Does the beginning part of Gimbal debunk the claim that the object rotates?

I received a DM from a UFOlogist, @realityseaker on Twitter, who had done some work on the Gimbal video and found something. Everyone focuses on the "flop," where the object/glare (hereafter the "blob") suddenly swivels dramatically — but his analysis suggests that the video's first 24 seconds are actually more telling. With his permission, I am looking for commentary.

He started with a version that's rotation-stabilized to keep the bars of the horizon indicator level onscreen, and also centered and translation-stabilized on the blob. He then wrote a clever little program to track the rotation of the blob's major axis. He found a strong correlation between the rotation of the blob (orange) and the roll of the aircraft (blue):
xXZVy4H3.png

To make this more visually intuitive, I overlaid a constant angle on his video, and then roughly animated it to show how the blob and aircraft roll more or less at the same times and amounts: once around 0:01, again around 0:09, and again at 0:19:


Discussion: This correlation may have escaped notice previously because, up until the "flop," the ATFLIR's de-rotation mechanism keeps the blob from rotating in the original video, even as the jet rolls. But of course, the aircraft icon in the middle of the horizon indicator also doesn't rotate in the original. They both remain equally stable, even as the horizon-indicator bars (and the real horizon) tilt. The blob and aircraft are moving together.

Broadly, the rotation of the blob relative to the horizon has two explanations. Either the rotation is local — the blob's orientation is a function of the moment-by-moment orientation of the aircraft. Or, the rotation is distant — the object actually rotates in space with a similar timing and magnitude as the aircraft's roll, either by sheer coincidence or ... well, I'll let people with more colorful imaginations fill in the rest.

Of course, the correlation goes to hell as the ATFLIR approaches 0° (starting around 14° L), when the outer and inner gimbals begin to behave/interact chaotically. Prior to that, though — and neglecting coincidence or a fantastical ad hoc hypothesis — does the correlation prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the rotation of the Gimbal blob is a locally caused phenomenon?
 
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Since there is a mechanism that tilts the image on the display according to the bank angle (possibly a CV joint), it should be analyzed if the clouds also undergo this rotation.
 
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Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Gimbal is so compelling: the blob never moves while the clouds are moving, slowing down, and tilting. I think the clip would actually be less compelling if the blob rotated along with the clouds and horizon indicator — that's what we might intuitively expect if the object were actually shaped like that. Since it doesn't, it creates a subliminal impression that the blob is "following" us, like a creepy portrait painting. It's even slightly eye-shaped.
 

Itsme

Active Member
The question is: are these really changes in the jet's banking angle or just corrections of the horizon indicator while the ATFLIR LOS is moving from left to center?
The jet's speed and altitude are very constant, and if you stitch the scenes together to get one big overview both the jet and the object seem to maintain a constant angle with respect to the horizon while the horizon indicator seems a bit off. So maybe too much trust is placed on the horizon indicator in the ATFLIR display and the jet does not bank very much in reality:

 
That's a very interesting stitch. While we've all been analyzing the bank angle (with very mixed results), perhaps this could yield a much more accurate recreation of the jet's flight path, and from there, bearing lines that can give us a better idea of the distance to the object.

To see what this version can tell us, I tracked the velocity of the object across the frame. I did this manually, as there are too many missing/duplicated frames to get a smooth curve with an auto-track. I tried to keep a vertical bar centered on the object over any given window of 5 or so frames, nudging it in half-pixel increments where necessary. Here'a clip:



Here's what the velocity graph looks like over the course of the whole video:

Tracking velo graph.png

Eyeballing it, the rate-of-turn generally increases over the 34 seconds, but with no significant rate-of-turn changes at 0:01, 0:09, and 0:19 that we assume from the sudden changes in the bank angle at those times.

I do think the horizon indicator accurately reflects the aircraft's roll (if only because the roll is closely reflected by the rotation of the glare); it's just that the aircraft's physical turn seems to be much smoother than we've been expecting.
 
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Itsme

Active Member
I have a bigger problem looking at the stitch: both the object and the banking jet seem to remain at a constant altitude. The object does not change altitude with respect to the clouds and the displayed altitude of the jet is constant as well.

How to reconcile this with an ATFLIR LOS that remains at a constant vertical angle with respect to the jet's wings and that only changes its horizontal angle with respect to those wings?!

It would be more logical if the angles displayed on the ATFLIR screen are relative to the horizon. But in that case the ATFLIR should rotate constantly and hence the object should as well if the glare hypothesis is true...
 
How to reconcile this with an ATFLIR LOS that remains at a constant vertical angle with respect to the jet's wings and that only changes its horizontal angle with respect to those wings?!
As I understand it, the vertical angle is with respect to the horizon, while the horizontal angle is with respect to the wings (or more intuitively, the fuselage). So if the aircraft started climbing steeply, the displayed vertical angle would not change.

When I was first trying to wrap my head around these LOS angles, I poked a nail through an envelope and imagined that the envelope was a jet and the nail was the ATFLIR, pointing at a distant object while the jet moved around.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
According to the sims

Horiz is "The FLIR's lookpoint angle in degrees left or right of aircraft ground track. The numeric value is followed by the letter R or L if the azimuth is to the left or right of ground track, respectively."

Vert is "The FLIR's current elevation angle in degrees relative to the horizon is displayed here. Negative values are below the horizon and positive values are above."
 

Itsme

Active Member
Edward Current wrote:

Eyeballing it, the rate-of-turn generally increases over the 34 seconds, but with no significant rate-of-turn changes at 0:01, 0:09, and 0:19 that we assume from the sudden changes in the bank angle at those times.

I do think the horizon indicator accurately reflects the aircraft's roll (if only because the roll is closely reflected by the rotation of the glare); it's just that the aircraft's physical turn seems to be much smoother than we've been expecting.

Your plot basically shows the relative velocity of the object w.r.t. the clouds, as seen from the ATFLIR perspective, while the jet is in a constant banking turn and the ATFLIR is locked on to the object. I don't know how you can deduce from that graph that the rate of turn of the jet increases?

The graph does show the relative velocity of the object w.r.t. the clouds gradually decreases. Eventually it drops to 0 when the object tilts. That's pretty strange, but it happens. The object simply seems to pull to a stop, with the jet still in a banking turn. The ATFLIR gimbal roll at the very end is also clearly visible, it is accompanied by a sudden small shift of the ATFLIR field of view, just like in the FLIR1 video.

Both the jet and the object seem pretty stable in terms of their angle, but they do not remain completely aligned. The angle between the blue lines is the same in the two snapshots below. Yet, the object's angle has slightly changed with respect to the jet indicator in the second screenshot, as indicated by the green line. You can also see the horizon indicator is is not very reliable when the ATFLIR LOS is at a large angle with respect to the jet (the first screenshot below):

Screenshot 2021-10-25 113417.jpg
Screenshot 2021-10-25 113455.jpg
 

Itsme

Active Member
According to Ryan Graves, the Gimbal object did come to a full stop before reversing direction, like we see happening in the stitched video above:

Screenshot 2021-10-25 130316.jpg

See from 19:05 in video below:
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Your plot basically shows the relative velocity of the object w.r.t. the clouds, as seen from the ATFLIR perspective...
I think you are noting/acknowledging in passing here that parallax likely plays some part in that apparent velocity as seen from the plane's POV. If that's what you meant, I agree. If that's not what you meant, then I'll horn in and point out that it is almost certainly the case.
 

Itsme

Active Member
I think you are noting/acknowledging in passing here that parallax likely plays some part in that apparent velocity as seen from the plane's POV. If that's what you meant, I agree. If that's not what you meant, then I'll horn in and point out that it is almost certainly the case.
Sure, parallax is all we have. Mick did a great analysis on that, see video below, and showed that a stationary UFO would lead to a stationary background at the end of the jet's flight path. The sweep of the end of the pink line in his video (pink line = ATFLIR LOS) basically shows how the cloud background would move (ignoring any movement of the clouds themselves).

But if the UFO would be stationary the whole time, like Mick assumes in that video, we should not see any difference in background movement from 0:23 onwards, since the ATFLIR LOS is static from that moment on. Yet in the Gimbal video we do see the background still moves, and this movement gradually slowing down to 0, from 0:23 onwards (the speed of the background in the Gimbal video decreases according to the graph made by Edward Current). To see this same background movement in the ATFLIR LOS of Mick's video, the object could be moving from top-right to bottom-left and gradually come to a full stop, like the pilots reported.

Maybe it's possible to construct a flight path of the object that yields the graph made by Edward Current, and see what this means for the object's trajectory?

 
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