"Pyramid" UFO's in Night Vision Footage - Maybe Bokeh?

scampe

New Member
What do you lot think about people 'debunking' this hypothesis on the basis of how loud the plane is on the video?​
If a jet engine at 100 feet produces 140 dB, wouldn't a jet engine at 700ft produce about 123 dB. Wouldn't the camera filming also pick up something that loud? That's insanely loud. You can hear people talking in the background noise but no painfully loud jet.
I'd love to hear your opinions! :)
 
If it were flying at 700 ft, using Mick's calculations from the previous page, the plane would have had to fly along at a bit over 10 kts, which is of course an impossibly low speed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
If it were flying at 700 ft, using Mick's calculations from the previous page, the plane would have had to fly along at a bit over 10 kts, which is of course an impossibly low speed.
So that could theoretically be a slow moving drone.

At 700 feet, the field of view is 2*700*tan(17.2 degrees) = 433 feet. Us this frame for reference.2021-04-19_11-58-59.jpg
433*64/3089 (pixels) = 9 feet. But of course that's the apparent size of the bokeh.
 
I guess that theoretically speaking, it could also be a faster object that's heading towards or away from the observer. However for that to work with what we see in the video, it would also have to climb or descent in just the right way to appear like a plane in steady cruise flight. Quite unlikely. Plus even if we assume a generously low speed of, let's say 100 kts, that's still 170 ft per second, meaning it would have covered 700 ft in less that five seconds. Any change in appearance or sound would probably have been much more dramatic at such close distance.
 

gtoffo

Member
Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, spoke about the July 2019 flights

Asked if the aircraft were “extraterrestrial,” Gilday said he had “no indications at all of that.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-new...ified-navy-chief-n1263115?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma
Wow... some of the statements are really strange. They still double down on the "unknown objects".

Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, spoke about the July 2019 flights Monday at a Defense Writers Group event in Washington. Gilday said the incident — and other similar sightings — were still being assessed.


Asked if the Navy had identified the drones that flew near U.S. warships near the Channel Islands off Southern California, Gilday said: “No, we have not.”
The video might not depict what the ships actually observed and reported. A confused sailor might have filmed an airliner while an incident with unknown phenomena/drones was ongoing and it got caught up in the investigation.
 

Jesse3959

Member
Basically the smallest perfect triangles you can get. I think the Navy footage has a medium aperture, and not so much lack of focus. In your video when you see the plane you are focussed on the stars, then you defocus a lot. I think at that point just defocussing about 1/4 of that (or less) would give smaller triangles.
I've been keeping my eye out for planes at night, but I'm not under much of a flight path.

But last night at least I had some clouds and stars, so I played around a bit, I think I forgot that you wanted small triangles by defosusing, so instead I got smaller straighter edged triangles by reducing aperature: Source: https://youtu.be/fOy3bT7CTU4?t=244
 

Jesse3959

Member
What do you lot think about people 'debunking' this hypothesis on the basis of how loud the plane is on the video?

I'd love to hear your opinions! :)

There is no indication that the flying object was only 700 feet away. The 700 ft figure comes from the power point slide that claims some others were hovering 700 feet above a ship.

There is no claimed distance from the navy regarding the moving object.

Thus the moving object could have been any distance that was visible on the night vision device.

And as to the guy's claim that a jet at 100ft is 140dB and at 700ft is 123dB, he is using this online calculator: https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/distance-attenuation -- which basically just applies the square inverse law.

I don't know what's wrong with the guy's assumptions, but they do not comport with reality.

Using that same calculator, a distance of 10000 feet should give 100dB, which is clearly not true: Here's the NATS organization actually measuring one of the largest commercial jets (Airbus A310) at 10000 feet at 60dB: Source: https://youtu.be/HFJiCU1zdcY?list=PL7knI05_53GTFYEq1-CxjHjsehEz7JD54


The difference is a noisy diner or normal conversation is around 60dB. A ringing smoke alarm at 10ft is 75-95dB.

So the difference between 60dB and 100dB is that difference between a completely comfortable noise to earsplitting painful.

In fact, that same NATS outfit has measured a number of planes at a number of distances with a calibrated sound meter, scroll down to the bottom: https://www.nats.aero/environment/noise-and-emissions/measuring-noise/

Furthermore, if you use the same math to calculate the sound of a jet at 60,000 feet distance (an estimated distance to a jet flying by in view but not directly overhead) the sound should be (by that redditor's math) 84dB -- in other words, still louder than a ringing smoke alarm at 10 feet.

So have you ever seen a jet fly by, like the following video, and noticed that it wasn't louder than a smoke alarm? Source: https://youtu.be/7GUVhybHugk


Furthermore, using that same calculation, a jet at 200 miles would still be 60dB. In other words, if you were to climb up on a 7000ft mountain peak within 50 miles of an international airport, you could literally hear the roar of every jet within a 200 mile radius as loud as normal conversation. I personally tried exactly this, but I didn't hear any jets: Source: https://youtu.be/j3RoWZNBxB8


And last but not least, I filmed an airplane through NVD and did not hear the jet, which literally proves that it is entirely possible to film an airplane through an NVD without hearing it: (Link to exact timestamp) Source: https://youtu.be/4e4PdpsrRjQ?t=561

(Unfortunately there was some traffic, but there are moments that go quiet I think.)

So I'm not sure what is wrong with the assumptions of using that sound distance attenuation calculator, but it simply doesn't agree with observed reality.

The guy making that "Would have heard it if it was a jet" argument countered by saying that refraction is what magically loses 40dB when a jet flies overhead (which is absurd) and that refraction magically allows sound to travel completely unimpeded if you're on the ocean at night with a cloud cover..

Of course the observer was within 200 miles of probably dozens of jets in the air at any moment, many of which were over the water on that same cloudy night on the ocean, so that begs the question "Why didn't the camera pick up the sound of those?"


I suspect that the square inverse law is a good approximation of sound over short distances but that another aspect becomes an important factor over longer distances, causing more attenuation than just the square inverse law. Certainly there's some heat produced by the compression of the gasses, so maybe it's turning to heat.

Oh, interesting... At atmosphere absorbs sound, turning it to heat: https://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio-webdav/handbook/Sound_Propagation.html

It says from 0.25db/100m to 5db/100m, so in the case of the A310 at 10,000 feet, that's 30 hundred meters, and 40 missing db, so 1.33 db per hundred meters is lost due to absorption.

And of course regarding the jets at 200 miles, that's thousands of db of absorption, so we aint gonna hear anything.
 
Last edited:

jarlrmai

Active Member
Pretty clear they start of taking a look at Jupiter, brightest object in the sky and always a nice thing to look at, then moves to the plane. Seems odd to be looking at Jupiter if you are taking footage of a alien pyramid fleet surrounding your ship.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Pretty clear they start of taking a look at Jupiter, brightest object in the sky and always a nice thing to look at, then moves to the plane. Seems odd to be looking at Jupiter if you are taking footage of a alien pyramid fleet surrounding your ship.
I would not rule out the possibility that they thought Jupiter was a drone.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I can't remember, but I think you had addressed this claim below?
if you click the little arrow next to Mick's name in quote below it will take you to the original comment.


It is not zoomed in. You only sees the triangles in this video when zoomed in. Compare shapes only at specific zoom levels.

Zooming in does not make the triangles, it just lets you see them at the terrible resolution and quality we have.
 

Jesse3959

Member
Basically the smallest perfect triangles you can get. I think the Navy footage has a medium aperture, and not so much lack of focus. In your video when you see the plane you are focussed on the stars, then you defocus a lot. I think at that point just defocussing about 1/4 of that (or less) would give smaller triangles.

I guess this is all a dead horse by now. I haven't seen any planes at night yet to get what you want.
I did find a video on my camera that I'd forgot filming - it's the same aproximate age as the other NVD videos, but it shows a jet and a visible con-trail through NVD.

Otherwise it's nothing special.
Source: https://youtu.be/VIi8HOLsbbM
 

Oklahomeless

New Member
I guess this is all a dead horse by now.

Not for everyone, though there’s not much we can do about that.
With the Navy authenticating the provenance, people are doubling down on this video harder than ever. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a reasonably debunked sighting persist in the way this one has. There are even many who concede that it’s bokeh but still believe it’s a pyramid - we just can’t tell for sure because of the bokeh. You can’t argue with that.
So a lot of people have accepted the explanation but the logical conclusion doesn’t follow. The common reasoning I’ve run into is that the US Navy would never just film a plane and put it in a slide show. This idea is ridiculous to them. So we get the classic appeal to authority and argument from incredulity double-decker combo.
I’m not sure what more can be evaluated without additional information. The video demonstrations are pretty compelling and persuasive. Great contribution!
 

flarkey

New Member
One thing that hasn't quite been done yet is matching the strobe pattern to an exact aircraft type. I know @Mick West has looked at it and suggested it could be a 737 but not for certain. Can we characterise the lights in terms of exact frequency?
 

Oklahomeless

New Member
One thing that hasn't quite been done yet is matching the strobe pattern to an exact aircraft type. I know @Mick West has looked at it and suggested it could be a 737 but not for certain. Can we characterise the lights in terms of exact frequency?
I honestly didn’t know each make/model had such unique lighting apparatus, other than type and placement. I would have guessed color and strobe frequency would all be standardized by appropriate regulating body. If that’s not the case then maybe it can be narrowed down.
It certainly doesn’t help our plight that we can’t discern the light’s placement due to the unfocused nature of the footage.
 
I honestly didn’t know each make/model had such unique lighting apparatus, other than type and placement. I would have guessed color and strobe frequency would all be standardized by appropriate regulating body. If that’s not the case then maybe it can be narrowed down.
It certainly doesn’t help our plight that we can’t discern the light’s placement due to the unfocused nature of the footage.
I delved into this a bit and it's really not standardized at all. There are some FAA rules about general strobe frequencies (quoted in this thread somewhere already), and Airbus aircraft are distinctive by using a double-pulse of the main beacon, but that's about it.

Apparently modern 737s (800 and MAX) have been switching over to LEDs for all but the main strobe, and instead of an instantaneous flash, the LEDs stay on for a few tenths of a second. Which would explain the longer flashes of the pyramid. (Although I'm not sure if/why a 737 is still the main candidate?)

There's an added complication that the flash of the main strobe can fall in between frames when shooting video (especially in daylight when frame exposure time may be reduced). I suspect the NV scope negates this, however, as the phospor gives a bit of a sustained glow - but it might present issues trying to match the pyramid clip against videos of known aircraft. Also as you pointed out, the unfocused pyramid footage means we can't tell which, if any, of the lights are occluded by the fuselage.

The aircraft sim and model building communities seem to care most about getting the timings correct, more so than pilot/airliner forums (I guess it's like asking car guys how fast their turn signals blink). I might sign up to a couple of message boards and ask about the pyramid video explicitly.

Here's a video with a variety of different planes landing at night in Sydney - probably just enough to measure the period of each set of lights. There's a Qantas 737-800 at 1:40 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diq0IQZdWeo
 
Last edited:

Ravi

Member
@Max Phalange,

To obtain the angular distance of the blinking lights, the size of the triangle formed by the bokeh is not useable indeed. But, the relative position of the overlapping triangles (thus, the lights under the fuselage) does or can give a scale, even if it not in focus. but of course this only if you know the approx distance.
 

Jesse3959

Member
One thing that hasn't quite been done yet is matching the strobe pattern to an exact aircraft type. I know @Mick West has looked at it and suggested it could be a 737 but not for certain. Can we characterise the lights in terms of exact frequency?

I agree with others, I delved briefly in and I'm not sure we can really fingerprint the plane by it's flash pattern.

The evolution of technology complicates it. For example, there are orangish-red anti-collision lights on top and bottom of fuselage. They used to be called the rotating lights because they used to be rotating reflector lights (like an old tow truck...) Then they went to Xenon strobe lights. Now they may be LEDs.

Then there are the wingtip anti-collision lights. They used to be xenon strobe lights, and possibly blinking incandescent before that. Now they are using LEDs on some of them.

Ther are also wingtip lights that blink on/off/on/off.... about once a second or so - not a strobe, but a steady equal on/off time blink. I'm not sure if these are anti-collision or if they are position marker lights...

To add to the variability, the xenon strobe lights can be either synchronized or free-running. Sometimes you'll see a plane where the right and left wingtips are flashing independently, other times they are synchronized. (They have to run a wire between the two lights to connect the sync circuit.)

Furthermore, the two strobe lights on the fuselage may not be synchronized with the wingtip strobes: So you may see a rolling strobe pattern where two strobes at slightly different rates continuously roll into and out of synchronization.

And in just a few seconds of shaky video, it's very difficult to tell whether the two different blink rates are coming from opposing wings or from the wings vs the fuselage strobes. (Unless the FAA specifies the blink rates for the two sets of lights and requires that they each conform to a non-overlapping range of frequencies..)

At the end of the day, I don't see how we can determine (with any usable level of certainty) which type of plane it was: Could have been anything from an Airbus A310 all the way down to a piper cub.

Ultimately though I guess it doesn't matter: The fact is every aspect of it's blinking pattern is 100% compliant with and explained by FAA lighting requirements for hundreds of thousands of aircraft.
 

flarkey

New Member
Ultimately though I guess it doesn't matter: The fact is every aspect of it's blinking pattern is 100% compliant with and explained by FAA lighting requirements for hundreds of thousands of aircraft.
I agree, but the fact that it could be one of many aircraft types will just be twisted by those who want to mystify the video to mean that "the strobe pattern hasn't been matched to any known aircraft".

But then, I suppose even if the pattern was matched they probably wouldn't accept it anyway.
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
If the date/time ever comes out we'll likely be able to say what aircraft it is, so I'd imagine we never find out that detail. I doubt an FOI request would give it.
 
I agree, but the fact that it could be one of many aircraft types will just be twisted by those who want to mystify the video to mean that "the strobe pattern hasn't been matched to any known aircraft".

But then, I suppose even if the pattern was matched they probably wouldn't accept it anyway.
We've already had the kettle logic of simultaneous claims that "the flashing doesn't match any known aircraft" and "the flashing is a reflection of lights from a helicopter on the deck", per Corbell.

That said, there may be value in trying to figure it out. I think Airbus is ruled out as the double flash of the main strobe is pretty distinctive, and there can't have been that many other aircraft types flying the route.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Then they went to Xenon strobe lights. Now they may be LEDs.
LED lights see to differ from xenon lights in that the xenon lights are an instantaneous flash, whereas the LED light are a longer pulse.

Article:
most LED anti collision lights (see any LED anti collision you can lay your eyes on), flash at 200-300ms


That's 0.2 to 0.3 seconds.

To confuse matters, the pyramid strobe seems to have both types, the dimmer "flash" seems more in the LED pulse duration.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
If the date/time ever comes out we'll likely be able to say what aircraft it is, so I'd imagine we never find out that detail. I doubt an FOI request would give it.
Even just the date would be useful. July 15, 2019 had a stream of planes flying overhead at around 9PM (PDT), but July 14 less so. But it's not even clear if it's one of those dates.

Looking at the traffic patterns. On July 15, more LAX traffic was coming in on the South side (passing over Catalina) on the 15th, but more on the North Side on the 14th. Not consistently though - but the rate of traffic on the 15th over where the Russel was might have fooled some inexperienced observer into thinking they were seeing drones - and hence be on the lookout for more drones.
 

Jesse3959

Member
I think Airbus is ruled out as the double flash of the main strobe is pretty distinctive,
What double flash does the airbus have?

Some things that look like a double flash are actually two single flashes running at slightly different rates so they roll in and out of sync. When they are almost in sync, they can look like a double flash.

I see the rolling flash sync in the navy video, sort of like this:

Source: https://youtu.be/6rS5626KoiE


But I freely admit that the navy video is very short and shaky, really to short to determine an accurate flash sequence.

Here's an airbus A310/300 with the top and bottom fuselage strobes NOT synchronized with eachother OR the wingtip strobes LOL:
(However the left wingtip strobe is synchronized with the right wingtip strobe.)

Source: https://youtu.be/JlHEqHiTNIY
 
What double flash does the airbus have?
Example here at 4m55:

(Note how the rolling shutter cuts out half the flash sometimes - depending on shutter speed there's potential for some flashes to fall between frames, in other videos.)

I've seen references to the double flash being an "Airbus thing" in various places – a Google search for "airbus double flash" will turn up several. Here's one example: https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/362746-airbus-strobes.html
TXC69:

I know that Airbus wing strobes double flash together, hence how you can always tell an Airbus on approach. However a few nights ago an A321 departed LHR with the wing strobes double flashing on alternative wings, as in left then right and so on.

The reply suggests further potential complications in identifying the 'pyramid':
Fargoo:

The wing and tail strobes each have their own power supply unit adjacent to the light. These power supplies are all supplied with 115 volt ac power from the same bus through the same relay. They aren't synchronised so over time they will go out of sync with each other.
 

Jesse3959

Member
Example here at 4m55:

(Note how the rolling shutter cuts out half the flash sometimes - depending on shutter speed there's potential for some flashes to fall between frames, in other videos.)

I've seen references to the double flash being an "Airbus thing" in various places – a Google search for "airbus double flash" will turn up several. Here's one example: https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/362746-airbus-strobes.html


The reply suggests further potential complications in identifying the 'pyramid':
Thanks!

Yes that's exactly what I'm talking about.

The strobe lights strobe on their own timing, unless they are a model which has a "sync" wire, then you can connect together the sync wires and synchronize them.

Sometimes wingtips are synchronized, sometimes not. Sometimes the top and bottom fuselage strobes are synchronized, sometimes not.

Some airbusses have different modes of synchronization apparently, at least judging from youtube videos.

As to the double flash, not all airbusses have that. It's an improvement over the single flash - it's so if you see the first flash out of the corner of your eye then look to the general area, you see the second flash.

This was implemented on some xenon models eons ago, initially in sort of a half-hearted attempt (the second flash was half the brightness of the first LOL) but then for LEDs the double flash was easy to do, and both flashes were full brightness.

And with LEDs, the flash has to be longer because the peak light output is nowhere near the peak light output of a xenon strobe - however the average light output can be much greater with the longer flash times.

So the signature of the flashing has constantly evolved as technology evolved - all of it was FAA compliant because it met the brilliance and flash rate and color specifications, but the signature is constantly changing.

Not to mention that airplanes live a long time. Many of the first generation 737's are still flying in service and pushing 50 years old. And not just that -- airplanes are expensive so if they can keep them going, they do. So there are LOTS of airplanes from all ages flying, and many of them will be sporting light equipment that while FAA compliant is not what's going on brand new A310 class or Dreamliner class aircraft.
 

JMartJr

Active Member
Really looking forward to seeing the 25 minute videos, and videos with the object 50 feet from the cockpit, that the estimable Mr. Elizondo mentions at around 55 seconds into Mr. West's post above... Sadly, I doubt that they exist, but if they do, they should make for very interesting viewing.
 

JMartJr

Active Member
I am not sure I follow the argument here -- if I am close to understanding it, he's upset that the flagpole/mast is not perfectly still in relation to the background stars, and so is not perfectly still in the stabilized version. But zoomed out like that, and possibly even with the witness moving intentionally a bit to move the flagpole further from his line of sight, it would seem to me to be expected that the pole would move against the background stars in an image stabilized to keep the stars steady. Stabilizing the image to keep the pole steady would make the plane and the stars jump all over the place -- what would be the point in that? Or am I totally missing his point? Edited within seconds to remove a dumb typo.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Elizondo on what he knows about the triangle video that was released:

Sounds kind of like he's thinking the pyramid might be a plane.
 

Related Articles

Top