lights were brighter than the moon, but not as bright as the sun. A single farmer claims to have seen one of the green balls bouncing down the side of a mountain after hitting the earth.
Stephen Hughes, a researcher at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, has just published a paper on the phenomenon in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A. He explained to LiveScience that the main fireballs were most likely caused by a meteor breaking up and burning in earth’s atmosphere:
In fact, a commercial airline pilot who landed in New Zealand that day reported seeing a meteor breaking up into fragments, which turned green as the bits descended in the direction of Australia. The timing of the fireballs suggests they might have been debris from Comet 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3.
Old and busted: whirling flying saucers. The new hotness: triangular-shaped vessels. It seems Unidentified Flying Objects’ shapes are changing with the times–or maybe with TV shows.
This week, the British Government released its fifth batch of files on alleged UFO sightings within the country, this set dating from from 1994 to 2000. The files total more than 6,000 pages and were released by the Ministry of Defense and the National Archives. What struck experts most was the changing shape of the reported UFOs.
CNN reports that the shift may have come about because of popular notions of what futuristic tech would look like: