Unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) have been the topic of much discussion and debate for hundreds of years in the United States. In April 1897 several “airships” were reportedly seen in various areas of the country. Thomas Edison is quoted as saying “You can take it from me that it is a pure fake.”

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In the late 1940’s a surge of government investigations into UFO’s took place and presumably more investigations continue to this day. With drones being so easily flown, and an official U.S. Space Force now in place, we can assume UFO sightings will increase.

U.S. Space Force founded December 20, 2019

As recently as October there was talk of UFO sightings right here in Moore County. Local coffee shop gossip occurred daily for a few weeks. Theories about weather balloons, satellites, and of course alien spaceships were discussed. I tended to lean toward the theory of weather balloons since they are routinely launched in this area of the country.

Balloon launched at NASA’s Scientific Balloon Launch Site at Fort Sumner, N.M. Seen in Amarillo Tx. Sept 27, 2016 (ABC 7 Amarillo – Steve Douglass)

The coffee shop talk faded after a few weeks and no more sightings occurred. Presumably the aliens had concluded their research and left the area. I personally didn’t give the topic any more thought until recently.

As I was browsing technology news headlines an article caught my eye. A company named World View Enterprises, based in Arizona, has developed what they call a stratollite. A small device similar to a satellite but it is launched into the stratosphere using balloon technology.

Stratolitte launch photo courtesy World View Enterprises, Inc.

These stratollite vehicles can travel to the edge of space and collect data from a range of sensors including imagery of the earth below it. Stratollites can remain in flight for over a month at a time, can be operated remotely, and use cutting edge navigation technology to remain over an area for days at a time.

According to World View Enterprises, stratollites will support a range of applications, spanning industries like disaster recovery and first response, communications, weather forecasting, and surveillance aid for U.S. troops. World View even plans on launching a commercial flight service for anyone wishing to travel in a pod to the edge of space.

The World View Enterprises website states: “Stratollites offer all the advantages of high-altitude balloons – low-cost, rapid deployability, and low-impact flight – with an innovative new development: the ability to navigate and persist over areas of interest.”

It was the description of the navigation technology that caught my attention. The wording used to describe how a stratollite maintains position over an area for a long period of time sounded similar to recent UFO stories I had heard.

Researching latest flights on the World View Enterprises website showed that indeed one of their stratolitte vehicles had recently completed a 32 day flight which brought the vehicle into our area. The vehicle even performed a multiple day Station-Keeping demo near the New Mexico border near Dalhart. These Station-Keeping maneuvers are described as “tracing spaghetti-like patterns over the American southwest.” In a recent article by Wired.

Yellow circle notes the location of a station-keeping demonstration performed by a stratolitte sometime during August or September 2019.

Winds aloft travel in different directions and speeds depending on the altitude. Stratollite mission control can steer the vehicle by drifting up or down. The altitude of a stratollite vehicle might change by as much as 25,000 feet depending on wind patterns. This allows the location of the stratolitte to be controlled by flight operators. But, when viewed from the ground the vehicle would be seen going up and down and side-to-side for days at a time while maintaining it’s location over a specific area. This is what I believe was seen during these local UFO sightings.

Stratolitte launch near Tucson Arizona. Photo courtesy World View Enterprises, Inc.

Did you happen to see an unusual sighting in late August or during September of 2019? If so maybe you were witnessing a record breaking flight with a cutting edge vehicle know as a stratolitte.

Related Resources:

https://www.worldview.space/