NYT: GIMBAL Video of U.S. Navy Jet Encounter with Unknown Object

igoddard

Active Member
Here's an exercise in trying to simulate / illustrate a few of the shapes (on right) that rotate in the background (on left), which we've called 'bands'...



One of the rotating shapes, the most prominent, appears in the upper left corner and seems to be a portion of a large ovoid shape. The other shapes are very amorphous and virtually impossible to illustrate, but we can still see them. There's a distinct impression of a square shape in the center, which I've partially simulated. The motivation for this is to try to quantify the rotating 'bands' as the only thing that bugs me about this evidence is the "Can you see it?" aspect of it. It's really, imo, a proof of Mick's initial hypothesis.
 

igoddard

Active Member
A little more detail added to the patterns and then run for a loop with only the simulated patterns...



It's hardly perfect, but I hope it conveys the 'gist' of the background pattern rotations. If you watch the original image on the left, you can see by peripheral-vision reference the right frame and thereby see what we're talking about in the original.
 

Getoffthisplanet

Active Member
It's hardly perfect, but I hope it conveys the 'gist' of the background pattern rotations.

Very nice.

Someone suggested regarding Gimbal: "The noise in the video that looks similar to rotation is most likely a compresion artifact which recalculates every time the object moves or changes shape, because the speed of the object also changes so new keyframes for the codec that compressed the video will recalculate the image. You can try this yourself if you want, this is probably h.264."

I created a quick and silly animation to hunt for any artificating that looked close to the suggestion.

The first render to h.264 I used a bitrate of 1500 kb/s, then I took that mp4 and re-encoded it to 750 kb/s, then took that and re-encoded it to 325 kb/s and so on down to 175 kb/s (the lowest h.264 setting Adobe Media Encoder allows). Then for good measure, I re-encoded the 175 again at 175 kb/s.

175 kb/s mp4 converted to an animated gif for forum (mp4 is attached):

gimbal_mockup_175kbps.gif

While I don't really see any rotating compression artifacts on the h.264 mp4, I did just notice some artificating (below the object and above the clouds when the rotation changes) in the animated gif.

While not likely to the degree seen in the 12.4 Mb/s original, but since there is no chain of command and we have no idea how many times or in what ways this video has been encoded and re-encoded, is it possible the banding rotation is caused by compression artifacts?
 

Attachments

  • gimbal_mockup_175kbps.mp4
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
is it possible the banding rotation is caused by compression artifacts?
No, that does not make any sense. An object rotating in the middle of the screen is not going to cause shapes to move in the corners of the image. Compression algorithms deal with local changes - i.e. changes within a region. The motion of the clouds is vastly more significant than the rotation of the object.

Nice mockup!
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
Yeah you should add some grain/banding to the the sky above the clouds in your mockup and retry the compression testing, it should show the true effect of compression artifacts as they handle noise poorly. Someone claiming the above would need to provide evidence as as Mick says compression normally affects blocks of the video differently.
 

Getoffthisplanet

Active Member
Compression algorithms deal with local changes - i.e. changes within a region.

Nice mockup!

Thank you, sir.

Yeah, video\image compression has been an enemy of mine for longer than I care to admit. And while I know enough, I know that I don't know enough to completely discount the possibility of some sort of compression artifacting without consulting people who might know more than I do.

I mean, I have a glancing understanding of macroblocking which is probably enough to know that the rotation of the small thing likely wouldn't cause rotating artifacts across the entire frame.

But, the ignorance of the vocal arrogant was still enough to cause a second guess.

jarimai, I did have some fractal noise in there on the cloud layer, but for some reason I thought that might be cheating somehow so I removed it. I'll try it again.

Agent K, I think you're right. I'll change up the cloud layer and see what happens.

Ok, two more things. I thought I asked here, or maybe not. What's supposed to be causing these rotating bands?

Maybe I read or watched, or simply just assumed, that it was the result of the rotating glass/plexiglass lens covering/housing over the camera.

But then why aren't similar rotating bands as apparent at the end of the video when the object's illusory rotation is more severe?
 

igoddard

Active Member
What's supposed to be causing these rotating bands?

Maybe I read or watched, or simply just assumed, that it was the result of the rotating glass/plexiglass lens covering/housing over the camera.
The analysis I posted suggests to me that the cause is somewhat complex. The 'bands' are more complex than could easily be attributed simply to rotation of one surface like the plexiglass covering the housing window. Note especially the ovoid-like shape in the upper left, its rotation is not smooth and is not perfectly aligned with the rotation of the other shapes. And there are 'bands' in a number of directions, not all of which are consistently visible during all phases of rotation. So the exact cause(s) may involve influences of more than one surface.

My generalized causal description would be: we're seeing artifacts of mechanical rotations in the optical system. I don't think we need to parse the cause(s) much finer than that. The thermal signature rotates precisely with these optical rotations, and so its rotation is manifestly an artifact of those mechanical rotations.
 

igoddard

Active Member
But then why aren't similar rotating bands as apparent at the end of the video when the object's illusory rotation is more severe?
The 'bands' do rotate at the end, but the rotation at the end so much less it's not very noticeable. The biggest bump to the whole scene (and thus to the camera) occurs at the end, but not the greatest rotation. Measuring in my editing program, the rotation over the time frame I spiced out above is ~90˚, whereas the rotation at the final big-bump moment is just ~25˚.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What's supposed to be causing these rotating bands?
Some combination of internal reflections and possibly sensor nonuniformities that escaped nonuniformity correction.
Internal reflections seem the most plausible to me. This might be another interesting thing to try to simulate. However the light path of the camera system is more complex than your average camera, with much more possibilities of odd reflections. I wonder if shooting though a small periscope might provide some useful comparisons.
 

igoddard

Active Member
Here's a degrees-of-rotation analysis. The banding in the background seems to rotate slightly less overall than the target, but that ovoid shape in the upper corner is pretty clearly seen to do the same 90˚ of rotation, albeit it rotates in a somewhat different fashion. I'd surmise that the slight difference is down to the fuzziness of the bands, or in other words, I'd say the difference is reasonably not statistically significant.



The most important fact is that all the rotations start and stop simultaneously, and there are three separate phases of rotation in this slice of the footage. That indicates a common cause.
 

Gerard

Member
I've been away from this discussion for a while and may not be fully up to date on everything but igoddard's work with the rotations certainly looks like strong evidence that the rotation effect is coming from the camera side.

One thing I'm wondering about are the differences between the white-hot and the black-hot sections of the video. The shape of the object looks significantly different between these two sections and the pixel values are different as well.

Examples:

frame 100:
obj100.png

frame 700:
obj700.png


In the black-hot frames most object pixels are fully saturated (ie. 0) while in the white-hot frames they are not. An example value is 162 (out of 255 max).

I wouldn't normally expect switching between white-hot and black-hot modes to cause changes like these. Any thoughts on what might be going on ?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
frame 100:


frame 700:

There's two things. Firstly those frames are really far apart. If you want to compare the modes, then do it when the camera actually switches.
Metabunk 2019-08-07 07-55-13.jpg

Secondly, the white hot is NOT just an inverted black hot image. If we invert frame 372, we get:
Metabunk 2019-08-07 07-57-26.jpg

So it seems clear that brightness and contrast adjustments, are done after the raw image is inverted.

And if you try to force the image more towards the same brightness curve, you'll see the shape has not really changed at all.
Metabunk 2019-08-07 07-59-17.jpg
 

igoddard

Active Member
I've been away from this discussion for a while and may not be fully up to date on everything but igoddard's work with the rotations certainly looks like strong evidence that the rotation effect is coming from the camera side.
Thanks Gerard! I'm just exploring further into Mick's observation of 'bands' across the background that rotate in coordination with the thermal signal of the Gimbal target...

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't suppose you'd know how those parameters are defined in the software you're using in terms of their effect at the pixel level ?

I'm writing some analysis code for this video and that's one effect I'd like to replicate.
No, it's just Photoshop CC, and the standard Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.
 

TheoryQED

Member
Hi, I'm new here and joined because I was invited and I want to participate in this great conversation. Firstly, I would like to ask why the audio has been omitted from the debunking video. The aviators mention that there is an entire fleet of objects and that they are all flying against the wind. Leaving out this crucial audio seems analogous to a police officer investigating a crash with the audio turned off or only using short parts of it, which isn't a good idea in my opinion because it contains important details about the event that should all be taken into consideration. "There's a whole fleet of them!" is stated by the pilots in the original video and it is completely ignored by this hypothesis as far as I can tell.
Is there any explanation or proposed hypothesis for what the fleet of smaller objects flying in formation were? Or can we just simply dismiss this claim entirely because we can't see that in the video, other than the audio?

Dave Falch the FLIR expert cited by Mick West seems to disagree with the proposed hypothesis of a jet exhaust and glare rotation. In my opinion, for the exhaust to create that shape it would need to be extremely out of focus to be so distorted into a blob like we saw with his F-4 phantom video. So even though a military grade camera can explain the additional clarity and crispness of the image, it also shows that the object is clearly in focus because a DSLR is just as blurry as a phone camera when they are both out of focus.

Mick West made a video including a graph of the Gimbal object and the jet with their relative positions called "GIMBAL UFO Need Not Be Moving" but my question is, how can an airplane stay motionless at a completely fixed position? My understanding is that the Gimbal object needs to be far away from the clouds and much closer to the jet than the clouds for the parallax effect to be so pronounced.

Lastly, is it clear why this video doesn't have the RNG or range finder distance visible on screen for Gimbal like it was for Go Fast?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Or can we just simply dismiss this claim entirely because we can't see that in the video, other than the audio?
The audio of "a fleet" refers to something not on the video. I'm analyzing what is on the video.

In my opinion, for the exhaust to create that shape it would need to be extremely out of focus to be so distorted into a blob like we saw with his F-4 phantom video.

Here's actual FLIR video, of the same two jets at different zoom levels. When the just are too far away, they look like blobs because of the blooming of the engine glare. But they are still jets. There's no visible exhaust trail even though they are flying at 45° to the camera.


Mick West made a video including a graph of the Gimbal object and the jet with their relative positions called "GIMBAL UFO Need Not Be Moving" but my question is, how can an airplane stay motionless at a completely fixed position?
It's probably flying away. The point is more that you have to account for the movement of the jet with the camera.

Lastly, is it clear why this video doesn't have the RNG or range finder distance visible on screen for Gimbal like it was for Go Fast?
No.
 

Gerard

Member
"There's a whole fleet of them!" is stated by the pilots in the original video and it is completely ignored by this hypothesis as far as I can tell.

They also say "It's a drone, dude". So if you're going to consider the audio there's that to take into account as well.
 

Gerard

Member
Here's actual FLIR video, of the same two jets at different zoom levels.

I don't understand what's going on in that image. The outer image is certainly not just a digital zoom of the inset one. And if it's an optical zoom how are both zooms being acquired at the same time ?
 

TheoryQED

Member
They also say "It's a drone, dude". So if you're going to consider the audio there's that to take into account as well.
Yes I completely agree with you. ALL of the audio is relevant to the event. If a police officer is investigating a crash and hears "It looks like a minivan" on the insurance dashboard cam then I don't see why we should ignore that and say it's an out of focus semi-truck.
 
Last edited:

TheoryQED

Member
It's probably flying away. The point is more that you have to account for the movement of the jet with the camera.

Thanks, and I apologize for nitpicking but I would just like to see that suggestion attempted in an updated version of graphical depiction of the event if possible. It would be very unusual for the Gimbal object to be flying DIRECTLY away from the camera the entire time the F-18 is performing a pretty substantial banking turn. I know this doesn't mean we would necessarily see a shape change if the only thing visible in IR mode is the exhaust. But I would think that we would be able to detect some noticeable horizontal movement of the plane at some point, because the F-18 is viewing it from different angles around the radius of the turn. (Correct me if I'm wrong. And I know it's hard to do some calculations without the size of the object and range to target)
 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
I don't understand what's going on in that image. The outer image is certainly not just a digital zoom of the inset one. And if it's an optical zoom how are both zooms being acquired at the same time ?
The inset image is the zoomed in image, but it has been resized to in effect zoom back out. I assume this is to make it more comparable to the outer, actually zoomed out image. You can see the cross hairs and other on screen data on the inner image which proves it's a full screen capture, just scaled down. They were not filmed at exactly the same time.
 
Hi guys,

The rotating glare theory is interesting but since day 1, I think it lacks indisputable evidence that we are seeing a glare to start with. I've been investigating IR videos (mostly in the MWIR) of UFOs since a few years now, done a few tests in the LWIR and there's one thing I've learned, comparing different footages captured with different EO/IR sensors is not very reliable for comparisons and we should be cautious when we do that.

Why am I saying that? Because I've seen Mick comparing the Gimbal video with other videos filmed with different sensors/TGPs and last but not least because I wanted to find solid evidence that we are seeing a glare but I wanted that evidence to come from an ATFLIR pod, not from a different TGP!

That evidence was right before my eyes for over a year. I realized over a year ago that when you superimpose the Flir-1 video with the Gimbal video, the heat signatures are very similar at times. Which back then, made me (wrongly?) suspect that they filmed the same object in 2004 and in 2015.

KdQBG5A.gif
Source: https://imgur.com/a/oQHN6XT



We also all know by now that MWIR sensors are more prone to veiling glares than LWIR sensors:
Capture d’écran 2019-09-06 à 15.04.05.png


Imo, the fact that at times in the Flir-1 video, the overall aspect of the heat signature looks almost exactly like the Gimbal heat signature is rather solid evidence that we are seeing a glare in the Gimbal video. Below are three screen captures, the last one (from L to R) shows the heat signature of the Flir-1 video without a glare with a very clear/distinct outline knowing that we don't even have the original video:

Capture d’écran 2019-07-08 à 01.38.38.png



I said "rather solid evidence" because I am cautious. I know from my documentary research that Raytheon kept on upgrading their TGPs for the USN.

I did tell Mick that I want to show his rotating glare theory to a retired engineer who worked on the ATFLIR pod back in the days. I still got no answer to my first e-mail but I'll keep you updated.

Cheers,
Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Gerard

Member
We also all know by now that MWIR sensors are more prone to veiling glares than LWIR sensors:

Not being a member of the "all" club that knows that do you have a reference for that information ?

Also do we even know at what wavelength or wavelength range the ATFLIR operates ? I wasn't aware that information was public.
 

TheoryQED

Member
then why didn't you quote ALL of the audio in your question?

I tried to post my video with ALL of the audio (and corrected captions for the audio), but the posting rules are too restrictive so I couldn't post. It's impossible to transcribe 8 minutes of audio and be concise. And I already knew West and this thread don't think it's a drone.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I tried to post my video with ALL of the audio
And I already knew West and this thread don't think it's a drone.

this makes no sense. you are arguing that Mick is wrong that it is a jet and a gimbal effect. So why wouldn't you point out the pilot says "It's a [bleeping] drone, dude". If the car crash investigators don't think it's a mini van then why are you saying they should consider the observation "it's a mini van", but in this case you ignore the testimony "it is a drone". Just pointing out that it is weird.

You do not have to transcribe 8 minutes of audio. (and the gimbal video wasn't 8 minutes). We have all heard the Gimbal audio and are already familiar with it.

For future reference, the point of the Link Policy.. is that if you have a point to make, then clearly make the full point here in the thread. People shouldnt have to watch an 8 minute video to understand your point. I did watch your video and there are literally no visuals needed in your video to make any of your points.
 

TheoryQED

Member
Military drones are jets. So I've no problem with it being a drone. My hypothesis is that's something hot, like a jet engine.

Excellent, thanks for that clarification. Is there a way to calculate an exact or approximate temperature of the object? CEFAA apparently did that on the show Contact on the Discovery channel for another UFO that you have debunked.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Excellent, thanks for that clarification. Is there a way to calculate an exact or approximate temperature of the object? CEFAA apparently did that on the show Contact on the Discovery channel for another UFO that you have debunked.
No, they did not. They just said a number. And no, from an IR image on video there's zero way of calculating the temperature. All you get is rought relative temperatures. For example, a contrail, at less than 0°C can appear nearly the same color as a jet exhaust (700°C or more), which is, in turn, the same as the nearby clouds.
Metabunk 2019-09-06 22-53-40.jpg
 
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