Metabunk

Feb
25
by Mick West at 7:44 AM
(15,258 Views / 2 Likes)
6 Comments
This photo is doing the rounds as a "ghost" photo, largely because it was taken in Hampton Court, a historic English house with a reputation for hauntings.
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However it's just the result of taking a panoramic photo in low light on the iPhone. Panoramic photos are done by holding the camera up, and panning from left to right. The camera takes lots of photos and then stitches them together into a single image.

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But because it takes a while to take all the images, if something moves while you are taking the panorama, then it will get distorted. This can happen in any situation, but it's worse in low light, as it takes the camera longer to take all the photos, so you end up with fewer photos to stitch together, increasing the likelihood of errors.

Here's a photo of me walking past some paintings:...
Feb
16
by Mick West at 3:31 PM
(687 Views / 4 Likes)
14 Comments
Which of these two planes is higher? And where are they exactly, relative to each other?

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Now your first impression might be that it's fairly obviously plane B, on the right. It's visibly smaller than the left plane, so must be farther away, and its contrail is obscured by plane A the left plane's contrail, so that means the left plane is closer, right?

Wrong. The right plane is actually the one that is closer. It's actually less than half the distance away, and 4,000 feet lower.
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The key here is that the aircraft are very different in size. The plane on the left , United Flight 6, is a 777-224(ER) length 209 feet, whereas the plane on the right, Alaska 682, is a 737-990, length 138 feet, or just 66% the length of the 777.

There's a variety of illusions here. For one, even though the plane on the right looks smaller, it's actually visually longer in...
Feb
12
by Mick West at 12:03 PM
(1,259 Views / 5 Likes)
15 Comments
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People who believe in the "chemtrail" frequently have several misconceptions about contrails (the trails of clouds sometimes left behind airplanes). The most common misconception is that contrails always quickly dissipate, and can't persist and spread. But there are several other misconceptions - like how contrails with gaps should be impossible, or that other phenomena like colored contrails, or contrails happening ahead of weather changes, or circular contrails, are suspicious.

The best tool I've found for explaining contrails to people has been old books on clouds. I've got a large collection of these myself, but if I were to pick one for someone to show to a friend or relative, then I'd pick the 1981 book...
Jan
25
by Hevach at 11:38 AM
(3,367 Views / 1 Likes)
15 Comments
Various bastions of great reporting are saying that pictures show a person repairing the Curiosity rover.
http://metro.co.uk/2015/01/23/life-on-mars-spaceman-spotted-repairing-mars-curiosity-rover-5033759/
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Metro doesn't give a source, but some searching traces it back this page:
http://www.ufo-blogger.com/2012/09/who-is-cleaning-nasa-mars-rover.html

[Admin: Links on that page attempt to install Malware, here's the actual NASA pics:]
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=#/?slide=50

No evidence except a series of shadow pictures like the one above, leading to this conclusion:
Jan
23
by Mick West at 12:09 PM
(25,284 Views / 2 Likes)
96 Comments
Some people have suggested that the following video of the two Japanese hostages held by ISIS is fake.

Original video: https://ia902602.us.archive.org/13/items/msg_p/ms.mp4

The main evidence cited for this is shadows, where we can see the shadows on the faces of the hostages look like they are being lit from different sides (note where the shadow falls on the neck and shoulders). The shadows behind the hostages are also claimed to be wrong, with the shadows converging.
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However, a brief experiment in replicating the video shows this is actually exactly what happens. The video is simply shot with a wide angle lens. The two hostages are angled slightly in to directly face the camera, which accounts for the face shadows, and shadows behind simply converge because of perspective.

Here's a video of me replicating the positions of the three men. Notice the direction of the...
Jan
21
by Josh Heuer at 3:31 PM
(1,887 Views / 0 Likes)
14 Comments
Update by @Mick West: The video shows the moon rising over the horizon. It initially looks a bit of an odd shape due to atmospheric distortion. But there are many similar videos showing the same thing, like this one. The following comparison simply crops the region of the frame where the moon is rising for both the known moonrise video, and the "grey object" video. Nothing else was altered. The grey object is the same size, same speed, same color as the moon, and it comes from behind the Earth. The only thing that differs is the lightning, with the brighter Earth making the moon look darker, and the phase of the moon altering the shape.
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So it's just the moon.

Original post follows:


At least a couple of sites (huffington post and...
Jan
15
by Mick West at 10:38 AM
(37,138 Views / 1 Likes)
0 Comments
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A hoax video was posted on YouTube by "Top News", claiming to be the cockpit voice recorder audio of the Air Asia flight QZ8501.

In fact the video simply contained audio that was supposedly of the crash of Adam Air Flight 574, on Jan 1, 2007. Officials have said this in turn was a fake, however we know that this audio is from at least 2008, and hence is not the AirAsia flight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Air_Flight_574
Jan
07
by Mick West at 9:50 AM
(41,407 Views / 12 Likes)
255 Comments
The horrific killing of 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo seems disturbingly straightforward. The magazine has a long history of using satire to critique radical Islam (and many other targets). They have published many cartoons depicting Mohammed, something that has provoked violence before. They had previously been firebombed, and have been the target of threats for many years. Several of those killed were named as being "wanted, dead or alive" by al Qaeda's Inspire magazine (alongside Salman Rushdie). Witnesses to the shooting say the gunmen shouted they were "avenging the honor the prophet".

And yet there is a small but vocal subset of people who consider nearly every major story in the mainstream media to be fake...
Jan
03
by Trailspotter at 8:03 AM
(963 Views / 10 Likes)
3 Comments
This picture of Roman numeral "figure eight" contrails had been taken at Saint Simons Island, GA on December 26, 2014.
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Full image: https://www.metabunk.org/data/MetaMirrorCache/fc0f447ae74bcedffc219d054ebafcad.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/51265805@N04/15951417019

The number VIII is made with short contrails within a narrow band of sky, almost parallel to the horizon. The sky above is clear and there is a band of clear sky below these contrails separating them from those closer to the horizon. This suggests that these contrails probably have been formed within a long pocket of moist air surrounded by the mass of dryer air, an invisible linear cloud revealed by the passing planes.

To explore this suggestion I have pinpointed the location of the photo to a paved lane in the seafront Neptune Park. It has allowed a perfect fit of the photo to Google Earth, which is fully consistent with its...
Dec
23
by JFDee at 8:20 AM
(1,358 Views / 3 Likes)
9 Comments
The "Daily Mail" and other publications have picked up a story brough up by one "Engineer Pita Witehira".
The Google Maps satellite view of Oke Bay in the North-East of New Zealand allegedly shows an unexplained phenomenon: a long darkish strip resembling a giant snake between two curved lines of wakes.

dailymail_monster_ge.

However, when zoomed in only slightly more, something like a boat is visible at the tip of the wake. Due to the relatively low detail level of the satellite image in this area and the prevailing haze over the water, the features of the boat are not very clear.

(To see it for yourself, search Google Maps for "Oke Bay, New Zealand" and switch to satellite view.)...