What pilots in northern Baffin Island on Nov. 24 reported as being a UFO was nothing more than the flashiest star in the autumn sky, Capella.
Pilots flying Nolinor Aviation Boeing 737-200 from Iqaluit to the Mary River mine notice a bright flashing light in the sky at 8:30 pm EST.
They filed an incident report to Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) and provided a few details of the events.
The flight experienced “no impact to operations”.
Transport Canada spokesperson, Sau Sau Liu, said the term UFO can include many things, including sighting of unmanned air vehicles, such as drones, as well as balloons, meteors, weather phenomena and birds.
“It should not be interpreted to mean something of extraterrestrial origin,” she wrote, in a February email. “When reports like these are generated, the next steps depend on the type of the incident reported.”
Additional follow up may be needed by organizations such as Transport Canada, NAV Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).
Transport Canada works to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data in CADORS, but admitted the information should be “treated as preliminary, unsubstantiated and subject to change”.
Nolinor Vice President, Marco Prud’Homme, said his company did their own research into what appeared on the horizon that day.
“The first crew was wondering if it was an aircraft because it was flashing green and sometimes flashing red and they decided to inform the air navigation services,” he wrote in an email. “Other crew members were able to see it also in the following days.”
Capella is a common sight in northern autumn. It tends to twinkle in red and green flashes. Also known as the “Goat Star”, it is actually two golden stars similar to our own sun.
Capella can be seen directly east of the Big Dipper and to the southeast of Polaris.
The red and green colours can be explained by the atmosphere refracting the light, creating a prism.