2011 Vancouver UFO sighting
Description of events
Reports included purple and red flashing lights appearing on the evening of February 20, 2011, as well as a saucer shape with green and red lights reportedly appearing just before 7:00 pm to Vancouver residents on the evening of February 21, 2011. Witness descriptions of the object included hovering for several minutes with occasional darting, side-to-side motions. No noise was reported to accompany the sightings.
One photo and two video recordings of the sighting were submitted to local media organizations. A photo by Joey Studdard shows a red dot with a trail of blue lights on a black background. A video of 52 seconds in length submitted to the KATU news webpage by Sandy Curtis, shows a set of flashing red lights, out-of-focus against a black background. Due to the hand-held motion of the camera and the absence of any background imagery, size and movements are very difficult to determine. A second video recorded on March 2, 2011 is over five minutes in length. Again, motion, size and speed are difficult to determine.
Peter Davenport, the director of the National UFO Reporting Center, first gave an opinion that the object spotted on February 21, 2011, was the star Sirius. Being the brightest star in the sky, Sirius is more likely to exhibit twinkling, color-changing effects. However, after viewing video of the object, Davenport later remarked: "I don’t believe it was a star. The object moved off. Stars don’t do that."
Several reader comments submitted to The Columbian, KGW and KATU websites claimed to have identified the object up close as an LED-equipped kite. Following news reports of the events, an individual giving his name only as "Mike" presented himself and his Chinese-manufactured kite as the source. The kite presented to The Columbian newspaper the week after the initial sightings stood 7 and-a-half feet tall with a 13 foot wingspan. Nearly 500 LED lights were hung from the triangle-shaped structure and were centrally-controlled to display different patterns including one depicting a flying saucer.
- "Was that a flying saucer hovering over east Vancouver?". The Columbian.
- "UFO still puzzling residents and an expert". The Columbian.
- "Strange lights seen over Vancouver". KATU News.
- "Peter Davenport, UFO Expert, Takes Vancouver Flying Saucer Sighting Siriusly". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Bad Astronomy Blog. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "UFO still puzzling residents and an expert". The Columbian. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- "Vancouver 'UFO' was kite with LED lights". MSNBC. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "UFO revealed to be kite with lights". UPI. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "St. Paul UFO mystery solved?". TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- "LED-lighted kite reported as UFO causes panic and gets St. Paul man arrested". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 1 March 2011.