Debunked: Denver UFOs [Insects]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

http://kdvr.com/2012/11/08/mile-high-city-mystery-ufo-sightings-in-sky-over-denver/

In the above video shot in Denver, some black shapes fly in front of the camera and people can't figure out what they are.

It seems pretty obvious to me that it's just some out of focus insects near the camera. That's what flies look like when filmed, out of focus, and with some motion blur:

http://visualsunlimited.photoshelter.com/image/I0000gbnFx5.Wvcs




This video has flies at a variety of distance from the camera, with in various motions and orientations.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTVe3Wsg9M0


As does this:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlMdaoAslg0


This video has similar video quality to the original report:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCt9FxwBgUE


Of course what the "UFO" is is just single flies, pick one from the video.

Here's a good source of out-of-focus motion-blurred flies:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtMBd1nsMGU
 
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Jazzy

Closed Account
It could be a nifty bit of model aircraft making just far way enough so that you can't hear it. These days, with satnav and electronic gyros, powerful motors and light batteries, and the ability to preprogram the flight path, then such a styrofoam jobbie about a half mile away would do the trick. It looks like a tube with a fan in it to me*.

It's a stitch-up.

* That would be fast, but not as fast as these:

 

Belfrey

Senior Member.
I'm with Mick, the way those things are flying around looks typical for insects close to the camera. They appear "around noon or 1pm" - in other words, during the warmest part of the day, when many insects are more likely to be active during the fall. Too bad they just sent a regular camera, a high-speed camera taking identical shots might have been instructive (as it is for the "rods").
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
I am well familiar with the "rods" phenomenon, and the fact that small objects very close to the camera have a very swift apparent motion.

This little object doesn't look sufficiently out-of-focus to me. What we do see doesn't look much like a bumble bee, which is a dark hairy thing. This looks silvery with a low gloss. Its configuration suits a ducted fan arrangement.

Also a close up b b is noisy enough to hear at that distance. (That's enough. - ed.) :)
 

Belfrey

Senior Member.
I am well familiar with the "rods" phenomenon, and the fact that small objects very close to the camera have a very swift apparent motion.

This little object doesn't look sufficiently out-of-focus to me. What we do see doesn't look much like a bumble bee, which is a dark hairy thing. This looks silvery with a low gloss. Its configuration suits a ducted fan arrangement.

Also a close up b b is noisy enough to hear at that distance. (That's enough. - ed.) :)
You must be able to make out a lot more detail than I can from those images. There are many types of possible insects it could be, a pollinator such as bumblebees wouldn't be my first suspect for a plowed-over empty field. Wish I lived in the area, I'd head over there with a net and a kill jar to see what's active there. Maybe I'll send an email to some local entomologists and suggest it to them. :)
 

Belfrey

Senior Member.
I noticed that this has shown up on CNN this morning.

I did contact a Denver entomologist, but he didn't seem interested in going to the field to follow up. He said, "it could be an insect, but since I cannot see any characteristic that would prove it, all I could say would be speculation. The flight patterns does not fit any other organism group (if the filmed object is an organism at all)."
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I've added a photo of some flies to the top post.
Would insects explain the 'tumbling' shiny object? Shiny I get, but do insects ever tumble through the air?
I thought maybe an object being thrown from a sportsfield in the background, or just someone in their back yard, depending on what is located where they were pointing the camera (sorry, I haven't watched it, but have read the ATS thread about it.)
Is it also a possibility the 'tumbling' is just the camera making digital errors in tracking a vague fast moving object?

edit.. what is actually meant to be compelling about this? Like, what's the intitial interesting feature that's supposed to make people go 'wow'?

edit to add gif from ATS thread

ft509e81f3.gif
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread897920/pg14
(also, flying robotic cats! page 11.)
 

Belfrey

Senior Member.
I'd be wary of concluding whether they are really "shiny", frame-by-frame orientation, etc. If they are insects close to the camera, then you may be seeing the elongated blurs rather than the objects' actual shapes and surfaces.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
An insect in flight can vary greatly in appearance from one frame to the next:


And a fraction of a second later:


This sequence is all part of the same flight, about quarter of a second
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvZux77xNKE






And here's some slow motion capture of a bug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWX7b4H0g2Y




On regular camera, regular frame rate, and low resolution, such changes in light and shadow could easily look like "tumbling".

There's also a variety of different things int eh video, not all the same insect, some might possibly be birds, which have a huge variation in profile with their large wing/body ratio.
 
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Jazzy

Closed Account
An insect in flight can vary greatly in appearance from one frame to the next:
.
I breathed in one of them once. It got stuck in my windpipe, died in that position, and took eight weeks to dissolve away. Very uncomfortable...
 
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