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Photographer catches UFOs in images over Rochester, NY

A photographer captured strange looking objects in some of his beautiful pictures of clouds rolling in over Lake Ontario at night. He can’t figure out what the mysterious objects are and says he has never seen anything like it.

Jim Montanus is a photographer who lives in the town of Greece, New York, a few miles northwest of Rochester. On Wednesday night he was on the docks of the Braddock Bay Marina when he decided to take pictures of the clouds rolling in as they slowly covered the piercing bright twinkling stars against the clear dark night sky.

Montanus told the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper, “It was a very dramatic situation with that front coming in. I was all excited about the photo.”

UFO photo posted by Montanus. (Credit: Jim Montanus/Montanus Photography)
UFO photo posted by Montanus. (Credit: Jim Montanus/Montanus Photography)

Upon reviewing the images in the viewfinder he spotted two orange cone shaped objects he had not seen with is naked eye.

He says, “I was looking at these shapes on the back of my cameras and saying what IS it? I don’t believe in UFOs, but, you know, it’s just one of those things. It was just cool.”

It was 9:34 pm, and the objects were to the northwest. The camera was set on 15-second timed exposures, so it could pick up more light in the night sky. The images were captured in several different frames, leading Montanus to believe the objects were moving.

Braddock Bay (Credit: Google Maps)
Braddock Bay (Credit: Google Maps)

Mantanus posted one of the images with some of the strange objects from some of the other pictures magnified on his Facebook, and he tweeted it.

On Facebook he wrote:

UFO’s spotted over Rochester last night!

I’m not kidding, this is freaky! I just noticed this one picture had these crazy looking objects that look like, well, you tell me?

This is not a hoax, it’s not April 1st, this really showed up in one of my pictures. Canadian military exercises? American military exercises? Aliens?

Whatever it is, I’ve never seen anything like it…

Some people had responded that the images were meteors, but Montanus does not agree. He says he can’t figure out what they are. He explained, “It didn’t look like a meteor to me. How a meteor would show up on the camera would be like a stream of light. These were weird, bizarre shapes. I said ‘Look at it, it’s got a parachute or something on it.’ If anything looked like a UFO, it would be that.”

The Democrat & Chronicle did some research themselves. They said Monroe County 911 had no calls about the objects that night. Neither did the National Weather Service in Buffalo. There has been meteor activity in the area, but the meteor shower that day was in the morning, not the evening.

Close-up of mysterious objects in Montanus' UFO photo. (Credit: Jim Montanus/Montanus Photography)
Close-up of mysterious objects in Montanus’ UFO photo. (Credit: Jim Montanus/Montanus Photography)

The U.S. and Canadian military do exercises in that area, and occasionally drop flares. However, the FAA said they had nothing in their logs showing military activity in the area that night. The U.S. Coast Guard also said they were not in the area conducting any training that could account for the images. The Canadian air traffic control agency did not respond to the newspaper’s inquiries. The Democrat & Chronicle also noted that the Mutual UFO Network had not had any reports of activity in the area either.

Some have suggested other possibilities, such as Chinese Lanterns, lens flares, light reflecting off of satellites or airplanes, or light refracting off of the atmosphere. However, Montanus has not found a satisfactory answer yet.

Montanus is still mystified by the images. He says, “I was really freaking out when I took it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as OpenMinds.tv. For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

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  1. These are clearly lens flares. Draw a line in the inverted tail and it takes you to the ground lights seen on the bottom of the image. It explains why he never saw objects himself. They were captured on then lens and then onto the CCD of the camera.

  2. I hate to burst the UFO bubble or the lens flare theory but these are what are commonly called sprites or TLE (transient luminous events). Sprites are flashes of bright red light that usually occur in the upper atmosphere above storm systems.

  3. It is so sad when something as mundane as a lens flare gets such “notoriety”. C’mon, people, there are plenty of real mysteries in the world; we don’t need to stoop to this level. Or do we?

  4. Im a paranormal investigator and been interested in the ufo theory for years…. I saw nothing in the pics the claim that it was a ufo or not.. hint when taking pic of ufo or ghosts… make sure they are much more clear….

  5. LENS FLARE- I captured similar flares while taking night time exposures with my NIKKOR 24mm F2.8 lens 15-20 years ago…scott

  6. I have video of this event ,standing in a corn field with my son.It also shows a helicopter flying around the object.

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