Avionics System Technician Discusses FLIR Targeting Pod's Tracking and Glare

Mick West

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Staff member
Kurt (not his real name) is an avionics technician who wishes to remain anonymous. These are selected excerpts, organized by topic, from a longer interview (see second post) Interview performed on Aug 27, 2020 by phone.

M = Me, Mick West
K = Kurt

I've separated them out by topic or question, and I've highlighted (in bold) the parts of Kurt's answers that most directly address the question. You can see most of the context here, and full context in the next post.

When reading this, note that this was the first time Kurt had been asked about some of this material, and the discussions were over the phone with no shared video. So there are a few occasions where both of us misunderstand the other slightly or misspeak.

Background Working on Targetting Pods

M: You worked on the ATFLIR system?
K: I was an avionics systems technician for the air force. A big part of that job is the targeting pods.

Seeing Similar Glares

M: Okay, and obviously the reason I want to talk to you is that I made this hypothesis about it being a rotating glare, the Gimbal UFO [video] being a rotating glare, and you seem to agree with me. Now do you have experience of similar glares?
K: Yeah, I do. ... just about every day. One of the jobs in avionics technician is to load and unload these pods from the jet and every time you do that you've got to run up APU, run up the jet, and you've got to ops check [operations check] the pod. So, inevitably, ops check and everything, inevitably part of it is playing with it a little. Why not, it's sitting there. So you're tracking jets in the sky, looking at people in [a distant tall building] in the flight line. So yeah, I've seen identical to that. Countless times.

What Causes the Glare?

M: What contributes to the glare and the shape of the glare
K: In my experience, it's mostly, and I'm no optical expert, I'm not even an engineer that's designing this stuff, I just worked on them, so I get experience with them. In my experience, I see this same thing, on the flight line... So, I know what the cause is, the cause is the pilots and the crew chiefs wiping off that front glass with their sleeve [laughs]
...
M: I was just thinking, I did that video on the different types of glare. Would that anti-glare coating on the front of the pod, that's really to prevent reflection showing up outside the pod? So, like, glinting and things like that [K: Yeah] it wouldn't really affect anything inside of the pod - it's not to stop glare getting through, it's to stop reflections on the outside.
K: So "glinting" is a good word. And again I'm no optical expert. All I know is when I clean the forward section glass properly, those "wings", whatever you want to call them, go away

Rotating Glare Shape

M: Fascinating. And, have you seen things like the rotation, when you track things from left to right?
K: Yeah, I've seen them on Coyotes.

M: What does that mean? What's a coyote?
K: I've literally seen that rotation, the glare, on coyotes.

M: Oh, actual coyotes?
K: Literal coyotes on the mountain, looking up there. Your hypothesis is exactly correct, as soon as you pass zero degrees laterally, those wings, protrusions, they shift.

M: And like in a similar manner, they do like this sudden movement, fairly abrupt, so it's stable for a while and then it does this movement.
K: Well yeah, you got it exactly right, it's with the rotation of the forward section of the pod. The forward section of the pod, which I'm sure you know, is the part that rotates.
atflir-pingpong-metabunk.gif
M: Yeah, and it's got the two axes of rotation. It can rotate along the forward axis, and then it's kind of the secondary axis, up-down, more or less, but could be in any direction.
K: Righ, so up-down is in the camera itself, inside the pod. The whole forward section rotates, rolls. So, I've seen exactly the same thing on coyotes [...]
I mean they are not that bright, but you can mess with your sensitivity on the CDU, which is part of the ops check. But I've only seen this [rotation] a few times, it only happens when something is directly in front of the jet. But you can see it, the coyote's got protrusions, and it's definitely nowhere near as pronounced, as defined, it doesn't look a gimbal video, but you can tell it's the same thing.

M: I guess you could do similar things with an iPhone, if you smudge the lens enough, it's going to give you that kind of lateral blurring, of vertical blurring, depending on which way you do the smudge.
K: Right, and seeing this on on even airliners leaving from [..] airport as well, so they will actually cross. And looking at jets in the holding pattern, [...] you see the same thing.

Tracking in the Nimitz FLIR1 Video

K: Right... what does he [Underwood] mean by "doesn't lose lock"?
M: Well, he says that it's solidly tracking the object the entire time, but then
K: And then he's referring to when it flies off screen?
M: Yeah, he says at the end that he can tell it has lost lock because the bars ...
K: ... right, it obviously lost lock because the boundary bars back off.
M: but the thing is, the boundary bars back off at other points in the video too.
K: right so that [the bars backing off] is a "signal of confidence" for those pods. So what it's tracking is not like tracking with radar, or infrared, it's not tracking from the pod, it's the pod talking to the CDU, talking to the actual display. It's tracking the pixels on the screen, if that makes sense.
M: Yeah, it's analyzing the video, essentially, and seeing where the bright spot is.
K: Right, it's not like tracking a hot spot in the way a heat seeking missile does, or radar. So those boundary bars are a confidence gauge - ah, I don't know the right word for that - so you can lose them, they can back off every once in a while, even though the computer knows to keep the same speed and heading, whichever way the camera was moving, then it's will gain it's confidence back.

M: Do you have the video there? The Nimitz video, I just wondered if you have a second we could look at it together. Like, you could tell me what is going on in it?

[delay while K gets the video up]

M: There are various points where the bars widen. Does that indicate that it has lost lock, or is it just, what is it?
K: Well, I think the terminology is just a little weird there, because it never had "lock." It's just a visual track.

Gimbal Roll in the Nimitz FLIR1 Video Causing Loss of Tracking

M: Let it go forward until it gets to about 45 seconds.
K: Okay [goes to 45 seconds]
M: At about 49 to 50 seconds there's a clockwise rotation. Do you see that?
K: Yeah.
M: Then if you continue to play from that, after 50 seconds, at 52 seconds the bars widen out, and the object is on the right side, just inside the bars.
K: Right
M: What would you say is going on at that point.
K: So that is, let me back up [the video] here. Oh man, that's blurry. Zero degrees left, one left, two left, three left, okay. So, that is the same thing.
M: The same, the rotation?
K: Yeah, it's the forward section rotating.
M: And what does it mean when the bars widen that much. Has it essentially lost track.
K: So it looks like in this video the camera rotates slightly after it passes zero degrees, which it's perfectly capable of doing. So, when it rotates, there's some movement there, so it's actually just wasn't locked on exactly to it, so had to widen it's boundary bars, and it found it again pretty quick there.
[...]

M: Okay. Have you see the video I did, the "No Sudden Moves" video, which was about this video and a I went through all the movements, and said it seemed like the camera was tracking this object moving left and every time it lost track the camera [Note: I meant to say "object" here, not "camera"]] seemed to continue moving to the left because the camera had stopped moving because it wasn't following the object any more, and then it reacquired lock and caught up with it.
K: [rewatches video] It's kind of too quick, we are looking at something that is four degrees off-center and kindof far away. You don't need the camera to keep tracking, it's probably just sitting still. This is a full, probably more than 190 degree rotation of the camera, so you are going to have some movement of the camera inside. I don't know what it's literally doing inside the computer if it's trying to track, but I don't think you need that at all, it just rotated it and there a little vibration that goes along with that, a lot of mass moving, and where it told itself to look at directly after it had got done rotating, the object wasn't in there, the boundary bars opened up a little bit, widened, found it again, and it just reset. So you don't need the camera to still be moving for this to to still make sense.
M: Yeah, actually I'm thinking the camera stopped moving at that point, for a brief second, then reacquired where it was supposed to be, and moved over.
K: Right
M: It's a little confusing, I think the relative motions of things.
K: A little bit yeah, but this is right after the rotation. So, when the pod knows it's got to rotate, it knows where it is looking and it tells itself to rotate to move the camera in the vertical axis, which is no longer vertical, on the inside of the forward section and the computer tells it exactly where it should be looking, where it left looking, and then the object wasn't quite there, probably just due to vibration of the pod, probably just due to mechanical things, gear teeth not being perfect. It was just slightly outside of it, opened it up, found it again. The camera does stop moving while it's turning and after the turn it just looks where it was looking.

Is the Nimitz Video UFO Just a Plane
Metabunk 2020-09-18 11-06-13.jpg
K: So, what is this thing, do you have any theories for what this thing is, that we are looking at.
M: I don't know what it is, I think it might just be an out-of-focus plane that's just a very long way, like 40 miles away or something like that.
K: Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. Looks like a plane. Looks like every other plane I've seen.
M: Right at the start, if you go all the way back to the start it's in IR mode and then it's in narrow 2x zoom at about 15 seconds in, and you can see it just looks like a glare. Like a spiky glare.
K: So, you can see it clearest in TV.
M: Yeah, in TV [visible light mode] it just looks kind of like a kind of odd-shaped
K: A plane, it's a plane that's backlit that looks like it's going away from us, at like 35 degrees left, and it's backlit.
M: Yeah, that's what my theory is, in my video "Is the Nimitz UFO just a plane", I have a video on just that topic.
K: Oh do you?
M: Yeah, so it's good to hear you say that.
K: Yeah I've seen that hundreds of times, looking at planes in the holding pattern, that's what it looks like [with FLIR].
M: The pilot who took the video, he says that if it was a plane he would have been able to distinguish the features of the plane in that video.
K: With what? I mean this is the optical quality of a $2.5 million camera, 1.5 degrees field of view with 2x zoom, and you can barely see it with the camera, how would he [see it with his eyes]
M: Yeah, it's clearly very blurry. The outlines of this thing are completely out-of-focus the entire time, so.
K: They are blurry, we are just approaching... remember we are in the equivalent of digital zoom here as well, so that's what makes it blurry, if the camera doesn't have the resolution for it. But to me it looks like exactly what I've seen. Dozens and dozens of times in the morning when the sun is coming up in the east and planes are backlit in the holding pattern.
M: Yeah, so they look black.
K: right, against a bright sky.
M: especially around sunrise.

What does the 99.9 RNG Display mean?
Metabunk 2020-09-18 11-04-24.jpg
M: Do you know what the 99.9 thing means? The 99.9 RNG.
K: That means he's not tracking..., that means he's not locked on to it with radar.
M: Okay
K: Is it that way the whole video?
M: No, it starts out blank, there's nothing there and at about 33 seconds that pops up and stays there for the rest of the video.
K: Let's see... [watching video]
M: Some people say that's an indication of the radar being jammed.
K: It's definitely not. You get all kind, you know you're... no, it's not the radar being jammed.
M: Good to know.
K: Okay, so he's just doing an optical track on this as well. So he initiated that range in TV, just doing the optical track, it looks like here, so you are not going to get a range in TV, and he's not going to designate it a target obviously. Because I'm sure he knows, it's just a plane, airliner.
M: He says he doesn't know that. You should listen to his interview, it's kind of interesting, he just did it.
K: Yeah I'm not interested, after hearing Fravor, and that other guy.
M: Jeremy Corbell
K: Yeah, Jeremy Corbell
M: Yeah this was Jeremy Corbell interviewing Chad Underwood, the guy who says he took this video.
K: Yeah, he knew exactly what that was. That's why he didn't designate it as a target. It's not a big deal to designate something as a target, you haven't engaged it, it's just giving you a radar range, but, technology 2004 they probably wouldn't know. Nowadays you know you are designated as a target because you are getting tracked with radar. You're getting ranged, you're getting blasted. So those 99.9s just mean null, null reading.
M: Now is it showing up because he's requested it, like he's pressed the button to get the range?
K: So, yeah, in TV mode he did that, just on an optical track.
M: So there was nothing there before, so he presses the range button, and this crops up just ot show him that he can't get a range?
K: Right, well, I mean, it's "invalid".
M: or it's saying there is no range
K: yeah, there is no range, it's not like a bad range. It's not "you could not get a range", it's "there is no range". He just pulled up the display for range.

How Far Away is the Object?

M: So how far away would you think this might be.
K: Oh geez, I don't know, I'll have to... let me think.... I don't known probably
M: It depends on how big it is.
K: Judging from what I've seen, like planes in holding patterns and coming into [the airport], I don't know, probably 45 to 60 miles, 45 miles.
M: Sounds about right.
K: I'm sure you could do the math, well, not really without range, but
M: well, you've got the camera's altitude, 20,000 feet, and you've got a 5 degree, that's a 5 degree upward angle, isn't it?
K: Right, positive [angle].
M: So it's look up at 5 degrees, so, it's a 20,000 feet, so it's it's if the plane is 40 miles aways that put it at about 40,000 feet, so like a bizjet or something like.
K: Yeah! That's what it is. I think you're dead on.

What is the "Aura" of Seemingly Cold Air around the Target?
Metabunk 2020-09-18 11-05-18.jpg
K: Right well when they are offering no proof, there's nothing, they are not proving anything. They're lying. You know I watched the Joe Rogan with Fravor, and you've got Jeremy Corbell, when you've got him ... I think this was the first video I ever saw of yours of the unsharp mask, and when I see Fravor nodding along to this guy saying that there's a pocket of cool air around this thing, he's a liar. I know that he turns that on and off, I do that in my ops-check. He knows exactly what that is.
M: It looks just like that, it's actually a software thing, something you turn on and off?
K: Yeah. It's just like you said it was, with the police helicopters and the dog, I think was in your video.
M: Well the dog one was one I simulated it on the dog one. All the other ones were real, I simulated it with the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop to show what it would look like.
K: So, that's exactly what it is. [a sharpening Filter]
 

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Mick West

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Staff member
[Full Transcripts with minor redactions for privacy]

M: You worked on the ATFLIR system?
K: I was an avionics systems technician for the air force. A big part of that job is the targeting pods. [...]

M: Okay, and obviously the reason I want to talk to you is that I made this hypothesis about it being a rotating glare, the Gimbal UFO [video] being a rotating glare, and you seem to agree with me. Now do you have experience of similar glares?
K: Yeah, I do. ... just about every day. One of the jobs in avionics technician is to load and unload these pods from the jet and every time you do that you've got to run up APU, run up the jet, and you've got to ops check [operations check] the pod. So, inevitably, ops check and everything, inevitably part of it is playing with it a little. Why not, it's sitting there. So you're tracking jets in the sky, looking at people in [a distant tall building] in the flight line. So yeah, I've seen identical to that. Countless times.

M: Really? That's really interesting. It's really hard for me to get footage of something like that. Are you aware of anything like that which exists where I could get some footage that would show a similar glare?
K: I'm not aware of it. I kind of YouTubed around a bit, looking for the same. I couldn't find anything as extreme as that. Like in that Gimbal video, they are at the narrow field of view setting, at 2x digital zoom as well, so it's extremely exaggerated in that video alone. What I'd look for, if you are trying to find similar anomalies, is, say like the Nimitz video? I can't remember if they claim that as the tic-tac [M: yeah, they do] okay, so that, or the GoFast, I can't remember. At one point in that video, he switches to that 2x zoom, you can see some of those optical anomalies show up in that 2x zoom. I don't know I'm not away of a lot of that footage out there. Just that there is smaller examples.

M: What contributes to the glare and the shape of the glare
K: In my experience, it's mostly, and I'm no optical expert, I'm not even an engineer that's designing this stuff, I just worked on them, so I get experience with them. In my experience, I see this same thing, on the flight line... So, I know what the cause is, the cause is the pilots and the crew chiefs wiping off that front glass with their sleeve [laughs]

M: Hmm
K: Now, you made that video today, kind of clarifying the difference between a few things, like glare, and I'm not sure that I have the terminology completely correct. But when I've seen it before [the glass was wiped], I guess you'd still have glare, but much more uniform, like in your flashlight video today. Just a round shape. But then say like with the Gimbal video, when it's got those "wings", the thing that actually turns. "Wings" is tricky to use, because we are talking UFOs here, but you know what I mean.

M: Yeah, like the saucer shape. A long axis and a short axis.
K: Right, saucer shape. That, in my experience, is usually scratches in the, ironic, anti-glare coating that's on the glass of the forward section. Scratches from dust, from crew chiefs and pilots wiping off the dust. In my experience.

M: I was just thinking, I did that video on the different types of glare. Would that anti-glare coating on the front of the pod, that's really to prevent reflection showing up outside the pod? So, like, glinting and things like that [K: Yeah] it wouldn't really affect anything inside of the pod - it's not to stop glare getting through, it's to stop reflections on the outside.
K: So "glinting" is a good word. And again I'm no optical expert. All I know is when I clean the forward section glass properly, those "wings", whatever you want to call them, go away

M: Protrusions
K: Protrusions.

M: Fascinating. And, have you seen things like the rotation, when you track things from left to right?
K: Yeah, I've seen them on Coyotes.

M: What does that mean? What's a coyote?
K: I've literally seen that rotation, the glare, on coyotes.

M: Oh, actual coyotes?
K: Literal coyotes on the mountain, looking up there. Your hypothesis is exactly correct, as soon as you pass zero degrees laterally, those wings, protrusions, they shift.

M: And like in a similar manner, they do like this sudden movement, fairly abrupt, so it's stable for a while and then it does this movement.
K: Well yeah, you got it exactly right, it's with the rotation of the forward section of the pod. The forward section of the pod, which I'm sure you know, is the part that rotates.

M: Yeah, and it's got the two axes of rotation. It can rotate along the forward axis, and then it's kind of the secondary axis, up-down, more or less, but could be in any direction.
K: Righ, so up-down is in the camera itself, inside the pod. The whole forward section rotates, rolls. So, I've seen exactly the same thing on coyotes [...]
I mean they are not that bright, but you can mess with your sensitivity on the CDU, which is part of the ops check. But I've only seen this a few times, it only happens when something is directly in front of the jet. But you can see it, the coyote's got protrusions, and it's definitely nowhere near as pronounced, as defined, it doesn't look a gimbal video, but you can tell it's the same thing.

M: I guess you could do similar things with an iPhone, if you smudge the lens enough, it's going to give you that kind of lateral blurring, of vertical blurring, depending on which way you do the smudge.
K: Right, and seeing this on on even airliners leaving from [..] airport as well, so they will actually cross. And looking at jets in the holding pattern, [...] you see the same thing.

M: If this is a relatively common thing, do you think the pilots should have figured it out when they saw it. Because they didn't, they thought it was something actually rotating.
K: Oh, should they have, er, yeah [laughs] for sure. But I've also had pilots come to me, you know, red ball [Red Ball = report of high priority aircraft maintenance issue] saying their altimeter is nulling out and giving them readings during banks, when they are banking heavily. Well, the radar altimeter points straight down, it's just radar to the ground, but when you bank it's going to null out. So, they got a lot going on.

M: So they should know that, but they didn't. And that's something that seems fairly obvious as well. Interesting.
K: Right. Just like with the radar altimeter thing, it's fairly obvious as well, if you just stop and think about it. But, I'm sure they have a lot going on. Maybe they are some newer pilots, I don't know.

M: Some people say it wouldn't glare because it's infrared. But the stuff you are talking about, the infrared camera, you look at the exhaust of planes leaving the airport, and you see they have similar glares, and with similar protrusions?
K: Yep, similar, it's nowhere near as big as whatever that was in the video. I can see four separate engines [with] the same protrusion looking things. If we clean the glass before the ops check, then we don't get them.

M: Have you ever played around with the narrow field of view and tried to track distant planes?
K: Of course.

M: I think the gimbal video is all in narrow field of view and 2x zoom. So that would have to be a plane that's a very long way away.
K: Well, it is pretty darn big in the video.

M: That's true
K: So, I think narrow, what is narrow field of view, this information is probably out there, if I remember it's something like 1.5 degrees, medium is 3 and wide field of view is six or something.

M: Yeah, Narrow is 1.5, so 2x narrow would be 0.75
K: Right, so I mean it's definitely in the distance, but it doesn't take a lot of distance for something to get small, though it's big in the camera.
I really think, and I'm kind of putting this together too, the biggest reason for that shape of the flare we got in that video was zoom. I don't know why the zoom makes that worse.
You look in the Nimitz Tic-Tac video as well, same exact thing happens, but it looks quite a bit different, when it switches over to 2x.

M: At the start of the Nimitz video it's got a kind of a star-shaped glare.
K: Right
M: Which is a bit different, it's more like the badly smudged example in my video from today. But anyway that video [Nimitz] it's too hard to see anything in it.
K: Right

M: It's interesting the Nimitz video, because it rotates at one point, but I think at that point the shape of the craft isn't glare shaped, it's the actual shape of something underlying it. The camera rotates but the glare doesn't change shape.
K: Where at? In the Nimitz video?
M: Yeah, the Nimitz video, you get this rotation.
K: Right, well again I don't know why it makes it worse. But he's only in 2x zoom ... , he's in the narrow field of view, I believe, the whole time. But he's only at 2x zoom for a second or two, is that right? So there's not going to be a whole lot of rotation.
M: He's actually in 2x for a while but, it's around 45 seconds in, there's this big rotation.
K: Right, well, is that at the point where the forward section passes zero degrees, so it has to turn?
M: Yeah it's around there, it's about 2 degrees. And from my research looking at the patents, it does these rotations around three degrees left or right. I think it's got some kind of algorithm to decide when to do it.
K: Oh, no, I know, I mean in the Nimitz video. Is the camera pointing close to zero degrees when he's at 2x zoom. Because otherwise it's not, if it doesn't cross over at 2x zoom, you're not going to see a whole lot of that flare rotation anyway.
M: Yeah, there's definitely a rotation. If you look at the Nimitz video starting at 48 seconds, there's a clockwise rotation of what looks like about 180 degrees. Which I think is the front part of the camera doing that transition at the zero degree point, like I discuss in several of my videos.

K: The Nimitz video, is that the Gimbal video?
M: no, the Nimitz video is the "FLIR1" video, which is the one that was filmed after commander Fravor had his encounter with the "Tic-Tac" UFO, and supposedly this is the Tic-Tac UFO [in the video]. I was actually just in the middle of making another video, because Jeremy Corbell did an interview with the guy who took that video, Chad Underwood, and Chad is saying that the video doesn't lose lock. But, I don't know if you've seen my "No Sudden Moves" video, but I think it's pretty clear that it does lose lock, so I was making a response video about that. But this is pretty different to the Gimbal video.

K: Right... what does he [Underwood] mean by "doesn't lose lock"?
M: Well, he says that it's solidly tracking the object the entire time, but then
K: And then he's referring to when it flies off screen?
M: Yeah, he says at the end that he can tell it has lost lock because the bars ...
K: ... right, it obviously lost lock because the boundary bars back off.
M: but the thing is, the boundary bars back off at other points in the video too.
K: right so that [the bars backing off] is a "signal of confidence" for those pods. So what it's tracking is not like tracking with radar, or infrared, it's not tracking from the pod, it's the pod talking to the CDU, talking to the actual display. It's tracking the pixels on the screen, if that makes sense.
M: Yeah, it's analyzing the video, essentially, and seeing where the bright spot is.
K: Right, it's not like tracking a hot spot in the way a heat seeking missile does, or radar. So those boundary bars are a confidence gauge - ah, I don't know the right word for that - so you can lose them, they can back off every once in a while, even though the computer knows to keep the same speed and heading, whichever way the camera was moving, then it's will gain it's confidence back.

M: Do you have the video there? The Nimitz video, I just wondered if you have a second we could look at it together. Like, you could tell me what is going on in it?

[delay while K gets the video up]

M: There are various points where the bars widen. Does that indicate that it has lost lock, or is it just, what is it?
K: Well, I think the terminology is just a little weird there, because it never had "lock." It's just a visual track.
M: Ok, so it's lost track, or it's lost confidence in its track, is there a percentage?
K: Yeah, that would be semantics, if it wasn't ... [inaudible] ... kind of like your "glare" and "flare", I didn't know the difference.
M: Yeah, that, kind of, usage varies with that.
K: Right.

[Start looking at Nimitz video]

K Let's see. We're in Narrow, 1x, IR, White hot. 3 degrees right. 6 degrees (up). Okay, now 2X zoom. Hmm. And you want to know what, about what I think about this?
M: Let it go forward until it gets to about 45 seconds.
K: Okay [goes to 45 seconds]
M: At about 49 to 50 seconds there's a clockwise rotation. Do you see that?
K: Yeah.
M: Then if you continue to play from that, after 50 seconds, at 52 seconds the bars widen out, and the object is on the right side, just inside the bars.
K: Right
M: What would you say is going on at that point.
K: So that is, let me back up [the video] here. Oh man, that's blurry. Zero degrees left, one left, two left, three left, okay. So, that is the same thing.
M: The same, the rotation?
K: Yeah, it's the forward section rotating.
M: And what does it mean when the bars widen that much. Has it essentially lost track.
K: So it looks like in this video the camera rotates slightly after it passes zero degrees, which it's perfectly capable of doing. So, when it rotates, there's some movement there, so it's actually just wasn't locked on exactly to it, so had to widen it's boundary bars, and it found it again pretty quick there.
M: Yes. So would it be fair to say that that the object was starting to drift off to the left there? You can see at 52 seconds it's left of center.
K: 52 seconds, right.
M: Then when it requires it, it recenters it.
K: Right. So yeah, just drifted off. The camera drifted, not the object, and as soon as it found itself, I guess, after the forward section rotated, it opened up the boundary bars again because it couldn't see it - it was left of the boundary bar, looked like - and it opened it up, found it again and recentered it.

M: Okay. Have you see the video I did, the "No Sudden Moves" video, which was about this video and a I went through all the movements, and said it seemed like the camera was tracking this object moving left and every time it lost track the camera [Note: I meant to say "object" here, not "camera"]] seemed to continue moving to the left because the camera had stopped moving because it wasn't following the object any more, and then it reacquired lock and caught up with it.
K: [rewatches video] It's kind of too quick, we are looking at something that is four degrees off-center and kindof far away. You don't need the camera to keep tracking, it's probably just sitting still. This is a full, probably more than 190 degree rotation of the camera, so you are going to have some movement of the camera inside. I don't know what it's literally doing inside the computer if it's trying to track, but I don't think you need that at all, it just rotated it and there a little vibration that goes along with that, a lot of mass moving, and where it told itself to look at directly after it had got done rotating, the object wasn't in there, the boundary bars opened up a little bit, widened, found it again, and it just reset. So you don't need the camera to still be moving for this to still make sense.
M: Yeah, actually I'm thinking the camera stopped moving at that point, for a brief second, then then reacquired where it was supposed to be, and moved over.
K: Right
M: It's a little confusing, I think the relative motions of things.
K: A little bit yeah, but this is right after the rotation. So, when the pod knows it's got to rotate, it knows where it is looking and it tells itself to rotate to move the camera in the vertical axis, which is no longer vertical, on the inside of the forward section and the computer tells it exactly where it should be looking, where it left looking, and then the object wasn't quite there, probably just due to vibration of the pod, probably just due to mechanical things, gear teeth not being perfect. It was just slightly outside of it, opened it up, found it again. The camera does stop moving while it's turning and after the turn it just looks where it was looking.
M: It does seem in each case it ends up a bit to the left because it's moving left. You can tell the pod is tracking left because the numbers increase left, it's 1 left, 2 left, three left. So the pod is obviously tracking to the left.
K: During the rotation of the foreward section, the pod was not moving, air-quotes, "left".
M: I guess in theory it should try to figure that out, but it seems like it was just off by a small fraction or a degree really, as it's such a narrow field of view.
K: Right, and a long ways off. You know I don't know if the pod's doing that, calculating the speed and heading of an object it was tracking during the rotation of the forward section, but I'm going to guess probably not. It's sucha specific scenario.
M: This is 2004 as well, so is there difference in technology, have things improved since then? Obvious things have improved, but specifically.
K: Right, yeah.

M: So you want to look at the end of the video? The end of the video has something very similar, but it actually loses lock. At about... there's a bunch of stuff going on at the end, it flips between Narrow (NAR) to what looks like wide? Wide Field of View, or perhaps medium, but it looks like wide, at around 1:12
K: I'm watching it here. So, he goes nut with his ...
M: Starting around 1:11, it almost looks the object shoots off diagonally to the bottom left, when the camera changes.
K: Right, so that's just the camera stopping, so, let's see, there are many things happening here. So he's at Narrow, at 2x zoom, at 1:10. I'm trying to figure out everything he's doing, then he goes, then he switches, to black hot, then white hot? Does he, I'm trying to figure out what he's doing here.
M: What time are you at?
K: 1:11 right now, Narrow, 2x zoom, then there's this black flash.
M: I think that's where he's switching to the wide angle.
K: There he goes, wide field of view, 2x zoom
M: Yeah, there's a big glitch there, so he's in wide, so the dot is very small at this point, and again it widens because it has to reacquire the track there and the thing's kind of wobbling around.
K: Right, and then he just goes back into narrow right after that. Not coming out out of his zoom, and that's when it loses it. So, that makes perfect sense to me too.
M: So at the end
K: So he found it again half a second after this video is over.
M: Well, he says that he didn't, he says that the went and looked for it and couldn't find it.
K: Yeah, he's a liar.
M: [surprised] ...er
K: Wide field of view, I don't know what this black screen glitch - oh it's probably just him switching the field of view they are mechanical lenses inside.
M: So how does that work, the mechanical lens with different fields of view? Does it actually switch lenses or is there a mirror path that changes?
K: I'm fairly certain, I think it's both. So, as an avionics system technician we just replace these parts that go into the thing, and then kind of come in bigger pieces than what's on the inside. So I'm not sure. But I would probably guess both, you can't just switch lenses, well back in 2004...
M: Yeah
K: But, what happened in this video is he's in 2X zoom, he wouldn't have lost it if he wasn't zoomed, but the error, yeah [watching video], he's just switching, he's just clunking that thing back and forth, back and forth.
M: So right at the end, it switches from the the very last thing that happens, he goes from 1x to 2x zoom, but at that point it's already way outside of the bars, so I don't think that change has any effect on the tracking.
K: Right, so I see what you are talking about, that seem like what lost it there, he switched from wide to narrow to 1x to 2x, really quickly. So, it's exactly what is intuitive, he was screwing with the camera too much and he lost the track. And this thing is long ways off, he's 2X narrow zoom, what is that?
M: It's not a lot, obviously the [angular] size of the object is pretty small at that point. And that switch from 1x to 2x, it gives the illusion that it's kind of zooming off but if you watch it after it doubles in size, you can see it moves slowly off the left hand side.
K: Right, you don't need to convince me, I see what's happening, as soon as it's off to the left is exactly when he goes back into 2x and it doubles in size. Right, it was too far away from the boundary bars to pick it up immediately. But again, I'm sure it picked it up a second after the video ended.
M: You see the very last thing that happens is that bars widen but there's nothing on screen at all. He would have to switch back to .... would he be able to pick it up, because it's not on screen at that point?
K: Oh yeah, you just slew over, there's a little castle switch on your stick,
M: Right, so if he manually slewed over to the left, you think he should have been able to get it?
K: Oh yeah, no problem. That thing is not moving fast. You can see, what is that, 7 degrees left at the end,
M: Yeah it's 8 at the end.
K: 8 degrees, yeah, that things moving slow, so that's a fick [of the castle switch] and it's in the view again. I'd come out of 2x, to put,... it's testing the boundaries of the system here.
M: Do you think it's conceivable, he could have tried to do it and then missed it and then lost it? If you go too far, it could be hard to find.
K: Hmm, no, it's not hard to find at all, just come out of 2X zoom, go to medium field of view or just out out 2x zoom and it's back on the screen. You'll pick it up, and it'll start tracking again. If he cycled through properly, you are supposed to cycle through fields of view with no zoom to avoid that exact thing. It's all mechanical parts with tolerances, there's small movements and you're looking at something that small, or that far away, at 1.5° with the 2x zoom.

K: So, what is this thing, do you have any theories for what this thing is, that we are looking at.
M: I don't know what it is, I think it might just be an out-of-focus plane that's just a very long way, like 40 miles away or something like that.
K: Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. Looks like a plane. Looks like every other plane I've seen.
M: Right at the start, if you go all the way back to the start it's in IR mode and then it's in narrow 2x zoom at about 15 seconds in, and you can see it just looks like a glare. Like a spiky glare.
K: So, you can see it clearest in TV.
M: Yeah, in TV [visible light mode] it just looks kind of like a kind of odd-shaped
K: A plane, it's a plane that's backlit that looks like it's going away from us, at like 35 degrees left, and it's backlit.
M: Yeah, that's what my theory is, in my video "Is the Nimitz UFO just a plane", I have a video on just that topic.
K: Oh do you?
M: Yeah, so it's good to hear you say that.
K: Yeah I've seen that hundreds of times, looking at planes in the holding pattern, that's what it looks like [with FLIR].
M: The pilot who took the video, he says that if it was a plane he would have been able to distinguish the features of the plane in that video.
K: With what? I mean this is the optical quality of a $2.5 million camera, 1.5 degrees field of view with 2x zoom, and you can barely see it with the camera, how would he [see it with his eyes]
M: Yeah, it's clearly very blurry. The outlines of this thing are completely out-of-focus the entire time, so.
K: They are blurry, we are just approaching... remember we are in the equivalent of digital zoom here as well, so that's what makes it blurry, if the camera doesn't have the resolution for it. But to me it looks like exactly what I've seen. Dozens and dozens of times in the morning when the sun is coming up in the east and planes are backlit in the holding pattern.
M: Yeah, so they look black.
K: right, against a bright sky.
M: especially around sunrise.

M: Do you know what the 99.9 thing means? The 99.9 RNG.
K: That means he's not tracking..., that means he's not locked on to it with radar.
M: Okay
K: Is it that way the whole video?
M: No, it starts out blank, there's nothing there and at about 33 seconds that pops up and stays there for the rest of the video.
K: Let's see... [watching video]
M: Some people say that's an indication of the radar being jammed.
K: It's definitely not. You get all kind, you know you're... no, it's not the radar being jammed.
M: Good to know.
K: Okay, so he's just doing an optical track on this as well. So he initiated that range in TV, just doing the optical track, it looks like here, so you are not going to get a range in TV, and he's not going to designate it a target obviously. Because I'm sure he knows, it's just a plane, airliner.
M: He says he doesn't know that. You should listen to his interview, it's kind of interesting, he just did it.
K: Yeah I'm not interested, after hearing Fravor, and that other guy.
M: Jeremy Corbell
K: Yeah, Jeremy Corbell
M: Yeah this was Jeremy Corbell interviewing Chad Underwood, the guy who says he took this video.
K: Yeah, he knew exactly what that was. That's why he didn't designate it as a target. It's not a big deal to designate something as a target, you haven't engaged it, it's just giving you a radar range, but, technology 2004 they probably wouldn't know. Nowadays you know you are designated as a target because you are getting tracked with radar. You're getting ranged, you're getting blasted. So those 99.9s just mean null, null reading.
M: Now is it showing up because he's requested it, like he's pressed the button to get the range?
K: So, yeah, in TV mode he did that, just on an optical track.
M: So there was nothing there before, so he presses the range button, and this crops up just ot show him that he can't get a range?
K: Right, well, I mean, it's "invalid".
M: or it's saying there is no range
K: yeah, there is no range, it's not like a bad range. It's not "you could not get a range", it's "there is no range". He just pulled up the display for range.
M: Oh okay, that's interesting.
K: Okay, so that makes a little more sense.
M: That does make sense.
K: And you're sure never getting a range in TV unless you are tracking it otherwise [like with radar].
M: So how far away would you think this might be.
K: Oh geez, I don't know, I'll have to... let me think.... I don't known probably
M: It depends on how big it is.
K: Judging from what I've seen, like planes in holding patterns and coming into [the airport], I don't know, probably 45 to 60 miles, 45 miles.
M: Sounds about right.
K: I'm sure you could do the math, well, not really without range, but
M: well, you've got the camera's altitude, 20,000 feet, and you've got a 5 degree, that's a 5 degree upward angle, isn't it?
K: Right, positive [angle].
M: So it's look up at 5 degrees, so, it's a 20,000 feet, so it's it's if the plane is 40 miles aways that put it at about 40,000 feet, so like a bizjet or something like.
K:Yeah! That's what it is. I think you're dead on. This stuff is hilarous to me.
M: Yeah, the problem is, I put my videos up, but it's just me, I'm not an expert, and it would be great to actually get experts on my side.
Now, Jeremy Corbell, he's just put up this video with Chad Underwood, the pilot who took this video, and of course everyone is going to be like "Oh, Mick West was wrong, he doesn't know what he was talking about, Chad has proven him wrong".. But since they don't understand it either, it becomes this battle of dueling experts.
K: Right well when they are offering no proof, there's nothing, they are not proving anything. They're lying. You know I watched the Joe Rogan with Fravor, and you've got Jeremy Corbell, when you've got him ... I think this was the first video I ever saw of yours of the unsharp mask, and when I see Fravor nodding along to this guy saying that there's a pocket of cool air around this thing, he's a liar. I know that he turns that on and off, I do that in my ops-check. He knows exactly what that is.
M: It looks just like that, it's actually a software thing, something you turn on and off?
K: Yeah. It's just like you said it was, with the police helicopters and the dog, I think was in your video.
M: Well the dog one was one I simulated it on the dog one. All the other ones were real, I simulated it with the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop to show what it would look like.
K: So, that's exactly what it is.
M: Fascinating, well that's good to know, let's see what other videos can you, well, I think you've covered it all basically.
K: Yeah. That's the frustrating thing you're talking about, in your community too because you're not an expert. You don't have to be an expert at all, at all! Some really simple math, some common senses, maybe Wikipedia or something to understand the readouts. And it's clear what it is.
M: Yeah, you'd think, but obviously people get these ideas and they go with them. And some people I think don't just want to believe, they pretend to believe.
K: Like the Jeremy guy. He knows! You can see him walking around, just watching a couple of things I've see of him, how expertly he sidesteps the correct answer. How surgically he avoids the subjects that just completely make it clear [what it is].
M: Yeah, and he also just asks the wrong questions. Which is what I was ...
K: Well yeah, exactly, he doesn't only ask the wrong questions, he's so close to the right ones, ..., he knows what's going on. And he's prepared to argue against that, with that information. And that's clear, if you understand what is actually going on [in the videos]
M: I think he at least partially understands it, I don't think he entirely follows all of the arguments. Some of them are a little confusing. A lot of people have trouble with the Gimbal rotating glare, it's kind of confusing.
K: I can sympathise with that with your average YouTube viewer, but someone who has devoted this much time, and he made a movie, someone who has invested more than an hour into this and easily understand this.
M: He's devoted years to this type of thing, and many many days to these videos.
K: And I don't know about you, but I can see in just how he talks and what addresses. He knows exactly what is going on, and he's prepared his arguments against that, with that information in mind. Because he spends a lot of time on the wrong questions. And if someone answers the right question he's got a really quick way of dispelling that in a completely nonsense manner. I don't know, it's clear to me.
M: Well, hopefully I can make it more clear to other people.

M: Well this has been very enlightening, thank you for...
K: Well not really, you had everything nailed already.
M: Well it is enlightening to hear somebody confirm some of those things, and some of the stuff was new to me. I didn't know it was called the "boundary bars" for example.
K: Sure, but I'm just a ground guy, it's been a while now, I'm not even sure it that's the technical name for them. But that's what we called them, boundary bars.
M: Yeah, and just the fact that you've seen these things before, and you can see what is going on, it's great.
K: Yeah, like that last video [FLIR1/Nimitz] I've seen that in the airport holding pattern, every morning.
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
I think what sticks out the most is the things that are seemingly intentionally misrepresented by the pilots, the sharpness mask, the go fast video, the loss of tracking, the 99 range with no target designation that would provide a range. The rest of their testimonies are just called into question for me. It's one thing to have a different view of what a distant object is. It's another to contradict what the video clearly shows.
 
Last edited:

jackfrostvc

New Member
I think you need to get someone on the record Mick. No offense, I believe the interview is real, but it's not very powerful against those that do not believe your stance - who do have people on the record and on camera saying otherwise.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think you need to get someone on the record Mick. No offense, I believe the interview is real, but it's not very powerful against those that do not believe your stance - who do have people on the record and on camera saying otherwise.
Sure, but I'll take what I can get. I've asked a variety of people, and Raytheon. No bites so far.
 
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