Odd, shiny rectangular object over Montréal's suburbs (Drone?/Balloon?)

BenLooksUp

New Member
Hello, I've been looking online for something similar without success.
I know there are frame or letter shaped novelty helium balloons, but this seemed more "hefty" and elaborate.
If anyone has any idea about what this could be I would gladly appreciate it because I'm stumped.

My parents, brother and me were discussing on my parents' condo balcony (2nd floor) on the fine, sunny late afternoon (~17:30h) of August 15 when we spotted a distant enough, very shiny object coming toward us roughly from SE (in the direction of Montréal, from our vantage point on the north shore, in Ville Lorraine). At first, we thought it was a foil balloon catching the sun while tumbling in the wind. But soon enough, we realized that the object in question was more stable and faster than anticipated. It also seemed to emit it's own bursts of white light. Unfortunately, no one had a phone or camera close at hand, but my mom had a pair of binoculars within reach in the kitchen (amateur birdwatcher). She took a look for about 30 to 40 seconds than passed me the binoculars and I could observe it for perhaps 30 seconds before we lost it as it went over the house roughly heading NW. The whole event lasted only a few minutes.
Now, my Blender skills are rudimentary at best, but here's an approximation of what I saw (more details after the picture):SkyBuoy2.PNG

What I know for sure:
- Rectangular with rounded corners (More angular than some of the capital "O" party balloons, like perhaps the shape of a smartphone)
- Hole in the middle (like a rectangular donut)
- Highly reflective
- Black stripe surrounding it
- Rectangular things resembling yellow trailer or car reflectors around it (placement not accurate in the render - I took some artistic liberties)
- Very bright bursts of white light coming off the yellow rectangles on the perimeter. Like camera flashes.
- Some sort of slightly curved tail. Dangling, but not flapping around, so maybe rigid or semi-rigid.
Apparently semi translucent with segments inside (segments not rendered above).
Possibly self illuminating or catching the sunlight between the segments (looked vaguely like very dimmed white LEDs inside a silicone tube)
- No sound
- Didn't see any propeller or engine (nothing like a quad copter)
- Semi erratic pitch, roll and yaw movements but not randomly tumbling about.

What I'm less sure about:
- It's dimension, and altitude? My gut feeling tells me it was at least 5 foot long, at several hundred feet...
But maybe it was higher and as big as a car? Hard to tell.
- Carried by the wind or self propelled? Reported wind speed for that day was 18 km/h blowing from East. This thing seemed to travel much faster than that to me.
- Inflated or solid? Can't tell for sure, but mirror finish.
- Were the white flashes reflected or emitted from the yellow rectangles? My gut says emitted, but who knows, maybe these are super reflective head on.
- Exact attachment point of the "tail" - Seemed near a corner to me but not 100% sure (could be in the center)

Thanks,
Ben
 

BenLooksUp

New Member
Hi Mick - Yes, absolutely, but they look flimsier than what I observed. I didn't notice any of the familiar crinkles or creases related to foil balloons,
but then again this was through binoculars with the sun hitting it. I thought the surrounding yellow lights or reflectors would have been an easily findable feature for drones or balloons, but I still haven't found a match for any flying toy or piece of equipment having those. They generally
looked like vehicle reflectors or break lights.

1597676390115.png
 

BenLooksUp

New Member
I just came across this North Carolina sighting on Youtube. The man managed to get 3 or 4 good frames of a distant metallic, "pill like" object which also appears to have some sort of dangling tether or cord.
So far, it's the closest thing to what I've seen. He also describes blinking action in his video breakup narration. Some comment having seen something similar. I'm torn between "You just saw a big balloon with a string" and "Now just wait a minute, partner!"

Greenboro.PNG



Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7FYXsKhSdA
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with "big balloon with a string" as the most probable explanation. There's not a lot we can do with memories, other than find possible similar things to see if they resonate.

You could buy an inflatable frame, fill it with helium and then let it go....
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I thought the surrounding yellow lights or reflectors would have been an easily findable feature for drones or balloons,
reflections/shadows can give odd appearances. if you didnt take a pic then your description is pretty useless...sorry.

this 31x39inch balloon seems transparent in the middle (you can see her shoulder) but the edges seem opaque. and the 'reflectors' could have been where the crinkles were. also the transition areas between the opaque edges and clear inside could make it seem even more squared edges wise from a distance.

1597685106093.png

1597685606186.png



i'm more baffled that someone that good with Blender, wouldnt have a cell phone on him. (no offense)
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's also nothing to stop people from making their own custom balloons, or drone-powered things, that could be so visually unexpected as to spark a variety of UFO sightings. For example, a flying cooler:
Source: https://youtu.be/NZDYx31nDsI?t=356


Of course, these are rare, and the odds of one person seeing one are low. But SOMEONE is going to see one, think it's a UFO, and start asking questions. Maybe you are just the lucky person who happened to get a good view of someone's experiment.
 

BenLooksUp

New Member
I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with "big balloon with a string" as the most probable explanation. There's not a lot we can do with memories, other than find possible similar things to see if they resonate.

You could buy an inflatable frame, fill it with helium and then let it go....
Yes, I guess I'll have to go with that as well. But when I saw it through the binocs, it seemed more like piece of equipment.
Saw one of the yellow things "light up" (still though binocs, but that thing kept flashing for the whole observation), made me think of one of those
emergency beacons. Maybe just some well put together hoax - Thanks!
 

BenLooksUp

New Member
There's also nothing to stop people from making their own custom balloons, or drone-powered things, that could be so visually unexpected as to spark a variety of UFO sightings. For example, a flying cooler:
Source: https://youtu.be/NZDYx31nDsI?t=356


Of course, these are rare, and the odds of one person seeing one are low. But SOMEONE is going to see one, think it's a UFO, and start asking questions. Maybe you are just the lucky person who happened to get a good view of someone's experiment.
LOL, abolutely not. But if I ever see one of these I hope they deliver ; )
 

BenLooksUp

New Member
reflections/shadows can give odd appearances. if you didnt take a pic then your description is pretty useless...sorry.

this 31x39inch balloon seems transparent in the middle (you can see her shoulder) but the edges seem opaque. and the 'reflectors' could have been where the crinkles were. also the transition areas between the opaque edges and clear inside could make it seem even more squared edges wise from a distance.

View attachment 41407

View attachment 41408



i'm more baffled that someone that good with Blender, wouldnt have a cell phone on him. (no offense)
I'm really bad at Blender. But I've been working in software development for 3D and TV/film editing for about 25 years, so I have some rudiments.
Yeah, I know it's weird...I'm tech savvy enough, I assemble my own workstations but I'm a real dinosaur regarding cell phones.
But seriously, I'm not sure any pic or footage would have been any better than what is already circulating on the net. It's just that the thing I saw
didn't have that drifting/tumbling/twisting/bending quality of the vast majority of Mylar balloons footage. And it came in fast enough...Oh, well, maybe it will teach me to keep my phone on me at all times...Cheers!
 
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