Published February 03, 2011
| The Sun
A glowing orb filmed hovering over the skyline of Jerusalem has left UFO experts dumbfounded.
The circular object was seen descending slowly over the holy city's iconic Dome of the Rock before flickering and shooting skyward like a rocket. Similar clips have been seen before and debunked as hoaxes. But this latest sighting has proved more difficult to dismiss -- as it was recorded from four different perspectives.
Some UFO enthusiasts believe the videos -- which have taken the Internet by storm -- are final proof that aliens exist, while others say the unidentified object was the Hebrew god Elohim.
Adding to the mystery is the fact that flying over the Dome of the Rock landmark -- an ancient Islamic shrine -- is forbidden.
Two witnesses at the Armon Hanatziv panoramic lookout near Mount Zion filmed the object at 1am on Saturday. A little after one minute into the clip, the object descends slowly, almost to ground level.
The craft hovers there for a short while and then flickers before shooting upwards at an incredible speed.
Former Ministry of Defense UFO investigator Nick Pope said: "If these are real, they are some of the most incredible videos ever shot.
"If they are not, then this is a very well-planned and coordinated hoax designed to eliminate elements of doubt.
"The way it shoots up into the sky suggests it is unmanned, because no living thing could survive those kinds of G-forces.
"We know the Israeli army has some very high-tech drones at its disposal. If this is one, it is one of the most advanced pieces of technology created by man."
Another set of observers also uploaded their mobile phone footage to YouTube on Saturday.
They wrote: "Have fun debunking this one." In their video, the American tourists can be heard saying: "We've seen them in Mississippi like this."
Two other clips filmed from different viewpoints were posted online. Skeptics have noted the views come from perspectives that could make nearby objects seem farther away and faster-moving. Others say the whole thing was faked and have prepared several alternative versions of the videos which they say prove they are not real.
These include stabilized versions in which the brightness and contrast have been increased, which they claim highlights a major flaw of perspective.
Another is motion-tracked, and apparently shows the UFO "bouncing around like crazy" -- which, say the sceptics, shows the makers had trouble inserting it into the scene.