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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > May > May 22

Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 16:10:40 +0100
Archived: Tue, 22 May 2012 11:31:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England

>From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 09:11:19 -0400
>Subject: Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England

>>From: Martin Shough<parcellular.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 11:25:58 +0100
>>Subject: Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England

>>>From: William Treurniet<wtreurniet.nul>
>>>To: post.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 14:54:52 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England

>>>>From: Martin Shough<parcellular.nul>
>>>>Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 16:20:43 +0100
>>>>Subject: Re: Unusual Craft Over Reading, England


>>>Thank you Martin, for mentioning that possible explanation.
>>>Maybe not a soap bubble, but a mylar balloon?

>>Also possible.

>>>A problem with it
>>>though is that the black band in the object has a vertical
>>>orientation. Presumably the horizon is horizontal in England.

>>It is the camera axis that has a (near)vertical orientation,
>>pointed "at the sky". The up/down of this frame orientation is
>>arbitrary in relation to gravity. The orientation of the band on
>>this apparently shiny spheroid is unknown.

>A camera on a tripod tilted upward as far as it will go has an
>angle to the ground of about 60 degrees. Up/down relative to the
>object is not arbitrary, so the band's orientation appears to be

There you go, some quantitative information. It's a start. If
this elevation limit is true for all possible camera/tripod
arrangements, and assuming the tripod was levelled on flat
ground, and if neither the tripod platform gimbal nor the camera
body had any freedom of rotation around the orthogonal line-of-
sight axis (not necessarily so, in my experience of tripods),
then you have an argument. In that case the band could be
roughly vertical with respect to gravity.

But even if this is true, the earth horizon (perhaps 40-50 deg
or more below the elevation of the object if the camera is
elevated at 60 degrees - "aimed at the sky" to film an object
that "flew overhead") is not the only source of possible
reflections in a nearby bubble, nor is the dark band the only
possible reflection visible in the surface.

The "vertical" band only appears in part of the video, and
actually merges into a more permanent pair of dark arcs around
the "upper" and "lower" limbs of the disc. As the object drifts
to the left, the band appears to rotate across the face of the
object towards the left and vanish around its curve, leaving a
bright disc. The dark arcs at top and bottom remain. This
suggests to me the following possible scenario that you could
perhaps try to rule out:

A test with a bubble or a glass sphere would be interesting, to
see how the reflected images migrate around the surface with the
changing angular elevation, but I wonder if at a moderate
elevation like 45 deg or so the horizon reflection may appear
mirrored in the top and bottom of the bubble, instead of as an
equatorial separator between sky images (and in bright daylight
with the sun more or less "behind" the camera, the well-lit
landscape might not offer the highest-contrast silhouette for
reflection either).  If this were the case the more significant
high-contrast effective local "horizon" from the POV of a
drifting soap bubble might the shadowed wall of a house (or
chimney, pole, hedge or whatever), in which case the reflected
"horizon" could be vertical. As the bubble drifted to the left,
an inverted image of this "mural horizon" might (I suspect - but
it remains to be tested) drift across the sphere in the fashion

[Note that if the moving dark band is a surface fixture on a
rotating object then its motion is a totally free parameter,
unrelated to the optical environment. On the other hand if is a
reflection then it should travel across the sphere at the same
angular rate (measured on the coordinate system of the sphere)
as the angular rate of motion of the bubble past the object
reflected (as measured in the reference frame of the camera).

I'm not sure if the video passes this test or not. If the band
migrates through about 90 deg on the sphere in something like
80% of the camera FOV, as would appear, then this would imply an
FOV in the order of 110 deg, which seems a bit wide for most
general purpose wide-angle camera settings. But it could fit if
this is a surveillance-type camera, of the sort which is
typically left to run unattended (as this was), since these
often seem to have wider fields. Of course this is all just
crude guesstimation on my part, based on casual inspection.]

>>There're really no grounds for assuming this thing is self
>>luminous or is anything other than a mundane object (bubble,
>>balloon etc) until you have started to do some of the type of
>>investigation of angular relationships and camera
>>orientation/surroundings and local winds etc that I suggested
>>already, to try to put at least approximate bounds on possible
>>size and rate and altitude (coupled variables) and direction,
>>for testing predictions of bubble/balloon theories.

>There are insufficient data for meaningful calculations of that

Quite. You really need to obtain data. I believe that's what I
said. Since the owner of the video is your friend you might be
better placed to collect such than is often the case with videos
of this sort.

>The possible distance and size of the object covers too
>wide a range

The purpose of analysis is to limit this range. I think you
could do something. One thing you can note without measuring
anything or seeking any records at all is that the object is
certainly not drifting in a direction opposite to the wind
direction revealed by the cloud motion, but drifting with a
component of motion parallel to the wind direction. This is not
a proof of anything, because upper winds obviously can differ
very markedly from surface winds. But it is at least not
inconsistent with a wind-borne object.

>>Besides, in another case where I showed that an
>>object's motion was not consistent with a balloon, critics here
>>refused to allow mere calculations to override their own
>>preferences. I wouldn't expect this case to be any different in
>>that regard.

That seems a poor reason for not wanting to refine your
knowledge, if I may say so.

>>You may be able to prove yourself right. Until then this is not
>>very interesting for the rest of us.

>You are presuming a lot, Martin, saying you speak for everyone
>on the List.

True, that came out a bit wrong. What I mean is, those of the
rest of us who have an interest in detailed analysis of this
type, which I concede is only a minority.

>The appearance and behavior of the object is
>sufficiently unusual that it deserves a second look.

Well I am giving it a look. I'm sorry it's not the sort of look
you are after. But is anyone else looking at all? If so, what
are they seeing, and why?

>It is still a UFO, in spite of your suppositions and predilections.

I never said, and would not say, that it is not a UFO. It _is_.
It _could_ be a soap bubble, or a metallic balloon, but at the
moment I don't know. The point is, William, neither do you. And
yet you headed your very first post "Unusual Craft Over
Reading". How suppositious is that, would you say?


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