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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/24/2011 11:49 (Entered as : 12/24/11 11:49)
Reported: 1/10/2012 7:39:07 PM 19:39
Posted: 1/12/2012
Location: Calistoga (2 miles outside), CA
Shape: Oval
Duration:a few seconds (at most)
A grey, oval-shaped object in the sky appears in a photograph taken on this date (but not actually witnessed at the time)

I have emailed you a photo (file size 1.8 MB) I recently took that shows a strange, grey object in the sky.

I took this photo at a tourist attraction called the "Old Faithful" geyser about 2 miles outside of Calistoga, California on December 24 2011. According to my computer, the photo was taken at 11:49 am local time. (This time seems right to me because I remember we were there in the late morning.) I haven't edited the photo in any way - this is the raw image I downloaded from my digital camera.

My husband and I briefly visited the geyser as tourists. We didn't notice anything unusual in the sky at the time and we didn't hear any unusual noises. I only noticed this strange object when I later uploaded the photo from my camera phone (an iPhone 4) to my computer.

It is possible that we were both distracted at the time because we were watching the geyser itself, which makes hissing and splashes noises as it shoots hot water from underground. There were several other tourists there and from memory they were all acting normal. I don't remember anyone pointing out anything in the sky.

I took several other photos of the geyser and several short videos. The object does not appear in any of the other photos or the videos. Interestingly, the image I have emailed you is time-stamped as exactly 11:49:05 on my computer. The next photo I took is time-stamped 11:49:08 (which I assume means it was taken anywhere between 2 and 4 seconds later). The object is nowhere to be seen in that next photo, even though I took it from the same standing position.

For this reason I really doubt that this object is dirt or grease on the camera lens. The object also appears to be reflecting the sun, so I believe it was something in the sky.

I suppose this could be a helicopter or other aircraft or even a bird or bug, but the explanation isn't obvious.