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‘Cosmic’ and ‘phantom’ UFOs are over Ukraine’s skies, government report claims

The night sky over Kyiv, Ukraine in 2020.

The night time sky over Kyiv, Ukraine in 2020.(Image credit: Getty)

The skies over Kyiv are swarming with unidentified flying objects (UFOs), in accordance with a fresh report from the primary Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Needless to say, considering that Russia and Ukraine have already been locked in a months-long war that relies heavily on aircraft and drones, it’s likely that lots of of the so-called UFOs are military tools that appear too fleetingly to recognize, a U.S. intelligence agency has speculated.

Published to the preprint database arXiv (opens in new tab), the report which includes not yet been peer-reviewed describes recent steps that Ukrainian astronomers took to monitor fast-moving, low-visibility objects in the daytime sky over Kyiv and the encompassing villages. Using specially calibrated cameras at two weather stations in Kyiv and Vinarivka, a village about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south, astronomers observed a large number of objects “that cannot scientifically be defined as known natural phenomena,” the report said.

Related: NASA ‘going full force’ to gear up for UFO study

Government agencies have a tendency to make reference to such objects as UAP, short for “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

“We observe a substantial amount of objects whose nature isn’t clear,” the team wrote. “We see them everywhere.”

The researchers divided their UAP observations into two categories: “cosmics” and “phantoms.” Based on the report, cosmics are luminous objects which are brighter compared to the background sky. These objects are designated with birds’ names such as for example “swift,” “falcon” and “eagle” and also have been observed flying solo in addition to in “squadrons,” the team wrote.

Phantoms, in comparison, are dark objects, usually appearing “completely black,” as though absorbing all light falling onto them, the team added. By comparing observations from both participating observatories, the researchers estimated that phantoms range between 10 to 40 feet (3 to 12 meters) wide and will travel at speeds as high as 33,000 mph (53,000 km/h). For comparison, an intercontinental ballistic missile can reach speeds as high as 15,000 mph (24,000 km/h), in accordance with THE GUTS for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation (opens in new tab).

The researchers didn’t speculate in regards to what these UFOs could be. Rather, their paper targets the techniques and calculations used to detect the objects. However, in accordance with a 2021 report from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), it’s likely that at the very least some UAP are “technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or perhaps a non-governmental entity.”

Given the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, it’s reasonable to suspect that some UAP described in the brand new report could be associated with foreign surveillance or military technologies.

Based on the ODNI report, other possible explanations for UAP include “airborne clutter,” such as for example birds and balloons; atmospheric phenomena, such as for example ice crystals; or classified government projects. Neither the U.S. nor Ukraine reports improve the chance for extraterrestrial visitors.

The U.S. government has openly renewed its fascination with UAP investigations since 2017, when several videos taken by U.S. Navy aircraft (opens in new tab) leaked to the media. The now-infamous videos showed unidentified aircraft relocating seemingly impossible ways, without explanation.

The federal government subsequently declassified the footage and recently revealed that more military footage of UAP encounters does exist, although Department of Defense (DOD) will never be releasing them because of “national security concerns (opens in new tab).” Earlier this season, Congress approved funding for the DOD to open a fresh office focused exclusively on managing reports of UFO sightings (opens in new tab) by the U.S. military. The authors of the brand new UAP report out of Ukraine added that the country’s National Academy of Science is thinking about adding to this ongoing research.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Brandon is a senior writer at Live Science since 2017, and was formerly an employee writer and editor at Reader’s Digest magazine. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post,, the Richard Dawkins Foundation website along with other outlets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Arizona, with minors in journalism and media arts. He enjoys writing most about space, geoscience and the mysteries of the universe.

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