Debunked: "Fata Morgana" Hovering Boat Mirages

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
20171001-104153-ab3fn.jpg

Tabloid media love to invoke the cool sounding "fata morgana" to explain images of things floating in the sky. The problem is that a real fata morgana looks like this:

20171001-105113-zeeij.jpg
There's distortion, and there's inversion.

It does NOT look like this:
20171001-105136-oq16i.jpg
Source: Science Channel

Despite the Science Channel's talking heads saying this is a Fata Morgana, it very obviously is not. The giveaway is the total lack of distortion, duplicated images, or inversion. It's just a boat, relatively close to shore, but beyond a false horizon created by the fog bank behind and around the boat, combined with the shallow angle at that distance, altering the reflection off the surface of the sea. If you boost the levels in the image, as I did with the title image of this post, then you can see where the horizon would be.

The person who shot the video says:
There's several examples of this type of illusion being "explained" as a fata morgana.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird...flying-boat-could-have-emerged-through-portal
1493701194511.jpg
But again, a little adjustment of the levels shows it's just a change in the surface of the water that's creating a false horizon. You can even see the brighter parts of the boat (where the bridge faces the sun) creating ordinary reflections on the water surface below.

20171001-112021-epx0a.jpg

This photo is higher resolution than the video of the sailboat, and so we can see the difference between the water surface and the sky. We can even see the ripple of the wake from the small boat that's "in" the illusionary sky area.
20171001-112256-unsch.jpg

Another:
20171001-110843-pg18j.jpg
Source: thriol on Flickr

Fata Morgana sounds cool, and it does make some really cool images sometimes. But it's not a panacea explanation for everything that looks like it's floating in the sky.



See also: Floating Cities are Generally not Fata Morgana Mirages
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't see evidence of fog. I think it is just a patch of water with the same colour as the sky.

Well yes, but it's not like it's different color water. There's a lower quality video out with a wider shot (the apple is a prop for the video shoot)
20171001-123054-77ivz.jpg

You can see a bit of blue sky there. The video also describes fog, so I think it was more apparent to him, assuming he was there.

I don't think it's a simple as a reflection of a band of fog though, I'm not entirely sure, but I think there's a combination of factors. The surface of the water is reflecting something that looks like the sky behind it, I think the fog serves more to obscure where the true horizon is, and to blend in the sky/sea area with the actual sky.



In this example there's more haze than fog, but it still serves to obscure the horizon.

I think the floating sailboat just has a bit more of that.

The difference in reflection beyond the false horizon is something like this:
20171001-124411-50dax.jpg
Source: http://www.blackdiamondnow.net/.a/6a00e5513924e6883301bb0948695e970d-pi

I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but I have two theories:

1) for a given size of ripples then at a certain angle the water surface transitions from being dominated by straight reflections (of what is behind it) to being dominated by ambient reflections (of the sky)
2) Different regions of the water surface have different ripples due to localized variations in wind.
 
The absence of a reflection of the boat seems odd for such calm conditions. Perhaps there is a thin layer of dense fog, but it must be only an inch or so, as I can see the shape of the transom.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The absence of a reflection of the boat seems odd for such calm conditions. Perhaps there is a thin layer of dense fog, but it must be only an inch or so, as I can see the shape of the transom.

I don't think you'd see a reflection. Look at the lake image above, there's no reflection of the hills. Just scattered reflections of the overall sky color.

I also don't think it's a 1" layer of fog, there's just fog behind, and perhaps somewhat around the boat.
 
Watching the video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjIxRMWM5do&lc=z22wexjjmkest1ngv04t1aokgluzqsaohsvo2qy50hhhbk0h00410

there is a good gentle breeze (3 Beaufort) on the dark part of the sea (when in focus) but the boat is hardly moving, although the sails seem to be setting, it is hard to tell with a fully battened main. It needs to be absolutely flat calm to get a specular reflection, so there is no need for fog to obscure a reflection, create that transition line, or at all, although it was reported.. perhaps to explain what they saw.
 
Last edited:
T the risk of being controversial, I have noticed that scientists sometimes make the mistake of saying "it must be so and so, and I am a scientist don't you know" because they are too thick to think of anything else!
 

Lithops

New Member
Just to chime in...

Boats can be very well be seen floating in air because of it being a mirage, but usually you will see the reflection as well. Just like this one :P1130007.jpg

Now i know that this is just on a large lake and the opposite shore also has the same distortion which makes the mirage evident, but the key point is that you should see at least some bit of a reflection. Not a sharp bottom of a boat.
 
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
TEEJ Debunked: Biden's Oval Office "Coming Apart at the Seams" [It's a Door] Election 2020 19
derrick06 Debunked: UFO over California Highway (TMZ) UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 1
P Debunked: 7 Alleged photos of aliens UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 8
Mick West Debunked: Biden signing "Blank" Executive Orders Election 2020 5
Mick West Debunked: Biden in "Fake" Oval Office Election 2020 26
P Debunked: UN hidden camera: the first UFO contact happened [Deep Fake] UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 2
Mick West Debunked: 94% of Fulton County Ballots Manually Adjudicated [It's a Process all Batches go Through] Election 2020 0
Mick West Debunked: "Missile Strike" caused Nashville Explosion General Discussion 3
Mick West Debunked: Nashville Explosion was "Across the Street" from the RV General Discussion 0
Mick West Debunked: "Error rate of 68.5% Allowable is .0008%" [Neither is True] Election 2020 4
Mick West Debunked: Claim that the Electoral College Count On Jan 6 will Change the Election Election 2020 136
Rory Debunked: Einstein wrote "blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth" Quotes Debunked 12
Mick West Debunked: Navid Keshavarz-Nia's Claims of "A Sudden Rise in Slope" as Election Fraud Evidence Election 2020 5
Mick West Debunked: Trump's Claim of "1,126,940 votes created out of thin air" in PA Election 2020 8
Mick West Debunked: Crowder's "Fraud Week" Title Graphic (and Why it Matters) Election 2020 1
JFDee Debunked: Democratic senators complained about 'vote switching' by Dominion voting machines in 2019 Election 2020 2
Mendel Debunked: The Democrats are trying to take away freedom of religion Election 2020 6
H Debunked: Dr. Shiva's Scatterplot Analysis of Michigan Precincts Election 2020 43
Mick West Debunked: Suspicious "Biden Only" Ballots in Georgia Election 2020 3
Mick West Debunked: "Nancy Pelosi's long time Chief of Staff is a key executive at Dominion Voting" Election 2020 0
Mick West Debunked: Wisconsin Turnout 89% Impossible High [Actually 72%] Election 2020 1
Mick West Debunked: Video of Poll Worker "Filling In" Ballots. Election 2020 3
Mick West Debunked: Pentagon has Evidence of "Off-World Vehicles Not Made on this Earth" UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 14
derrick06 Debunked: United Nations creates a "NWO" website Conspiracy Theories 2
N Debunked: Google Mail icon shows linkage to Freemasons Conspiracy Theories 4
Mendel Debunked: The WHO did not take the Taiwan CDC seriously Coronavirus COVID-19 0
A Why 9/11 Truthers Are Wrong About The Facts | (Part 1 w/ Mick West) 9/11 1
Mendel Debunked: Radar Waves Affect Clouds General Discussion 0
Pumpernickel Need Debunking: Foucault's Pendulum debunked through Mach's principle (the Earth is a static object in the center of the Universe) Science and Pseudoscience 16
M Ufos arrive to the central zone of Chile. (Debunked). Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
Jesse3959 FE Debunked with water tube level - 187 foot building 21.2 miles away below eye level Flat Earth 0
H Debunked: Cadillac Mountain from 220 miles Flat Earth 7
Jesse3959 FE Claim Debunked: JTolan Epic Gravity Experiment - Flat earther disproves Perspective! (or his instruments.) Flat Earth 0
Mick West Debunked: DoD prepares for martial law in CONUS: Conspiracy Theories 0
Oystein Debunked: AE911T: CNBC Anchor Ron Insana claims Building 7 a Controlled Implosion 9/11 13
A Debunked: NASA tampered with the original television audio of the Apollo 11 moon landing Conspiracy Theories 1
Greylandra Debunked: media headline "Judea declares war on Germany" [boycott] Conspiracy Theories 20
Mick West Discovery Channel's "Contact: Declassified Breakthrough" was debunked 2.5 years ago UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 8
Joe Hill Debunked: "The North Face of Building 7 Was Pulled Inward" 9/11 66
A Debunked : Fake Set Moon Landing with TV Camera and Stairs Conspiracy Theories 3
Mick West Debunked: Photo with Sun Rays at Odd Angles Flat Earth 0
Staffan Debunked: Wikileaks releases unused footage of moon landing (Capricorn One movie scenes) Conspiracy Theories 2
Mick West Debunked: Neil deGrasse Tyson : "That Stuff is Flat" Flat Earth 10
Mendel Debunked: Air Map of the World 1945 is a flat Earth map Flat Earth 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Trees being cut down "because they block 5G" (tree replacement in Belgium) 5G and Other EMF Health Concerns 44
deirdre Debunked: Exemption from military service doc proves Jews had foreknowledge of WW2 (fake leaflet) General Discussion 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Obama called Michelle "Michael" in a speech. (Referring to Michael Mullen Jr) Quotes Debunked 0
Rory Debunked: 120-mile shot of San Jacinto proves flat earth Flat Earth 39
Rory Debunked: The Lunar Cycle affects birth rates Health and Quackery 26
Rory Debunked: Study shows link between menstrual cycle and the moon Health and Quackery 30
Related Articles


















































Related Articles

Top