Mosul "Sphere"

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Mosul Orb No Watermark. png.png
Article:
The image, captured in April 2016 by an intelligence-reconnaissance plane, was included in a classified briefing video on UFOs shown to multiple US government agencies.

The briefing video describes it as a 'short clip of an unidentified flying orb that appears to have a metallic shine on its surface', and shows the strange object flying over the city of Mosul in northern Iraq with the background of the shot showing the streets below.


Lack of focus at 1500mm focal length (very powerful zoom, maye 1° FOV), suggests it's not near the ground.
Specular highlight suggests a metallic sphere, such as metal-coated mylar.
Not falling suggests a balloon.
Reported motion suggests parallax illusion, but verbal descriptions are not much to by.
But it also looks kinda like a water drop.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Interesting that the 2018 aerial image has a dark patch in the same place relative to the building and road. Could that just be something reflecting sunlight? I guess we'll await further frames to see what kind of movement occurs.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
But it also looks kinda like a water drop.
It certainly does, but since they've chosen to present only a single still image of what is described as a "short clip", it puts it into the Low Information Zone in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to sensationalize it without providing enough info to debunk it. So I considered the source. Is it worth trying to debunk this unless we get the entire video clip?
  • Overall, we rate Daily Mail Right Biased and Questionable due to numerous failed fact checks and poor information sourcing.
FDBE457B-9816-4668-A0DC-B6AF9F63A117.jpeg
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-mail/
 
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flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Some have suggested that this might be a puddle reflecting water and saturating the camera. There seems to be water on the ground near the 'sphere' that is draining from the house with the angled roof. However looking at the shadows I dont think a direct reflection works with the location of the sun. Direction at the top of the image is 102°.


1674567447198.png
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Some have suggested that this might be a puddle reflecting water and saturating the camera. There seems to be water on the ground near the 'sphere' that is draining from the house with the angled roof. However looking at the shadows I dont think a direct reflection works with the location of the sun. Direction at the top of the image is 102°.


1674567447198.png
Video would show if this is the case for sure, depending going tracking going on.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Interesting that the 2018 aerial image has a dark patch in the same place relative to the building and road. Could that just be something reflecting sunlight? I guess we'll await further frames to see what kind of movement occurs.
and its circular when zoomed in too
1674569649123.png
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Interesting that the 2018 aerial image has a dark patch in the same place relative to the building and road. Could that just be something reflecting sunlight? I guess we'll await further frames to see what kind of movement occurs.
The dark patch appears to me to be just a dark vehicle turning into or backing out of a garage. It's comparable in size to other cars parked along the road. It looks as if it's a little bit wider, but the shadows would make a dark car appear so.
459133E1-5DBF-4827-83AB-FBFED78A368C.png
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The dark patch appears to me to be just a dark vehicle turning into or backing out of a garage. It's comparable in size to other cars parked along the road.
i thought that too but in 2021 theres another, at neighbor, about hte same size (although not "parked" in the middle of the road. ) dumpsters with tarps over top, come to mind... or trucks delivering trees/mulch? when our guys deliver mulch they dump it in a pile wherever then put a tarp on top. not that it looks like a place that would utilize mulch...just throwing out ideas to see if it sparks something for someone.
1674572289984.png
Screenshot 2023-01-24 093704.png

somethings at the neighbors in 2017 too (weird neighborhood!)
1674572529219.png
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
On 16 April 2016 Mosul was still under ISIL (ISIS) control. In addition to ISR, the US was at the time carrying out airstrikes against ISIL targets. Mosul was liberated in July 2017.

A metallic colour balloon seems like an odd sighting indeed in Mosul, Iraq, in 2016. Be what it may, even decorative metallic balloons do exist and can be purchased from online stores in many countries.

C7A215D8-64EB-4EDC-AB81-58C0C80D3B3A.jpeg
 

Henkka

Banned
Banned
It certainly does, but since they've chosen to present only a single still image of what is described as a "short clip", it puts it into the Low Information Zone in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to sensationalize it without providing enough info to debunk it. So I considered the source. Is it worth trying to debunk this unless we get the entire video clip?
  • Overall, we rate Daily Mail Right Biased and Questionable due to numerous failed fact checks and poor information sourcing.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-mail/
I mean they say in the article that the one image is all they have. It's not like they have the full clip, but are withholding it for some reason. If they had the full clip, they would certainly release it, as it would probably get more clicks than just a blurry photo.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
And yet even stranger things are true as regards ISIS.

Article:
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces battling against the ISIS in northern Iraq caught a rather unusual sight of a bunch of helium filled balloons featuring children's favourite animated character Dora the explorer.

After shooting a bunch of these balloons down, they discovered that the ISIS militants were using the balloons as a spying tool
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not convinced it's a sphere (hence "sphere" now in quotes in the thread title). Nor am I convinced it's particulalry shiny. The camera is saturated white on the white roof and the streetlamp. And the highlight on the object is not circular 2023-01-24_08-30-55.jpg

Adding hyper-contrast to the object seem to show an irregular shaped bright spot with a regular glare around it, then the darker blob behind it is very irregular.


If it's a shiny sphere high in the sky, then what is the irregular dark pattern? Mosul is on a flat plain, so you'd expect reflected blue sky and and clean horizon line.

Reflection off a car window has been suggested. Possibly a moving one (hence alleged movement in the video). But the shape seems too blobby compared to the car behind it (which you can just see the front of). But the size isn't too bad.
2023-01-24_08-41-19.jpg

It's going to be difficult to get much further than the suggestions in this thread without video.
 

RTM

Member
Was just going to say it looks more like a rounded triangle to me, the lower right side almost looks almost straight (and parallel to the street).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Jeremy Corbell, self-proclaimed "UFOlogist", claims to have a four second clip, but appears to be showing just one frame as a teaser for his YouTube videos.
I don't think he claims to have the video, just the still. From his podcast:
https://www.weaponizedpodcast.com/
Corbell:

Yeah, this is an image taken over northern Iraq. And you know, this is fine to put out the image itself, and then I have some detailed information about it. But here's the very basics. This is in the UFO category within our intelligence community. This is an example of one of the UFOs that our military and intelligence community is looking at. It's just one of many images. This one is actually a stilll from a video. It's a brief video, maybe four seconds, where this orb or this metallic looking ball runs alongside a spy plane. And it is shown in this footage moving alongside the plane without dropping an altitude at all. I don't know if it is a UFO or what a UFO is. It's unidentified, but this is within. I don't know how to say this. This is within. This is part of the conversation of our intelligence community. This is an example of what they're looking at.
...
Look, there's no one piece of evidence or footage that is groundbreaking, especially still imagery. But I wanted people today to have a sense of some of the stuff that we're going to be releasing on this podcast.
And again, this is a reconnaissance plane in northern Iraq. And this is from a four second video where this metallic sphere moves alongside the craft without any descent, any falling in any way. And this is one of the pieces of video and photographic evidence that is within the intelligence community saying this is a UFO, we caught one, what can we determine from it, and there's just so much of this stuff. You'll never see this in the public realm other than right here.

Content from External Source
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
@jackfrostvc

I have been able to calculate the aircraft position

1674659013156.png

Range to Aircraft position is 5.8 km on a bearing of 282 from position 36.32755 43.18434

Using the Haversine formula...

https://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html

1674658571499.png
Aircraft position is DMS 36° 20′ 18″ N, 043° 07′ 16″ E Altitude 19400 ft,

= 36.3383 43.1208

https://www.latlong.net/c/?lat=36.33833333&long=43.12083333

Edit 1 - corrected the aircraft alt to be Height above ground ( ie 19403 -720 = 18683 ft)
Edit 2 - corrected faulty maths
 
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flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
@Anabatic Stupid question. You have the time as 12:47 UTC+3.. but the screen shot says 9:47

There's no stupid questions here my friend. I'll explain.... 12:47 in a UTC+3 Timezone (ie Mosul Local Time) is 9.47 in UTC. The Screen shot shows 9.47 UTC+0.0. Apologies - If I knew how to set the UTC offset in SunCalc.org to zero I would have done :p

1674686407591.png
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
If the object is spherical, wouldn't you expect some sun reflection to shine towards the plane given the sun position. ?
Sun coming in from high on right side roughly onto the a spherical object, with plane high in a 5 oclock position.

Dont know about the rough of the carport or whatever that is. Maybe it's corrogated with a waving corrugation that m,ight shine towards the camera, or maybe it's angled toward that way
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I mostly agree with @LilWabbit, but here's a picture of drops on a window that demonstrate my only problem with that. I chose this picture because we can clearly see where the light's coming from. But each of these clearly show that the image is inverted, regardless of their apparent position relative to the sun. Isn't the highlight on the orb behaving differently, no matter how out of focus it is? What am I getting wrong about reflections in a water drop?B9299EDE-21A0-41F8-A9F2-FCED7E511107.jpeg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Water droplet near the camera lens gets my vote as of now.

Compare this:

D9055CC4-4830-4E42-B3BA-85C32496687C_4_5005_c.jpeg

To this:

60B5F4D6-2025-4F15-9CAE-42C4E7450E96.jpeg
It certainly looks rather like it, but the big problem is focus. it seems implausible that a drop would be that much in focus when zoomed in so much and focussed on the background miles away (essentially at infinity)
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
It certainly looks rather like it, but the big problem is focus. it seems implausible that a drop would be that much in focus when zoomed in so much and focussed on the background miles away (essentially at infinity)

Yeah, the relative focus on the object suggests it's closer to the focussed ground than the camera. Unless the camera system used, or Corbell and crew for that matter, have digitally 'sharpened' the image to some extent, causing other artifacts too.

The latter wouldn't be a shocker.
 

humansareindef1

New Member
Hey there, some more details:

The footage is from a USAF MC-12 twin turbo prop reconnaissance aircraft using a FLIR Star SAFIRE 380 imaging package. The camera is at 60x zoom, and can simultaneously record color CCD, midwave IR at 3-5 micrometer wavelength, and shortwave IR low light at 1080p. Given the focal length, a water droplet can be ruled out as the edge definition is too high.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Hey there, some more details:

The footage is from a USAF MC-12 twin turbo prop reconnaissance aircraft using a FLIR Star SAFIRE 380 imaging package. The camera is at 60x zoom, and can simultaneously record color CCD, midwave IR at 3-5 micrometer wavelength, and shortwave IR low light at 1080p. Given the focal length, a water droplet can be ruled out as the edge definition is too high.

What about digital image sharpening?
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Some have suggested that this might be a puddle reflecting water and saturating the camera. There seems to be water on the ground near the 'sphere' that is draining from the house with the angled roof. However looking at the shadows I dont think a direct reflection works with the location of the sun. Direction at the top of the image is 102°.

So, it can't be a puddle with a reflection? As you noted it sure looks like there was water that ran across the sidewalk and then down the gutter:



And it seems like the sidewalk/gutter line runs through the edge of the blob:

1674767718391.png

I'm thinking it looks like the edge of the blob goes from dry light-colored asphalt, to darker at the edge where the road is still wet and then the darker part that is actual standing water:

1674772994175.png

Am I mistaken that the sun is coming from this direction looking at the shadows?

1674772426234.png

Could there be a low spot on in the street where just enough water collected to create a dark spot or blob and then reflect the sun? And the reflection would appear to move across the surface of the puddle as the plane flew by, assuming it moves in the video or there is an actual video.

Or would the sun angle make the reflection in a different direction and therefore not able to be seen even if it was a puddle?
 

humansareindef1

New Member
So, it can't be a puddle with a reflection? As you noted it sure looks like there was water that ran across the sidewalk and then down the gutter:



And it seems like the sidewalk/gutter line runs through the edge of the blob:

1674767718391.png

I'm thinking it looks like the edge of the blob goes from dry light-colored asphalt, to darker at the edge where the road is still wet and then the darker part that is actual standing water:

1674772994175.png

Am I mistaken that the sun is coming from this direction looking at the shadows?

1674772426234.png

Could there be a low spot on in the street where just enough water collected to create a dark spot or blob and then reflect the sun? And the reflection would appear to move across the surface of the puddle as the plane flew by, assuming it moves in the video or there is an actual video.

Or would the sun angle make the reflection in a different direction and therefore not able to be seen even if it was a puddle?
The contrast difference between the dark part of the asphalt (assumed wet) and the object shadow is a pretty well-defined shift and not a gradual darkening into the object. To me, it looks like a diffused shadow from the sunlight angle.
 

humansareindef1

New Member
By the way, I'm sorry to pry, but how did you come by this information?

If accurate, I hope you're aware you're likely sharing classified information on intelligence capabilities.
You can look at photos of the MC-12, and then compare its FLIR pod and front lens configuration to the various military law enforcement models they have on the Teledyne FLIR website...current versions are the Star SAFIRE 380X and 380HDc. Technical specification sheet is available as well.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
You can look at photos of the MC-12, and then compare its FLIR pod and front lens configuration to the various military law enforcement models they have on the Teledyne FLIR website...current versions are the Star SAFIRE 380X and 380HDc. Technical specification sheet is available as well.
Can you provide a link?
 

humansareindef1

New Member
Can you provide a link?

CORRECTION: I found a video where a camera crew was allowed to film inside the cockpit during a mission in Afghanistan...https://youtu.be/xQDmt4CiY2I

System is called a L3Harris Wescam MX-25D. Very similar capabilities to the FLIR system. Bottom line, very sharp imaging. Here's the tech sheet.
 

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DrestinBlack

New Member
While searching for information on the MC-12 Liberty aircraft I found this link: https://www.beale.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2000107177/mediaid/296321/ which indicates the use of the WESCAM MX-15 EO/IR system on that plane.

I found a link to the MX-15 system here: https://www.l3harris.com/all-capabilities/wescam-mx-15-air-surveillance-and-reconnaissance also from L3 Harris.

Of course neither tell us that that was the particular combination in use for the still in question but I did find confirmation that the MC-12s were at least initially equipped with the MX-15 via this link: https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/mc-liberty/
 
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