Jan 25, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Spherical UFO Caught on a U.S. Military Video Flying Over the Iraqi city of Mosul

A photo of a metallic UFO over a Middle Eastern country doesn’t normally get much attention. One hit the media today and it’s getting a lot – for a variety of reasons. The photo is over northern Iraq and was taken by a military reconnaissance aircraft. The photo is taken from a video shot over an active military zone and the video shows it keeping up with the plane. The footage was obtained by UFO investigator Jeremy Corbell and journalist George Knapp, who say the incident has been under investigation by Pentagon's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. Is that enough to get your attention?

  • DATE / TIME - 16 April 2016 / UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
  • LOCATION - This image and footage was taken over the city of Mosul in Northern Iraq.
  • DURATION - The video is 4 seconds long. The UAP is seen “moving with purpose” in a lateral direction across the video (south to north). The “orb” UAP is visible for approximately 1 second - as it moves through frame.

Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp kicked off their new podcast “Weaponized” with a blockbuster story – an unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) recorded by a U.S. military reconnaissance plane in 2016 over the city of Mosul in Iraq. The team says the short video – only four seconds in length – was released in 2020 in a classified briefing for US government officials by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). According to Corbell's Faceook page, what is now referred to as the “Mosul Orb” was revealed to educate the United States Armed Forces and the intelligence community on the nature and presentation of the UAP / UFO phenomenon. That apparently includes showing the intelligence community that there is more to UAP encounters than Tic Tacs and drones.  

“(The Mosul Orb “...recorded this short clip of an unidentified flying orb that appears to have a metallic shine on its surface.”

An MC-12 - the model which captured the Mosul UFO on video 

The briefing details state that the flying silver ball was ““moving with purpose” in a lateral direction across the video (south to north).” It was detected and recorded by an “MC-12 / A medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft” which is primarily used for providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to ground forces. The MC-12 is not a speed demon – its top speed is 312 knots (360 mph). The UAP was only in the view of the Mc-12 for a second and it was noted that it did not change altitude during the time it was visible. After returning to base, the image was analyzed by “DGS-1 (Distributed Ground System number 1, Langley AFB, Virginia ) / The Distributed Ground Center at Langley-Eustis (designated DGS-1)” which “focuses on imagery intelligence and electronic signals intelligence and primarily supports U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).” What exactly did they determine this metallic orb UAP was?

“This is one of the pieces of video and photographic evidence that is within the intelligence community, saying 'this is a UFO, we caught one, what can we determine from it'."

In their podcast analysis, Corbell and Knapp explain that this is one of many such photos and videos not yet made public that the Pentagon’s task force is trying to figure out what to do with. One interesting observation is on the simplicity of these various UAPs:

"Isn't it funny? UFOs are often reported in four basic shapes, you've got spheres, pyramids, cubes, and cigars. Very fundamental shapes, totally not aerodynamic at all. You've got a flying cube, a flying sphere? These shapes are not aerodynamic.”

The "Mosul UFO" - a U.S. government photo (public domain) provided by Jeremy Corell

Corbell is right in his observation about the shapes – cubes and pyramids are not aerodynamic. Spheres are better and cigars, like American footballs, are probably the most aerodynamic shape of the four. Yet all of them demonstrate maneuvers – changes of direction, speed and medium (air to water) – that far exceed the known capabilities of today’s aircraft.

“For the first time, we are releasing a military filmed image of a UAP over an active conflict zone. UAP pose significant risk to our service men and women, and this case highlights this – and is unfortunately not unique. Origin, capability, operator and intent has not been determined in relation to this intelligently controlled UFO over Mosul, Iraq. At a minimum UAP pose a fundamental intelligence and combat identification problem that must be addressed.”

Another thing interesting about the Mosul UFO is when and where it was spotted – on April 16, 2016, in an active conflict zone. That is an “entirely different scenario” to the Tic Tac UAPs recorded by US Navy fighter pilots off the coast of US. It is also unusual because Iraq, unlike its neighbor Iran, is not know for having UFO sightings. Wikibin.org notes one period between 2003 and 2005 when that country had an unusual number of UFO sightings.

“The first sightings were reported to occur on March 19, 2003 when unexplained lights were observed near Kirkuk by civilians and paramilitary forces. Many witnesses claimed to have seen actual flying objects.”

For those up on recent military history, March 19, 2003, is the date of the invasion of Iraq by United States and coalition forces which initiated the Iraq War. That could explain UFOs on that date. However, also over Kirkuk on March 23 a triangular-shaped UFO was seen in by a BBC News reporter and showed up on the film – they were unable to positively identify it. Perhaps the best sighting in Iraq in 2003 occurred on April 6 when five cylindrical shaped UFOs were sighted near the Tigris River – these were filmed and televised live on Fox News.

In contrast, Iran has had a number of well-known UFO sightings. The 1976 Tehran UFO Incident was a radar and visual sighting of a UFO over Tehran -- two F-4 jet interceptors independently lost instrumentation and communications as they approached, only to have these restored when they left, and one F-4 also lost its weapons systems when it was about to fire on the object. According to Wikipedia, the incident “is well documented in a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report with a distribution list that included the White House, Secretary of State, Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Agency (NSA), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)“ and some high-ranking Iranian military officers stated publicly they believed the object was an extraterrestrial craft. The “2004 Iran UFO sighting” occurred between April 12–21 when thousands of people observed, reported and recorded UFOs – unable to be identified, they were generally attributed to conventional aircraft or the planet Venus.

Back in Iraq, a theory has been bandied about that Saddam Hussein had an Area 51-like base hidden in Iraq which allegedly held a UFO that crashed either during the Gulf War in 1991 or Operation Desert Fox in 1998. The one thing all of these sightings have in common is that they were seen during periods of conflict in Iraq and Iran – making it difficult to positively identify UFOs that are not conventional aircraft, secret aircraft or missiles.

Back in the present, Corbell and Knapp conclude that the April 2016 video “is genuine UFO / UAP footage - evidence - with impressive provenance and circumstance” and is “the tip of the iceberg of what has been accumulated via visual data by the United States Armed Services and Intelligence Community.” If anyone can attest to that iceberg, it is Jeremy Corell, who has managed to locate and release a wide variety of videos and photos of military encounters with UFOs. And George Knapp has been a key media figure in getting those images out in the open.

“No matter where UFOs are from - it is now openly admitted by our Department of Defense that they are appearing with an increased frequency worldwide. It’s time to acknowledge the UFO problem, and I am hopeful that AARO (All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office) and its stakeholders will dedicate robust resources to this enduring mystery on behalf of the American and global public.”

Kudos to Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp for doing their part to obtain and make public the video of a spherical UFO over Mosul in 2016 that the DoD admits to be real and further admits it cannot identify. Let’s hope they are correct that more of this ‘iceberg’ will be revealed before fear, ignorance and ridicule sink these investigations like the Titanic.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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