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Beetle or UFO? Story from our reader

Recently, we’ve been receiving stories about unusual phenomena from our readers. You can also submit your own story through the feedback form, and it will be published on the website.

Not long ago, there was quite a heated debate on this website about an object flying over Argentine volleyball players. Interestingly, the volleyball players themselves didn’t see anything unusual, but noticed a certain “buzz” when watching the video recording.

A similar incident happened to me.

I was reviewing photos taken in 2018 during a trip to the Arakaragai Forest (Kostanay region, Kazakhstan) in 2022. I was photographing nature and my dog playing around in that nature. I started going through this folder with the intention of deleting unsuccessful photos to free up space on my computer.

I selected a photo where my dog had buried his muzzle in the grass and only his butt was visible. Well, it was an unsuccessful shot. I was about to press Shift+Del, but then I noticed one detail that I hadn’t noticed before: a lentil-shaped object flying above the lake shore.

Damn, I thought, what if I managed to capture a UFO?

That thought didn’t last more than 30 seconds with me, because it was weak. I enlarged this lentil, maximized it, and my biologist intuition suggested that I was witnessing a representative of the order Coleoptera, commonly known as a Beetle, boldly flying into the frame. The beetle was presumably one of the species of small dung beetles.

I thought, here it is, a perfect illustration of how a flying beetle can mislead not very critically minded ufologists.

But I wanted to identify this elegantly flying beetle. I decided to reinforce my theory about the dung beetle with a colleague. He said it wasn’t a beetle at all and couldn’t be a beetle. He asked, “Can’t you guess why? Because a beetle flies with its elytra raised or spread to the sides. In any case, during flight, the elytra do not press against the abdomen, otherwise how would the wings move? And here the elytra are not visible.”

“Okay,” I asked him back, “then what is it?”

He suggested that it might be a burnt leaf carried through the air. But then I disagree, because a burnt leaf can’t sparkle, and it’s clearly visible here.

I know that filters are used to enhance the details of such shots, but I didn’t do that. I firmly stand by my opinion: it’s a beetle, and the elytra are not visible because it was flying fast, and their image turned out to be blurred (or heavily blurred, as you like). Well, my colleague got overheated on the last steppe expedition.)))

This photo of a beetle flying in front of the camera is a perfect illustration of how anything can be mistaken for a UFO with insufficiently critical approach.

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