Austonia daily newsletter—direct to your inbox 6 a.m.

become a member

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!



Austin's Delta 8 industry has been turned on its head after Texas health officials clarified that the cannabinoid is on the state list of illegal substances, though it was previously believed to be legal by most retailers, consumers and manufacturers.

Keep Reading Show less

(Tito's Handmade Vodka)


  • 1 1/2 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz lemonade
  • 1 orange wheel
Directions: Add all ingredients to a glass with ice. Garnish with a sunken orange wheel. Enjoy!

Austin Public Health and local CVS and Walgreens locations will begin distributing all of the approved COVID booster shots as soon as Friday.

Austin Public Health and other clinics around Austin are now providing booster shots for all three vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, to fully vaccinated individuals after both Pfizer and J & J were approved by the CDC on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less