Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Pterodactyl video in Austria?

“OK, I know what you are going to say its fake, and that’s fine. Me and my wife both saw it and we don’t belive in the boogeyman or sasquatch but this bird like creature was just there circling around us for a moment. It was so beautiful, and for a moment it was almost like Jurassic Park.
Just outside Gradnitz, Austria. July 19 [2011].”

We believe you, personnere, but as UMAfan and several Youtube commenters also pointed out:


It’s a bat.

This is somewhat funny, and it reminded me of a spat of sightings of Velociraptors in Chile, back in 2004. Eleven witnesses described seeing large “bird-like” creatures with dog heads, around 7-feet high, large paws and muscles and small upper extremities.

The two encounters happened at night, and local Veterinarians pointed out the described characteristics matched those of ostriches, of which a couple hundred roam around freely the region.


Jurassic Park had a profound impact in our culture, and one is not to underestimate the chances that people would be more prone to remember dinosaurs than bats or ostriches.

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Posted in Criptozoology | 3 comments

A New Natural Phenomenon: Crown Flash

Last month I wrote about Bill Beaty’s “Leaping Sundogs”, with a couple of fascinating videos recording the dancing streamers of light.

Now, new hi-def videos have just been published on Youtube. User “abrigatti” wrote:

“I was pool side in my apartment in Singapore, when I saw something weird in the skies. As I looked over head I saw some weird cloud shoots of light and puff as the clouds seemed to reform sporadically. I could see that a storm cloud was building, but the light and visual show was intriguing me. So I grabbed my iPhone and recorded this.”

Recorded on August 14th, abrigatti also posted a second video:

Beaty had already updated his page with new speculations, and meanwhile, I also received comments from fellows Martin Shough and Wim Van Utrecht.

Shough notes that Beaty’s suggestion of ice crystals re-alignment due to electrical storms was considered during a 1999 conference on sprites, as it seems the phenomenon may have been observed by satellites! And there’s more…

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Posted in Fortean,Science | 2 comments

Wonder Woman?

FO0lI (1)

I found this image very interesting, especially since there’s no digital tampering and the seemingly supernatural strength of the fine lady can actually be understood if you pay attention to detail – and know something about photography.

The explanation, after the jump.

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Posted in Miscelaneous | 6 comments

“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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Posted in UFOs | 2 comments

Rude Illusion Parade


Dirty Gestalt minds. Keep reading for the full series.

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Posted in Miscelaneous | 20 comments