M. Deschamps - Director
of Terminology and Abbreviations
To Identify UFOs In Thirty Minutes Or Less
to what the skeptics
will tell you, it is possible for anyone to easily identify
or distinguish UFOs from any man-made objects and natural
phenomena in the sky. Once you've had your first sighting
of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) and you've familiarized
yourself with the night sky, you'll quickly become a good
observer and you'll know exactly what to look for, the
next time you're skywatching.
when you've had as many sightings as I've had, you can still
make mistakes! But you learn to make very few of them because
you can't afford to look like a fool in front of your family
members, friends...and especially, the public - if and when
you decide to report your sighting to the media.
only mistake I made was embarrassing, to say the least.
One particular night, I stood in a field and waved my flashlight
at what looked to be a cluster of three lights coming head-on...one
large white light flanked by two smaller lights. They were
completely silent...until, that is, a few minutes later
when they got closer and I heard the distinct sound of a
motor. I then realized I was looking at a small plane coming
in for a landing at our local airport. It took a few more
seconds or so for the aircraft to pass right over my head
and I could finally see the flashing wing-tip lights and
the anti-collision light on the vertical fin...not to mention
hearing the loud roar of the engine!
before jumping to any conclusions as to what you're seeing,
I would suggest that you stay put, look carefully at the
object(s) and watch for any tell-tale signs of an earthly
origin. Through trial and error, it may take as much as
fifteen to thirty minutes to identify a true unknown and
set them apart from all the other aerial - and celestial
objects in the sky...but only if you use the following checklist
of characteristics as a guideline:
7) Level of High Strangeness
8) Duration of Sighting
flying saucers are UFOs but not all UFOs are flying saucers.
A UFO's appearance may vary because there are as many models
of them as there are of man-made vehicles. Eyewitnesses
have reported a number of shapes: cigars, footballs, triangles,
rectangles, ovals, balls of light, and so on. The following
image contains a large number of these reported objects
of unknown origin.
on images to enlarge
reported UFO shapes. (Courtesy ICUFON/NICAP)
selection of UFOs (some of which are proven hoaxes). (Courtesy
the less interesting sightings, the object may appear as
a bright, white star, preventing you from discerning any
specific shape...even if you were to zoom in with binoculars,
a telescope or a video camera.* And when it moves away from
you, it looks exactly the same as when you first spotted
it...a single pinprick of light as bright as Jupiter (at
its brightest) or a faint star.
objects will have an extended apparent diameter, or "fuzzy"
luminosity. Some star-like objects will be motionless for
extended periods of time, or will be seen rapidly crossing
the sky, possibly with peculiar trajectories.
When you zoom in for a close-up of any light source with
a video camera, you may end up with what is known as the
"batman emblem" - a circle with one or two bites
taken out at the top and one at the bottom. This is an artifact
of the camcorder because the automatic focus of the camera
is unable to compensate for the brilliance of the object
you're looking at, and as a result, you get a distorted
image of the UFO.
night, some UFOs will display very unusual light patterns,
as well as shades of colors not typically found on conventional
aircraft. You may see a dark oval shape with multicolored
lights around its perimeter, or the object itself can be
one large, blinding light of one color or another.
colors may be so vivid that the observer is able to make
them out...even in the darkest of night skies. Some of the
more commonly reported colors are: red, lime green, sky
blue, yellow, amber...and sometimes, pink.
good example of these brightly-colored flying objects are
is a scrupulously accurate eyewitness painting of a mysterious
green fireball rushing through the night sky over New Mexico
. . . by Mrs.
Lincoln LaPaz," LIFE magazine, April 7, 1952.
in general, are extremely silent. But there are some cases
when an audible sound is heard either before, during or
after the sighting of a UFO. What follows is a list of some
of the sounds that have accompanied these rare sightings:
beeping sound - or series of beeps
sound of a diesel engine
sound of a washing machine
a whistling sound
a whooshing sound
a humming sound
Southern Ontario researcher by the name of Lindy
Tucker has not only gathered information
on such cases, but has been a witness to it, as well.
the size of an unknown object is not always easy, especially
if the object itself is located quite a distance away from
your eyes. But if the object is close enough to the witness,
figuring out its approximate size may not be a problem...especially
if you have other objects of reference nearby, such as a
tree, a house, etc.
most instances, the object is reported to be the approximate
size of an aircraft or larger.
in cases where a "mother ship" is spotted, the
reported size of the object is gigantic. One such case took
place in the Yukon Territory on December 11, 1996. A very
large object was seen by at least 31 people near Fox Lake.
several calculations in triangulation, and considering the
best six estimates that researchers came up with, the object
appears to have been the size of several football stadiums!
so well known is the fact that a good number of Unidentified
Flying Objects have been tracked on several types of radar
instruments which, in turn, have recorded these objects
travelling at speeds in excess of 10,000 miles an hour or
1967 UFO Incident -
Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada.
particular event that took place in the Sudbury area happened
in late 1967 over the INCO complex in Copper Cliff. Twenty
witnesses stood and watched in awe as a UFO maneuvered twice
around the middle stack, then proceeded to pass in front
of them, travelling at an estimated speed of 15 miles an
hour. Shortly thereafter, the object angled up at a 45°
angle and sped up into the sky in seconds! The next day,
one of the men who worked there contacted the Falconbridge
Radar Base and was told that the object had been clocked
travelling at the incredible speed of 22,000 miles an hour!
perfect example of the incredible acceleration performed
by UFOs took place on September 15, 1991 and was captured
on film by the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery:
Shuttle Discovery (STS-48) films UFOs
September 15, 1991, between 20:30 and 20:45
September 15, 1991, between 20:30 and 20:45 Greenwich Mean
Time, the TV camera located at the back of Space Shuttle
Discovery s cargo bay was trained on the Earths
horizon while the astronauts were occupied with other tasks.
glowing object suddenly appeared just below the horizon
and "slowly" moved from right to left and slightly
upward in the picture. Several other glowing objects had
been visible before this, and had been moving in various
directions. Then a flash of light occurred at the lower
left of the screen; and the main object, along with the
others, changed direction and accelerated away sharply,
as if in response to the flash. Shortly thereafter a streak
of light moved through the region vacated by the main object,
and then another streak moved through the right of the screen,
where two of the other objects had been. Roughly 65 seconds
after the main flash, the TV camera rotated down, showing
a fuzzy picture of the side of the cargo bay. It then refocused,
turned toward the front of the cargo bay, and stopped broadcasting.
from NBC broadcast on STS-48 UFOs
of Traced Trajectories
distance from the Discovery to the Earths horizon
is 2,757 kilometers.
UFO's speed before accelerating into space is 87,000 kph
seconds after the light flash, the UFO changes direction
sharply and accelerates off into space at 340,000 kph (Mach
285) within 2.2 seconds.
an acceleration would produce 14,000 g of force.
of the most spectacular video footage of a UFO encounter
was taken by cameras on board the Discovery space shuttle,
STS-48, on 15 September, 1991. The video sequence was picked
up live by a number of amateurs who were directly monitoring
the transmissions. The material has been shown in news broadcasts
video shows several small bright objects maneuvering on
screen, apparently interacting with one another in a complex
fashion. Skeptics have usually insisted these are merely
shots of some of the many small ice particles which inevitably
end up in orbit with every space shuttle.
investigators were quick to dispute this interpretation,
and US scientist Richard C. Hoagland soon conclusively demonstrated
the objects were actually large in size and many hundreds
of kilometers away from the shuttle.
UFO in particular appears to rise up from below the Earths
dawn horizon and can be clearly seen emerging from behind
the atmosphere and the airglow layers. It is
certainly in orbit around the Earth, some distance out in
space, and traveling quickly.
sudden, bright flash of light is then seen to the left of
the picture, below the shuttle. The UFO then turns at a
sharp angle and heads out into space at very high speed.
Two thin beams of light (or possibly condensation trails)
move rapidly up from the Earths surface towards where
the UFO would have been if it had continued in its original
light flash and light beams (or contrails) that shoot into
space have variously been described as a ground-based attempt
to disrupt or destroy the UFO. Hoagland interprets the incident
captured by the Discovery's video camera more specifically
as a "Star Wars" weapons test against a Star Wars
drone (the UFO). Other UFO investigators prefer to describe
it as a Star Wars attempt against an extraterrestrial UFO.
Whichever version you prefer, the technology implied is
most certainly impressive - at least of Star Wars caliber.
recently, from New Zealand, investigators have reviewed
the video and corrected the actual time it was taken. They
have found that the UFO incident was recorded over Australia
and not the Philippine islands as was originally thought.
Discovery's trajectory had already taken it across Surabaya
in Java and above the Simpson Desert, Western Australia.
UFO is first picked up coming over the horizon when the
shuttle is close to Lake Carnegie, WA. Later, the light
flash and one contrail can be tracked back to Exmouth Bay
near the North West Cape military facility. A second contrail
can be tracked back to the Pine Gap military facility in
investigators have been asking their Australian counterparts
to provide further information which they don't have and
which they probably can't get. All the information we have
on this incident so far comes from the US or New Zealand.
of course, there are Australia's stringent secrecy laws
to contend with. The scenario was probably captured on video
purely by chance. Along with other UFO incidents recorded
on video by NASA, this material has contributed significantly
towards NASA's recent decision to discontinue live television
transmissions from space.
from the September 1995 issue of UFO REPORTER, the quarterly
publication of UFO Research (NSW), P.O. Box Q95, Queen Victoria
Building, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia). The video footage
itself (including a detailed investigation of the incident)
can be found on the tape "Hoaglands Mars Vol
2: The UN Briefing (Extended Version)."
Diagram & text based on/borrowered from: http://www.mufor.org/sts48.htm
behave in ways that are not consistant with man-made aircraft.
Having the ability to reverse direction without turning
around, for instance, is a good example of their technological
can also travel at supersonic speeds without causing sonic
booms! Others can hover for extended periods of time, then
suddenly blink out in the wink of an eye, only to reappear
further away, either at a higher altitude or in another
part of the sky.
observers have reported seeing UFOs moving erratically through
the sky in a wavy or zig-zagging fashion. Others have said
that the aerial objects they saw would interrupt their continuous
flight, hover momentarily, and then continue on their trajectory.
UFOs seem to abruptly alter their trajectory during continuous
flight to fly slowly above a certain area, circle, or suddenly
change course. In other cases, the objects seemed to hover
between two periods of motion with "falling-leaf"
descent or pendulum motion.
UFOs seem to alter their appearance while hovering or accelerating
at great speed - e.g. change of luminosity, generation of
secondary object(s), etc.
have been seen flying in formation or swarming among several
occasion, a UFO's trajectory is affected by nearby conventional
aircraft. Pilots have reported that UFOs have performed
evasive maneuvers just as their aircraft would get within
visual range of the unknown object(s). These reported sightings
have led researchers to believe that UFOs have purpose and
are under some type of intelligent control.
formations and maneuvers. (Courtesy ICUFON/ACOM)
Level of High Strangeness
the category of High Strangeness, you will find characteristics
associated with UFOs that are way outside of the performance
envelope of any conventional aircraft. Once you've reached
that point of High Strangeness, you can only come to one
conclusion: UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin!
early as the 1950s, UFOs have been captured on infrared
cameras! One recent case took place on March 5, 2004, in
the Campeche region of Mexico. The video, filmed by pilots
using an infrared camera, shows 11 bright objects moving
rapidly in the sky. The objects were reported to be invisible
to the eye - the pilots turned on the infrared camera to
track them after three of them were picked up by the radar.
of the objects were reportedly
picked up by air force radar.
are many other cases when UFOs were visible to the naked
eye, and yet, totally undetected by radar instruments!
have the ability to split in two or more parts. In some
rare cases, the object is stationary and produces secondary
objects (sometimes referred to as "satellite objects").
In other cases, small lights of various colors have been
seen merging with the main object!
has also been reported that UFOs have the ability to switch
themselves off like a light bulb when intercepting military
jets would approach them. Once the jets have left the area,
the object would then switch itself on again!
also have the ability to change shape or camouflage themselves
as conventional vehicles, which would make it easy for them
to perform their "job" without attracting too
have the ability to make 90° right angle turns without
slowing down, which is something conventional aircraft cannot
UFOs have the ability to submerge into lakes and oceans
with ease, becoming USOs
or Unidentified Submerged Objects. Incredibly, they have
been tracked on sonar at depths of 20,000 feet, which is
impossible for man-made submersibles because the crush depth
of submarines is at 7,000 feet! After
being under the water for a certain period of time, they
re-surface and fly off at great speed. No power on Earth
has this kind of technology!
UFOs also have the ability to "suck" or drain
electrical power directly from high voltage lines, which
sometimes results in power interruptions or power
blackouts. Several such incidents have taken
place in the Sudbury area and elsewhere!
that have been seen on or near the ground have left behind
traces of various kinds: burn rings, flattened
grass, unusual oil-type residues, total dehydration of the
soil, landing gear marks that are deep enough to indicate
something of tremendous weight. In cases of Close Encounters,
UFOs have had physiological
effects on witnesses, as well as plants and
animals in ways that do not conform with any natural phenomena
or man-made devices.
incredible dimensions of the so-called "Mother Ships",
and the way they hover and slowly navigate our skies, not
to mention the lack of engine sounds or visible means of
propulsion negate the possibility that these are super-secret,
experimental aircraft developed by the U.S. military. The
sophistication and highly advanced level of technology demonstrated
by these otherworldly objects makes it impossible for us
to deny their extraterrestrial origin.
these extremely large and silent objects were truly the
product of earth-based technology and development, the United
States Air Force would be using these amazing vehicles instead
of noisy jet fighters to fight their wars. They would attain
absolute control of the air space and they'd have the power
to attack any country in the world with impunity!
Duration of sighting
UFO sightings last only seconds or a few minutes, but there
have been many instances when UFOs have remained in full
view for an hour or more, giving eyewitnesses the opportunity
to observe and "soak in" their observations for
an extensive period of time. Then later, when they report
their encounter, they can remember everything in great detail.
a three-second car accident, which is something we normally
see and happens fairly frequently and where details can
be easily forgotten over time, UFO eyewitnesses will recall
every detail of their sighting because it is etched in their
minds. When you see something that you are not accustomed
to, you remember it forever!
sightings are so much out of the ordinary that the witnesses
remember the incident as if it happened yesterday. I've
had recent cases where the witnesses have come forward to
report things they saw way back in the 1950s! It is something
they will remember until the day they die!
taken from the MAJESTIC-12 GROUP SPECIAL OPERATIONS MANUAL
ENTITIES AND TECHNOLOGY,
RECOVERY AND DISPOSAL
Description of Craft
extraterrestrial craft (UFOBs) are classified in one of
four categories based on general shape, as follows:
Elliptical, or disc shape. This type of craft is of
a metallic construction and dull aluminum in color. They
have the appearance of two pie-pans or shallow dishes pressed
together and may have a raised dome on the top or bottom.
No seams or joints are visible on the surface, giving the
impression of one-piece construction. Discs are estimated
from 50-300 feet in diameter and the thickness is approximately
15 per cent of the diameter, not including the dome, which
is 30 per cent of the disc diameter and extends another
4-6 feet above the main body of the disc. The dome may or
may not include windows or ports, and ports are present
around the lower rim of the disc in some instances. Most
disc-shaped craft are equipped with lights on the top and
bottom, and also around the rim. These lights are not visible
when the craft is at rest or not functioning. There are
generally no visible antenna or projections. Landing gear
consists of three extendible legs ending in circular landing
pads. When fully extended this landing gear supports the
main body 2-3 feet above the surface at the lowest point.
A rectangular hatch is located along the equator or on the
lower surface of the disk.
Fuselage or cigar shape. Documented reports of this
type of craft are extremely rare. Air Force radar reports
indicate they are approximately 2 thousand feet long and
95 feet thick, and apparently they do not operate in the
lower atmosphere. Very little information is available on
the performance of these craft, but radar reports have indicated
speeds in excess of 7,000 miles per hour. They do not appear
to engage in the violent and erratic maneuvers associated
with the smaller types.
Ovoid or circular shape. This type of craft is described
as being shaped like an ice cream cone, being rounded at
the large end and tapering to a near-point at the other
end. They are approximately 30-40 feet long and the thick
end diameter is approximately 20 per cent of the length.
There is an extremely bright light at the pointed end, and
this craft usually travels point down. They can appear to
be any shape from round to cylindrical, depending upon the
angle of observation. Often sightings of this type of craft
are elliptical craft seen at an inclined angle or edge-on.
Airfoil or triangular shape. This craft is believed
to be new technology due to the rarity and recency of the
observations. Radar indicates an isosceles triangle profile,
the longest side being nearly 300 feet in length. Little
is known about the performance of these craft due to the
rarity of good sightings, but they are believed capable
of high speeds and abrupt maneuvers similar to or exceeding
the performance attributed to types "a" and "c".
and False Explanations for UFOs
the modern age of flying saucers and UFOs, authorities from
the scientific community and the military establishment
have put forth several theories and proasic explanations
for UFO sightings.
skeptics and debunkers also take advantage
of these explanations as quick-fix solutions to explain
away what people have been reporting for years.
Elves and Blue Jets
Weather Balloons and Skyhook Balloons
Hole-Punch Clouds or Fallstreak Hole
Sun Dogs and Moon Dogs
St. Elmo's Fire
Swarm of Glowing Insects
Satellites and the International Space Station
Shooting Stars, Meteors, Fireballs and Bolides
by any chance, the sighting lasts beyond thirty minutes,
I would then record the additional length of time that the
object is in sight. If the object is nothing more than a
bright source of light that isn't moving, I would suggest
that you go outside on consecutive nights and see if the
object is still visible at the same location and around
the same period of time; if it is, then what you are looking
at is a planet!
is easy to make the distinction between planets and stars.
For instance, planets are extremely bright because of their
close proximity to us. And because of their brilliance,
they are not affected by our atmosphere and they do not
twinkle or blink.
on the other hand, will twinkle in the night sky due to
the fact that they are very far away, and the atmosphere
that is located between us and them easily affects the visibility,
preventing us from having a clear view of them.
Lights are an atmospheric phenomenon consisting of bands
of light caused by charged solar particles following the
earth's magnetic lines of force.
lights look more like curtains of colours and could not
possibly take on the shape of a UFO, nor do they behave
are luminous flashes occurring in the mesosphere, above
the cumulonimbus. Approximately 1 storm out of 20 will be
powerful enough to generate them up to altitudes of 90 kilometers
over a width of 15 kilometers.
color image of a sprite
can appear with sprites, but always by preceding them, and
their duration is more transitory. They are the electromagnetic
impulses released by the powerful flashes from which originate
the Elves. From lightning, these impulses are propagated
in every direction at the speed of light. When the upper
part of this "sphere" reaches a critical altitude
located between 75 and 100 kilometers, the electrical field
conveyed by these impulses then will accelerate the electrons.
The latter will strike the gas molecules and will excite
them in such a way that they will emit a surplus of light
energy in the form of a ring, resulting from the intersection
between the spherical propagation and the critical layer.
The phenomenon occurs in a manner so fast that this ring
will be seen like a flattened disc.
Jets were observed for the first time in 1994. These conical
jets of night-blue light are propagated from the top of
the clouds going higher, at a speed approximately 120 kilometers
a second and never seems to exceed an altitude of 40 kilometers.
Balloons and Skyhook Balloons
weather balloon is used to carry instruments aloft to gather
meteorological data in the atmosphere.
1947, the U.S. Navy began Project Skyhook, which
used very large unmanned plastic (polyethylene) balloons
to loft research payloads of various kinds (e.g. cosmic
ray research) to altitudes of up to 30 km (100,000 ft).
The initial prime contractor for the Navy's Skyhook
balloons was the Aeronautical Division of General Mills,
Inc. Skyhook eventually became a very successful
program, and its balloon technology was also used by the
Air Force. In fact, the name Skyhook became a synonym
for large high-altitude plastic balloons, even if they were
launched by other agencies under different programs.
Office of Naval Research
low level immediately after launch, the lifting gas (hydrogen
or helium) in Skyhook balloons formed a small bubble
at the top of the envelope, giving the whole balloon a rather
"limp" look. At the lower air pressure at higher
altitudes, the gas expanded and eventually filled the whole
envelope, which could reach diameters of more than 30 m
(100 ft) in some balloon models. High-flying Skyhook
balloons provided an excellent stimulus for UFO/"Flying
Saucer" sightings, and several balloons, which were
lost by the military's visual and radar tracking systems,
were "tracked" by following local UFO reports
across the continent.
Mogul (sometimes referred to as Operation Mogul)
was a top secret project by the US Army Air Forces involving
high altitude balloons, whose primary purpose was long-distance
detection of sound waves generated by the turbulence of
the rising hot air from Soviet atomic bomb tests and ballistic
missiles. The project was carried out from 1947 until late
1948 and was obsoleted by seismographs and spy satellites.
the Cold War began soon after the Second World War, U.S.
military planners had the problem that they had virtually
no information about what was going on in vast areas of
the Soviet territory. Photo reconnaissance aircraft were
used to obtain coverage of areas near the borders, and there
were even very few overflights of the Soviet interior in
the early 1950s. But these missions were extremely risky,
and couldn't provide enough information for a good assessment
of Soviet military strength. Satellites were still too far
in the future, and therefore reconnaissance balloons were
proposed as a solution for the problem.
July 1950, Charles B. Moore of General Mills had conducted
four test flights of Skyhook-type balloons with a
camera payload. To the U.S. Air Force he presented the concept
of camera-equipped balloons, which could float across the
Soviet Union using strong winds (the "jet stream")
at very high altitude, above the reach of Soviet air defences.
In November 1950, the USAF officially began the development
of a balloon reconnaissance system under secret project
goal for Project Gopher was a balloon, which could
carry a 225 kg (500 lb) payload gondola to 21000 m (70,000
ft), and remain there at constant altitude for at least
16 days. Originally it had been hoped that Gopher
could conduct the first operational missions by the end
of 1951, but this proved to be far too optimistic. A series
of test flights in 1952 was only partially successful, mainly
because of continuing problems during balloon launch and
with payload reliability. Because the USAF was dissatisfied
with General Mills' progress, the balloon production contract
was terminated in August 1952, and further balloons were
ordered from Winzen Research. Project Gopher was
a top secret project, but the balloon test flights could
obviously not be hidden from the public. Therefore all test
flights were officially part of Project Moby Dick
(MX-1498), the USAF's unclassified research balloon
project. Moby Dick had been started around the same
time as Gopher, and used Skyhook balloons
to measure global high-altitude wind patterns. Gopher's
camera gondolas, which could parachute to earth anywhere
after a test flight, were accordingly labeled as Air Force
property (together with a fire hazard warning to discourage
potential souvenir hunters).
Gopher balloon layout
July 1953, the USAF finally decided to develop Gopher
into the WS-119L operational balloon reconnaissance
system, codenamed Grandson. In spring 1955, WS-119L
was finally ready for operational training, and the program's
code name was changed again, to Grayback. Between
May and October that year, more than a hundred WS-119L balloons
were launched under operation "Moby Dick Hi" (as
usual, the Moby Dick name was used as cover). Although only
11 successful mid-air recoveries were made in 33 attempts,
WS-119L was considered ready for use at the end of 1955.
President Eisenhower gave approval to begin the overflights
in January 1956, but had the flight altitude of the balloons
limited to 16800 m (55,000 ft). This was reportedly done,
because the higher-flying Lockheed U-2 aircraft was under
development at that time, and the Soviets should get no
unnecessary motivation to develop new very high-altitude
interceptor aircraft and missiles before the U-2 had begun
its overflight program.
of WS-119L balloon
we're talking ordinary weather balloons or the types launched
by the Navy, these objects go up and down and are at the
mercy of the winds. They cannot move from side to side,
hover or even accelerate from 0 to 10,000 miles an hour
(or more) like UFOs do.
temperature inversion is a meteorological condition that
happens on clear, cold, still evenings and is caused by
radiation cooling of the ground which occurs faster than
the cooling of the air right above ground giving you a layer
of warm air above cooler air. This prevents pollutants and
other airborne substances from escaping into the atmosphere.
clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis,
are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes,
normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction.
Clouds or Fallstreak Hole
leading hypothesis holds that the hole-punch cloud is caused
by falling ice-crystals. The ice-crystals could originate
in a higher cloud or be facilitated by a passing airplane
exhaust. If the air has just the right temperature and moisture
content, the falling crystals will absorb water from the
air and grow. For this to happen, the water must be so cold
that all it needs is a surface to freeze on. The moisture
lost from the air increases the evaporation rate from the
cloud water droplets so they dissipate to form the hole.
The now heavier ice crystals continue to fall and form the
more tenuous wispy cloud-like virga seen inside and just
below the hole. Water and ice from the virga evaporates
before they reach the ground.
left to right: A hole-punch cloud
over Mobile, Alabama - December 11, 2003; A hole-punch cloud
over Alabama - January 12, 2004;
A fallstreak hole visible over Omarama, New Zealand in May
2006 and a
fallstreak hole over Austria - August 2008.
flare is created when non-image forming light enters
the lens and subsequently hits the camera's film or digital
sensor. This often appears as a characteristic polygonal
shape, with sides which depend on the shape of the lens
of NASA lunar lander containing lens flare.
flare in a CCTV camera.
Dogs and Moon Dogs
sun dog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia,
i.e. "beside the sun") is a common bright circular
spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon
primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of
sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus
clouds. Often, two or more sundogs can be seen on opposite
sides of the sun simultaneously. Sometimes called "Mock
patches of light are occasionally seen around a very bright,
full moon. In that case, they are called moon dogs.
a luminous circle or halo can be seen around the
sun or moon, and is caused by the refraction of light through
crystals of ice in the atmosphere. There are often white
bands, crosses, or arches connected with halos, resulting
from the same atmospheric conditions.
Lightning (BL or Kugelblitz, Boules de Feu) is recognised
by science but has eluded attempts at a generally accepted
explanation. It can range from high intensity ones like
this one through to semi-transparent orbs or other shapes
of white or coloured plasma light. Earth Lights may be of
a similar nature or perhaps of another kind of process altogether.
Ball Lightning occurs most often during thunderstorm activity.
once been a witness to ball lightning, which is a rare event
in itself, I can tell you that the phenomenon doesn't last
more than a few seconds and could not possibly account for
any UFO sighting because of the way it looks and behaves.
gas or marsh gas is a gaseous product, chiefly methane,
formed from decomposing vegetable matter, as in marshes.
The late J. Allen Hynek had used the term "swamp gas"
to explain away a rash of UFO sightings that took place
in Michigan in 1966. It is said that he later regretted
this statement when he became convinced that there was something
Elmo's fire is a popular name for so-called coronal discharge,
which frequently happens during thunderstorms. Unlike lightning,
coronal discharge is much less spectacular and less transient
in nature. It looks like a blueish flame or glow engulfing
tall sharp objects, such as powerlines, roof pinnacles,
chimneys, and lightning rods. Unless the electric field
is extremely strong, the glow is only visible at night,
but can still be heard during the day as a hissing or crackling
Elmo's fire, or coronal discharge, is a
weakly luminous continuous discharge
caused by strong electric fields near sharp objects.
lights are a strange luminous phenomena that
preceeds earthquakes. They have also been used as an explanation
for some of the UFO reports in the recent past. But once
you compare the behavior of these lights with that of UFOs,
you will notice a distinct diference between the two phenomena.
phenomena at Tianshui, Gansu Province,
just before an earthquake - May 12 2008.
Michael Persinger, neuroscientist at Laurentian University
here in Sudbury, Ontario, offered the tectonic strain theory
theory to explain away UFO sightings. Most
scientists have disagreed with his theory and are not even
contemplating the idea that such lights of short duration
can account for UFO sightings.
of Glowing Insects
crazy as it sounds, a "swarm of glowing insects"
indeed was used as an explanation for the reported sightings
of flying saucers in the 1940s and 1950s. But as we all
know, fireflies cannot sustain a continuous glow, nor can
they fly at high speeds at altitudes in excess of 10,000
and the International Space Station
satellite is any object, man-made or natural, that orbits
the Earth. In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is
an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavor.
Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites
to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the
the naked eye, satellites will appear as a single light
source with the same brilliance as a star. These objects
move in a straight trajectory, as they follow the curvature
of the earth within their respective orbits. They are always
white in color and there are no flashing lights visible.
called geostationary, or simply GEO, it refers
to the movement of communications satellites where the satellite
circles the globe over the equator, in a movement that is
synchronized with the earth's rotation. Because of this
synchronization, the satellite appears to be stationary,
and they also offer continuous operation in the area of
visibility. These types of satellite are said to have a
geostationary orbit, and it is the most common type
of orbit for communications satellites. Bird is the
slang term given to a communications satellite that is in
International Space Station
some 240 miles above the Earth, it's one of the brightest
objects in the night sky, comparable in size to Venus or
Jupiter. And just like artificial satellites, it moves in
a straight trajectory and does not have any flashing lights.
are small Solar System bodies that orbit the Sun and, when
close enough to the Sun, exhibit a visible coma (or atmosphere)
and/or a tail both primarily from the effects of
solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus. Comet nuclei are
themselves loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky
particles, measuring a few kilometres or tens of kilometres
originate in the outer solar system; they are thrown inwards
towards the Sun by gravitational perturbations from planets
or nearby stars. They have a variety of different orbital
periods, ranging from a few years, to 50 or 100 years, to
thousands of years, while some are believed to pass through
the inner Solar System only once before being thrown out
into interstellar space.
comets move through the sky on an extent of several days.
Hyakutake (March, 1996)
Hale-Bopp (April, 1997)
Stars, Meteors, Fireballs and Bolides
shooting star or meteor is a streak of light
in the sky at night that results when a meteoroid hits the
earth's atmosphere and air friction causes the meteoroid
to melt or vaporize or explode.
Perseid meteor passes close to the red star Epsilon Eridani.
is a small sand to boulder-sized particle of debris in the
Solar system. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters
Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is a meteor, commonly
called a "shooting star" or "falling star".
Many meteors are part of a meteor shower. The root word
meteor comes from the Greek meteo-ros, meaning high in
fireball is brighter than a usual meteor. The International
Astronomical Union defines a fireball as "a meteor
brighter than any of the planets" (magnitude -4 or
fireballs streak across the sky in a matter of seconds,
but can leave a faint ionization trail visible for minutes.
tend to use the term bolide to mean an exceptionally
bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes
called a detonating fireball).
meteorite is a portion of a meteoroid or asteroid
that survives its passage through the atmosphere and impact
with the ground without being destroyed. Meteorites are
sometimes, but not always, found in association with hypervelocity
impact craters; during energetic collisions, the entire
impactor may be vaporized, leaving no meteorites.
lanterns have also been used to explain away some UFO sightings.
But these devices are very light, and will float in whatever
direction the wind is blowing in. UFOs, on the other hand,
have been known to fly against the wind, or even hover during
very windy conditions, day or night.
you are unfamiliar with aircraft and how they appear in
the night sky, determining whether or not you are looking
at an airplane or at a UFO can easily be accomplished.
Configurations On Aircraft
first sight, it is true that it can be difficult to tell
the difference between a UFO and a common object such as
a plane or a helicopter during the night. But once you've
become accustomed to seeing aircraft at night, it'll be
a cinch to do so.
order to easily distinguish a UFO from a man-made aircraft,
it is important to be able to recognize aircraft by their
light patterns and configurations.
CIA has claimed that during the 1960s, sightings of UFOs
were attributed to flights of the U2 Spy Plane. If one is
to take a closer look at this aircraft, the first noticeable
feature of this aiplane are its large wings. The simple
fact that the U2 flew at extremely high altitudes made it
impossible for anyone to see it from the ground. And the
shape of it is easily recognizable...unlike that of a UFO,
which is why it is called an Unidentified flying
U-2 Spy Plane
Vehicles) and military drones have
also been used to explain away UFO reports. Although they
come in different sizes and shapes and are highly technological
devices developed for the USAF and other agencies, UAVs
and drones are remotely-operated vehicles that are incapable
of hovering in total silence.
RQ-1 Predator MAE UAV. Right: RQ-3A DarkStar Tier
CL-327 Guardian. Right: Tacit Blue
that most of these UAVs have fixed wings and do not look
anything like the types of UFOs that witnesses, worldwide,
have reported or described. Although they are exotic in
their appearance and manner of flight, these remote-controlled
vehicles do not have the same flight characteristics as
genuine UFOs and flying saucers.
flare, also sometimes called a fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic
that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without
an explosion. Flares are used for signaling, illumination,
or defensive countermeasures in civilian and military applications.
Flares may be ground pyrotechnics, projectile pyrotechnics,
or parachute-suspended to provide maximum illumination time
over a large area. Projectile pyrotechnics may be dropped
from aircraft, fired from rocket or artillery, or deployed
by flare guns or handheld percussive tubes.
rounds are fired during Operation Tora Arwa V in the Kandahar
during Operation Enduring Freedom. The illumination rounds
were fired from M777
howitzers and are used to help illuminate a certain area
the soldiers need to see.
dropped by a flight of A-10 Warthogs was the explanation
used to explain away the famous Phoenix Lights which were
witnesses by hundreds of people on March 13, 1997.
launched by an F-16 at dusk
dropped by a military plane
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