Washington, June 3 (ANI): A batch of raw footage from decades-old NASA missions, which have been now posted on You Tube, are renewing UFO conspiracy theories that the US government is hiding knowledge about its interactions with extraterrestrial life.
According to a report by Fox News, the footage covers a number of missions, and a range of mysterious objects.
In a clip featured on the science fiction blog io9, a bizarre object rotates within the frame, seeming to morph from one shape to another as the cameraman casually tracks it.
If that weren't mysterious enough, at one point, a light drifts by. The post's headline poses the question: "Will the US Government Finally Admit There Are Aliens?"
But, according to Mario Runco, a mission specialist on board STS-77, a space shuttle mission that launched in May of 1996, "The lights moving by in the background are either isolated lights on the ground or stars, I think likely the latter."
In another clip, a view through the window of a space shuttle shows lights drifting along in space, then reversing direction and darting away with a flash. The title of that clip is "UFOs quickly take off on NASA video."
Again, the reality is less dramatic.
According to Thomas Jones, a former shuttle mission specialist and payload commander, who was on that mission - STS-80, which also took place in 1996, "A few ice crystals or flakes of thruster residue in the near field are floating by, get hit by a thruster exhaust plume and zip out of the scene."
UFO proponents tend to dismiss official responses from members of NASA, the Pentagon or any other government agency.
But, according to Runco, even if there was an active cover-up, no amount of coercion could prevent an astronaut - himself included from laying claim to a confirmed sighting of an alien spaceship.
"If I thought it was an intelligent craft, I'd be the first one to speak up," said Runco. "I'd want the credit: 'Mario Runco was the first person in history to conclusively document the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization.' Why would I ever want to keep it secret?" he added.
"There's no way to keep people from using public domain footage for silly purposes," Jones said. "If a shuttle beams back 10 hours of Earth views each day, there are bound to be images and scenes that are misunderstood or taken out of context," said Jones. (ANI)