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Update: Christmas UFO Identified

The strange fireball UFO seen across Germany and neighboring countries on December 24, 2011 has been identified as a Soyuz rocket re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Royal Observatory of Belgium issued a statement saying, “The fireball observed above Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany on December 24 around 17h30 was the re-entry of the third stage of the Soyuz rocket that transported the Dutch astronaut André Kuipers to the [International Space Station].”

A failed Soyuz-2.1b rocket that was carrying the Meridian-5 communications satellite was launched on December 23rd and is the most likely cause for the Russian orb UFO the previous day.

These cases are not the only times a Soyuz rocket has been mistaken for a UFO:

In May of 2011 the Soyuz-2 rocket carrying Russian Meridian 4 satellite into orbit caused panic among the people of Russia until it was identified.

A few months later as another Soyuz-2 rocket was launched and strange flickering balls of light appeared near the object causing some to speculate that UFOs were disarming the rocket.

Maureen Elsberry

Maureen Elsberry is the Marketing Director, co-host and associate producer of Spacing Out!, and Co-organizer of the International UFO Congress. She is also a contributing writer for and the former Open Minds magazine. She starred on the show Uncovering Aliens with appearances on Animal Planet, Science Channel, Destination America, and the American Hero's Network and has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country . Follow Maureen on Twitter: @maureenelsberry or subscribe to her public updates on Facebook here: Maureen on Facebook

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