UFO causes a stir in Pretoria

UFO over Pretoria

I write this article under protest because to be dead honest I think it is utterly unfounded. There is a flurry of interest over at our local online news outlet, News24, about a UFO sighting in Pretoria on two consecutive nights last week.

The eye witness describes her experience as follows:

Van der Spuy for the first time saw the UFO on Wednesday night shortly after sunset in the western sky.

“I couldn’t make out the shape of the object because the three lights were too bright, but it almost had a heart shape because there were two lights on top, a blue light on the left and an emerald green light directly next to it, on the right side, with a big bright white light underneath it which shone straight down,”

Right, we have three bright lights low on the horizon and this creates MASSIVE debate about

whether or not aliens exist (and some rather amusing comments about the drug taking habits of people in Booysens).

The article also describes the behavior of the three lights:

According to her (Van der Spuy), the UFO hung in the air for two hours without moving and then, at about 20:30, slowly started moving down, diagonally to the left and still down, disappearing behind the horizon.
On Thursday night, the UFO again appeared shortly after sunset and at 20:30 again started moving down before disappearing.

Unfortunately there does not seem to be a single picture or video of the stationery object hovering in the sky for many hours on two separate evenings. The description above does not

match the configuration of visible planets in the sky during this period and the South African Air

Force and Johannesburg Planetarium have no explanation. Therefore, IT’S A UFO!

The behavior of the object suggests (to me, at least) that this might be some kind of balloon or blimp. Until we have more evidence to examine I think we can consign this one to the “embarrassingly banal” file and move on.

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7 responses to “UFO causes a stir in Pretoria

  1. Your attitude is similar to ages passed when a person was branded a heritic, for daring to say something against the views of the day. The point is that an eye witness saw something unusual and reported it, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. In fact, it is our duty to report things, because information is key to understanding the world.
    ‘there are more things in heaven and earth Horatio…’ William Shakespeare.

    • Don’t you think it is a little worrying that so many people got so excited about an unsubstantiated claim with no evidence to back it up?

  2. UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object. What she and her neighbours saw was an object in the air (flying) that was not a plane, or anything recognizeble (Unidentified) to a 67 year old women. Are you saying she and her neighbours saw a planet for 2 nights move across the sky?

    She saw a UFO. It doesn’t have to be an alien but the hard fact remains, in this universe which is so big, so large, we have yet to explore it and is very naive and selfish to beleive we are the only ones here.

    Before aliens became popular in todays modern society (around 1940s) There are cave paintings all over the world of “spacemen” and craft.

    You cannot disprove alien life exists yet there are thousands of credible witnesses to these type of events all over the world.

    If you call this made up, you are calling every single one of these people a liar.

    • Correction Kyle, the report I am addressing above specifically states that these people watched a bright light on the western horizon which remained stationary (not flying)until approximately 20:30 when it disappeared behind the horizon.

      At no point do I ever claim that extraterrestrial aliens do not exist. In fact, if you were to talk with me you would find that I am very excited about the possibility that aliens do inhabit a world close enough to ours for us to one day make contact. However, I do not think that what Ms. Van der Spuy saw can be considered to be an alien spacecraft until we have ruled out other possible explanations. The complete lack of evidence makes this impossible.

      I do not consider vague cave paintings evidence of extraterrestrial visitation.

      I do not call all UFO “eye witnesses” liars. Until I have evidence that they have seen spacecraft I consider them confused.

  3. Yeah, Venus is a reasonable explanation. I’m thinking of driving out to Booysens to see what I can see, a Skeptical Road Trip!

  4. I have another hypothesis based on the following statements:

    “…saw the UFO on Wednesday night shortly after sunset in the western sky.”

    “…the UFO hung in the air for two hours without moving and then, at about 20:30, slowly started moving down, diagonally to the left and still down, disappearing behind the horizon.”

    To me, this sounds suspiciously like the planet Venus.

    Venus is particularly bright at the moment. If you were to stare at it hard enough, I’ll bet it could look rather like a heart-shaped light… one that appears in the Western sky shortly after sunset and slowly moves to the left (West) eventually disappearing over the horizon.

    It might even appear, to the untrained eye, that it would remain motionless in the sky for several hours until it moved close enough to points of reference on the horizon (buildings, trees or what have you) that its actual motion would be apparent.

    I can’t prove it, of course, but I’d be willing to bet that that’s what van der Spuy is seeing.

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