Unidentified Flying Animal Swoops Past Deer in Trail Cam Footage

by Jennifer Shea

A mysterious flying object – perhaps an animal – swooped by a deer in some trail cam footage submitted by a Newport resident.

The animal appears in the footage as a bright, narrow blur. Some suggested it could be a bat or a flying squirrel.

Flying Animal Likely Flying Squirrel or Bat

Newport resident Ken Beland sent the footage in to the Bangor Daily News, assuring them that the flying object was likely an animal of some kind.

“I enjoy playing the ‘what is it?’ game in the trail cam series. Here is another night photo with uncertainty that you are welcome to use,” Beland said. “What is certain is the spike buck on the left side of the picture. What is less certain is the UFO to the right of the deer and closer to the camera.”

Beland explained that he saw two possibilities to explain away the flying object.

“This photo is from 2011, the first year I had a trail camera. I came up with two possibilities: Bat or flying squirrel,” he said. “This one looks like a bat to me, looks like it flying instead of the gentle glide of the flying squirrel.”

And Beland knows what a flying squirrel looks like in the dark. He said this image looks different.

“I once got an image of a flying squirrel gliding by camera as I approached it in the dark,” Beland added. “A picture of a human and flying squirrel is not as cool as ‘a buck and a bat.’”

Animals Flying and Reclusive Caught on Camera

The Bangor Daily News has made a regular feature out of sharing cool trail cam footage. In another recent installment, they came across a photo of a deer leaping a 50-inch high fence.

“We have a trail camera set on our fence line trying to catch a picture of the mountain lions that regularly visit us here in north central Idaho,” camera owner Linda Lechner said. “The single strand of barbed wire is 50 inches above the ground.”

The leaping deer in the photo is not alone. Behind it stands another deer, perhaps waiting its turn to jump.

While it’s not quite an unidentified flying object, the flying deer is nonetheless pretty impressive. 

Still, deer sightings are relatively common compared to wolverine sightings. And according to Smithsonian magazine, Yellowstone National Park biologists were recently delighted to capture a wolverine on camera on Dec. 4.

Wolverines are solitary animals who are part of the weasel family. They live in upper parts of the Northern Hemisphere where spring snow exists. Scientists estimate there are about 300 wolverines in the lower 48 states, per the New York Times

The park had installed cameras around its grounds in 2014 to film the habitat’s cougar population. But the cameras have caught other animals on film in the meanwhile, including one wolverine traversing the Mammoth Hot Springs area.

It just goes to show how cameras can sometimes capture scenes that don’t happen when humans are present.