Metabunk

Plane Shaped "Drone" Caught on Camera. Mead, NE - Cessna Caravan?

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Drone Cessna Caravan Metabunk.jpg

https://www.wowt.com/content/news/C...non-spotted-in-Saunders-County-566798651.html

The somewhat shaky video shows a plane-shaped object, and it sounds just like a plane, so I'd guess it's probably a plane. But the reporter, Lileana Pearson, says

And a deputy says at one point "It's a V, it's got a V" - which is an interesting illustration of someone subconsciously inferring a shape from an arrangement of lights.

The location is given as "Saunders County, west of Omaha", and "near County Road R, outside of Mead, Nebraska, presumably by the barn shown in the video

Somewhere around here:
[ATTACH type="full" alt="Metabunk 2020-01-08...
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"Drone" Photo over Colorado - Actually a Boeing 737

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People are primed to see anything in the sky as a drone, including ordinary aircraft.

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/01/03/drones-mystery-lincoln-county-colorado/

TDP-L-Drone-RJS-0012 (1).jpg

An ordinary airliner with normal navigation lights. You can clearly see the starboard engine. Obviously not several hundred feet up. It's a larger object farther away.

Distances and sizes in a featureless night sky are ambiguous. Witness expectations about the size of the object lead them to see it as much closer than it is.

The people who spotted this airliner may have also heard the distant jet noises as the hum of a nearby drone.

It makes a convincing story.
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TFTRH #33 – Anthony Magnabosco: Street Epistemology and Conspiracy Theories

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Source: https://youtu.be/FbdOITMdoiY

Anthony Magnabosco is the most well-known practitioner of the craft of "Street Epistemology", which he defines as: "a dialog where you use questions to explore somebody's claim to see how they concluded that it's true." While commonly associated with atheism (the term comes from the book "A Manual for Creating Atheists" by Peter Boghossian) Street Epistemology can be used to explore any kind of belief. There's actually quite a bit of crossover with how to talk to conspiracy theorists.

Anthony and I discuss our mutual experiences with talking to people, how our approaches are similar, and how they differ. It's a fascinating conversation, and while we go for the full hour, we were actually cut short by a minor emergency, and I hope to continue in the future.

Podcast web Page...
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"Mouse" in Space (Frozen Oxygen)

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Source: https://youtu.be/l8W19r5m_GU?t=2605

At 43:24 in the above live stream of the SpaceX CRS-19 Launch, something slides around the engine. Someone remarked that this looked a bit like a mouse, and some of the more imaginative conspiracy theorists took this to be evidence that the footage was faked.
SpaceX-CRS-19-Launch-Live.gif
The video is shot from two sides, alternating between viewpoints, which makes it difficult to follow exactly what is going on. But it's much clearer if we take just the shots from the "mouse" side, zoom in, and speed them up 10x.

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

A real time version of this is here.

Here we see the "mouse" build up at the top...
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Mysterious drone swarms over Colorado and Nebraska - Chasing Venus?

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Metabunk 2019-12-31 09-23-03.jpghttps://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-new...o-nebraska-unleashes-origin-theories-n1108941
I think there's a degree of mass hysteria going on here. Yes, there's probably some drones been spotted, but the video evidence is rather sketchy. The image above looks like nothing more than some building lights in the distance. There are a few other shots in the NBC video:

Metabunk 2019-12-31 09-28-55.jpg
This one (above) shows what looks like the moon and six lights. But several of them are on a low...
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TFTRH #31: Professor Elizabeth Loftus – Memory and Conspiracy

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IB6NWdBNjvw

Elizabeth Loftus is an expert on memory. A Distinguished Professor in several fields*, her work focusses on false memories, how they can be accidentally created and how they can be deliberately manipulated. We discuss many aspects of memory and how it sometimes relates to the world of conspiracy theories. We touch on UFOs, Chemtrails, 9/11, Jeffery Epstein, and the moral panics of the 1980s.

*In my introduction, I mangled together the various departments where Professor Loftus is a professor. The correct list is:

  • Psychological Science;
  • Criminology, Law and Society
  • Cognitive Science
  • Law
Links to topics discussed

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TFTRH #30 - Tom: 9/11 - Why We Believe and Change

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq-xxf35PzY

Tom has dabbled in a few conspiracy theories over the years, and still thinks there are some significant questions that have never been answered about why the World Trade Center buildings fell down the way they did on 9/11. We talk about how he came to believe what he does, how it has changed over the years, and what evidence it make take for him to feel the question is resolved.

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TFTRH #28 - Brian Dunning

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk9C4XkCMD8

Brian Dunning is a prolific skeptical podcaster with his award-winning show “Skeptoid” coming up on its 700th episode. He’s also a writer, with his most recent book Conspiracies Declassified: The Skeptoid Guide to the Truth Behind the Theories, explaining the facts behind 50 different conspiracy theories. He’s also a documentary producer, currently working on Science Friction, a documentary about scientists who get misrepresented by the media. We discuss all these topics and more.

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"UFO" Sighting over Downtown San Diego Freeway [DARPA Balloon]

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

I first saw the above video (dated Oct 22, 2019) via a low-resolution crop re-post on one of the UFO sites, where it looked even less identifiable.

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-28-44.jpg
While it was unfortunately filmed in portrait mode, it was still a 4K video, so I downloaded that and zoomed in:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-27-17.jpg

Looks like an advertising blimp, but with an odd white panel below it. THe original video said "San Diego", so I did a search for tethered blimps in San Diego:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-29-56.jpg

Bingo! There's a tethered blimp over San Diego, with a white panel type thing underneath it. Here's some local news video:
Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-32-23.jpg
https://www.kusi.com/federal-agency-to-conduct-urban-drone-tracking-system-testing-through-friday/...
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TFTRH #27 - Michael Shermer

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvrHX0qRRMs

Dr Michael Shermer is founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic. He's written several books on science and skepticism and his latest work is an audio-only 12-part course, for Audible and The Great Courses, called Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories: What We Should and Shouldn't Believe—and Why. We cover the full spectrum of conspiracies, their history and context, their social and psychological causes and their very real effects. We discuss real and false conspiracies, and how to tell the difference. We then finish up with UFOs, the Intellectual Dark Web, and the Skeptical Movement.

Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories can be found on Audible or via Amazon.
https://www.audible.com/pd/Conspiracies-Conspiracy-Theories-Audiobook/B07XH3YSD7?...
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TFTRH #26: UFO Jesus

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1mpwyAsBwY

UFO Jesus is a popular advocate of UFO “disclosure”, the belief that the US Government is close to revealing that it knows that some UFOs actually are the result of alien visitors. We talk about this and our different interpretation of the evidence used to support this case. In particular, we focus on the 2004 case of the USS Nimitz, where, over several days, unexplained sightings and radar returns culminated in two fighter planes observing what one pilot, Commander David Fravor, described as a “white Tic-Tac shaped craft” performing impossible maneuvers. A later video was also taken, which I think shows a distant plane, and UFO fans think is this Tic-Tac. There are rumors of a higher-resolution longer video that shows more.
UFO Jesus closes with six prophecies, and I’m a bit skeptical. But he gives a nice short timeframe of six years, so...
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Sept 3, 2019 release of Hulsey's WTC7 draft report: Analysis

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OClixCTdDw
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-DadyW-LR4

The above two videos details some issues raised in the thread below (and in prior threads) regarding Professor Hulsey's study.

Draft report and videos at:
http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7
http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf (mirror)
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UFO in Tampa Bay

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxYAze89TG4

Video shows a stationary light with irregular flashing. After 19 seconds the light accelerates and flies off to the right.

Another version of this video says:
Some people interpret this as a larger craft in the clouds, which would mean rather high speed.

However, I think the simpler explanation, as suggested by others, including people...
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Identified: Art Bell's "UFO" Aluminum Louvered Sheets - Heat Exchanger Fins

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Vent vs radiator.jpg

"Arts Parts" refers to a collection of objects that were supposedly anonymously sent to Art Bell.
https://web.archive.org/web/20010614020521/http://www.artbell.com/roscrash.html
bild1-1.jpg

The "vent" material is very interesting:
bild4-11.jpg

That's a much more specific look. Very similar to air-conditioning vents, but on a dollhouse scale.

UPDATE Dec 12 2019 - The following is a summary of the identification from the thread below.

It's almost 100% certain this is a sheet of louvered fins for a heat exchanger (like a radiator or air conditioner).

Here's a VERY good match.

Source...
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Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later]

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Debunked Angle Cut Column 2.jpg

This image is famous in 9/11 conspiracy culture:

hdanglecutlarge.jpg

The column in the center of the photo (by Sam Hollenshead) has been cut at an angle, presumably during the cleanup process. Yet Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) still insist it was cut before the building fell, and looks nothing like a normal cut, and hence is evidence of thermite. Here's an AE911 slide they used just a few weeks ago:

upload_2018-1-27_13-52-44.png

Here's Richard Gage, head of AE911, discussing this:
Source: https://youtu.be/cjzZ7Yot_5s?t=1m11s

However other photos of the scene show the exact same column, so we can figure out where it is...
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Escaping the Rabbit Hole Book

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Stephen Fry Facebook2.png

Description
In Escaping the Rabbit Hole, author Mick West shares over a decade’s worth of knowledge and experience investigating and debunking false conspiracy theories through his forum, MetaBunk.org, and sets forth a practical guide to helping friends and loved ones recognize these theories for what they really are.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the most successful approaches to helping individuals escape a rabbit hole aren’t comprised of simply explaining why they are wrong; rather, West’s tried-and-tested approach emphasizes clear communication based on mutual respect, honesty, openness, and patience.

West puts his debunking techniques and best practices to the test with four of the most popular false conspiracy theories today (Chemtrails, 9/11 Controlled...
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Soundly Proving the Curvature of the Earth at Lake Pontchartrain

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Lake Pontchartrain power lines demonstrating the curvature - Metabunk.jpg

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...
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Some Perspective on Perspective Foreshortening - Contrails and UFOs

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Perspective-title-metabunk.jpg
The above image appears to show three different metal rods. The left rod is short and straight. The middle rod seems longer and angles sharply to the right. The right rod appears slightly curved, and has a longer segment going off the edge of the photo.

Actually the rods look like this:

20170708-102710-wxlbg.jpg
Despite the left rod looking like it's just a few inches, it's actually five feet long. And even though the right rod looks like it's bent very close to the end it's actually bent in the middle, as is the center rod.

I set this up to illustrate some of the problems in visualizing both contrails and the paths of planes that don't leave contrails, especially those that are far away, and so at a shallow angle to the viewer.

In particular, look at the...
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Orbs with Dots - PDAF Focus Pixels in Sun Reflection Lens Flare

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Orbs with dots.jpg

Source: (MUFON case 84702)

A variety of images reported as "UFO"zm show what looks like a glowing disk with some dots on it. These basically look like lens flares, but the dot patterns are unusual, as they vary from irregular, regular, or or semiregular patterns. However they still look very two dimensional - they don't seem to curve around the "orb". Here's a collection of similar images all claimed as "UFOs"

18033227_1515177338523469_6313062487402728168_n.jpg

What we are seeing here is a reflected image of the sun with the highlighted reflections of focus pixel. ...
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Quantifying Expert Consensus Against Covert Geoengineering / Chemtrails

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20160811-115134-bqpt2.jpg

In a paper publish in Environmental Research letters, August 2016, 77 scientists with expertise in atmospheric science and geochemistry were asked to give their expert opinions regarding the most common claims of evidence put forward by proponents of the "chemtrail" or "covert geoengineering" theory (referred to in the paper as a "secret large-scale atmospheric program (SLAP)". The evidence being photos of trails left by planes, and chemical analyses of air, soil, and water. The scientists overwhelming rejected the idea that the photos and tests were evidence of a secret spraying program. All of the atmospheric scientists and all but one of the geochemists saw nothing suspicious about the proffered evidence. The photos were all identified as contrails, and the...
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Tales From The Rabbit Hole

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  • Episode 45: Brandon Fugal: The Owner of Skinwalker Ranch
    Fri, 29 May 2020 18:44:03 PDT
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  • Episode 44: Steven Hassan – Cults and Conspiracies
    Thu, 14 May 2020 22:26:51 PDT
    Steven Hassan is an expert on cults. A former high ranking member of the Unification Church, aka the “Moonies”, he’s been helping people escape the rabbit hole since his own escape in 1976. Now he’s...
  • Episode 43 – Tim McMillan: The Challenges of UFO Investigations
    Fri, 08 May 2020 15:32:03 PDT
    Investigating UFOs presents a number of challenges, many of which are not immediately obvious, but swiftly rear up to impede progress. There are straightforward issues, like military secrecy and people being afraid to talk because...
  • Episode 42 – Flat Earth and Coronavirus
    Sat, 18 Apr 2020 17:12:19 PDT
    Does a Flat Earther react to world events differently to other people? When you think the world is flat, then you think that the mainstream view of the world is very wrong. Does this carry...
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