"Golden Orb" Daytime Reflective Sphere UFOs in Photos

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Metabunk 2019-05-09 07-58-02.jpg
Source: https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=search_page2&sql_order_primary=f1_submitted_datetime+DESC&case_number=80168

The above photo comes for a MUFON report (80168) with the description:
Anyone familiar with UFOs will have heard of "orbs", but usually these refer to either transparent glowing disks that show up in flash photography (reflecting off out-of-focus dust or rain) or to lights in the night sky.

But there's a third class of orb photo, what appears to be a reflective sphere that appears in the daylight, as seen above.

There's only a few of these types of sightings.

Source: http://www.colinandrews.net/Orb-UFO-BEAMS-CheesefootHead.html


The Lubeten photo (with the hikers) had EXIF information.
Unfortunately this is the only photo we have of the orb as the "more pictures" never materialized, which casts some doubt on the account of the photographer. [UPDATE: the other photos have been discovered: https://www.metabunk.org/posts/230724/]


Since I also have a Canon 7D with a 200mm zoom lens I was able to very closely replicate a similar photo using the exact same settings:
Metabunk 2019-05-09 08-33-06.jpg

Here I'm juggling three balls, the two in the air here are a transparent acrylic ball (bottom) and a reflective spherical Christmas tree ornament (top). You can see the reflective sphere matches the Lubeten sphere best.

This was even more apparent when I moved to a different ridge with the sun in a better position.
Metabunk 2019-05-09 08-38-11.jpg


So that raises the possibility of there being someone just over the ridge throwing a ball around.
Metabunk 2019-05-09 08-52-56.jpg


Another obvious option is the most common cause of shiny round things in the sky - a mylar balloon. Here the small visual size and the high zoom (200mm x1.6 crop) would put it quite some distance beyond the hikers. It's about 1/5th the size of a typical balloon, using the guy next to it as a reference. My similar photos we from about 230 feet (ca. 70 meters), so a balloon would be over 1,000 feet (ca. 305 meters) away, probably not that noticeable to the naked eye.

A balloon though would probably fit the second example:


My immediate reaction was that it might be a raindrop. I attempted to replicate this with a garden hose, but it was impossible to get the drops in focus. Here you see a shower of them on the right.
Metabunk 2019-05-09 09-05-01.jpg


Water on the lens was also suggested, but that's even less likely to be in focus than raindrops, especially at f/5 and zoomed in. Even at f/22 and wide angle, this was the best I could do:
Metabunk 2019-05-09 09-07-25.jpg


With my lens looking like this:
Metabunk 2019-05-09 09-08-17.jpg


Zoomed in to 200mm, and there's only the faintest hint of drops.
Metabunk 2019-05-09 09-09-22.jpg


So it seems like these orbs are something actually out nearer where the camera is focusing. Ball, balloon, transdimensional visitor.

Any other ideas?
 
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Gerard

Member
For the second example much depends on where you think the object is located. If it is merely resting on the grass it could be any shiny object, such as, for example, a bowling ball.

If however it is floating a few feet above the grass then I don't see how it could be a balloon. If the balloon were filled with helium it would float off into the sky whereas if it were filled with air it should be touching the ground.

For the first example there's very little in the way of contextual clues so it probably could be a balloon floating high in the sky.
 

Agent K

Active Member
Several years ago, I took this photo of an "orb." Can you tell what it is?
A blimp heading towards me. It started to turn by the time I took the photo, but looked even more spherical when I first spotted it.

upload_2019-5-9_10-19-55.png
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
yea i just found a different orb on "UFO hunters" which matches my FB photo position
Where at?

That's the highest resolution one so far (although maybe just enlarged, as it's a bit blurry). Almost looks like the "ball" is coming forward over the hill.

two-closeups-compare.gif
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Almost looks like the "ball" is coming forward over the hill.
youre backwards based on your gif.
although some guy pegging his friend there with a snowball is a more fun story. (since all i see in the original is a white blur)
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
This suggests nothing more than a bouncing ball
you're better at photos for sure, but the FB original looks nothing like a ball. Unless he provides the original film, i'm going to keep thinking he manipulated the footage. or lens flare, although the video (a different scene) the flare blob cuts out as the camera moves further right than this. So i'm not sure the sun works for flare.
upload_2019-5-9_16-22-33.png


i realize those UFO sites add filters, which may be what is making the 'ball' look so fake.
 

Rory

Senior Member
I notice that the orb isn't going exactly 'up and down', and also that the timing between each picture is around one second.

I wonder where it was when the third picture was taken?
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I notice that the orb isn't going exactly 'up and down', and also that the timing between each picture is around one second.
Actually if the timings in the EXIF data are correct, they are three discrete bursts. The first two pictures are separated by 0.12 seconds, then there is a gap of 1.14 seconds, before the next two photos which are separated by 0.11 seconds. Then another 1.42 seconds before the final image.

Maybe somebody with the time and suitable software could edit the images together into an animation with the correct timing?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Or maybe more like this (or something similar) - if the ball followed the red line then it ought to be visible in the third photo, but it isn't.
Yeah, I think there is some random bouncing around after the second frame, that path I drew would not actually work with that timing. The ground is a bunch of rough rocks, so it's going to bounce randomly.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
some random bouncing around after the second frame,
does it even have to be bouncing? bear with my graphics here: lets say the pink is the hillside we see (which may be possible if the grass is obscuring the snow spots.. turns out this photo is actually from the same day), you are the 6 foot green guy. i'm the yellow guy sitting down. the photographer cant see us because of the angle.
You throw me something for some reason. I dont want it so i throw it back.

nn.JPG
 

Gerard

Member
Assuming, for sake of argument, that this is some very common everyday object, the two things it most closely resembles for me are either some kind of ball or some kind of fruit (a grapefruit would seem about right for size and color).
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
a grapefruit would seem about right for size and color).
not sure anyone would lug the weight of a grapefruit up a steep mountain for 50 calories.

Looking at his other photos (some gorgeous shots) on flickr and instagram, his bodies- much like the OP- look phtoshopped onto the background and most of his colors are unnatural. So something is going on with his camera/technique.

[edit: these, following, are not his photos]
i'm thinking any ball might look shiny under those kinds of conditions. This is an actual tennis ball which starts out fuzzy,
click to enlarge:
ball2.jpg

i dont know what this ball is.. but it looks metallic in this photo
click to enlarge:
sadie-waiting-to-play-catch-CTKHF5.jpg


But basically I'm sick of "UFO proof" and people hiding any actual evidence. Absolutely no reason this guy couldnt have uploaded the original photos to a cloud source. So even though he seems like a stand up kind of guy, it's suspicious to cry "UFO" and not provide the public the evidence. Only a UFO channel and MUFON. please.

Plus this is 2 1/2 years old and isnt all over youtube and UFO sites? I wonder if one of the hikers explained it, but we dont know that because of the language issue and they might use unknown social media sites.
 

Gerard

Member
Absolutely no reason this guy couldnt have uploaded the original photos to a cloud source.
Aren't the two jpeg's attached to the MUFON case originals ?

As for other evidence, based on his statement it doesn't seem like he has any. He didn't notice anything at the time of the event and neither did any of the 230 other hikers. That alone suggests that this was some innocuous event that no one would even notice that was later misinterpreted based on the photos.

It certainly doesn't seem like a very interesting case to analyze, unless it's supposed to be representative of a class of similar cases.
 

Tallahassee

New Member
View attachment 37151

.......

Any other ideas?
Yeah, I think there is some random bouncing around after the second frame, that path I drew would not actually work with that timing. The ground is a bunch of rough rocks, so it's going to bounce randomly.
Possibly a stainless type water bottle viewed on edge falling from the hikers pack then bouncing from the ground. https://d0bb7f9bf11b5ad1a6b2-6175f06f5e3f64e15abbf67415a276ec.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/product-images/designlab/24-oz-color-pop-stainless-steel-water-bottles-with-plastic-lid-wb338-white1549290770.jpg
b.JPG
 
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deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
figuring out where they are would help too, would help determine possible sizes (and actions.. i dont really see anyone playing with a ball if they are up on that peak area). apparently they have gold soccer balls and if you are bouncing it off your head i think the motion would work too.

upload_2019-5-11_0-8-4.png
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
i finally watched that video at fullscreen more closely. i'm going back to snowball. final answer.

this shot from the video the ball is mostly white. even when i zoom in. and the fact that the shade area is the same hue as the grass is too coincidental. i'll do some experiments next winter to try to prove myself wrong. but for now im sticking to snowball. (because in the vid closeups i did see some snow on the hill top too and there are alot of people who like to throw snowballs when they see snow.)

snowball.png
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member
What if it's reflecting the color of the grass? It looks like it might be a contact juggling ball to me (think David Bowie in Labyrinth):

These are the chrome acrylic type, there was an infomercial for a while for them under the brand name Fushigi.
The other option is a clear sphere often used by photographers, specifically trendy Instagram types, known as a "lensball". Here is a Google image search for reference:
Screenshot_2019-05-11-01-19-31.png

I wondered if it might be a yo-yo too, but I think these are definitely contenders, especially for a group of young folk going on a hike with their cameras and smartphones.
 

Gerard

Member
Seems like they first did a video based on the MUFON report:
How is it that the video is in Portuguese ?

Was the hiking group Brazilian/Portuguese, though they were hiking in Kosovo or was the video produced by some unrelated UFO group ?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
These are the chrome acrylic type, there was an infomercial for a while for them under the brand name Fushigi.
The other option is a clear sphere often used by photographers, specifically trendy Instagram types, known as a "lensball".
I was juggling with a clear acrylic ball, and a transparent sphere in my OP experiments:

A reflective (or at least a bit shiny) sphere seems the best match to me.
 
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