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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 17: The 2023 Turku UFO Sighting

This story is dedicated to my dear friend Nea. Thanks for being an amazing friend!

I have an aversion to covering recent mysteries—cases from the current year or previous few. I’m not completely opposed to it, but unless it’s a truly bizarre cryptid sighting or something else, I feel it’s best to wait and see if it’ll get solved.

Today, though, I want to make an exception and cover a UFO sighting I found from this year. Funnily enough, it occurred around when I began consistently writing again. Maybe the aliens were the result, and I just didn’t know it; thanks for sending assistance from thousands of miles away!

Anyway, today, we’ll be taking a trip over to Finland. Come along, dear reader, as we dive into the story of The 2023 Turku UFO Sighting!

Extraterrestrial Eurobeat

Now, a quick disclaimer: the English in the report is very spotty, which isn’t surprising as the eyewitness was a native Finnish speaker. I’m almost certain I didn’t misinterpret something that was said, but if I did, I do apologize.

I found this story while browsing through NUFORC (the National UFO Reporting Center, for those who don’t know what the acronym stands for). It was sent in on July 10 but occurred two days prior in Turku, Varsinais-Suomi, Finland. A city with a population of 186,756 (as of 2016, at least), Turku is located in southern Finland and is quite the scenic location judging by pictures I’ve seen of it (look no further than the header image, which I’m 99% sure is of it). Anyway, enough dillydallying; on with the story!

Today’s case was sent in by a woman who I will refer to as Sofia. Apparently, there was a festival going on, which I think was Ruisrock, as it takes place in Turku from July 7–9. Anyway, Sofia was outside at 3:24 p.m. (15:24 for my 24-hour time readers) when she saw an object in the sky that appeared to be made out of “dark metal” that had shiny outlines caused by the sun. Shape-wise, Sofia compared it to the McLaren logo (see below).

In the NUFORC report, Sofia added a drawing she did of the craft; I’d share it, but NUFORC said that I can’t do that without written consent, and I’m not in the mood to run the risk of being scolded by a UFO research network, so visit their site. However, I will say that her comparison is quite accurate. I have no way to determine if the UFO’s performance is as good in Formula One as McLaren’s, though; if any F1 fans out there can let me know, please do so.

Anyway, the strange aircraft was said to move “very fast” before suddenly slowing down and accelerating once more. It sounds like the average senior citizen driver from New York; trust me, I know first-hand. The ship continued to this before it “flipped away.” Now, I don’t really know what Sofia meant by this, but based on her drawing—which said that the craft “rounded” as it ascended—I’m guessing that it made a J-shaped maneuver. I could be wrong, though.

Sofia pointed out the UFO to her husband; I don’t know if he was inside their home while this was going on or if he was outside with Sofia. Either way, he attempted to take a picture of the object, but it performed the previously-mentioned J-shaped maneuver before disappearing into outer space. It apparently did this at an indescribably fast speed, which is a staple of UFOs. Though, in this particular instance, I’d like to imagine it hit the NOS button like it was a Fast & Furious movie. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that series more times this month than is healthy, but I don’t care. It’s peak cinema.

All told, this sighting took place over the course of 20 seconds. So, I have no idea if any neighbors or passersby noticed it. I’m not familiar with how densely populated Turku is, though, but it’s quite surprising just how short this encounter lasted. It’s not uncommon when it comes to UFO sightings, but it’s still amazing to me; I just thought I would make a note of that here.

Sofia went on to say that Turku has apparently had its fair share of sightings of UFOs and other strange objects. I have no idea if the city is notorious for an exceptionally high number of UFO sightings (at least in relation to the rest of Finland), but out of curiosity, I looked through NUFORC’s page for Finnish reports and found one from back in 2001, which also happened in July! So, that was interesting.

Another rather interesting claim Sofia made was that she feels like Turku—and I think the area around it—is host to various “portals,” but she “cannot say why” she gets that feeling. I’ve heard claims like this before, usually in relation to places like Skinwalker Ranch and the Bermuda Triangle (or any “triangle,” really). I’ve never heard it used when talking about Turku, but I’d also never heard of the city until I stumbled across this case. If anyone from Finland can perhaps elaborate on this, if the city’s known for bizarre happenings or has some kind of weird reputation, do let me know.

Sofia ended her report pleading with NUFORC to not think she’s crazy and that she’s a “very normal family mother” who only wished to tell them about her experience. She also made a note of something about “sounds,” but unfortunately, she didn’t word it very well on account of her English. If I had to guess, I think she was noting that there were strange sounds, which she associated with the previously-mentioned portals, perhaps the noises originating from them. I, honestly, don’t know a whole lot about portals, but I can’t say I’m familiar with them producing noises.

With that, Sofia’s tale comes to an end; as far as UFO stories go, I think this may very well be the most basic and by-the-books one I’ve ever covered. No bizarre aliens, no strangely-shaped spacecraft, just a run-of-the-mill unidentified object in the sky. So, without further ado, let’s get to the theories and speculate on what this may have been!


1. A hoax

Let’s start off with the simplest theory since it’s one that, if I’m to be honest, doesn’t have much merit here. Hoaxes are a dime a dozen, especially with UFOs. It’s magnificently easy to take them; I remember when I was younger, I saw various ways you could make a rather convincing fake UFO picture by taping a small coin to a windshield and taking a picture from inside of the car. It’s arguably a bit harder to make a convincing UFO story, though, because anyone can say they saw a weird light in the sky, and nobody will really know if they’re lying or telling the truth.

Given how simplistic this case is, I can see why a lot of people would doubt it; there isn’t exactly anything remarkable aside from Sofia’s sketch of the craft (more on that in a bit). In some ways, I think that lends a bit more credence since there aren’t any fantastical claims that would demand corroboration from other potential eyewitnesses. Still, the more people see something odd, the more credible it can be.

With this, we have the testimony of one person and her husband. Sadly, the latter didn’t give his description of the craft wasn’t given, but it’s possible he would have just said the same thing: it looked like the McLaren logo. I also don’t know if there were a lot of people out and about. Given that it was the afternoon, I’d assume there were. Though it’s possible they lived in a more remote area near Turku and not in the inner city, one would have to think someone else may have spotted it.

However, there are a few explanations for this. For starters, it’s possible those people didn’t feel like reporting their sightings; I have no idea if “UFO culture” is big in Finland. I can only speak as an American since our nation is considerably more into UFOs and extraterrestrials as a whole.

Alternatively, it’s possible that nobody did see it. If there was a rock festival going on, I doubt many people were looking to the skies. No, I imagine they were enjoying the music and having fun, not being terrified of the flying McLaren logo casing out the land below.

The biggest strike against this theory—in my opinion, anyway—is the sketch Sofia made. While it doesn’t completely discredit it, I think it’d be a fair amount of work to go through when most NUFORC reports I’ve found don’t contain sketches of any kind. Though you can also argue that this was done to provide additional legitimacy, I can only speak from my own mindset, which would be to just make it sound believable.

Overall, I’d say that this theory doesn’t have a lot going for it, but it’s nonetheless one that I don’t think lacks any sort of basis. After all, people fake stuff on the Internet all the time. There’s no reason not to scrutinize this report. In fact, I’d say you should do quite the opposite for anything like this, but I digress; we have a few more theories to go over, so let’s get to them!

2. An alien ship

Our second theory is just about the most unsurprising thing since we learned that it’s not safe to swim in lava. The most common explanation for UFOs is that they’re alien spaceships; it’s an answer that’s been around for quite some time. Some believe it, while others don’t; I, personally, am of the opinion that they are, and my stance is that aliens visit Earth for the same reason that we visit zoos and go on nature tours. We like to see life; we like to see what it’s like in places outside of our homes and places of work. We are a naturally curious species, and I find it incredibly difficult to imagine that aliens are different and have no curiosity. That, to me, is absolutely insane.

Now, admittedly, there are arguments against this idea, and I do get some. Why wouldn’t the aliens reveal themselves? Why wouldn’t they cloak their ships so they could remain hidden? Personally, I think that aliens are prone to error and miscalculation like us, but this is best left for another write-up; my main point here is that some aliens wanted to see what was happening on Earth and decided to take a look from the skies. Or perhaps they’re fans of rock music and wanted to sneak into the concert from several thousand feet up in the air before they left because they figured breaking Earthling law wasn’t a good idea.

The main thing this theory has going for it is the sheer speed at which the ship moved, not to mention its mobility. Our planes aren’t capable of doing the incredible maneuvers that UFOs tend to do; they cannot stall mid-flight before moving once more like they never stopped. Given the moves the aircraft that Sofia saw pulled off, along with it flying off into outer space, it’s safe to say that whatever it was, it likely wasn’t of Earthly origin.

Of course, there is one major flaw to this theory: we have to take the word of a complete stranger on the Internet. We cannot verify if this person has a history of lying or making stuff up, nor can we question them for ourselves. We must take their word at face value and assume that they’re telling the truth. Could Sofia be telling the truth? Yes, but it’s always worth remembering that independently verifying claims like this one is vital. So, while the thing she described matches what most ufologists would label as an alien spacecraft, there is reason to err on the side of caution.

3. A secret military aircraft

I’ll keep this one short because it ties into the next theory. I don’t know much about Finland’s military or how much it spends on it (I do know that it’s not as much as the United States—but that’s not even a contest, really). I also don’t know how much of whatever its budget is is spent on developing various aircraft; given its admittance to NATO, I imagine they’ll have some new multi-billion-dollar toys to play with, but I don’t know how many they make on their own dime.

What I can say is that it’s possible this was some sort of top-secret project, be it American, Finnish, or another nation, that was being tested. There are countless theories that exist (usually in regard to the United States for rather obvious reasons, given its monstrous military budget) that some UFOs are actually experimental military aircraft. There have been ideas put forward about making saucer-shaped aircraft since it’d allow for more maneuverability, but they’ve never come to fruition. 

Despite them officially not having succeeded, some believe they have, but in secret. A rather popular theory exists that the Nazis developed flying saucers and went to the Moon to settle up there. I’m not sure exactly where this theory originated, but I do know they had an idea to develop a saucer-shaped aircraft. I also know of Die Glocke, but that allegedly dealt with time travel.

As far as I know, there are no “official” plans to develop actual flying saucers, but in truth, I wouldn’t be surprised in the absolute slightest if there have been attempts to develop them in secret. Not only would they provide a massive aerial advantage, but they’d probably be cheaper to make than regular jets. However, I digress; I’d rather save my thoughts on that for its own write-up. Overall, this theory is certainly possible if you believe that some countries, such as the United States, spend their military budgets on experimental toys. Hey, the money has to go somewhere!

4. Misidentification

Our fourth theory is one that could be applied to an innumerable amount of UFO sightings. Cases of ball lightning, regular aircraft, satellites, drones, comets (along with other space rocks), and various phenomena (be they atmospheric or weather-related) have been mistaken for alien spacecraft. That may very well have been the case here, although the shape-changing coupled with the apparent speed at which this thing moved definitely pokes a few holes in the theory.

The shape-changing could be explained as a trick of the light, with the sunlight making it merely appear like it changed its shape. That wouldn’t be far-fetched since many things can appear larger or oddly shaped if the light hits it the right way. Heck, it’s one of the earliest things I learned when it came to shadows; making a peace sign with my fingers would produce a shadow that resembled a bunny. Likewise, I’m sure if the sun hit a drone or something else a certain way, you’d end up with a flying McLaren logo.

What can’t be explained—at least, in my eyes—is the speed (not to mention its maneuverability). Unless this was some sort of experimental aircraft, I know of nothing that can move like this thing did. While fighter jets can pull off some pretty impressive maneuvers, this was not one.

Additionally, this thing wasn’t loud enough. I can vouch for this as I’ve had a fighter jet fly overhead while not wearing any noise-canceling headphones, and it was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Even if this thing was relatively high in the air, it should have still produced a large amount of noise. In terms of decibels, fighter jets are equivalent to, or about as loud as, a rock concert (how fitting since this sighting occurred when a rock concert was going on in Turku).

There’s also the matter of this thing’s shape. I don’t think I need to explain that the average fighter jet doesn’t resemble the McLaren logo, but to showcase this, here’s a picture of a Boeing F/A-18C, which is one kind of jet that the Finnish Air Force utilizes. I believe that that jet, in particular, has a decibel volume of 118 decibels, which is the equivalent of a rock concert. Anyway, as you can see, it looks nothing like the McLaren logo, which was shared earlier.

There are some aircraft that do have a similar design to the McLaren logo, such as the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (see below), but as far as I know, Finland doesn’t have any. I’m also unsure if the United States has any air bases in Finland; as of the time of writing (the day before this goes up—wow, I fell behind on my schedule), the United States signed a defense pact with Finland and gained access to 15 military bases. However, this is in December, and this sighting occurred in July; unless there was some sort of top-secret military test going on, I doubt the United States was playing around with this aircraft.

I also feel the need to point out that this thing apparently flew into outer space, and the Nighthawk is incapable of doing that for rather obvious reasons. Unless this was a secretive aircraft that could reach escape velocity, this theory generally falls flat on its face. Though, hey, I’d never rule out there being some really advanced technology that can allow for a stealth fighter to play in space; I like to imagine that we as a species are a lot more advanced than we really know. But I digress; let’s move on since this theory’s gone on for far longer than I believe it needed to.

5. Kimi Räikkönen

The legendary Finnish Formula One driver was clearly behind this; after a rather rough run at the NASCAR race at Circuit of the Americas, he took up flying UFOs. Truly, this man is a multi-talented individual. Also, his interviews are the absolute best, and I recommend everyone watch them.

My Take

To me, this sounds like a good old-fashioned UFO sighting,  an alien spacecraft, perhaps checking out Earth because, hey, curiosity is something that extends to all manners of life, sapient or not. I doubt there's much to it than that; they were likely curious aliens who wanted to observe life on Earth.

Now, of course, I will admit that it’s possible this was a hoax; I maintain that with any UFO sighting I come across. While I’m a staunch believer in alien life, it’s important to always understand that people can make up stuff for clout and attention. Do I believe Sofia made it up? No, but I don’t know her, so I won’t blindly trust her as a result. But I believe the most likely answer here is that it was an alien ship rather than, say, a case of misidentification or a secret military aircraft.

Nevertheless, I think that this was likely a genuine sighting of an alien spacecraft. It sounds like one, it reads like one, and it never entered the realm of reading like a satire of a UFO sighting (if that makes sense). I also think the UFO’s actions mirror that of your typical alien ship; it flew around bizarrely before taking off and going back to who-knows-where. Maybe they got an emergency call to visit the extraterrestrial UN because some planet did something unethical, like using styrofoam cups instead of the more ecologically friendly star-plasma ones.

Or, hey, maybe this was stealth advertising for McLaren; it wouldn’t be the oddest advertising campaign I’ve ever seen. Does anyone remember the K-fee screamer commercials that became a big thing in the early days of YouTube? The most popular was the car driving in that scenic countryside; it goes behind a bush, and then a zombie appears and is all like, “Ahh!” Then, it cuts to the product: some German coffee company. Man, I should work in advertising. I could think of some wild ad campaigns.


And so, this write-up comes to an end. Today was quite interesting as we had one story that was a hoax through and through, while this one was the polar opposite (in my eyes, anyway). It’s like two complete opposites that were attracted to each other, only it was by pure coincidence that these two cases were posted on the same day (since I wrote everything out of order and basically threw dates at a metaphorical calendar to see when I’d post stuff).

With that, though, I would love to know if you believe that this was really an alien spacecraft that was observing us Earthlings, a case of misidentification, or just a flat-out hoax. Go ahead and leave a comment since it’s not like you can send a carrier pigeon to me with your thoughts on the case. Alternatively, you can not leave a comment and read yet another one of my write-ups; they’re also worth checking out (or so say my friends; I like to refrain from praising myself). Anyway, with that, I bid you all adieu; stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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