Astronaut Tom Jones was on board the Space Shuttle during STS-80 in 1996. On this flight purported UFOs were caught on camera. YouTuber Shepherd Johnson recently asked Jones his thoughts on the UFO video, which has since become an internet sensation.
Jones is well aware of the controversial online video and has commented on it in his blog. Shepherd makes note of that when he asked Jones about his thoughts on the UFO video in question. Jones told Shepherd:
On every mission you see lots of debris that is released from the shuttle’s payload bay, or frozen propellant from the main engines or the thrusters that drifts along with you, in some cases for several days after you arrive in orbit. And so that little cloud of particles gets captured by the low light TV cameras on the space shuttle that are used by the ground controllers at night, and when those wind up on video, and if you don’t know the context for when those pictures were taken, those little particles might seem to you like distant stars or moving objects in space. The video I have seen in STS-80 is just that. It’s the low light TV camera capturing those ice particles in the very near field, only 10 or 20 feet away, and in the camera view they look like they are flashing, in fact they are just tumbling little ice flakes.
When asked about other astronauts who have had UFO sightings, Jones replied:
A number of people have seen things they can’t explain and therefore by definition it is a UFO, but what it really is, is unknown. Some people think they are spaceships, I don’t, but most of them, I think, under careful analysis are explainable like the ones on STS-80. I don’t think I have heard of anybody, in the astronaut corps, who has ever seen anything that they thought was unexplained.
Well, if Jones hasn’t, movie director J.J. Abrams has. In a recent video interview with NASA astronauts, Abrams claimed that an astronaut had told him that he had seen something “really strange” that led the astronaut to believe in extraterrestrial life.
As for STS-80, take a look at the video below and decide for yourself whether you believe the objects to be ice flakes, or something else.