UFO watchers (and conspiracy theorists) love a good mystery.
Well, Rainer and Edith Shattles of Jackson County, Mississippi, have a new one for you.
The couple have a game camera positioned in an open field on their 150 acres of land. Mostly, it snaps images of deer. But on Feb. 16, the deer were joined by something else – some odd lights.
Someone or something has spotlighted the deer, and there's an image of what appears to be a pair of car or truck headlights. But Mr. Shattles says they're too high off the ground. When he checked the area later, he saw no evidence of tire tracks.
He and his wife are baffled. To be clear, they're not saying this UFO is from another planet. But Mr. Shattles is enjoying the mystery.
"Well, if it's alien, I'm not sure about that. But it's definitely a UFO. Now whether it's a government drone or what, I wish if nothing else, one of them would step up and say, 'Yes, that's ours,'" Rainer told WLBT-TV in Jackson, Miss.
Of course, the Shattles aren't the first to capture images of odd things going on in the woods.
Field & Stream magazine runs an annual trail cam photo contest. Each year, amateurs send in some remarkable wildlife scenes, including humorous images such as two bears apparently boxing. Field & Stream has their own Facebook display of trail cam bloopers with some pretty strange images. For example, one photo shows a ghostly, fading buck. Another captures what appears to be a giant glowing winged UFO (a moth perhaps?).
As relatively inexpensive trail cameras have proliferated, trail cam photos have emerged as a rich vein for pranksters and conspiracy theorists.
"Nowadays, however, a trophy buck can't scamper 14 feet in the woods without tripping an infrared trigger from a tree-mounted trail-camera. By the time a hunter shoots a nice buck, everyone within a three-parish radius has seen the deer and named it," writes Todd Masson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"In a sense, though, trail-cameras have sort of solidified some theories. Many cameras capture images that aren't entirely clear, with spectral shapes that are Rorschach tests for observers. You believe in black panthers, so that quadruped running in the background that your idiot friends think is a raccoon is obviously and clearly a black panther."
Or it could be Sasquatch. Masson shares one prankster's three-year old trail cam image from Berwick, La. that suggests that Big Foot may be severely undernourished.
So, who's to say that aliens wouldn't travel many light years across the galaxy just so they can sneak up on some unsuspecting deer at night? At least there's likely to be a trail cam nearby to capture the moment.