Imagine driving down the road and you see this up ahead.
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.
Lenticular clouds and Mount Hotaka from Mount Otensho 1994-06-25 By Alpsdake (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Brandy Jenkins [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
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.