Middle East 2022 MQ-9 Observed Apparent Spherical UAP (via AARO)

Member MapperGuy posted this
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/silver-orbs-reported-over-berlin-in-wwii.12974/post-291112,

Determining wind speed and direction at different altitudes is exactly what these are for.
Look at the upper picture in post #12 of this thread, note the device that looks like a surveyors transit the man in the middle is examining closely.
That telescopic device allows them to measure azimuth and elevation changes as the balloon rises. Knowing how fast the balloon will rise they can calculate the direction the wind is blowing and how fast at different altitudes.
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(Acknowledgements to MapperGuy, I can't seem to use the "Reply" function across threads at the mo.)

This is the pic MapperGuy refers to:
fg.JPG

The Iraqi Army seems to have a lot of tube artillery according to Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_equipment_of_the_Iraqi_Ground_Forces
During the 1991 Gulf War the Iraqis had loads of S-60 57mm AA guns. It seems some have ended up with non-state groups
The Islamic State allegedly shot down a Cessna 208 Caravan operated by the Iraqi Air Force near Hawija, Iraq on 16 March 2016 with a truck-mounted S-60
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AZP_S-60

-I think this German WW2 balloon bears at least a superficial resemblance to the spherical UAP under discussion.
Maybe armed forces (of whatever affiliation) of the region in question use balloons like this for a similar purpose.

I have no idea if AA artillery would use balloons in the way that ground artillery do (or at least did), but if so, ISIS might be switched-on enough to try and optimize their S-60's performance- particularly if they were fearing airstrikes.

Equally, the UAV footage was clearly taken in an area where some sort of conflict was continuing; maybe the balloon was released by an artillery unit (like the WW2 one in the picture) not directly connected with the gunmen in the footage, but present in the region because of ongoing fighting.
I’ve found some other examples attached, all pre-1970’s it seems. Also, all seem to be latex - the image above does look slightly different, but I’m not sure it can be determined if it’s silver or not.
 

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just an idea, can we establish some information about the object based on the fact that no ground shadow is visible in the video? (at least i didn't see any)
 
just an idea, can we establish some information about the object based on the fact that no ground shadow is visible in the video? (at least i didn't see any)

Not a lot. We see the shadows are (conservatively) 50% of the height at the things casting it, which means the height of the object is at least 2x the distance from the object to the edge of the screen. maybe 50-100 feet very roughly.

The reaper is likely several thousand feet up, so it's not super significant. I think more calculation can be done though. I might Sitrec it.
 
Just throwing in my first thought here, as I see you are discussing if the Reaper /camera is moving in the beginning of the clip: I think the camera is moving slightly, compensating the movement of the Reaper. So when it pics up on the UAP moving in the oposite direction of the camera the sudden change of camera motion makes the movement of the ground to be much faster. Looks that way at least.
 
I genuinely see no issue as to why this cannot be considered some kind of high-tech classified spherical military drone. Similar things have been in development in Japan since 2010. There's no reason why a drone like the one shown in the video below cannot have been upgraded to a higher standard 12 years later in 2022.

 
I have seen complaints against the party-balloon argument claiming that there are no balloon stores in a war zone. Implying that a balloon would only be able to travel so far.

Any studies to show how far balloons can travel? (Sorry if already mentioned)

I know mylar balloons in my house have lasted for weeks. If they dont pop, the wind could take them hundreds if not thousands of miles.

What happens to balloons like this?:


Source: https://m.youtube.com/v/bM6jklf603E


Edit: I guess the argument against would be that even if a balloon could travel so far, the chances of it randomly intersecting the view of a reaper drone performing some covert military operation are astronomically low?
 
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The speed and beeline movement the object exhibits in the first 8 seconds of the video before parallax begins to take effect kind of leans me away from the balloon hypothesis.
Its speed? How much is that then, and how did you make the calculation?
 
Its speed? How much is that then, and how did you make the calculation?
I'm using the term 'speed' colloquially as we have no actually data on the video to be able to calculate the actual speed but it's more the horizontal beeline movement that makes me think it might be some kind of piloted drone. If it was a balloon carried by the wind we might expect to see some kind of slight left/right up/down motion that might be apparent if it was truly being carried by the breeze.

Towards the end of the clip you can kind of make out some kind of rotary motion that may suggest it's a balloon but because of the parallax it's hard to judge whether that's just a trick of the camera.
 
I'm using the term 'speed' colloquially as we have no actually data on the video to be able to calculate the actual speed but it's more the horizontal beeline movement that makes me think it might be some kind of piloted drone. If it was a balloon carried by the wind we might expect to see some kind of slight left/right up/down motion that might be apparent if it was truly being carried by the breeze.

Towards the end of the clip you can kind of make out some kind of rotary motion that may suggest it's a balloon but because of the parallax it's hard to judge whether that's just a trick of the camera.
Indeed. I wonder if we have enough data/video length to draw a conclusion.
 
Indeed. I wonder if we have enough data/video length to draw a conclusion.

The only tangible thing I could get from this video was that the wind was blowing quite aggressively to the left judging by motion of the dress of the woman who goes down to pick something up at the beginning of the clip.

The fabric on the building also moves very apparent so the wind was definitely strong on that day.


 
The speed and beeline movement the object exhibits in the first 8 seconds of the video before parallax begins to take effect...
Unless the drone is hovering at the start (as opposed to the drone flying along at speed, with the camera locked onto a spot on the ground) parallax is having an effect on the object from the first instant it is seen. This would cause the object to seem to zip across the ground because the camera is moving. Later, the camera moves to tracking the object, and the ground seems to be zipping past.

The object mat by hovering, or blowing in the wind, or under powered flight... either way, if the camera is moving and the object higher than ground level, then parallax is happening.
 
Unless the drone is hovering at the start (as opposed to the drone flying along at speed, with the camera locked onto a spot on the ground) parallax is having an effect on the object from the first instant it is seen. This would cause the object to seem to zip across the ground because the camera is moving. Later, the camera moves to tracking the object, and the ground seems to be zipping past.

The object mat by hovering, or blowing in the wind, or under powered flight... either way, if the camera is moving and the object higher than ground level, then parallax is happening.
I can only assume that the drone is hovering at the start and begins to move once it starts to follow the object. Is there any evidence that it is moving beforehand?
 
I can only assume that the drone is hovering at the start and begins to move once it starts to follow the object. Is there any evidence that it is moving beforehand?
I don't think that's a safe assumption. It is a possibillity, unless the drone is of the type that CANNOT hover. (I'll have to re-read the thread to see if we know the type of drone.) If the drone CAN hover, it MIGHT have been -- in which case I don't see much grounds for assuming it was or that it was not.

Edited to add:

reaper.jpg

If it was indeed a Reaper, it was not hovering.
 
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I don't think that's a safe assumption. It is a possibillity, unless the drone is of the type that CANNOT hover. (I'll have to re-read the thread to see if we know the type of drone.) If the drone CAN hover, it MIGHT have been -- in which case I don't see much grounds for assuming it was or that it was not.

Edited to add:

reaper.jpg

If it was indeed a Reaper, it was not hovering.

I think reapers are able to do a kind of circular hover or loitering I think it's called, where they make rings around a target, would this be enough to effect the parallax that drastically?
 
I think reapers are able to do a kind of circular hover or loitering I think it's called, where they make rings around a target, would this be enough to effect the parallax that drastically?
I'd think so, the camera is still moving across the ground, through the air at or above the minimum speed of the aircraft. But I'll yield to somebody who can demonstrate an orbiting drone would not creat parallax in a sitution where it flies over a balloon. I have certainly been wrong before! Once, I think... ;)
 
I'd think so, the camera is still moving across the ground, through the air at or above the minimum speed of the aircraft. But I'll yield to somebody who can demonstrate an orbiting drone would not creat parallax in a sitution where it flies over a balloon. I have certainly been wrong before! Once, I think... ;)

Indeed! I think I'm a prime example of why you need to read every post on a topic before you comment :cool:. After reading the posts on the first and second page where the reaper drone parallax issue is described in detail, it's changed my opinion a little. Could very well be a balloon in that case.
 
Not sure if this was brought up, but has anyone considered the abrupt changes in movement for the people on the ground as the object went by?
Would this still be in line with the parallax explanation? given that it must've been moving at speed to cause alarm.
Is it possible that the object itself is a spherical drone, with the blades obscured by motion blur?
 
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Not sure if this was brought up, but has anyone considered the abrupt changes in movement for the people on the ground as the object went by?
Would this still be in line with the parallax explanation? given that it must've been moving at speed to cause alarm.
I'm not entirely sure what you are saying here. Do you think that the people on the ground could see the 'balloon'/sphere or that they could see the US drone? It is difficult to know what they could see, or what they are reacting to, if anything.

I suspect, but can't prove, that the 'balloon' was stationary with respect to the local wind speed, and all its apparent movement was caused by the movement of the drone and the rather jerky tracking of the camera as the operator hunted for it. Of course the people on the ground would not have been able to see these jerky movements of the camera - if they saw anything, they would have seen the drone moving fairly smoothly in one direction, and the 'balloon' drifting in another.

It is entirely possible that the people shown in this brief clip had nothing to do with the launch of the 'balloon', and were as puzzled by it as we are, if they saw it at all.
 
Bellingcat managed to geolocate it, and also concluded a balloon was most likely.
Article:
Bellingcat geolocated the video to an area northeast of the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. The 25-second video begins at 35.369189, 40.332815 and ends at 35.374540, 40.339181, showing a group of buildings around 800 metres to the northeast.


That's about 100 miles from where I was looking.

Article:
A balloon is consistent with what we see in the video. They can be spherical, they can appear metallic (particularly those made of foil), and they can float in the air. According to the BBC Science Focus website, a helium balloon can float up to 10 kilometres – well below the operational ceiling of a Reaper drone.

Further supporting the balloon hypothesis is the video’s coinciding with Eid al-Adha, one of the two major holidays in Islam. The video is time-stamped July 12, 2022, the last day of the three-day holiday that year. Eid in Syria, as in other parts of the Muslim world, is celebrated with gifts, including balloons. Photos and videos from past Eid al-Adha celebrations in Damascus and Deir ez-Zor show balloons were present.



So, while it’s exciting to imagine a 30 centimetre-wide alien spacecraft flying around the Middle East, Occam’s razor suggests that perhaps we’re just looking at a party balloon.
 
Article:
According to the BBC Science Focus website, a helium balloon can float up to 10 kilometres – well below the operational ceiling of a Reaper drone.

What's the syllogism there? What other input to a logical argument combines with that such that we now conclude some other thing.
And I know you're not making the argument, you're quoting someone else's. I'm just curious what that other party thought they were doing.
 
From Nathan Patin (DM, shared with permission)

It was a team effort! Basically, it was background knowledge + brute force. It started off with: This is probably Syria or Iraq, leaning toward Syria because of press reports from around the same time period detailing Russian aircraft behavior toward Reapers as well as drone strikes. Those were all in northwestern Syria, but it looked more like eastern Syria to me. Flatter, sparser, etc. And then knowing that the border with Iraq was likely to be of interest to US military surveillance, I basically started poking around over there and liked what I saw:
MWZjdSae.jpg
I went to bed, and I woke up to find that my colleague nailed it just by brute force -- looking all around that area for what matched. It helped that another of colleagues made a massive (6175x9654 pixels) panorama from the video.
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I asked what tool they used for the panorama, it's this:
https://hdrmaps.com/blog/autopano-giga-is-now-free/
 
From the Bellingcat article posted by Mick above:

“This is a typical example of the thing we see most of,” [Sean Kirkpatrick] told attendees.

“We see these all over the world, making very interesting apparent manoeuvres.”

[jumping ahead to later in the article]

However, [Kirkpatrick] added the orb in the July 2022 video “demonstrated no enigmatic technical capabilities.”

Why was this video even picked and shown in the first place? Was this the best example of an orb "UFO" video they had?
 
One should expect from AARO not to present an object that is probably a mundane balloon in such a context. If you're Sean Kirkpatrick, you shouldn't claim that this video sequence doesn't provide any material for analysis. Can't they do it better or don't they want to do it better? Or is there an agenda behind it? These questions run across threads, making it difficult to have a rigorous discussion. I recently addressed the topic elsewhere. I have the impression that the users here just shrug their shoulders with a laconic “it is what it is” … and when something new comes along, you can get back to it. Resignation?
 
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