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The bizarre flash appeared over Mount Merapi in late May this year, sparking questionable claims of alien UFOs visiting our planet. What at first glance appears to be a Death Star ray shooting out of the active volcano was photographed by Indonesian photographer Gunarto Song. Mr Song snapped the green streak over Merapi on May 26 and shared the photo to his Instagram page in search of answers.
Could it be an alien UFO passing over the Indonesian island of Java?
Or was it perhaps a stray meteor from the annual Eta Aqaurid shower, which peaked on May 28 this year?
Scott C Waring, a popular conspiracy theorist and self-appointed ET expert, believes it was the former.
After encountering the incredible image online, Mr Waring shared it to his blog, UFOSightinggsDaily.com, where he shared his bizarre interpretation of the phenomenon.
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A post shared by Gunarto Song Photography (@gunarto_song)
In his opinion, the green streak was caused by an alien spacecraft flying in or out of the volcano, where he thinks the ETs were hiding.
Mr Waring has a long history of claiming UFOs use volcanoes as a base of operations here on Earth, sharing many dubious clips and images to support his theories.
Last year, for example, he claimed a UFO was caught on camera flying out of Sicily’s Stromboli volcano – it was most likely a bird.
On another occasion, he claimed to have found a spaceship flying out of Mexico’s El Popo volcano.
He said of the latest sighting: “Volcanoes worldwide have been linked to UFO sightings and more and more photos and video are recording such events every day.
“For UFOs to enter and exit a mouth of a volcano, it must be leading them to and from somewhere significant.
“This is why I believe that aliens use the mouth of volcanoes, because few humans ever go there and there is less chance of being seen.
“An alien base five to six kilometres below the surface of the mountain makes a lot of sense. This is 100 percent proof of that fact.”
There is, of course, no evidence to back these claims, even if experts from Indonesia’s National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) believe the green light was caused by an extraterrestrial object.
But rather than an alien UFO, the green streak was most likely caused by a meteor tumbling through our atmosphere.
Mr Song just happened to get extremely lucky when he photographed it over Mount Merapi.
Speaking to CNN Indonesia, he said his camera’s shutter speed was set to four seconds, which explains why he managed to capture the shooting star – long shutter speeds cause moving objects to streak.
When meteors crash into the atmosphere they disintegrate and can leave behind colourful streaks of light – shooting stars.
In this case, LAPAN said there were two active meteor showers at the time the photo was taken.
A translated statement posted on the agency’s website reads: “The flash of light that is visually not too big and coupled with the absence of an explosion, it is estimated that the meteor that falls is not too large, at least the size of a pebble and may burn up in the atmosphere.”
And what about the light’s intense colour? This was most likely down to the meteor’s mineral composition.
The green-cyan colour would have been caused by magnesium.
LAPAN added: “Given that the light emitted is green, it is likely that the meteor that fell around Merapi was dominated by the element magnesium.”
As far as scientists can tell, there is no life outside of our planet – or at the very least, there is no extraterrestrial life that has visited our planet.
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