# Judging Size and Distance of Unidentified Objects

If the people in charge of titling the video mistakenly thought the object was going fast (and you seem to be of the opinion “everyone” thinks that) would it not be reasonable to think they might title it GO FAST? I’m saying your argument for how it was titled is contradictory to your opinion that “everyone” thinks the object is going fast.

As far as I know, all he's said about it is that it's not a bird, because a bird would be dead if it appeared cooler than the water in IR.

Which is A) wrong, B) not the actual leading hypotheses for GoFast, C) Ignoring that TTSA, etc, claim it's going fast.

That's the one thing I wanted him to be grilled on, the speed and especially the height of Go Fast, every other analysis of the videos we've done is, although well done and backed by logic and research kind of in grey enough area where because can't just get an old F16 and atflir and recreate it you can waffle, claim expertise and argue interpretation. But with Go Fast the numbers are there on the screen, you don't even have to do the simple trigonometry you can just do altitude minus range. Also I believe Fravor was on TV going on about Go Fast as well so it's not just TTSA.

If the people in charge of titling the video mistakenly thought the object was going fast (and you seem to be of the opinion “everyone” thinks that) would it not be reasonable to think they might title it GO FAST? I’m saying your argument for how it was titled is contradictory to your opinion that “everyone” thinks the object is going fast.

We have proven using the figures in the video that the object is not going fast it's not even a matter of opinion, the numbers on the overlay of the video slow it is not going fast. The TTSA and Fravor have both said it is, however it is not.

We think it was titled Go Fast by the Navy because there is a theory that the videos in question might demonstrate mistakes and edge cases that people might make or encounter when using the systems involved. In go fast you might think it's a fast object when it isn't hence the name Go Fast.

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Once again—without instruments, can’t tell. With instruments obviously one could.

We have proven using the figures in the video that the object is not going fast it's not even a matter of opinion, the numbers on the overlay of the video slow it is not going fast. The TTSA and Fravor have both said it is, however it is not.
I’m not debating that. You can take that for granted.

Someone edited my statement to make it appear I believed that.

Once again—without instruments, can’t tell. With instruments obviously one could.

The numbers from the instruments are there in the video, why not do the maths yourself?

I’m not debating that. You can take that for granted.
What are you debating?

The numbers from the instruments are there in the video, why not do the maths yourself?
There are no numbers in this video. I think your confused. The video this comment refers to is the one Mr. West shot in his backyard. The comment includes a link to it.

It might also be reasonable to think it could be titled GO FAST because the object is going fast.

but it isn't. it could be titled GO FAST because it appears the object is going fast (and noone in the navy knows how to read the numbers on the screen). But i assume lots of UFOs "go fast", so it's kinda weird generic title to a ufo video.

I'm new to this forum/topic but I saw David Fravor's recent appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast and have started reading up on the tic tac incident. I like Mick West's idea that Fravor's observations could be explained by the actual object he observed being around half the size and half the distance he thought it was and actually being fixed/moving slowly as opposed to "mirroring" as Fravor interpreted. The question I would have, and maybe this has already been addressed somewhere, is how to account for the observations of the people in the other plane, around 8,000 feet above. According to Fravor, they saw the object speed away and disappear at the same time he did, which is not what you would expect if the object was relatively fixed and they were 8,000 feet away. You would expect them to just continue observing the object.

I'm new to this forum/topic but I saw David Fravor's recent appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast and have started reading up on the tic tac incident. I like Mick West's idea that Fravor's observations could be explained by the actual object he observed being around half the size and half the distance he thought it was and actually being fixed/moving slowly as opposed to "mirroring" as Fravor interpreted. The question I would have, and maybe this has already been addressed somewhere, is how to account for the observations of the people in the other plane, around 8,000 feet above. According to Fravor, they saw the object speed away and disappear at the same time he did, which is not what you would expect if the object was relatively fixed and they were 8,000 feet away. You would expect them to just continue observing the object.

I’m new here too. And I don’t believe your question (among other questions regarding the Fravor-optical illusion theory) has been adequately addressed.

For a stationary object/optical illusion explanation to be plausible, it requires David Fravor to have ignored his flight speed, altitude, climb rate, heading and attitude indicator during what he described was a 5-minute engagement in which he’s trying to gain a potential-energy advantage over an aerial target. It also requires that his WSO in the backseat do likewise. It also requires that the other pilot, thousands of feet above Fravor with eyes on both Fravor and the target, coincidentally experience a separate yet simultaneous optical illusion and ignore her flight instruments, etc. for the same duration. It also requires her WSO to do likewise. It also requires the veteran radar operator back at the USS Princeton to simultaneously track a false, moving target on his scope that is consistent, coincidentally, with the apparent movement caused by the optical illusion all the people in the air are allegedly experiencing. It also requires a stationary object to entirely and abruptly disappear from the view of all four eyewitnesses (and the scope of the radar operator) at the same time without moving, despite David Fravor saying he watched it depart at high speed. It also requires one to ignore the most consistent characteristics of the object across all testimony: that it accelerated rapidly and was capable of traveling at very high speed. It also requires one to ignore Fravor’s testimony prior to engaging the target, when he describes the object as moving erratically and turning sharply.

I propose that the eyewitness’s statements are more consistent with (and more simply explained by) a rapidly accelerating, fast moving object than a stationary one. I don’t think it’s whimsical to suggest that, based solely on eyewitness accounts, the object likely wasn’t a balloon and that it likely moved quickly. Existing fast-moving military aircraft, for instance, are a better fit to the testimony than a balloon or other slow-moving object.

The good people here at Metabunk do tremendous work when it comes to image analysis, specifically the work done on the three Navy videos. In my opinion this David Fravor-balloon theory, based solely on eyewitness accounts, is not consistent with that work.

For a stationary object/optical illusion explanation to be plausible, it requires David Fravor to have ignored his flight speed, altitude, climb rate, heading and attitude indicator during what he described was a 5-minute engagement in which he’s trying to gain a potential-energy advantage over an aerial target. It also requires that his WSO in the backseat do likewise. It also requires that the other pilot, thousands of feet above Fravor with eyes on both Fravor and the target, coincidentally experience a separate yet simultaneous optical illusion and ignore her flight instruments, etc. for the same duration. It also requires her WSO to do likewise.
This simply requires them all to be misjudging the size of the object. That's the key here. You can know all those other numbers, but if you don't know how big it is them you don't know how far away it is and so you don't know how it's moving, if at all.

Note Fravor says that for much of the encounter it was "mirroring" him. Coincidence? Mind reading aliens? Or just an illusion?

It also requires the veteran radar operator back at the USS Princeton to simultaneously track a false, moving target on his scope that is consistent, coincidentally, with the apparent movement caused by the optical illusion all the people in the air are allegedly experiencing.
False. There were no accounts of simultaneous observation of movement by radar, nor was there observation of circling or rapid horizontal movement at any time. Different things.

It also requires a stationary object to entirely and abruptly disappear from the view of all four eyewitnesses (and the scope of the radar operator) at the same time without moving, despite David Fravor saying he watched it depart at high speed.
Initial reports vary on what happened. Only Fravor has really given details, and those were vague subjective assessments.

It also requires one to ignore the most consistent characteristics of the object across all testimony: that it accelerated rapidly and was capable of traveling at very high speed.
Why is that required to be ignored?

This simply requires them all to be misjudging the size of the object. That's the key here. You can know all those other numbers, but if you don't know how big it is them you don't know how far away it is and so you don't know how it's moving, if at all.

If at all? If someone fired a canon ball 20-feet in diameter across my FOV and I was far enough away that it appeared no bigger than a baseball, I’d argue that I could determine whether or not it’s likely moving, though I wouldn’t know it’s size. And if I knew my own location, speed and vector, it would increase my confidence. Add to that a second witness in a different location who can verify both of our exact places in space at the same time we witness the canonball, and the notion that both of us would likely confuse the cannonball for a stationary object is implausible. It is more plausible to imagine we might be witnessing a moving object of undetermined size. I don’t understand why you favor an optical illusion over a moving object given what little we know.

[... Mod: off topic, and link policy violations removed]

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If at all? If someone fired a canon ball 20-feet in diameter across my FOV and I was far enough away that it appeared no bigger than a baseball, I’d argue that I could determine whether or not it’s likely moving, though I wouldn’t know it’s size. And if I knew my own location, speed and vector, it would increase my confidence.
But HOW? That's the question here. And we are not talking about people firing cannon-balls (which are generally too fast to be visible), but rather objects of unknown size and location, viewed from a moving vantage point.

What differentiates something at one mile from something else twice the size at two miles?

And no, you can can't argue that other people saw the same thing, the question is how Fravor determined it.

Though you deleted the majority of my reply, no doubt I deserved it. The fact that David Fravor could not have judged the object’s exact size by himself as he maneuvered around the object indicates clearly that the object was more likely stationary than moving, and most likely a balloon. I see that now. Thanks again for your objectivity and rigorous application of common sense.

Though you deleted the majority of my reply, no doubt I deserved it. The fact that David Fravor could not have judged the object’s exact size by himself as he maneuvered around the object indicates clearly that the object was more likely stationary than moving, and most likely a balloon. I see that now. Thanks again for your objectivity and rigorous application of common sense.
Your sudden reversal of opinion suggests sarcasm, which is against posting guidelines. Please just say what you think about the topic.

I apologize for coming across poorly and for breaking the rules. It’s not my intention. Considering your analysis now, I’m simply embarrassed that I could listen to David Fravor speak about the incident and conclude the object he was describing was probably moving. I’m still learning to think more critically. If I elaborate, I’m afraid my reply will be trimmed again. I don’t know how else to respond. Best wishes to you and thank you again for the outstanding work you and others here do.

I apologize, (your patience is off the charts here) but there’s just one last part that’s difficult for me. I’m admittedly slow. Your insightful tic tac model video clearly proves that Fravor couldn’t possibly judge the size or speed of the object as you’ve been so kindly trying to explain. But could you demonstrate how you judged its probable size and speed when he couldn’t?

You guys are the best. Thanks again.

From a purely human perspective, it’s sad in a way that everybody involved is convinced they saw something supremely fast when all they did was chase a balloon, fail to overtake it or even get close enough to identify it. Then they compound the problem by losing track of it altogether. They simply can’t understand that had they thought it through, as I’m slowly learning to do with the help of the knowledgable folks here, they would’ve realized that the object that caused all the fuss probably wasn’t even moving.

Keep up the tremendous work!

But could you demonstrate how you judged its probable size and speed when he couldn’t?
I didn't. I just showed that it's possible for it to be moving slowly. It also fits very well with the "mirroring" behavior.

I didn't. I just showed that it's possible for it to be moving slowly. It also fits very well with the "mirroring" behavior.
Right. My bad again. I just thought that you mentioned earlier in this thread:
My (very loose) idea regarding Fravor's encounter with a featureless Tic-Tac shaped object is basically that it was a smaller object that was closer than he thought.
I also thought you said your best theory was that the object was probably stationary in a recent Cool Worlds podcast and a reaction video to the Lex Fridman-David Fravor interview, but as you know by now, I have trouble keeping things straight. My apologies again.

But you’re saying your theory isn’t that it’s smaller? Or stationary? Because as you proved in your tic tac model video, there’s no way to tell. Am I on the right track here? This has been eye-opening for me. Appreciate your help.

I also thought you said your best theory was that the object was probably stationary
I think they could ot tell how far away it was or how big it was, or how fast it was moving. The strange movements reported could either be from some novel craft with a unique propulsion method, or it could be more-or-less stationary. I think the latter is more probable.

I think they could ot tell how far away it was or how big it was, or how fast it was moving. The strange movements reported could either be from some novel craft with a unique propulsion method, or it could be more-or-less stationary. I think the latter is more probable.
I’m wrong again. Got it. And that’s how we choose to ignore Fravor’s accounts of erratic, sudden accelerations, etc. that obviously are at odds with a balloon. Because to presume he didn’t actually see what he described is more probable, right? Thus balloon. I think I’m finally getting it. [...]

And why is it that it could either be, as you say, an improbable novel craft or a more-or-less stationary object? Why couldn’t it be something in the middle of that broadest spectrum of movement, say a fighter aircraft?[...]

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I’m wrong again. Got it. And that’s how we choose to ignore Fravor’s accounts of erratic, sudden accelerations, etc. that obviously are at odds with a balloon. Because to presume he didn’t actually see what he described is more probable, right? Thus balloon. I think I’m finally getting it. [...]

And why is it that it could either be, as you say, an improbable novel craft or a more-or-less stationary object? Why couldn’t it be something in the middle of that broadest spectrum of movement, say a fighter aircraft?[...]

If it were a fighter jet, would not Fravor have recognised the object, and thus known the size etc?

The general point is the object he describes is featureless and novel and thus his perception of it's size and movements are subject to a much higher likelyhood of error.

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Why couldn’t it be something in the middle of that broadest spectrum of movement, say a fighter aircraft?
Because it visually resembles a giant tic-tac. Some balloons do that. No fighter aircraft do.

If it were a fighter jet, would not Fravor have recognised the object, and thus known the size etc?

The general point is the object he describes is featureless and novel and thus his perception of it's size and movements are subject to a much higher likelyhood of error.
Excellent point. I didn’t realize he’d never seen a balloon before.

Because it visually resembles a giant tic-tac. Some balloons do that. No fighter aircraft do.
Right. Got it. That‘s my mistake. I guess I thought that some fighter aircraft move fast, but no balloons do. I wish I could tell which parts of his story to believe and which ones to ignore as adeptly as the team here. I’d imagine since all the witnesses thought the balloon was an incredibly fast object, and given how many balloons are out there, and how many pilots regularly see them, the Navy has dealt with this countless times. You’d think they’d train their pilots by now to distinguish a balloon from a novel craft with an improbable propulsion system. Live and learn I guess.

@Woolery has been banned for a month for repeated sarcasm after being warned.

He posted in the ufo sub in Reddit fyi, after your discussion here. I am not sure what I think of him/her now, but it sure aint nice.

He also mis-quoted Mick, not very nice.

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I think the guy is stuck in the very often used narrative that a pilot or even the military never makes judgement errors. This is just plain wrong, as it happens all the time. Of course, you do not read about it often as it is embarrassing.

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I am not sure what I think of him/her now, but it sure aint nice.

I think it proves he/she can't answer the question 'how did fravor know it was ' just above the surface of the water' ?'. so they are stuck going for the kitchen sink approach.

This theory is such a strech
I think it proves he/she can't answer the question 'how did fravor know it was ' just above the surface of the water' ?'. so they are stuck going for the kitchen sink approach.

Guys you realise how much parallax effect you get with a jet cruising at 500 knots @ 20k feet if the object is not close to the water?

I mean: we have been analysing the GO FAST video for months. Look how fast that object appears to be moving there.

If the object was somewhat stationary compared to the water it would be trivial to estimate it to be "just above the surface" and hence the size problem would be self evident (Fravor knows exactly how big a fighter is at any distance).

AND the aircraft manoeuvred down to intercept. AND we have observation from 2 independent vantage points with redundant pairs of eyes. I mean it doesn't get any more solid than this.

Also: what about the water churning just below the object?

This theory just doesn't hold up any way you look at it. I doubt even an amateur would be unable to estimate distance and size of an object in this scenario... let alone a senior navy pilot trained with hundreds of hours spent in the air over sea dogfighting.

This theory just doesn't hold up any way you look at it. I doubt even an amateur would be unable to estimate distance and size of an object in this scenario... let alone a senior navy pilot trained with hundreds of hours spent in the air over sea dogfighting.
You are "arguing from incredulity" here. Just because you don't believe something to be true doesn't make it wrong. That type of argument can be used to "disprove" that the Earth is spinning!

The fact is that there are many UFO sightings by trained observers that have later been identified. The fact is that "trained pilots" ought to recognize "distance and size" of runways, yet introducing guidance technology to aviation has greatly increased the safety of approaches and landings. (In fact, there have been aircraft accidents resulting from pilots mistaking stars in the sky for lights on the ground, and UFO sightings where stars or a planet were thought to be fast-moving craft.)

Judging size and distance of moving objects depends heavily on parallax, and the interpretation of that depends on your mental model of how fast the object is moving. If you spent "hundreds of hours" (how many actually?) dogfighting, you'd be expecting the object to move like a fighter; and that means your estimation of the object's size and distance will be off if it doesn't.

On the question of 'judging size and distance' - is it small and close or large and far away? - there is an amusing example in this interview with astronaut Tim Peake on The Graham Norton Show : Tim Peake Thought He Saw UFO's On The ISS | The Graham Norton Show - YouTube (hope this is visible outside the UK). Peake saw a string of 3 unidentified objects (then another one) moving in formation, and wondered what they were. A NASA crew-mate was also perplexed. It turned out they were not 'far away', as they had assumed, but small and very close. In fact they were drops of frozen urine from the Russian Progress vehicle nearby.

In fact they were drops of frozen urine from the Russian Progress vehicle nearby.
That is just yellow journalism.

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