Retired F-18 Pilot Reports 5 UAPs Pacing His Aircraft Over Channel Islands 8-18-22

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
[UPDATE - the flashing lights in the video appear to be reflections of the iPhone 13 Pro autofocus system. First suggested by @flarkey]

2022-08-30_10-15-06.jpg



Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s-TDoc7YLY


Interesting case - some very rapidly flashing and seeming erratic motion of some lights seen from a plane. There are several video clips in Ben Hansen's video. I include one clip here that shows the light in the context of both stars and land.


Initially seems like a reflection, but the pilot says the lights moved around the plane.

Update: Attaching two files submitted to MUFON.
 

Attachments

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LilWabbit

Senior Member
Interesting case - some very rapidly flashing and seeming erratic motion of some lights seen from a plane. There are several video clips in Ben Hansen's video. I include one clip here that shows the light in the context of both stars and land.


Initially seems like a reflection, but the pilot says the lights moved around the plane.

This will probably get a lot of attention.

Interesting indeed. At 0:42-44 in the clip you included, when the 'UFO' lights are at their most erratic, also a faint vertical column of misty light appears. This suggests a cockpit reflection as the column coincidentally happens to appear just when the lights go nuts for a few seconds.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Interesting indeed.

These blobs looks rather out of focus, unless these blobs were actual blobs. Could it be that (as the cam is focused on the stars) the blobs are point sources inside the cockpit that became out of focus? But this would mean his story cannot be true (lights going around the plane) and would not explain witnesses (unless these witnesses saw, coincidentally, something else).
 
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Easy Muffin

Senior Member
I include one clip here that shows the light in the context of both stars and land.
I've not got a whole lot of time at the moment but one small observation I would have made.
At 19:10 he gives an introduction to the above video saying
I believe this is probaby [the] San Pedro area, maybe looking into downtown LA, he's probably not quite as far as the Channel Islands yet.
I got the flightpath from ADS-B Exchange and put it into Google Earth - this looks like it's actually the Santa Monica Mountains area west of central LA, Malibu/Thousand Oaks in the centre and Woodland Hills on the right edge. Possibly shot from a vantage point NW of Santa Catalina Island, NE of Santa Barbara Island.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Hang on, Are those pink flashing lights are artefact of the iPhone face detection system, or are they the UFO?
Wow! This suggests to me that (1) we are going to see a lot more of these flashing-light things, and (2) you'll need to keep this video handy for debunking them.
;)
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
But if the "ufo" was visible by eye, and even before making video, it cannot be it. Unless we do not trust the person.
That is unfortunately the default position for me, I've investigated so many that it turns out that the person must be mistaken or mispresenting at the least.

If we trust the person then there is often no need to investigate, however many witnesses rule out the exact the object that it ends up being.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
But if the "ufo" was visible by eye, and even before making video, it cannot be it. Unless we do not trust the person.
My post wasnt a suggestion of a debunk - it was a genuine question. I'm not really sure what I should be looking at in the video. The blinking pink lights? If they were visible to the naked eye then its not the Iphone LIDAR.

This is what immediately came to mind when I saw the 'pink lights' flashing.

Edit - a better example.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G7dbm1PPB8
 
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flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Full MUFON report...

MUFON Case 124552

Date Reported: 2022-08-23

Date of Incident: 2022-08-18

Short Description: UAP's above our aircraft at least FL500 or 50,000 feet LA CA, US

Long Description of Sighting:
My name xxxx, I’m a 52-year-old retired F/A-18 pilot and tactical jet instructor for the US Navy/Marines. My current position is chief pilot for a corporate flight department out of Palomar CA “KCRQ”. I hold Airline Transport Ratings in single engine, multi engine and helicopters. I’m also a CFI/II/MEI as well as Helicopter CFI/II. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as well as US Navy/Marine Corps aircraft accident investigations / accident investigator for the US Marine Corps.

On Aug 18, 2022, at approximately 03:20 while in our Gulfstream G650, call sign TWY670, in route from Miami “KOPF” to Maui “PHOG” at FL470 off the coast of CA, I witnessed 2 AUP’s high above our aircraft in a circular formation. Me being a retired Marine F/A-18 pilot who has conducted many aircraft intercepts throughout my career, immediately reported it to LA center.

LA Center informed us that they had no known or unknown primary or secondary RADAR contacts in or around us or in their airspace period. I then turned our Traffic Collision Avoidance System “TCAS” to ABOVE mode also to receive no active aircraft activity as well.
As I was continuing my reporting with LA center when another 2 UAP’s joined the formation. I then saw what I believed was a shooting star, but it stopped descending and joined the other 4 UAP’s in their circular orbit. I took my iPhone out and attempted to record the UAP’s as they moved over our aircraft.

I lost sight of them and continued to discuss the encounter with ATC. Another aircraft also reported the incident, and LA center reported it to the FAA Presidential Aerial Security Administration in Washington DC.

I received a phone call from LA center and also talked to the FAA Presidential Aerial Security office in Washington DC. Both agencies were very interested in the encounter. I was informed other aircraft had reported seeing the UAP’s over the phone but declined to acknowledge it over the radio.

[Here](Dropbox) is the Dropbox folder where I uploaded the videos from MUFON
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
There is more to the story on the video I posted previously. Apparently many people saw those lights as well, which means the lights in the video I posted perhaps are not camera artifacts. Some say they saw them with their naked eyes. People describe their sightings in this reddit thread

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/HighStrangeness/comments/uqnwom/got_to_see_the_red_moon_tonight_along_with_some/
But it is obvious from the video that they are not looking at those ones with naked eyes. The questions that we should be adding to our check list include (1) what viewing or filming methods were used, and (2) does anyone (either in front of or behind the viewing instrument) have a cell phone with them.
 

RatkingDBK

New Member
But it is obvious from the video that they are not looking at those ones with naked eyes.
I agree, the video is clearly filmed through a telescope or binoculars of some sort. I was simply relaying some of the things that people had said in that thread. Of course people could be lying, confused, or embellishing as usual.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
But it is obvious from the video that they are not looking at those ones with naked eyes. The questions that we should be adding to our check list include (1) what viewing or filming methods were used, and (2) does anyone (either in front of or behind the viewing instrument) have a cell phone with them.
I'd like to see if anyone on here who has an up-to-date iPhone (like an iPhone 13 Pro Max) can recreate the 'flashing lights' by filming their reflection in glass and in dark conditions. (Unfortunately I'm an Android guy)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'd like to see if anyone on here who has an up-to-date iPhone (like an iPhone 13 Pro Max) can recreate the 'flashing lights' by filming their reflection in glass and in dark conditions.

I have an iPhone 13 Pro, which has an identical camera. I'm currently experimenting. It's easy to see the flashing with an IR camera, but how do you make it see its own flashing?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I have an iPhone 13 Pro, which has an identical camera. I'm currently experimenting. It's easy to see the flashing with an IR camera, but how do you make it see its own flashing?
Maybe its to do with coatings on the aircraft cockpit glass and the telescope.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

iPhone 13 Pro, dark room, glass filter held a few inches in front of the camera.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member

iPhone 13 Pro, dark room, glass filter held a few inches in front of the camera.
Frequency seems to match the flashing in the original video from a rough frame count, your video is 24fps though but its about 2/3 frames apart.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Frequency seems to match the flashing in the original video from a rough frame count, your video is 24fps though but its about 2/3 frames apart.
I posted the metadata for the original videos in post #16 above. It states 24 fps.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
I am now also convinced that, at least what we see in the video (the presented evidence), is an artefact caused by the camera. The MUFON report above (#14) however, mentions that he saw the lights well before he took his phone out. Also the story he tells makes it sound the things were doing loop-de-loops above the plane. Is this just subjectivity, I wonder.

I always find it hard to understand what really happened, going with a witness account. For instance, something could be reported being an object 200 meters away, but in reality it was a star.. That type of thing.
Not saying the pilot is not trustworthy, but they can make wrong judgements.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The one attached indicates 29.97 for me..
That one was from Ben Hansen's video, which is 1080/30. It's not the original iPhone video.

The iPhone 13 will default to 24 fps even if set to 30 fps, if it's a low-light situation.

IMG_4326.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


In a dark closet, filming through some tempered glass. Shows multiple reflections, same color, same geometry, same flickering.

The number of lights visible varies with the angle and distance to glass.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I am now also convinced that, at least what we see in the video (the presented evidence), is an artefact caused by the camera. The MUFON report above (#14) however, mentions that he saw the lights well before he took his phone out. Also the story he tells makes it sound the things were doing loop-de-loops above the plane. Is this just subjectivity, I wonder.

I always find it hard to understand what really happened, going with a witness account. For instance, something could be reported being an object 200 meters away, but in reality it was a star.. That type of thing.
Not saying the pilot is not trustworthy, but they can make wrong judgements.
So far this year I've seen a pilot claim an orange light in the same place as a flaring oil rig was not that oil rig and that a plane in the exact same position as a 'tictac' was not a plane.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/reddit-video-27mar22-airline-crew-uap-sighting.12361/#post-268295
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/reddit-pilot-sees-a-ufo-from-n14aq-probably-dal2369.12561/

And now that they somehow saw a UFO that looks exactly like reflections of the AF assist lights in the exact device they were using to record the video.

Pilots are people, some of them want to believe and some of them seemingly want to try and make evidence for UFOs out of normal things, whether they are consciously doing it or not and they will use their position as pilots to add authority to their arguments.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member


In a dark closet, filming through some tempered glass. Shows multiple reflections, same color, same geometry, same flickering.

The number of lights visible varies with the angle and distance to glass.

When you do this, are the lights visible to the naked eye on the glass or just on the phone screen?
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
When you do this, are the lights visible to the naked eye on the glass or just on the phone screen?

If I may answer. Only the phone cam can see it. It is 900nm or so, just at the edge of human vision, but the ccd/cmos can detect it. :)

EDIT
Ugh, I tried to find the wavelength used (just for curiosity), but boy do they hide that! I spend half an hour searching.. Nothing. Educated guess only, is 840 or 950nm leds.
 
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TinFoilHat

New Member
I believe we are focusing on the wrong lights. The small dots of light that look like stars are the UAPs. Is there any movement with those small lights?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
If I may answer. Only the phone cam can see it. It is 900nm or so, just at the edge of human vision, but the ccd/cmos can detect it. :)

EDIT
Ugh, I tried to find the wavelength used (just for curiosity), but boy do they hide that! I spend half an hour searching.. Nothing. Educated guess only, is 840 or 950nm leds.
I tried to find the flashing frequency with similar luck..
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Half of UFO twitter is outraged that Mick suggest that the UAP might actually be reflected iPhone focus lights and the other half is outraged that he would be so stupid as to think that the obvious iPhone focus lights are the UAP that was recorded and as yet it is undecided as to what exactly in the video everyone was so excited about but it could be Polaris, Pherkad or Kochab or all 3!
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
The radio conversation of the pilot and the ground is hard to understand (at least, for me), is there already a transcript? It might contain some more details as compared to the rather small report on MUFON.

(if that is to anyone's interest of course, or do we consider this case dead'n buried?)
 
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