Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Kumburgaz, Turkey “UFO": Yacht Window Reflections

They are being promoted as “the most significant UFO videos of all time”, including “two extraterrestrials [that] were caught on tape in Istanbul”. And perhaps the most amazing thing, or the dead giveaway, is that those videos have been captured not once, but several times since 2007.

Summer and springtime in Turkey, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and there comes a man named Yalcin Yalman with more of these “most significant UFO videos of all time”.

Now, Chilean researcher Andrés Duarte publishes an excellent analysis of the Kumburgaz videos and comes to the conclusion that they must be mainly of yacht side windows reflecting light at night: Los ovnis de Kumburgaz son ventanas de lanchas.

Stay with us for a summary in English of Duarte’s analysis.

Greater Reflections

First, Duarte illustrates a compilation of screen captures from the videos, and notes that “several images may be the result of the same object in different lighting conditions, but the diversity of appearances suggests there’s more than a simple change in lighting or orientation, by which we can assume there are several ‘models’”.


Then, and this is the most important and yet difficult to grasp argument: it’s quite obvious, even more so by watching the moving images, the objects appear to be specular surfaces reflecting light.

“Nevertheless, there’s something important regarding the first impression given by these reflections: one could think they reflect light in this way because they are significantly curved, but things do not work this way when the images are captured in non-trivial circumstances.”

“In the videos, there’s an extreme zoom and the angular size of the objects is of about 0.5 degrees, which equals a distance/size ratio of over 100. In these conditions a specular, convex surface would appear as a luminous point, as the reflected light would be scattered.”

“The conclusion is that the objects must be straight or just slightly bent specular reflectors, in a situation where they reflect light directly to the observer. Any other surface would not be seen, which suggests the possibility that these objects are part of a bigger object with other surfaces that are nor seen, either because they are curved, diffuse their reflections, or even straight but with different orientations”.


“Another consequence is that these deformities in the surfaces are greatly amplified in the appearance of the reflection. To clarify these ideas we conducted a very simples experiment illustrated above. Small plastic covers reflecting a horizontal, straight light source. To the left of the image the covers were photographed a few inches from the camera, and the reflection has little distortion. To the right the covers are a couple of feet from the camera, and the reflection appears more distorted.”

“In more extreme conditions such as those of the Kumburgaz footage, the effect must be even greater.”

“Another interesting effect that can be seen in most of the videos is color decomposition. It’s almost unnoticeable, but here are some of the most clear images:


“This effect sometimes occurs due to the chromatic aberration of the lens, but in the videos we can see other images, such as those of the Moon, that do not exhibit this problem. (…) Therefore the effect must be caused by the objects themselves, but a simple specular surface doesn’t decompose colors, the most probable thing is that this occurs in sheets of a transparent material that decompose light by two mechanisms: the interference between the reflections between the different sheets (iridescence) and refraction and reflection between the surfaces, an effect which gets more noticeable with the distance. In the experiment with the plastic covers, they are also transparent and there’s a slight color decomposition in some parts”.


Location, distance, size

From the videos and some reference points, Duarte suggests they were shot pointing southeast or east-southeast, in the direction of the Güzelce marina. You can see where this is going.


Duarte was also able to suggest some calibration points, at which point he notes in the May 17 2009 video, the Moon would be at a 114 degree azimuth and the object, at 118 degrees and at the horizon. “That is, according the scale [below], if this video was also shot in the beach then the Moon appears in a direction almost parallel to the coastline and the object was seen in the same direction as some of the boats”.


You can see where this is going.

“Another video that has the Moon as reference is of May 27, 2008, where the object is at about 130 degrees in azimuth; according to the scale [above] that points to the sea.”

As for the size of the object itself, it’s only possible to give an angular size, and the object has around the same angular size as the Moon, which is, around 0.5 degrees.



“Now we can summarize the probable characteristics of these alleged UFOs to suggest a specific hypothesis: the objects are straight or just slightly bent specular surfaces, there are different designs for them, they could be part of a bigger object that can’t be seen given the circumstances, they are possibly sheets of transparent material, they are probably in the sea.”

“All of this takes us to the following hypothesis: the objects are lateral ‘shark’ or ‘moth’ style windows in some boats or small yachts.”


There are many boats of the kind in Turkey, especially near the footage location.


Now, the first objection one could raise is that the “UFOs” are over the horizon. In fact, that is almost certainly not the case. Duarte points that in the May 17 2009 video, 23:32UT, the Moon would be at an azimuth of 113.8 degrees and just 6.8 degrees of elevation.

And you can see that the object is to the right of the Moon (in the direction of the sea), and several degrees below it.


Duarte also notices that the cameraman seems to deliberately play with a nearby tree to obstruct the lights of buildings that should be visible to the left, as well as with the camera exposure to have only the object and the Moon appear in the footage.

As for some of the other “UFOs”, Duarte identifies one of them with the passage of the International Space Station, and another with mast lights – again of boats – seen at a distance.

One final objection: this author was somewhat skeptical of the boat window hypothesis given the sharpness of the “UFO” images, but this can be explained because one, the object is half a degree in size (there are some quite clear shots of the moon in the videos), and two, as Duarte explained at the beginning what was recorded was not a simple defined reflection, but a heavily distorted one.

It’s in a way the same “sharpness” that one can get in the “inside” of out of focus images such as orbs.

Even if you don’t agree with the hypothesis of boat windows, fact is that the “UFO” shows color aberration, and is always shot in the direction of the marine, never to be seen above the Moon.

And given the place where the videos were shot, it’s quite obvious what they must be.

A couple of years ago we suggested the videos were produced by capturing something reflective, and tried a reproduction with a dinner tray. The results were terrible, as it turns out it was something reflective, but transparent and bigger, floating in the sea.

Yacht window reflections. Watch the video again, starting from 6 minutes on, to see the Moon low on the sky and the “UFO” below it, and things may finally make sense.

Don’t miss Andrés Duarte’s full analysis, in Spanish: Los ovnis de Kumburgaz son ventanas de lanchas

And his main website: Análisis crítico de la evidencia ufológica y otras anomalías

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Posted in UFO photos,UFOs | 16 comments

16 Comments so far

  1. […] at the excellent Forgetomori site, a translation of an article by Chilean researcher Andrés Duarte shows that the biomechanoid […]

  2. alanborky April 30th, 2010 1:58 pm

    These looks to me somewhat like jewellery-like items such as old fashioned, non-digital wristwatches – perhaps stripped down, (something I couldn’t resist doing as a kid in order to find out how they worked), most of which’re obscured by what looks like pieces of black card, hence the sharp straight edge running along the bottom of most, if not all, the ‘UFOs’, (which is especially noticeable when viewed in inverted colours).

    There’s a green translucent object resembling an emerald, (or a Rowntree’s fruit gum), set into metal along the edge of the first object, which might be something long the lines of the jewels they used to put in Swiss watches, though its ‘cut’ smacks more of something attached to a ring, bracelet or broach.

    I’m struck by how all the ‘close-ups’ seemingly occur in pitch dark, but in the ‘daylight’ shots the objects always seem to be off in the ‘distance’.

    I’m also struck by how the camera doesn’t seem so much to focus the objects in and out, as they seem more to be pushed towards or pulled away from the camera.

    My own take: if these aren’t alien spacecraft, (perhaps piloted by a race of super intelligent Rowntree’s fruit gums), then they’re mundane objects being viewed on something like a dimly lit electronic microscope with a large viewing screen, this in turn being reflected onto a round glass, porthole-like surface.

    Ah, but what do I know?

  3. terry the censor May 1st, 2010 4:00 am

    Oh, there’s more than I thought! First time I saw this video, just the initial night time part was included, with no wave sounds, and with newsy bits about Turkish scientists and other rubbish. Makes sense: seeing and hearing the water makes one think of boats immediately, or perhaps oil rig lights.

  4. Foxtrot September 2nd, 2010 9:27 pm
  5. Brian October 10th, 2010 1:30 am

    I’ve got to admit…even having had considerable experience with camera-work I’m not sure I would have recognized these objects for what they were….So I dont think the cameraman is to blame, unless he discovered the effect, and is purposely takin advantage of it. (perhaps if this is the case, most of the times its obvious these are ships, but he only picked and chose the ones where it was extremely hard to tell. No matter what you think of the specular surface theory, it seems obvious that there is some sort of optical illusion going on…mainly because if these WERE alien ships they would either A. have to be VERY oddly shaped, or B. lit extreamly selectively…Although they seem like disk shaped objects at first glance…by noticing the extremely sharp and very straight line dividing the image at the bottom…its hard to see how they could be. You should be able to see something beyond that line, of the rest of the ship…instead of just inky blackness. The only way I could imagine a ship that is roughly in the shape of a saucer to look like that is if only the side visible is lit…..and that would be quite an unfortunate coincedence for the Aliens had they decided to only keep the side directly facing the camera lit. Or as I stated before…they could simply be incredbly oddly shaped. (or concievably being an alien ship, they could have some sort of optical camoflage)….of course the same objections could be raised here of Y then are they so unlucky to only hide the sides not visible from the camera so many times! And for that matter, why HAVE a side completely visible if the rest is camoflaged?!?! Although windows creating a rather consistant specular curved surface Idea is a bit hard to grasp….it seems like a plausible explanation for this one.

  6. Dr. Roger Leir January 30th, 2011 2:35 am

    I have read with interest the latest analysis of the Kumburgas, Turkey UFO footage. Please remember that I was present during the filming of this object and was able to look thru the viewfinder of the camera. Please consider the following facts: I make no scientific proclamation that I am any sort of authority on video analysis. With that said please note that the ocean and surrounding area was surveyed with optical equipment prior to the sighting of this object and NO water craft of any sort was viewable. This fact alone should be sufficient to void the hypothesis of light reflections from any ground based source. Next, with my supericial knowledge of physics, there was no recognition to the fact that our atmosphere is fluid and those fluid dynamics should come into play when theorising the nature of a reflective surface at distance. Lastly, would we really dare to base objective analysis pertaining to a refelctive surface of materials from another world?
    Dr. Leir

  7. Peter May April 17th, 2011 7:47 am

    From a UFO skeptic.

    Here are several email sent to Turkish institutes and individuals seeking information. No replies where recieved.
    I even emailed a Turkish UFO website without result.

    Dear Sir,
    Has Tubitak publishes a report concerning the UFO filmed over Kumbergaz in 2009, if so is this available on your website, if
    not how might I obtain a copy.
    Thank you beforehand for your help in this matter.
    Best regards
    Peter May.

    Dear Sir,
    I wonder if there has been the above named Proffessor, at the Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences,
    if so would it be possible to have his Email address.
    Thank you before hand with your help in this matter.
    Kind regards
    Peter May.

    .Dear Proffessor Basar,
    My name is Peter May and I research certain phenomena, may I ask you do you know of a Prof. Mehmet Ozel,
    who may have been on the faculty of your department as recently as 2009.
    Thank you for your help beforehand in this matter.
    Kind regards
    Peter May

    My name is Peter May and I reside in Sweden.
    I research certain phenomena, and would like to contact Prof. Adnan Öktem, I hope I have spelt his name correctly.
    I cannot see that he has an Email address, any help you can give would be much appreciated.
    Thank you beforehand with you help in this matter.
    Peer May
    The email addresses can be obtained by mailing me at

  8. phil wright May 30th, 2011 9:08 am

    the article states that the moon in the may 17 2009 video was 6 degrees above the horizon.this is WRONG.the moon would have been around 30 degrees high at 3am on the above date-and with the ufo a couple of degrees below it – would place the ufo 20+degrees high!!

  9. Caner Telimenli July 16th, 2011 4:44 pm

    I also checked the position of the moon in given date(may 17 2009 ) and the moon was at 45 degrees at that day. phil wright is right.

  10. Angie September 26th, 2011 10:37 pm

    Why is it that the UFO is being filmed at night so perfectly, with with the light being adjusted so greatly, as if the light sourrce was closer? Is this the effect of the tape itself or a copy of them reviewing it? If it is the original, it’s an obvious fake by lighting alone.

  11. Angie September 27th, 2011 6:55 pm

    It would seem that Alanborky is right.

  12. Shelbsta November 2nd, 2011 4:14 pm

    I don’t understand why the cameraman-if upon viewing these objects over what appear to be several occasions- didn’t get in a damn boat and head over there? Wouldn’t you? The fact that he kept it obscure indicates he is just trying to garner attention/youtube hits by exploiting this optical effect.

  13. […] COMMENTAIRES : «la plus importante vidéo d’O.V.N.I. jamais filmée» pourrait bien être la plus grosse méprise jamais filmée !! Une étude tout  à fait pertinente évoque des reflets dans la fenêtre d’un yacht ! : http://forgetomori.com/2010/ufos/kumburgaz-turkey-ufo-yacht-window-reflections/ […]

  14. […] Une étude faite par des sceptiques évoque une méprise possible avec des reflets dans la fenêtre d’un yacht  : http://forgetomori.com/2010/ufos/kumburgaz-turkey-ufo-yacht-window-reflections/ […]

  15. Dan April 4th, 2013 11:13 pm

    Yacht window reflections?
    That is more unlikely than alien craft!

    The supposition seems to be based on the idea the object was filmed out to sea – therefore it must be a boat!
    Looks nothing like a boat window in many of the shots though I dare say we are seeing more than one optical phenomena here.

    I also don’t buy the lights are fairly lights on yacht mast – that would have to be an incredibly tall mast set and not only that the phenomenon should of been witnessed around the world as a matter of fact.

    In the same way if this is simply reflections of yacht windows why has the author not reproduced the phenomenon?
    Is it really too hard for him to film a yacht at night to prove this theory?

    Sometimes debunks are crazier than theories of aliens and this is one of them. Total nonsense and I hereby debunk this debunk.

    That doesn’t mean I think this is aliens but I think it may be a genuine UFO/phenomenon that needs further research before it can be said to be solved.

    Perhaps the author wishes to take up my challenge and reproduce the images though _ I will wait patiently for that.

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