UAP Video - Columbus, MS - Jan 15, 2023


New Member
Hello All,

I have been meaning to post this video for a long time and would really like some help deciphering it. Have not been able to find a good place or resource to help figure out what I saw. A few notes, I’m in the Air Force, and have been active for 12 years. The location I saw this UAP was about 15 mins away from the pilot training base I worked at in Columbus, MS. I’ve seen a lot of aircraft. This was not a helicopter, or fixed wing aircraft, or any drone type that I have seen. It was incredibly bright, appeared to be in the atmosphere, and there was no sound. Also, there were no other flashing, or blinking lights. I’ve seen a shooting star and comets before, this was not it. This was moving consistently across the sky, not incredibly fast though. If you watch the attached video below, please watch it zoomed out, and then again zoom in a little, like 1.5x to 3x. There seems to be interesting visual artifacts going on around the object, like sparks and moments of multi colors. All spectrums of color. I don’t know if this is just the camera? But, if you look at the object and pay close attention to the brightest stars around it, the light refractions (not sure if this is the right word) around it are just different. I attached the video. And here are the Ws:

What: Unidentified bright ball of light, moving across night sky. Reference the other, stationary bright lights which are stars and planets.

When: 15 Jan 2023, 6:33 pm central time

Where: Audubon Cove apartments, Columbus, MS.
506 Holly Hills Rd
Columbus, MS

How: Recorded on my phone when I was walking my dog

Why: this was my first time seeing a UAP and I’m very curious to find out what it is. It still fascinates me, even if I did not observe any out of the norm flight characteristics. Please help!


    29.4 MB
I can't play this file or save it.

The ISS has a noticeable angular size. It would usually not scintillate... but it can, under the right conditions. I wish I could see the video, but I'm going to throw possible chromatic scintillation into the ring.

But if it were another satellite, a rotating satellite with panels that produce specular reflections at certain points in the rotation, we might be dealing with periodic satellite flares.

Let me ask some more questions.
-What part of the sky was it in? What was the compass direction?
-Did you see it either rise from the horizon or set on the horizon? Or how much of the sky did you see it travel across?
-What was the elapsed time of the sighting?
-Did it "disappear" at some point, even when still above the horizon?
-If you pointed at it, how far up would your arm be? Pointing at the horizon, pointing straight up, pointing half way in between? Etc.
-If you held an object in your hand between finger and thumb, with your arm stretched out, what kind of object would just cover the UFO? BB, dime, half dollar.
Last edited:
Looks like the ISS (International Space Station)

I don't know how to explain it, but Stellarium shows ISS 36 degrees below the horizon at that time in Columbus, MS.

Stellarium shows ISS at 39 degrees above the horizon at 18:14 CST and one minute later it passed into Earth shadow. It's next pass was low on the horizon and within Earth shadow the whole time.
Last edited:
UTC - 06:00. In other words CST. Easy, since Stellarium shows local time as the default. Maybe my old brain is playing tricks on me. I can't see a problem.
And you put it into Stellarium? How?

Goto configuration window > plug ins > satellites > configure. Unselect "Update satellite data from internet sources". Select the [...] button to navigate to the TLE file (oops that was wrong). Click 'Update now' and select the tle file.

I'll get around to it. We're getting sidetracked, so let's just say for now that this is the more accurate source:

Just looked at the video and it 100% looks like the ISS. And comparing the video with Stellarium the visible stars match the stars of Perseus exactly. (note the time in this screenshot is UTC). @CosmoTheDog - I'm pretty confident that this is what you saw.

Last edited:
Just looked at the video and it 100% looks like the ISS. And comparing the video with Stellarium the visible stars match the stars of Perseus exactly. (note the time in this screenshot is UTC). @CosmoTheDog - I'm pretty confident that this is what you saw.

Does the video show the sparkling effect the eye-witness describes? The camera may have missed something like that. Or it could be lost in a multi-generation video.
Last edited:
Wow this is fantastic. You all are awesome. I wish I would have uploaded this sooner because this one had left me wondering for a while.

To the above comment. The sparks / and color change around it are more noticeable when you zoom in slightly. So I don’t know if it is just a camera artifact? But the other stars around it, in the video, don’t have the same effect happening around them. So maybe this is because the ISS was rotating and light was hitting it from different angles?
Looking at the video it's possibly a mix of

Scintillation, which is variable depending on atmospheric conditions and the colour changes are more noticeable on bright objects, eg Sirius etc and also when they are out of focus.
White balance issues
Compression artefacts made worse by the phone pushing the ISO

Note the blue tint on the tree surrounds.