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Weather phenomenon often mistaken for UFOs seen by satellite over Michigan, NOAA says

NOAA hole punch clouds (H. Raab/WikiCommons)

A NOAA satellite passing thousands of miles over Michigan recorded an alien-looking weather phenomenon that is often mistaken for UFOs and their portals.

Meteorologists call the phenomenon fallstreak or hole punch clouds, and they often are created by aircraft, according to a Nov. 23 NOAA Satellite and Information Service report.

However, the mysterious holes in the sky can be so perfectly shaped that alarmed people on the ground often report them as UFOs, according to

Satellite video shared by NOAA on Facebook shows the phenomenon happened over Michigan on Nov. 20, starting with small nicks in cloud cover then expanded to giant traveling holes in the sky.

NOAA Satellites tweeted, “On Nov. 20, 2020, the #GOESEast 🛰️ captured today’s #ImageOfTheDay showing a “supercool” phenomenon occurring within the clouds over Michigan. Here, we can see what are called fallstreak holes (AKA: hole punch clouds). Learn how they form: .”

Scientists say these so-called fallstreak holes are the result of a chain reaction started by passing aircraft — not UFOs.

“These ‘holes’ are large circular or elliptical gaps” that appear in certain kinds of high clouds “made up of super cooled water droplets, which means that they are composed of water that is below the freezing point (32 degrees F), but are still in liquid form,” NOAA Satellite and Information Service reported.

“Super cooled water is very unstable and will flash-freeze when disturbed, according to NOAA. So when something disturbs the cloud, like an aircraft, “this can trigger the droplets to turn into tiny ice crystals. As they quickly grow and absorb nearby water droplets, they become heavier and begin to fall, leaving a hole behind.”

Theses “circular patches of clear sky, surrounded by clouds,” as Earth Sky describes them, are known to spark spirited debates on social media.

In 2011, National Geographic reported that “three nearly identical, UFO-like cloud formations” over South Carolina had prompted “online discussions linking the features to everything from the Second Coming to recent mass bird deaths to secret military experiments.”

The formations were later identified as fallstreak clouds, possibly generated by National Guard or Marine fighter jets training in the area, it was reported.

NOAA’s video of the formation was recorded by the Goes East satellite, which orbits at 22,300 miles above Earth, NOAA says. The satellite monitors “severe weather events, including thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes,” officials say.


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