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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
Loc: non-local
UFO identification
    #2989678 - 08/11/04 04:58 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I thought I would give some information about UFO identification for those of you curious about those strange things we see sometimes in the sky. By 'UFO' I mean precisely that, unknown flying object, not necessarily an alien spacecraft- just something one sees in the sky that cannot be identified and/or exhibits behavior unfamiliar to the witness(es).

I am actually open to the possibility of alien flybys, but when investigated many cases turn out to be known phenomena. It's okay to want to believe, but one should follow the truth wherever it leads- even if the path leads to the mundane. Before assuming what you're seeing is an alien spacecraft it's important to eliminate all known phenomena that can produce the behavior you are witnessing.

Always remember The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not kid thyself!

Many UFO sightings are simply fire balloons- someone takes, say a plastic dry cleaning bag, seals the top with tape, and inserts several birthday candles which are lit and provide the lift. They can look quite unusual in the sky and since only the bottom part of the balloon is visible, many people report UFOs when they are launched. I have sent up a few of them myself and can personally attest to this effect.

Fire balloons are very difficult to identify at night without previous experience with them.
There are several reasons for this:

Unless one is familiar with UFOs, or lived before World War II, one would not have much exposure to the existence of fire balloons due to modern fire laws.

Most people born after 1945 have never knowingly seen a fire balloon.

Due to reflections from the plastic bag, the shape can be quite indistinct.

Anyone who assumes that a fire balloon is a vehicle will grossly overestimate the size, distance, speed, and altitude as I mentioned in another thread.

Slight gradients in wind speed can cause the balloon to rotate.

Changes in wind velocity cause the balloon to tilt and wobble.

Because only the bottom end of the balloon is visible, the object appears to make maneuvers that require power. The center of mass is actually quite higher than the lighted portion, giving rise to these effects:
Wobbling
Pendulum motion
Oscillating coin motion
Undulatory flight
Fire balloons can leave burn marks and set fires.

Dark adaptation can make colors seem more saturated than they really are.
When the remains of one are found, they are assumed to be trash, not a flying object.
Sometimes a fire balloon is discounted because it follows a circular or repeating path. In the presence of trees or buildings, circular and oscillatory winds are sometimes observed, by-products of linear winds and the tall objects that deflect them.

So the next time you see a light moving in the sky, keep in mind it may just be one of us merry pranksters doing what we love. It's a very fun and rewarding activity. You get to spend a little time on a fun hobby, and the next day you always buy a local newspaper..


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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Offlined33p
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2989696 - 08/11/04 05:07 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The only "ufo" i've ever really seen was from an apartment building after the most intense electrical storm i had ever seen. Coming from the still lightning filled clouds comes a single bright yellow light.

It changed speeds many times, would rise rapidly then stop over and over, and i could of sworn i saw it go backwards for a short period of time instantly.

It was just an odd occurrence that i remember.


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I'm a nihilist. Lets be friends.

bang bang


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: d33p]
    #2989720 - 08/11/04 05:19 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

That sounds like a rare phenomena known as "ball lightning".

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/B/ball_lightning.html


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineMAGnum
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2989737 - 08/11/04 05:32 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yep, sounds like ball lightning to me.

I think most UFO sightings are bullshit, but the possibility that UFOs are visitting Earth is completely possible.


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InvisibleJellric
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Registered: 11/08/98
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Re: UFO identification [Re: MAGnum]
    #2989796 - 08/11/04 06:14 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

My own personal belief is that UFO sightings are almost always mind phenomena. That in no way means they are "all in your head" either. Just because something is non-physical does not mean it is not real. It may not be a part of consensus reality just yet, but science has investigated and brought to light many previously unknown phenomena which we now view as mundane.

It is my hope that unexplained phenomena like this is investigated in a serious way.
I admire the scientists who have an open mind and explore despite ridicule from their colleagues and occasionaly the media. This field draws more than its share of crackpots to be sure, but there are many skilled scientists in the field as well.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2990279 - 08/11/04 10:25 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

UFO identification? Sounds like an oxymoron to me...


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2990298 - 08/11/04 10:33 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I've don't think I've ever seen a UFO...

I've seen jets, I've seen ball lightning, I've seen fire balloons, I've seen those little dots that stay in your retina and field of vision, I've seen alien spacecraft. I can usually tell what they are by looking at them and observing their behaviour, since they all behave differently. If you still aren't clear, try communicating telepathically to a fire balloon and see what kind of response you get..probably none.

Unless it's one of those newfangled advanced techno-biological fire balloons.


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InvisibleEgo Death
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2990364 - 08/11/04 10:59 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Interesting read.

If I can perform safely then I will certainly build and test some of these fire balloons you speak of.

Most UFO's I have spotted and can confirm as UFO were right up there with the stars, usually flying across the sky from or past the hemisphere.

Although, there have been 2 incidents of craft flying directly above me and at least another 2 of craft flying within a mile radius of myself.  :laugh:


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Anonymous

Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2990567 - 08/11/04 11:57 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

That's all well and nice. But this only seems to address the 'lights in the sky' phenomenon, and not cases where people report the shape of a UFO. Many UFO reports claim sightings in plain daylight of crafts with distinct shape. Take for example the infamous black triangle.


Clickity click.

I'm willing to concede that the triangle craft may be an as-of-yet undeclassified military project, but that doesn't really explain sightings in several countries across the world, mostly residential areas.


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: ]
    #2991090 - 08/11/04 02:25 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

My post was not meant to explain away all UFO sightings, just to shave off some of the more dubious cases. My feeling is that if the phenomena is reproducable using known methods it can be discounted. That is why I don't believe aliens are busy at night making crop circles- bored farmers and pranksters have been making them for years. They must get a kick out of the throngs of tourists arriving after their midnight work.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Ego Death]
    #2993470 - 08/12/04 12:14 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Some UFOs are observed to make very sharp turns.
There are several causes for this:

The trajectory may look strange only from the viewpoint of the witness. An airplane making a curve looks like it reverses direction when the path is seen edge-on. Think about it.

The antics of the fire balloon described above have sharp corners at the ends of the swing of the balloon.

Balloons follow the wind. The wind can make sudden changes due to different winds at different altitudes, storm fronts, buildings and other ground obstructions, or the effects of passing airplanes.

Autokinesis can make a star or planet seem to jerk back and forth. Actually the jerking is in the eyes of the witness.

Stars and planets can really appear to jerk back and forth when heat rising from a city (or a large parking lot) forms a variable atmospheric lens.

Two objects may overlap in the sky at just the right point (from the viewpoint of the witness) to appear to be one object making a sharp turn.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2993516 - 08/12/04 12:23 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

What about when the "UFO" is seen to be moving by many witnesses, and will stop on a dime then go the complete opposite direction, or suddenly turn 90 degrees and magnificently quickly move and then stop again?

Balloons and airplanes cannot describe what many people on the shroomery have seen, myself included. I'm not necessarily saying it's an alien ship, but many people try to write it off as simple things when if they saw it themselves they would realize that it cannot be a balloon or plane, or the heat from a city, but none of them accurately describe the radical movement of these "bobbers"


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Ravus]
    #2993692 - 08/12/04 12:53 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Read the section about balloons looping around again. That is consistent with an object appearing to stop on a dime and reversing course. In that case you are witnessing the object from a great distance and you can't make out that turn, it looks flat.

A good real world example to illustrate this illusion is the path of lightning. Did you know that lightning does not actually zig zag? If you look at it straight on at a distance it sure appears to. People will swear up and down that it does. It does not. Lightning travels in a spiral path, but it looks flat from a distance. The binocular effect I spoke of earlier contributes to the illusion.

As you mentioned, the examples I have given do not account for all UFOs, just the great majority of them. There are open cases and my mind is also open.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineEightball
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Ravus]
    #2993701 - 08/12/04 12:55 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

i flashed S.O.S. with a maglight up in the sky with my cousin on a cig break at night on my farm in upstate NY. then we saw a light above us, probably 10x as bright as the brightest star/planet in the sky at the time. at first i just thought it was a planet/star cause it wasnt moving, though the intensity of it was what was causing me to pay attention to it. then within probably 3 sec of appearing to me (im not sure if i was actually looking at the piece of sky when it appeared), anyways it moved very fast across the sky a bit and stopped in its tracks. it stayed put for another sec or 2 and disappeared. i cannot think of any natural or manmade explaination besides high speed craft using gravitational fields and some inertial dampening, basically beyond what we think we can do today with science. alien or human, it was something that still gives me goose bumps thinking about.

after it was gone i looked at my cousin and asked him if he just saw what i did. we got the hell inside and i dont think we've flashed a light at the sky since.


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If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on.you'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the earth.


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Offlineld50negative1
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Jellric]
    #2993704 - 08/12/04 12:56 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Check out the meteor shower tonight. You think those are fragments of a comet? HELL NO! Those are alien beings traveling in space pods landing on the earth to study it!!


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: ld50negative1]
    #2993720 - 08/12/04 12:58 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Everyone run for your lives!!!!!

*dives under table*


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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineEightball
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Re: UFO identification [Re: Eightball]
    #2993773 - 08/12/04 01:04 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

experience 2:
this one *could* have possibly been reflection trickery considering i was in a car and driving at night. i wish i could find out if there were any local sightings cause this was over suburban orlando FL. i was heading home from a friends where i was smoking and i saw a circle of lights slightly eliptical in the left top corner of the wind shield. i noticed it and was navigating a curve in the road so i managed to look at it out my drivers side window and it really looked like the underside of a ufo no more then 200 ft off the ground over a housing development. it got to the point where it was getting more behind me on the left and it disappeared. no other cars were immeadiately around either =(
this was about a year ago.


--------------------
If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on.you'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the earth.


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InvisibleJellric
altered statesman

Registered: 11/08/98
Posts: 2,261
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Re: UFO identification [Re: d33p]
    #2993982 - 08/12/04 01:43 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

For the record, here is a list of what fire balloons have been observed to DO:

They do not look like balloons at night. The bag either is lost to sight, or makes a glow or projection appear above the object. Often the witness sees the bag as a dome.

They either look like a single light, a ring of lights, or a row of lights.

They are usually red, orange, yellow, or white. They can change from one color to another. Sometimes when a blue cleaner bag is used, the lights can look green or blue, or change color. The colors can be quite vivid.

They can rotate about a vertical axis. This makes the lights appear to rotate like a slow frisbee.

The usual number of candles is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9. Additional lights can be produced by reflections off the straws or the bag.

They can appear to have rectangular windows below the lights, and some form of structure (many times described as a fin or a dome) can appear above the lights. The balsa wood strips or drinking straws reflect the candlelight and look like windows. The bag can reflect light, and look like an irregular structure. A halo around the light, and a "peace sign" shape have been reported.

They can maneuver: wobble, flutter, move like a falling leaf, or swing like a pendulum. Changes in wind speed make the bag tilt, as the heavier bottom lags behind the top due to inertia.

This gives rise to the concepts of ultra-maneuverability and non-ballistic behavior of UFOs. Since only the bottom of the balloon is visible, it seems to require a lot of energy to behave as it does. After the change tilts the bag, it rocks back and forth until it settles out. Note that although they can do this, they do not have to do this.

They seem much bigger and much farther away than they are. Since most sighters think they are vehicles, they make them appear in their minds at least as big as a car. To make the image seem that big, they see the object as farther away than it is. Remember that nobody can determine the distance of an unfamiliar object if it is farther away than 20 feet, unless it overlaps an object of known distance.

Since they seem farther away, they also seem faster, apparently going at fantastic speeds, and maneuvering tightly enough to kill human pilots.

Since they have candles aboard, the lights pulsate as the candles gutter when the wicks get too long. The lights can dim in quick sequence if a gust of wind hits the mouth of the bag.

They don't make any sound, unless the prankster installs whistling fireworks, or a firecracker to terminate the sighting with an explosion. These have been reported. (No pun intended.)

They can appear to drop bombs, send scout ships, or fire missiles at the ground. This happens in two ways: One is when dripping wax burns as it falls. The other is when a candle burns itself free of its support and falls.

They can appear to approach and recede from the witnesses, as the candles burn brighter and dimmer.

They can appear to move against or cross to the wind, if the upper air wind is blowing in a different direction than the surface wind.

They can land and take off. If the wind gusts and the bag tilts enough to lose hot air, the balloon will land until the hot air builds up again. This can also set a fire if the balloon lands in the wrong place. This can produce burned landing marks and other "physical evidence."

They can suddenly appear in the sky. Two methods are known to delay the appearance of the light until the balloon is far from the launch site. One is to put a black paper cone around the candles. It burns away when the flame reaches the paper. The other is to use a fuse to start a much brighter flare.

They can appear to rush away from the witness at high speed as the last candle goes out. If the candle burns out, it will appear to rush directly away from the witness. If the last candle falls, it will appear to rush either down, or toward the distant horizon. They can also suddenly ascend rapidly once they have shed enough weight in candle wax.

Some pranksters hang strips of aluminum foil from the balloons. These appear as appendages, sparkle, and make the balloon appear on RADAR.

They can give off bursts of brilliant colors, balls of light, or showers of sparks if the prankster puts in small lightweight fireworks. One particularly striking effect occurs when the "signal flare" firework, which gives out extremely bright flashes of light, is used

They can disappear in a ball of flame if the envelope catches fire.

They can explode noiselessly or with a delayed bang in a shower of sparks if the prankster puts in a small firecracker.

Fire balloons are low power devices, and generally fly low. Many times they follow wind patterns as trees deflect the air currents. In some cases, they follow power lines because there is a swath cut in the trees for the power lines to run through.


--------------------
I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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