The sky above Kyiv is teeming with unidentified flying objects (UFOs), according to a new report from the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Of course, given that Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a months-long war that relies heavily on aircraft and drones, it’s likely that many of these so-called UFOs are military tools that seem too fleeting to identify, a US intelligence agency has speculated.
Published to the preprint database arXiv, the report — which has yet to be peer-reviewed — describes the latest steps Ukrainian astronomers have taken to monitor fast-moving, low-visibility objects in the daytime sky over Kyiv and the surrounding villages. Using specially calibrated cameras at two weather stations in Kyiv and Vinarivka, a village about 120 kilometers to the south, astronomers observed dozens of objects “that cannot be scientifically identified as known natural phenomena,” the report said.
Government agencies tend to refer to such objects as UAP, short for “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
“We observe a significant number of objects whose nature is not clear,” the team wrote. – We see them everywhere.
The researchers divided the UAP observations into two categories: ‘cosmic’ and ‘phantoms’. According to the report, cosmic luminaries are objects that are brighter than the background sky. These objects are designated by bird names — such as “swift,” “falcon,” and “eagle” — and have been observed flying solo as well as in “squadrons,” the team wrote.
Phantoms, on the other hand, are dark objects, which usually appear “completely black,” as if they’re absorbing all the light that falls on them, the team added. By comparing observations from the two participating observatories, the researchers estimated that the phantoms range from 10 to 40 feet (3 to 12 meters) wide and can travel at speeds of up to 33,000 mph (53,000 km/h). By comparison, an intercontinental ballistic missile can reach speeds of up to 15,000 mph (24,000 km/h), according to Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
The researchers did not speculate on what these UFOs might be. Rather, their paper focuses on the methods and calculations used to detect the objects. However, according to a 2021 report by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), it is likely that at least some UAP are “technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-state entity.”
Given the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, it is reasonable to suspect that some UAP described in the new report may be related to foreign surveillance or military technology.
According to the ODNI report, other possible explanations for UAP include “airborne clutter,” such as birds and balloons; atmospheric phenomena, such as ice crystals; or classified government projects. Neither reports from the US nor Ukraine raise the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors.
The US government has openly renewed its interest in UAP investigations since 2017, when several videos taken by US Navy aircraft leaked to the media. The now infamous videos showed unidentified aircraft moving in seemingly impossible ways, without explanation.
The government subsequently declassified the recordings and recently revealed that several military recordings of UAP meetings exist, although the Department of Defense (DOD) will not release them due to “national security considerations.” Earlier this year, Congress approved funding for the DOD to open a new office focused solely on manage reports of UFO sightings of the US military. The authors of the new UAP report from Ukraine added that the country’s National Academy of Science is interested in contributing to this ongoing research.
Originally published on Live Science.