By James Nye
PUBLISHED: 16:00 GMT, 26 October 2012 | UPDATED: 03:42 GMT, 27 October 2012
The glowing object which left thousands of people across the U.S. wondering if they had just seen a UFO may have simply been a giant toy which costs just $25.
Amateur astronomer Allen Epling took hours-long footage and videos of the mystery, glowing object from his Virgie, Kentucky, home for over two hours last week.
Now it has emerged that the cigar-shaped craft which was viewed across three states may have been nothing more than a solar-powered airship.
The airship, which is marketed as a ‘toy for all the family’, is eight meters in length and flies solely by the power of the sun.
UFO: Allen Epling captured these images of a mysterious object hovering for hours
It is constructed from a high-density, lightweight matte black film which reacts to the heat from the sun and gets bigger as it fills with air. It can reach heights of 30,000 feet.
But part-time star-gazer Epling estimated the UFO to be operating at over 100,000 feet – over twice the height a commercial jet flies. It was witnessed across Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
‘Looked like two fluorescent bulbs, side by side, parallel, shining very brightly.
‘It would get so bright they would seem to merge, and you could see it very clearly with the naked eye. Then it would dim down almost invisible.’
Though it caused mass excitement across UFO-spotting websites, many theories have been put forward as to what it actually is.
As well as the solar-powered airship toy, others are calling it a weather balloon and even a high altitude stunt kite which is made in the southern islands of Japan.
While Epling was intrigued by the mystery hovering object, he was perplexed as to how the craft managed to maintain its position at such a high altitude.
‘I don’t understand how it could stay up there in one place. There was no sign of propellers or any kind of propulsion system. No gas is coming out,’ said Epling.
Police in the area reported that they received a large number of calls about the object but they were unable to find the craft.
‘We received several calls about it, but our trooper was unable to locate any object in the sky,’ said Kentucky State Police Trooper Shaun Little to the Appalachian News Express.
Local airports from Pine County also said that they do not have any records of aicraft flying over their airspace during the hours that Epling videoed and photographed the UFO.
Observed through a Mead 8″ SCT astronomical telescope the unidentified object did not drift more than 10 degrees in any direction and was sighted approximately 60 degrees above the horizon.
On Epling’s YouTube posting of the UFO video he explained the movement of the craft: ‘I want to emphasize that the object is NOT moving. The picture is unsteady because I had to hold the camera in hand while trying to video it through the eyepiece of the telescope.’
The craft has excited the UFO community nationwide, with some speculating that the craft is in fact an alien spaceship from the Ashtar Galactic Command.
Jose Ignacio Contreras, who operates the blog, Ashtar Command Crew, commented that Epling’s video shows ‘what appears to be two large Lightships recorded in clear skies during day light hours.’
Epling himself is unsure of what exactly the craft is, but is sure that it is of Earthly origin.
‘I’ve wanted to see a UFO all my life,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t scared, I was fascinated, especially to see something out of the ordinary.’
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