UFO Hunters Claim They’ve Solved Pentagon’s Recent ‘Metallic Orb’ Mystery

By: Ben Campbell | Last updated: Mar 26, 2024

The US military shocked the world last summer when it released footage of a tantalizing and eerie metallic orb flying in the Middle East.

UFO enthusiasts around the world were sure they finally had proof of extraterrestrials, yet one investigative group wasn’t so certain.

Reaper Drone Captures the Groundbreaking Footage

Back on July 12, 2022, reports from the US military spoke of an unidentified metallic orb that was caught on tape by a circulating MQ-9 Reaper drone.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone awaits its next mission over the U.S-Mexico Border

Source: John Moore/Getty Images

The footage was later released at a gathering of the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee last April.


Bellingcat Investigates the Occurrence

After the footage was released, independent “open-source” investigative group Bellingcat decided to take a look at the metallic orb.

An unidentified object hovers in the evening sky

Source: Classic Stock/Getty Images

However, they were quick to adjudicate the footage—the group claimed they had evidence against speculation that the orb was extraterrestrial in nature.

Nothing More Than a Balloon

Bellingcat’s researchers claim that the mysterious silver orb was nothing more than a balloon made of metallic plastic.

Naval Intelligence Scott Bray explains a video of an unidentified aerial phenomena

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The investigative group even released the orb’s flight path, northeast of the city of Deir ez-Zor in Syria, a detail the Pentagon had not released.

A Strategic Release?

Bellingcat’s team was then able to match the Pentagon’s orb video with satellite imagery.

Muslim family comes together to pray during the Eid-al-Adha festival

Source: Martin Pope/Getty Images

The results suggested that the object is around one-and-a-half feet in diameter and was likely released during Eid al-Adha, the second-largest religious festival celebrated in the Muslim world.

The Modest Dimensions of the Orb

Chrispoter Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Intelligence under the Clinton administration, agreed with the Bellingcat’s synopsis.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter meets with the Secretary of State of the United Kingdom

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“This confirms what many of us have suspected, given the small size and slow speed of the object,” said Mellon.


Forming a Task Force

Mellon was part of a small group that openly campaigned for the US government to investigate UFOs more seriously.

David Grusch, former National Reconnaissance Officer Representative of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Task Force

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The fruit of their labor led to the first short-lived Pentagon UFO task force in 2020 and, more permanently, the UFO office within the Department of Defense.


All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office a Work in Progress

Mellon hasn’t been entirely pleased with how the UFO Task Force, now called the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), has handled itself.

Steven Greer delivers a presentation of his UFO and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena research

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

He claims AARO took over a whole year to set up its public website, and it still lacks a formal section for military personnel to report UFO sightings.


Only Minimally-Compelling Evidence Released

The site was founded following a long and incredible sworn testimony by David Grusch centered on an illegally-operated UFO crash retrieval program.

David Grusch is sworn in during a House Oversight Committee hearing

Source: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mellon wrote, “It is hard to imagine AARO releasing anything but the weakest and least compelling UAP videos.”


AARO Works With Bellingcat

In reference to the metallic orb, Bellingcat researchers were able to decode the video with help from the AARO.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone takes off from the Creech Air Force Base In Indian Springs, Nevada

Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

They surmise that the UFO was filmed on July 12, 2022, by the Reaper drone in Syria.


Traveling at Top Speeds

During the investigation, some of the researchers said that the orb may have moved across the Syrian desert at more than 105 miles per hour.

Meteors appear in the sky during the Eid prayer in Abu Sir village

Source: Fadel Dawod/Getty Images

However, the Bellingcat team argued that this could simply be the result of an optical illusion.


Presenting the Footage to NASA

AARO Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick presented the video to NASA’s UFO advisory panel last June.

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky over the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank

Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

He described the metallic orb as “the typical example of the thing we see most of.”