UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 1

Re: More UFO Fleets Over Mexico - Shough

From: Martin Shough <mshough.nul>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2005 14:28:05 +0100
Fwd Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 10:49:31 -0400
Subject: Re: More UFO Fleets Over Mexico - Shough

>From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 09:02:32 -0700
>Subject: Re: More UFO Fleets Over Mexico

>>From: Kyle King <kyleking.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 22:10:49 -0700 (PDT)
>>Subject: Re: More UFO Fleets Over Mexico


>>. . . this is a non-starter. Balloons unless and until
>>evidence emerges to the contrary.


>It's a no-brainer: they can't have been balloons. The key reason
>for this you didn't mention, but others have. The objects
>remained in the same relative positions with respect to each
>other - hundreds of them, for as long as the video showed them,
>which was over many seconds. This was more than enough time to
>disclose the influence of turbulence had these been balloons.

>Turbulence in the planetary boundary layer - that lowest layer
>of the atmosphere extending from several hundred feet up to
>several thousand ft - would have caused balloons to disperse and
>move relative to each other's positions. Even a small amount of
>dispersion would have shown up in the video in a few seconds'
>time. But it didn't. The reported date/time of the video
>indicates that the turbulent layer would have had plenty of time
>to rise up above several hundred feet, by 8:30 in the morning.
>And the fact that the objects showed up as significant-sized
>orbs on the video indicate that if they had been ordinary toy
>balloons, they could not have been above a height of a couple
>hundred ft.

>If somehow there had been no turbulence, a seeming impossibility
>for the low daytime atmosphere, there would then have been some
>wind shear. Wind shear would then have continually sheared out
>the formation of balloons, had they been balloons. Ask Martin
>Shough if you need confirmation of the above.

>Therefore, not balloons.

>If you need another reason, it is that a balloon is very
>difficult to inflate with a proper mixture of lighter-than air
>gas plus possible ballast, such as to get it to travel
>horizontally, neither rising nor sinking. Try it some time with
>just one balloon, then extend the difficulty to several hundred
>balloons. And even if that impossibility were somehow
>surmounted, all such balloons would need to have risen to about
>the same general height somehow and then ceased rising any
>further. Another impossibility.

>Therefore, these objects remain unidentified, i.e., UFOs.

Hi Jim

Since you mention me: For what it's worth my own ill-informed
opinion (I haven't studied the video and have now lost the link)
is that turbulence and wind shear would be expected to disperse
a free cluster of toy balloons pretty quickly. Some points:

1) It would be useful to have some weather data for the time and
place as well as accurate info on at least the true angular
sizes of these objects. A 1 ft balloon (say) at 200 ft subtends
about half the diameter of the moon so isn't by any means a tiny
object. Can the angular size(s) be derived from the video and
camera specs?

2) Santiago Ytturia Garza describes the objects as "luminous
objects flying in perfect formation contrasting with the blue
sky and white clouds". It ought be possible to derive rough
angular rates from the cloud background. Can it be shown that
the angular rate is inconsistent with winds at the altitude
indicated by the angular subtense of a toy balloon?

3) Degree of _uniformity_ of angular size would be a useful
measure. If they are all close to the same angular size then
this would also indicate minimal vertical dispersal, arguing
that if they are balloons they are not far from the release site
and still at low altitude, in the most turbulent region of the
atmosphere. If on the other hand there is a large vertical
dispersal then they could be higher, but then wind shear should,
as you say, be evident over tens of seconds.

4) You mention _constancy_ of angular size over time: Would
commercial toy helium balloons achieve neutral buoyancy at a
couple of hundred feet (assuming your angular calculation is
accurate)? I don't think so. Moreover I don't think that
"several hundred" randomly-filled helium balloons would be
neutrally buoyant at the _same_ altitude, with reference to 3)
above. Especially early in the morning you'd expect rising gas
balloons to be warming and expanding and tending to increase
their climb rates, erratically, due to solar heating, not
tending to stall uniformly.

5) It's possible of course that a cluster of balloons might be
tied together, negating some of the force of 3) and 4). But
"several hundred"? An extraordinary number to be tied in a
cluster. On the other hand, if they were tied then you'd have to
factor in to 4) the weight of maybe thousands of yards of string
tying all the balloons together! Could be the ballast you need
to keep the cluster down at low altitude, I suppose, but if the
angular size of the whole cluster can be estimated then it might
be possible to prove the need for an impossibly long and heavy
"cat's cradle" of string to keep hundreds of far-apart balloons
tied together in "perfect formation".

6) If they aren't tied in a cluster but still stay all at same
altitude, for something like a minute, as I think was reported,
then surely they couldn't be toy balloons - unless there were
some _very_ unusual stratified atmospheric conditions somehow
confining them to a narrow layer, and nocturnal horizontal
stratification tends to be disrupted by vertical mixing due to
solar heating around dawn. What's the local topography like
where the 60 second film was shot? Could there be a downdraft
(due to something like so-called mountain and valley winds or a
sea-breeze circulation) that would keep balloons from rising? It
would be interesting to see radiosonde and winds-aloft data.
Even then I don't see a "perfect formation" being likely, if
indeed that accurately describes the video.

Martin Shough

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com