A strange white object has been spotted in archive footage of a NASA shuttle launch that took place in 2011.
Predictably, UFO hunters across the internet have been sent into a frenzy by the find, claiming it is evidence of an alien craft.
The shimmery white spectacle can be seen in the clouds alongside the fuel tank discarded from the space shuttle Endeavour after it blasts off for its final mission in May 2011.
Originally posted on NASA’s official YouTube channel, the old footage has been dug up and re-examined by UFO enthusiasts. It was re-uploaded to the channel UFO Today , which is dedicated to “the UFO phenomena”.
According to the channel’s interpretation, the strange object is the “White Knight Satellite” – a rumoured extra-terrestrial craft that has been secretly orbiting the Earth for thousands of years.
It can be seen in the clip when the fuel tank is jettisoned from the NASA craft minutes after take-off.
Although NASA takes a dim view of these kinds of conspiracy theories, the space agency does think we’ll make contact with extra terrestrials sooner rather than later.
According to Tony del Genio, co-lead of NASA’s NExSS project at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the discovery of alien life may only be a couple of decades away.
“I think that in 20 years we will have found one candidate that might be it,” he said.
Del Genio recognises that alien life may well exist in forms and places so bizarre that it might be substantially different from Earth.