Eerie UFO filmed over Hawaii may be a doomed spacecraft crashing across Earth's skies, says scientist

A "UFO" that lit up over Hawaii last week may have in fact been a doomed rocket burning up in our atmosphere, according to one expert.

Astronomer Professor Richard Wainscoat reckons the eerie sight was a spent booster burning up in Earth's atmosphere – 12 years after it launched.

The cluster of bright debris it produced sparked huge interest on social media after it appeared above The Aloha State on October 24.

Footage of the incident showed a train of mysterious white lights blazing across the night sky at high speed.

Multiple users on Twitter suggested the sight was an armada of alien spacecraft visiting Earth.

However, according to Professor Wainscoat, of the University of Hawaii, they were in fact produced by a dead rocket part used to launch the Venezuelan satellite, Venesat-1, back in 2008.

“The used rocket has been circling Earth since the launch, slowly losing altitude due to friction with the tenuous atmosphere in low-Earth orbit,” the university said in a statement.

"On Saturday, the booster made its final orbits."

Wainscoat works with the Pan-STARRS telescope on Haleakalā. "Seeing a reentry is relatively rare for a specific location like Hawaii, since we can only see the re-entry if it occurs relatively close to us," he added.

Footage of the strange sighting shared across social media was captured outside Splasher's Grill in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The source, who took the video and asked to stay anonymous, insisted the strange constellation of moving lights was definitely not an aircraft.

He added that he could not hear the sound of an airplane as the strange object moved overhead.

"It was definitely a UFO," he said, according to the South West News Service.

"The thing shows up and everyone just panicked. It didn't sound like it had any propulsion system at all and it was pretty close to us."

Fermi Paradox – what is it?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • The Fermi Paradox isn't strict evidence for alien life – but more of a thought experiment
  • It's a famous contradiction posed by physicist Enrico Fermi
  • Fermi suggested that the enormous size of the universe – and the billions of Sun-like stars in the galaxy, and their planets – makes it highly likely that there is intelligent life out there
  • Some of these civilisations may have developed interstellar travel
  • But Fermi also noted that there's a significant lack of evidence for life on other planets
  • The chances of aliens being able to reach us are high, but there's no evidence that aliens ever have
  • This paradox has baffled scientists for decades

Reported UFO sightings have shot up during the coronavirus pandemic.

The National UFO Reporting Center says it's received 51 per cent more extra-terrestrial reports this year compared to the same period in 2019.

The Pentagon announced in August that it was forming a new task force to investigate UFO sightings over US military bases.

The announcement came as it was revealed that the Pentagon's once secret UFO hunting department continued to operate over the past decade despite claims that the unit had been disbanded in 2012.

In other news, bizarre footage of a "UFO" hovering over New Jersey surfaced online last month.

An ex Nasa genius is selling the 'smell of space' in a perfume bottle.

And, a massive star in a distant galaxy has baffled astronomers by disappearing without a trace.

What do you make of the strange UFO footage? Let us know in the comments…

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