1971 UFO Image shows Flying Saucer in Incredible Detail. Image Credit: Instituto Geográfico Nacional de Costa Rica.

1971 Image Snapped By Plane’s Automated Camera Shows UFO in Incredible Detail

This is probably one of the most incredible UFO photographs we have ever seen.


Are we alone in the universe? Have we been visited by beings, not from Earth, and has humankind found evidence of technology of advanced civilizations from another world?

Officially and scientifically, we have not found evidence of technologies that originated not on this planet. However, some experts like Harvard Professor Avi Loeb argue this is not the case, and we have, very likely, already been visited by aliens.


The best UFO image yet?

A new high-resolution scan of an “extraordinary” object may prove we have indeed been visited by beings, not from Earth. UAPMedia UK recently published an article about a photograph taken over 50 years ago, and the photograph shows what is perhaps one of the clearest photographs of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon — UFO.

The story behind how the photograph was taken weighs in into making the image actual, conclusive evidence that there are objects in our atmosphere whose origin may not be Earth.

On September 4th, 1971, an automated camera aboard a twin-engine Aero Commander F680 plane captured a picture of an apparent “flying saucer.” The origin of the curious object has never been verified.

The photograph was taken by chance and randomly. In the northern highlands near Arenal Volcano, the National Geographic Institute of Costa Rica studied a hydroelectric project’s potential effects on the surrounding terrain and water.

The 100lb map-making camera was a crucial component of the study. The device was activated by aerial photographer Sergio Loaiza when the aircraft was flying at 10,000 feet. The camera captured black and white images of the water and rainforest every 20 seconds.

The pilots were unaware of what had been captured by the camera that morning. They still weren’t aware of what they had captured even after developing the film and filing the negatives away.

They noticed the anomalous object hovering over Lake Cote only after pulling the negatives out to investigate possible ways to link Lake Cote to Arenal Lagoon.

Frame 300

A close up of the Costa Rica 1971 UFO. Image Credit: Instituto Geográfico Nacional de Costa Rica.
A close up of the Costa Rica 1971 UFO. Image Credit: Instituto Geográfico Nacional de Costa Rica.

With a plethora of devices available to people around the world, random images photographed by people sometimes tend to show objects whose origin cannot be verified.


On most occasions, people purposely alter images and try to photoshop flying saucers in an attempt to gain attention on social media or the news.

However, on many occasions, the curious objects in the photographs are genuine. But it is nevertheless very difficult to discern fact from fiction, real from fake.

Frame 300 of the hundreds of images taken by aerial photographer Sergio Loaiza is likely one of the best pieces of evidence of UFOs. Taken at 8:25 in the morning, the photograph shows a shiny disk just to the side of the photograph.

Investigations throughout the years have not provided much information other than the fact that the photograph is genuine.

As per UAPmedia UK, it has been estimated that the Flying Saucer in the photographs has a diameter ranging from 120 to 220 feet.

Is this the real deal?

A study by Richard F. Haines, and Jacques F. Vallee titled “Photo analysis of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica: New Evidence” looks into the curious object photographs in 1971.

The study can be read and downloaded here.

The researchers write in the study “Our examination of the original negatives confirms our initial speculation that the image of the disc: is not the result of 3 double exposure, a reflection, a deliberate paste-up or another kind of hoax.”

The researchers were also able to calculate the speed at which the anomalous object was moving. “Assuming that the disc flew along a straight west to east path at ground level, it would have had to travel about 1,988 miles per hour to traverse the entire distance from its current image location on frame 300 to just beyond the eastern edge of frame 299 (a distance equivalent to 1 1.04 miles).”

While the image is the real deal, and the object was not “photoshopped” into the photograph, it is impossible to say what the object is. Is it some sort of super-secret government project? Or is it evidence of alien technology on Earth? These two questions will likely never be answered, but this is definitely one of the best UFO photographs we have come across in recent years.


We know it is not the result of someone deliberately adding an object to the photograph, and we know that an airplane’s automated camera snapped the object. The object in the photograph resembles what millions of people across the world have been reporting seeing in the sky for decades.

Maybe, and just maybe, this is really one of the best UFO photographs in history.

Further Reading: UAPMedia UK


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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