1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1oTg0kxzDs

    When I originally saw the Nimitz footage, I assumed the black blob was actually in infrared
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 06-50-52.
    But it's actually in TV mode.

    I wondered if I could recreate it, so I made a clip of a silhouetted plane rotating, and looked at it from various angles:
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 06-53-44.
    Then tried down-sizing it and adding noise etc.

    Metabunk 2019-06-29 06-54-45.

    The version in the video I did above still has wings detectable, but I think it gives a reasonable idea of how the shape might have come about - especially with multiple generation of copying of the video, possibly including some analog format like VHS, and then a very low resolution digitization.

    Still, I'm not sure on exactly what pipeline would best simulate what we see. I attach the source video I used if anyone wants to play with it.

    Attached Files:

  2. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    I don't know. The wings could disappear if the plane were viewed from the side but I think more problematic is the absence of any hint of a vertical stabilizer in the video. I think that structure is quite prominent in almost all fixed-wing aircraft, except the B-2, and it remains clearly visible in your simulation.

    I'm having a bit of trouble seeing an airplane shape dissolve into this featureless rectangle with distance/blurring.
  3. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    To simulate the video that's on the Internet, you'd first simulate the raw interlaced 480i video, overlay some symbology on it, then shrink it in half and compress it to .mp4 so that the symbology looks as blurry as in the video on the Internet.
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The original leaked video file, f4-2007 is:
    Interesting there's an audio track there. I thought it was silent, but there is something there, looks like a noisy 60hz hum, in stereo.
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 22-41-36.
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    This video:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgHjVvqLXV8

    Is good reference for dark planes in the distance, they even give a 90 degree turn at various altitudes, and might better give an indication of how visible the vertical stabilizer and wings are.

    Right at the start:
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-04-49.

    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-06-18.
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-09-25.

    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-10-14.

    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-11-42.

    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-12-53.

    These all change shape quickly and are generally banked a lot more than the Nimitz shape. But that' because they are turning in for landing.

    Attached Files:

  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Here's a fascinating one from 2:07:00
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-15-23.

    It's briefly forming a quite large transient aerodynamic contrail.
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    02:43:04 - Similar to my original attempt. Probably not like this though, as it's flying the wrong way.
    Metabunk 2019-06-29 23-17-50.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Raw video would've been 480i 60 fps, 8 to 16-bit pixels, which comes out to 74-147 Mbps, so we're talking 128x compression down to 1150 kbps. The whole video shakes too, like at the 56-second mark.
    The audio just sounded like noise to me.
  10. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Bug/bird UFO at 3:15 :). Don't blink or you'll miss it.
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It's very different to the loud cockpit/static noise from Gimbal.
    Metabunk 2019-06-30 05-35-17.

    vs Nimitz:
    Metabunk 2019-06-30 05-45-58.

    It has one click at the start, then some very low frequency low volume semi-regular hum that looks to be around 60hz. I'd suspect two possible sources:
    1. The video going through some kind of analog process, i.e. the 480i AV signal being fed into an analog->digital converter, but with no audio or audio disconnected. Induced currents in the cable would give a low level audio signal, which is then digitized. So the noise is the background electronic hum of the room, and some random noise.
    2. The video shot off a monitor using a camcorder.
  12. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga New Member

    I wish I could still find the superb and detailed video analysis that conclusively proves the Chilean Navy 'UFO' was nothing more mysterious than a jet liner. If anyone knows the one I mean....could they post a link. I'm tired of grainy infra-red or other videos. I want something in 4K that shows the damned nuts and bolts of the alleged 'UFO' and isn't an obvious fake or miss-interpretation. Why...in this day and age of high quality video...are we still being subject to grainy, blurry, images of little more than a few pixels in the distance ?
  13. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

  14. igoddard

    igoddard Active Member

    Kean posted this collection of the Nimitz target in TV mode...


    It looks more like a jet profile with its nose on the left and rudder on the right (opposite to your example). There seem to be hints of an upward protrusion on the right, fitting where a rudder would be. So if it's a jet, it would be flying from the ATFLIR pilot's right to left, just as we determined the target was flying. Which is also the orientation Agent K placed it...


    Now I'm suspecting Agent K nailed it!
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I've been playing around with it, but it takes some time, and is a bit fiddly. We'd probably have to try a bunch of different planes.
  16. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Remember that Cmdr. Fravor also said that when the radar tried to lock onto the target, there were indications of jamming. He talks about it here.

    Source: https://youtu.be/KUyGnFFilP0?t=1877

    Edit: Also, the ATFLIR video shows the range as 99.9, because the radar couldn't lock on.

    By the way, when Fravor was interviewed on the Fighter Pilot Podcast, he said that the WSO who captured the video was Chad "Nuts" Underwood.

    The jamming sounds to me like it was an aircraft with a jammer, like one of ours "playing with ourselves."

    If you go back a bit in the above video, they also discuss how the object could know the classified CAP point, which is also consistent with us playing with decoys or spoofing.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  17. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    If you automate it, you can sell it as model-based template-matching ATR (Automatic Target Recognition).
  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I have been musing about ways of automating it. I could get all the different models (or at least major variations - 1,2,4 engines, T-tails, B2, fighters, commercial, etc) from the Sketchup Library, then render them in a JavaScript using Three.js under various lighting conditions, and simulate atmosphere, focus, and video effects with full-frame filters. The user could quickly swipe though the models and conditions.

    Maybe later!
  19. jarlrmai

    jarlrmai Member

    My guess would be F4 Phantom
  20. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    Metabunk member marrowmonkey superimposed a fighter jet on the video frame, though again I'd rotate it so it's seen from below. Looks like he superimposed an F-15, though he said F-18.

    Maybe it was an electronic warfare aircraft like an EA-6B Prowler if it jammed the radar.

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  21. Gerard

    Gerard Member

    It looks like a fuzzy blob to me too. I don't think there's much hope of positively identifying this as any specific plane, or even as a plane at all.
  22. Sgt.Squarehead

    Sgt.Squarehead New Member

    There's a dedicated EW variant of the F/A-18, the EA-18G Growler:



    Given that the target was aware of the CAP Point and allegedly emitted jamming, this would seem like a pretty good start point for your image search, to me at least.

    The large EW pods under the wings could give the impression of a twin engine jet IMHO (I believe it can carry up to four, it would certainly be carrying at least a pair if it was jamming).
  23. Agent K

    Agent K Active Member

    They didn't start flying until two years later in 2006. That's why I guessed EA-6B Prowler in my post above.
  24. Justin Dark

    Justin Dark New Member

    I just want to make sure I understand: are you suggesting the multiple flight crews of Navy aircraft, including one dedicated surveillance plane, mistook another standard, common aircraft for the object in this video? That's honestly your take on this???
  25. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    No, I'm saying that the object in the video looks like it could be a plane.