Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-80 took a crew of five astronauts into a 17 day, 15 hour and 54 minute mission around the earth, the longest flight in the history of this vehicle. During this lengthy flight a very strange event occurred that even had crewman Dr. Story Musgrave unable to explain what he observed from the shuttle windows.
A large disc shaped object appeared below the Columbia. The shuttle was approximately, 190 Nautical miles high.
The disc was first observed to miraculously appear from out of nowhere, flying through the clouds below and progressing from right to left as the astronauts stared in utter amazement. The outer rim of the craft appeared to be rotating counter-clockwise. It was very large (compared to common space junk and breakaway ice), approximately 50 to 150 feet in diameter.
Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave, a Payload Specialist on the STS-80 Mission, was interviewed following the flight. As he viewed a videotape of the incident which showed lightning flashes in the atmosphere, the city lights of Denver, Colorado and other earthbound sights, he stated: "I don't know what it is. Whether it's a washer, debris, ice particles, I don't know. But it's characteristic of the thousands of things which I've seen. What is not so characteristic is it appears to come from no where. You would think that if it's facing the dark side or facing a side towards you which is not reflecting the sun, you would think that you would see something there. It's really impressive."