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Thursday, December 28, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 28: The 2010 Bratislava UFO Sighting


Hello, hello; welcome back to Limitless Possibilities, the only place on the Internet where one man can spend several thousand words talking about UFOs and not think to himself, “Will my readers get bored of this topic?” I am that man, and today, I am here to talk to you about another UFO sighting.

Okay, there is a reason why I’ve covered so many of these cases. The first is that I do find them genuinely interesting; it’s interesting to take a gander at them and speculate on whether or not they really happened and, if they did, what was actually seen. What can I say? I like to think about things.

The other is that I thought it would be a smart idea to do 64 write-ups; I got properly started in July—and am still writing at the tail end of December. It just so happens that UFO sightings are the easiest topic to cover without covering the most bottom-of-the-barrel nonsense that can be written off in 150 words. Sure, I did that with one story this month, but that was an exception to the rule because I found something more unusual within its nonsense.

Anyway, that brings me to this case. Yes, it’s another UFO sighting, but it’s quite interesting in my eyes. The eyewitness claimed to be a pilot, which is always interesting. When someone’s familiar with aircraft, it definitely comes across as more credible—to me, at least. So come along, dear reader, as we travel to the nation of Slovakia to discuss The 2010 Bratislava UFO Sighting!

Interstellar Red-eye Flight

Like many UFO reports from this month, I found this one on NUFORC. It took place on November 2, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. (18:30 for my 24-hour time readers) in Bratislava, Slovakia. I know that detail may come as a major shock to most of you—it’s not like it’s stated in the case’s name or anything.

On an odder note, the report claimed that there were zero observers to the event. I’m going to guess that the eyewitness—who I’ll refer to as Oliver—made a mistake or forgot to fill in that area, so it defaulted to zero as a result. If he intentionally did that, then that’s an incredibly bizarre move because it’s explicitly said that there were two (or three; I’ll get to that later) witnesses to this UFO.

Anyway, our eyewitness—as I just said—was Oliver, an airline pilot who, at the time of the sighting, wasn’t a believer in UFOs. That is, until the night of this sighting. Oliver was “standing at a busy bus stop during rush hour,” ready to get home after a day of work. While he waited for the bus, his eyes caught a glimpse of something in the sky.

Roughly 4,000 feet (1.2 kilometers) in the sky was a “bright red light.” He also noted that the clouds were at 3,000 feet (0.9 kilometers) and were “thin and broken.” I want to say right here that I find it interesting that he knew how high up the light and clouds were, but I’m willing to bet that pilots can make these kinds of guesses with more confidence than the average Joe. So, I won’t harp on it.

Now, initially, Oliver believed that this was an airplane. That, on its own, isn’t anything remarkable. You can look outside any day of the week and likely catch a glimpse of an airplane flying overhead. However, there were two things about this one that were rather odd. The first is that it was producing a “bright red light.” Now, airplanes do have red lights on them, which Oliver pointed out in his report, stating that airplanes have a green light on the left and a red one on the right. However, this object was nothing like that; it was “one big red light with what looked like an aircraft strobe light coming from the center.” That gives the term “red-eye flight” a whole new meaning.

The second thing, and the one that’s far more interesting, is that this airplane was coming toward Oliver. Now, that’s how Oliver worded it, and when I first read this, I had to take a moment to wonder why in the world this man decided to stay there and not run out of the way of this potentially doomed airplane. However, apparently, it was flying quite slowly, and he thought it might be a helicopter. I still think that him not running away like a bat out of Hell is silly, but I’m willing to let this slide a teensy bit.

My gripes with how Oliver reacted aside, he quickly realized that whatever was coming toward him wasn’t a helicopter either. What, exactly, it was is a mystery, but I love how Oliver worded it in his NUFORC report, saying the light was “simulating an aircraft.” There’s something about that that comes off as so passive-aggressive, and I absolutely love it. Like, it wasn’t a real aircraft being flown, just a simulated one. You know, those aliens have been awfully silent since Oliver dropped his diss track.

On a more serious note, Oliver didn’t have to look far for confirmation of what he was seeing. Next to him was a woman who was also watching the UFO sluggishly make its way to who-knows-where. Now, there may have been a third person with them, but I’m not sure due to the way Oliver worded the next part. According to him, the woman was only looking at the UFO “because the guy standing next to her was watching it.” I don’t know if that guy was Oliver or if it was another man who was waiting for the bus. Both sound plausible, but for the sake of consistency, I’ll assume he was referring to himself.

Like any good UFO eyewitness, Oliver decided to pull out his 2010-era mobile phone to grab a picture of the aircraft. However, in what I consider to be this story’s oddest aspect, Oliver said he had the feeling that he was looking at something that wasn’t actually an aircraft. That’s not a niche theory—at least, I don’t believe it to be; there’s a prevalent theory that UFOs are biological beings akin to jellyfish. I might do a write-up on that one day, but I digress; back to the story!

While I’d love to say that Oliver snapped a glorious low-quality photo of the UFO, he did not. By the time he’d prepared to take a picture, it had “gone into some clouds,” and his bus had arrived. Before boarding, he looked around to see if he could find the aircraft and spotted it “as a white circular fuzzy disk” that was traveling “through the clouds” en route to Austria. In total, the sighting lasted four minutes—a fair bit longer than most UFO sightings we’ve gone over this month.

With that, our story draws to a close. It’s a relatively typical UFO sighting that I believe was made all the more interesting by the eyewitness being an experienced pilot. It lends a lot more credence to it and coupled with another eyewitness (or eyewitnesses, should there have, in fact, been a third person at the bus stop), it definitely strikes me as a story worth telling—and I hope that more stories like it find more publicity one day.

Though, with Oliver’s story now told, it’s time to ponder what, exactly, this may have been. Was it really an alien ship, or was it something of this Earth? Like any good UFO case, there’s no shortage of theories for us to dig into—and trust me, my fingers hate me for that very fact. So, once more, let’s go over them!


1. Military aircraft

To kick things off, we have the oh-so-popular theory that this was a military aircraft. This theory really doesn’t work for a multitude of reasons in this case. For starters, Oliver was a pilot. While it’s possible that this was some kind of aircraft he wasn’t familiar with, 4,000 feet isn’t exactly flying altitude. I’m sure that some aircraft fly at that height, but if we’re talking about, say, a fighter jet, the answer is a resounding “No.”

Fighter jets tend to fly at 50,000 feet (15 kilometers). Not only that, they’re absurdly loud; I’ve heard one fly over me, and it was one of the loudest things I’ve ever heard. I didn’t have noise-canceling headphones on, either, so I thought my eardrums were going to have their own Mount Vesuvius moment and explode.

With that said, it is possible this was some sort of top-secret military aircraft, something that Oliver had never seen before that he wasn’t meant to see. However, if that were the case, there are a few major questions that need to be asked. The first is why the Slovakian military was testing this aircraft near a bus stop during rush hour. It seems like a remarkably simple mistake to make and one that could potentially cause a lot of people to ask Slovakia what they’ve been tinkering with, especially since this aircraft apparently produced no sound.

The next issue falls squarely on me since I’m not a native of Slovakia. I have no idea how much money they spend on their military annually. I know for a fact it’s nowhere close to the amount the United States spends, but that goes without saying. From what I can tell, though, they’ve spent around 2 billion US dollars on their army each year since 2019.

Given the amount of money that would likely need to go into producing and perfecting an aircraft like this one, I sincerely doubt this was some sort of top-secret aircraft. That isn’t to say it’s impossible, but given the sheer amount of money needed to produce something like this, I doubt Slovakia’s military budget is going to cover it. Unless other nations pooled money and resources into this to assist, but I digress. I don’t want to go in circles and discuss a plethora of hypotheticals when I’ve discussed this more than enough throughout this month.

Ultimately, I doubt this was anything from Slovakia’s own army, nor do I believe it to have been a super secret military airplane. Is it possible? Sure. Is it probable? Though, hey, maybe the United States was test-flying their own fancy planes out in public. It wouldn’t be the most absurd thing we’ve done in a foreign nation!

2. An alien spacecraft

I have gone over this theory so much this month that I want to challenge it to a Pokémon battle so I can show it how little I want to associate with it. Unfortunately, I still have some write-ups left to do, and this is one of them. I also can't challenge text that I’ve written to a Pokémon battle, either, but I can dream.

If you don’t already know, I’m an ardent believer in extraterrestrials. There’s no two ways about it; I firmly believe in them. With this case, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that this sounds like an alien spacecraft. The perpetual bright light is a classic UFO, and the apparent lack of sound is also a staple of them.

If there’s anywhere that this falls flat, it’s not with the theory so much as it’s with Oliver’s behavior. No, I wasn’t expecting him to run around in circles in a panic. However, the fact he stood there as the UFO was apparently coming toward him was downright baffling. While shock can make people pull a “deer in headlights,” this was flabbergasting to read.

Additionally, I find it weird that he still didn’t try to snap a picture of the UFO. He had four minutes to do so, yet he didn’t make an attempt. That’s awfully convenient—and silly. At least try to take one, man!

However—and this is a major “however”—it does need to be stated that Oliver’s first language likely isn’t English. It’s probable that a lot of stuff was lost in translation, so he may have meant that the UFO looked to be going over him but wasn’t descending (like it was going to crash).

The lack of a picture can also be brushed off by shock and surprise. I still think he should have tried to get one, though. I mean, even after the bus arrived, he apparently saw it enter the clouds. It would be better to at least try to get a photo. But, hey, maybe the lighting wasn’t good.

In short, this theory primarily works, but it has some issues with the circumstances surrounding the story. Of course, if you don’t believe in aliens, I doubt this theory works by default, so there’s also that. I leave it up to you to decide if aliens are real, though; I’m not going to dictate what you do and do not believe.

3. A sky jellyfish

This could be considered something of an offshoot of the previous theory. It’s also one that really needs its own write-up because there is a lot to it that I don’t have time to go over. I’ll keep it as brief as I can, though, because I mentioned it during the main story, and I think you all deserve an explanation.

Now, admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about this theory—at least, not in the sense that I could recite most of it like I can record the story of the Hinterkaifeck Murders or Mothman. Nevertheless, I do know that it’s a surprisingly prevalent idea that’s been around for a while. If memory serves, Kenneth Arnold—the man who coined the term “flying saucer” back in 1947—believed the so-called “flying saucers” were biological beings.

As silly and absurd as that may sound, it’s a serious view some hold. I don’t know who—or what—popularized it, but claims of jellyfish-like entities in the sky exist, and some have gone so far as to say UFOs themselves may, in fact, be some sort of biological life form that lives in the atmosphere. This has led some to refer to them as “atmospheric jellyfish,” which I believe is an entry on one of the many Conspiracy Icebergs floating around the Internet.

Anyway, on to this theory itself. I wanted to include this because Oliver said that he questioned if what he was looking at was an aircraft. If I had to guess, he probably meant that he’d begun to doubt that it was a human aircraft, not that it was some sort of biological life form living in the sky. Despite that, I wanted to include this in case that is what he meant. If it was, I’m personally a bit doubtful on a personal level, but I do like the idea of UFOs being some kind of life form. It’s one of the more surreal and borderline Lovecraftian theories I’ve seen out forward in my time.

4. It was something else entirely

This theory is basically a combination of every other possibility. I did this because, as I said at the end of the main story, my fingers hate me quite a bit. Trust me when I say that carpal tunnel syndrome sucks like a black hole.

I’ll keep these theories as brief as possible so I don’t end up repeating myself. For starters, it’s possible that this was some sort of atmospheric phenomenon. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t say with any degree of confidence what this may have been, but I’m sure someone far more intelligent than me could put something forward. The only issue is that whatever this was, it sounded like it was being flown by intelligent life.

One other possibility is that this was a weather balloon. This is arguably the most likely since there have been countless instances of a weather balloon being mistaken for an alien spacecraft. Assuming that this was one, and the setting sun distorted its appearance, it’s possible Oliver mistook it for a regular UFO. It may have also had lights of its own so others wouldn’t fly into it.

However, there’s a major issue with that theory. Namely, weather balloons fly even higher than fighter jets—upwards of 100,000 feet (30 kilometers). While it’s possible this one, for whatever reason, was being blown significantly lower to the ground than normal, I’d say that’s rather unlikely. Then again, I don’t know a lot about weather balloons, so take my word with a grain of salt.

Lastly, it could have been a hoax. I would have made this its own theory, but in all honesty, I’m so burned out from all the writing that I want to be done with this month before I run screaming into the woods. Seriously, I yearn for nothing more than a vacation; please remind me to never write 64 write-ups in 6 months ever again!

On a more serious note, I don’t believe this to be anywhere close to absurd enough to be labeled a hoax. While Oliver’s behavior could be called into question (like him not running away when he said the UFO looked like it was coming toward him), I doubt this man’s first language is English. So, I’m willing to give him a pass in that regard.

5. My patience with writing the 64 write-ups for this month

So that’s where it went! Geez, I was looking for it. I don’t know how it fell through time, but it’s nice to know it went somewhere and didn’t end up in limbo. Now, to find out how to get it back before I take my laptop and throw it out of my bedroom window.

My Take

This sounds like another textbook case of a genuine UFO sighting. While it’s possible that Oliver misidentified something else—possibly a weather balloon—I think this was more than likely an alien ship. The vibrant light, odd movement, and lack of any apparent noise make me think so. Couple that with Oliver’s field of expertise being aviation, and I think you have a UFO sighting that strikes me as a lot more credible than your average “I saw a light in the sky” case that’s reported practically daily.

With that said, I do think it’s worth stressing that just because Oliver’s a pilot, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to fault. It is very much possible that he mistook something for an alien spacecraft. As I just said, it could have been a weather balloon. It’s always worth keeping this in mind since you and I weren’t at the scene when this happened—unless you happen to be one of the other folks who was waiting for the bus with Oliver. In that case, do tell me if he missed any additional details!

Despite that factor, it’s always healthy to keep a teensy bit of skepticism in mind since we need to take the word of a stranger at face value; there’s no real way for us to independently verify any of this without tracking the person down. And, let’s face it, that would be a really creepy thing to do. I digress, though; overall, I think this was more than likely a genuine alien spacecraft. My second best guess would be a weather balloon. Everything else doesn’t strike me as plausible.

On one final note, I want to say that it’s the day before Christmas Eve, and I’m in my bedroom still writing this year’s Decemystery (or, rather, Decemysterys). Man, I hope that next year, I finish before December so I can take the entire month off and relax with my family. I’d say that I did that last year, but I was depressed out of my mind on account of not having written for almost all of it. 2024, please be nice to me like 2023 was (for the most part; I’d rather not have any health crisis’ next year).


I hope you all enjoyed this little journey into the realm of UFOs; I know we’ve gone down this path a great deal this month, but it was the easiest topic to cover given the incredibly tight timeframe I had to work with (especially since the first half of this year was rocky at best). I know that’s cheap of me, but I wanted to make sure I actually finished this month on time. But I digress; I just hope that you all enjoyed this case as much as I did. So, until tomorrow, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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