F-16 Pilot- Chris Lehto analyses Gimbal footage

Theferäl

New Member
What surprised me was that he didn't even attempt to debunk the debunk of the 'rotation' of the object even though that was the thing that seemed to get most people excited.
 

folly4

Member
Hi all,
latest vid from Chris Lehto, this time discussing Gimbal.
Source: https://youtu.be/Tyw4JA00AMc

At ~2:35...
"It's imagine processing, it's what it's using. It's range ambiguous... [Mimicking debunkers] 'That number is on there, that... for the GoFast video. The number...it says 4.3!'

"Yeah, but that number is not correct... Any pilot or operator of these things knows that you can't trust all these... all the information."

Well...if the data from the sensors can't always be trusted, and Chris Lehto says here, I think that would open up a big can of worms.
 

Daniel F

Member
At ~2:35...


Well...if the data from the sensors can't always be trusted, and Chris Lehto says here, I think that would open up a big can of worms.
Do you mean he is contradicting himself by using data on gimbal video ? He says the passive sensor can’t be trusted to calculate range to a target. The only data he uses on this vid is the banking angle and line of sight, which are accurate.
 

folly4

Member
Do you mean he is contradicting himself by using data on gimbal video ? He says the passive sensor can’t be trusted to calculate range to a target. The only data he uses on this vid is the banking angle and line of sight, which are accurate.

He just mentions this, in regard to GoFast, before he gets into his main argument.
 

Alphadunk

Member
Pleasantly surprised to see him ignore the rotation as I've felt people on both 'sides' have been a little too hyperfocused on that facet of the video. It ultimately doesn't matter if it's the gimbal rotating or the object itself.

He makes a pretty compelling argument if the math checks out. It would be speculative, but I'd like to hear his thoughts on the presumed workflow that would have taken place to get the object in the sights of the camera to begin with. At the ranges he's estimating would accompanying sensors, like radar, be necessary to get the object on camera?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
His protractor diagram is quite similar to this:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sHmuP_LIxI


From
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ny...-navy-jet-encounter-with-unknown-object.9333/

Note I have a turn circle of 2.5 NM, he was 2.4, but that's essentially the same. The results end up being different, with a more distant non-moving point, and a narrower range of angles. I think the variable there would be the speed around the circle, which, looking back seems to be using CAS, not TAS.

Original calculations:

The easiest way to get some perspective on this is to note that the clouds never get any closer, even when the jet is heading directly for them at 240 kts.


It's difficult to wrap my head around. There's are very narrow field of view (0.75°). The object and the jet are both moving, and probably not in straight lines

Starting at frame 0 the clouds take 67 frames, or 2.23 seconds to cross the field of view, it's at a bit of an angle so that about 0.75° in 2 seconds, or 0.375°/sec
Starting at frame 400 it takes 103
600 - 758

Total cloud movement is about 6° to 7°. total camera rotation is 60° (54 to -6). So the camera rotates about 10x the rate the object is moving relative to the clouds, angularly.

In the first 300 frames (10 seconds), the heading changes from 54° to 40°, 14 degrees, or 1.4° per second. about 4.28 minutes for a full turn.

Air speed is 241 Knots, 277mph, so in 10 seconds the jet would have travelled 0.77 miles.

If we take the target position as essentially fixed (if it's far away), then the heading change is the actual turn rate of the jet and so would travel a circle of circumference 277/60/60*360/1.4 = 19.8 miles

Adding this all together in a VERY simple GeoGebra sim with a non-moving UFO seems to indicate the UFO is around 12-15 miles away



Here the circle is the path of the jet. The green line is the original line of sight to the UFO. The pink line is the Line of sight to the UFO, so the angle between them is the angular movement of the clouds behind the UFO. When the Jet moves though 60° the cloud angle moves about 6°

Notice the speed of movement of the pink line, it starts out moving smoothly, but then slows down and essentially stops as the Jet Heading (black arrow) crosses over it. Just like in the video.

This is making some gross simplifications about the turn rate and path of the jet, but I reckon it's in the ballpark.
 

Daniel F

Member
Pleasantly surprised to see him ignore the rotation as I've felt people on both 'sides' have been a little too hyperfocused on that facet of the video. It ultimately doesn't matter if it's the gimbal rotating or the object itself.

He makes a pretty compelling argument if the math checks out. It would be speculative, but I'd like to hear his thoughts on the presumed workflow that would have taken place to get the object in the sights of the camera to begin with. At the ranges he's estimating would accompanying sensors, like radar, be necessary to get the object on camera?
I’ve forced myself to shut up about the rotation. Guilty as charged…
Its a fascinating video. I get the impression his knowledge is possibly beyond standard pilot ? I think I read he was an instructor of this stuff in last video.
He’s exactly what is needed. Someone with detailed knowledge of atflir. I’m sure Mick could get him on YouTube. He may have aimed a few digs but he seems a nice enough fella who’s willing to debate further.
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
Pleasantly surprised to see him ignore the rotation as I've felt people on both 'sides' have been a little too hyperfocused on that facet of the video. It ultimately doesn't matter if it's the gimbal rotating or the object itself.

He makes a pretty compelling argument if the math checks out. It would be speculative, but I'd like to hear his thoughts on the presumed workflow that would have taken place to get the object in the sights of the camera to begin with. At the ranges he's estimating would accompanying sensors, like radar, be necessary to get the object on camera?
Without the rotation what exactly is unusual about the GIMBAL video?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Without the rotation what exactly is unusual about the GIMBAL video?
From Chris's video, he thinks the black shape is the actual object. Hence he thinks it's actually rotating.

What he's not addressing is primarily the rotation of the light patterns in the sky at the same time - which indicates the rotation is an optical artifact.
 

Alphadunk

Member
Without the rotation what exactly is unusual about the GIMBAL video?

Even if the object were rotating couldn't it just be another fighter jet doing a roll? The video itself has never been all that interesting despite the imagination of UFO fans. All the stuff that led up to the object being in the camera's sight is what makes it interesting but that's much harder to objectively analyze and draw conclusions from since we'll never have access to the complete dataset from the encounter.

His protractor diagram is quite similar to this:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sHmuP_LIxI

Is your hypothesis the object isn't moving at all? I had considered the same but the pilots mention there is movement against the wind by the object(s). Although I'm not sure what criteria they were using to determine the trajectory and speed of the object.
 

Harabeck

New Member
I'm really happy to have input from an actual pilot on this subject, but I do feel it's relevant to point out that Chris seems to be coming at this with a conclusion already in mind. From the comments:
Sound Garden: What's your take on this supposed conversation between an AWACS aircaft and a flight group leader that has a supposed encounter with an UAP: https://i.4cdn.org/x/1622942034146.jpg The dialogue seems very legit. Is there anything in this document that would indicate this is just fabrication ?

Chris Lehto: Holy shit. It's Navy so the comm and slang is different but hardpoint 2 is the number two station (hardpoints hold weapons). We count right to left 1-9 on the Viper but it could could different. Probably is. All sounds legit. Gorilla group is anything bigger than a "heavy group" (4 contacts). A "Gorilla" package means several contacts in the same targeting space of roughly three miles. Then the "buddy' hovered over the right wing at 2'. Crazy. If true this is contact...
Even if he's right and these are very strange objects, he's still jumping straight to aliens. I really wish the media hadn't let this get so twisted.
 

Daniel F

Member
From Chris's video, he thinks the black shape is the actual object. Hence he thinks it's actually rotating.

What he's not addressing is primarily the rotation of the light patterns in the sky at the same time - which indicates the rotation is an optical artifact.
The artefacts in sky are a real issue, Mick you are right about that.
I know my hypothesis went down like a lead weather balloon recently regarding rotation but as I mentioned, there is something else rotating at same time as artefacts/glare - the actual f18. Not impossible for that to be cause.
it is difficult to unsee the rotating glare with artefacts in sky though.
He doesn’t mention that aspect at all here.
Fascinating analysis though.
 

Domzh

Active Member
I’ve forced myself to shut up about the rotation. Guilty as charged…
Its a fascinating video. I get the impression his knowledge is possibly beyond standard pilot ? I think I read he was an instructor of this stuff in last video.
He’s exactly what is needed. Someone with detailed knowledge of atflir. I’m sure Mick could get him on YouTube. He may have aimed a few digs but he seems a nice enough fella who’s willing to debate further.
i dont think he can have detailed knowledge about atflir as he was an f16 pilot iirc? only fa18 have atflir pods
 

Domzh

Active Member
The artefacts in sky are a real issue, Mick you are right about that.
Could these artifacts be explained by actual photons emitted by the object as a source? i mean its not just radiating in a straight line into the atflir pod but everywhere, in every direction in 3d space.

so when the object physically turns, it would make sense if the radiation pattern would change together with it, right?
 

Daniel F

Member
i dont think he can have detailed knowledge about atflir as he was an f16 pilot iirc? only fa18 have atflir pods
Not questioning you but where is that from ? I got the impression most airforces worldwide have been using atflirs for decades. If you watch manufacturer adverts they boast about the wide range of compatibility - listing all kinds of jets etc. Also he stated he’d been using over a decade I think.
 

Daniel F

Member
"ATFLIR presently is used only by the US Navyon the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the earlier F/A-18C/D and with Marine Corps F/A-18Cs when deployed onboard aircraft carriers."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/ASQ-228_ATFLIR
Ah ok, I’m presuming that’s just a version of pod. FLIR would be the generic term. There are other models and makers with effectively the same technology inside. He mentioned his system was the same but with different on screen symbols. It had literally been rebranded.
 

Domzh

Active Member
atflir is a different setup.
its still an ir cam thats incorporated but atflir is a different pod. hence we can assume it has different mirrors, rotation mechanisms, etc. which is crucial if you wanna go head to head regarding the whole glare stuff.
 

folly4

Member
Ah ok, I’m presuming that’s just a version of pod. FLIR would be the generic term. There are other models and makers with effectively the same technology inside. He mentioned his system was the same but with different on screen symbols. It had literally been rebranded.

Can we be so confident it's just been "rebranded"? Could some of Lehto's errors be attributed to the fact the FLIR pods in F18s and F16s have some notable differences?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
I'm really happy to have input from an actual pilot on this subject, but I do feel it's relevant to point out that Chris seems to be coming at this with a conclusion already in mind. From the comments:

Even if he's right and these are very strange objects, he's still jumping straight to aliens. I really wish the media hadn't let this get so twisted.
what is the source of that image?!
 

DebunkMee

New Member
2 thoughts:

1. He claims that it can't be at the further, 9nm position because an airliner can't move that fast, but this doesn't rule out it being other fighter planes being at this (or greater) distances. So we need to figure out how detailed the fastest fighter plane would look like at the distance corresponding to wherever you'd draw the line given that top speed.
Namnlös.png


2. If the analysis above is roughly correct in terms of orientation, then how does it make any sense that the target creates an IR glare from the exhaust, since the camera is looking at the target directly from the target's left? If the engines of the target are not pointing towards the camera, what is creating the glare?
 

MarcusH

New Member
His protractor diagram is quite similar to this:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sHmuP_LIxI


From
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ny...-navy-jet-encounter-with-unknown-object.9333/

Note I have a turn circle of 2.5 NM, he was 2.4, but that's essentially the same. The results end up being different, with a more distant non-moving point, and a narrower range of angles. I think the variable there would be the speed around the circle, which, looking back seems to be using CAS, not TAS.

Original calculations:
Yes, Chris indicates a speed of 0.58 Mach or around 444 miles per hour as opposed to your figure of 277 miles per hour. Who is correct and does this sort out the discrepency?
 

Domzh

Active Member
i dont believe its glare anymore.

the chilean navy footage was referenced every now and then to show the similarities, but after going through their footage, you see different shapes of the plane including contrails.

if the object is moving fast and as described (which seams plausible) than we should see it from the side eventually and not from straight behind.

could it been a quadcopter? youtube is full of drone footage from santa catalina island and region. a quadcopter would match the silhouette, could explain the trajectory and rotation without changing its silhouette and these fuckers come in various sizes.

the elongated bottom part could be the gimbal camera.

it would also explain why it couldnt get a radar lock on it.

if we go close to zero point in this diagram, what speeds would the quadcopter need to match and do we know how far out in the sea we are at this moment?

might have even been a military uav from san clemente island?
 

MarcusH

New Member
2 thoughts:

1. He claims that it can't be at the further, 9nm position because an airliner can't move that fast, but this doesn't rule out it being other fighter planes being at this (or greater) distances. So we need to figure out how detailed the fastest fighter plane would look like at the distance corresponding to wherever you'd draw the line given that top speed.
Namnlös.png


2. If the analysis above is roughly correct in terms of orientation, then how does it make any sense that the target creates an IR glare from the exhaust, since the camera is looking at the target directly from the target's left? If the engines of the target are not pointing towards the camera, what is creating the glare?
i dont believe its glare anymore.

the chilean navy footage was referenced every now and then to show the similarities, but after going through their footage, you see different shapes of the plane including contrails.

if the object is moving fast and as described (which seams plausible) than we should see it from the side eventually and not from straight behind.

could it been a quadcopter? youtube is full of drone footage from santa catalina island and region. a quadcopter would match the silhouette, could explain the trajectory and rotation without changing its silhouette and these fuckers come in various sizes.

the elongated bottom part could be the gimbal camera.

it would also explain why it couldnt get a radar lock on it.

if we go close to zero point in this diagram, what speeds would the quadcopter need to match and do we know how far out in the sea we are at this moment?

might have even been a military uav from san clemente island?
As elements of the background rotate with the object I don't see what else this background rotation could be other than glare. The question is whether that rotating glare is caused by the gimbal rotating (in which case the shape of the object must all be glare) or whether a bright irregular object that is rotating on its own could cause a corresponding background glare to rotate.
 

TCarmickle

New Member
I may be totally wrong here but I thought mach does change with altitude in how it relates to spatial distance. Not that it changes the results of his math much though.
 

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gtoffo

Active Member
2 thoughts:

1. He claims that it can't be at the further, 9nm position because an airliner can't move that fast, but this doesn't rule out it being other fighter planes being at this (or greater) distances. So we need to figure out how detailed the fastest fighter plane would look like at the distance corresponding to wherever you'd draw the line given that top speed.
1.2 mach is fast even for a fighter. Going beyond that is unusual and expensive. Not ordinarily done. And would be on all radars IFF etc.

Hornet has a top speed of Mach 1.8 so you aren't going that much further even at top speed.

2. If the analysis above is roughly correct in terms of orientation, then how does it make any sense that the target creates an IR glare from the exhaust, since the camera is looking at the target directly from the target's left? If the engines of the target are not pointing towards the camera, what is creating the glare?
I would exclude this source for the glare. It can be glare but not from ordinary engines seen from the side. And even from the back Chris is saying it shouldn't glare so much and the shape is not consistent with this hypothesis at such ranges
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, Chris indicates a speed of 0.58 Mach or around 444 miles per hour as opposed to your figure of 277 miles per hour. Who is correct and does this sort out the discrepency?

As I noted, the sim I did used CAS, which, for distance travelled is wrong.

Converting 241 CAS to TAS gives 350 Knots (402 mph)
https://aerotoolbox.com/airspeed-conversions/
2021-06-07_04-43-27.jpg
I've recreated Chris's diagram in Geogebra with a slider for Rate of Turn using the three points he used (PT1, PT2, PT3)

https://www.geogebra.org/classic/pxjp7p8u


This is fairly similar to his for a standard rate turn (3° per second), but diverges significantly for low rates of turn

2021-06-07_04-49-55.jpg

And below around 1.6 the intersections quickly veer to being infinitely far away.

So what's the actual rate of turn? It seems to be a function of true airspeed and bank angle. The bank angle varies from 26 to 35 degrees. It's about 26 over the first 10 seconds though
http://www.aviationwebdevelopment.com/samples/rateandradiusofturncalculator.aspx
2021-06-07_04-46-58.jpg

At that turn rate (1.52° per second), the LOB1 and LOB2 intersection is 72NM away2021-06-07_04-48-41.jpg

So is this turn rate calculation from TAS and bank angle correct?
 

Vizee

New Member
Yeah I find the actual turn rate to be an interesting part of the equation.

Here's some good reference from page 372 of the manual that you can find by googling "F18 EF 200 NATOPS".

TurnRatePage.png
 

FatPhil

Active Member
I may be totally wrong here but I thought mach does change with altitude in how it relates to spatial distance. Not that it changes the results of his math much though.

"Mach number changing with altitude" is fuzzy thinking. Compare with the gas law - does pressure change with temperature? That all depends on what else is varying. An object travelling with a fixed velocity can travel in a non-uniform medium with fixed velocity (inc. stationary) such that the vessel's Mach number changes with altitude, because of the medium's non-uniformity (temperature and pressure). Therefore any unqualified statement "Pilots use Mach number because it doesn't vary with altitude" (from your GIF, presumably a quote from the pilot?) is misleading at best, and downright wrong at worst. However, you can't fix the error in the statement just by flipping the "doesn't" into a diametrically opposite "does". "Can" would be better. It's complicated.

Of course, his short sentence actually contains three assertions, not just one. It's of the form "X use Y because Y has property Z". The above only addresses the "Y has property Z" aspect. If it doesn't hold, it calls into doubt the truth of the "because" clause too. I would guess, and this is pure speculation, that the real reason pilots use Mach number is because it's measurable and it's useful for awareness of what aerodynamic regime they are in.
 

BobArtwohl

New Member
I'm a bit confused. Wouldn't radar give the object's distance? Was this object was never captured on the F-18's radar? If not, why not? It seems to me that if I were investigating a UAP, the first thing I would try to do is get in on my radar. . .(forgive me if this has been answered elsewhere, I'm a newbie here.)
 

gtoffo

Active Member
You would see the body/nose of the aircraft if seen from the side.

Directly form the back is the only way this would make some sense. And even like that I think you would see the body of the aircraft. Those pods are good.

Also: the only aircraft with centrally mounted jet engines are military jets. Airliners have wing mounted engines which are wide apart and would be distinguishable. And I don't think it is reasonable to believe the Navy can't IFF other US jets or airliners given the systems involved.
 

Domzh

Active Member
i pointed out in the tic tac thread that they were flying red team air defense training against the USMC red devils.

we dont have any confirmation yet but it could be possible Underwood is filming one of their hornets and doesnt get a datalink id because they dont show up as red teamy

just a thought though, the blob (if indeed a plane) looks like it as a single stabilizer and not a V one. F18 all have V ones.
 
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Alphadunk

Member
If the camera is pointing at the tail of a Hornet do the proposed trajectories, including Underwood's left turn, still hold up? Would the jet in front of Underwood need to turn along the same angle to maintain the illusion?
 

Agent K

Active Member
i pointed out in the tic tac thread that they were flying red team air defense training against the USMC red devils.

we dont have any confirmation yet but it could be possible Underwood is filming one of their hornets and doesnt get a datalink id because they dont show up as red teamy

just a thought though, the blob (if indeed a plane) looks like it as a single stabilizer and not a V one. F18 all have V ones.
The so-called tic tac was filmed ten years before Gimbal and Go Fast.
 
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