by Mick West at 9:53 AM
(6,359 Views / 5 Likes)
ground truth, n.
1. A fundamental truth. Also: the real or underlying facts; information that has been checked or facts that have been collected at source.
2. a. In remote sensing: information obtained by direct measurement at ground level, rather than by interpretation of remotely obtained data (as aerial or satellite images, etc.), esp. as used to verify or calibrate remotely obtained data.
2. b. Information obtained by direct observation of a real system, as opposed to a model or simulation; a set of data that is considered to be accurate and reliable, and is used to calibrate a model, algorithm, procedure, etc.

The modern scientist's understanding of the universe is built largely on trust. They trust that the reference books and the scientific literature are largely correct. They trust that the mathematical models of gravity,...
by Mick West at 10:47 AM
(3,610 Views / 1 Likes)


In a video on Facebook, some people who seem to suspect the wildfire in Paradise was made with lasers are stumped by a hole in the ground. They can't understand why some trees seem to have burnt all the way down to the roots, leaving just a hole.

"What happened here" is not an unreasonable question, especially for city folk who might not be familiar with tree stumps, or burning wood. So I set out to investigate.

Firstly I found the location of the house in the video (Hillpark Lane), and the...
by Mick West at 3:54 PM
(3,166 Views / 3 Likes)


There are a few UFO videos that are shot from a moving helicopter (or plane) where the camera tracks what seems to be a fast moving object. The best demonstration of this effect now comes from Tom Churchill of Churchill Navigation with this video of a mylar balloon filmed from a helicopter. After the cameraman starts tracking the balloon it looks like it's moving incredibly fast over the background, but we can see it's just a balloon drifting in the wind, and the apparent motion comes from a combination of the helicopter motion, and the magnified movement due to the zoom factor.

With just a little math we can find out where the balloon is relative to the helicopter, and discover that it's not actually moving very fast at all! Thanks to Churchill Navigation for permission to use this video! The original is here:...
by Mick West at 3:29 PM
(2,628 Views / 1 Likes)


@ufoofinterest pointed out this particular "UFO" resembled the water-drop-on-lens caustics seen here:‘critters’-water-on-lens-caustic-bokeh.t5211/


But those looked bigger and generally more round. I realized that the difference was that the older images were a conventional camera with a 2" wide filter over the lens. Here we just have a phone camera. So it needed a tiny drop of water, and the effect was a bit different:

Metabunk 2018-12-08 15-26-17.

A shape hovering over the distant light:
Metabunk 2018-12-08 15-27-01.

Like the "UFO"
Metabunk 2018-12-08 15-28-40.
by Mick West at 8:46 AM
(2,482 Views / 1 Likes)


Something that occasionally comes up in various conspiracy theories is an attempt to determine temperature from the color something appears in an image or video. This is based on very reasonable science in that the color of light that something like a piece of steel (or really any metal) emits has a very specific correlation to its temperature.

However, as I demonstrate in the above video, this only works well to the naked eye and tends to go wrong in videos or images unless a lot of care is used in the exposure. Since cameras (and cameramen) generally set the exposure for the overall scene then this leads to smaller hot regions of the image being greatly overexposed. Hence they appear a lot hotter than they actually are.

Metabunk 2018-12-07 13-16-46.

Here's a more focused version of the above video, that contains a direct comparison...
by Mick West at 1:27 PM
(4,497 Views / 4 Likes)


People who think that the World Trade Center was demolished with pre-planted explosives sometimes point to flashes of light that you can see in some videos of the collapses. They say that these flashes are evidence of explosives going off.

This NBC video of the South Tower collapse is maybe the best example of this.
Metabunk 2018-12-03 13-29-42.

You see one flash near the corner of the building, then another larger flash on the left side here. Both of these flashes exist for only one frame, so they lasted for less than a thirtieth of a second, so we know they are not something like a puff of smoke.

But as we continue though, we see a whole load more of these flashes, including a bunch of them over on the left side that flash in mid-air, so are clearly not attached to the building.

I suppose if you are being imaginative you'd say these...
by Mick West at 2:02 PM
(6,640 Views / 3 Likes)
Metabunk 2018-11-15 14-01-14.
I had high hopes for "9/11 Unmasked", as it was touted as the "Magnum Opus" of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, and has been highly praised by many in the 9/11 Truth community.

The book is arranged as 51 chapters, which are somewhat difficult to navigate as there's no table of contents (just a list of sections). Each chapter describes a supposed "official story" claim and then proceeds to explain why they think it is incorrect. The chapter claims are often tortuously specific and of dubious relevance, such as: "#29: The Claim That It Was Not Imperative For President Bush to be Hustled Away From the Florida School" or "#16 The Claim That The ForeKnowledge of WTC 7's Fall Was Based on Witness Observations."

The often convoluted nature of these claims might come from the fact that they were written by committee....
by Mick West at 2:40 PM
(2,558 Views / 4 Likes)


This photo from The Unknown Brewing Company made a bit of buzz as it's got a "triangle" UFO, as well as a weird shape made from lights.

But it's just lens reflection, mirrored about the center. You can see this by copying the lights at the top, rotating them 180 degrees, and then overlaying them on the bottom half of the image. I use a "subtract" blend mode, which makes the bright light look dark, and you can see they match exactly with the lights around the building.

Metabunk 2018-11-13 14-33-41.

Image source:
by Mick West at 9:08 AM
(3,724 Views / 2 Likes)
It's hard to keep track of the various temperatures involved in discussions around 9/11. So I made the above chart. It's a work in progress, so corrections and suggestions are much appreciated.


Melting points of Lead, Aluminum, and Steel:

"Soft" temperature of steel:
by Mick West at 8:47 AM
(5,506 Views / 0 Likes)


One of the great things about "Flat Earth" theory is that it provides some great opportunities for thinking about, investigating, and explaining a variety of basic science concepts.

Now, everybody knows that if you have an alien in your spaceship, the best course of action is to blow a hole in a window, and the alien will get sucked out. Problem solved!

So we all know that if you've got some air under normal pressure, and there's a vacuum next to it, then the air will rush over to fill the vacuum.

Metabunk 2018-10-31 08-37-23.

But the Earth's atmosphere is under normal pressure, and there's nothing between the atmosphere and the vacuum of space. So why doesn't all the air on Earth get sucking into space.

Metabunk 2018-10-31 08-38-23.

The answer of course is gravity. Gravity is holding the atmosphere down. But how does that work exactly?...