2011 Vancouver UFO sighting

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The Vancouver, Washington UFO sighting occurred over two evenings in February 2011, as reported by many eyewitnesses in the Clear Meadows neighborhood of Vancouver, Washington, United States.[1]

Description of events[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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.

Possible explanations[edit]

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.[4] Being the brightest star in the sky, Sirius is more likely to exhibit twinkling, color-changing effects.[5] 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."[6]

Several reader comments submitted to The Columbian, KGW and KATU websites claimed to have identified the object up close as an LED-equipped kite.[7] Following news reports of the events, an individual giving his name only as "Mike" presented himself and his Chinese-manufactured kite as the source.[8] 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.

A kite equipped with LEDs was found to be the likely cause of similar UFO sightings in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2010.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Was that a flying saucer hovering over east Vancouver?". The Columbian. 
  2. ^ "UFO still puzzling residents and an expert". The Columbian. 
  3. ^ "Strange lights seen over Vancouver". KATU News. 
  4. ^ "Peter Davenport, UFO Expert, Takes Vancouver Flying Saucer Sighting Siriusly". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Bad Astronomy Blog. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "UFO still puzzling residents and an expert". The Columbian. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Vancouver 'UFO' was kite with LED lights". MSNBC. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "UFO revealed to be kite with lights". UPI. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "St. Paul UFO mystery solved?". TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "LED-lighted kite reported as UFO causes panic and gets St. Paul man arrested". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 1 March 2011.