MUFON declares "sprouting potato UFO" genuine

By Ted Bonnitt on November 22nd, 2012
MUFON declares "sprouting potato UFO" genuine
Four separate images of the UFO illustrates how the object changed size, shape and color. Credit: MUFON.
Four separate images of the UFO illustrates how the object changed size, shape and color. Credit: MUFON.

If the story is true, it has got to be one of the more odd UFO reports.

According to an extensive report published by the Oregon State chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a witness shot 2:34 minutes of video of a constantly morphing and colorful object in clear, blue skies at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2012.

MUFON investigators have declared the so-called "Milwaukie Sprouting Potato” a true UFO.

According to the report, witness Don Andersberg (pseudonym) video-recorded an "odd and colorful UFO" from his Miwaukie, Oregon, backyard on a bright, blue sky day.  

The constantly transforming and compact UFO showed oddly growing and transforming protuberances with occasional “flaring” bright spots.  

Andersberg video-recorded the object it as it slowly flew by.

MUFON adds, "We believe that the overall evidence in this case rises to the level of clear and convincing evidence, which makes this case quite strong."

Don Andersberg is described as "a quiet and unassuming man in his early fifties who currently works for a custodial services company."

The report goes on to claim that Andersberg's hobby is looking for UFOs, writing, "Don has a history of seeing UFOs off and on throughout his life.  In the 2000s, he decided  to try his hand at capturing on video some of the UFOs he has seen.  He’s been quite successful."

A suspicious claim, but not impossible.  Some people have a knack for spotting things that others don't.

MUFON ruled out several explanations, including secret U.S. military or foreign power aircraft (too odd, small and silent), a police surveillance UAV, as no area law enforcement agencies have them, nor does the object resemble the technology. They also ruled out ball lightning and conventional aircraft like helicopters, blimps, ultralights, kites, and remote controlled model aircraft.

MUFON is also convinced that what Andersberg saw on that afternoon was not a balloon, despite obvious similarities. Rather, they are calling it an example of a "balloon mimicking UFO."

They listed some pros and cons on the balloon theory.   


-This is almost certainly a one-of-a-kind concocted, DIY balloon type contraption if it is to be identified at all as a human made or natural object or effect.

-The UFO generally moved along in the sky like a balloon.

-The UFO traveled more or less in the correct direction and speed for the prevailing winds at the time. 


-There is no evidence or even hint of typical balloon strings or cords in this UFO.

-The movement of this UFO is entirely too variable for any kind of balloon.  The configuration transformation kind of movement is reminiscent of organic, living things and not ordinary mechanical or physical things.

-The appearance and behavior of the apparently internally generated lighting effects on the constantly changing protuberances practically defies explanation as a known terrestrial, human-made technology.

-Some protuberances are seen to brighten and “flare up” to become brighter than the body of the UFO.  

-The illuminated protuberances are seen to appear and disappear at random points on the body of the UFO.

-A number of other balloon mimic UFOs somewhat similar to this case have been documented in Oregon in the 2000s. 

Where's the video?

The question is, why has the witness who made the video or MUFON not released the video? 

Withholding the best evidence diminishes their claim, especially when the object in question looks like a balloon in still images, and because their entire case hinges on the object's "movement."

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