Claim: UFO performs sharp maneuver after laser pointer directly hits craft

Max Phalange

New Member
This is exploding on UFO Reddit at the moment: UFO performs sharp maneuver after laser pointer directly hits craft, Big Bear Lake, California



Here's the original video on YouTube, the part in question is at 0:42.

Is there any reason to think this isn't just a moth or other insect getting tagged by the laser pointer? Counterarguments seem to be that it initially flies too straight to be an insect, or that it's too bright(?).

Whatever it is, it clearly seems low enough to the ground that it's being lit up from below. Can anyone prove it is relatively close, by using the parallax against the stars as the camera pans perhaps?[/LOOP]
 

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Seems fairly obviously some type of bug, or possibly a small bird. It gets spooked by the bright light and tries to take evasive action.

People seem to take an automatic view that a "light in the sky" is high up, and then that perception gets stuck. It's probably only 40 feet above the ground.

There was an earlier bug, doing the classic "rod" from a long exposure.
Metabunk 2020-07-19 09-57-11.jpg
 

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Max Phalange

New Member
Agreed, personally I struggle to even visualise it as being further away. However this is now the most upvoted post ever on r/UFOs, so I guess the majority perceives it differently.

As an aside, this is the first "color night vision" footage I recall seeing. Apparently this was shot on a camera from SiOnyx. Potentially muddies the water a bit, as people are accustomed to night vision being grainy black and white.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I was driving today and noticed some dragonflies over the road, about 30-40 feet up. They were exhibiting similar motion to this object - relatively slow flight, then sudden spurts of much faster motion.

When I got home, I saw a dragonfly over my pool, so I shot some video. It's hard to see in points, so I added a rough tracking circle.



This is the first backyard experiment in my new house. I've moved into town, smaller yard, bigger pool.
 

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Max Phalange

New Member
Dragonflies actually came up when I was researching which insects tend to fly in straight lines. But I assumed they are active only during the day.

Apparently, this is not strictly true:
Dragonflies ... and normally diurnal. However some dragonflies are active by night. This is particularly true of long distance migrants that travel over open water where they cannot roost so must continue to fly even after dark ... Some species of non-migratory dragonflies are also occasionally observed moving at night. Almost all of these cases are observations of dragonflies coming to lights ... Reports of nocturnal adult dragonfly activity appear to be relatively scarce, especially with regard to North American species.
 

Zak M

New Member
Giving this way too much credit. An interstellar spacecraft came here and got spooked by a primate with a laser pointer? Pretty sure there were harder barriers to traverse getting here if that is the case. But as Mick already pointed out you can catch a "rod" at :28 seconds Source: https://youtu.be/q6R1MSAYhrs?t=28
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
More dragonflies. This time looking straight up.

 

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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Has anyone asked how a small laser could brightly illuminate the entire surface of a large craft at high altitude? Try doing that to even a small airplane [No don't, it's dangerous and illegal]. Very obvious it's a nearby small object.
 
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Max Phalange

New Member
Has anyone asked how a small laser could brightly illuminate the entire surface of a large craft at high altitude? Try doing that to even a small airplane. Very obvious it's a nearby small object.
Last time I looked, the prevailing opinion was that the 'UFO' must be flashing a light in response :rolleyes:
 

Max Phalange

New Member
More dragonflies. This time looking straight up.
Certainly a good candidate, exhibits pretty straight-line flight when it wants to, can definitely dart about. Also large enough to be visibly from a fair distance.

I also wonder if it could be some kind of beetle species like a June bug (known to be nocturnal). There are a few shots around 1:45 in this news report in which they can be seen to fly pretty straight trajectories.
 

JMartJr

New Member
Has anyone asked how a small laser could brightly illuminate the entire surface of a large craft at high altitude? Try doing that to even a small airplane. Very obvious it's a nearby small object.

Please don't. Illegal in many jurisdictions. Potential for causing all sorts of problems for the pilot, and hence the passengers, of the aircraft.

https://www.laserpointersafety.com/laser-hazards_aircraft/laser-hazards_aircraft.html

My guess would be that the estimable Z.W. already knows this, but I'll stress it for those who might be passing through, see the vid, and decide it would be great fun to go out hunting UFOs by shining laser pointers on various targets in the night sky.
 

Jason Bush

New Member
Please don't. Illegal in many jurisdictions. Potential for causing all sorts of problems for the pilot, and hence the passengers, of the aircraft.

https://www.laserpointersafety.com/laser-hazards_aircraft/laser-hazards_aircraft.html

My guess would be that the estimable Z.W. already knows this, but I'll stress it for those who might be passing through, see the vid, and decide it would be great fun to go out hunting UFOs by shining laser pointers on various targets in the night sky.

Ditto to what JMartJr said. I work at the FAA Northern California TRACON (NCT), the radar approach control that serves most of the Northern California airports. We get too many "unauthorized laser illumination events", around 5-30 per week. We call each one into law enforcement. Unfortunate for us, and the pilots/passengers, they're sometimes very difficult to track back to the source, especially from an aircraft doing 300KTS at 12,000 feet. They're not flying with road maps, and controllers only have major highways marked on the radar display (if they even have it selected). So the pilots can only report an o'clock position and their best guess at the distance. That gets forwarded to a manager who opens up Google Earth and tries to correlate it back to it's origin and guess at an address to tell the police. We're lucky if we even get within a mile or two of the laser location.

However, occasionally a police helicopter will be nearby. They will then fly over the general location provided by ATC and sometimes get hit with the laser themselves. From there an exact address is obtained, followed by a possible apprehension. Also, people usually think only helicopter when it comes to police. They fly just as many fixed winged aircraft and are sometimes the first ones to get hit with the laser. From there it's all done for the laser 'operator' because the cameras on those aircraft are pretty fancy and can be locked-on and zoomed-in to the selected location, "Say Cheese!"

So, please, be sure it's a bug or bird you're pointing a laser at. :)
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
They're not flying with road maps, and controllers only have major highways marked on the radar display (if they even have it selected). So the pilots can only report an o'clock position and their best guess at the distance. That gets forwarded to a manager who opens up Google Earth and tries to correlate it back to it's origin and guess at an address to tell the police. We're lucky if we even get within a mile or two of the laser location.
I wonder if you could some something like a Stellerium style app in reverse that automatically narrows this down a bit (the camera would see the laser). I'm pretty sure they have something like this in more complex systems, but a phone app might be cool.
 

Jason Bush

New Member
I wonder if you could some something like a Stellerium style app in reverse that automatically narrows this down a bit (the camera would see the laser). I'm pretty sure they have something like this in more complex systems, but a phone app might be cool.

That would be! As long as the phone has a good GPS signal and the "gyroscope" is in alignment, why not? Even varying surface height could be factored into a terrain model for an accurate derived location (LAT/LONG). Once we have the LAT/LONG, the rest is easy...but even that (guessing a street address) could be done by the app.

It's better than my solution of allowing the aircraft to fire back :)
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Has anyone asked how a small laser could brightly illuminate the entire surface of a large craft at high altitude? Try doing that to even a small airplane [No don't, it's dangerous and illegal]. Very obvious it's a nearby small object.
Good grief, guys. This is a figure of speech. Funny what people get fixated on.
 

Gary McH-P

New Member
@Z W Wolf - Its a suggestive figure of speech aimed at the general readership who in the main would not take such a suggestion as a directive to try out such an action rather than except it as an analogy of the scenario and the difficulties of obtaining the results of the OP under normal conditions as presented.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Wow, I don't want this to be a source of contention here. Mea Culpa.
Please don't. Illegal in many jurisdictions. Potential for causing all sorts of problems for the pilot, and hence the passengers, of the aircraft.

Let's please make that the last word.
 
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