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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 16

UFO luminosity - some observations

From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 14:47:35 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:34:11 -0400
Subject: UFO luminosity - some observations

I thought it might be interesting to set some data and speculations
before the lists to which I subscribe, in the interest of generating
some comments on one of the more interesting areas of UFO
physics. The material below is also accessible at


It often is said that we know very little about UFOs. The
following is some of my "beg to differ". However, argumentative
persons should note that the working hypothesis used in the
following is

1) UFOs have an objective existence as solid objects which emit

2) UFOs as solid objects have a body and an area outside the body.
This "sheath" area is where many luminous effects exist.

3) UFO luminosity is probably the result of energetic processes
which may very well be technologically generated.

So on to the points of interest...

.	There are several categories of UFO luminosity:
a) Full body, b) Patchy body, c) Rim lighting, d) Point sources,
e) Beams.

.	Full body luminosity is usually observed on objects in flight.
In rare cases it is observed in a landed or hovering UFO, however,
in those cases, the object usually almost immediately engages in
flight. Occupants are (I believe) never observed near UFOs in the
full body state (in fact, landed UFOs rarely emit luminosity, except
in a few cases where emissions from the base of the UFO are seen
to continue as the UFO hovers). In some cases, the full body
luminosity flashes on and off in a way frequently compared to a
flourescent light startup (this was reported at Levelland
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufo/report/571102.htm), 1:15 AM).
At my website, the Beaver Falls, PA photos
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufoextlu.htm) represent
one of the best examples of full body luminosity. Further, the
Levelland case indicates some relationship between full body
luminosity and vehicle interference effects (the report in
question is not currently included in the summary - however, the
witness observed the intensity of his headlights varied inversely
with the brightness of the UFO luminosity. It is unknown whether
this could be accounted for by the "washing out" of the headlights
by the brightness of the UFO).

.	Patchy body light is usually observed on slow flying or
hovering objects. Sometimes this is exhibited as a full body
covering which displays different colors on different portions of
the object’s geometry (i.e. a dome which differs in color from the
body of the object). Other times, as in the Tulsa, OK photo
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufonearl.htm), there are areas
of darkness between the lighting patches, and the patches can
be seen to be fairly well delineated.

.	Rim lighting can be part of a patchy body light or can be
the only lighting displayed by an object. This is sometimes
perceived as “portholes” and sometimes as a solid band. It has
also been seen to flash in sequence and in unison. Sometimes the
rim lighting is seen to provide the illusion of rotation. As shown in
the Moreland
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufo/report/590713.htm) case,
it seems this is distinct from the sequential flashing of the sort
observed in the Exeter
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufo/report/650903.htm) case,
and actually represents some form of movement around the rim
of distinct sources. The Moreland case, among others,
also suggests that as with the previous two categories, these
“lights” are actually some sort of plasma, probably a cold plasma,
and, further, that the generation of this plasma is distinct from that
produced by combustion, in that insufficient turbulence exists at
the boundary layer to produce the typical loud noise that such
“flames” would be expected to generate.

.	To the best of my knowledge, there are few close
observations of point source lighting. If the Villas Boas case is to
be believed, his observation indicates that these are bright areas
of the surface of the object rather than incandescent lights as we
know them. Further, assuming the validity of the Petit-Rechain
photo from Belgium
we can see that the tips of a triangular UFO show lights which
may also be attributable to a plasma phenomenon. In that photo,
one can observe interesting striations of density in the light, and
wisps which appear to be partly detached from the source. The
example of what the Moreland case revealed about the rim
lighting of UFOs makes me cautiously willing to consider that
point sources are, like the rest of UFO lighting, manifestations
of some energetic phenomenon, likely plasmas, near the surface
of the UFO.

.	Beams appear to fall into two classes - normal and slow.
Normal light beams behave like searchlights or lasers, and are
likely to be just such phenomena (though one may note that a
laser can be produced from a plasma, and it is possible that UFOs
simply control their plasmas in such a way as to cause lasing of
various sorts). Slow beams, as observed at Trancas, Argentina
seem, on the other hand, in view of their propagation speed
(3 to 20 feet per second), to be some sort of plasma phenomenon.

Now, in looking at the various cases, one can come to some
tentative conclusions:

.	Most photos of luminosity show some form of limb
darkening, strengthening the idea that UFO luminosity is a
plasma. (See, for instance, the Tulsa and Beaver Falls images).

.	UFOs must therefore input energy into the near surface
area to generate luminosity. This energy does not appear to be
heat energy (since UFOs emit relatively low levels of heat in
close encounters, and since the expected sound is absent), and
thus is more likely to be the result of the injection of electrons
(or other particles), UV light, x-rays, or gamma rays into the
near surface area. Because of the difficultly of creating plasmas
at atmospheric density and temperature, it is also possible
(especially in light of the luminosity of some reported submarine
UFOs (http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufo/report/670720.htm))
that UFOs create an area of lower atmospheric density near their

.	UFOs may maintain the near surface area ionization by
emitting energy into the near surface area across the entire surface
of the object, or from localized areas (the rim being a likely
suspect for disc shaped UFOs, the points for spindle shaped or
elliptical UFOs). Further, it is possible that maintaining this
ionization even when not in the full body state makes it easier
to go to the full body state.

.	The maintenance of this ionization may also benefit from
the injection of ionized atoms or molecules into the sheath, much
as a gas laser sometimes requires replacement or refreshing of its
contents. This may explain the occasional chemical odors and the
occasional presence of apparently chemical related burns and
rashes in close encounter cases
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/eyeskin.htm). On the other
hand, these odors and substances may be a by-product of the
dissipation of energy injected into the sheath (for instance, could
formaldehyde, a frequently reported smell, be produced by
chemical reactions in an atmospheric plasma without the injection
of potential reactors into the sheath?).

.	I would suggest that the point source
lighting may well represent the localized injection of energy or
energetic atoms / molecules into critical locations of the sheath
area when the UFO is in the non-full body state. Some cases
suggest these even may be visible in the full body state when the
full body emission wavelengths are sufficiently different from
those near these localized sources. On the other hand, point
sources may also represent random or sporadic lasing of specific
areas of the sheath under certain conditions of energy emission or
local plasma state. I am skeptical that these represent lighting in the
sense of our aircraft lighting.

I am further skeptical that any of the
luminosity represents a by product of a propulsion system, since
UFOs clearly can fly while in the completely darkened state (note
however that one case does show a rim opening that became
luminous immediately prior to the witness feeling a force impulse
which knocked him down. This case, which appeared in "Above
Top Secret" is of unknown reliability - comments would be
appreciated). Therefore, I suspect that all luminosity are
manifestations  of an air sheath for ensuring laminar flow
over the UFO body at high speeds.

One other interesting point - a few UFO photos show small
detached points and elongated spikes of luminosity
(http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufomslum.htm). It is
possible that these represent the reaction of moisture with
the electrical and magnetic field of the sheath, since some
literature indicates a similar phenomenon happens in highly
charged clouds.

I also consider it possible that UFO luminosity represents a
laser-type phenomenon, in the sense that an energy population
inversion might be necessary to allow UFO luminosity to propagate
from the base to the edge of the sheath. I am currently attempting
to find some mathematical tools which will allow me to calculate
some related information:

.	The amount of energy needed to create a luminous plasma
at various densities and pressures from atmospheric gases.

.	What controls the ability of photons to make it from the
inside of the plasma to the outside and how can we interpret limb
darkening in an attempt to derive the density of the UFO sheath.

I hope this is interesting to the lists, and I'd certainly appreciate any
comments or clarification requests.

Mark Cashman, creator of The Temporal Doorway at
- Original digital art, writing, and UFO research -
Author of SF novels available at...