The Would-Be Mystery of the "UFOs" on Google Street View

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Oct. 1 2012 5:38 PM

The Would-Be Mystery of the "UFOs" on Google Street View

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Screenshot of the Google Maps' "UFO."

Two intrepid Google users in Texas and New Mexico peered at the sky in Google’s Street View recently and were alarmed by what they found. Floating in a pinkish haze, there appeared to be two saucer-shaped UFOs zipping through the daytime sky.

Not surprisingly, the local news in Texas got very excited, though reports acknowledged that no residents had reported unidentified aircraft in the area. What could explain the two identical-looking objects captured 1,000 miles apart?

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Apparently, lens flare. According to an expert who talked to the Huffington Post, the image captures indicate "simple, but classic" flare based on the angle from the sun. And how to explain the matching shapes and hues? ABC News zeros in on the probable culprit: Both locations have McDonald’s locations right beneath the spots where the "UFOs" were spotted. So either the aliens were looking for Big Macs, or the light given off from McDonald’s restaurants is about the same no matter where you go.

Videos curated by Slate staff.

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