The incident is not the first time (2) the ISS cameras seem to have caught something odd, only to have the live feed cut off soon after. The New York Post video recounts a number of instances that such incidents have happened and leaves open the question, why is NASA cutting away just when “something cool” is going on?
According to the UK Daily Mail (3), UFO conspiracy theorists are postulating that NASA is cutting away from UFO sightings as part of the famous government cover-up of the existence of aliens who regularly visit the Earth. NASA denies this, noting the four cameras cycle periodically from one to the other and that the transmission cuts off when the ISS moves out of range of relay satellites.
NASA has also suggested a number of explanations for the objects that have been detected on the ISS cameras. They could be meteors or space junk hitting the Earth’s atmosphere and flaring as they burn up. One possibility is that it is the Chinese space station Tiangong 1.
The Chinese have lost contact with the module, and it is expected to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere shortly, perhaps scattering shards of heated metal across the planet.
Getting to the Truth
The mysterious images could also be tricks of light, reflections on the windows of the space station or even lights from Earth itself.
The UFO community is not buying it, though. Apparently, in their view, NASA is hiding something. Two things argue against the conspiracy theory, however.
First, NASA as an institution has little incentive to cover up the existence of alien life elsewhere in the universe. One of the space agency’s mandates is to search out such life, even if it is only microbes on Mars, organisms swimming in subsurface oceans on Europa, or strange creatures that might exist in the methane seas of Titan.
The confirmation of intelligent aliens would be the one development that would redound to NASA’s benefit. The space agency, underfunded as it is, would suddenly get a mission – to find a way to contact the aliens – and the money to carry it out. The incentive to go public with the news would be overwhelming.
Even if NASA has been ordered to keep a lid on the existence of aliens by a higher authority, say, the White House, someone would leak the news to the media, eventually. One of the iron laws of government conspiracies from Watergate to the Hillary Clinton email server is that they get found out sooner or later.
Second, if NASA were conducting a cover up, it is doing a bad job of it. The transmissions show something in the distance and then get cut off, showing just enough to excite interest and then cutting away quickly which only excites suspicion.
A better way to conceal the existence of aliens visiting Earth would be to place the high-definition video transmissions on a delay (4).
The idea is that they would be transmitted to a ground station where the communications would be monitored 24/7. If an alien spacecraft is detected, the footage is cut off before anyone can see it.
The same sort of system is used for TV and radio networks to make sure that any bad language used by a guest or on-air personality is bleeped out.
Intelligent life doubtless exists elsewhere in the universe. Aliens are possibly visiting this planet. But no proof exists of such a phenomenon, not to speak of NASA video from the International Space Station.
References & Image Credits:
(1) NY Post
(2) TSW: NASA Oddly Cuts Live Transmission after UFOs Spotted on Video
(3) Daily Mail
(4) Broadcast Delay
(5) Image of International Space Station