A purported “alien” stone was recently uncovered near Volgograd, Russia, which has been touted by UFO enthusiasts as the possible fossilized remains of a flying saucer.

As reported in the Metro, Scott Waring of the website UFO Sightings Daily described the object as a possible military drone; but not any variety from the modern era:

‘It looks to me like the stone disks I’ve seen in Mars NASA photos, which leads me to conclude that this UFO is a military drone, but it was probably damaged during the Mars attack and got off course, crashing on Earth.’

The “Mars attack” described here, rather than being a reference to the 1996 film of similar name, is a reference to a belief held among many in the alternative community which entails concepts of advanced ancient warfare between past civilizations that may have occurred here on Earth, as well as on planets like Mars.

Despite the unlikelihood of that scenario, the object, though unusual in appearance, might be familiar to geologists, and in truth, I had recognized it just as well. Interestingly, there is a bit of history behind the concept of “fossil UFOs” such as this, although the explanation for how these stone formations are made is far from being anything otherworldly.


An earlier reference to formations such as these had employed the name “fossil UFOs”, though obviously in jest, within William R. Corliss’s Sourcebook Project. The entry for this read as follows:

Geologists have discovered strange disc-shaped features in slate deposits in California. The features, at Yreka, are between 2 and 7 centimeters across and 2 to 4 millimeters thick; some have centers stained with the iron oxides. One geologist, Nancy Lindsley-Griffin of the University of Nebraska, has already dubbed the sauce are shaped features, “unidentified fossil-like objects.”

Geologists discovered the UFOs in bedding planes of the slate, formed from the ocean bottom that was deposited between 400 and 600 million years ago. The objects are puzzling because they lack the symmetry that fossils of living organisms usually display. They are also too large to be the droppings of any creature alive at the time, and do not look like concretions, such is agates, form by natural chemical processes. Lindsley-Griffin says they resemble “very tiny bicycle wheels, with a central core and an outer rim, but with most of the spokes missing.”

An earlier prevailing theory about these “fossil UFOs” had been that they were actually fossilized jellyfish. However, one might note that in the passage above, these objects, while described as “too large to be the droppings of any creature alive at the time,” are later compared with “very tiny bicycle wheels,” which seems rather contradictory. It is possible that the latter description had been in relation to various formations known as concretions, which the passage notes a bit earlier; in truth, while the Sourcebook entry suggested concretions as an unlikely explanation for the so-called “fossil UFOs”, I remain of the opinion that this is, in all probability, precisely what we are seeing.


About 300 miles away from Yreka, where the previous “fossil UFOs” had been found, a beach exists along the California coast known as “Bowling Ball Beach.” As one might have imagined, the name is derived from a number of massive, spherical boulders that are scattered along the shoreline, which are the result of concretion that occurs in sedimentary rock or soil. The process entails precipitation of mineral “cement” that lead to formation of rounded, stony shapes around an organic nucleus, resulting in a large stone that is often spherical or egg-shaped. It is not hard to imagine conditions under which a more flattened, disc-shaped formation might occur also, especially in larger instances.

The literalist interpretation that these large concretions are the fossilized remains of ancient alien vessels has similarly been presented at the Above Top Secret website in this thread, dealing with the topic under the premise of being a “300 million year old U.F.O. fossil”. The story dealt with large disc-shaped stones that were discovered near Shangrao, in the Jiangxi Province, China, a number of years ago. These objects, once again, are obviously concretions of the same variety discussed here.

An interesting side note, however, involves the fact that such concretions do actually appear in the visible topography of Mars. In 2004, the Opportunity rover managed to capture images of a number of these small hematite concretions, which were nicknamed “blueberries” at the time, as seen below.


To the untrained observer, such rounded formations might indeed appear out of the ordinary. However, a general knowledge of geology shows us precisely why such formations occur. Nonetheless, we may better understand Waring’s earlier interpretation of the Russian concretion’s resemblance to similar objects observed on Mars in NASA images.

Hence, while seemingly otherworldly, and perhaps even interplanetary in their appearance, perhaps a better descriptor for these odd looking geological wonders would be inner-planetary, for despite their similarity to flying saucers, they are quite earthly indeed.

Headline image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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  1. I too believe these items are just weathered slate and minerals. Have seen some odd stuff around the USA while rock hunting in my 20’s.

  2. Unfortunately, the world seems to be more and more influenced by ignorant people who make up insane, random, ‘theories’ based on absolutely nothing, or based on their own imagined “whatever they want to make up” and then imply it is, somehow, the true explaination.

    I have always been interested in rocks which seem to make little to no sense, such as weird iron oxide concretions, tektites with radiating bubble lines, borytroidal (sp) minerals, etc. Just because they aren’t easy to understand.

    The answer lies in the inability to understand millions of years, and that something which forms over a million year time period might look extremely different than something that took a human lifetime (or less) to form.

    To put things in perspective, if one were to count to 65 million, counting every day, doing nothing but count one-per-second it would take 3.5 years to count to 65 million if one counted 13 hours every day.

    To count to a billion, doing thesame thing, counting for 13 hours every day, 1 per second? It would take 63 years.

    Now, imagine that every one of those 40,000 seconds every day were a DAY IN LENGTH instead of being 1 second.

    So, big numbers are hard to grasp.

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