Why are Starlink "Racetrack" Flares [Mostly] Reported from Planes?

Another UFO Report from a Pilot on Reddit, and again these look like Starlink Horizon Flares.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/168gidk/three_ufos_filmed_by_airline_pilot_mario_bakalov/

Some context - Mario Bakalov is the only Bulgarian pilot in Europe to have piloted the Airbus A380. The video in the post is taken from his Facebook post here
Source: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=857282169189971
. This is what he wrote in the post, translated via DeepL:

"One of the most common questions I get is if I have ever seen a UFO. To most people's disappointment, I've always answered no until now. Sure, there are all sorts of interesting phenomena in the sky like the northern lights, bright meteors, various satellites, reflections, etc, but I've had a logical explanation for all of these sightings.

But here, after nearly 20 years in the air and 12.000 flying hours, my colleagues and I observed for the first time something that impressed us greatly without being able to explain it: on a flight from Casablanca to Frankfurt at night, three lights appeared and disappeared in front of us within half an hour. I asked astronomers such as Tihomir Dimitrov what could be the cause of this phenomenon, but I did not get a concrete answer.

For this I turn to you. I know that in my audience there are pilots, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, researchers. Has anyone seen anything like this and can tell what phenomenon it is. I am sure that together we will find an answer. Thank you!

Some relevant Q&A in the comments section, again translated via DeepL:

Question 1: Typical UFO in so-called "formation". What altitude are you at and what do you think the objects were at?

Mario Bakalov: At about 11.000 meters.


Question 2: At what height are you. Are they drones!? Some drones reach up to 10 km., and military drones (UAVs) reach up to 15 km. and more. With military technology and advanced engineering, these drones operate at altitudes where conventional aircraft operate, enabling strategic air operations and intelligence gathering. Otherwise, you can purchase the JOUAV CW-15 VTOL from the market - a drone that reaches the highest altitude with a real-time camera (6500 meters).

Mario Bakalov: At 11.000 meters there are hardly any drones that fly at about 950 km/h and can stand to travel 500 km (because they were visible for about half an hour).

Question 2 asker: among military drones there are those with significantly higher speeds, traveling 4000km and more. There are those with aerial refueling. For example, take a look at a drone that is from 2011 (old)-Northrop Grumman X-47B, reaching speeds up to Mach 0.9+ (1073 km/h. ) Range: 3,900 km. It's entirely possible that you've observed the drone, and the object pairing/building is a visual reflection effect when shooting with your phone through the glass.

Mario Bakalov: Ok, but why would a drone fly in front of us hundreds of miles over Spain where there is no war? And why doesn't ATC know about it?

Question 2 asker: probable military training. In the military, the worlds are parallel. I wonder if ATC in Spain picked up some unidentified signal. Though that's a bean-counter's job not to get caught by radar either. Unless the radars are quantum. After all, these "UFO" bodies were friendly because they were self illuminating. Probably keep them in mind if their engineers made some math errors and intercepted your trajectories. Regarding Spain, it has ordered 27 Airbus Sirtap drones for its air force, which will be "Made in Spain". Airbus Spain will manufacture most of the components in Spain. These drones operate at an altitude of 6500 m, with a flight duration of over 20h. Spain will give 500 million euros of its defence budget to the drone project . Apparently Spain has a close relationship with drone engineers/manufacturers. Someone has demonstrated something, probably .

Question 2 another commenter: likelihood of drone recharging. This is what they do over Italy and Greece. Military training (with possible Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk).These drones reach up to 54,000 ft, flight range : 22,780 km.They are illuminated only with call signs, no navigation, in order not to show gauges and direction. Easy flight and about equal numbers!


Question 3: Ilon Musk's internet satellites .. starlink .

Mario Bakalov: I don't think they are [Ilon Musk's satellites]. They look differently, take minutes to pass and are always lined up like a chain.


Question 4: Cloud reflections .... the surface is too close, the shape of the three is too similar.

Mario Bakalov: Possibly, but there were no clouds in the next thousand miles.


Question 5: Maybe you've thought it through already, but could something from the cockpit have reflected on the windshield for half an hour...

Mario Bakalov: We thought about it, but determined that this was not the case.

Question 5 asker: and did you share anything with ATC during those 30 minutes?

Mario Bakalov: There was the typical communication and I also asked if there was any military activity but they said they were not aware of any.


Question 6: Helicopters, other aircraft?

Mario Bakalov: Both are unlikely. We've flown at about 950 km/h, it's impossible for helicopters to travel at that speed, and airplanes look different, and have lots of other extra lights (like ships for example).


Question 7: Mr. Bakalov, have you ever had trainings on similar topics and conversations with your colleagues about similar, UNINTELLIGIBLE, objects?

Mario Bakalov: No, I haven't.


Question 8: Could you please specify the date on which the video was taken and at what height it was filmed? I think you've observed meteors entering the atmosphere directly opposite you and burning up. Probably from the Perseid stream /that's why I'm asking for the date/. Due to the fact that you are above the earth's surface, moving at a fairly high speed, you see them seem to slowly appear, glow strongly and then disappear.

Mario Bakalov: The date is 27.8. at about 11.000 meters altitude, direction north.

Question 8 asker: for the Perseids is late, their peak is on August 12-13. But it could have been other objects entering Earth's atmosphere and burning up. Space debris, for example?

Mario Bakalov: I'm not sure. The objects were visible for a long time and didn't seem to change position.

Looks like this was the flight LH1331 Casablanca to Frankfurt.

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Another Pilot video on Reddit... Starlink again.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/168xkbg/my_video_of_unexplained_points_of_light_fading_in/

this statement provided in response to request by Autobot for this submission. The above post is my factual recount of an experience I had on the 30th of august, 2023. In addition to my description in my post, I'm really not sure what else to add as part of this submission statement, as I am not a regular poster to this sub, just a regular reader of this sub and content like this. I have become more and more interested in this phenomena as there have become more and more credible witnesses coming forward describing their experiences. As I describe in my post, this is the first time in over 30 years of flying airplanes that I have seen something that I cannot explain. I have seen plenty of shooting stars, satellites and countless other aircraft in the night sky. This includes over a 20-year career in the military using night vision goggles for all of our night flying. Hopefully this suffices as a submission statement.


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Just looking at the video above the aircrfat is approaching DENNI waypoint, expected arrival 04.27Z on the 31th August, 2023.


https://opennav.com/waypoint/US/DENNI is SE of St Louis


37° 37' 22.840" N 88° 42' 03.900" W

Looks like this was the aircraft, passing DENNI at exactly the time shown on the MFD.


10.2nm from DENNI on the J45 track is 37°28'17.48"N 88°29'21.56"W ( 37.471523° -88.489322°) and DAL2776 was there at just before 04.25am UTC.

Checking in-the-sky,org it shows that there were Starlink satellites just below and left of the Big Dipper, they were crossing the day/night terminator and the sun was approx 40° below the horizon - all the conditions under which we expect Starlink flares to occur.

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Another report on Reddit of Starlink flares being reported as UAP by a pilot...

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/16gyhed/my_brother_recorded_this_yesterday_at_36000ft/

My brother recorded this yesterday at 36,000ft. Commercial airline pilot.

He was just east of Houston, Tx circling around to San Antonio last night. Not satellites. Kept reappearing. Would move around and disappear. Get bright then vanish. I’ve always asked him to send me videos if he ever saw anything and he definitely came through. Sorry for the potato quality video but it gets the point across.

He thinks there is a possibility they weren’t even in atmosphere. They were moving extremely fast to be so far away. Looked pretty dang far away to me too. The camera couldn’t even tell what to focus on as it kept getting blurry when the light would get brighter.

I’ve observed satellites spinning and flashing and fading before but they are in a straight trajectory. These clearly are bobbing and weaving.

I’ve always been a believer but I am not sure if he was before last night. Especially because he’s never seen anything and has been in the air for 15+ years.
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I'm thinking NKS1738, around 04:20UTC, looking NW.
Oh, he put a time
Edit: 9/11/23 at 23:46 CST
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Which would be 4:46 UTC (Assuming he means CDT)

There's nothing there at 36,000 feet. And that would put the sun at -48°, which seems lower than we've seen before
Not satellites
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...., yet, like satellites, ...
they weren’t even in atmosphere. They were moving extremely fast
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These clearly are bobbing and weaving.
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How can he tell when the camera is shaking so much?

The aggravating thing is that there's no abbreviation for "strange moving lights in the sky", which this should've been reported as. The DoD tried to make "unidentified aerial phenomenon" happen, but the UFO community quickly occupied the term, and UAP pretty much means "UFO" to them now, which does nothing to remove the stigma that anyone who reports these things must be a believer. You don't have to be a ufo believer to see a strange light in the sky, but when the "ufo community" uncritically jumps onto any and all of these reports, I'm not surprised that some people'd rather keep quiet about what they see.
Oh wait, EAST of Huston, doh! Well, I don't see any good candidate planes at that time.

Looking at suncalc.org we can get a rough time of when the sun is ~40° below the horizon close to Houston. It says the time is between 3.30am and 4.00am (Local).


The OP confirmed the plane was due to land in San Antonio.1694591117804.png

Then looking on FlightRadar24 for planes east of Houston going to San Antonio and at 36000 around this time brings up the same Spirit flight NKS1738. The AA 737 just ahead of it is also at 38000ft, and is heading for Austin.


Edit: The OP said his brother doesnt fly for American Airlines.



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