Some UFO watchers are accusing NASA of a cover-up after the live feed of the International Space Station (ISS) cut out as a mysterious object came into view (video below).
The incident occurred on July 9, according to media reports.
The object can be seen descending towards Earth’s atmosphere before the video cuts.
But while conspiracy theories abound, the user who uploaded the video to YouTube reminded viewers that a UFO does not necessarily mean an alien spacecraft.
“This could well be a meteor or the like,” he wrote, according to the U.K. Mirror.
“What made it interesting was that the camera cut off when the UFO seemed to stop,” he added.
Other enthusiasts disagreed.
“I have watched the International Space Station a lot over the last 6 years and I can tell you that this is not the moon, nor a meteor,” wrote a user.
“It may be the Chinese space station cargo ship, called Tiangong-1, or the other one [Tiangong-2],” he added.
CBS Miami reported a similar incident when an object was seen ascending slowly into space last year when the feed came to a halt.
NASA has previously denied deliberately cutting off transmissions from the space station when mysterious objects appear on the feed, saying instead that interruptions are the result of a loss of signal.
“We have never seen UFOs in the popular sense,” a NASA spokesperson told Popular Mechanics, dismissing suggestions in some news stories that aliens were involved. “The feed in question is the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment. Any time the ISS has a signal, that feed is sending down video.”
However, the system sometimes loses signal, causing the stream to cut out.
“The feed is not switched manually,” the NASA spokesperson added. “It's all done automatically. There's nobody at a control board. We used a space-based data relay network. It gives us a very good coverage area, but you do lose signal occasionally—anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. It varies from day to day.”
It doesn’t seem like such explanations will convince the doubters.