Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for the 'UFOs' Category

Swarm of Vortex Rings

A SST Truck (Stadium Super Trucks) driven by Adrian Cenni exploding while entering Turn 2 at Crandon International Raceway. The explosions going all the way through the pipe created each a vortex ring.

One of the most amazing UFO photos has been identified as a giant vortex ring: the Viborg “Jellyfish”.


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A UFO Shark Tale

Last August 26, 2012, four teenage girls from the city of Tres Pontas, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, captured the UFO video above. We can hear them gasping at the sight of what may look like a flying saucer. “We can see it clearly! It’s a spaceship, I’m sure!”, they yell.

The local Ufologist said he was “impressed with the images … if they are not hoaxed, they are among on the most impressive ever”, adding that “we are used in this field of Ufology to finding authentic cases and reports that are not taken seriously by the authorities.”

Another one suggested it may have been a solar balloon, but amazingly it was a bunch of nice enthusiasts on a social network, part of the group Brazilian Center of Ufology (CUB) who correctly pointed the UFO was a laminated helium balloon.

Sure enough, shortly thereafter and with the huge success of the “Tres Pontas UFO” video, which received national TV coverage, neighbor Fabio da Silva Fonseca confirmed he was the one who launched that no-longer-UFO into the sky.

“At the moment the balloon escaped, we were here outside and saw it going up. It went to the direction where it was sighted by the girls at around the same time”, Fonseca told. “I’m absolutely sure it was the balloon.” You can watch above the follow-up TV coverage with the girls, Fonseca and the balloon.

And it was a simple remote-controlled, helium filled shark balloon. Upon some scouring the web I found it’s from the Air Swimmer brand, 60 inches (1,3m) long and being sold in Brazil for around a USD100. The white patch in the bottom matches the brighter parts of the “UFO”, including an interruption midway caused by the opaque blue dorsal fins. An upper fin and tail can also be hinted when the image is enhanced.


It seems the same brand of fishy balloons have been causing some stir elsewhere too.

The case is fun because of the buzz it generated down here, but I personally love this next one, also solved by the folks of the Brazilian Center of Ufology back in 2008. I doubt you will recognize what kind of balloon this is:


Give it a try. Then find out what it was by clicking here.

I must also add that I was wrong in this case. When I quickly viewed the Tres Pontas UFO video I thought it was a cracked sheet of glass, similar to this one from Argentina, which is just cracked windshield:


Needless to say, I was very wrong. Had I actually watched the whole video I would have seen the object is seen from several different angles. A remote controlled flying shark was the answer. I would never have thought of that!

There are more things between the sky and the Earth than can imagine our vain philosophy, but they may not necessarily be that much impressive when viewed up close, even though they may cheer up a child’s party.

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The FBI/KGB/SS Alien Photo: Found


“Above, one of the most impressive photos of an alleged extraterrestrial creature recovered from crashed UFOs. For many years it was thought the photo originated from a crash in the USA, but recently it was found it was captured in Germany, shortly before the Second World War. The officers who hold the being are high-ranking members of the SS” [Brazilian UFO mag, n.18, p.18, Dec 1991]

001This has long been a favorite, and since we first wrote about it, we found out, through Isaac Koi, that as early as 1982 Loren Gross had already published in his series “UFOs: A History” the correct full source for the montage: the 1950 April Fools’ edition of the German photo magazine “Neue Illustrierte”, and in 2003 Achim Martin had sent him copies of the original article. Unfortunately, Gross publications have very limited circulation and the reproductions are of poor quality.

I therefore obtained the original issue of “Neue Illustrierte”, published in Cologne, Germany, dated March 29, 1950. It was a weekly magazine, and as stated in a big red headline in the cover, it covered April 1st. I share the relevant material here openly, and if you do appreciate it please help cover the expenses – instructions at the end of this post.

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“UFOs” Made in Brazil

We do enjoy some quite peculiar UFOs around here in Brazil, the video above being another example of the “Spiky UFO” class of spaceships, captured by graciollijr a few months ago in Curitiba, state of Parana.

Or, actually, it’s a large hot-air balloon with several spikes around.


You may remember another Brazilian video shot in 1995 that made some success on the Intertubes in 2008, or yet another example we presented here from 2006, both from the state of Sao Paulo. All spiky balloons.

Hot-air balloons are illegal, as they are often cause of fires and the risk they represent to air traffic, but the “sport” is still practiced nationwide, and as you can see, the spiky design lives on.

And just a few weeks ago, between Jul 23 and 24 in the city of Embu das Artes, still in Sao Paulo, a somewhat spectacular new kind of UFO was sighted by several dozen people, filmed by multiple independent witnesses, including professional TV crews.

The video above compiles several different sources, and adds a quite bogus analysis. Because, you see, the creator of the “UFO” showed up. His name is Joao Pelizari, and you can watch the news segment and his construction and launch of a replica below:

The “UFO” is a 50g conical set of wires, fiberglass sticks and LEDs – 31 on the rim, plus 15 in the center — powered by a cell phone battery. The whole thing is suspended a couple hundred meters in the air by a large, but quite simple kite covered with a transparent plastic sheet.

The ingenious contraption uses a clothespin and some electrical parts as a switch: Pelizari first flies the kite, then attaches and launches the “UFO” with the lights off. With a strong pull of the cord he is able to light it up. That way the “UFO” suddenly appears high in the sky, and he can switch it off at will with another pull of the cord, being able to retrieve it without being noticed.

According to him, when the wind is favourable, he is able to leave it flying the whole night, completely unattended. And that’s what happened that night.

But he didn’t reveal everything: the replica he showed on TV didn’t have a rotating rim. He hinted the original one rotated constantly, due to a mechanism he hopes to patent and “one day generate energy to millions.”

From the beginning no serious local researcher considered the Embu das Artes UFO as an alien spaceship. Claudeir Covo was the first researcher to analyze the images captured by the professional TV crew at the site, and on the morning after Covo had already concluded the “UFO” was definitely made of LEDs, probably suspended by a helium balloon.

Soon afterwards, the idea of a kite was also advanced by several other researchers. As it turns out, Pelizari’s design was much simpler and cheaper than anything even those who correctly suggested a kite had imagined.

The case illustrated many of the same old lessons, from several respectable witnesses swearing the UFO was the size of a Jumbo jet – when it wasn’t even a couple of meters in diameter – and even the limitations of our guesses and speculations as analysts. The human creativity is infinite, and however our many suggestions could also have reproduced the same effects, they weren’t quite what was actually there.

Well, it was very close.

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Battle of LA photo: Nothing indeed


The latest issue of Tim Printy’s SUNlite is out, and among several superb articles are his comments on the recent uncovering of the undoctored Battle of LA photo. And besides Scott Harrison’s article we wrote about here, Printy also points out that Larry Harnisch wrote several articles documenting all the context of the “Battle of LA” (Introduction, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), with loads of news clippings, and even more interesting, better quality and close up scans of the original negative of the famous photo.

And that’s what you see above: “it’s nothing but a convergence of light beams with some randomly clustered dots of light”, as Harnisch states. “Another good story ruined”.

I actually think this is still a great story, and one nicely told by Harnisch himself, of great psychosocial interest, from war nerves to how history was rewritten and reinterpreted in just a few decades to the point where hopes and fears of extraterrestrial beings quickly erased the very real concerns of a real major World War. And it’s still interesting to see how believers still cling to the idea of alien spaceships as the only faint evidence literally vanishes.  “This case will never be closed for those who want to believe it was an actual craft in the center of the image”, comments Printy.

Indeed, Bruce Maccabee, who had previously analyzed – and failed to realize he was dealing with – a crudely retouched print updated his analysis given Harrison’s image, but actually maintained his previous considerations. “The fact is that the beams basically do not get past the convergence”, he states, but given these different scans, with higher dynamic range, it’s clearer both that there’s no solid object there and that the “faint evidence of beams above the convergence” is actually clear evidence of beams right past and above it.


There was something with higher optical density at the region of convergence indeed, but it definitely wasn’t solid, and therefore almost by definition could only be… a cloud or smoke. As Brett Holman from Airminded points out (and Printy had also suggested), a small cloud fits the evidence perfectly.


Finally, Maccabee suggests that one of the beams – the dashed line below, from his analysis – could be a reflected beam.


Over on UfoUpdates I suggested it’s more probable this is actually just a beam which has its source at the right and behind the photographer, which seems to the pointed downwards due to perspective. To better understand this, just look at this photo of a cupola:


None of the structural beams actually point downwards, but several of them in the photo look that way simply by perspective. As Harnisch quoted Marvin Miles of what he witnessed that night, “The objects in the sky slowly moved on, caught in the center of the lights like the hub of a bicycle wheel surrounded by gleaming spokes.”

Or gleaming beams of a cupola, with the photographer below and “inside” it, so that some beams would seem to be pointed downwards even while pointing upwards. No reflections required, no evidence of any solid object, nothing indeed.

But still a good story, just one that will not please those that would rather rewrite the history of a major World War with extraterrestrial invasion.

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