As 2012 ended and 2013 began, numerous UFOs were reported around the country -- nothing earthshattering there -- but what about alleged unidentified objects seen in space near the International Space Station (or ISS), a couple of hundred miles above Earth?
Videos have cropped up on YouTube showing images taken by NASA cameras of objects of different shapes, some moving very slowly, others rapidly hurtling through space.
What, exactly, are we looking at here? Alien spacecraft dropping by for a visit with the ISS? Reflections from ISS windows? Meteors? Or various types of orbiting or fast moving spacecraft-generated debris?
On Christmas Day, YouTube poster Streetcap1 recorded video of a silvery object, moving slowly near the curvature of Earth. At :46 into the following video, the object can be seen in faraway perspective.
Streetcap1 also recorded the following two objects -- one circular, the other disc-shaped -- outside the ISS on New Year's Day. Could it be a mere window reflection?
"Spacecraft-generated 'dandruff' has been seen since the very first human spaceflights, when the non-intuitive relative motions and impossible-to-judge distances in the earthly environment of outer space tricked observers into misinterpreting visual stimuli," according to James Oberg, a former space engineer who specialized in NASA space shuttle operations and is currently the NBC News Space Consultant.
"It shouldn't be surprising that only half a century later, most folks watching YouTube videos are still totally flummoxed by what they understandably and excusably can't comprehend," Oberg told The Huffington Post in an email.
Oberg doesn't give much credence to any speculation that unidentified flying objects near the ISS originate from an alien civilization. But he also feels it's important for people to keep looking at camera feeds which may result in visual information that can help prevent potential technical problems for the ISS.
"It's good to keep scanning space video for possible anomalies and reporting them quickly," Oberg said. "The reason is, there is always a real chance that it could be a genuine anomaly, either a spacecraft malfunction or other threat, expected or unexpected. In the past, missions have failed because a clue that should have been seen out the window was overlooked."
Here's a compilation of alleged UFOs flying around Earth as seen from space and posted by YouTube user danielofdoriaa. Are they meteors, spacecraft debris or computer-generated images superimposed on NASA footage?
If you want to join in the hunt for UFOs in space, just click here to get an instant live NASA camera feed from the ISS. You'll also need a simple screen recorder on your computer. Good luck with your search and let us know what you come up with!
Check out more UFOs seen from space