ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A UFO researcher and author from Finland calls it “the December Phenomenon.”
Bjorn Borg, a 63-year-old retired economist, says each winter he can count on media reports of what appear to be rocket or missile sightings of the kind seen last week over Newfoundland’s south coast.
“Every year this comes up in the news,” he said from Helsinki.
But what people are really seeing is the effect of jetliner vapour trails catching winter sunlight, he said.
Borg studied photos taken at sunset a week ago in Harbour Mille, N.L., by resident Darlene Stewart. He believes what she and two others witnessed was nothing more than the optical illusion created when setting sun hits a jetliner at just the right angle.
“The sun is shining on the (condensation) trail. In winter time, the colour of the trail will show up (in) very strong yellow or even red. It looks like fire.”
Borg said he has documented the same phenomenon more than 20 times.
His theory was backed up by Chris Stevenson, local president of the Royal Astronomical Society.