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Cheyenne Man Spots UFOs Over City; Don Day Says Wyoming Not Under Alien Attack

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming meteorologist Don Day crushed dreams of close encounters on Wednesday when he explained that a reported UFO sighting in Cheyenne was probably not a glimpse of alien craft, but rather a set of Starlink satellites.

Cowboy State Daily reader Will Lincoln on Wednesday told the outlet he saw a string of lights traveling in a line going from the west to the east directly over Cheyenne at about 4:45 a.m.

“I counted at least eight of them,” Lincoln said. “I Googled this sort of thing and SpaceX released some satellites in the past that seem to match the flight pattern I witnessed. Maybe it was something similar.”

Lincoln was correct, Day said. Starlink is a satellite internet network owned by SpaceX (which is owned by South African billionaire Elon Musk) that provides internet access to 33 countries.

“This is not the first time people have seen these satellites and thought they were UFOs or something else,” Day told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “There was a launch last week and when these satellites first go into orbit, they line up. It’s pretty amazing to see, because they’re so aligned and well-organized.”

When Lincoln checked back to Cowboy State Daily to see if the mystery was solved, he said he was “pretty sure the flying lights were headed to Devils Tower,” likely referring to the science fiction movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

That was not the case. Opposite direction, in fact.



Day sent a graphic showing the satellite movements on radar.

“These are the new Starlink satellites. They line up like this soon after they are launched. They’re now in Texas,” Day said.

There have been several instances of Starlink satellites being confused for UFOs or alien spacecraft, with reports submitted from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Sydney, Australia and other places within the last year.

Unlike typical internet service providers, which only send up one satellite at a time, Starlink sends up several satellites at once, since its satellites are smaller in size.

“They show up as these little lines of moving objects that can be quite bright,” Day said.

As someone who watches the night sky regularly, Day said that it was actually quite exciting to see the Starlink satellites after a launch.

“They go around the Earth several times before they disperse, so there are more opportunities for people to see them in the sky,” he said.

But he recommended those with their eyes on the skies check out websites or apps that track what satellites are in orbit before panicking about potential alien invaders.

Day would not say whether has seen a UFO himself, though, but did refer to the famous tagline of “The X-Files” series: “The truth is out there.”

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Elon Musk’s StarLink Broadband Giving Rural Wyoming Residents 100 Times Faster Internet

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming is rural, a fact greatly appreciated by those who come here to enjoy the state’s wide open spaces.

But that rural nature comes with a handicap — a problem finding reliable, high-speed internet connections, a necessity for most in our ultra-connected society.

But Wyoming isn’t being left off of the world wide web.

The nonprofit group Connected Nation recently released a report showing that Wyoming is actually one of the top states in the nation for school internet connectivity. 

The group’s data shows that Wyoming is sixth in the nation when it comes to helping each school district reach a download speed of 1 megabyte per second per student — the Federal Communications Commission’s recommended bandwidth to allow for digital learning in every classroom.

Hawaii actually tops the list, with 100% school district connectivity reported. Wyoming comes in at 72%.

There are many options available now to Wyoming internet users that help keep the connectivity rate so high. 

Services such as TCT’s fiber network in northwest Wyoming (which covers three counties and provides download speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second), Dish Network and Direct TV satellite providers and cable services such as Spectrum or CenturyLink help keep residents of the state’s larger communities connected.

But for residents who live outside of city limits, reliable service is harder to come by. The Wyoming State Broadband Program reports that average download speeds for rural residents is about 30 megabytes per second – relatively slow compared to users inside communities who can stream video at around 200 mbps.

But there’s a new game in town that is making a big difference for those rural residents.

Elon Musk’s StarLink satellite service has so far launched over 1,500 small satellites into space — a fraction of the 12,000 satellites that Musk’s SpaceX has permission to put into orbit around the planet. Using those satellites, Musk plans to provide global high-speed internet service.

For users like Pam and Werner Noesner, who live about 8 miles outside of Cody, StarLink is the best option that they’ve found.

“We had TCT wireless connection,” Werner explained, “and the best we were getting on a download was seven megabytes, or six. With the StarLink services we’re seeing speeds of 150 megabytes per second, sometimes well over 200 megabytes per second.”

StarLink is still in the beta testing phase, which means that current users have to contend with minor disruptions as the network is created and adjusted. But according to the Noesners, it’s worth it for the speed of the service.

“These satellites that they’re launching for StarLink are closer to the earth than HughesNet or ViaSat,” Pam explained. “So they’re closer to the earth, which means you get better speed, they don’t have to go as far.”

And StarLink is easy to install, Werner pointed out, with no technician required – just a few tools and a clear line of sight to the sky. 

One other reason the Noesners decided to try out the StarLink system, Werner said, is that they are impressed with Elon Musk’s vision. 

“He’s an engineer that has money, okay? So he knows how to do it from an engineering perspective,” he said. “Because he says, ‘Oh, you want better internet? Well, we have to put up some satellites.’ ‘Oh, to get the satellites there, we’ve got to build rockets.’ So you know, SpaceX.”

“His intention, though, was to deliver internet to many places who had none, like Indian reservations and places like that,” Pam said. 

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