Skeptics struggle to explain how a metal sphere could "fly"

Skeptics struggle to explain how a metal sphere could "fly"
Department of Defense

Last week, the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which studies UFOs, sent the office’s director, Sean Kirkpatrick, to testify before a congressional committee chaired by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. It was the first open committee hearing on UFOs in nearly a year. Dr. Kirkpatrick was there to provide an update on his office’s progress in identifying some of the unidentified anomalous objects (UAP) that have been sighted and to answer questions about logistics, funding, and other matters related to the operation of the office.

Early in his report, Kirkpatrick stunned many of us (or at least me) by doing something that up until now the Pentagon has steadfastly refused to do. He publicly released two UFO videos that had never been exposed in an unclassified setting before. One of them was a case that had been resolved. The video appeared to show a strange, oblong object passing in the vicinity of one of our drones. Additional data and better resolution revealed that object to be a conventional aircraft. But the other one was unresolved and it’s pretty stunning. It’s a video filmed by an MQ-9 Reaper drone somewhere in the Middle East in July of last year. It shows what appears to be a round, metallic ball or “orb” (as they are called in ufology circles) flying along above a town. The camera on the Reaper swivels to try to follow it and brings it back into the frame for several seconds. I’ll embed the video here so you can check it out for yourself. (Video courtesy of John Greenwald Jr. at The Black Vault.) The film is shown at full speed and then at half speed so you can get a better look.


Whatever that thing was, it was moving along at a fairly impressive pace. There are a lot of people at work right now searching Google Earth maps to try to determine where the video was taken. If we know the location and we already have the date, it can be determined what the winds were in that location to rule out the chance that it was a balloon. (Some skeptics are already pushing that explanation.) But if it really was a balloon, I think AARO could have figured that out pretty quickly.

So let’s say for the moment that it’s not a balloon. Then what is it? It looks, as I said, like a metal ball. It has no wings or tail or any obvious method of creating lift and generating propulsion. So how is it flying? Some smart people at Liberation Times set themselves to the task of trying to answer that question.

A few months ago, a colleague proposed a hypothesis that a sphere that was built with exotic superconducting materials (some of these include bismuth in case that sounds familiar) could fly using quantum magnetic levitation, also known as the Meissner effect.

When these materials are cooled to or below their critical temperature, they expel magnetic fields. This effect would apply to the Earth’s magnetic field, therefore, by switching sections of the sphere surface ‘on’ to expel the magnetic field and ‘off’ to stop the effect, one could make a sphere levitate and even move in any direction.

The round shape is the perfect shape to achieve such movement, depending on the granularity of the superconductor sections.

The science in the article is a bit on the heavy side, but it’s well worth a read if you’re interested. The idea that a ball could be flying as seen in the video is based on a combination of quantum magnetic levitation and “power beaming.” That involves a theory first developed by Tesla, allowing power to be “beamed” down to an object from a craft or a satellite.

It’s a fascinating idea, but the suppositions in this piece require a lot of assumptions. First of all, the orb looks awfully small to fit some sort of quantum levitation thingamabob into it. And if there were some craft overhead beaming down rays of power to it, wouldn’t someone have noticed that as well?

Perhaps that’s still possible, but as I said, this would require more assumptions than would be needed to account for aliens of any sort from a civilization far in advance of current human technological capabilities. We can’t know for sure, at least for now. But if the orb isn’t a really fancy balloon, we appear to be seeing some sort of technology that we’re unable to identify. And that would be very exciting indeed. Or perhaps frightening. Take your pick.

I will also point out that a lot of UFO “believers” were upset that Dr. Kirkpatrick told Congress that they still had “no credible evidence of extraterrestrial technology.” In all fairness, he did say that, but if he had the evidence then the sighting wouldn’t be unsolved. Instead, he has hundreds of unresolved cases with no explanations. If he doesn’t know what they are, they could almost anything. And that includes aliens.

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