Karl Buchmann will likely continue not believing in UFOs after learning the unusually bright objects he saw over the Shuswap were linked to an orbiting internet service.
The Grandview Bench resident said he was looking out his north-facing window at around 5 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, when he saw what he described as line of star-bright lights travelling northeast over Salmon Arm. At first he thought it might be a commercial plane, though the flight path was unusual. More unusual was the pattern the lights took, two lights, a space, then a single light followed by another space, then two more lights and so on.
It was unlike anything Buchmann had seen before.
“I told a couple of friends and they asked me what I was drinking,” laughed Buchmann. “That’s what I figured too. But then I went outside and had a look and saw them disappearing.”
Buchmann stressed he doesn’t believe in unidentified flying objects of the extraterrestrial variety, and guessed it could have been an airplane pulling a string of lights as a prank – though he didn’t hear a plane flying overhead.
After hearing Buchmann’s story, the Kamloops Airport quickly confirmed what he saw was not an aircraft, but a string of satellites that are part of Starlink, an satellite internet service launched by U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk through his SpaceX program.
According to findstarlink.com, a train of satellites should be visible from Salmon Arm between 5:50 and 6:13 a.m. between March 16 and March 19.
Buchmann noted it was impossible for him to tell how high up the lights were when he saw them, and was pleased with the explanation.
“If you can back it up like that, I’m glad I’m not going nuts,” joked Buchmann, grateful for the distraction.