A batch of raw footage from decades-old NASA missions shows zipping lights and strange objects in the sky. This footage, recently posted on YouTube, is renewing UFO conspiracy theories that the government is hiding knowledge about its interactions with intelligent life. Here, two astronauts talk about NASA’s supposed coverup and what these clips really show.
The scenario goes like this: Its 1996; you’re an astronaut and you’re looking at a UFO. This is quite possibly the biggest, most game-changing scientific discovery in the history of mankind. And here you are, gliding through space in low Earth orbit, watching this alien craft dance around your video camera’s viewfinder. You are not alone—there are other astronauts onboard the space shuttle, and mission control is watching the live feed from Houston. Yet not a single raised voice or mention of ETs or UFOs can be heard on the audio of this recording. Apparently, it’s just another routine brush with extraterrestrial life, and another day in the life of a massive, decades-long, multiagency coverup.
This is the claim behind the recent posting of a batch of NASA-related clips on YouTube, presented as evidence that extraterrestrials are among us. The footage covers a number of missions, and a range of mysterious objects—in a clip featured on the science fiction blog io9, a bizarre object rotates within the frame, seeming to morph from one shape to another as the cameraman casually tracks it. If that weren’t mysterious enough, at one point, a light drifts by. The post’s headline poses the question: “Will the US Government Finally Admit There Are Aliens?”
Whether or not the government has anything to fess up about aliens, the astronaut who shot that particular piece of footage has nothing to hide. Mario Runco was a mission specialist on board STS-77, a space shuttle mission that launched in May of 1996. One of the crew’s objectives was to deploy an experimental satellite, the Passive Aerodynamically Stabilized Magnetically Damped Satellite Test Unit (PAM-STU). The PAM-STU was roughly the size of a trash can, and was designed to test a new approach to satellite maneuverability, using the planet’s magnetic field to perform attitude adjustments (instead of firing thrusters). The crew filmed the spinning satellite for days, but in the clip posted on YouTube by Martyn Stubb, the PAM-STU appears in grainy, low-light-enhanced black and white. Its two Stimsonite reflectors—the same materials used on road and bicycle reflectors—catch the ambient light, and at one point appear to merge into a single bright spot as the satellite turns head-on. “The lights moving by in the background are either isolated lights on the ground or stars, I think likely the latter,” Runco says.
via – Popular Mechanics