By Bhavna Sookha

A professor from the University of KwaZulu-Natal has quashed reports that there were sightings of an unidentified flying object in Phoenix last week.

Arthur Hughes, professor of physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who viewed the video footage, said the object on film was not an unidentified flying object.

"It couldn't have been a fireball as they don't usually last that long. It also could not have been a satellite as they pass over quite quickly. Satellites go around the earth in 90 minutes," he said.

When questioned about whether the university had received any other calls about unusual sightings last Sunday, Hughes said that he had received no other calls.

"I have also heard of no other reports of unusual sightings for that period.

"It was the planet Venus. Venus is visible in the early parts of the morning," he said.

But the woman who saw the object, Roshnie Naidu, says that she knows what she saw and it was definitely not Venus.

"Initially I was very sceptical about UFOs and alien sightings but after I experienced what I experienced for hours on Sunday morning, I am more open-minded," she said.

Naidu's husband, Shrirama, who also saw the huge light, said they had expected people to be sceptical when they discussed what they had seen with each other.

"We expected this reaction. But we both could not have been mistaken," he said.