Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for September, 2007

Video: Drone – Strange Craft

Superb work in this video inspired by the whole Drone saga. The music is from Drone, remixing interviews by Linda Moulton Howe (who as an ufologist is a pretty good singer), but the highlight here is clearly the author of the graphics.
Because all the graphics in this video, completely digital, were created by one single person: Kris Avery, also known as “saladfingers”, the artist who has been reproducing and even enhancing the original Drone images to show how they can indeed be created on a computer. According to Avery, it’s all a hoax, though a very interesting one.
Download the original video file, in hi-res, here.

UPDATE: Kris Avery clarifies his views on the OpenMindsForum, where much work has been done to sort the Drone saga. His message:

Hi folks,
listen, you can take me straight OFF the hoaxers list…
If the drone case was hoaxed.. if (because it has yet to be proven) it was not me. Feelings about the possibility of what you imagine this case to be do not make it so. It is way more complicated than that. My video (to some) can only ever show that it is possible that the drones could be the result of CG, not that they are. There is much to be done before that is proven positive or negative.
I will also reply to the comment about how easy it was to create this video. It wasn’t! It took a fair amount of time, and was not a walk in the park.
I’m very glad that the video has been enjoyed, and I am extremely flattered by some of the wonderful feedback! I never expected such a resounding response. But it was not created to debunk, and the wide majority of people who have seen it don’t think so either. It is a dedication to some of the extremely talented and intelligent people who have put many many hours of study into this case. It is also a result of the artistic inspiration I have drawn from the unique imagery in the drones and the CARET documents. Ultimately, it was created to breathe life into objects we have only ever seen as flat 2D images, while bringing some entertainment and enjoyment along the way!
Whether real or not, there are some amazing visual aspects in the original presented evidence. I think the primer part of the video presents this inspiration to the fullest.
So please, don’t dismiss the drone case outright because my work looks pretty close. It took a lot of work to get them as close as they are. A lot of studying of the images.
The answer to this case is personal to everyone, but no one has ‘proved’ anything. Merely provided possibilities, and there are so many of these to choose from. To dismiss this case on a feeling is to dismiss the search for the truth.
I have at times thrown my hands up in the air and said that this has got to be CG! But I haven’t proved that. Has anyone? But it hasn’t been proved to be real either. It is the unanswered questions that drive us mad, which is why it is so easy to throw the towel in and resign ourselves to our feelings. I am still wide open to this case being real, so please don’t think I say it is a hoax, full stop, the end.
It is over when it is proven one way or the other, not before.
To say such is to belittle the hard work done by some very dedicated researchers. This I have learned along the way!
Final note. The special thanks to Linda Moulton Howe is for the kind lending of her voice to the amazing piece of music by ‘Drone’. She is not related to the video in the sense of her involvement in any way. I have never spoken to her myself. But I take this opportunity to thank her again for sounding so cool on the track! It wouldn’t be so good without her on there, and it gives the music a backbone that makes sense of the images.
Anyway, I hope this message clears a few things up. I refuse to be the debunkers champion, or any such nonsense. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I honestly hope everyone makes up their own mind, as opposed to being swayed by the flat conclusions of others.
That’s it really. Maybe you could post this letter a little more prominently? As I don’t really like being tagged with the hoaxer brush. I want to make it VERY CLEAR, that the original evidence has nothing to do with me.
Thanks and the kindest of regards,
Kris : )

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Sand circles: how to do it

Watch above the creation of a sand circle, not much different from the process used to create the more famous crop circles. It’s the art of Andres Amador. [via Paulo Barros]

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Water forms floating ‘bridge’ with high voltage

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Austrian physicists discovered an unusual and unexpected effect liquid water is exposed to an electric field: a floating water bridge. The group from Graz University of Technology suggestes that the explanation may lie within the nature of the water’s structure.

Initially, the bridge forms due to electrostatic charges on the surface of the water. The electric field then concentrates inside the water, arranging the water molecules to form a highly ordered microstructure. This microstructure remains stable, keeping the bridge intact. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.

The researchers also noticed a pattern with the inner structures: every experiment started with a single inner structure, which then decayed into additional structures after a few minutes of operation. The group thought that this decay might be caused by either dust contamination or the increasing temperature of the water bridge under the electric field. As the water temperature increased from 20 degrees Celsius to more than 60 degrees Celsius—which took about 45 minutes—the bridge collapsed.

This obvisouly reminds of The Abyss:

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The study is Fuchs, Elmar C., Woisetschläger, Jakob, Gatterer, Karl, Maier, Eugen, Pecnik, René, Holler, Gert, and Eisenkölbl, Helmut. “The floating water bridge.” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (2007) 6112-6114. [via Physorg]

LINK
Chemicool.com – A chemistry website with a detailed periodic table. Complete in information on chemical elements and their properties.

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UFO photos: Out of focus images

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Starting from a punctual object (O1), completely in focus, the light rays, after going through the lens, will pass through the center (O3) of the diaphragm and then through the second lens, ending in the photographic film in a point (F1), completely in focus.

On the other hand, starting from a punctual object (O2), completely out of focus, the light rays, after going through the lens, would converge at the point O4, but some of the light rays will be blocked by the diaphragm. Only part of it will pass through.

This part is, in fact, a cone with thousands of rays of light. Between points O3 and O4 we have what is called the circle of minimum confusion. As only light will pass, out of focus, through the diaphragm, and it blocks part of the light rays, then the physical shape of the diaphram is imprinted to the photographic film.

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Spherical Aberration

It occurs when the objective lens is incapable of focusing the outer and axial rays in the same point. Because of the lens curvature, the borders are thinner while the center is thicker. If the lens is hit by parallel rays, they will pass through different thicknesses in the lens, and will therefore form many different focus points.

An objective lens with spherical aberration will form a diffuse image with little contrast in all visual field. We can reduce the problem closing the diaphragm, using only the central region of the lens.

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An objective lens is composed of many elements, going from 7 up to 15 lenses, depending on its quality. This is all to eliminate or reduce the aberrations.

In the image below, we can see that a light was cut out of the original photo, to the right. It generated a coma reflection, to the left (notice the symmetry). Around the reflection we also see a good example of spherical aberration, forming a big ring.

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This effect is very common on night films seen on the movies or TV, when car headlights are filmed coming towards the camera. It’s also very clear with TV studio light spots.

Out of focus

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Something very similar happens with unfocused images. If we have the focus on a person, for instance, and in the background we have one or more lights, those will be out of focus, and reach the camera on that circle of minimum confusion.

This will imprint the image of the diaphragm on the photo. If we have a diaphragm with five parts, as in the example above, then the unfocused images will have that shape: a pentagon. If the diaphragm has six parts, as in the example below, we will have hexagons. And so on.

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The same thing happens if you photograph a light source very closely, with the focus set to infinite. IN the example above, the small holes were captured in film as hexagons, as the diaphragm of the camera had six parts. At left, it’s also possible to see a reddish spherical aberration.

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In this photo we can see that it’s out of focus, since the hexagons are all parallel to each other. If they were on a curve, they would align toward a common point.

Coma

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The coma aberration happens when an objective lens is incapable of forming a puncutal oblique image, producing instead an asymmetrical light area. The light rays are reflected by the internal lenses and reach the film.

This aberration is the one most often confused with UFOs. See the example above of a photo that was cropped. In the uncropped photo, there will always be a symmetry of the source and the reflection in relation to the center of the photograph.

It’s always important to analyze the negatives to verify if the photograph wasn’t developed with cropping. See some examples below.

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Cropped

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Uncropped

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Symmetry highlighted

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Out of the visual field

Another interesting visual effect mistaken with UFOs occurs when the source of the light lies outside the visual field of the camera, but insed the visual field of the first lens (the outermost lens).

Those are usually taken almost against the Sun. This effect can be avoided by using a shade. See two examples below:

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If you read and understood this article, you will probably start to look at UFO photos with a different view. You may also watch TV in a different way, noticing the many squares, pentagons, hexagons and polygons in general that appear all the time, as well as the Coma and spherical aberrations.

— By Claudeir Covo, ufologist and president of the Brazilian National Institute of Aerospatial Phenomena Investigation – INFA
And Paola Lucherini Covo, ufologist and secretary of INFA

Translated with their kind permission

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New UAP website: Caelestia

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CAELESTIA was initiated in 1994. Its purpose: to collect, investigate and document reports of unidentified aerial phenomena. The name CAELESTIA is borrowed from Latin and can best be translated as “affairs of the heavens”. The general idea behind the initiative was – and still is – that reports of “Unidentified Flying Objects” deserve a more correct treatment, be it from the scientific community or from the UFO community itself.

Special notice to the superb picture galleries, with an extensive list of objects and phenomena that can be mistaken for UFOs. The resarch & discussion also has some nice work, including an evaluation of the Belgian UFO wave, as as the case examples.

[via Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos]

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