JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - It has gone viral. People all over the country seem to have an opinion about what the red saucer-shaped anomaly found on Google maps could be.
Our story ran on Good Morning America last Thursday which prompted tens of thousands of people all over the world checking out Jacksonville, Texas.
Andrea Dove didn't see it first, but she was the first to let us know about the red smudge in the sky over Jacksonville captured by a Google maps Camera.
Since some national exposure on ABC, many have searched for the image, and found it in a lot other places far away from Jacksonville, Texas.
People sent in links to Sparks Nevada, Altoona Pennsylvania, Sedona Arizona, and North Branford Connecticut. All of them show a similar object in the sky.
Others took a closer look at the ground and found the same image looking much smaller when seen against the street.
I find it interesting that in every picture the anomaly is pointing at the sun.
A few theorize it has something to do with the proximity of a Taco Bell sign. Interesting theory, but there's no bell in sight at many of these locales, or umbrellas either.
I even got an email of a job offer, if the writer owned a TV station.
Most emails indicated it is some kind of lens flare. Over the years I have used a lot of cameras. I have never seen a flare like this one, but I've never used eleven lenses at the same time like the Dodeca 2360.
The creator of the Youtube page Hoaxkillerfriend has posted a video explanation on you tube.
"Most lens flares would be round, but because of the nature of this camera it's misshapen. Because it's a unique lens flare, I mean, if you really think it's a UFO do you really think they're just following around Google Cameras? It's really apparent when you see the same flare against the ground. It's when you get it up in the sky on some of these images where people say oh it's a UFO," he said.
So, the mystery is solved, although someone sent me a link to another strange image just east of the Jacksonville intersection. He called it a "lavaball".
Anyone know about lavaballs?
I wonder if this will ever end?
Google still has not responded to our email, but it looks like we may have another question for them.