Explained: UFO CAPTURED In Airplane above the clouds! WHAT IS THIS? [Air France 747]

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I think it was AF438A Boeing 747-428 that passed across and above the SWA3357 route, ahead of it
Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 18.03.54.png

PS The trails look like they belong to a four-engine plane, and this was the only one in the vicinity.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a video of a similar situation, but with the contrail persisting. You just have to imagine the plane at the end of the contrail, and the whole thing being 1000 feet above you.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the contrail viewed straight on:


However the video is only 270 pixels wide, so the source data looks like:


Just simply can't see the plane because of the low quality video.

Something similar:


 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Here's a video of a similar situation, but with the contrail persisting. You just have to imagine the plane at the end of the contrail, and the whole thing being 1000 feet above you.
The video helps alot to visualize it!. Took me a while to figure out what you were saying on my own.
view.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The video helps alot to visualize it!. Took me a while to figure out what you were saying on my own.
view.png

Although the angles will be a lot more acute, the perception of the large change in direction comes largely from perspective foreshortening.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
At the time of the video, the Sun was to west of the south:
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.14.53.png
http://suncalc.net/#/36.9663,-88.7822,10/2015.09.26/19:29
AF438A was heading approximately in the Sun's direction, that is, it was backlit and hardly visible at the distance. In contrast, the contrails are the brightest when they are backlit. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the observer could see only contrails but not the plane between and behind them.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here is a similar view of a (much longer) B747 contrail (from 0:42):


  • Taking an image from that video
  • converting it to similar resolution and blur as the OP video
  • Making the contrail non-persistent
  • Adjusting the view angle to be closer in height
vs. the "UFO":
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
  • Making the contrail non-persistent
  • Adjusting the view angle to be closer in height
vs. the "UFO":

According to FR24, AF438A was about ten miles away when viewed tail on from SWA3357. Longer trails but smaller viewing angle probably will give a better match:
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 18.09.04.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
According to FR24, AF438A was about ten miles away when viewed tail on from SWA3357. Longer trails but smaller viewing angle probably will give a better match:
Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 18.09.04.png

Agreed, and probably a lot smaller an angle. 50:1 slope, as AF was only 1,000 feet higher (vs 50,000 feet away)
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I took a series of photos that are very similar to that video from a flight back in March:

IMG_8297.JPG IMG_8298.JPG IMG_8299.JPG


Again the apparent change in direction is just down to the aircraft I was on flying roughly perpendicular to that one, while the aircraft on the right is flying roughly parallel to my flight.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I got flight tracks for both planes from Flightaware in KML format(attached) and looked at them on Google Earth:
GE_view1.jpg GE_view2.jpg
The thicker red and yellow sections correspond to a two-minute interval (duration of the video) about the encounter time.
Perhaps, someone with a better computer graphics skills could simulate a view of the F-GITJ (AFR438A) contrail from the SWA3357 window;)
 

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