Fake Looking UFO Filmed From Airplane Window

Max Phalange

Active Member
yeah, i was about to post it, here is the topic discussing it with more details:
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/u4kzxf/flyby_ufo_being_discussed_6_days_after_source/
I don't think frossani claims he recorded it from a news broadcast, he seems to be saying that the news aired one of the two clips from the video that frossani himself shot (maybe an Italian speaker can clear up the translation?).

I did a little Wayback Machine digging, and on April 30th 2006 the Blue Panorama website said that it serviced these destinations:
from Cuba to Milano, Bologna and Roma
from Santo Domingo to Milano, Bologna and Roma
from Messico to Milano and Bologna
from Sri Lankan to Bologna
from Brasil to Milano

They also ran a budget airline called Blu Express, from what I can dig up they had only ever flown these routes as of May 2007:
Rome Fiumicino - Bari
Rome Fiumicino - Milan Malpensa
Rome Fiumicino - Grenoble / Lyon
Rome Fiumicino - Pantelleria
Rome Fiumicino - Nice
Rome Fiumicino - Tripoli
Bologna - Bari
Palermo - Grenoble / Lyon
Palermo - Nice
Rome Fiumicino - Munich
Rome Fiumicino - Vienna

And the archived version of blu-express.com from April 2006 shows that Paris is not a destination.

1650147164438.png


So it seems that frossani's Blue Panorama/Blu Express flight between Rome and Paris never existed.
 
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KilliK

Member
yes, that is what he claims, he recorded the video during his flight, and later they used the 2 clips in that UFO doc. someone in the reddit did some research, and the flight he mentions checks out.

but he also says no UFO was associated with it, so he never bothered with it, until 2 years later which is when he uploaded it? i dont understand that part.
 

Shrinker

New Member
VFX artist here. To me it loos like a simple bit of CGI played back on a TV screen which has then itself been filmed through a piece of grubby glass. Somebody doing a bit of ILM Stagecraft at home I think.

Reasoning: outside is too blurry for the conditions, as if we’re quite close to the TV, and there‘s a blue cast to the entire outside scene which isn’t appropriate for what appears to be warm/yellowish sunlight glistening on the glass in the foreground (TV screens are often bluer than your eye would think) and even though the camera is moving the scene outside doesn’t feel three-dimensional (lacks parallax)
 
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KilliK

Member
They contacted the original youtube uploader. He said that he got the video from a friend of his in the university. His friend knew was into CGI, so he gave him this video in a cd. But he never told him where he found it. Unfortunately he hasnt seen him for years, so it is difficult to ask him for the source.

But again, I have seen a screengrab of the 4Chan wherein the video was uploaded in 2007, 2 months after the FLIR1 leak. Was it where his friend found it? somewhere else? There was also someone in Reddit who said the video exists since 2004. I asked for details, but he never replied back.
 
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jackfrostvc

Active Member
They contacted the original youtube uploader. He said that he got the video from a friend of his in the university. His friend knew was into CGI, so he gave him this video in a cd. But he never told him where he found it. Unfortunately he hasnt seen him for years, so it is difficult to ask him for the source.

But again, I have seen a screengrab of the 4Chan wherein the video was uploaded in 2007, 2 months after the FLIR1 leak. Was it where his friend found it? somewhere else? There was also someone in Reddit who said the video exists since 2004. I asked for details, but he never replied back.
Can you post a link to the 4Chan page with the video

Also, the italian video owner said in 2008 that he was the author of the video. I have seen what you are referring to, but there seems to be a contradiction

https://orioneye2012.freeforumzone....RAMA-passeggero-filma-un-ufo/discussione.aspx
 

KilliK

Member
yeah, there is a contradiction. maybe something was lost in the translation in the original partial comments in youtube. but his explanation makes sense, his youtube channel is a collection of CGI videos.

I tried to find the reddit topic with the screengrab, but the search in reddit is horrible. It was one or two years ago, when they were discussing the FLYBY video again. I remember the 4Chan source distinctively, because it happened 2 months after the FLIR1 video leak, and that was the only post the anonymous uploader did. Which I found interesting. Unfortunately, I cant remember his name.

I also asked in the Leads topic above, if someone has that screengrab.

ps. I searched again, I only found older posts mentioning the same thing, that it was first leaked in 4Chan around the time of the tic-tac leak.
 
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Max Phalange

Active Member
I've been thinking a bit about the optics of this video. It's quite noticeable that during the part where the plane's wing is visible, the reflected ring of the camera lens is offset to the left of the shot:

1651006890662.png

Since the inner plastic window of an airline is parallel to the fuselage of the plane, I think this means that the camera must be angled slightly forward toward the nose of the aircraft.

I tested it by pointing a phone camera at a mirror. If you rotate the phone clockwise around its vertical axis, your reflection moves to the left on the image on screen.

Can anyone confirm that this makes sense?
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I'm going to partially disagree. For purposes of discussion, I'll assume we're looking through a real airplane window (I don't think we are).

I agree with your thinking that we'd expect the camera to offset like that if angled forward. And that this would have been an easy mistake for a faker to make -- to forget to do that. What I'm a bit skeptical on is that, if the camera is angled to look forward, wouldn't that also result in a somewhat oval reflection? I think so, and I don't see that in the vid. I need to go rewatch it, maybe. Perhaps it's tilted forward slightly enough that it does not get oval enough to be noticable. Might have to go mess with a camera and a reflective surface a bit...
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
I'm going to partially disagree. For purposes of discussion, I'll assume we're looking through a real airplane window (I don't think we are).

I agree with your thinking that we'd expect the camera to offset like that if angled forward. And that this would have been an easy mistake for a faker to make -- to forget to do that. What I'm a bit skeptical on is that, if the camera is angled to look forward, wouldn't that also result in a somewhat oval reflection? I think so, and I don't see that in the vid. I need to go rewatch it, maybe. Perhaps it's tilted forward slightly enough that it does not get oval enough to be noticable. Might have to go mess with a camera and a reflective surface a bit...
Another way to test it would be take stills from the video and try fitting a perfect circle to the lens's reflection with Photoshop. From a quick test, I think the reflection in the frame above is slightly ellipsoid, shorter on the X axis compared to the Y.

But here's the thing — If you import a 737 model into some 3D software and position the camera just inside the fuselage, then with enough tweaking you can achieve a good match with the scene in the video (the lump just under the wingtip is the saucer, btw):




... which puts the camera here, the window just behind the wing, with a 70mm focal length:

1651017857218.png

Notice that the camera is angled backward, toward the wingtip. It's rotated 13.6 degrees counterclockwise from perpendicular.

If the camera was pointing straight out the window, i.e. zero degrees from perpendicular, then the lens's reflection would be perfectly circular, and the reflection would be in the center of the frame. But then the wing's position in the frame would shift to here:

1651018188576.png


Clearly that's no longer a very good match. Can we fix this by moving the camera back a few rows? Well let's try ...



Now the angle of the wing is all wrong. And if the camera was rotated past perpendicular, i.e. pointing forward as the lens's reflection suggests to me is happening, this problem would be even worse.

In fact there's very little wiggle room in the camera placement. Because it's a fairly long focal length, any changes in camera position or rotation affect the scene quite a lot. And there's no way to line everything up without having the camera pointing backward along the sweep of the wing.

So I'm asserting the following things here:
* The camera that filmed the view of the airplane wing was angled backward (based on reconstruction of the scene)
* The camera whose lens we see reflected in the video was angled forward (as its reflection is offset to the left of the frame)
* Therefore the camera that produced the final video is not the camera filming the view from the plane

If this is correct, it would be good evidence for the idea that a pre-recorded, CGI enhanced scene was filmed off a screen through some scratchy plastic — as @Mick West demonstrated several months ago.

I've attached my Blender project if anyone wants to repeat the experiment. The camera's Y location and Z rotation are the things you need to fiddle with, Numpad 0 (or View->Viewpoint->Camera) snaps the viewport to what the camera sees. The screengrab from the video can be faded in/out under the camera's Data Properties tab, the alpha slider under Background Images.

This is the 737 model used: https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/boeing737-259de41be0c7410e86b7e79be33d6b3a
 

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Max Phalange

Active Member
What focal length did you use for the blender camera?
To get the field of view matched up, it came out at 70mm.

I spent a while trying to work out camera it could have been shot with, and found that video functionality hadn't been added to Canon's or Nikon's DSLR range at the time of the video's first upload, April 2008. The 5D MkII and D90 only came out with video capabilities in late 2008. I also checked Pentax's and Sony's range, again no video until later.

So I don't think it was shot on a DSLR. Something like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 is a possibility as it offered both video recording, and an optical zoom lens.

Or another possibility is a MiniDV camera. I think the reflection of the right hand is consistent with the way you'd hold one of these.

1651058655926.png1651058697953.png

And I guess if the lens is sufficiently close to the reflective surface, then it could fill a lot of the frame and look large relative to the hand — this would be especially exaggerated using a wide-angle setting (the camera setup for the screen-through-plastic shot doesn't need to match the view-from-plane shot).
 

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Ravi

Senior Member.
@Max

As I have an old JVC Everio HD (# GZ-HM335BE) and played around a bit, using a glass pane. I think the camera compares to the other brands more or less (f ranging from 3mm-90mm). It has a neat reflective ring on the front as well.

However, I cannot for the life of me get the ring in focus (the reflection of it) AND see the subject behind the pane in focus too. Now, if the F/# is sufficiently small, the focal range of a camera can be very big (from 10cm of the lens to infinity or similar). BUT this means hardly any light coming into the cam and you can use it only in very sunny bright scenes, which in the plane footage is not the case (rather dark). So I cannot imagine the camera used in the ufo video to have a small F number (say F/32), and can only conclude it therefore cannot have the camera ring in focus (or the scratches..). Thus concluding it is faked.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
To get the field of view matched up, it came out at 70mm.

I spent a while trying to work out camera it could have been shot with, and found that video functionality hadn't been added to Canon's or Nikon's DSLR range at the time of the video's first upload, April 2008. The 5D MkII and D90 only came out with video capabilities in late 2008. I also checked Pentax's and Sony's range, again no video until later.

So I don't think it was shot on a DSLR. Something like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 is a possibility as it offered both video recording, and an optical zoom lens.

Or another possibility is a MiniDV camera. I think the reflection of the right hand is consistent with the way you'd hold one of these.

1651058655926.png1651058697953.png

And I guess if the lens is sufficiently close to the reflective surface, then it could fill a lot of the frame and look large relative to the hand — this would be especially exaggerated using a wide-angle setting (the camera setup for the screen-through-plastic shot doesn't need to match the view-from-plane shot).
The issue is going to be

The original footage filmed on some camera, then the 'fake' version filmed on another camera and then each of the cameras having the footage possibly cropped.

But yeah the focus issues point to 2 cameras, one for plane footage and then another filming that footage
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
BUT this means hardly any light coming into the cam and you can use it only in very sunny bright scenes, which in the plane footage is not the case (rather dark).
I'm not sure about this part, as being above the clouds on a plane during the day ought to lead to very bright sunny lighting. And the counter argument would be that the outside scene is very blurry anyway, so we're not compelled to find a way for both close up and distant objects to be resolved.

I basically agree with what you're saying, but without knowing the exact equipment and settings used, there's enough uncertainty to wriggle out of that argument.

While you're experimenting, could you please try something else? Part of what seems to visually sell this video is the glare from the "sun" in the top right of the frame.
1651067001658.png

But I think this is just an incandescent lamp positioned a few inches off screen, because the light from it seems to fall off very quickly. The top right of the lens is brightly highlighted, then just a couple of inches away there's no highlight. A nearby light source's intensity will fall off following the 1/r^2 formula, whereas the sun is so far away that this is basically a constant by the time its light reaches us. So could you maybe see what the lens's reflection looks like with a flashlight held a few inches away, vs. in bright constant light?

The more I look at this clip, the more fake this "sun" seems to look.

Source: https://streamable.com/qrps5g
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Hi @Max Phalange

Indeed, I agree, there's enough uncertainty to wriggle out of my argument. So I will drop it.

So could you maybe see what the lens's reflection looks like with a flashlight held a few inches away, vs. in bright constant light?

I am trying to figure how to do what you are asking. Meaning, just outside the FoV? I will give it a try..
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Hi @Max Phalange

Indeed, I agree, there's enough uncertainty to wriggle out of my argument. So I will drop it.



I am trying to figure how to do what you are asking. Meaning, just outside the FoV? I will give it a try..

I think so, yes - that's what gives the glare around the scratches and makes the whole thing feel like a cohesive scene. I might also try to model a silver lens ring in Blender and simulate different lighting conditions. One potential issue is that we don't know if the silvery ring is flat or bevelled, which would effect the way light reflects.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Unsure how applicable the images are, but I have attached 3 photos where one is obviously source-less, and the other two represent a LED flashlight at approx 40cm distance from the lens, shining directly on it.. The LED brightness is not extreme as the battery is dying, FYI. Notice the interesting scatter pattern from the iris..

1, no light:

2: Light in the corner


3: Light rather central
 
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Max Phalange

Active Member
Unsure how applicable the images are, but I have attached 3 photos where one is obviously source-less, and the other two represent a LED flashlight at approx 40cm distance from the lens, shining directly on it.. The LED brightness is not extreme as the battery is dying, FYI. Notice the interesting scatter pattern from the iris..

1, no light:

2: Light in the corner

3: Light rather central

Sorry Ravi, I wasn't very clear — I thought you were going to have a piece of glass/plastic in front of the camera so we would see its reflection!
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Sorry Ravi, I wasn't very clear — I thought you were going to have a piece of glass/plastic in front of the camera so we would see its reflection!

*insert facepalm icon" My fault.. :)

I was wondering that very thing.. haha. Okay, just a minute, going to try it next.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
A nearby light source's intensity will fall off following the 1/r^2 formula, whereas the sun is so far away that this is basically a constant by the time its light reaches us.
I'm not sure I follow the physics here. Irregular refraction/diffraction is typically the stronger the smaller its angle is (sundogs being one exception), and for that, the angle to the camera matters as much as the angle to light source—more, in fact, because the camera is closer to the pane.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
I'm not sure I follow the physics here. Irregular refraction/diffraction is typically the stronger the smaller its angle is (sundogs being one exception), and for that, the angle to the camera matters as much as the angle to light source—more, in fact, because the camera is closer to the pane.
I'm only concerned here with the way the light is falling onto the silvery ring we can see reflected. It looks like more light is hitting the top-right of it compared to the bottom-left, which is more consistent with a small light source just out of frame than it is with the constant intensity of sunlight. So I don't think refraction will play into that.

I built this little scene in Blender:
1651097177068.png

There's a camera model sitting just behind the actual 3D rendering camera, then a pane of glass, and then in the distance a big backdrop with an image of the sky. So the image captures the prop camera's reflection in the glass, and then the sky in the background.

There are two light sources, only one of which is used at a time. One is a small point light source positioned just outside the camera's field of view, and just in front of the window. This casts rays in a 360-degree sphere, and their intensity falls off with distance squared.

The other is a "sun" light source. In Blender, the position of a sun doesn't matter, it casts parallel rays across the entire scene with no intensity fall off. So it's just arbitrary placed near the other objects. The angle of the rays is adjustable and I've set it to be shining from the top left of the frame.

Here's the result of rendering the scene with the sun switched on, and the lamp off (the scratches on the glass are just for decoration, they're not properly simulated yet):

flyby-sun2.png


And here's the result of rendering with the sun switched off, and the lamp turned on:

flyby-lamp2.png

Finally here's a frame from the "flyby" video itself:



The differing light intensity on the lens ring seems a better match with the lamp scenario than the sun scenario. But I may just be confirming my own biases with this experiment — there are several assumptions about the ring's geometry and materials, placement of the light source etc. I don't think there's much more to be gleaned from doing this in software rather than a via physical reconstruction.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I'm only concerned here with the way the light is falling onto the silvery ring we can see reflected. It looks like more light is hitting the top-right of it compared to the bottom-left, which is more consistent with a small light source just out of frame than it is with the constant intensity of sunlight. So I don't think refraction will play into that.
Thank you for clarifying!

Given that the reflective rings may be on the outside of the lens assembly, they may mostly be in shadow in the bottom left corner, and the fall-off difference you observe seems slight, with the main difference being a reflected arc in the lower left corner that may simply not be there on that particular lens. (As usual with UFO reports, we're lacking essential data—it's as if these reports were intentionally made hard to verify.)
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Thank you for clarifying!

Given that the reflective rings may be on the outside of the lens assembly, they may mostly be in shadow in the bottom left corner, and the fall-off difference you observe seems slight, with the main difference being a reflected arc in the lower left corner that may simply not be there on that particular lens. (As usual with UFO reports, we're lacking essential data—it's as if these reports were intentionally made hard to verify.)

Yes, or the rings could be bevelled rather than flat, so the upper right would be angled toward the light and the lower left angled away. Too many unknowns there. I think the impossible camera angle is sufficient proof of fakery, though.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Yes, or the rings could be bevelled rather than flat, so the upper right would be angled toward the light and the lower left angled away. Too many unknowns there. I think the impossible camera angle is sufficient proof of fakery, though.
I found, while trying my shots, that to make the front ring of the camera as large as shown in your simulations, the camera has to be really close to the transparent pane. In close I mean ~5cm.. This means it is quite hard to get any light reflections in the frame. This is perhaps not of interest in the big picture, but wanted to mention it.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I noticed the video is seemingly stretched vertically by a small amount, as the camera lens ring does not seem perfectly circular.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
I found, while trying my shots, that to make the front ring of the camera as large as shown in your simulations, the camera has to be really close to the transparent pane. In close I mean ~5cm.. This means it is quite hard to get any light reflections in the frame. This is perhaps not of interest in the big picture, but wanted to mention it.
You can increase the size of the reflection by either bringing the camera closer, or by using a longer focal length. I played around with both to create those renders. But in physical situation I'm trying to simulate, it's not clear to me whether the light source is on the same side of the scratched clear plastic as the camera, and is reflecting off it, or if it's on the far side lighting up the scratches from behind. I just chose to model former case as it's easier to set up. If I knew enough about shaders in Blender to physically simulate the scratched plastic, it might work better with the light behind. It could have been as simple as a desk lamp positioned at the corner of the monitor screen.

I noticed the video is seemingly stretched vertically by a small amount, as the camera lens ring does not seem perfectly circular.
Yep, but I think that's because the camera is slightly angled to the right, which is the same reason that the reflection is to the left of the image.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Yep, but I think that's because the camera is slightly angled to the right,
If so, it's very slight. It is hard to be certain because some of the circle is not visible (out of frame or just not showing up well, but in the image below I took the frame posted above, copied it into another layer, rotated that layer 90 degrees and made the new layer semi-transparent. It is very hard to be certain, and it is much easier to see when moving the new layer around a bit so the very faint sections of highlight show up more through moving -- but if there is a distortion from circular I can't demonstrate it.
1651067001658.jpg

IF this is correct, emphasis on the IF, would that not require the video to have been cropped to get the camera reflection off center? Or, I suppose, some digital fakery...
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
You can increase the size of the reflection by either bringing the camera closer, or by using a longer focal length. I played around with both to create those renders. But in physical situation I'm trying to simulate, it's not clear to me whether the light source is on the same side of the scratched clear plastic as the camera, and is reflecting off it, or if it's on the far side lighting up the scratches from behind. I just chose to model former case as it's easier to set up. If I knew enough about shaders in Blender to physically simulate the scratched plastic, it might work better with the light behind. It could have been as simple as a desk lamp positioned at the corner of the monitor screen.

Is it perhaps an idea to try to replicate the scene doing that exact same thing? So, playing a video of a wingtip seen from the cabin of a plane while recording that video screen from behind a piece of plexiglass and a desk lamp?

I am going to have a look tonight..
 

Ann K

Active Member
I noticed the video is seemingly stretched vertically by a small amount, as the camera lens ring does not seem perfectly circular.
If the reflection is off plexiglass rather than glass, it's possible that there is distortion due to slight bending of the pane. That's not so likely with glass.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
IF this is correct, emphasis on the IF, would that not require the video to have been cropped to get the camera reflection off center? Or, I suppose, some digital fakery...
I suppose it would depend on focal length (and sensor size), distance from the reflective surface etc. You might need very little tilt of the camera. I just took this photo with an iPhone, the reflection is deflected off center but the lens still looks very round.


1651160281664.png

Here's a square crop:
1651158782583.png

Is it perhaps an idea to try to replicate the scene doing that exact same thing?
Absolutely, but frankly I'm not that dedicated! :D Good luck to you though, if you're willing to give it a go.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Meh, also not, really.. And even if it looks alike, it will never be the same.
No, but it would demonstrate that this hypothesis corresponds to reality.
That's more than the "it's real" hypothesis has going for it at this point.
 
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