Metabunk

Comparing Petition Signature Rejection Rates to Mail-in Ballot Rejection Rates

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A recall petition and an election are very different things. In order to get a recall of an elected official on the ballot, you have to gather valid signatures of registered voters. You need at least 12% of the number of registered voters who voted in the last election for that office.

The signatures must be in-person (not online), so they are generally gathered in the street. Sometimes it's by passionate volunteers setting up tables, and sometimes it's people with clipboards asking other people in bust public places. As you can imagine, this is not the most rigorous of processes, and that plays out in the percentage of valid signatures:

Article:
The average signature validity rate for the 143 successful petition drives featured in this study is 75.33%. This means that...
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Calvine UFO Photo - Reflection In Water Hypothesis

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CalvineWatermarked+jpeg+2.jpg

CalvineWatermarked+jpeg+2 flipped.jpeg

This looks like a small island or rock in a loch to me. The bottom of the diamond would be the reflection of the island in the water.

If it was a misty morning, where the water ends and sky begins would be unclear.

Edit: to illustrate what I mean, I found this image of a small island in a Loch here from a Google image search. The shape is similar to the object.

The view of a little island on Loch Etive from Ardchattan Priory Gardens
https://blosslynspage.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/floating-island-loch-etive-scotland/

dsc_0156.jpg

HD Calvine image: https://web.archive.org/web/2022081....wordpress.com/2022/08/watermarked-jpeg-2.jpg
General Calvine UFO discussion...
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A Korean Linear "UFO" [Reflection]

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SmartSelect_20220727-175239_Video Player.gif

I was approached by a Korean UFO investigator with the above video of a UFO spotted by a local witness. My first thought was a Starlink train, but they also included a video from a wider angle:



The video was very dark, but I was able to enhance it in After Effects with a combination of:
  1. Adjusting Levels
  2. "Echo" filter, 15 frames, Echo Operator: "Maximum"
"Maximum" takes the brightest value of a pixel in the last 15 frames, which greatly increases the definition of the edges of bright or dark areas in a noisy video that does not move too much.



I could now see that object seemed to move with the wires attached to the utility pole. I suggested this, but the witness account was of something 500m away, "floating in the sky." I then suggested taking a photo in the daytime from the same location...
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The Global Cross-Hair Enigma that looks like Hair Dryer Burns

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2022-08-03_13-19-44.jpg
2022-08-03_13-20-19.jpg

The above two slides are from a talk by famous UFO investigator Jacques Vallee. The talk came up because scientist Garry Nolan (who sometimes works with Vallee) mentioned a later aspect of the case (a star-shaped mark on a photo and a giant UFO nobody noticed) in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson.

But someone in the comments pointed out the likely cause in April 2022:
The Paisley Wave 4 months ago
With all respect for Dr. Vallee, the 'crosshair' marks may have a simple explanation. Search for images of blowdryers and you'll see many, especially the older ones, have metal crosshair-shaped grills at their openings. They get hot and can burn the skin leaving marks corresponding with their...
Content from External Source
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When Conspiracists Psychoanalyze

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As a skeptic, I often have an experience that many people will find familiar. I'm talking to someone. They tell me something I know to be wrong. I explain why they are wrong. They refuse to believe me. I continue to try, sometimes over days or weeks. They still won't get it, and sometimes their false belief becomes even stronger. What is wrong with them?

The inability of the true believer to see reason is a frustrating puzzle. One of the most common questions I get in interviews is, "why do people fall for conspiracy theories?" I explain that it's often just a chain of chance, circumstances, and being in an unsettled time in their life with too much spare time. But that's not the "why" the interviewer is looking for. They want to know what is wrong with the conspiracy theorist. Specifically what is mentally wrong with them.

A Desire to Pathologize​


There seems to be a natural desire to pathologize unconventional beliefs. Many of these conspiracy theories seem...
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WVNY/ABC22 Transparent "Flying Saucer" on Weather Camera — Dark Bokeh?

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2022-07-22_08-29-26.jpg


[Source: WVNY Twitter]

The shape of this UFO is not entirely uncommon, a horizontal-oriented diamond is sometimes seen when distant lights are out of focus. For example, in this "UFO" video of a plane, which is just the out-of-focus lights - an effect called "bokeh"
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ex...fo-burwell-fen-uk-c-130-landing-lights.11959/
2021-08-18_08-53-44-1.jpg

What's unusual here is that the shape is dark and slowly moving. Is this a case of "dark bokeh"? I'd never really thought about such a thing before, but of course, it's quite possible. Like here:

2022-07-22_08-13-17.jpg
I put a fleck...
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Reverse Engineering the ATFLIR to find Range and Temp to/of the Gimbal UAP

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Travis Taylor (the former chief scientist at the Pentagon's UAP Task Force) made a very specific claim on CBS 8 News Now:
From recent calculations I've done, if this device [i.e. Gimbal], whatever this object is, is further away than 8km, then it has to be at the temperature of the melting point of aluminum, and if it's further than 50km, it's at the melting point of steel. That's how hot it would have to be to show up in this way in this sensor. So, it's not a jet that's 50 miles away, and we are getting glare of it
Content from External Source
This comes from work he showed at a recent UFO conference, where he presented an overview of analysis that he claims demonstrates a limit on how far away the Gimbal object can be.

He bases this around a notion of "saturated" that seems poorly defined. Essentially he's using it as a synonym for "overexposed". That means for an individual pixel in an image it's brighter than the maximum value the digital...
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Apache UAP video, objects allegedly in a 70G turn

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This video from a Debrief article published today shows three small white dots passing by a runway, viewed from a infrared camera (white hot) mounted to an Apache Longbow helicopter as it takes off.

Source: https://youtu.be/-oNIqlLXtLI

Article:
Captured by one of the U.S. military’s flagship attack helicopters close to midnight on November 6, 2018, roughly 40 miles northwest of Tucson, Arizona, the video appears to show several unidentifiable objects maneuvering unlike any known aircraft.

“Wow! Are those three really fast moving jets up there?” exclaims the Apache helicopter’s co-pilot and gunner as three objects suddenly appear, dashing across the sky as the aircraft prepares to take-off.

“Probably. Probably some A10’s or some F-16s,” the Apache’s pilot replies, before admitting...
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Sitrec - Metabunk's Situation Recreation Tool - Development Discussion

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2022-03-27_09-58-10.jpg

Sitrec is a Situation Recreation tool that's just starting out in development. It's born from the Gimbal Simulator, and that's the only situation it's recreating - but eventually I'll extend it to GoFast, Nimitz, Aguadilla, Rubber Duck, mysterious DHS video #4, - and hopefully make it available so others can use it on arbitrary videos. You can see (and use) it here:
https://www.metabunk.org/sitrec/

The goal is to allow real-time analysis and visualization of the possible 3D interpretations that might fit a 2D video (and any other data for a particular case) and see from that what is the most likely scenario.

This is very much a work-in-progress, and not really usable for much right now, but I'm starting this discussion thread to track the progress and get feedback and ideas. The initial goal is to replicate and check the work of @Edward...
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Gimbal UFO - A New Analysis

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsEjV8DdSbs

The "Gimbal" UFO is the poster child of modern UFO videos. Leaked in 2017, and officially released in 2019, it's considered by many to show a genuine anomalous craft, exhibiting flight characteristics beyond current human technology.

But is it? There are four observables in the video, four things you can check yourself, that demonstrate that the most likely thing we are looking at is actually a camera artifact. It's probably an infrared glare, hiding the hot object behind it, and rotating only because the camera rotates when tracking the target from left to right.

This does not mean it's not a "UAP", or that it's not unidentified, or that it's not an amazing craft - it just means it's not actually exhibiting any incredible behavior, and so this opens the door to more mundane possibilities, like a distant small jet, just flying away, the...
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UFOs from flight deck over South China Sea - Flares?

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Source: https://youtu.be/c8A1tGBOK9k

MUFON - event date: Nov 24 2021 - location: Hong Kong - Case 119564
South China sea, 9 lights visible in video, then it becomes 12 lights in formation, closest object disappears then 3 more objects reappear on outside of formation. Filmed at 39,000ft over the South China Sea, lights all then slowly vanish.

What are these strange trails of light?

They might be CGI but the YouTube poster claims a reverse image search has not brought up anything.

They might be flares but why don’t we see the plane(s) that dropped them or the smoke?

Here is an example of a flare drop in daytime:

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PVL6sDZaknE

Reddit r/UFOs post...
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Utah Drone video of UFO [Probably an Insect Zip-By]

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[Admin: The Following video contains a summary of the key parts of this thread]
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDkqKa_NQAo

A few days ago, a youtube video was posted on Reddit r/UFO's showing an object flying by a drone, with the description:
I usually cover politics, but when Sam Chortek and Jimmy Chappie came to me with this exclusive UAP footage, I had to break the story. This video has never been seen by the public until now. The RAW FOOTAGE can be downloaded here: https://youtu.be/bVmGhxYrkug All Rights Reserved. 2019. For media inquires, contact BrianJosephHanley@gmail.com.
Content from External Source
New links to the "raw" footage soon appeared...
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[HOAX] "Glowing Tic-TaC" UFO in southern France [Possibly a Drone]

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[ADMIN: Turns out this was a hoax

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9nKGrRRZqk

Article:

UFO observed in the sky from Montpellier to Perpignan: a hoax signed by Rémi Gaillard!​

The Montpellier troublemaker revealed the deception this Saturday.

"In 1938, Orson Welles made believe in an invasion of aliens on the radio. A century later, thanks to you, I just made the same hoax", explains this Saturday in a video posted on Twitter the troublemaker from Montpellier.

In this sequence of 2 minutes 30, he indicates having acted with the complicity of Loic Spadafora founder of Météo Gard - Héraul, an information Twitter account dedicated to "forecasts, news and live monitoring of meteorological phenomena", and Marie, breeder of horses in the Hérault...
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The AVRORA Callsign Mystery

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There's an apparent aricraft with the callsign "AVRORA" that shows up on FlightRadar24. It's the subject of several threads on Reddit, but nobody seems to have figured out what it is.

The track initially looks like a standard trans-pacific route, but it's not. There's only two segments, one in the Arizona desert, and one off the coast of the Russian Kamchatka peninsula. There's no data for the path in-between (which is just an interpolated great circle).

The Kamchatka location just shows up as occasional sporadic results, over several days, with very low air speed. 2021-11-10_07-58-54.jpg

The Arizona segment is very different, a steep slope and several tight turns of a 0.5 mile diameter circle at about 26 knots
2021-11-10_08-01-13.jpg
(These tracks are extracted from the raw JSON files using a custom Python script)

What could this be? I think there's a few options, in no great order
  1. ADS-B Spoofing - i.e. not...
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Explained: Reddit UFO Los Angeles lights in the sky [Light on Pole]

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This video was posted to the UFO Reddit last night


Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/qnckv6/can_anyone_explain_this_happened_in_la_last_night/

I did some initial investigation over there, brightened the video and worked out the location and direction the photo was taken from.
1Os5U6m.png
Its here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@34.0...4!1sO4fUqA7i3Rlih-gxbBJjSg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

St Louis Street Los Angles looking down Judson Street towards an intersection on i5/i10/US101

So it follows that this likely is intersection lighting in the fog, however I am unable to find a matching lighting structure on the intersection, I used Bing and Google maps and various street view angles.

Google...
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Explained: Tic-Tac Shaped UFO Near Lake Michigan [Plane]

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPGmUF6R3CY

This was a relatively straightforward case. The object looked like a Tic-Tac shaped blob. Initially I thought it was fake, but then it quickly became apparent it was a real object (or at least a really good 3D fake).

The low resolution, sharpening, and digital zoom make bright white shapes turn into blobs. Here on the right there the buildings and the racetrack, with the object overlaid at the same resolution.
Four White Building comparison copy.jpg
Sharpening makes it worse at this scale, as it adds dark pixels which make it look bigger. See the gaps between the buildings.

Tracking down the plane was a simple matter as they gave the flight number, date, location, and view direction.

Article:
tic tac ufo seen (video...
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UFO Seen From FedEx Plane over Mexico March 19, 2020. Venus? (NARCAP TR 20)

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0EemWzZpM

Article:
1. The UAP/Light came from above and stopped/hovered near FL37, about the same altitude as the aircraft, shone a light on the 767 and briefly approached the aircraft. Then it instantly matched the speed, and heading of the aircraft and maintained a consistent separation.

a. The light descended vertically, stopped abruptly, and shone a light on the 767 causing the crew to believe that there was another airliner on a collision heading with its landing lights on.

b. It changed direction from vertical descent to a sudden stop/hover, to approaching the aircraft briefly, to taking the same heading and speed of the aircraft at about the same altitude and an estimated distance of 1-2k ft.

c. It matched the altitude, speed, and heading of the aircraft, 575mph and at 37,000ft for over...
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St Ives Bay UFO On Hayle Beach [Probably a Drone]

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHZn29dqy-I

In the "small, or far away" category this video is quite popular. It shows a light close to the horizon. The light hovers, pulsating, then suddenly moves to the left. It hovers for a while more and then ascends vertically. When it moves it leaves a trail of light.

Pretty amazing, if it were actually way out over the ocean. However, a simpler explanation occurred to me when I noticed the people walking on the beach path. If we think the object as being directly above them instead of above the horizon, then it suddenly snaps into something simpler. A drone.



The light trail, first of all, is just a common artifact of webcams like this. In low light, they build up the image using image persistence. This creates trails around anything that's...
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Does the beginning part of Gimbal debunk the claim that the object rotates?

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I received a DM from a UFOlogist, @realityseaker on Twitter, who had done some work on the Gimbal video and found something. Everyone focuses on the "flop," where the object/glare (hereafter the "blob") suddenly swivels dramatically — but his analysis suggests that the video's first 24 seconds are actually more telling. With his permission, I am looking for commentary.

He started with a version that's rotation-stabilized to keep the bars of the horizon indicator level onscreen, and also centered and translation-stabilized on the blob. He then wrote a clever little program to track the rotation of the blob's major axis. He found a strong correlation between the rotation of the blob (orange) and the roll of the aircraft (blue):
xXZVy4H3.png

To make this more visually intuitive, I overlaid a constant angle on his video, and then roughly animated it to show how the blob and aircraft roll more or less at the same times and amounts: once around...
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UFOs at Nuclear Weapons Sites (Salas, Malmstrom, Eagle Flight) - Skeptical Resources

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[Thread Updated, October 20, 2021]

Robert Salas' claims about UFO deactivating Nuclear weapons are once again bouncing around the media. A lot of the older analysis of these claims is getting lost to Internet decay, so I've gathered here the key resources that help understand the story from a skeptic's perspective.

James Carlson's highly detailed (357 Pages) "American, Credulous - Establishing the Truth Behind the Echo Flight Incident of March 16, 1967"
Article:
The Echo Flight Incident holds a sad place of pride in Robert Hastings’ history of UFO interest in the marching forth of nuclear arms around the world, UFOs and Nukes, but as we shall see, his general disregard for anything approaching a generally accepted standard of proof ensures that his magnum opus will be forever classified as an interesting but...
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