Published: 2:28 PM 7/7/2015
... a plethora of hoaxes making the rounds.
by Darren Handschuh
Something is out there, but most of the time it can be explained.
Gavin McLeod is the regional representative for MUFON – the California-based Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network – and since he began looking at reports of UFOs in the early 1990s, he has only seen two he cannot explain.
And that is out of countless of investigations.
McLeod, who lives in the Lower Mainland and is also an amateur astronomer, said there have been reports of UFOs coming out of the Okanagan for years, but all of them have a rational explanation.
Last week, there were reports of unexplained lights in the Westside area. When the story ran, several people contacted Castanet to say they too saw the lights, however McLeod said the lights were just unusually bright planets.
So what about a piece of video from the Westside fires last year that showed an air tanker dropping a load of fire retardant on the blaze and at the top left portion of the frame a bright ball of light is clearly visible?
McLeod can explain that one as well.
“To me, it was a daytime meteor,” he said, adding he had meteor experts look at the video and they too thought it was a space rock in earth's atmosphere.
“It is very interesting. It is a very rare phenomenon,” he said.
There is also a plethora of hoaxes making the rounds.
“There are brothers in Hawaii who produce fake videos. That's what they do,” he said, adding the videos then go on their website and they make money every time someone clicks on their site.
McLeod said there are more objects in the sky than ever. Planes, satellites, weather balloons are just a few of the many items people spot, don't know what it is and hit the UFO panic button.
But, McLeod said, initially they are unidentified flying objects, but the vast majority of the time they are explainable.
“If you don't know what it is, it's a UFO, but that does not mean it is unidentifiable,” he said, adding that doing some research will almost always unearth the real explanation.
So does that mean there are no true UFO sightings?
McLeod said he has researched some cases that cannot be explained, but they are rare and none are from the Okanagan.