A UFO spotted hovering over south Africa was said to have been larger than the moon itself, witnesses said on Sunday, with reports of UFO sightings spiking among residents in the immediate area.
The large sphere has been spotted floating over the Indian Ocean at night. It has been described as "moon-like" and moving from east to north.
Theories surrounding the identity of the mysterious glowing orb claim its origins to be extraterrestrial, however some are quick to point out that perhaps the strange ball of light hovering over the Indian Sea may have a different origin, such as its being a satellite, of a distant star cluster.
However, news reports have emerged, saying that the UFO had more local origins: a rocket.
A private spaceflight company, SpaceX, had stepped up to claim responsibility for the UFO, saying it was caused by their Falcon 9 rocket.
The orb was actually Falcon 9's rocket fuel. As explained by Greg Roberts, formerly a Cape Town Astronomer, the luminous orb was in fact rocket propellant that was coming from the Falcon 9 itself.
"Shortly after 7 p.m. [the rocket] apparently either vented or released rocket fuel still in its fuel tanks as the basic mission of placing several satellites in orbit had been achieved while over the Antarctic region. And this produced the large halo-like object that people saw."
The glow emanating from the object was caused by the light of the setting sun.
Falcon 9 had been releasing some weather satellites into orbit.
"This sort of phenomenon has been seen many times before-and the bottom line is that you can expect an uptick in UFO reports anytime there's a rocket launch, particularly when the rocket is blazing a new trail, like this brand-new breed of Falcon," says a science editor.
This isn't the first time that leaked jet fuel caused a sudden spike in UFO sightings. In a more bizarre sighting over Norway, which featured a frightening light show of spirals, fuel emission from Jets had been cited as the reason behind it.