NBC
A UFO spotted in footage of the Olympics opening ceremony on NBC.
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updated 7/31/2012 2:20:35 PM ET 2012-07-31T18:20:35

About a billion Earthlings watched the Olympics opening ceremony Friday night. Did an out-of-this-world spectator tune in as well? A dimly lit, disk-shape object was spotted hovering above the stadium in NBC footage of the ceremony, and the Web has since come alive with exhaustive analysis of this "Olympic UFO."

Goodyear
An image posted to the Goodyear Blimp "Spot the Blimp" website.

Several people who spotted the object hovering in the corner of their TV screen Friday (July 27) recorded it and posted the footage to YouTube. The disk appears to have a dome rising from its center, giving it the look of a classic flying saucer. [ Video ]

Sleuthing by the UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer, founder of the blog BadUFOs, has turned up high-resolution images of a Goodyear Blimp parading over the Olympics opening ceremony. The images, posted by Londoners to the Goodyear Blimp's "Spot the Blimp" website, show a flying object above the Olympic Stadium that clearly bears a striking resemblance to the so-called Olympic UFO. But what looked like a rising dome in NBC's low-resolution footage resolves itself into the smoothly curving upper half of the blimp. [7 Things Most Often Mistaken for UFOs]

"Remember that these photos are taken from the website of the Goodyear Blimp. And I think those people know their own Blimp when they see it," Sheaffer wrote. "The resemblance between this object and the unknown object in the video is obvious."

Final confirmation came from Goodyear itself late last night. "Wow we really seem to have caused a #UFO phenomenon!" @goodyear_uk wrote on Twitter. "[S]orry to disappoint guys! We still think a blimp is pretty cool though!"

Still, some UFO believers aren't convinced. One Twitter user replied, "not so sure about that!"

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover  or Life's Little Mysteries @llmysteries.  We're also on  Facebook  and  Google+.

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