Mysterious ‘Doughnut UFO’ Recorded Above Switzerland Defies Any Explanation

While four SpaceX astronauts returned to Earth hundreds of miles away, a photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, observed the bright object.

On the night of Monday, Nov. 8, a photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, known as @Eavix1Eavix, pointed his camera at the sky and took numerous photos of what he characterized as a “doughnut UFO.”

The flying object, which was made up of multiple bright-blue concentric rings, appeared like a spacecraft as well as a breakfast delight. The photographer believed he had seen SpaceX’s Endeavour spacecraft, which was due to land that night with four astronauts who had recently completed a 200-day stint on the International Space Station. The frightening photographs were also included in a compilation of Endeavour sightings the next day by British publication The Daily Mail.

But there’s a problem with this story: the Endeavour spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico just after 10:30 p.m. EDT that night, more than 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) distant from Zurich.

While spectators in Louisiana, Alabama, and other Gulf states saw clear views of the capsule streaming across the sky, Marco Langbroek, an amateur satellite tracker and academic researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands, told Live Science in an email that no one in Switzerland would have been able to see the craft’s reentry.

“Any passes [of Endeavour] over Switzerland before to landing that night would have been totally in Earth’s shadow, i.e. it would not have been lighted by the sun and so would not have been seen,” Langbroek explained. “The reentry itself took place over Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico, and was not visible from Switzerland. Prior to reentry, the deorbit burn occurred over the Indian Ocean, therefore it was not visible from Switzerland.”

So, what was the doughnut UFO if it wasn’t a SpaceX craft? According to Langbroek, the unexplained flying object above Switzerland might have been a jumbled picture of a faraway star rather than a flying object.

“The ‘donut UFO’ on the Swiss photos is almost certainly an out-of-focus image of a brilliant star,” Langbroek added. “It appears to be the case.”

Other photographs taken that night by the photographer appear to show a zig-zagging trail of light behind the thing. This pattern, according to Langbroek, is the consequence of camera movement. Other interpretations for the item, though, may exist.

According to Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts, the doughnut UFO might have been a rocket’s upper stage — the tiny, uppermost portion of a rocket used to launch a ship into orbit — reentering the atmosphere and burning up.

However, without a definite time range for the photographs, McDowell told Live Science in an email that it’s difficult to link the mystery lights to any known object in the sky that night. (Time stamps for the photographs were sought by Live Science, but the photographer was unable to supply them.)

Is it a star, a rocket, or something quite different? For the time being, the doughnut UFO above Switzerland remains a mystery – and a real unidentified flying object.

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