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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Monday, 24 March 2008

Farewell Sir Arthur Charles Clarke

Sir Arthur C. Clarke who is heralded as a scientific visionary and the acclaimed writer of, “2001: A Space Odyssey” was buried in his adopted country of Sri Lanka where he had lived (Colombo) for over fifty years on Saturday 22 March 2008.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke passed away after experiencing heart failure and respiratory problems at the grand old age of 90 on 19 March 2008.

Sir Arthur's brother, Fred Clarke, attended the funeral along with members of the Ekanayake family, with whom the writer had lived in recent years. A nationwide minute's silence was ordered by the Sri Lankan government to coincide with the ceremony and music from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey was played at the funeral.

A Farewell To Sir Arthur Charles Clarke

"Here lies Arthur C Clarke. He never grew up and did not stop growing," his gravestone in Colombo is to read, in accordance with the author's wishes.

Tamara Ekanayake, who grew up at Sir Arthur's home in Colombo , paid tribute to him at the service, saying: "We feel so privileged that you left your mark on us…..Your footprint will never fade. If anything, it will only magnify what we do. "

Before the funeral, yellow roses were thrown on to Sir Arthur's body as a final gesture of respect as it lay on a white bed beneath curved elephant tusks. Clarke had left specific instructions for his funeral and was quoted as saying that religion was;

“A necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species.”

According to his spokesman Nalaka Gawardene, Sir Arthur's last three wishes were for conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life, clean energy to halt global warming and peace in Sri Lanka during his lifetime.

"Now unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see any of these last wishes come true…..And I think the challenge for all his fans and all his admirers is to make these three wishes come true as early and as comprehensively as possible”

Sir Arthur C. Clarke - Godfather Of The Telecommunications Satellite

A radar pioneer in the Royal Air Force during World War II, Clarke wrote a 1945 article in Wireless World magazine in which he outlined a worldwide communications network based on fixed satellites orbiting Earth at an altitude of 22,300 miles -- an orbital area now often referred to as the Clarke Orbit. His conceptual leap, outlined in a 1945 article in Wireless World magazine, was to propose using a set of satellites in geostationary orbit to form a global communications network

Clarke's seminal article (for which he received payment of $40!!) was published two decades before Syncom II became the world's first communications satellite put into geosynchronous orbit in 1963. And so Clarke is widely credited for pioneering the concept of communications satellites, Clarke received a number of honours, including the 1982 Marconi International Fellowship and the Charles A. Lindbergh Award. Clarke was also named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1986, won innumerable international awards for his fiction and scientific writing.

"Rendezvous with Rama," his 1973 novel about a space probe sent to explore an enormous celestial object speeding through the solar system that turns out to be a mysterious alien spacecraft, was one of Clarke's greatest critical successes. It won the prestigious Nebula, Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, as well as the British Science Fiction Associate Award, the Locus Award and the Jupiter Award.

"My God, it's full of stars!!”

Among his best-known science-fiction novels are "Childhood's End," "Rendezvous With Rama," "Imperial Earth" and, most famously, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

"It's better to be recognized for one thing, especially something of which I'm quite proud, than not to be recognized at all ," Clarke told The LA Times in 1982. And what a legacy, “2001: A Space Odyssey” was, with its mysterious monoliths, psychopathic Hal 9000 computer and a final sequence which left many cinema-goers confused has since became frequently-referenced icons of modern cinema.

Clarke also foretold an array of technological notions in his works such as space stations, moon landings using a mother ship and a landing pod, cellular phones and the Internet.

"Nobody has done more in the way of enlightened prediction ," science fiction author Isaac Asimov once wrote.

A Farewell To Sir Arthur Charles ClarkeArthur Charles Clarke was born in Minehead, a town in Somerset in the south-west of England , on 16 December 1917, peered into the heavens with a homemade telescope as a boy. A farmer's son, he was educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton before joining the civil service, Clarke grew up to become a visionary titan of science fiction and was knighted for his contributions to literature.

Clarke wrote more than 80 fiction and non-fiction books and more than 100 short stories as well as hundreds of articles and essays. A seer of the modern age, Sir Arthur was an original thinker, a scientific expert whose tales combined technology and good old-fashioned storytelling and whose influence went far beyond the written page.

As well as pioneering works of science fiction, Clarke also appeared on television, most notably in, “Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World.” The Mysterious World episode on UFOs which was first shown on ITV in 1980 is still relevant today featuring rare interviews with Ken Arnold, Jessie Roestenburg and Bob Taylor.

Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World - UFO

I'll leave you with Sir Arthur C. Clarke's own words via a BBC report, who while marking his 90th birthday last year, told fans:

"I want to be remembered most as a writer. I want to entertain readers and hopefully stretch their imaginations as well.”

"If I have given you delight by aught that I have done, let me lie quiet in that night, which shall be yours anon."

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Sunday, 23 March 2008

Anomalous Data & UFO Hot-Spots In The UK

I feel there's something not quite right about the recent results of the Virgin Media Report into UK UFO Hot-Spots. It seems as if every subsequent news report relating to their findings has involved disingenuous data and it's probably to be expected considering the careful wording of the original press release/s.

I'm referring to instances like the statement that Nick Pope, “Supports the study." Not that Nick, “Carried out the study” or, “Assisted” but that he merely supports the study…..

This post isn't so much about UFOs but rather about the poor reporting that is peddled to us every day, this time it just happens to be in regard to UFOs. It may seem a bit banal to highlight the obviously flawed media-machine but it just pisses me off that something as simple as the details of a report could be so badly misinterpreted by virtually ever local newspaper website that subsequently latched onto it.

From the official Virgin Media webpage ( that displays the details:

The Top 10 UFO hotspots in the UK

1. West Yorkshire (34)
2. Nottingham (29)
3. Lancashire (24)
4. Shropshire (22)
5. North Somerset and Avon (22)
6. Suffolk (19)
7. South Wales (18)
8. County Durham (17)
9. Lanarkshire (15)
10. Devon (15)

Virgin Media has been tracking data which goes back to 1961, revealing an astounding 609 unexplained sightings across the UK ….. 'The Virgin Media Files' detailing the counties you're most likely to see a UFO, supported by the former head of the Government's UFO project, Nick Pope.

Seems reasonable enough, and the first report I seen online by the Halifax Courier would seem to confirm all of these facts:

Halifax – Courier (14 March 2008)
Halifax – Courier UFO

'The Virgin Media Files' have been compiled from data which goes back to 1961.

Nick Pope said: “While we currently have no explanation why certain places in the UK are alien hot spots, as the research reveals, there are areas where mysterious objects are repeatedly witnessed”

“So people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Halifax."

Then a day later the exact same online Newspaper ran the following article:

Halifax – Courier (15 March 2008)
Halifax – Courier UFO

There is a UFO sighting every four months in the area, dubbed "West York-fear", according to Virgin Media. The study was conducted by Nick Pope, a former government UFO advisor, and taken from data going back to 1994.

Mr Pope said: "While we currently have no explanation why certain places in the UK are alien hot spots, as the research reveals, there are areas where mysterious objects are repeatedly witnessed.”

“So people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Yorkshire."

The same newspaper is now saying Nick didn't support the report but actually conducted it. Also instead of 1961 it's now supposed to be, “Taken from data going back to 1994.”

This Is Plymouth (17 March 2008)
This Is Plymouth UFO

People in Plymouth can expect a close encounter of the extra-terrestrial kind - Devon is ranked number 10 in a specially compiled list of Britain 's top 10 UFO hotspots.

'The Virgin Media Files' have been compiled from data which goes back to 1961 and highlight 15 unexplained sightings in Devon alone - including a silent, circular object which was spotted over Barnstaple in 1964.

Bury Free Press (18 March 2008)
Bury Free Press UFO

Strange spheres hovering above Bury St Edmunds have helped to make Suffolk a 'hot spot' for UFOs, according to an expert on the unexplained. With 19 sightings since 1961, the county has come sixth in a list of top 10 places to spot a UFO compiled by Nick Pope, the former head of a Government project looking at UFOs

Sunderland Echo (20 March 2008)
Sunderland Echo UFO

Nick Pope said: “While we currently have no explanation why certain places in the UK are alien hot spots, as the research reveals, there are areas where mysterious objects are repeatedly witnessed.

“So people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Durham."

This Is Lancashire (21 March 2008)
This Is Lancashire UFO

"While we currently have no explanation why certain places in the UK are alien hot spots, as the research reveals, there are areas where mysterious objects are repeatedly witnessed"

"So people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Lancashire."

So we have a study that has collected data from either 1961, 1994 or 2000 onwards and it would appear that people who want to alien-spot should definitely head to Halifax or Yorkshire or Durham or Lancashire or.....

Well I'm sure you get the picture and remember these were exact quotes credited to Nick Pope, who in turn may have conducted the study or may have just thought it was a good idea!! Depending entirely on which, “UFO Hot-Spot” locale you are situated closest to, and of course which local news report you are unfortunate enough to read…..

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