A strange light over the Australian capital – a ball of light that lit up Canberra’s skies before rapidly disappearing – once again stirred speculations on social media of a UFO sighting.
A video originally uploaded on Reddit showed a donut-shaped orb appearing on the Australian Capital Territory sky during a Sunday night storm, with a faint red and green glow on the background.
Some social media users branded it as an extraterrestrial event, while experts dismissed it as a weather phenomenon known as “ball lightning.”
Class B UFO?
During the recorded incident, the sky was illuminated by lightning as well as a green-red hue, and then a white orb shone bright in the dark sky and faded away after a few seconds.
Some believed it was a UFO exiting a portal belonging to another dimension.
For Jakka Warren, it was a so-called Class B UFO due to the alleged “typical hyperdrive residue” that formed, not a ball of lightning as experts suggested. “Nice try fools,” he said, as quoted by a local news outlet.
Certain Reddit users maintained that the light was a sign of hyperspace opening up.
On the other hand, there were skeptics calling the video a hoax.
Sorry, Folks, It’s ‘Ball Lightning’
Astronomer Dr. Brad Tucker of Australian National University debunked the UFO claims, saying it was an equally mysterious phenomenon known as ball lightning.
According to Dr. Tucker, the green and red light faintly glowing in the background could be mistaken for an aurora, where the sun’s energy hits the atmosphere, rubbing it with friction and charging the gas.
"But the problem is there was no activity from the sun, it was cloudy, we can't see the aurora, so it doesn't really fit,” he explained.
However, he believed it was a “really interesting occurrence” this time: a ball lightning, a weird phenomenon where lightning appears as a ball explosion and sometimes even moves around in the sky. The energy manifesting in this unusual activity can typically occur due to a lot of electrical charge rubbing against atmospheric gases.
Forecaster Sean Carson agreed as there were thunderstorms at the time, limiting the possibility to lightning.
Reportedly, ball lightning takes place more often in Australia than any other country.
Unusual Phenomena Abound
Dr. Tucker was fairly sure it wasn’t extraterrestrial passersby or visitors that caused the mysterious light, saying aliens would probably visit “somewhere more active than Canberra coming back from holidays.”
He also dismissed speculations of Photoshop enhancement, as the elements in the video and other records fit together.
However, the expert cited plenty of other weird natural occurrences everywhere, such as similar UFO-looking lights in Norway. “[It happens] every autumn for a few weeks… but the lights happen regularly like clockwork,” he added.
In the United States shortly before Christmas, an unidentified bright object torched the night sky of California, Nevada, and Arizona, inciting assumptions of another UFO or meteor sighting. Officials, however, were quick to say that it was nothing more than Russian space debris reentry.
Watch the YouTube video below of the strange lights witnessed above Canberra.