A ‘UFO’ Hovers Over Russians Protesting Vladimir Putin

Image from amateur video shot over Bolotnaya Square in Moscow Saturday.

Just what was that thing hovering over Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on Saturday? There was a demonstration by a reported 25,000 pro-democracy protesters, angry about alleged election fraud by the party of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Several of them shot video of police helicopters hovering overhead, and something else as well. Take a look:

As often happens, European and American media jumped on the story, though they generally were careful to put a little distance between themselves and the idea of a genuine UFO. The U.K.'s Daily Mail:

"As with most apparent alien craft sightings, the quality of the footage and picture is poor, and the shape or size of the object is difficult to work out … But witnesses to the UFO 'sighting' insisted it looked like it was flying without a rotor blade or engine."

The Telegraph: "Clearly not a helicopter, the silent UFO pulsated coloured lights and had five extended tendrils or pylons emanating from the body of the vehicle."

Vitaliy Matveev of the Russian news site RT.com took a calmer view, in a story titled "Overblown Drone." He reported he saw it for himself, and recognized it as a remote-controlled camera platform, held aloft by five small helicopter rotors:

"The drone camera, aka 'the Moscow UFO,' was launched by the Ridus news agency - an independent community of 'civilian journalists,' as they tend to call themselves, which is becoming increasingly popular among Russian bloggers, with anyone potentially being able to contribute to their news reports."

Ridus provides a picture of its drone at a different event; take a look HERE. Matveev gently points out that the Daily Mail included an aerial view of the demonstration, presumably taken by the, er, "UFO."