Multiple UFOs near Southampton airport (2005)

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.

If this same event (at 11:00 in this video) were witnessed at night by someone who was unaware that these were distant aircraft, we might get this kind of eye witness testimony:

One object on the left was moving fast, and about 5 others were just hovering. They were close, just a few hundred feet. They couldn't have been aircraft because there was no noise.

What's actually happening:
They are distant so what we hear are chirping birds, radio chatter and a still camera clicking. The helicopter on our left is traveling across our line of sight and the others are traveling along our line of sight, but they are all probably traveling at the same airspeed.

The next scene (11:10) might be described:
There were about 10 of them drifting very slowly to the left, just over the treetops on the edge of the meadow.

What's actually happening:
They are flying at speed toward a point somewhat to our left. At night witnesses might not notice the motion along their line of sight, but only notice the motion across their line of sight. They might believe these are small nearby objects drifting slowly sideways to the left.


These aircraft are distant, which is apparent in daylight but at night they would just be lights in a dark sky and may be misperceived as being smaller, closer objects. Because of parallax effects and perspective distortion, distant objects are liable to be perceived as moving in two dimensions - across our line of sight only, rather than in their true 3 dimensional motions. Motion along our line of sight is less apparent than motion across our line of sight.

A single witness or a small group at night in isolation (lonely, spooky setting) see lights in the sky doing odd things. They get spooked, which alters their perceptions, they want to believe they lived through a mysterious (entertaining) happening, etc.


Since the earliest days of the UFO era, all this has been a persistent problem.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Just as an example...

This is what I think is happening in this scene at 1:16 in the video:


There are 4 distant helicopters captured by a camera with a telephoto lens. I'll number them 1 to 4, from left to right.

Number One (left) is flying on a steady course toward a point to our left (diagonally to our line of sight) and leaves the frame. The light on its nose is fairly bright because it's kind of pointed at us.

Number Two (middle) makes a left turn and its light gets bright because its pointed at us. It continues to fly toward us, along our line of sight. In the daylight we would see it headed toward us, nose on.

Number Three and Number Four are flying formation, and are probably circling in a turn to their left. At first they are headed to our left. In the daylight we would see their left side. Their lights get bright as they point toward us in the turn, and then get dimmer as the turn continues. In the daylight we would see the left side of the aircraft, then see them nose on for a moment, and then see their right side as they moved off to our right. Circling, in other words.

Number Two then makes a right turn and leaves the frame, as Numbers Three and Four complete another circle... and a new helicopter light in the center becomes very bright as it turns nose on towards us...

Etc.

A naïve witness might perceive these maneuvers as purely lateral movements, like abacus beads on a wire. Or maybe as extremely tight turns.

I think we're just seeing distant helicopters do what helicopters do.
 
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SpOoKy777

Member
In support of the helicopter theory...:

There is a Royal Airforce station VERY close...
airforceStation.JPG
source: RAF station map

At first I thought that the country park area there is an odd place for military activity but the close airforce presence is interesting...
Also, 2005 was the year the London terror attacks took place (July 7th)...that could explain an out-of-the-ordinary exercise or operation in an otherwise uninteresting public nature park...
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
In support of the helicopter theory...:

There is a Royal Airforce station VERY close...
airforceStation.JPG
source: RAF station map

At first I thought that the country park area there is an odd place for military activity but the close airforce presence is interesting...
Also, 2005 was the year the London terror attacks took place (July 7th)...that could explain an out-of-the-ordinary exercise or operation in an otherwise uninteresting public nature park...
That's an Air Traffic Control 'squadron' at the Swanwick ATC centre. It's not an RAF station as you'd think.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Area_Control_Centre
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
There are 4 distant helicopters captured by a camera with a telephoto lens. I'll number them 1 to 4, from left to right.
I think that is a great description, my only question would be about the lens. If this is a security camera mounted on a pole or high up do you think it would actually be a wide-angle lens? In the first few seconds of the OP it looks like the camera is normally trained on the buildings and parking lot area, where I would think a wide-angle would cover as much possible. If anything, it would mean it's a lens much better suited to recording what's relatively close by, not miles in the distance.

A couple of other pulls from YouTube. This first one is from a conspiracy minded person worried about helicopters training over US cities because that means they are not training to go after terrorists. The screen grab is from ~1:57 in and notably, only 2 of the helicopters are using they're red flashing lights. So not all military craft always use the avoidance lights:

1649624445465.png
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi1p6SQds4c

Similarly, here is a grab from a story on ABC 7 in LA about military training going on in the city. There's not a lot of actual helicopter footage, but when there is, they often do not have their red flashing lights on.

1649624900381.png
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cISSyQkm1Ug

Even if the lights in the OP are helicopters and they did have their red flashers on, I doubt a security camera from 20 years ago would be able to capture them from that distance.
 

SpOoKy777

Member
That's an Air Traffic Control 'squadron' at the Swanwick ATC centre. It's not an RAF station as you'd think.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Area_Control_Centre
Whoops, ok I should've looked closer at the links in the map...thanks ;)

But there are more blips on the map...not as close but still in the area...a bit to the north-east near Basingstoke - > "RAF Odiham - in Hampshire is a front line support helicopter base working within the Joint Helicopter Command." (!)

And to the north-west near Amesbury -> "MOD Boscombe Down - is the tri-Service home of military aircraft Test & Evaluation and the Boscombe Down RAF Support Unit"

RAF Odiham might be more relevant...
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I think that is a great description, my only question would be about the lens. If this is a security camera mounted on a pole or high up do you think it would actually be a wide-angle lens? In the first few seconds of the OP it looks like the camera is normally trained on the buildings and parking lot area, where I would think a wide-angle would cover as much possible. If anything, it would mean it's a lens much better suited to recording what's relatively close by, not miles in the distance.
It's a PTZ - Pan-Tilt-Zoom Security Camera.


https://info.verkada.com/security-cameras/ptz-camera/
Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras are built with mechanical parts that allow them to swivel left to right, tilt up and down, and zoom in and out of a scene. They’re typically used to monitor wide open areas requiring a 180- or 360-degree view, and deployed in guard stations where active personnel can operate them through a remote camera controller.

They look like this now.

download (2).jpg




Our 2005 era one probably looked something like this one here.
download (3).jpg
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
It's a PTZ - Pan-Tilt-Zoom Security Camera.
Not disagreeing with you, but in the first 30 seconds, it sure doesn't seem to move like an electro-mechanically operated camera. It's movements are very coarse and clunky.

It looks more like someone swinging a camera around on a tripod and manually adjusting the zoom.

Assuming the PTZ camera can pan and zoom that fast, it at least looks like the person operating it from a control room, is not very skilled.

But the guy making the post claims that he sat down and operated the CCTV, so we'll go with it.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
I think that is a great description, my only question would be about the lens. If this is a security camera mounted on a pole or high up do you think it would actually be a wide-angle lens?
Looks like the horizontal FOV is initially around 50°, then it zooms to 15° or thereabouts for the remainder of the video. When you check the 2004 and 2005 coverage in GE you can trace the camera to a lamppost and draw line of sights from there, though the zoomed in part is somewhat tricky to nail down since there's not a whole lot to go on there.
 

johne1618

Active Member
I think the camera is in the red circle

Screenshot 2022-04-11 191221.jpg

Oct 2008 street view of camera. I think the camera needs to be small as it pans 60 degrees in 2 seconds.

Screenshot 2022-04-11 185911.jpg
 
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johne1618

Active Member
The temperature on the night of Aug 26th/27th, 2005 was 57 deg F (14 deg C).

This would be considered a warm (though not hot) summer night in the UK. I think atmospheric phenomena like superior mirages would be very unusual over the Hampshire countryside.

Screenshot 2022-04-10 075719.jpg
Source: https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/gb/southampton/EGHI/date/2005-8-26

I have calculated the average night temperature for the month of July during the 2021 British Isles heatwave in Southampton as 57.7 deg F (14.3 deg C). Therefore the night temperature on Aug 26th/27th, 2005 of 57 deg F (14 deg C) is close to the average night temperature on a warm summer night in Southampton, UK.

Source: https://in-the-sky.org/skymap.php?n...PLlimitmag=2&zoom=169&ra=3.44621&dec=26.20597
 
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johne1618

Active Member
The original video starts off in color and then switches to black and white at around 0:08 secs. A bright light on the runway to the right of the picture turns from yellow to white. I don’t know if the camera operator manually switched between color/b&w modes or perhaps some low light b&w mode turned on automatically.
 
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Ravi

Senior Member.
The original video starts off in color and then switches to black and white at around 0:08 secs. A bright light on the runway to the right of the picture turns from yellow to white. I don’t know if the camera operator manually switched between color/b&w modes or perhaps some low light b&w mode turned on automatically.
No too certain that is the case. After 8 seconds, there is no coloured object or light in view anymore, so hard to say it is switched to B&W. I don't expect it to be switched.

EDIT. I watched it 10x and I am now agreeing the yellow light turns white.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
I think that confirms the large bright object above the UFOs as the moon

1649777474670.png
That object seems to move in a similar fashion to the other bright dots so I don't think it's the Moon? Which begs the question, if that's not the Moon, where is it? Behind clouds? Just outside the frame? Is the date or the time wrong?
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
That light is only in frame from 0:12 to 0:44. But it does move during that time. To our right. Put your cursor on it. It also doesn't look as I would expect even a crescent Moon to look. So not the Moon.

The Moon at that time was at an altitude of 7 degrees 28 minutes. Before the camera zooms in, I think we would see it. However, it may be out of frame to our right. Hard to tell. High overcast? Maybe.
 
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Ravi

Senior Member.
The Moon at that time was at an altitude of 7 degrees 28 minutes. Before the camera zooms in, I think we would see it. However, it may be out of frame to our right. Hard to tell. High overcast? Maybe.
I think overcast. Otherwise at least some bright stars would have popped up in the field with this IR cam.
 

johne1618

Active Member
I’ve raised a Freedom of Information request with the Hampshire Constabulary to find out if there was any police activity near Southampton Airport on the night of 26th/27th August 2005.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/police_activity_near_southampton

The Hampshire police response:
Hampshire Constabulary can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any information relating to your request as the duty in s1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply, by virtue of the following exemptions: Section 31(3) Law enforcement.
Source:https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/853581/response/2042454/attach/3/HC 001020 22 John Eastmond.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

They explain that Section 31 allows data to be held back on grounds that making public the conditions under which police use drones/helicopters would harm covert investigations and compromise law enforcement.

Confirming or denying the specific circumstances in which the police service may or may not deploy drones/helicopters, would lead to an increase of harm to covert investigations and compromise law enforcement. This would be to the detriment of providing an efficient policing service and a failure in providing a duty of care to all members of the public.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
This was just posted on Twitter showing an updated video showings "10x timelapse move with 100 frame contrail mode turned on. Notice the trails occur on the same paths and stop at the same place in repeating patterns."

Source: https://twitter.com/gangatoday1/status/1578112267266277376?t=6X9mVDrtxaL4g1eqk5LgHQ&s=09
The repetition of motion looks exactly like what you'd expect of lights on a highway (running across the field of view) with a perpendicular approaching street. It doesn't appear to show any paired vehicle headlights, but that may have been due to poor camera resolution or because they're "lost in the glare". I lean toward the superior mirage hypothesis.

(After watching this it also reminds me of traffic reflections on a curved glass surface, such as you'd see on a car windshield. That would give that "zooming offstage" appearance.)
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
"same place" (see the twitter text) seems also to be a subjective term. I checked the lights in the video using my mouse and, nope, they do not occur in the same place.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
"same place" (see the twitter text) seems also to be a subjective term. I checked the lights in the video using my mouse and, nope, they do not occur in the same place.

[em]The[/em] twitter text? Which twitter text? Twitter refuses to send anything to my browser (this is a fair trade, I refuse to run any of its javascript, or store any of its cookies), and when I pop up the most recent twitter link via the "privacy redirect" plugin, all I see is this:
Xscreenshot.8.png
No "same place" in that tweet. Which tweet did you mean?

The whole tweet embedding mechanism makes a total farce of the "no click" quoting policy. The posts [em]do not[/em] contain the quoted material, they merely link to them. Heck - that surely means they [em]violate[/em] the quoting policy. Even the images on the page are deep-linked, and twitter could change them at any time in the future.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
all I see is this:
Xscreenshot.8.png
No "same place" in that tweet. Which tweet did you mean?
the one that begins where you stopped scrolling
SmartSelect_20221011-201859_Samsung Internet.jpg
twitter tends to give the earlier tweet in a chain as bonus when you link to a response
and that earlier tweet (with the indent line down the left side) is the one you looked at
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Notice the trails occur on the same paths and stop at the same place in repeating patterns.

Near an airport, wouldn't you expect air traffic to be flying repeats of the same flight paths over and overr again, with landing lights on?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Near an airport, wouldn't you expect air traffic to be flying repeats of the same flight paths over and overr again, with landing lights on?
Holding patterns are indeed often racetrack-shaped.

OTOH I'd expect pilots to know that.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
twitter tends to give the earlier tweet in a chain as bonus when you link to a response
and that earlier tweet (with the indent line down the left side) is the one you looked at

Yikes, so it's a feature? And probably a bug, as there was no fragment in the URL, so no way someone unfamiliar with vagaries of twitter would know which tweet to look at.
(And I didn't do any scrolling, so I didn't stop scrolling - I didn't know I was supposed to scroll in the first place!)
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Just throwing this out there. From post #24 @flarkey suggested that this is the line of sight for the camera:

1665530832389.png

Looking out over Itchen Valley Country park. Located in the park is a Go Ape zipline and tree climbing adventure:

1665530945701.png

Go Ape includes "Sundown Sessions":

Source: https://youtu.be/ThipiDPoZwg


So, people running around in the treetops at night and going down zip lines. The above video has lots of colored LED lighting, but I don't know what it would have looked like back in '05. I'm not even sure this park existed back in '05:

The first course opened in March 2002 in Thetford Forest, on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk; it was the first self-belay tree top ropes course in Britain.[2] In 2003, the company won a Best Tourist Attraction award[2] and has also won other awards.[3] In 2007, it was shortlisted for the Best Norfolk Attraction award at the Tourism In Norfolk Awards.[4] In 2008 the company opened new courses in Kent, Cumbria, Devon, Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire.[5]
Content from External Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Ape#cite_note-4

Just a thought.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
I'm not even sure this park existed back in '05:
Neat idea but it looks like it didn't exist at the time.


The proposed Go Ape facility at Itchen Valley Park has been given the go ahead by Eastleigh Borough Council planners.
[...]
It is envisaged that work on the high wire adventure course and parking improvements will commence in Autumn 2010 with a view that the facilities will be open to the public in Spring 2011.
Content from External Source
https://web.archive.org/web/2011101....uk/the-council/news/go-ahead-for-go-ape.aspx


EDIT: Actually this recent talk reminds me, if you look at 05-ish imagery on Google Earth you'll spot what looks like a BMX track or some such a mile or so to the east of the airport. I didn't mention it because I thought it was really out there but maybe some gnarly dudes with high power headlights doing laps on an undulating course? Just throwing it out there.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
Neat idea but it looks like it didn't exist at the time.


The proposed Go Ape facility at Itchen Valley Park has been given the go ahead by Eastleigh Borough Council planners.
[...]
It is envisaged that work on the high wire adventure course and parking improvements will commence in Autumn 2010 with a view that the facilities will be open to the public in Spring 2011.
Content from External Source
https://web.archive.org/web/2011101....uk/the-council/news/go-ahead-for-go-ape.aspx


EDIT: Actually this recent talk reminds me, if you look at 05-ish imagery on Google Earth you'll spot what looks like a BMX track or some such a mile or so to the east of the airport. I didn't mention it because I thought it was really out there but maybe some gnarly dudes with high power headlights doing laps on an undulating course? Just throwing it out there.
Could also be a scrambler motorbike track
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Neat idea but it looks like it didn't exist at the time.
Ah well, I couldn't seem to find a timeline for that particular Go Ape park. It was still a long shot as the lights appear to be above the tree line. As much as it looks like cars, or bikes or motorcycles going around on a track, there still up in the air, or appear to be.

If flarky's right about the direction the camera is looking, or even just close, it looks out over the Itchen river. That should be the lowest point in the field of view. Not being from anywhere near Southhampton, I don't know if the landscape rises up quite a bit from the river so that an elevated camera at the airport could look over the trees and see lights, car or otherwise, in the distance. Thus, making it look like the lights are over the trees.

Back to the helicopter training theory.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
Yeah, I don't find the headlights theory particularly convincing myself. Model airplanes are still my no 1 candidate.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Yeah, I don't find the headlights theory particularly convincing myself. Model airplanes are still my no 1 candidate.
When looking at the patterns the lights make, there seems to be "abrupt" turns (not entirely possible to observe). This might indicate a turning aircraft, but taking a rather small radius of turn.. This might point to smaller/slower planes: ac planes.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I wonder what that timelapse looks like with the lights mirrored and inverted and the ground as is..
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
This is a frustrating case. The lights to the right certainly appear to be moving in some sort of repeated pattern. I still think it looks like cars driving head long towards the camera then making a left-hand turn. The other lights look like cars, or a train, traveling along from right to left. But it's all up in the air above the trees, so that doesn't seem to work.

Mr. Wolf's helicopter training seemed to make sense, however, when looking again, the helos would have to have been just past the airport over the county park. Here's a screen grab of light hitting the tree tops:

1665681644319.png

If that's actually a search light hitting the treetops, it would have to be these trees that are very close to the airport, or possible the trees further out next to the Itchen river:

1665681840106.png


In either case, that puts the training flights right over the county park.

Flarky has located the camera at the south end of the airport. As the camera swings to the right, it picks up a bright light that should be the area circled on this map, before swinging back left so that the light is just out of view to the right:

1665682484094.png1665682542470.png

That would put the line of sight something like this, right. Depending on the field of view:

1665682710815.png


The only other thing of interest in this area that may be up in the air is the High Wood Reservoir in the park. Aside from this Google street view picture, I can't find any info about this thing. Could there have been people walking around on top of it with flashlights?

1665682983099.png
1665683018112.png
1665683096778.png
1665683129487.png

It has guard cables, at least now, so presumably people can walk on it. Just grasping at straws, I know, but leave no stone unturned.
 
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