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What did Baker Mayfield really see in the skies over Austin? Clues may lurk in new government report

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he saw a "bright ball of light" over Lake Austin. (Pixabay)

It's easy to quickly dismiss reports of alien life, like when Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and his wife said they saw a "bright ball of light" over Lake Travis earlier this year. However, Texans might be walking among other planetary life, according to a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

What Mayfield truly saw that night is unclear. Nearly all reports of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, similar to what the football star saw, remain unexplained. There have been multiple reported sightings in Austin this year and what better place for some extraterrestrials than the city of weird?

On Feb. 21, an Austin family reported seeing a "flame-like" structure that hovered and rotated before disappearing and a May 8 report recounted someone seeing a yellow-green oval-shaped orb.

Due to a limited amount of "high-quality reporting" on UAPs, the UAP task force has been unable to come to a firm conclusion on the nature of such reported unidentified flying objects. The office studied 144 reports spotted by U.S. government sources from 2004-2021, the majority from the last two years, and said all but one are currently unexplainable.

But that doesn't mean you need to put on your tinfoil hat just yet.

It's likely that these phenomena lack a single explanation. Some patterns have been documented: unusual flying patterns, seemingly advanced technology and similar descriptions on size and shape, but the organization provided a few possible explanations:

Airborne Clutter

Birds, balloons, recreational unmanned aerial vehicles and debris can all muddle a scene and sometimes appear different than what they truly are.

Natural Atmospheric Phenomena

Ice crystals, moisture and thermal fluctuations have potential to show up on infrared or radar systems.

U.S. Government or Industry Developmental Programs

Some of the sightings could be attributed to "developments and classified programs by U.S. entities," though the report was unable to confirm this in any cases.

Foreign Adversary Systems

The report stated that UAPs could be a product of Chinese, Russian, another nation or a non-governmental entity's work.

While these sightings could potentially lead to airspace concerns or national security issues, the document said making progress on determining the origin of UAPs will depend on standardizing the reporting, consolidating the data and increasing investments in research.

So if you see something that doesn't appear Earthly, get it on camera and maybe share it with Mayfield to compare notes. There's a chance you just glimpsed into outer space.

We want to hear from you!


1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
Austin Monitor

By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.