# Explained: Chilean Navy "UFO" video - Aerodynamic Contrails, Flight IB6830

It looks like they also used the altitude data from the FLIR camera (pg. 9 of the French report).
Yes, the FLIR camera showed that the "UFO" was approximately in the same horizontal plane as the helicopter relative to the helicopter's 3D position. However, the altitude of a point in the same plane, but some 65 miles (100 km) away would be significantly higher than the helicopter's altitude.
Displaying the plane's tracks on Google Earth from the helicopter's coordinates + altitude shows they were "level" with the helicopter at the times.

The French analysts seem to think they are looking at a single object:

"In the frame of this study, it was assumed reasonably that the observed object was unique, whatever it was, and in particular that the two detected hot spots it contained remained at a fixed distance from one another." (Pg 2)

At what point in the video does it change from the first to the second object?

Yes, the FLIR camera showed that the "UFO" was approximately in the same horizontal plane as the helicopter relative to the helicopter's 3D position. However, the altitude of a point in the same plane, but some 65 miles (100 km) away would be significantly higher than the helicopter's altitude.
Displaying the plane's tracks on Google Earth from the helicopter's coordinates + altitude shows they were "level" with the helicopter at the times.
I thought you said, "The Chilean experts did a good analysis of the video to extract all relevant information on the distance to and speed."

Yes, the FLIR camera showed that the "UFO" was approximately in the same horizontal plane as the helicopter relative to the helicopter's 3D position. However, the altitude of a point in the same plane, but some 65 miles (100 km) away would be significantly higher than the helicopter's altitude.
Displaying the plane's tracks on Google Earth from the helicopter's coordinates + altitude shows they were "level" with the helicopter at the times.
Either the FLIR camera data was accurate or it was not. This is where all of the altitude, speed, and distance data come from. No one seems to dispute the accuracy of the camera data.

The French analysts seem to think they are looking at a single object:

"In the frame of this study, it was assumed reasonably that the observed object was unique, whatever it was, and in particular that the two detected hot spots it contained remained at a fixed distance from one another." (Pg 2)

At what point in the video does it change from the first to the second object?
The object does not appear in the video frame all the time. There could be more than one change. A340 was ahead of but is also bigger than A320, so their apparent sizes could appear similar. By the angle of the trail with the horizon, at 14:00:25 the FLIR camera zoomed in A340, whereas at 14:01:35 it zoomed in A320.

I think there is a general problem in the military's way of thinking. It is limited it is dependents on visual impressions.

Metabunk will be familiar with the supposed unauthorized launch of a missile off the coast of the California, where American and Russian military experts did not emerge looking good.

Also there the solution was it was a passenger jet, which only looked like a rocket launch because of its contrails, which were radiated by the last rays of the sun, and the indirect perspective.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AMdHBgHtNE&t=2s

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rOssVrhQmg

I think we need for these problems a national agency of independant scientists with qualifications in aviation, astronomy and meteology.

[...]

[Mod: English fixes and off-topic political commentary removed]

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I suppose this could be true, but would this change not be reflected in the altitude, speed and distance data? I should think the analysts would be capable of discerning the resultant change in flight path.

Either the FLIR camera data was accurate or it was not. This is where all of the altitude, speed, and distance data come from. No one seems to dispute the accuracy of the camera data.

The FLIR camera data show the GPS position and altitude of the helicopter at the time and the direction, in which it is pointed. These data can be used to calculate the positions of the objects it captures. For an object on the ground or sea surface, the position can be determined accurately, but for a flying object one would need to know the exact distance to it. This distance cannot be determined by a camera alone, it can only give the object's angular dimensions.

I thought you said, "The Chilean experts did a good analysis of the video to extract all relevant information on the distance to and speed."

Yes, they have determined the angular dimensions of the object and their changes over time to estimate the object's probable speed and distance to it. However, as they did it on the assumption that the observed objects was unique and, in particular, that the two detected hot spots it contained remained at a fixed distance from one another, they could not identify their hypothetical two-engine jet. As it appeared, this assumption probably was incorrect on both points.

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I suppose this could be true, but would this change not be reflected in the altitude, speed and distance data? I should think the analysts would be capable of discerning the resultant change in flight path.
I think the change may come close to the end of the video. The angle of the first trail doesn't match the angle of the second trail. I think the second trail is made by a different object than the first one.

The FLIR camera data show the GPS position and altitude of the helicopter at the time and the direction, in which it is pointed. These data can be used to calculate the positions of the objects it captures. For an object on the ground or sea surface, the position can be determined accurately, but for a flying object one would need to know the exact distance to it. This distance cannot be determined by a camera alone, it can only give the object's angular dimensions.

Yes, they have determined the angular dimensions of the object and their changes over time to estimate the object's probable speed and distance to it. However, as they did it on the assumption that the observed objects was unique and, in particular, that the two detected hot spots it contained remained at a fixed distance from one another, they could not identify their hypothetical two-engine jet. As it appeared, this assumption probably was incorrect on both points.
Well, I have to say it feels like a stretch. Also, if this is simply contrails, it must be an incredibly common occurrence- here we apparently have two examples within seconds of each other. Why is this solution not immediately given with tons of similar footage to demonstrate?

Well, I have to say it feels like a stretch.
It feels just like math, which it is.

Also, if this is simply contrails, it must be an incredibly common occurrence- here we apparently have two examples within seconds of each other. Why is this solution not immediately given with tons of similar footage to demonstrate?

This solution was considered (p. 14), but discarded because they got the altitude wrong, that is, too low for the contrails.
There are lot of footage of contrails forming behind almost every plane on a good contrail day, but there are very few videos, if any, taken by a long-range FLIR camera.

The FLIR camera data show the GPS position and altitude of the helicopter at the time and the direction, in which it is pointed. These data can be used to calculate the positions of the objects it captures. For an object on the ground or sea surface, the position can be determined accurately, but for a flying object one would need to know the exact distance to it. This distance cannot be determined by a camera alone, it can only give the object's angular dimensions.

Yes, they have determined the angular dimensions of the object and their changes over time to estimate the object's probable speed and distance to it. However, as they did it on the assumption that the observed objects was unique and, in particular, that the two detected hot spots it contained remained at a fixed distance from one another, they could not identify their hypothetical two-engine jet. As it appeared, this assumption probably was incorrect on both points.
Are you sure about what the FLIR camera data show? I have a measuring device which uses a laser to determine distances- pretty standard stuff.

Are you sure about what the FLIR camera data show? I have a measuring device which uses a laser to determine distances- pretty standard stuff.

Over short distances, yes. Not >30 miles.

It feels just like math, which it is.

This solution was considered (p. 14), but discarded because they got the altitude wrong, that is, too low for the contrails.
There are lot of footage of contrails forming behind almost every plane on a good contrail day, but there are very few videos, if any, taken by a long-range FLIR camera.
It seems unlikely that in two years no one has had the wherewithal to acquire some contrail footage from a long-range FLIR camera to compare to these images.

And note the estimate that they gave at the first point of contact was actually correct, around 35 miles. But since they did no realize it was a plane backing and flying away from them they continued to think it was at 35 miles, when five minutes later it was at 65 miles, at which point they lost the first plane, and then locked onto the second plane.

Over short distances, yes. Not >30 miles.
Lasers don't work over long distances?

It seems unlikely that in two years no one has had the wherewithal to acquire some contrail footage from a long-range FLIR camera to compare to these images.

And yet quite clearly the investigators did not - or they would have put it in the report.

Shorter distance footage exists, and seems quite convincing to me. At longer distances it would flare more.

Lasers don't work over long distances?
Sure, you can measure the distance to the moon with the right setup. It just gets harder quicker with distance. What's the range of your laser range finder?

Clearly they did not have a laser range finder that worked for this, as they gave an estimate of the distance, not an exact distance.

Lasers don't work over long distances?
No, they don't, unless the distant object is equipped with a special reflector, reversing the laser beams direction.

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Not, unless the distant object is equipped with a special reflector, reversing the laser beams direction.
So they don't work over 30 miles, except they do work at 35 miles. And now the FLIR camera might sometimes use something other than the helicopter's GPS to acquire data...

Sure, you can measure the distance to the moon with the right setup. It just gets harder quicker with distance. What's the range of your laser range finder?

Clearly they did not have a laser range finder that worked for this, as they gave an estimate of the distance, not an exact distance.
The French report is using FLIR camera data for distance. It is not an estimate.

The French report is using FLIR camera data for distance.

Can you quote where it does this, and what data it uses?

Can you quote where it does this, and what data it uses?
It seems you are right about the range finder max distance (actually 20 Km):

"Obviously, values of D below 10 m did not match with available data concerning assessed distance, because for a low distance (up to around 20 Km, the laser range limit in a FLIR turret), the indicators at the right bottom of the image would have delivered a valid range value for the target, which never occurred throughout the video. On the other hand, values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)."
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other hand, values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)
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That seems a bit odd as you previously quoted "unlimited horizontal visibility"

It seems you are right about the range finder max distance (actually 20 Km):

"Obviously, values of D below 10 m did not match with available data concerning assessed distance, because for a low distance (up to around 20 Km, the laser range limit in a FLIR turret), the indicators at the right bottom of the image would have delivered a valid range value for the target, which never occurred throughout the video. On the other hand, values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)."
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But they do actually calculate distance and altitude. If we accept their distance data, should we not also accept their altitude data?

other hand, values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)
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That seems a bit odd as you previously quoted "unlimited horizontal visibility"
No, I am saying you are correct in that the laser range finder does not work at long distances.

Consider one second of the video. at 14:00:25.

We know exactly where both the helicopter and IB6830 are at that second, thanks to the GPS data. So we can put them into Google Earth. IB6830 is the green line, with the end of the green line being at 14:00:25

We can fit the wide angle photo that camera (1 second earlier) to a particular view direction by matching the coastline

We then find that at that precise second flight IB6830 is passing through the crosshairs of the camera at the same angle to the object's trail. And moving in the same direction.

So either the "UFO" is cunningly flying between the helicopter and IB6830 for several minutes, or we are seeing IB6830

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No, I am saying you are correct in that the laser range finder does not work at long distances.

I know know. But it seemed like they were saying that if it was too far for the laser to detect then they would not be able to see it. When they said "values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)"

It's like they are both saying "you can't see past 15m" and "you can see an unlimited horizontal distance"

Consider one second of the video. at 14:00:25.

We know exactly where both the helicopter and IB6830 are at that second, thanks to the GPS data. So we can put them into Google Earth. IB6830 is the green line, with the end of the green line being at 14:00:25

We can fit the wide angle photo that camera (1 second earlier) to a particular view direction by matching the coastline

We then find that at that precise second flight IB6830 is passing through the crosshairs of the camera at the same angle to the object's trail. And moving in the same direction.

So either the "UFO" is cunningly flying between the helicopter and IB6830 for several minutes, or we are seeing IB6830
Pretty compelling. Might be you should give those guys in Chile a call.

Pretty compelling. Might be you should give those guys in Chile a call.
What do you make of the altitude discrepancy if they have the correct distance? Nevermind- just re-read the "second plane after 65 miles" post.

It seems you are right about the range finder max distance (actually 20 Km):

"Obviously, values of D below 10 m did not match with available data concerning assessed distance, because for a low distance (up to around 20 Km, the laser range limit in a FLIR turret), the indicators at the right bottom of the image would have delivered a valid range value for the target, which never occurred throughout the video. On the other hand, values of D above 15 m raised a problem of detectability (distance far above the indicated limit of visibility)."
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But they do actually calculate distance and altitude. If we accept their distance data, should we not also accept their altitude data?
They used an estimated distance D between the two hot spots to calculate the distances and speeds of the object.
Just above the above quotation there is a table of their calculated values for different values of D:

Then they discarded two shortest and two longest distances for the reasons stated in the same quotation.
Therefore they ended up with the D values for the inter-engine distance of a medium-haul jet, like A320, and the estimated speed being about half of the cruising speed for this plane type, hence they concluded it was landing.

Interestingly, the second line from the bottom, discarded for an objectable reason of detectability, would have suggested a long-haul airliner, flying away at a correct distance at the cruising speed, just like A340 did.

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Geolocated model matching the video

One of the problems with reading the reports is that the FRENCH report says Horizontal visibility was at 30 nautical miles while the Huffington Post article says unlimited .
ALSO , as previously mentioned the French analysts did their measurements based on the focal length of the Euro FLIR turret, whereas the Chilean helicopter,as even mentioned in the original report was a WESCAM MX15. I don;t know the differences in apparent focal length but it might easily affect their calculation.

The French Analysts seemed to agree that the object was about the same height. It does not show if they calculated this or just followed what the Chilean crew said.

The French Analysts seemed to agree that the object was about the same height. It does not show if they calculated this or just followed what the Chilean crew said.

Their calculations are basically irrelevant if the video matches the Google Earth recreation, which it does.

Not that there's anything wrong with calculations - but Google Earth essentially does them for you, and is vastly less likely to make a mistake. You put in a camera position, a plane position, and it will show you what the plane will look like from that camera position.

Our company builds augmented reality mapping systems for a wide variety of FLIR, Wescam, and other gyro-stabilized platforms ( overview video ) As a result, we have a tremendous amount of experience with the systems, and in particular calculating camera position and orientation. We generally receive this data over a serial, ethernet, or HD-SDI (VANC) input, but some variation of the data we use can also be "burned into" the video when video symbology is enabled (as it usually is, and we see in this video).

Every make/model of camera tends to have a unique manner in which they represent turret metadata on-screen -- the symbology in this video is clearly from the Wescam MX line of cameras (they make turrets in a variety of sizes, but the MX-15, having a 15" diameter, is very widely used, and has the same focal lengths seen in the video)

The original MX-15 was Standard Definition only, then evolved to have a High Definition daylight (EOW) camera with a standard definition (640x512) thermal focal plane array that they upscaled by 2 and inserted into the 16:9 aspect ratio HD video frame. In our software, we need to crop out the video so we can replace the border with synthetic imagery. That is the MWIR sensor used in this video.

The EOW camera is a commercial off-the-shelf "block camera" -- while the fields of view vary from camera to camera (we often have to calibrate the FOV and optical center for our customers), it is generally fairly close to the reported values. In addition to the optical zoom, 2 stages of digital zoom are available.

An EOW focal length of 13 = 40.5292 degrees horizontally, and 200 = 2.7494 degrees horizontally. You can see the operator engages the digital doubler (1.5X and 2.0X several times) in the video.

The HFOV we care about in this video is for the MWIR camera. From previous data we have collected, an IR focal length of 675 = 1.0849 degrees (for the active portion of video) For the entire width of the screen (including the black bars to the left and right), it would be 1.0849 degree * (1920/1280) = 1.62735 degrees HFOV. Because this is essentially a prime lens, the accuracy of the reported field of view is generally quite high and consistent across cameras.

As Antoine Cousyn, François Louange and Geoff Quick had assumed a HFOV of 1.3 degrees, the values they computed based on this number should differ accordingly.

The INS never aligned during this flight (which can happen) and so target coordinates are not displayed. The ground altitude of -489 FT and "North" indicator arrow are meaningless in part because of this as well. The turret azimuth and elevation orientations relative to how it was mounted on the aircraft (ticker tape displays) are not affected by this and are accurate.

Wescam documentation of the same can be found looking at the datasheet for the older MX-15 "True HD" turret: http://airbornesurveillance.com/pdf/mx_15_True_HD.pdf Sensor #1 is the Thermal IR, and they are rounding the "1.0849" degree value to "1.1 degrees". The 26.7 degree value is for the 27mm focal length, and consistent with our own data logs as well.

An EOW focal length of 13 = 40.5292 degrees horizontally, and 200 = 2.7494 degrees horizontally. You can see the operator engages the digital doubler (1.5X and 2.0X several times) in the video.

Thanks Tom. In this image:

Can you tell what the FOV is of the image? I see a 675 in the upper right, is that focal length?

Roughly in Google Earth the size of the flares matches an A340 at around 1° FOV - but could be some variance there as it's hard to see where engines actually would be.

Also there's the different aspect ratios. Is the FOV the effective fully frame (some modes are full screen, some are windowed in the middle), or just the middle bit with video in it?

I hate to burst your bubble sort of. 5 things. Your saying a experienced navy pilot doesn't know difference between planes he sees all the time and a UFO? YOU also say 2 years of research and in less then a few hours or a day you've figured it all out lmao. Also this "plane" or planes as you say is apparently moving much faster than the chopper yet takes 10 minutes and doesn't move in altitude. Also he tries COMMUNICATING on all channels with the aircraft and gets nothing he also asked not one but 2 radar stations if they saw it and they didn't. Radar saw chopper though so obviously worked. Also any pilot of civilian plane would respond to military chopper or could be shot down or escorted. You also say the French said it was a plane yet they later said it couldn't of been because it was not on the radar not 1 but 2 radar. Your reaching . Also the helicopter tried to lock on to the target thru radar on the chopper and COULDNT. you cannot and will not debunk this with a silly plane explanation in a few hours . They had 2 years with tons of resources and experts and some guys on planefinder think they debunked it in a few hours. You can't explain any of those things at all . Until you can explain radar from 3 different sources and radio communications you have nothing. Give it a break already.

Also you have changed your opinion on which plane about ten times since first posting and yet you say ahead of time that you debunked it. You didn't debunk it if your still trying to figure it.out. EXPLAIN RADIO COMMUNICATION AND NO RADAR AND HOW PILOT DOESNT KNOW DIFFERENCES AFTER YEARS OF FLYING. YOU ARENT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THESE THINGS YOU SIMPLY ARE PUTTING SILLY GRAPHICS UP FROM GOOGLE EARTH WHICH DONT EXPLAIN THE 3 THINGS I HAVE MENTIONED

It seems to be missed that this is not an objective government group making this report. It is a UFO club essentially, highly biased towards seeing UFO's. The same group embarrassed themselves by concluding that videos that displayed flying bugs actually were displaying flying saucers.

https://badufos.blogspot.com/2012/03/flying-saucer-or-fly-is-this-case-ufo.html

@Thomas Churchill, would very much like to see if you could help with the similar Puerto Rico UFO video (also shot with a Wescam). Please let me know if you are willing to answer a few questions.

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