"Hovering before shooting straight up" Explanations

Domzh

Active Member
Hey 'bunkers

I keep stumbling across witness testimonies describing this perceived flight characteristic.

As a matter of fact, you can find multiple similar reports from all over the world and over a timespan of decades.

Which makes me wonder:

Assuming most witnesses are not liars but did actually perceive something hovering before it shoot up, what phenomena could cause such an illusion?

Random thoughts on this matter:

- Hovering could be attributed to objects such as balloons OR something flying against the wind, seemingly standing still relative to the observer OR something flying away or towards the LOS of the observer OR perceiving an actually stationary, fixed object as something airborne (tethered or on a structure)

- "Shooting up", "Disappearing in an instant", "Unbelievable speed" are all pretty relative descriptions and create a visual of something like the USS enterprise activating its warp drive.

Question:

Considering these 3 prerequisites:

1) Witness is not lying

2) Witness must have seen it with their own eyes, no hearsay and NO VIDEO

3) Object needs to "shoot UP", not "off" at a perceived rate of speed that could be consensually described as "reasonably fast"

"What circumstances could create these phenomena?"

Edit: minor spelling
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Witness must has seen it with their own eyes, no hearsay and NO VIDEO
No video is key. We've seen a recent case that could easily have been described as a giant flying triangle, but on the video it looked like birds.

"Hovering before flying up" is often applied to oncoming aircraft. They seem to hover, and then fly up, but not "in an instant"
 

Domzh

Active Member
In modern years the most obvious candidates are arguably drones.

I can also see military jets on the LOS of an observer pulling straight up. This however should reveal the shape of an airplane.

Exception: It is viewed from the side, is flying against the wind at an airspeed that lets it stand still relative to the ground and pulls up presenting its side to the observer, not revealing its wings.

A distant car or motorcycle at night driving on the observers LOS at a high speed before the road goes up hill.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Hey 'bunkers

I keep stumbling about witnesses describing this perceived flight characteristic.

As a matter of fact, you can find multiple similar reports from all over the world and over a timespan of decades.

Which makes me wonder:

Assuming most witnesses are not liars but did actually perceive something hovering before it shoot up, what phenomena could cause such an illusion?

Random thoughts on this matter:

- Hovering could be attributed to objects such as balloons OR something flying against the wind, seemingly standing still relative to the observer OR something flying away or towards the LOS of the observer OR perceiving an actually stationary, fixed object as something airborne (tethered or on a structure)

- "Shooting up", "Disappearing in an instant", "Unbelievable speed" are all pretty relative descriptions and create a visual of something like the USS enterprise activating its warp drive.

Question:

Considering these 3 prerequisites:

1) Witness is not lying

2) Witness must has seen it with their own eyes, no hearsay and NO VIDEO

3) Object needs to "shoot UP", not "off" at a perceived rate of speed that could be consensually described as "reasonably fast"
Anything in the air that's coming directly toward the observer, especially something at a low altitude. That would also cover the "hovering" claim.

Any reflection in a surface that is suddenly tilted to a different angle.

Edit to add: a reflection in a curved surface, which might appear to zoom up with only a slight change in the position of the reflecting object, the position of the curved surface, or the position of the eyes of the observer.
 
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Domzh

Active Member
Anything in the air that's coming directly toward the observer, especially something at a low altitude. That would also cover the "hovering" claim.

Any reflection in a surface that is suddenly tilted to a different angle.
The hovering part is easy, its the "instantly shooting up" part in combination that i would love to find explanations for, especially for older reports.

What exactly do you mean with the reflection scenario? Do you mean like a flashlight or headlight reflecting off a wall or airborne particles (varying states of water for example)?

Thats indeed a very interesting and probably very likely hypothesis in a lot of cases that I havent thought about. Nice
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
- an object that disappears from view
the observer, now looking around, notices a similar object higher up and concludes the original object moved

- a reflection that disappears from view
same as above, except the observer now notices the original object. Could be aided by a mirage of some sort.
 

Domzh

Active Member
No video is key. We've seen a recent case that could easily have been described as a giant flying triangle, but on the video it looked like birds.

"Hovering before flying up" is often applied to oncoming aircraft. They seem to hover, and then fly up, but not "in an instant"
What I meant was they must have seen it in real time. Not while reviewing some holiday videos.

I mentioned this specifically due to the countless videos featuring aliens aka bugs close to the lense.

If there is also a video of the event, even better. Birds would absolutely qualify.
 

Domzh

Active Member
- an object that disappears from view
the observer, now looking around, notices a similar object higher up and concludes the original object moved

- a reflection that disappears from view
same as above, except the observer now notices the original object. Could be aided by a mirage of some sort.
smart - as in "tic tac vanished and instantly reappeared at cap point" ;-)
 

Duke

Active Member
Anything in the air that's coming directly toward the observer, especially something at a low altitude. That would also cover the "hovering" claim.
This explains why aircraft in landing patterns at major airports at night are often reported as UFOs. I remember seeing a video of several commercial airliners, one behind the other, on approach to DFW posted on a UFO site claiming it was a gaggle of UFOs.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Tethered balloon is released or tether breaks.

More rarely, kite does the same thing -- more frequently a kite falls if the string breaks, but if there is enough drag from the remaining line, plus anything on the line, or if the line breaks due to a strong updraft, it might keep flying for a time. In order to visually shoot upward, I guess the wind has to carry it towards the observer, or that must have been one heck of an updraft.

Balloons probably more likely!
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
What exactly do you mean with the reflection scenario? Do you mean like a flashlight or headlight reflecting off a wall or airborne particles (varying states of water for example)?
I'm suggesting light reflecting on something like a hinged window that swings either horizontally or vertically. If the window swings the light zips off rapidly, either horizontally or vertically. As for the curved surface reflections, I'm thinking of something like a windshield, where the reflection "moves" smoothly in a gently curved portion but darts quickly at a more sharply curved area like the edge of the windshield. All the observer need do is move his head a couple of inches for that to be seen.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I'm suggesting light reflecting on something like a hinged window that swings either horizontally or vertically. If the window swings the light zips off rapidly, either horizontally or vertically.
Simlarly, spotlight/searchlight.etc. could do it. Or, possibly, laser-pointer play.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
I'm going to lean heavily on the "perceive" aspect, and go psychology. They've simplified their memory of what they saw, and filed it in a group of other similar things that they've seen before. When it gets recalled, it has taken on some of the attributes of the rest of that group. And those other things would be sci-fi. And that's not an accusation of lying, that's just lossy compression being used in the human brain. However, depending on the level of interest such reports will garner, and the level of interest the reporter has of receiving such interest, there may be incentives to embelish.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Hey 'bunkers

I keep stumbling across witness testimonies describing this perceived flight characteristic.

As a matter of fact, you can find multiple similar reports from all over the world and over a timespan of decades.

I think we must guard against even an unwitting submission to an argument by majority/numbers (argumentum ad populum).

Even if the majority of humanity reports ghosts, aliens or weirdly whizzing objects (which, by the way, they do at least in terms of ghosts), that doesn't give us much to work with in terms of rigorous scientific examination. We can't generalize based on 'the similarity of many witness reports' as each case is unique and must be studied in its own context. Each testimony is context-specific and may have a variety of external contributing factors, some of which have been proposed on this thread. And then there's the internal (psychological) factors mentioned by @FatPhil.

The cultural as well as constructivist nature of human perception and memory whereby we fill in the blanks or inaccuracies with all sorts of pre-conceived cultural ideas is a significant factor in rendering all anecdotal evidence, when unsupported by extraordinary physical records, suspect. That most of these testimonies are honest and sincere has little to do with this critical factor.
 
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