Rotating "gyroscope" above Austin, TX, 2020. [Probably a Kite]



Reddit user u/chrislazer916 posted this video on r/UFOs. Some of his comments:

This is something I saw downtown in Austin, TX on July 18, 2020. It started above the river and I only started to film when it was in the sky. I’m guessing maybe 400 yards from me at this point. I was on the 16th floor of my building.

I’ve seen a lot of drones but I’ve never seen one that appeared to be orbiting rings. Based on speed and flight I’m assuming remote controlled but I couldn’t find a drone that flies like this one.

I looked through binoculars and it definitely had a gyroscope effect with the naked eye as well.

It was right over the water when it started. I also couldn’t see any color through binoculars.

If I remember correctly is just flew away eventually, but not faster than what I imagine a drone speed could be. I’ve seen many drones fly but not oscillate and couldn’t find videos of those that do look like this object.

Is it a drone or a kite?

At 2:22 a bird seems to fly between it and the camera. It must be considerably larger than the bird so it is not a small indoor toy. Also it moves around the sky so it is probably not a tethered kite.

Is it similar to the objects seen at a 1979 Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers football game shown below in slow motion?

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looks like a rotating kite. They are a 'thing'....

But the object seems to move all over the sky. The camera was fixed on the 16th floor of a building so it's not parallax.

It could have been similar to the rotating kite in the video below but a kite would stay roughly in one place in the sky.

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Ahh, shoot, we finally get a clear and obvious kite (a rotor kite that flies by the Magnus effect, often marketed as a "UFO Kite") and everybody identifies it before me. :D

Yeah, that's definitely what it is.
I guess the wind did change direction around the morning and evening of Sat 18 July 2020 in Austin, TX. So a kite would move around the sky.

You're right - it does move quite a bit during the course of the video....

Couldn't it be as simple as the kite string broke and it's moving with the wind? I had that happen once as a kid, and the kite sailed along merrily with the wind until out of sight.
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Couldn't it be as simple as the kite string broke and it's moving with the wind? I had that happen once as a kid, and the kite sailed along merrily with the wind until out of sight.
I dont think so. I'd expect it to fly off quicker, and without the line tension the thing should lose wind speed across the kite and the spinning would stop.

I think it's just person walking along to right holding kite string.

(Note hobbyist Magnus effect rotor kites are usually small, post 3 above is typical. Big ones exist but they spin more slowly. So this kite is not too distant. To consider as you envision the walking kitest.)
More comments by Reddit poster

Video shot in evening facing southwest from apartments called Windsor on the lake.

Could totally be a kite. Would explain the movement, but would also be a really weird place to fly a kite given you have to be still on a moving river and the shoreline is covered in trees on my side of the river, which they’d have to be on I think because I first saw it in the middle of the river.
The other nuance which probably doesn’t matter because people will do what they want… this is where the bats fly through at sunset so it’d be a dumb place to fly a kite but I bet people would. I watched them most sunsets, which is why I was out there.

I really wish I filmed earlier when it was over the water.

Search “Windsor on the lake” in austin. The video is shot facing southwest. The park is right in front of the building maybe 500-800 ft string length if it was a kite flown from the park
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Someone on reddit saw a whole flock of spinning kites in South Padre Island, TX
There's a big kite fest at Padre Island in Feb, I spent some time asking around, seeing if any kiter had a bunch of rotor kites down that way. No joy.

Then I stumbled across the use of rotor kites as decoys in hunting ducks and geese. Apparently the fluttering look of the kite looks like duck or goose wings taking off or landing. I suspect this is what we're seeing there -- rotor kites are cool, but I've never seen multiple being flown at an event. On the other hand, the video in this link from a dead site selling decoys and stuff looks a lot like the video shared above:|

My first time posting something from the Wayback Machine -- if folks can't see it, I'll try to capture it somehow. But here's a screen grab at least...

It DOES seem a bit close to a highway for hunting, though, now that I look at it one last time before posting... still, offered for what it's worth.
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