Home » Huge UFO-shaped cloud spotted in California draws ‘Nope’ movie comparisons

Huge UFO-shaped cloud spotted in California draws ‘Nope’ movie comparisons

by Mahmmod Shar

By Brooke Kato

A cloud formation baring eerily resemblance to a flying saucer out of Jordan Peele’s sci-fi film “Nope” shocked California residents this week.

Onlookers couldn’t believe what appeared to be an unidentified flying object looming in the sky near Palm Springs. They took to social media to share the jaw-dropping discovery and offer wild theories about its existence.

“The cloud was HUGE,” screenwriter Brian Lynch told SFGATE in a message after he and his family noticed it around 1 p.m. Tuesday. “It was hanging over us. … My kid (who has not seen ‘Nope’) thought it was really cool.” 

He shared the out-of-this-world spectacle in a snap on Twitter, tagging Peele and prompting other awestruck users to crack some “Nope” jokes in the replies.

The giant, saucer-looking cloud loomed over the Palm Springs area Tuesday afternoon.
Twitter cloud
Onlookers brought it to the attention of Peele, whose film, “Nope,” follows a sinister apparition in the sky.

“NOPE!!” the official IMAX account tweeted.

“Whoa,” film producer John Cohen weighed in.

The Coachella Valley’s surprising sighting popped up on several people’s socials, as eyewitnesses clamored to get a good look — and a good ‘gram.

Dr. James Danoff-Burg, director of conservation at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, said he was guiding a tour of visitors when they noticed the display. He told SFGATE his group compared the sight to a UFO as well.

But fear not, the formation was not an alien spacecraft with the intent to abduct — it’s a common type of cloud that apparently appears often over the zoo’s nature preserve. The phenomenon is a lenticular cloud, which has been described as looking like “stacked pancakes.”

“That day was exceptional as we had one that was stacked three levels high — a rarity!” Danoff-Burg exclaimed. “They are really quite spectacular.”

The famed actor refused to take credit for the July spectacle in the sky.
@JordanPeele/ @CakesMcGee305 / T

Lenticular clouds, which typically occur in winter months, form from wind blowing across hills and mountains, meteorologist Cindy Palmer of the National Weather Service told SFGATE last year when the clouds were spotted over the Bay Area.

“You have to have a wind that’s very uniform in one direction,” Palmer explained to the outlet in 2021. “As it’s moving over the mountain and the way the air lifts, the moisture condenses and forms the clouds.”

Some thought a sighting in July was a marketing ploy for “Nope,” which hit theaters that same month. Peele refused to take credit, tweeting, “That one’s not mine.”

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