Saturday, 27 March 2010

Lens Flare - UFO ‘fleet' Photographed in Annapolis (March 2010)

UFO ‘fleet' Photographed in Annapolis, Maryland (March 19th 2010)

There has been a set of images doing the rounds lately that seem to be gathering some momentum. I was aware of these images when they were originally posted to Mufon Case Management System (CMS).

The images were captured on March 19th and submitted on March 24th , there were three images in total, the second and third images were original size and the first one was a cropped/zoomed image which showed blue translucent lights in the sky (LITS) the witness states he enhanced the dark areas on the images.

The CMS submission contained the following witness account:

UFO fleet of blue translucent discs over St. John's College in Annapolis Maryland

Annapolis Mufon CMS report - Click to enlarge

I am a local photographer in Annapolis, Md. I was doing a night shoot on the practice fields of St. John's College at 21:16:54 on 3/19/10. I was using a nikon D 700 with a 70-200 mm 2.8 professional lens mounted on a tripod. I didn't open the files to edit the images until Sunday 3/21/10. When I enhanced the dark areas around the buildings on campus I noticed approximately 9 light blue orbs with a corona like halo around them. The orbs were positioned in front and back of the end of the roof line. This was image #1. Image # 2 revealed approximately 9 light blue translucent discs each with a bright light blue beacon on top. They appeared to be in a loose formation, banking to the right and departing the area. Image # 3 revealed the formation in the open night sky over Annapolis at a slightly higher altitude. The objects were now in the shape of a of a slightly flattened bell with a bright light blue beacon on top. Several of the objects had a slight maroon hue to them.

Unfortunately there is no way to link directly to the Mufon CMS report page containing the witness account & images and as I don't want to leech their bandwidth if you wish to view/download them the full size images are easily retrieved via the search function which can be found on the tool bar to the left of the main page on the Mufon CMS page (here).

However *Mufon Of N.J.* website posted the account along with one of the full-sized images, both of which can be viewed here.

And to view the images at a more manageable size of 800px then use the following links:

  1. 22466_submitter_file1__UFO1CloseCrop.jpg
  2. 22466_submitter_file2__UFO2.jpg
  3. 22466_submitter_file3__UFO3.jpg

Here are the three images on top of each other in chronological order (as pre-numbered & submitted):

They are of course massively reduced in size but it makes no difference to the point I wish to draw your attention to, namely how the angle of the camera changes (pans up) from one image to the next then you can clearly see that this causes the LITS to appear incrementally higher with each sequential image.

And now have another look at the following image which is the second of the set (submitted at original size) and which I've cropped:

Maryland UFO/Lens Flare - Click to enlarge

Now have a look at the same image with guide-lines I've added from the lights on the ground to the LITS:

Maryland UFO/Lens Flare - Click to enlarge

And the following image was the first one of the set (cropped by witness) again with guide-lines I've added:

Maryland UFO/Lens Flare - Click to enlarge

Due to the obvious correlation between the two sets of lights (ground & sky) and the fact that all of the guide-lines I added intersect at a fixed point and are of an equal distance from the intersect leaves me in no doubt whatsoever that what we are looking at is lens flare caused by the fixed lighting which is located at the bottom of the images.

When multiple lens flares are present such as in these images the shape and size of the reflection depends on both the nature of the light source and the specifications of the camera which is used (curvature of the lens & type of aperture). And as in the above example both the light source and the flare are generally located on a line that crosses the centre of the photograph (between the light source and corresponding flare) as well as being located at an equal distance on either side of the centre (again which is evidenced above by where the multiple guide-lines intersect).

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sketches From The Fifth Tranche of MoD UFO Files

Many of the released files included sketches. A craft containing three beings was drawn by a passenger on a flight from Heathrow to Hong Kong in 1993.

A drawing and description of a "flying saucer" sighting over Watford in Hertfordshire was also among the 6,000 pages of newly-released documents.

A sighting above Trenale Lane, near Tintagel, Cornwall, was also documented. The artist identified a dome at the front of the craft as the cockpit.

Another eyewitness submitted a drawing of a triangle-shaped craft seen close to a pylon above Knutsford in Cheshire.

Two "missile-shaped" UFOs were also captured in a sketch by a witness in Smethwick, West Midlands, in 1954.

A triangle-shaped craft was also drawn by a witness who described seeing it above Oldbury, West Midlands, on 9 August 1995.

Another notes the diameter of the unidentified craft they saw flying above their car in Malmesbury in Wiltshire. In his report to police the following day, the man, from Newport, Gwent, said his car had been surrounded for five minutes by a "tube of light" which had swept towards him from the north east, during which time both his radio and mobile phone stopped working. The man reported that he was ill following his brush with the unknown.

The report said:

"He felt and was indeed sick later on. He is still feeling ill today (28/1/97) and has developed a skin condition. Advised to see doctor."

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Fifth Tranche of MoD UFO Files Released by TNA (Feb 2010)

From midnight on Wednesday, 24 files containing more than 6,000 pages of material can be downloaded from The National Archives UFO page.

Close Encounters of the Second Kind: the latest release of UFO files (18 February) - 5th tranche of Ministry of Defence UFO files by The National Archives.

An unfortunate man from Ebbw Vale, Wales, got more than he bargained for when an unidentified 'tube of light' enveloped his car as he drove home one night, covering it in 'dust and dirt' and causing his mobile phone and radio to fail.

Once home, the man was physically sick and later developed a skin condition, which required medical attention. The incident, officially reported 28 January 1997, features among the intriguing stories found in the latest instalment of UFO files released today by The National Archives.

The fifth online release is the largest to date, containing 24 files and totalling over 6,000 pages of material spanning 1994-2000.

Other highlights include:

  • A UFO sighted by Boston and Skegness Police captured on film and then spotted by a ship's crew in the North Sea. Simultaneously, an unidentified blip was picked up on radar over Boston. A detailed investigation followed, which identified some of the lights as the planet Venus rising and the blip on the radar as 'a permanent echo' made by a tall church spire.

  • A Birmingham man arrived home at 4am to find a large, illuminated blue triangle hovering over his garden. The craft 'shot off' leaving behind a 'silky-white' substance on tree tops in his garden, which he saved in a jam-jar. The file that contains the report of the incident does not reveal what happened to the substance.

  • Copies of original statements taken from the UK's 'Roswell', Rendlesham Forest, and calls for an inquiry into 600 alleged sightings in Bonnybridge, Scotland, known as the 'Bonnybridge Triangle'.

  • A West Lothian electrician spotted a 'Toblerone-shaped' UFO hovering over a field. A sketch of the craft is included in the report.

The files are available to download for free for a month at . The site also hosts a videocast dramatising highlights from the files alongside a detailed guide to researching the files by Dr David Clarke. The UFO files - The inside story of real-life sightings by Dr Clarke is available to buy from The National Archives online bookshop.

Source: The National Archives (News Page)

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Saturday, 13 February 2010

UK UFO Report - Wigan (Shevington) Feb 2010

I'll admit it's something of a pleasant surprise to happen upon UK UFO reports where Chinese Lanterns aren't the 'obvious' explanation!!

The following was originally posted on the 12th February 2010.

UFO Stuns Early Risers

Wigan today's very own X-Files have been opened again after an odd UFO sighting. Tony Whittle from Standish Lower Ground emailed us with this:

Wigan 2010 UFO Report"Has anyone reported a strange object to you at around 5am on Thursday morning? My wife and I were sat in bed discussing our new bathroom, only just installed yesterday.....I decided to open the curtains and went to the kitchen to make us a cup of tea. When I got back in bed my wife said she had been watching an object acting very oddly in the direction of Shevington.....We live in Standish Lower Ground. At first I thought she was dreaming or something, but sure enough a couple of minutes later the thing rose up from behind the house opposite us across the road.....It was difficult to estimate how far away it was but looked about the size of a five pence piece to me.....

It rose at about 45 degrees and then levelled out only going slow for about five seconds and then just started moving in different directions for roughly two or three minutes before going down again out of our sight.....It was a yellowy pulsating object with what looked like a small blob on top of it. One thing is certain, it was no ordinary object like a helicopter or aircraft - nothing known to man could operate something like that in a million years.....I got out my camcorder and waited until it was starting to come light but it never came back. We have hardly stopped talking about it all day."

Wigan 2010 UFO Report

Source: Wigan Today

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Friday, 8 January 2010

UK UFO - New Years Orange Orbs

As expected the recent holiday period was littered with reports of ‘orange orbs' and lights in the sky (LITS) and from what I can gather this was due to no more than the proliferation of Chinese Lanterns and their many derivatives. Indeed many of the online media sites that covered the reports tended to follow up with an explanatory article several days later, it would of course be futile to mention all of these but as usual I will repost the ones that were located in the North-East of England, namely Sunderland.

They come via & courtesy of the Sunderland Echo who you may remember have a bit of past ‘form' for this as back in 2006 they covered quite extensively one of the earliest such IFO's, further information available here. As well of course as one or two more recent incidents.

And refreshingly it seems that the majority of the public who witnessed the LITS recognised them for what they were (see comments at foot of post).

Anyhoo, on to the 2010 reports and on the 5th January 2010 the Echo ran the following story.

Sunderland Echo UFO

Mystery of the orange light in the night sky

STRANGE sightings have caused a stir in a Sunderland street after lighting up the night sky. The Tokes family were astonished when they saw three unusual objects float across the sky, one after the other. Dad Les was parking the car next to his home in Hepburn Grove, Hylton Castle, when he noticed the first strange light at about 8.15pm on Saturday.

Les Tokes - Sunderland UFOThe 52-year-old said:

"As I looked across, I could see this orange light in the sky between the two houses. At first, I thought it could be a plane, but as is started to get nearer it looked the wrong shape…..It wasn't very big and was a strange oblong shape. It was pulsating red and orange and was completely silent as it passed over the house."

By the time he called his wife, Anne, 40, and children, Stefan, 12 and Robyn, nine, it had gone. However, as the family, watched just about seven minutes later another one exactly the same appeared travelling in the same direction as the first over towards the Nissan factory.

"We watched it right the way across as far as we could. Then when I went back to the front of the house a third light, exactly the same, appeared."

This time Les alerted his neighbours to the strange sighting and they all watched as it travelled slowly over their homes.

"We couldn't believe what we were seeing, for three to follow each other like that was strange. We get a lot of aircraft going over our houses towards the airport, but these lights were totally different and were going in the wrong direction for the airport. Also, they went right over our houses and we couldn't hear any noise whatsoever."

Source: Sunderland Echo (04 January 2010)

Followed by this story on the 7th January 2010.

Sunderland Echo UFO

Sunderland UFO sightings: The truth

Little Layla Wood may hold the key to the mystery of the strange lights that have been spotted in the Sunderland sky. The Echo has been inundated with calls and emails from readers after we reported on sightings of objects floating above Hylton Castle during the festive period. But it seems the unidentified lights, which have also been spotted elsewhere across Wearside and East Durham, may be Chinese sky lanterns. Three of the hot air balloons were set off on New Year's Day and the following day to celebrate Bexhill School pupil Layla's fifth birthday.

Stepdad Mark Bulmer, of Baltimore Square, said:

"We bought them for Layla's birthday celebrations. We've never used them before and we were surprised at how high they go…..We set them off in Town End Farm but they floated off over Hylton Castle, which is what we think people have seen…..They are made of tissue paper and are three to four feet high, from underneath they look like orange circles. Layla loved them."

On Tuesday, the Echo reported on the Tokes family who had spotted three unidentified lights in the sky above their home in Hepburn Grove, Castletown. Les Tokes, 52, said:

"They were pulsating red and orange and were completely silent as they passed over the house. We couldn't believe what we were seeing."

Since then, dozens of readers have been contacting the Echo saying they too have seen them. Many people appear to have spotted the lights floating in the night sky throughout the festive period. But, several people are saying there is no mystery to the lights and claim they are in fact the new craze of Chinese lanterns, which are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to fireworks. Kathleen Taylor, 65, from The Avenue in Hetton, said she saw a strange orange light just minutes after midnight on New Year's Eve.

She said:
"I couldn't take my eyes off it, I was really fascinated by it. It was like a small ball of fire in the sky…..I thought it was a plane on fire, but then realised it was rising up. I didn't know what it was, but I don't believe in UFOs."

Anne Laing was celebrating New Year's Eve at her home in Moorside when just after the stroke of midnight she and a friend saw three of the strange lights hovering in the sky.

She said:
"At first, we thought we were seeing things, but there was three of them together just still in the sky and they lasted ages."

Lyndsey Fox, 21, from Seaham, who saw 20 lights fly over her home, said:
"I believe that these mysterious orange lights are nothing but Chinese lanterns that are used for celebrations."

Paula Weston said:
"I live in Coventry but was visiting relations in Sunderland for Christmas (Bede Street, Roker)…..Early evening on Christmas Day, me and my brother-in-law went outside for a cigarette and saw a strange orange light in the sky."

Jacqueline Watson, of Harraton, Washington, said:
"I too saw the orange lights on Saturday…..I was looking out over the back garden at the snow when I noticed two lights following a parallel course coming from the south-east towards Harraton in Washington…..They approached quite steadily, then simply disappeared into thin air.”

Anthony Cuthbert said:
"I saw the orange light next to the Alexandra Bridge."

David Young from Washington said:
"It wasn't a UFO…..They are called Chinese lanterns…..They are available in different shapes, cost £2-£3 each, and are basically a paper hot air balloon with a special candle at the bottom to provide hot air and make them light up and float up into the sky."

Source: Sunderland Echo (07 January 2010)

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