If you want help someone comprehend something new and unusual, it pays to compare it to something old and familiar. This applies to most situations and this week it applies to the world of UFO reports. If you live in Arizona and you see a string of mysterious lights, you compare them to the Phoenix lights. If you live in New Mexico and you see a bright light falling from the sky, you compare it to the Roswell incident. If you live in Utah and you see an orb hanging in the sky, you compare it to something seen over the Skinwalker Ranch near Ballard, Utah. That is where this story takes us, as a person in Mapleton, Utah, saw and photographed a UFO over his property that reminded them of the orbs reported over the Skinwalker Ranch. Are they related? Will the witness get a cable TV show?
“Circular object hovering above farm fields by my house. I go inside to tell partner and had disappeared when I went back outside.”
If that’s all he or she has, the unnamed witness from Mapleton doesn’t have much of a tale to tell. Fortunately, at about 5:47 p.m. on February 8, 2022, they had the wherewithal to take a deep breath, pull out a charged phone and take some photographs and a video of something in the sky near the Moon.
“I then noticed what looked like a planet in the sky near the moon, over some farm fields by my house. However, it was too early to be able to see a planet. It was small, circular and light in color. It did not move when I was looking at it. I took photos and video of it, then went inside to tell my partner. He looked out the window and confirmed I wasn’t seeing things.”
Excellent! Now we have photos, a video and a second witness. This has the makings of a good UFO sighting. Mapleton is a small city in Utah County in central Utah. Primarily rural, it lies at an elevation of 4,700 feet (1,400 meters) above sea level nestled between the 10,193-foot (3,107 meters) Spanish Fork Peak to the southeast and the 7,533-foot (2,296 meters) Ether Peak to the northeast. With the altitude, low population and low level of industrial and city lights, it has a clear blue sky perfect for stargazing and UFO spotting. The witness was doing just that while their dog was gazing down for a suitable tree.
“Still in the house, I opened my SkyView app to make sure it wasn’t a planet, and indeed it was not.”
For those unfamiliar with it, SkyView® Lite is a free “intuitive stargazing app” that uses your smartphone’s camera “to precisely spot and identify celestial objects in sky, day or night.” It and other stargazing apps are excellent tools for budding UFO spotters to avoid the embarrassment of showing a UFO to your friends, only to be told you are looking at Venus. The apps don’t help eliminate the possibility of drones, but the witness explained in a report to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) that the object was quite a distance away and still too large to be a civilian drone.
“I went back outside and it was gone, but I took more photos / video of where it had been for documentation. All of this was within a four minute span.”
This person is indeed an excellent UFO witness – even if it turns out the object is not a UFO or unidentified aerial phenomena – because they included additional photos for documentation and perspective, and kept track of the elapsed time from sighting to disappearance. Why did the witness think this was a UFO of the kind reported over Skinwalker Ranch?
“I zoomed into the photos I had taken and adjusted the brightness and exposure and it’s somewhat triangular in shape with rounded corners and seems to be illuminated (perhaps from sun reflection or lights on it?). Also, it has what looks to be an aura / haze around it?! I wish I had kept my eyes on it the entire time to see what happened to it!”
So do we … and the folks at NUFROC. However, the original photo and the one that was magnified and adjusted for brightness are included with the report and the object does appear to be triangular in shape like the many mysterious ‘black triangle’ UFOs seen around the world that are generally thought to be top secret advanced miliary aircrafts like the long-rumored Northrop TR-3A Black Manta. Mapleton is approximately 80 miles due south of Hill Air Force Base, making it possible that the UAP was a jet on maneuvers … except the witness said the object did not move while it was under observation. Could the witness, even with such an impressive eye for details, have been mistaken?
“We had a sighting in NYC as well; two smaller wobbling flying saucers going down the street between buildings by our apartment! My partner saw them through binoculars and I saw them with my own eyes. I will post that encounter under New York State sightings.”
This is not the witness’ first UFO rodeo. Nor is this someone who is a diehard UFO spotter – the report states: “I am a skeptic and try to debunk something before believing it.” That is certainly the case in the NUFORC report. However, the witness was quick to compare this UFO to those seen on the TV shows and in the reports and photos from Skinwalker Ranch, which is located about 120 miles east of Mapleton. The photo sent to NUFORC that was allegedly take in Mapleton is as unidentifiable as those from Skinwalker Ranch – that makes them “similar” in a non-flattering and non-evidential way. Despite having Skinwalker Ranch, Utah is not a hotbed of UFO of sightings – the NUFORC database has only three others in Mapleton dating back to 2007.
Are the Mapleton UFO report and UFO photo interesting? Definitely. Is the photo “exactly like what they’ve seen over the ranch multiple times if you’ve seen the show”? Only in a vague way. Nonetheless, we should appreciate the meticulous methodology the witness used to record, document, and report their UFO. It’s a good example of what to do if YOU see one – with that kind of detail, there will be no reason to compare it to the UFOs of Skinwalker Ranch, Roswell, Phoenix or any other well-known sites.