Apache UAP video, objects allegedly in a 70G turn

Max Phalange

Active Member
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, “but, I’m not looking up there.”


The accompanying article posits that the objects are 1-2 miles away.

1653665574646.png


Chris Lehto chimes in:
After completing his own analysis of the footage, Lehto provided The Debrief with several additional details that stood out to him, which have led him to conclude the objects display characteristics that appear to defy explanation.

“The tracking rate is exceptionally fast,” Lehto told The Debrief. “Even if they are only a mile away, I calculate they go approximately 1.28M. Well past the speed of sound.”

And according to Lehto, the unusual circular flight path the objects demonstrate near the end of the footage is the strangest aspect of the film.

“The circle-dance maneuver is just not possible,” Lehto said. “They do a full 360-degree turn in less than 3 seconds!”

The former fighter pilot expressed confidence that an F-16 is indeed capable of turning at incredible speeds. According to Lehto, “in a level turn, at Mach 0.8, 7 Gs, and 14 deg/sec, the F-16 could turn 360 degrees in about 26 [seconds].”

But in Lehto’s opinion, no F-16—nor any drone or other aircraft in the current known inventory of the United States military—is capable of what the objects are seen doing in the video. He judges that they display “a turn rate that is an order of magnitude faster than one of the fastest turning fighters on earth,” which he estimates to be above 70 Gs.

“I’ve analyzed the video,” Lehto told The Debrief, concluding “it is without a doubt anomalous.”

It's not clear how the distance to the objects was estimated. Is it possible they are much closer, and therefore small and possibly mundane?

Full article is here: https://thedebrief.org/incursions-a...-security-agents-tell-of-encounters-with-uap/
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
It's not clear how the distance to the objects was estimated. Is it possible they are much closer, and therefore small and possibly mundane?
I'm leery of any assessment of size or distance with this limited amount of information. That movement at the end that refers to as a "circle-dance" looks very much like the behavior of birds.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is it possible they are much closer, and therefore small and possibly mundane?
Not only is it possible, but it's by far the most likely explanation.

There's literally nothing in the video that goes against that possibility. And the motion of the objects looks very much like birds.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a stabilized version. You'll need to watch it full-screen on a good resolution monitor to see the dots.

 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Notably, this footage was shot:
close to midnight on November 6, 2018,

Surely too dark in an unlit desert to have made these objects out visually (unless they were jets with afterburners lit, which apparently wasn't the case). The IR camera is tracking the head movements of the gunner, and the camera's image would then be displayed back to him.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHrcHG3iUY


So the only thing the gunner could see was three white dots in a 2D image, making any range estimation almost impossible. And the pilot says "I'm not looking up there".

Also, bats are perhaps another candidate considering the time of day.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


A close up of the more interesting movement (cropped from the 4K panning stabilized version above)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


10-frame echo, to make the motion a little clearer (still some camera motion)

Note extra UFO zips past at 22 seconds.
 

jhunsley

Member
I understand this video came from the same guy who released the 'Rubber Duck' and 'A-10' videos last year
 

dimebag2

Active Member
It looks like the objects have to be very close. To cross more than 90deg of the FOV in 15s.

Very rough quick calculation: when over the mountains, the objects cross one field of view in about 4-5s.
FOV seems to be 52deg (https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/arrowhead.html).

If they are ~100m away, that's ~80m covered in 4-5s -> 58-72km/h
200m -> 110-140km/h (plus acceleration to get there because they move erratically)
2Nm (3700m)->2150-2650 km/h, or 1.75-2.15 Mach (in the range of Chris Lehto calculation)


Screenshot from 2022-05-27 12-42-42.png

Don't know which max speed is consistent with birds/bats flying erratically like this at night, but they need to be close for sure.

EDIT with 38.5° FOV (see post below) :
~100m away -> ~50 km/h
~200m away -> ~100 km/h
~2Nm away -> Mach 1.3-1.6
 
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3db

New Member
I do not think this video actually shows the objects the cockpit audio talks about.

Based on the DCS A-64 manual, we are looking at the pilots eye view in this video. The gunner has another system just for him.
https://www.digitalcombatsimulator....g4m47mlo/DCS_AH-64D_Quick_Start_Manual_EN.pdf
A-64 pilot.JPG

The A-64 has 2 crew members, pilot and gunner, and either one could be flying the helicopter. At the start of the clip the one crew explicitly says he is not looking up there, as the video tracks to the right, around 1:31:05 in the video above, he explicitly asks the 2nd crew if he has flight controls, and the 2nd crew takes over the controls, implying the first crew was flying during the sighting.

At the 1:34:24 mark the crew who spotted the objects says roughly "clear left, right and overhead, and I will let TADS catch up to me here". so the 2nd crew is probably in the gunner seat.
Source: https://youtu.be/GIJ1DC3YhR0?t=5664


However, and we do not have gunner sight footage, and the pilot (whos video we have) explicitly said he was not looking at the objects. So i think the video we have is looking at nothing.
TADs.JPG
 

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3db

New Member
I think C-HMD is co-pilot-gunner HMD and P-HMD is pilot HMD
Yeah it occurred to me right after i posted that they may refer to the whole thing as TADs regardless of which system they use, so it may not matter after all.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
An Apache manual, please don't make me have to learn this as much as I leaned the FA/18...

https://aviation-assets.info/wp-content/uploads/ATM_42_AH64D_FAD_20120522.pdf

AIR SURV is

"Air Surveillance Mode (ASM) provides the capability of detecting airborne hazards. ASM is not a targeting mode and cannot be selected when either crew member has FCR as their selected LOS. Place the FCR into ASM by selecting “AIR SURV” option on the FCR page, choosing the appropriate FOV, and executing continuous scan. Hazards will be displayed as FCR target icons, however no targeting information is provided to the WP"
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Yeah it occurred to me right after i posted that they may refer to the whole thing as TADs regardless of which system they use, so it may not matter after all.

Then again they might be able to swap views around with each other..

PHS is in the top right and seems to refer to

"The PLT’s pilot helmet sight (PHS)"
 
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ParkwayDrive08

New Member
Considering this is a flying Apache helicopter. There's going to be a lot of chopper noise, engine wine and blown off air. How close can the bats get to the helicopter without being scared by the cacophony of pressure waves? They are pretty sensitive creatures I would imagine. They would have to be pretty close to the helicopter to even be seen and confused as flying jets in size and speed. It seems there are 24 indigenous species of bats to New Mexico. The largest of which has a wingspan of 20-23 in. A bats wingspan is generally 3-4 times its body length. All are nocturnal.

https://birdwatchinghq.com/bats-in-new-mexico/
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Considering this is a flying Apache helicopter. There's going to be a lot of chopper noise, engine wine and blown off air. How close can the bats get to the helicopter without being scared by the cacophony of pressure waves? They are pretty sensitive creatures I would imagine. They would have to be pretty close to the helicopter
A thought like this is a great start. With the Internet at your fingertips, it's easy to go a little further than "I would imagine" and look for evidence. A web search for bats loud noises turns up an article from brown.edu, Rhode Island's prestigious university:
Article:
“[Bats] are naturally exposed to continuous intense sound levels from their own and neighboring sonar emissions while foraging, orienting, and emerging from their roosts,” wrote the authors of the article in the Journal of Experimental Biology. “For bats, exposure to prolonged intense wideband sound is an occupational hazard.”

Individual bats emit up to 100 to 110 decibels in sound pressure. The combined level of sound pressure among bats flying in groups can increase to 140 decibels, and it can last for several hours, which is comparable to the ambient sound on the deck of an active aircraft carrier.
A simple check like that reveals that your initial thought was actually false, and teaches us something new. This is how learning works!

Bonus fact: bats don't do well with spinning blades:
Article:
Collisions with wind energy turbines are one of the leading causes of bat mortality in North America and Europe and a growing concern for bat conservation around the world.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Also, bats are perhaps another candidate considering the time of day.
It looks like the objects have to be very close. To cross more than 90deg of the FOV in 15s.

Very rough quick calculation: when over the mountains, the objects cross one field of view in about 4-5s.
FOV seems to be 52deg (https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/arrowhead.html).

If they are ~100m away, that's ~80m covered in 4-5s -> 58-72km/h
200m -> 110-140km/h (plus acceleration to get there because they move erratically)
2Nm (3700m)->2150-2650 km/h, or 1.75-2.15 Mach (in the range of Chris Lehto calculation)

Don't know which max speed is consistent with birds/bats flying erratically like this at night, but they need to be close for sure.
Just playing with the bat idea a little more, at least one could fit dimebag2's calculations for being within 100 meters. Weather a bat would get within 100m of a helicopter is a different question. Mendel's post above seems to suggest that the noise wouldn't bother them (bold by me):

Big-brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, are considered a large bat for North American bats but have small ears for such a large echolocator. They are one of the fastest bats capable of reaching speeds upwards of 40 mph (64 kph). Big-brown bats range from northern Canada, throughout the United States and on into the northern portions of South America.
Content from External Source
1654390475624.png
www.livescience.com/65273-bats-of-arizona-photos.html
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Whether a bat would get within 100m of a helicopter is a different question
Article:
Bat collisions are a threat to commercial and military aircraft in Australia. We examined bat strike records from Australia during 1996–2006 and found that risk of impact from bats is increasing, is greatest in tropical versus temperate regions, and is more likely during early evening and while an aircraft is landing rather than departing.

The ATSB database included 327 records of bat strikes from 91 airports during 1996–2006.


Article:
For 812 of the military's recorded incidents, the type of animal that smashed into the helicopter was also described. Birds were the culprits in 91 percent of the cases, but the species differed according to the type of military service, since the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard operate their aircraft over different habitats, the researchers said. Other animals that struck military craft were bats.
 
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purpleivan

Active Member
Don't know about bats specifically, but birds of various kinds are occasinally seen close to and even on race tracks. So noise and turbulence from high performance cars doesn't seem to be a complete deterrent to them.

e.g. this. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton & the seagulls Part 2

Not the same as constant noise and disruption of the air from the blades of a helicopter, but birds at least can put up with quite a bit of disturbance.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Article:
Bat collisions are a threat to commercial and military aircraft in Australia. We examined bat strike records from Australia during 1996–2006 and found that risk of impact from bats is increasing, is greatest in tropical versus temperate regions, and is more likely during early evening and while an aircraft is landing rather than departing.

The ATSB database included 327 records of bat strikes from 91 airports during 1996–2006.


Article:
For 812 of the military's recorded incidents, the type of animal that smashed into the helicopter was also described. Birds were the culprits in 91 percent of the cases, but the species differed according to the type of military service, since the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard operate their aircraft over different habitats, the researchers said. Other animals that struck military craft were bats.
Sounds like they might get close. If that's the case and I understand dimebag2's calculations in post #13, then a bat could be less than ~100m to the chopper and therefore flying a bit slower so we're not talking about a brown bat at the limits of their capabilities.
 

ParkwayDrive08

New Member
I was hoping someone could provide further insight but I decided just to use a simple online calculator using some known information. When user "dimebag2" proposed distances, 100m, 200m, 2NM, I was curious whether you could even see bats at 2NM.

Going down the rabbit hole, I'm going to consider they are indigenous bats. According to Arizona species lists, Eumops Perotis, The Western Mastiff Bat has the largest wingspan of 23 inches.
Eumops perotis-
Identifying Characteristics:
  • ...The wingspan is approximately 20 to 23 inches.
The Western Mastiff Bat is the largest bat species in Arizona.
Content from External Source
With further research I found that a bat's wingspan can be 3-4 times its body length. which further brackets in it possible perceived size:
Like birds, bats have lightweight bones and small bodies, so they have less weight to carry when they fly. And they have true wings to help them fly. But unlike bird wings, which are made of feathers, bat wings are made of skin! When fully stretched out, a bat's wings can be three to four times the length of its body.
Content from External Source
For reference:

Using sizecalc.com and inputting a wingspan of 23 inches:
At 100m: 0.418°
At 200m: 0.167°
At 2NM: 0.009°

I'll consider the wingspan is 3X its body length.

A body length of 7.66 inches:
At 100m: 0.139°
At 200m: 0.056°
At 2NM: 0.003°

If you consider a thumbs width is 2° wide when your arm is outstretched, a bat at 100m is only ~0.4° wide and at 2NM only .003°. I think this also gives me an idea of the maximum length x width infrared signature of a bat. I suppose the brightest signature would come from the body core. Based on the movement I still think a bat is a more likely candidate than a bird. At 2NM it's going to be extremely difficult to see a bat. But at closer distances what do you guys think, possible?

- I posted this on Friday but didn't provide enough description of the links.

https://sizecalc.com -calculate an object's perceived size.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1762884/ - "Thumb's rule tested"
https://birdwatchinghq.com/bats-in-Arizona/
https://www.arizona-leisure.com/arizona-bat-species.html
https://rangerrick.org/zoobooks/the-body-of-a-bat-is-perfectly-suited-for-flying/ -
 
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Max Phalange

Active Member
For reference:

I don't think the naked eye comes into it as the objects were observed only as white pixels on the IR display (it was filmed at midnight with an almost new moon, so neither jets, bats or birds would have been visible against the sky (unless said jets were illuminated, but there's no suggestion of that on the audio)).

So it becomes a question of the optics and sensor of the IR camera setup.
 

ParkwayDrive08

New Member
I don't think the naked eye comes into it as the objects were observed only as white pixels on the IR display (it was filmed at midnight with an almost new moon, so neither jets, bats or birds would have been visible against the sky (unless said jets were illuminated, but there's no suggestion of that on the audio)).

So it becomes a question of the optics and sensor of the IR camera setup.
Ah I see, so the cross dimension of the pixels of the IR signature does not match the actual object size. Therefore you can see the thermal signature of objects too small to see in real life. Perhaps the pixel density is not fine enough to resolve small objects realistically. So if the objects are small enough you can't really tell what they are, unless the display artificially magnifies small objects to the point so the pixel density can resolve the details. Or in contrast it looks like a little white blob whose actual size is smaller than the minimum resolution and actual size cant be determined.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
Ah I see, so the cross dimension of the pixels of the IR signature does not match the actual size. Therefore you can see objects too small to see in real life. I guess the pixel density is not fine enough to resolve small objects realistically. I guess if the objects are small enough you can't really tell what they are, unless the display artificially magnifies small objects so the pixel density can resolve the details.
Well you might see them with human eyes if it were daylight but it was dark, the IR camera is picking up the IR contrast.
 

ParkwayDrive08

New Member
Well you might see them with human eyes if it were daylight but it was dark, the IR camera is picking up the IR contast
Right, that's why I wanted to see if it was even large enough to be seen by the naked eye at 2NM. It would be cool to get a consensus about what people think at the distances of 100m and 200m. Maybe someone with human night vision experience can weigh in.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
At 2NM it's going to be extremely difficult to see a bat. But at closer distances what do you guys think, possible?
At 2NM it's also moving very fast. dimebag2's corrected calcs, below his graph, have it at Mach 1.3-1.6.

At 100m it's moving at 50km, well within the 64k speed limits of the brown bat (post #25). If it's even a bit closer, then it's moving slower still and could be various species of bat being pick up with the IR camera, not the naked eye as others have pointed out.

If they are ~100m away, that's ~80m covered in 4-5s -> 58-72km/h
200m -> 110-140km/h (plus acceleration to get there because they move erratically)
2Nm (3700m)->2150-2650 km/h, or 1.75-2.15 Mach (in the range of Chris Lehto calculation)


Screenshot from 2022-05-27 12-42-42.png


Don't know which max speed is consistent with birds/bats flying erratically like this at night, but they need to be close for sure.

EDIT with 38.5° FOV (see post below) :
~100m away -> ~50 km/h
~200m away -> ~100 km/h
~2Nm away -> Mach 1.3-1.6
Just a note, but from dimebag2's post:
2Nm (3700m)->2150-2650 km/h, or 1.75-2.15 Mach (in the range of Chris Lehto calculation)

Did Lehto look at this video and conclude that the object was moving ~Mach 2? Is he defaulting to a distance that makes the object more "exotic" and less mundane?
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Right, that's why I wanted to see if it was even large enough to be seen by the naked eye at 2NM. It would be cool to get a consensus about what people think at the distances of 100m and 200m. Maybe someone with human night vision experience can weigh in.
To what end? It doesn't matter, it was picked up with an IR camera in the dark.

I think I can make out our local Pallid bats flying around at dusk out to 100m depending on the background and lighting. Pallids are considered big for local bats. At 2nm, not a chance.

Bold by me:
Pallid bats have a head and body length of approximately 2.75 inches (6.2-7.9 cm), forearm length of approximately 2.1 inches (4.5–6 cm),[5] a tail of approximately 1.75 inches (3.9-4.9 cm), and a wingspan of 15-16 inches (38–40 cm).[6][7] They weigh 14-25 grams. These bats are large, with long forward pointing ears (over 2.5 cm). Fur is pale at the roots, brown on their back, with a light underside. Pallid bats have a blunt piglike snout.[6]
Content from External Source
1654791211915.png
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallid_bat
 

ParkwayDrive08

New Member
I think I can make out our local Pallid bats flying around at dusk out to 100m depending on the background and lighting. Pallids are considered big for local bats. At 2nm, not a chance.

Bold by me:
Pallid bats have a head and body length of approximately 2.75 inches (6.2-7.9 cm), forearm length of approximately 2.1 inches (4.5–6 cm),[5] a tail of approximately 1.75 inches (3.9-4.9 cm), and a wingspan of 15-16 inches (38–40 cm).[6][7] They weigh 14-25 grams. These bats are large, with long forward pointing ears (over 2.5 cm). Fur is pale at the roots, brown on their back, with a light underside. Pallid bats have a blunt piglike snout.[6]
Content from External Source
1654791211915.png
en.wikipe

Makes sense, the largest bat in Arizona(Western Mastiff Bat) is 56-70g and 50-58cm. Although from the research they are hardly the representative species in Arizona. They don't have an exact population number but they know it's likely small. So it's likely the bats detected are closer to Pallid Bat in size or smaller.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
The nominal distance of 100 meters seems to have been adopted in many of these calculations without any evidence of the actual distance. Am I correct In that? Off-the-cuff estimates of distance cannot result in reliable numbers for speed or size.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Often when we get a video there is a claim, often along the lines of "this object is moving very fast and thus cannot be of mundane origin."

When we get this kind claim we often, as the 1st step look to see if there is any way to know the distance to and size of the object, because only by knowing the distance to the object or by being able to work out the distance to the object based on some other factor can we know the speed it is actually moving at.

If we cannot work out the distance/size then we also calculate speeds at a "range of ranges" so to speak i.e if it's 100m then it's this speed, 500m this etc. This then allows us to see if there is a range where known mundane objects (for instance birds/bats/insects would fit the bill.

This basically becomes the "small or far away" problem, if we find a range where the speed and size would likely match a known object then we've pretty much debunked the claim "this object is moving very fast and thus cannot be of mundane origin."

Any video that is going to demonstrate fantastic speed is going to have to have a verifiable distance/size attached.

At this point really we're mostly done with the video, debunking has happened by showing that a smaller closer mundane object can fit the bill. 100m puts it in the range of birds/bats. Full identification is likely impossible in this case.
 
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