THE ‘MOTHERSHIP’ OVER MT. TOM: On the evening of June 9th, a spectacular array of UFO-shaped clouds appeared above California’s Eastern Sierra mountain range. The display was a sensation on social media as people in nearby valleys began posting pictures of the sunset-colored armada. One photographer, however, was in the mountains; ultrarunner Jeff Kozak of Bishop CA captured this edge-on view from 11,100 feet:
“I was topping out on Morgan Pass at sunset when I looked south to see what I thought was The Mothership hovering over Mt Tom!” says Kozak.
In fact, it was a lenticular cloud. Lenticular clouds form downwind of mountain ranges where the air organizes itself into starship-sized waves. Although they appear stationary, moist air is constantly moving through them, condensing at the apex of the wave. Wind scults the clouds into giant saucers and voilà–spaceships in the sky.