It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Why do UFOs glow?

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:51 PM
I don't recall ever seeing this come up before, at least in the short time I've been here, and a Boolean search on ATS didn't yield the results I was looking for. So, sorry if I'm inadvertently rehashing what's come before, but...

I've always been puzzled by one of the most common attributes mentioned in UFO sighting: that glow. It seems that time and again UFOs are described as "glowing lights," "lights in the sky," "a glowing disk-shaped (or cigar-shaped) object," etc. This is how they appear in numerous amateur videos -- "The Phoenix Lights" case directly reflects this fact. As a side bar, this is also how they're almost exclusively portrayed in pop media and culture ; remember Klaatu's shimmering disk in Robert Wise's film The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Obviously, this isn't true in 100% of all cases, but otherwise seems to be one of the most common descriptors. My question is why?

What operational advantage does a brightly glowing vehicle have? Unless the glow unavoidably indicates some sort of waste heat dump or venting method, perhaps due to the vast amounts of energy these craft might require -- y'know, I'm just fan-wanking here.
I haven't a clue as to why they would glow or otherwise be so brightly lit.

It jumps out at me that one good reason NOT to glow would be that these vessels would be less detectable, at least to our naked eyes. If the creatures piloting them prefer to remain in "stealth mode," you'd think that "lights out" would be the order of the day. So, what's with all the bright lights?

Any theories out there? Thanks in advance.


posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:54 PM
1) Lit from the inside.
2) Ionized layer interacting with air
3) Radiation

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 02:15 PM
Here's my theory. It assumes that UFOs are real, for the sake of argument.

Maybe all UFOs don't glow. However, the only ones you are likely to see are the ones that do. Spotting a non-glowing black UFO orbiting the earth at night is simply not possible, no matter how good your vision is. It's kind of like saying "all matter in the universe is visible." It ignores all of the 'dark matter' that you cannot see, even though physicists currently believe that dark matter is the most common form of matter in the universe. Similarly, we may only be seeing the glowing UFOs and not the non-glowing ones, because only the glowing ones are easily detected.

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 02:59 PM

Originally posted by Baack
Unless the glow unavoidably indicates some sort of waste heat dump or venting method, perhaps due to the vast amounts of energy these craft might require --

Any theories out there? Thanks in advance.


Well, the British Ministry of Defence report on UFOs ("UAPs") released on their website today says the glow is a naturally occuring plasma.

Other theories have included:
(a) Paul Hill states that there is an "illuminated and
illuminating sheath of atmosphere [around UFOs which] is a
sheath of ionized and excited air molecules often called a
plasma" which Hill asserts is caused by a "power-plant-
connected, ionizing, wave type radiation from the UFO" [50]

(b) James M Campbell has written a book which discusses reports
indicating the presence of plasma, contending that this plasma
is the result of "the propulsion system of UFOs [involving] the
emission of microwave energy". [55]

(c) A different connection between vehicles and plasma was put
forward by Stanton T Friedman in his written statement evidence
to the Roush hearing. He referred to publications relating to
"interactions between vehicles and plasmas", stating that "there
is a body of technology which I have studied and which leads me
to believe that an entirely new approach to high speed air and
space propulsion could be developed using the interactions
between magnetic and electric fields with electrically
conducting fluids adjacent to the vehicles to produce thrust or
lift and reduce or eliminate such other hypersonic flight
problems as drag, sonic boom, heating, etc". [60]

[50] Hill, Paul R in his "Unconventional Flying Objects : A
Scientific Analysis" (1995) at 53-54 (in Section III) of the
Hampton Roads softcover edition.

[55] Campbell, James M in Chapters 3 and 6 of his book
"Ufology". The text of the relevant book is available online at:

[60] Friedman, Stanton J in the Roush Hearing (the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics "Symposium
on Unidentified Flying Objects" on 1968.0729) at page 217 of the
transcript of the Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, Number 7.
Edited and annotated transcript presented by Fuller, John in his
"Aliens in the Skies" (1969). Complete transcript available free
online at the following links:

Hope this helps you.

Of course, the "glow" could simply be the lights from aircraft etc...

All the best,

Isaac Koi

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 04:44 PM

connected, ionizing, wave type radiation from the UFO" [50]

Has anyone pointed out that all radiation is ionising, and wave type radiation would refer to gamma radiation, which has no effect on air? He's saying that an un-lead-shielded nuclear power plant is powering these.

My theory would be that it is either excess heat cooling off the skin from atmosphere entry (this would take hours to properly cool, but only a few to drop below glowing).

Or that the many glowing ones glow purely to be visible, that they are some sort of decoy or disinformation.

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 04:56 PM
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - Electronic Library Search Results:

"Outside the box" space and terrestrial transportation and energy technologies for the 21st century. T. C. Loder III (New Hampshire, Univ., Durham) AIAA-2002-1131

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 06:42 PM

There is another line of thought that the glowing UFOs
are actually living (or in some sense) organic creatures.

These glowing things, are most likely aglow because they
need that chem-illuminessence just like the deep ocean
creatures discovered in the last 100 or so years.

This type of UFO, are completely different than the
extraterrestrial craft UFO which are technological machines.

i think that in the early days, late 1940s-early 1950s,
that this idea had a shortlived acceptance,

you'll have to be creative to google or accoona Search


back attcha;

book; Ivan T. Sanderson, "Uninvited Visitors: A Biologist Looks At UFOs"
[found at a crypto-zoology forum/ posted by jaybird- 27 oct, 9:15 AM]

->at the bottom of page you'll see two books to his credit on UFOs, one focusing on UFOs as upper strateosphere creatures...


[edit on 15-5-2006 by St Udio]

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 01:04 PM
Many stories of UFO encounters involve powerful electric field (hair standing on end etc.) and magnetic fields, (magnetisation of ferrous objects and reversal of compasses etc.) I suspect that the propulsion system of the disk type UFOs involves a very powerful electric field from the surface of the saucer. The saucer then spins in order to generate a magnetic field, or it has some internal spinning components that generate this field. The function of these field could be linked to creating a gravitational field in some way.
I suspect that people see the saucer when the craft are in low power mode. When they increase the power output then clearly the air around it starts to ionise and you get a glowing ball of gas. There are some very convincing videos of spinning balls of gas around the saucer, including the lazar craft.
OR perhaps the glow is from the direct creation of photons around the craft. I was thinking that in the STS tether incident the space ships seem to be spheres of light even in space, where there is no air. Which would imply they are creating particles right out of the vacuum.

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 01:16 PM
They don't.

Under the right lighting conditions (angle of the sun relative to you and the object) many non-metallic objects appear to be metallic, shiny, or luminescent -- birds, clouds, even atmospheric inversions.

The effect is quite stunning. Just recently I observed a formation of very large and bright metallic shiny 'UFO's cross the highway in front of me. They appeared very similar to many of the film clips of 'genuine' and 'unexplained' UFO's you see on this web site and television. After passing by and following them with my eyes for about 15 seconds I saw they were Canadian geese.

If I had grabbed a video camera and filmed only the brief time they appeared shiny I have no doubt they would be declared flying saucers.

posted on May, 18 2006 @ 03:22 PM
My two cents. Its usually not the UFO itself that is glowing, rather it is the athmosfere around it. A UFO glows when moving, when it stops it also stops glowing. If the glow effect a indirect or a direct result of the propultion system is impossible to tell. I have often heard "plasma" as an explanation, but it is in my opinion more likely to be heat radiation, like a red hot pan. A friend of mine saw a red glowing UFO at about a 5 meters distance hovering for a a few seconds, he did not feel any heat radiation though, so I might be mistaken. I have seen, at night time, UFO's moving across the sky in the disance, they light up and then travel for a distance, they stop and stop glowing, then they move again after a while and start glowing again.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 02:24 PM
Thanks to all for the thoughtful and informative replies. I was half afraid that I'd get bitch-slapped (virtually, of course,) for asking a stupid question.

One very cool thing I've noticed about the ATS community is that questions from newbies are answered in the spirit of collegiality and willingness to share, rather than the longtimers getting all proprietary about their turf, and blowing people off.

What a cool bunch of people!
Thanks again.


posted on May, 21 2006 @ 10:14 PM
My little shot at something im unedumuhcated in... Maybe in some instances the light is a form of scanning our progress or something to that effect..
Im just gonna stick with they are scanning for something

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 12:27 AM
I think they are blurry and they glow because they are warping the space around them. I think it's gravitons that give us our mass and if you could warp space to the geometry where M=0, then you can travel faster than light. You could disappear at the drop of a dime and travel the multiverse. When you warp space you can then travel through what Lisa Randall from Harvard calls Warped Passages.

new topics

top topics


log in