Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Police Helicopter ‘Swerves' To Avoid UFO

From what we've been told so far then this particular report is certainly a strange one and again involving a police helicopter which I wrote about back in June, “UK UFO – Police Helicopter Crew Reports UFO.” Anyway here's the more recent report as originally posted by the Birmingham Mail on the 21 st November, 2008 but actually occured almost 5 weeks prior to the earlier report.

UFO involved in a dramatic incident.

A POLICE helicopter flying over Birmingham narrowly avoided tragedy when it nearly collided with a UFO, a report has claimed. The pilot managed to swerve out of the mystery aircraft's way while he was on a routine police surveillance task over the city centre earlier this year. The helicopter was also carrying two police observers during the journey at around 9.50pm on May 2nd.

All three reported seeing an aircraft with two continuous blue/green lights – but were unable to identify what it was. The extraordinary incident is detailed in a document compiled by experts from the Airprox Board, which records near misses and reports them to the military and air traffic control units.

The report stated: “ The front observer saw unidentified lights flying around their aircraft. The pilot established visual contact, as he manoeuvred the aircraft to avoid a collision and to identify the light source.

The object was less than 100m away and flew around them. The pilot told the Airprox Board he thought the intent may either have been sinister or just someone messing around. It was initially believed that the object was a radio controlled aircraft and that it was purposefully flown around the helicopter.

The report stated: “He (the pilot) believes the lights may have come from a radio controlled fixed wing aircraft, the lights being to assist with night flying.

Despite searching the area with a thermal camera, the pilot was unable to find any signs of radio-controlled model activity. And the British Model Flying Association ruled out the possibility, saying the mystery object was flying too high to be a miniature craft. Leading expert Nick Pope, who previously worked for the Ministry of Defence's UFO desk and is nicknamed the British Fox Mulder, told the Birmingham Mail today:

“A helicopter was nearly blown out of the sky…..This is a very disturbing incident which needs to be thoroughly investigated by the MoD and the Civil Aviation Authority as well as other near misses…..The conclusion on the report is unsatisfactory especially when this aircraft came within seconds of a collision. It is a very interesting case especially when you look at the eyewitnesses. They are credible and reliable sources who have experience in night time flying…..This sighting clearly illustrates that whatever one believes about UFOs, this incident raises important air safety issues and should be taken seriously.”

Source: Birmingham Mail

The Official Airprox summary is in a PDF file and it's quite large (668 Kb) and this event is only referenced in 3 pages of it, alternatively you can view the three pages in question by visiting here.

Sunderland UK UFO: Cylindrical UFO Sighting – Wednesday 29th October, 2008

The following was recently posted to the UFOCasebook forum by a new member who signed up to report the sighting and also to ask for any information regarding it:

Wed 29th Oct, 2008 – Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, North-East England.

"At around 9.00am, I was looking out of a west-facing upstairs window in my house when I saw an airliner coming from the north and heading roughly southwest at maybe 2,000 – 3,000 feet. It was clearly visible and stood out against a cloudless blue sky. I watched the plane for a few seconds before I realised there was something wrong with what I was looking at – the body of the plane was very wide and it was travelling too slowly for an airliner at that height. I grabbed a small pair of 10x25 binoculars and was able to focus on the plane for maybe half a minute before it moved out of sight behind nearby trees.

Through the binoculars I could see it wasn't an airliner, but a rocket-shaped cylinder – cream or off-white in colour – travelling horizontally like a cruise missile. There were no wings or fins, no markings, no flashing lights, and no flames or smoke trail. The front of the cylinder was definitely pointed and the end was solid, with no darkened area to suggest a jet exhaust.

Guessing the altitude to be 1,000 feet, I estimated the cylinder to be about 50 feet long (but this could all be way out) and I came to the conclusion that it must be some sort of balloon drifting in the wind. To confirm this theory, I emailed the UK Met Office on Thursday morning who told me the wind direction at 9.00am on Wednesday was westerly. This means the object was travelling against the wind under its own power. Very difficult to estimate its speed, but I would guess around 100 - 150mph.

I'm sure no self-respecting alien would be seen dead travelling around in a magnolia-painted space craft so I'm assuming the cylinder originated on this planet. Whatever it was, the sky was so clear it must have been seen by dozens if not hundreds of people as it headed southwest from the north of England . If anybody saw it or knows what it was, would you please enlighten me.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

UFOs, Red Laser-Beams & Camera Phones

There have been a few peculiar UFO videos around of late and the timing of these releases into the main-stream has been quite remarkable, well, only when considering the lack of videos showing this particular anomaly until recently.

I'm talking about the increasingly popular “UFO/Red Laser Beam” videos. The ones I've seen are apparently captured exclusively on mobile phones, first off there was the now well known, “Irish UFO Conference Footage” which due to the ambiguous wording of the original article/s seemed to suggest that there were three witnesses to this spectacular event but upon further reading it is apparent that these are three completely unrelated reports.

Then Andrea Mulligan contacted several websites that had posted about the footage and claimed that they were Chinese Lanterns from her wedding reception. I personally received further confirmation from the events manager at the Dunboyne hotel that the release of these balloons correlated with the sighting of the LITs and Andrea also commented on my Blog post I made about the report.

Then on the 11th October (2008) Carl Nally who is currently holding the footage to ransom for the price of a UFO conference ticket announced that the footage would NEVER be seen on terrestrial television or online video-sharing sites such as YouTube (visit here for footage which was claimed to be the Irish UFO) , and would only ever be viewable by attending one of Carl's conferences. While this may be considered as clever marketing by some I struggle with the concept that any footage that may prompt the fabled disclosure should come at a price.

Anyway, I'll come back to the Irish footage, but first a couple of observations on the other ‘Laser-beam' videos.

After the Irish footage the Sun posted two separate videos both containing this anomaly and also recently posted to YouTube there was a German video of a UFO that again displayed the anomalous red beam, these three were all recorded and posted within 5 days of each other.

Firstly on the 6 th November (2008), the Sun posted the following:

What's Zap?

A RED beam of light shoots to the ground from what is believed to be a UFO.

The Sun was yesterday handed dramatic footage of the mysterious craft hovering over Bristol . Shellie Williams, 20, and her mum Betty, 53, filmed it on their mobile phones. When they zoomed in, they also caught red and white vertical beams not visible to the naked eye.

Care worker Shellie, who watched from outside her home in nearby Hartcliffe, said: “It was bizarre and I was quite frightened.”

Betty said: “Through binoculars you could see clusters of lights…..They seemed to form a circle and were attached to something. It freaked us out.

Neighbour Tony Jefferies said he had seen the lights on and off for two weeks.

In daylight yesterday, Shellie and Betty pinpointed the lights as being close to a radio mast on Dundry Hill. Air traffic control at Bristol International Airport said it had no reports of “unusual activity”. Avon & Somerset police said their helicopter was not out and they had not had UFO reports.

Published: 06 Nov 2008
The Sun

In my opinion the most important aspect of the story was, “When they zoomed in, they also caught red and white vertical beams not visible to the naked eye.

For anyone who is even remotely interested in the UFO phenomenon and reads the above quote alarm bells should be a' ringing as we've all seen these UFOs which weren't visible at the time of shooting and inevitably turn out to be what has been termed, “Blurfos.”

Blurfos in reality are no more than insects and occasionally birds which happened to fly into the field of view as the photograph was taken, insects are the main culprits as due to the size of them & the speed at which they fly they consequently appear in the image as an orb or a blurred object (hence the name!!) But I digress, sufficient to say that alarm bells should be ringing when shown any image/footage that displays an unexplainable object which wasn't apparent at the time the image/footage was captured.

And the second story posted by the Sun was as follows:

Is this UFO from outer space?

A SHINING beam blasts earthwards from what looks like a hovering UFO, in another astounding sighting. A clip handed to The Sun shows the white dot hanging motionless in the air before a shot of white light emits from the orb, hitting the earth. Just a few seconds later a red beam comes firing from the object before the silent orb disappears.

Zoe Salthouse, 20, captured this incredible footage a couple of weeks ago while sitting in a friend's back garden. The student nurse from New Moston, Manchester , was sitting with friends in nearby Alcrington when she saw the light.

She said: “I got out my mobile phone straight away and started filming. It was eery and strange - but then the light came out we were all shocked…..Everything was pitch black apart from the dot…..When the light beams came out it seemed to just shoot down to the ground and disappear…..I don't know what it was, but it didn't look man-made…..I am a pretty level headed girl, but what I saw defies explaining.”

Published: 10 Nov 2008
The Sun

Now you may think from the above statement that this witness observed the Laser phenomenon at the time of filming, well I beg to differ. It is evident from the audio that accompanies the video footage that the Laser was obviously not visible at the time of filming, and even if it was visible on the screen of the mobile phone then surely the main witness (person filming the event) would have mentioned it in the live audio?

And if physically visible in the sky at the time them surely others in the group (who can be heard commentating on the UFO at the exact time the Laser anomaly appears) would have at least mentioned it? In fact if the witnesses were observing this laser phenomenon, i.e. a UFO shooting bright red lasers straight in front of their position and NOT running away from it are not to be trusted as they're obviously prone to making an incredibly poor assessment of the situation!!

And it's the same for the German UFO footage in which the exact same anomaly appears, you can hear the wind howling and other background noises yet the witness is completely unaffected by what (if the fact that they seen this anomaly at the time of filming is accepted) they think is a UFO shooting a red laser just in front of their position.

No witness reactions whatsoever in any of the available footage!?

Or perhaps the, “Lasers” simply weren't visible at the time?

Taking it one step further then perhaps the lasers were nevervisible because they weren't actually there?

To the left there is a compilation of the different lasers from the two sun videos.

A couple of points to note here, I admit that I've cropped these images but if you watch the footage then you can plainly see that the red beam extends from the point light source to the base of the frame, NOT until it hits an object but to the base of the frame regardless.

Also, notice how each beam is pixel perfect, there' a definite distinctive separation between the different coloured adjoining pixels and not one pixel is misaligned the entire length of the beam.

Now if you look at the following gif animation, it consists of three frames from one of the Sun videos. The first second frame is the two LITs, the and third is when the red-beam is visible.

The camera shake is clearly discernible and this is evident by the distortion of the two white lights in the consecutive frames, so we can be 100% certain that the camera shake is happening so why doesn't it affect the red-beam?

And exactly the same in this animated gif from the Manchester video:

Basically I believe that these red-beams are no more than a digital artefacts created by the camera phone rather than as a projection from the white light in the sky, although it can't be denied that the artefact is inextricably linked to these light sources but I suspect that the camera phone is that link. I am especially interested in the technical cause of this anomaly but I have as yet to find a satisfactory explanation, I would however be interested to know the model & make of the camera phones in question as well as the processing software that they use as there may be clues there as well as perhaps an explanation for their recent appearance. But unfortunately and drawing on past experience then I fear the Sun prefers sensationalism and certainly doesn't worry about something as mundane as the facts…..

I should also point out that I am in no way disputing the videos in their entirety as they definitely show a light source and indeed this is exactly what each witness intentionally filmed; only later discovering the red-beams in the footage. This was stated by one witness and the audio of the footage suggesting this was the case with the other two. Personally I struggle with the possibility that the red-beam was anything other than an artefact which was unintentionally introduced to the footage at some point by the camera phone itself.

And here's the YouTube clip which was posted on the 8th November 2008 by YouTube user, "Romulo282838".

From: Romulo282838
Added: 08 November 2008

Amateur cameraman said: "I filmed this in 18.10.2008 against 21:30 clock took up. In Brandenburg. I do not have an explanation for it."

Now as I mentioned earlier, back to the Irish UFO footage…..

Or more importantly back to the the Irish Tribune who ran the story and also posted what is to my knowledge the only screenshot of the footage and here it is:

Now it may just be my suspicious mind but it did strike me as strange at the time that the only image released was a heavily filtered one. Have a look at the image and compare it to the other red-beam artefacts and it appears to tick the boxes as for all it's been filtered then you can still see that it extends to the base of the frame.

So on reflection then I suspect that the Irish Conference UFO footage is merely the same anomaly as what can be seen in the two videos posted by the Sun and the same as the Brandenburg footage.

The ever vigilant also picked up on this and provided examples of what was known to be pixel bleeding as a means of comparison, the following is from

So what was it? Assuming it was not a crude hoax, which I think it was not, then it was very probably just a common artifact of cheap cameras, including those on cell phones.

That was simply pixel blooming or bleeding. It occurs when sources of light exceed the full well capacity (the electron-holding capacity) of the pixels on which they are being recorded. As a light-gathering pixel exceeds its capacity to hold captured photons, the excess energy spills over into the adjacent pixel (or pixels, if the second pixel also fills to its capacity). This spillover, called “blooming,” produces a spike of light.

This artifact is so common with digital images, and yet, source of so much confusion and shameless exploitation. For instance, it has already been the culprit behind alleged “Sun Cruisers”, supposedly gigantic flying saucers near the Sun that for some strange reason always appear in profile:


Of course theses anomalies mentioned by Mori differ from what we are seeing in the camera phone footage, mainly as the blooming appears either side of the object but I believe it's certainly a step in the right direction towards definitively resolving the origins of these anomalous beams.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday – Lest We Forget

“Who would've noticed another madman around here.”

One of the darkest hours of recent history is splendidly portrayed by Blackadder et al. It's 1917 and captain Blackadder is in the trenches of the First World War and preparing to go, “Over the top”.

A tragic and harrowing story that shares the hopelessness of the situation and the general futility of war, the climax is a sorrowful and extremely poignant final scene when Blackadder and his men finally go over the top and lead charge into No-Man's-Land, before masterfully dissolving into a poppy-filled field.

“Millions have died but the troops have advanced no further
than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping.”

Last years post, “Lest we forget” (Flanders Fields) available here.