The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions


Several compelling pieces of visual evidence for UFOs come from videos taken in orbit by Space Shuttle crews. NASA typically doesn’t comment on these videos, and when they do, they explain them as dust, space junk, or ice coming off the orbiter. They are surely right in many cases—numerous such videos posted on YouTube as UFOs are clearly not. But a few videos stand out from the rest, particularly two video sequences shot aboard the Columbia during mission STS-80 in September, 1991. Both appear in the video clip embedded below. (This video is clearly extracted from a documentary; if anyone knows the identity of the documentary, or of the narrator, please let me know!)

The first sequence shows several objects appearing behind and below the shuttle, gradually taking on a circular formation. Most of the objects do not follow a straight trajectory. The object moving from right to left in the upper part of the screen (and not entering the circle) actually curves up as it gets farther away, rather than down (which it would have to if it were following an orbital path over the horizon). Lastly a bright object materializes in the center of this circle.

In the second sequence, several objects approach or simply materialize over a lightning storm in the atmosphere below. Again, they do not move in a straight orbital trajectory. The narrator thinks UFOs draw their energy from electrical discharges in the atmosphere; that’s total speculation, although his observation that orbital UFOs seem to swarm around such storms is interesting—this sequence does seem to show such swarming.

The second sequence in the video appears to be the encounter with a large spinning disc described in a recent article in The Canadian that at least one Columbia crewmember openly acknowledged witnessing:

The disc was first observed to miraculously appear from out of nowhere, flying through the clouds below and progressing from right to left as the astronauts stared in utter amazement. The outer rim of the craft appeared to be rotating counter-clockwise. It was very large (compared to common space junk and breakaway ice), approximately 50 to 150 feet in diameter.

Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave, a Payload Specialist on the STS-80 Mission, was interviewed following the flight. As he viewed a videotape of the incident which showed lightning flashes in the atmosphere, the city lights of Denver, Colorado and other earthbound sights, he stated: “I don’t know what it is. Whether it’s a washer, debris, ice particles, I don’t know. But it’s characteristic of the thousands of things which I’ve seen. What is not so characteristic is it appears to come from nowhere.

The full-length video of this second encounter can be found in full, without narration, on YouTube.

Since retiring, Musgrave, like other retired astronauts (Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Gordon Cooper, for example), has been outspoken in his belief in ET visitation.


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

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