by Z.W. Wolf at 5:15 PM
(1,525 Views / 5 Likes)
The earth rotates around its own axis eastward. Or put another way, as viewed from the north star Polaris, the earth turns counterclockwise. Because of this we see the moon travel across our sky from east to west during the day.



But during the upcoming solar eclipse the moon's shadow will travel across the US from west to east. This is true, and it's a complicated problem.


The explanation: The moon orbits the earth, as viewed from Polaris, in a counterclockwise...
by Mick West at 10:36 AM
(3,149 Views / 2 Likes)
Charlottesville number plates.

A variety of conspiracy theories have sprung up around the Charlottesville car attack. As usual there were suggestions that the attack was faked. One piece of "evidence" was the car license plate on the car driven by James Alex Fields Jr, an Ohio plate reading GVF 1111. Video of his mother, Samantha Bloom, shows a similar number GVF 1122. Conspiracists suggest this is an unusual looking number, and it's unusual that two family members would have such similar numbers.

Some claims are obviously ridiculous, like the idea that the "G" stands for "Government". The license plates are standard Ohio plates. Both numbers are correctly registered to the cars shown and show up on public info sites like SearchQuarry. But because their information comes from scraping public source it's...
by Mick West at 7:12 AM
(941 Views / 6 Likes)
waltis curve simulator.

Walter Bislins has created a very useful tool for visualizing what things should look like from certain positions, and with certain camera settings, on the Globe Earth, or on a hypothetical Flat Earth.

The Simulator includes recreations of classic and modern experiments and observations including the Bedford Level, the Pontchartrain Power Lines and Causeway, and the Chicago Skyline. You can stop the simulation at any point, and examine the scene and the settings used. Here's a (non-interactive) animation of the Bedford Level experiment.


I'd encourage anyone interested in the topic to play around with the various settings and watch all five demos.

Simulator with...
by Mick West at 4:55 PM
(1,912 Views / 1 Likes)

Manurewa 3 frames.

Cool footage of a sunlit contrailing jet suddenly increasing its rate of climb in the far distance. Then continuing with less persistent contrails.


Misidentified as a UFO:

5:38 PM is 5:38 AM the same day UTC, 31 July 2017
by Mick West at 4:01 PM
(2,239 Views / 1 Likes)

An excellent example of intermittent contrail formation was posted by

Link to Original video here.

The narrator blames it on spraying, but I think the clue is in the image at the top of this post - perpendicular to the trail are five parallel clouds that look like the result of rotors or wave in the air that often cause rippled clouds or rows of clouds.
Image Source:

by Mick West at 2:49 PM
(2,257 Views / 5 Likes)
Aguadilla Wedding Balloons.

Note From Mick The following post is a series of excerpts from a report prepared by Rubén Lianza, Commodore (ret), Argentine Air Force, who is the the Head of the Argentine Air Force Committee for Aerospace Phenomena Research. He asked me to share it here.

On the night of April 25, 2013 at about 09:22 PM (local time), a Bombardier DHC 8 airplane operated by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection equipped with an Infrared camera, captured and followed a very peculiar flying object which yielded a fluctuating infrared signature over Rafael Hernández airport, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico). The object at times seemed to disappear (which was interpreted by some ufologists as “splashing into the ocean”) and also split into two pieces (1).

The Aguadilla UFO video has been...
by Mick West at 10:57 PM
(843 Views / 4 Likes)
Moonlight UFO.

When I first saw the light it did not seem to moving I had no idea what it was. Venus maybe? Then I saw it actually was moving, so I thought it might be the International Space Stations, which had made a couple of good passes over here in the last two days. I tried to take some photos, and got some blurs like the above. I switched to video and what I saw on the view screen was a strange set of three flowering lights. When I put it on the computer though, it looked like this:

It's a plane of course, and I realised that as it approached me and flew overhead. Lufthansa 459, from San Francisco to Munich. An A340, climbing through 20,000 feet. My first photo was just a pretty piece of motion blur from the camera moving. The...
by Mick West at 11:10 AM
(439,491 Views / 8 Likes)
Lake Pontchartrain power lines demonstrating the curvature - Metabunk.

A classic experiment to demonstrate the curvature of a body of water is to place markers (like flags) a fixed distance above the water in a straight line, and then view them along that line in a telescope. If the water surface is flat then the markers will appear also in a straight line. If the surface of the water is curved (as it is here on Earth) then the markers in the middle will appear higher than the markers at the ends. Here's a highly exaggerated diagram of the effect by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1870:


This is a difficult experiment to do as you need a few miles for the curvature to be apparent. You also need the markers to be quite high above the...
by Mick West at 4:13 PM
(7,671 Views / 1 Likes)
BUNK - CIA Agent Confesses On Deathbed.

A story on the clickbait fake news site YourNewsWire claims:
We know this story to be false because:
  1. It only appears in a fake news site, with no corroborating sources.
  2. It's...
by Mick West at 8:27 AM
(2,572 Views / 3 Likes)

A misleading headline is making people think that a physical object has been teleported from the ground into space, leading to all kinds of excitement and speculation about Star Trek style teleporters.

In fact nothing like that has happened at all, if you actually listen to the BBC piece, you'll find that what has been transmitted is just information. Nothing physical has moved from the ground into space.

There's a similarly misleading story from MIT's Technology Review.