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What is that in the sky?!

Imagine driving down the road and you see this up ahead.

640px-Saucer_cloud_over_Campbell_Mesa,_AZ

By Brady Smith; Coconino National Forest [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You might feel that we were being invaded, but what you see is an unusual formation called a “lenticular cloud.” These clouds form in situations where some sort of large object (like a mountain or a building) disturbs the air flow and creates an eddie of air. When the conditions are right, clouds form in these eddies and take on a bizarre saucer shape that looks like something from the film, Independence Day.

These weird clouds may account for some UFO reports. Here are some more amazing examples.

512px-Lenticular_clouds_and_Mount_Hotaka_from_Mount_Otensho_1994-06-25

Lenticular clouds and Mount Hotaka from Mount Otensho 1994-06-25
By Alpsdake (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

New-Mexico-Lenticular

By Brandy Jenkins [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Lenticular Clouds over Cagliari

Lenticular Clouds over Cagliari
By fdecomite [CC BY 2.0]

 Of course, not all reports can be explained by clouds. Soon we’ll examine some of the more detailed reports and the organization that constantly tracks and investigates them.

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