AARO's "Southeast Asia Triangles": Identification of Fishing Nets

Mick West

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A new "Case Resolution" from AARO.
https://www.aaro.mil/Portals/136/PD.../Southeast_Asia_Triangles_Case_Resolution.pdf


(U) AARO assesses that the subjects of the"Southeast Asia Triangles" case from 2017 almost certainly are cone-shaped static fishing nets floating on the surface of the ocean. This conclusion is based on a thorough review of the evidence by AARO's Intelligence and Science andTechnology (S&T)Partners.
(U) The image was originally flagged as containing potentially anomalous objects and posing a risk to navigation. Additional imagery of the area from 2017 was discovered and collected.
(U) Both the Intelligence and S&T teams compared the size, shape, and location of the initial image to existing and subsequent images in the same region, and compared it to libraries of known morphologies.

(U) Intelligence Assessment
(U) AARO's Intelligence partners examined the
image and compared it other imagery.
Specifically, they located a clearer image in the vicinity of the objects in question.
(U) The images from 2017 display several triangles and were confirmed to be static, cone-shaped fishing nets.
(U) These triangular fishing nets were compared to the black triangles from the 2017 imagery and it was confirmed that are all are approximately the same size of about 11m x 7m.

(U) Science & Technology Assessment
(U) Three of AARO's S&T partners agree that the objects imaged in 2017 are fishing nets.
(U) S&T Partner One specifically noted that subsequent images were especially clear; the location and the size comparison were critical in determining the assessment.
(U) S&T Partner Two acquired and analyzed other images of the same geographical area which revealed multiple similar triangular shapes taken in late 2022 and early 2023. These images also show significant downstream turbidity, confirming that these nets are on the water.
(U) S&T Partner Three also found stock footage of fishing nets on the same river, which confirms the underlying analysis.

Content from External Source
This seems like a reasonable resolution, even if it took them far too long to figure out. But can it be confirmed? The shapes look similar, but not identical. Can we find more footage that supports the Fishing Net Hypothesis?

Footage I've seen of fishing nets from above does not seem to have that much contrast (as nets are relatively insubstantial).
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Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/dramatic-images-of-fishing-nets-captured-from-above-in-phu-yen-550355.html

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Source: https://elements.envato.com/traditional-chinese-fishing-nets-and-fishing-boat--R97R7EU

So what are these nets?
 

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UFOTwitter seems split on this being either:
  • A soft easy-to-debunk image released as part of a disinformation campaign
  • Still possibly aliens, as the images don't look alike.
 
Trying to find nets of the same type.

These are called Set bag net and are often used in estuaries or rivers where the water current pushes fish into them:
Screen Shot 2023-12-02 at 19.06.42.pngScreen Shot 2023-12-02 at 19.06.22.pngScreen Shot 2023-12-02 at 19.09.01.png
 

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Can anybody say where -- like what river, or even just what country? Spent a few minutes randomly looking at rivers in SEA on Google Earth with no luck, would try again with more info. The report says "ocean" at one point but then talks about being in a river... maybe they mean that the UAP reported triangles are over/on/in the ocean, the nets they found are in a river?

If we knew where, if they are fish traps/nets that are static, they'd likely show up over months/years on Google Earth historic imagery feature...
 
UFOTwitter seems split on this being either:
  • A soft easy-to-debunk image released as part of a disinformation campaign
  • Still possibly aliens, as the images don't look alike.
The advantage AARO has is that they know where the pictures were taken.
So if they are able to find more triangles in the same area at other dates, it stands to reason that these are the same type of triangles, especially since the sizes match—it'd be highly unlikely for a flying saucer squad to keep parading in the same place.

Regarding the different shape of the short side, remember that satellites (especially spy satellites) don't always look straight down. From @flarkey's pictures we can see that the opening of the net is a vertical bow, and this will look concave or convex depending on which angle you look at it.

P.S. The reporter is an "intelligence community member", the time frame allows for them to be David Grusch. In that case, we should see some reaction from his friends.
 
Something makes me think that original photo was maybe contrast enhanced or something.

I wish AARO was more open about the process and technical details about how/why they worked out things, at Metabunk you can see the working out, the examples etc. Also I think we also think the most common/easy counter arguments and address them preemptively or let them be raised and then address them. THe informal peer review system is good. Now AARO might have this internally but it's not really clear.

AARO stuff just seems declarative and without the process/details it's easily criticisable.
 
I wish AARO was more open about the process and technical details about how/why they worked out things
I'd tend to agree, while noting that they may in some cases be constrained in terms of not releasing what might be actionable intelligence, constraints which do not impact us so much here,
 
I'd tend to agree, while noting that they may in some cases be constrained in terms of not releasing what might be actionable intelligence, constraints which do not impact us so much here,
Gonna run real close to sources & methods in a lot of cases too, actionable or not. They get access to a lot of enabling processes that are pretty locked down.

In re this case, an interesting piece I haven't seen mentioned yet, is that the pictures presented here come from Maxar "USO Plus", there's no public documentation on Maxar "USO Plus", although, it's possible its a sub-service for their government sub brand. Beyond that, it's mentioned "The image was originally flagged as containing potentially anomalous objects".

Together, at the least, this tells us that AARO is likely using automated systems to scan imagery and identify anomalous phenomena and unidentified signatures. We don't know what "USO Plus" is, although we do know the field of interaction here uses "USO" to reference unidentified submersible objects. With a little bit more of a stretch and a bit less to corroborate the likelihood, this could also tell us that AARO actually has/has access to a dedicated system leveraging satellite imagery to actively scan areas, rather than scanning pre-identified imagery.
 
Together, at the least, this tells us that AARO is likely using automated systems to scan imagery and identify anomalous phenomena and unidentified signatures.
This is a 2017 image. I see no evidence that AARO is using automation on archive data which I don't think it has the authority to see?
It's more likely that someone flagged this back in 2017, the PDF info box says:
(U) Reporter: An Intelligence Community Member
(U) Sensor: Satellite Imagery
Content from External Source
So it wouldn't have been a report that AARO generated itself.
 
Given how long AARO has been in business I would suspect that pretty much everything they talk about is being retrieved from databases of old reports from various sources, not things that AARO has newly spotted. Looking for old reports that contain terms of interest would be a quick way to get a handle on what previous reporting is out there.

Did they just search for "triangles"? A common term in recent UFO reporting. Leaves me wondering where they found this report. First thing I would do if I spotted something anomalous like this in an image is find other images of that same location from other dates. A very quick way to see if what is depicted is "seen there every day" or a "one time and never again" object. Was this done, by the original reporter, or AARO? Until someone identifies the location, and other images or sources for that location are consulted this is weak report. A complete report on this would include this image and others of the same area on other dates in which nothing like this can be found.
 
Given how long AARO has been in business I would suspect that pretty much everything they talk about is being retrieved from databases of old reports from various sources, not things that AARO has newly spotted.
Is AARO tasked with spotting UAPs? Or are they tasked with working on UAP reports?

I would suspect that AARO is evaluating recent reports from 2023 as well.
 
Is AARO tasked with spotting UAPs? Or are they tasked with working on UAP reports?

I would suspect that AARO is evaluating recent reports from 2023 as well.

Based on what I have read here and on the AARO wikipedia page the AARO is not in the business of hunting for UFO's themselves, they are collecting and looking at reports generated by others.

Remember, every day hundreds and hundreds of Imagery Analysts in the military and the Intelligence Community look at recent imagery. Both directly and through automated imagery analysis and target detection algorithms. For AARO to even begin to match the ability of all these people to find interesting things in images would require AARO to become a many Billion dollar organization with many thousands of employees. So no, I don't thing AARO is going to be find UFO's themselves, they will be leveraging the work of others.
 
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