Some residents of the Colombian city of Medellín are reporting a close encounter with the third kind after video footage emerged online of unidentified flying objects – aka UFOs – hovering around the city and surrounding area.
While Medellín is unlikely to become the next Roswell, a recent string of spacey sightings have given credence to the “UFO hotspot” tag.
On video – shot on Nov. 16 and posted on YouTube on Dec. 5 – shows an almond-shaped object hovering over a forested area near Medellín. The silvery saucer looks very familiar to one spotted in South Wales in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2014.
Skeptics, however, don’t believe that the object filmed in Colombian – or South Wales for that matter – is an actual alien spacecraft but instead something with a much more commercial purpose.
"I think I know immediately what we are looking at," said Marc Dantonio of remote-control model company FX Models. "In my opinion, this is a public relations unmanned helium balloon that is tethered and is 18 feet in diameter. I know the dimensions because I know the balloon itself."
"Various companies sell and rent them for publicity. In one video, you are told it is flying near Atanasio Girardot Stadium right before a big final matchup soccer game. It stands to reason that flying it for a publicity stunt before a major match makes sense. It is a UFO shape and these have been sold and rented for several years now."
Another video uploaded in February of this year – this time at night – appears to show a UFO hovering over Medellín with its lights flickering before it disappears behind a building. Online critics, however, have shot down the UFO theory in favor of a Chinese lantern – claiming that it is "a balloon similar to Chinese ones, candles heat the air to make it float and they also look nice."
Both Dantonio and Ben Hansen, lead investigator on the Syfy Channel's former "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" series, say that all of Medellín’s paranormal sighting can be explained pretty easily – and don’t entail aliens checking out the up-and-coming Colombian city.
"It is Colombia and everyone probably lives near a soccer stadium, but if a match was going on, it might further support the idea that a balloon or blimp of some sort was involved in filming aerial shots or taking part in a promotion," Hansen said.