The strange fireball UFO seen across Germany and neighboring countries on December 24, 2011 has been identified as a Soyuz rocket re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Royal Observatory of Belgium issued a statement saying, “The fireball observed above Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany on December 24 around 17h30 was the re-entry of the third stage of the Soyuz rocket that transported the Dutch astronaut André Kuipers to the [International Space Station].”
A failed Soyuz-2.1b rocket that was carrying the Meridian-5 communications satellite was launched on December 23rd and is the most likely cause for the Russian orb UFO the previous day.
These cases are not the only times a Soyuz rocket has been mistaken for a UFO:
In May of 2011 the Soyuz-2 rocket carrying Russian Meridian 4 satellite into orbit caused panic among the people of Russia until it was identified.
A few months later as another Soyuz-2 rocket was launched and strange flickering balls of light appeared near the object causing some to speculate that UFOs were disarming the rocket.