No, a UFO Was Not Shot Down Over Paris

With international tensions running high after the U.S. shot down an unidentified flying object (UFO) that it later officially identified as a Chinese spy balloon, jumpy earthlings have been looking at the sky a lot more carefully.

And the scouring of the heavens rewarded many Europeans with quite a show on Monday night.

Clear footage, filmed in France and the U.K., showed a dramatic burning orb passing across the night sky, leaving a bright trail behind it before appearing to explode. The light generated was bright enough to momentarily turn the darkness into daytime.

One Twitter user, a doctor with more than 786,000 followers, shared the footage with the caption: "Paris... Balloon, UFO, or meteor?" And although he answered his own question immediately with a definitive "meteor" response, his question was also being asked by many others. And some of them had come up with very different interpretations of what had happened.

Some argued the object could be an alien craft, others argued it was spy technology belonging to a hostile state, some suggested it could be a falling satellite belonging to Elon Musk's Starlink fleet, while others said it could be angel.

One suspicious Twitter user shared the clip and branded the object an "alleged meteor" that governments would have to explain in the coming days. The account's caption, which was tweeted along with the footage read: "Alleged meteor lights up the sky over France, spotted from Paris. Well what's it going to be in the coming weeks.. A Ufo (Alien invasion) or a big meteorite? They haven't quite figured it out yet I guess."

meteor above UK
A spectacular meteor was filmed burning up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere above France and the U.K. week. Pictured: A meteor streaks across the night sky past Sirius on December 14, 2018, in Saltburn By The Sea, U.K. Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Another tweeter voiced suspicions that the object couldn't have been a meteor because it hadn't caused any damage. They shared their disdain for the meteor theory with the sarcastic message: "Yeah. Ignoring the fact that a meteorite would obliterate Paris and possibly the world. Have they not seen what happened to the previous genus of dinosaurs?"

"Could be a satellite shot down," one tweeter suggested. "Lots of things falling from the sky at the moment and I don't think it's just coincidence. Maybe war has already started and its in space. #UFO is a distraction."

Another added: "1000% china sending something." But another Twitter user suggested the object was an angel.

However, the vast majority of Twitter users accepted that the UFO wasn't actually "unidentified" at all, because it was simply a meteor burning up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

The European Space Agency (ESA) had previously tweeted urging French and British people to look out for a small incoming meteor.

Nevertheless, the incident came as the White House revealed it had been shooting down UFOs across the country, while one was also spotted in Canada, with China and Russia also claiming to have targeted UFOs flying over their countries. There have been so many incidents, Newsweek has even compiled a list of all the UFO sightings reported by governments across the world so far this year.

But the White House has reiterated that UFO doesn't equate to the arrival of aliens.

"I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no... indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.

China has denied it was spying on the U.S. and insisted the craft was a weather-recording balloon.