According to the Daily Mail
, thousands of people sighted the cigar-shaped UFO in three states of the US. WSAZ News
reports thousands witnessed it across Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. The Appalachian News Express
says the object was visible in the South Williamson area, Elkhorn City in Pike County, as well as Jenkins in Letcher County.
The Daily Mail
reports that Epling observed the mysterious object using a Meade 8" SCT astronomical telescope. He said he was at home on October 16 when the granddaughter of one of his visitors said there was a strange object in the skies.
He and his wife and their guests went outside and watched the object that hovered in the sky for more than two hours. The Appalachian News Express
reports he said: "It was just a very bright daylight star that was getting brighter, then getting dimmer, then getting brighter again."
According to the Daily Mail
, the UFO was observed not to "drift more than 10 degrees in any direction and was sighted approximately 60 degrees above the horizon."
reports the UFO has still not been identified. Epling said: "It wasn't anything I recognized. Definitely not an airplane, and I've never seen a helicopter that looked like that."
He estimated the UFO was at a height of over 100,000 feet. This is more than twice the height of commercial airline jets.
According to CBS affiliate WYMT-TV
, he said the object "looked like two fluorescent bulbs, side by side, parallel, shining very brightly. It would get so bright they would seem to merge, and you could see it very clearly with the naked eye. Then it would dim down almost invisible."
He was puzzled by the fact that the object barely moved. It hovered in the same area for more than two hours. He said: "I don't understand how it could stay up there in one place. There was no sign of propellers or any kind of proportion system. No gas is coming out."
reports Epling says it was probably some sort of balloon, but he observed: "Contradictory, if it's a balloon, how could it maintain its structure at that altitude?"
However, The Appalachian News Express
reports Epling said he was sure the object was not a balloon. He said: "I’ll be honest, I've never seen anything like it and I've struggled to come up with a good explanation for what it may have been."
Kentucky State Police told The Appalachian News Express
that there were five calls about the object in Pikeville. Police say they do not know what the object was. Kentucky State Police Trooper Shaun Little, said: "We received several calls about it, but our trooper was unable to locate any object in the sky."
Pine County airports said they have no records of aircraft flying in their airspace at the time Epling filmed and photographed the UFO hovering over Pine County.
The Huffington Post
reports United States Department of Defense and Kentucky Air National Guard said they have no knowledge of any objects or crafts flying over Kentucky during the time the sightings were reported.
Epling was certain the object was real but he was not certain whether it was of alien origin. He posted a video of the UFO to YouTube. He said: "I want to emphasize that the object is NOT moving. The picture is unsteady because I had to hold the camera in hand while trying to video it through the eyepiece of the telescope." He added that his sighting "was with clear, cloudless skies, no aircraft in sight, altitude unknown but definitely above airliner cruising altitude."
The sighting has attracted plenty of attention and caused plenty of excitement among UFO enthusiasts. Some have declared that the craft is an alien spaceship from the Ashtar Galactic Command.
According to the Jose Ignacio Contreras, who manges the blog Ashtar Command Crews
, the Epling video shows, "what appears to be two large Lightships recorded in clear skies during day light hours."
Epling does not share Contreras's views. He thinks the object is likely of Earthly origin. But he said: "I’ve wanted to see a UFO all my life. I wasn’t scared, I was fascinated, especially to see something out of the ordinary."