Space

Starlink Satellites Once Again Confused For UFOs – Or Santa Claus?

In other news related to the very serious business of spacefaring billionaires, Elon Musks’ Starlink satellites have once again been mistaken for unexplained phenomena.

The Tribune highlights an incident from earlier this month, when residents of Pathankot in Punjab, India witnessed a fast-moving line of lights in the night sky. The lights appeared at roughly 7:00 p.m. local time for a brief five minutes before disappearing from view. However, most were quick to point out that the lights weren’t really all that mysterious — they were instead that infamous line of Starlink satellites.

Similar accounts happened in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Colorado this month, where many apparently jumped online to share their stories, and even contacted their local news stations for info. KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh stated as much — apparently, they had viewers concerned that it might’ve been a UFO or, given the time of year, Santa Claus.

Santa Claus? You might think that’s a joke, but then again we’ve seen numerous reports over the years of genuine Santa sightings.

Most notable are those who recall hearing the sound of bells, and in some cases witnessing a bright light (often red) in the sky.

This month’s sightings, however, were likely related to the most recent Starlink deployments. On December 3, SpaceX launched a new set of 48 Starlink satellites, later followed by the launch of another 52 just this past weekend. The satellites are capable of providing high-speed internet service to pretty much the entire planet, though this depends on licensing with individual countries.

Here’s another angle from Illinois on December 3, 2021.

I suppose I can see how that might look like Santa and his reindeer. The North Pole’s made a few upgrades, though, if that’s the case.

The entire Starlink satellite constellation consists of over 1,600 individual satellites. They can often appear very bright, and as we’ve seen, this occasionally leads onlookers to believe they’ve witnessed something beyond the ordinary, especially if they don’t know what they’re looking at. I’ve written in the past how this sort of thing may interfere with otherwise legitimate UFO sightings and research.

It’s getting noisy up there.

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Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions. Might be a robot.

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