UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 5

Re: NASA Video Captures UFO In Orbit

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 15:30:53 +0100
Archived: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 15:27:06 -0400
Subject: Re: NASA Video Captures UFO In Orbit

>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 17:03:38 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
>Subject: Re: NASA Video Captures UFO In Orbit

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 15:53:51 +0100
>>Subject: Re: NASA Video Captures UFO In Orbit

>>>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 17:32:30 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
>>>Subject: Re: NASA Video Captures UFO In Orbit

>>>This "object" is very likely an optical reflection. This is
>>>supported by the fact that it appears only at the moment when
>>>the tumbling Shuttle liquid fuel tank is no longer illuminated
>>>by any sunlight and appears totally dark. The object would have
>>>been dark too if it was solid and also in the vicinity of the
>>>depleted fuel tank.

>>This so-called reasoning is fallacious. First the tank is still
>>illuminated. All that has happened is that the major axis of the
>>tumbling cylinder, hitherto nearly transverse to the line of
>>sight, has rotated to be more nearly longitudinal to the line of
>>sight. The sunlit surface is momentarily hidden by the
>>perspective, and reappears presently as the tank continues in
>>its rotation

>Hi Martin,

>Yes, the fuel tank is continuously illuminated by light from the
>Sun coming from the bottom in all the video frames. I just found
>it interesting that the tumbling fuel tank, a real 3D object,
>would go through different phases of illumination while the
>rotating "object" did not exhibit this effect. The fact that the
>"object" maintains a constant brightness when the fuel tank, in
>the orientation its in when the "object" first appears, is no
>longer reflecting sunlight suggests, to me at least, that the
>"object" is not 3D and thus cannot be a solid object in the
>immediate vicinity of the fuel tank.

>Optical reflections do exhibit such properties so I don't
>understand why you feel that my reasoning is fallacious.

I've just explained perfectly clearly. You said it must be a
reflection because "it appears only at the moment when [the
tank] appears totally dark. The object would have been dark too
if it was solid and in the vicinity". If you can't see why this
was a non sequitur then never mind.

>>Secondly this local change in the orientation of one object
>>bears no relation whatsoever to any possible illumination
>>geometry of an independently-moving second object. The idea
>>that the UAP ought to simultaneously become shadowed is

>Since your "independently-moving object" is also apparently
>rotating in a vertical axis, its illumination geometry would be

What part of "independently moving" do you not understand? Your
argument assumed that the tank and putative UFO would be *co-
dependently* moving and should thus exhibit correlated
chiaroscuro. Now do you understand?

>The "object" does not exhibit darker edges on its
>sides away from the Sun as one would expect if it was a real
>solid object.

One would indeed expect this, if it was (say) a Chinese
satellite. Maybe one would also expect a Zeta Reticulan rocket
probe to have the optical properties of a lump of tin. But if
that's an exhaustive list of options then we are indeed purblind
victims of Hynek's Poverty of Hypotheses. I used the acronym UAP
for a reason. One does not know, a priori, what properties
unknown phenomena may have. A sunlit thistledown or a lightning
ball may shine without having a shadowed side. This is why to
argue from the absence of the familiar optical properties of
lumps of tin is to resort to straw man (a type of argument with
which Listers will be familiar in the form of the objection that
because UFOs lack obvious rockets/fuel tanks/control surfaces
etc they can't get here from there and therefore must be

>>And the underlying assumption - that a genuine UAP would have
>>to be an intrinsically "dark" "solid" "object" visible only by
>>reflected sunlight - is a is a fanciful straw man in any case.

>If this "object" is indeed a TRUFO or non-manmade craft it may
>have ethereal properties that are not exhibited by the nuts and
>bolts objects that we are familiar with but

Well, blow me down, if it's not that same straw man being lugged
right back into the middle of the argument!

>as beings that rely
>on our experiences and hindered by our physical limitations, my
>"fanciful straw man" explanation is at least a rational one.

Eh? Now you think I'm describing "your" explanation as a straw
man?? You certainly know how to make a person's head spin!

>What would you suggest?

I suggest thinking clearly.

>>>The reasoning that this object is a
>>>reflection is confirmed by the observations that the
>>>is actually pointing towards the Sun and thus only appears to
>>>be "tracking" the fuel tank.


>>It doesn't really matter because neither interpretation can be
>>true except momentarily, and by chance. During the film the
>>"tripod" rotates in plan by almost 80 degrees relative to the
>>video frame of reference, which of course is locked onto the
>>straight inertial trajectory of the tank falling away below.
>>(The trajectory of the tank is obviously arbitrary in relation to
>>the position of the sun.) This is obviously far too great to match
>>any change of bearing to the sun. Neither the camera nor the
>>Shuttle reference frame is rotating at all (the Shuttle is in a
>>flattening trajectory near its final orbital altitude at this
>>time and traveling nose-first at maybe 170,000mph), never mind
>>spinning at a rate of 20deg/sec, and I know of no evidence of
>>any recent solar miracle of Old Testament proportions.

>Yes, one of the three "antennae" on this rotating "object" does
>seem to be pointing towards the fuel tank as if it is keeping it
>in its gunsight - but this reasoning is not only fallacious, it
>is not even based on reality as those who have examined the
>video clip will attest to.

Nick, this inapt and inept response yields no clue as to what
you think I'm talking about, and I'm almost past caring.

>>The "object" does in some respects resemble a reflection in
>>glass, and I tend to agree that a secondary or tertiary
>>reflection from internal Shuttle surfaces is probably what it
>>would turn out to be, if we could re-run the event. But
>>identifying it as such is not so easy and the arguments offered
>>here are specious.

>We are in agreement here Martin. One additional reason that I
>think we are correct that this "object" is a reflection (my
>guess is that the "object" is an optical reflection within the
>camera itself rather from an internal Shuttle surface)

I disagree. I find an internal camera lens reflection very
unlikely for various reasons, some of which I've already

>is that
>in a few video frames with both the fuel tank and the "object",
>they both go slightly out-of-focus. This in itself would suggest
>that the "object" must be real and about as far away as the fuel
>tank since reflections within camera lenses would remain sharp
>and in-focus but because the Earth behind also goes out-of-focus
>this blurring must be attributed to camera motion which will
>also blur the optical reflections within camera lenses.

This common blurring, if it occurs, is not a clear separator of
the two hypotheses. The distance to the 150-foot fuel tank is
large. A rough estimate on the basis of likely angular scale
suggests it is thousands of feet away. In this case both tank
and Earth are far beyond the lens focal distance and are
effectively at infinity. If you defocus the lens you will blur

>Don't spend too much attention to this particular fuel tank UFO
>sighting made by the STS-115 crew which is found on a NASA

Now at last we really are in agreement!

>Instead we should join the news media and continue to
>ask questions about the real UFO - along with the few irregular
>shaped small particles that were also present - that caught
>NASA's attention and is also on video. This UFO has still not
>adequately been explained but which may prove to be a Chinese
>spy satellite or even an American spacecraft that belongs to the
>parallel and still secret military/intelligence space program.


>(Thanks to Paul Scott Anderson for bring this other NASA UFO
>video to my attention).

I watched this video yesterday. I saw clips of a trio of small
bright particles, one evidently tumbling, and of no great
interest. One of the panellists mentions another object caught
on camera which, it is said, may or may not have been a certain
Shuttle component, which is being investigated. There didn't
appear to be any film of this. Or did I miss it? I confess it
took so long to buffer and download that I skipped through the
bit at the end.

Martin Shough

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



[ 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