Where Is the Sphere in the Movie 'Sphere'?

Warner Brothers' Valentine's Day 1998 offering, 'Sphere'

Saucers, boomerangs, triangles, pyramids, cigars, Tic Tacs—the UFO phenomenon has taken on many forms over the years. Just as curious as everyone about the aerial, at-times aquatic, phenomena was Michael Crichton of "Jurassic Park" fame, who posed the question: what if extraterrestrial intelligence is spherical? 

Such a notion, explored in his novel "Sphere" and the 1998 movie of the same name, is not that preposterous anymore. Spheres rank among the 10 most reported UFO shapes in the US, and the military has even vouched for some of them. 

Top 5 Spherical UFO Encounters

So what is the sphere in the movie "Sphere"? Sightings show that the planet has had, quite literally, too many balls in the air throughout history, and many of them remain inexplicable. Here are just five of those astonishing wonders.

5. Dechmont Woods Encounter, 1979

Image via Edinburgh Live

One of the oft-cited UFO cases in Britain began on November 9, 1979 when forestry worker Robert Taylor parked his truck near a motorway in Livingston. With his dog in tow, Taylor walked along a path into the woods. There, he saw a "dome" hovering above a clearing. It was dark and metallic, with a rough texture, kinda like sandpaper. All of a sudden, he saw a pair of spiked spheres rolling towards him. It was then that he felt himself being dragged by his legs and ultimately lost consciousness. When he woke up, he remembered having smelled burning tires.

The police dispatched to the scene saw upwards of 32 holes on the site and sent Taylor's trousers to headquarters for forensic examination. The findings? It determined that something must have hooked and moved Taylor on that day.

4. UAP over USS Omaha, 2019 

The truth really is out thereor down below our seas. In one of the most compelling cases for intelligent civilizations and dimensional portals underwater, as many as 14 spherical objects, each with a diameter of about 6 feet, were seen racing through the skies off the coast of San Diego on July 15, 2019. The objects sped like no other, at up to 158 mph or 254 kmh, and were seen making maneuvers from side to side. One of the objects, caught on cam by FLIR and Night Vision technologies from the USS Omaha, plummeted into the waters. A submarine scoured the depths but no wreckage was found from what would have been deadly impact for ordinary aircraft.

Lest you chalk this up to intergalactic woo woo, the Pentagon has since confirmed the veracity of the video. The objects were picked up on more than two types of radar, too. If "Sphere" were real life, it would probably look like these unearthly balls.

3. USS Theodore Roosevelt Incidents, 2014-2015

The man of the hour, US Navy Lt. Ryan Graves, put a face on arguably the most talked-about UFO encounter of the 2010s. UFO sightings were no one-offs for him, unlike most eyewitnesses. In a game-changing interview with "60 Minutes", the F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot recalled seeing UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) day after day for months on end when he was posted to the USS Theodore Roosevelt between 2014 and 2015. One such modern-day foo fighter, named Gimbal, is now the star of a declassified Pentagon video.

Other times, Graves saw flying objects that resembled "a cube inside a sphere", proof that an unidentified aerial phenomenon is always a totally different ballgame, every time.

2. Celestial Phenomenon of Basel, 1566 (Spectacle céleste de Bâle en 1566)

The fabled aerial phenomena of Basel in 1566 actually unfolded in three waves. In the morning of July 27, residents thought they saw the sun weeping "tears of blood". Later they beheld an unusual lunar eclipse. Then on the 7th of August, they witnessed "large black spheres" soaring "with great speed and precipitation" before the sun, "as if they led a fight", the historian Samuel Coccius wrote in the Flugblatt of Basel, now preserved. But as was normal for medieval Europeans, witnesses simply treated the events as Christian miracles. 

1. Celestial Phenomenon over Nuremberg, 1561 (Himmelserscheinung über Nürnberg 1561)

You can keep all your sophisticated gun camera footages and 4K iPhone videos because, honey, this UFO sighting is immortalized in a colorful woodcut engraving. At daybreak on April 14, 1561, the people of Nuremberg woke up to see a strange scene in the skies. High above the German city, they saw what could only be described as a conflict between flying objects, some of which crashed to the ground "with immense smoke". Of course, this was centuries before the Wright Brothers invented human flight.

The eerie cosmic show could be the most diverse UFO sighting of all time. The broadsheet that broke the news at the time described a variety of airborne objects, ranging from crescents, cylinders, spears and tubes to even crosses. Among the most notable shapes were "blood-red" globes that seemed to dart around the sun. You can still see the newspaper with its famous woodcut illustration at the Zentralbibliothek Zürich in Switzerland.

Are there any underwater habitats in the world?

It’s ironic that the one relatively mundane-looking set in "Sphere" has few faithful counterparts in real life. You’re probably more likely to find a USO than a deep-sea habitat like the one inhabited by Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson in the movie. Real-life underwater habitats aren’t exactly permanent structures.

What was once the largest underwater habitat and research facility in the world, the La Chalupa Research Laboratory, is now a coastal hotel, Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo.

For something closer to the Hollywood ideal of a submarine human habitat, there was the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station designed by NASA. James Cameron ("Titanic", "The Abyss") and Eugene Roddenberry Jr., son of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, were among the former crew members of the research station.

It’s true what they say. In space, no one can hear you swim.


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