Hunter Captures UFO In Nevada

Californian Robert Pitzer hunting near Lovelock, N.V. Credit: ABC News 10
Robert Pitzer hunting near Lovelock, N.V. (Image credit: ABC News 10)

While hunting alone in a remote part of Western Nevada recently, Robert Pitzer bagged himself a UFO. In fact, there wasn't much of a chase: The unidentified flying object touched down almost on top of him.

Pitzer was lugging a 12-gauge shotgun across the hardscrabble Nevada landscape when he looked up to see a bizarre object descending slowly toward the ground. He got out his phone and snapped some photos, racking his brain to figure out what the object might be. "It looked different than anything I've ever seen, without a doubt," Pitzer told ABC News 10 in his hometown of Auburn, Calif.

The strange object touched down near Pitzer — the only human being for miles — and bobbed up and down for a while in the wind. Pitzer tied it to a rock.

"I still didn't know quite what was going on," he said. "But I figured it's an experimental aircraft. That's when I noticed the JP Aerospace sticker on it."

The UFO, which turned out to be a balloon craft. (Image credit: ABC News 10)

Pitzer called JP Aerospace, a spaceflight research organization, and learned that the flying object was a high altitude balloon platform meant to carry science experiments to the edge of space. The platform had been launched using helium balloons two hours prior from a starting point 50 miles away, but one of its balloons burst, causing the craft to slowly fall back to Earth. [UFO Sightings Spiked This Summer]

A camera on the balloon platform shot some footage of the bewildered hunter during its descent.

As for Pitzer, he has since gotten a lot of mileage out of his unusual hunting story, telling all his friends, "I encountered a UFO!"

"Never seen anything quite like this come out of the sky," he said. "And probably never will again!"

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Natalie Wolchover

Natalie Wolchover was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012 and is currently a senior physics writer and editor for Quanta Magazine. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Tufts University and has studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with the staff of Quanta, Wolchover won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory writing for her work on the building of the James Webb Space Telescope. Her work has also appeared in the The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Writing on Mathematics, Nature, The New Yorker and Popular Science. She was the 2016 winner of the  Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, as well as the winner of the 2017 Science Communication Award for the American Institute of Physics.