Explained: Washington State Island "Mystery missile" - Helicopter

what

New Member
This story has caught some traction in the past few days, so I suppose this discussion will get linked a bit more. I read it, and think you guys did a great job explaining it. I referenced it elsewhere, and someone said 'yeah, but the passing cars dont leave beams of light'. That caused me to stop and say 'well that's right, and that would contradict this explanation'. However, I started looking at the video closer, and if I'm correct the cars end up confirming that it is a helicopter.

Someone posted earlier in this thread that the cars leave artifacts, so I stopped the video frame by frame, and first I found that I believe it is on a 45 second exposure, according to the time stamps (all other reports that i have seen have said it was a 20 second exposure). Edit: Or perhaps better stated, each frame of the video occurs about 45 seconds apart... whether that means the exposure is 20 seconds or 45 seconds, I dont know.

That's interesting, but when I took a frame of a vehicle, I realized that it is behaving EXACTLY the same as the helicopter. A small light on the back, merging into a large light on the front, for the duration of the exposure.



Here is a screen grab where I enlarged a vehicle passing, and put it side by side with the object in question.



Obviously speed,distance from camera, how bright the lights are, etc. are going to make the vehicle and the helicopter not look identical, but the basic property of the image is exactly the same.

This leaves little doubt in my mind.

Thanks again for the good work, and hope this is useful.
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
That's interesting, but when I took a frame of a vehicle, I realized that it is behaving EXACTLY the same as the helicopter. A small light on the back, merging into a large light on the front, for the duration of the exposure.



Here is a screen grab where I enlarged a vehicle passing, and put it side by side with the object in question.


Strangely it seems like the smaller lights are at the front (in the direction movement) on at least some of the cars: look at these consecutive frames and note the movement of the vehicle that starts just above the S of "SkunkBayWeather".

upload_2018-8-1_10-50-16.png

upload_2018-8-1_10-50-47.png

That seems backward, especially as the fainter lights look more like tail lights and the brighter ones look like headlights.

Also comparing the gap between the light trails in successive frames with the length of the trails in each frame, I would have said that the duration of the exposure is more than half of the interval between frames: ie, the gaps are smaller than the exposed light trails. The interval between frames is 45 seconds, which suggests the exposure is longer than 20 seconds: more like 30-35 seconds at a guess. However that could be an effect due to the glare making the trails look longer than they should.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Strangely it seems like the smaller lights are at the front (in the direction movement) on at least some of the cars: look at these consecutive frames and note the movement of the vehicle that starts just above the S of "SkunkBayWeather".


That can't be a single vehicle. Must be a bright light following a dim light with 100+ feet separating them.
 

what

New Member
Strangely it seems like the smaller lights are at the front (in the direction movement) on at least some of the cars: look at these consecutive frames and note the movement of the vehicle that starts just above the S of "SkunkBayWeather".

I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure about it being two vehicles, but I dont know. For instance if you look at the picture on the first page of this thread, if it was two vehicles, you would expect the dim light to stop before the bright light... but they end at the same spot. But then if you look at the picture I posted above, the dim light stops early... but it's also the same length as the bright light.

I thought maybe the video was mirrored or reversed or something, but then you have vehicles that have white lights and red lights on back in the proper orientation.

Another odd thing about those red lights (brake, probably) is that they show up on some vehicles, but not others, and they are only red on the vehicles that move right to left. The red lights turn to white in the middle of the video as they pass, or sometimes disappear. Usually they turn white, though.

On vehicles that move left to right, those lights are green (??), and they stay green the entire time.

In this video, at :43 there is a set of red lights with no headlights, and they stay red the entire time. That's the only red lights I've seen that dont change in the middle.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ikTE51XtMg


In this video, at :09 there is a vehicle moving left to right where the green lights are in front... then the next vehicle, and all other vehicles, have the green lights in back. That's really odd.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb0nAeJxTYM


Not sure about any of it.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
The camera is approximately at: 47.919894°, -122.579119°, looking north east

That location can't be right, can it? There are vehicles passing by close in front of the camera, but that position puts it right on the water with no road in front of it. I was trying to work out the orientation of the passing vehicles from the map.

upload_2018-8-2_10-54-7.png


Edit: never mind. Looking at the full video, they're not road vehicles at all, they are boats passing by on the water!

http://www.skunkbayweather.com/WhidbeyMissile.mp4

Another odd thing about those red lights (brake, probably) is that they show up on some vehicles, but not others, and they are only red on the vehicles that move right to left. The red lights turn to white in the middle of the video as they pass, or sometimes disappear. Usually they turn white, though.

On vehicles that move left to right, those lights are green (??), and they stay green the entire time.

That is also easily explained once you realise the obvious thing I missed: we're looking at port and starboard markers on boats. :rolleyes: The ones heading left have the port side facing us; the ones heading right have starboard facing us. As the boats head away up the channel to the left, the port markers get hidden from view as the boats are more "rear on" to the camera.
 
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what

New Member
Edit: never mind. Looking at the full video, they're not road vehicles at all, they are boats passing by on the water!

My man! I think you just solved the mystery. That totally explains the red/green lights, and how one of them had the green leading like I mentioned above (driving in reverse possibly), and this probably explains why the light trails from the small sources were seen in front of what we previously thought were vehicle headlights... a boat could very easily have small light sources in front of larger ones.

Great work!
 

Will Merthon

New Member
Bumping this to say that I recently wrote an article debunking the missile, which includes parts of this conversation in it. It's an in-depth analysis of basically all of the evidence surrounding it, as well as some of the common rebuttals. Thought I would post it here, if anyone wanted to check it out.

I sourced a few graphics from this discussion, and I made a special mention of the forum at the bottom of the article.

https://wmerthon6.wixsite.com/website-1/home/comprehensive-analysis-of-the-whidbey-island-missile
 
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