While hunting alone in a remote part of Western Nevada recently, Robert Pitzer bagged himself a UFO. In fact, there wasn't much of a chase: The unidentified flying object touched down almost on top of him.
Pitzer was lugging a 12-gauge shotgun across the hardscrabble Nevada landscape when he looked up to see a bizarre object -- one that ultimately turned out to be a high altitude science balloon -- descending slowly toward the ground.
He got out his phone and snapped some photos, racking his brain to figure out what the object might be. "It looked different than anything I've ever seen, without a doubt," Pitzer told ABC News 10 in his hometown of Auburn, Calif.
The strange object touched down near Pitzer — the only human being for miles — and bobbed up and down for a while in the wind. Pitzer tied it to a rock.
"I still didn't know quite what was going on," he said. "But I figured it's an experimental aircraft. That's when I noticed the JP Aerospace sticker on it."
Pitzer called JP Aerospace, a spaceflight research organization, and learned that the flying object was a high altitude balloon platform meant to carry science experiments to the edge of space. The platform had been launched using helium balloons two hours prior from a starting point 50 miles away, but one of its balloons burst, causing the craft to slowly fall back to Earth. [UFO Sightings Spiked This Summer]
A camera on the balloon platform shot some footage of the bewildered hunter during its descent.
As for Pitzer, he has since gotten a lot of mileage out of his unusual hunting story, telling all his friends, "I encountered a UFO!"
"Never seen anything quite like this come out of the sky," he said. "And probably never will again!"
Copyright 2011 Lifes Little Mysteries, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.