UFO Footage STS-48
"Abrupt Turn" - Full Length Original

NASA Mission STS-48 - circa September, 1991

UFO Footage STS-48
Object Makes an Abrupt Turn

This is the video clip of the highly discussed STS-48 footage showing a number of unidentified objects, including one that makes an abrupt turn. This is original footage in its entirety. Very good video quality.

STS-48 was a Space Shuttle mission that launched on September 12th, 1991, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The orbiter was Space Shuttle Discovery. The primary payload was the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.

The mission landed on September 18th at 12:38am at Edwards Air Force Base on runway 22. The mission was completed in 81 revolutions of the Earth and traveled 2.2 million miles.

The 5 astronauts carried out a number of experiments and deployed several satellites. The total launch weight was 240,062 lbs and the landing weight was 192,780 lbs.

Is this evidence of hostile military action towards advanced extraterrestrial spacecraft, photographed during NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-48?

A video apparently shot during STS-48 mission, appears to depict objects flying in an artificial fashion. NASA explained the objects as ice particles reacting to engine jets.

Philip C. Plait briefly discussed it in Bad Astronomy, and agreed with NASA. A Florida Today article of 2000 quoted Dr. Jack Kasher as saying that he found the footage to depict independently operated spacecraft.

The video shows several small bright objects maneuvering on screen, apparently interacting with one another in a complex fashion.

Skeptics have usually insisted these are merely shots of some of the many small ice particles which inevitably end up in orbit with every space shuttle.

UFO investigators were quick to dispute this interpretation, and US scientist Richard C. Hoagland soon conclusively demonstrated the objects were actually large-sized and many hundreds of kilometers away from the shuttle.

One UFO in particular appears to rise up from below the Earth's dawn horizon and can be clearly seen emerging from behind the atmosphere and the 'air-glow' layers. It is certainly in orbit around the Earth, some distance out in space, and traveling quickly.

A sudden, bright flash of light is then seen to the left of the picture, below the shuttle. The UFO then turns at a sharp angle and heads out into space at very high speed. Two thin beams of light (or possibly condensation trails) move rapidly up from the Earth's surface towards where the UFO would have been if it had continued in its original orbit.

STS-48 Footage
Sightings -
Original Broadcast: September 25th, 1992

Subsequently, careful analysis of the video shows that:
  • The distance from the Discovery to the Earth's horizon is 2,757 kilometers
  • The UFO's speed before accelerating into space is 87,000 kph (Mach 73)
  • Three seconds after the light flash, the UFO changes direction sharply and accelerates off into space at 340,000 kph (Mach 285) within 2.2 seconds
  • Such an acceleration would produce 14,000 g of force (1g is normal Earth gravity)

The light flash and light beams (or contrails) that shoot into space have variously been described as a ground-based attempt to disrupt or destroy the UFO.

Hoagland interprets the incident captured by the Discovery's video-camera more specifically as a "Star Wars" weapons test against a Star Wars drone (the UFO). 


Footage of a unknown object captured on video during the STS-48 mission.

  • The horizon is 1700 miles away.
  • The object rises from BEHIND the Earth horizon.
  • The object must be at least 1700miles away.
  • The object cannot be local ice debris.
  • The object diminishes in size, so it is travelling away from the Shuttle.
  • The object rises vertically in a curved arc towards the left.
  • Just before the end of the clip, it changes direction to the right.
  • The new trajectory is linear, not curved.
  • Objects in space cannot change direction without external force.
  • It is too far from the Shuttle to be affected by it's thrusters.
  • The Earth's gravity precludes natural curved to linear trajectory change.
As the object changes direction in sync with the other objects in the full video clip, it must be reacting to the same stimulus.

That it is too far from the Shuttle to be affected by it's thrusters proves the NASA explanation is wrong.

It also proves that any other objects which change trajectory at the same time are not ice debris either.

Other UFO investigators prefer to describe it as a Star Wars attempt against an extraterrestrial UFO.

Whichever version you prefer, the technology implied is most certainly impressive - at least of Star Wars caliber.

More recently, from New Zealand, investigators have reviewed the video and corrected the actual time it was taken.

They have found that the UFO incident was recorded over Australia and not the Philippine islands as was originally thought.

Discovery's trajectory had already taken it across Surabaya in Java and above the Simpson Desert, Western Australia.

The craft exhibit trajectory change beyond the capabilities of craft that we are aware of. Even if these craft are not 'alien', they are craft, not ice particles.
  • Video taken during mission STS-48 of Space Shuttle Discovery while in orbit on September 15th, 1991 shows a flash of light and several objects that appear to be flying in an artificial or controlled fashion.
  • NASA explained the objects as ice particles reacting to engine jets. James Oberg claimed that the flash was from a thruster firing. Philip C. Plait discussed the issue in his book Bad Astronomy, agreeing with NASA.
  • Dr. Jack Kasher analyzed the movement of the objects in 1996, and found five arguments that the footage could not depict ice particles. However, Lan Fleming found discrepancies in the timestamps in a later version of the video first released by the NASA FOIA office in 1999, leaving some conclusions indeterminate.

    James Oberg presented a paper at Purdue University that disputed Kasher's five arguments and showed how illumination conditions and thruster firings were capable of producing the sequences in question. He has also posted data and telemetry records that support a prosaic explanation.
  • Lan Fleming analyzed the movements of the objects and the flash of light that preceded the abrupt change in the course of the objects, and concluded that the exhaust plume from one of the shuttle's reaction control system rockets could not have produced the flash of light.
  • Mark J. Carlotto came to the conclusion that relatively brief firings of shuttle thruster rockets acting on nearby debris particles could not explain the prolonged periods of acceleration indicated by the curved paths of the unidentified objects.

    However, prolonged periods of smooth acceleration can be explained by atmospheric drag on microscopic ice particles, even though the atmosphere is extremely tenuous at the altitude of the orbiting shuttle.

    Carlotto also noted that at the end of the event, the shuttle's camera panned down, showing a number of objects moving below the shuttle, and one of the objects appeared to consist of three lobes arranged in a triangular pattern.

STS-48 Footage

This is a shorter version of the "Abrupt Turn" STS-48 video - this time at 5X normal speed.

The purpose of this version is to more clearly show the moving objects.

Notice there are various objects moving in different directions, before and after the "flash." You be the judge.

Video is from original tape of Nasa mission STS-48, circa September, 1991.

This is considered by some to be one of the most spectacular video footage of a UFO taken by cameras on board the Discovery space shuttle.