UCLan space expert on 'UFO' captured on film as fire crews tackle blaze near BAE base in Lancashire

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A mysterious object was filmed zipping through the sky as firefighters battled a raging house fire in Lancashire.

It was captured on camera as residents filmed the blaze in Mill Lane, Warton - next to BAE - at 6.30am on November 18, 2022.

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The Post reported on the fire at the time, with footage from the scene revealing a curious object flashing above the rooftops.

In the video - at 23 seconds - a white object is seen darting through the sky at incredible speed. Blink and you'll miss it.

The footage has intrigued those who question whether we are alone in the universe - but is the mysterious object really evidence for visitors from another world?

The mysterious object was captured on camera as residents filmed the blaze in Mill Lane, Warton - next to BAE - at 6.30am on November 18, 2022.The mysterious object was captured on camera as residents filmed the blaze in Mill Lane, Warton - next to BAE - at 6.30am on November 18, 2022.
The mysterious object was captured on camera as residents filmed the blaze in Mill Lane, Warton - next to BAE - at 6.30am on November 18, 2022.

Or is there a more down-to-earth explanation? We wanted answers, and we knew exactly who to ask.

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Victor Debattista is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston. He has spent years studying the cosmos and unravelling its many mysteries, and he kindly agreed to examine the footage for us.

We provided Professor Debattista with optimised footage, slowing down the video and zooming in on the object for closer inspection. We also magnified still shots from the footage to help our astrophysicist identify the curious object.

So, what does our space expert think?

"First thoughts are this could be a meteor - there are plenty of them - but it could also be something else...", teased the professor.

"A fireball is a very bright meteor; typically it will cast shadows on the ground. If this is a meteor, it doesn’t look quite that bright. But there’s a fire in the foreground so it's hard to tell.

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"During the segment with the object, it looks like the phone that’s being used is resting on something, so no longer handheld. In that case, a meteor would appear like a moving point.

"In the video, the object appears elongated along the direction of travel. That’s probably just due to the speed of the object, so not likely that it is cigar-shaped.

"I don’t see any extension in any other direction, so this is probably not a plane or nearby bird.

Victor Debattista, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)Victor Debattista, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
Victor Debattista, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

"The brightness looks pretty uniform so it’s probably not something like a bug illuminated by light reflecting off the ground.

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"Many meteors leave a trail behind them and I don’t see any in this video. However, that might be hard to capture in a video like this.

"The ISS (International Space Station) can sometimes be very bright and move fairly fast, though this is probably too fast for the ISS.

"To check that you’d need to know direction in the sky, time, etc but I’m willing to venture that this is not the ISS..."

So, it's not a plane or a bird - nor is it a fireball meteor or the International Space Station. However, we do have one likely suspect - and yes, it is extraterrestrial! - just not in the way we hoped.

In the video - at 23 seconds - a white object is seen darting through the sky at incredible speed. Blink and you'll miss it, but you can examine it more closely in this zoomed in still shot. What is it?In the video - at 23 seconds - a white object is seen darting through the sky at incredible speed. Blink and you'll miss it, but you can examine it more closely in this zoomed in still shot. What is it?
In the video - at 23 seconds - a white object is seen darting through the sky at incredible speed. Blink and you'll miss it, but you can examine it more closely in this zoomed in still shot. What is it?

Is the truth out there?...

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"So it probably is just a bright meteor," concluded Professor Debattista.

"These are common enough. Nothing very remarkable, though it is great to have captured this on video.

"As an amateur many years ago I spent many hours trying to capture meteors on 35mm film cameras. I would have been delighted with something like this!"

And how can we be so sure? Well, there's a clue in the date - November 18.

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On that dark, pre-dawn morning - as firefighters bravely battled the house fire - the skies over Lancashire were ablaze themselves with the Leonids meteor shower.

In fact, as our professor pointed out, that day - November 18 - was the very peak of this famously majestic meteor shower.

"Leonids are known to be fast and bright," added Professor Debattista.

"This meteor shower is historically famous because it gave us the iconic images of the 'shower of stars'," he said, which have captivated skygazers for centuries.

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Streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds before burning up in the atmosphere.

So, we might not have been visited by our extraterrestrial neighbours just yet. At least not in Lancashire. Or have we?

Take a look at our other reports of mysterious lights in the sky - from a mystery fireball pictured over Preston to a mysterious white orb filmed over Leyland.

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