Searchlight "UAP" in Wisconsin - Flanders Family Christmas Lights

RTM

Member
From @Mick West 's OP, "Ben Hansen released a video, timed with the publication of a Daily Mail article..."

Hansen and the Daily Mail "thought" the things that bring them publicity and profit. Other people like Kim and Ken "thought" things that they've been primed to think, starting with the basic conspiracist concept that "I don't understand it, therefore it must be esoteric, supernatural, or sinister."

This has gone on ever since the media found out that juicy fairy tales fetch a bigger audience than dry facts. We are now in the electronic Information Age, and disinformation for fun and profit travels just as fast as facts.

Rant concluded. I have no solution to the problem.
Not only that, but the story grew to the point that someone asked Mick on Twitter about an orb that supposedly flew out and circled a car.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
One of the objections there:
You know, I thought if it would be from a display or anything like that, or spotlights, you would definitely see some sort of a repeating pattern to this. And it was just completely erratic.
Content from External Source
The lights have long sequences that are synced to music, so would appear erratic from a distance, and would not repeat for several minutes. Also individual light's visibility would vary randomly with the cloud cover.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgBk0zv5QmY
Ah. So a fan of TSO, or an homage to Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuHeWLKFyAo
? Or perhaps not even an homage, perhaps WoW is just one of the things you're now expected to include in your seasonal repertory?

There's never (well, not since abritrarily complexly programmable controllers came on the market a few decades ago) been a need for long-term repeated patterns in Christmas lights displays. If you can see everything going on, you might recognise the patterns within, but just those 6 spots seemed fairly erratic to me, as you say, and I've known that piece since the early 2000s, and it gets played multiple times every year (with that video, obviously, I do think it deserves homage).
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Seems like if he was going north he'd be going away from Candy Cane Lane, unless there's another one.

Chris, while on the TC show says (bold by me):

So we continued on our drive, we were going to go to Candy Cane Lane with our daughters, which is a holiday tradition for us. And we drove for 20 miles and the entire 20 miles, we continue to see these lights that would pulse through the sky incredibly fast. There'll be like a five to 32nd delay in between, and then they'd either come back again, the same direction, or they would come back the opposite direction. And it just seemed very odd.

So at this point, I wanted to capture some of this on on video. And I thought it was incredibly odd once again that we had seen these for 20 miles, I just started rolling things out in my head of what that could be. So we got off an exit in Greenfield, which is a more populated area, and pulled into a church parking lot and looked up in the southern sky, which was the direction we were seeing these while driving. And the only thing I noticed in the sky at that point was a bluish purple hue up in the sky. And I thought that was odd.
Content from External Source

Here's churches along I43 in Greenfield WI:

1671659324344.png


The Mt. Zion Lutheran Church seems to be next to an actual off ramp for I43/I41/I894:

1671659619831.png

Assuming they were traveling on North bound I43, 20 miles before the pulling off may be a route something like this (I just used the Walmart for directions):

1671660015243.png

And they claim to be seeing the lights to the South, so not towards Fredonia. While this is Northbound I43, it runs much closer to East/West in this section. So, they would be seeing the lights towards the Southern suburbs of Milwaukee, right?

May have to find another Christmas light display, which seems totally plausible. People that are into Christmas lights always seem to go bigger and better.

Edit: typo
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
And they claim to be seeing the lights to the South, so not towards Fredonia. While this is Northbound I43, it runs much closer to East/West in this section. So, they would be seeing the lights towards the Southern suburbs of Milwaukee, right?
except he said he couldnt really see them from greenfield. so you'd have to back up a bit i'd think. (of course it is all dependent on the cloud layers)

was thinking the big place in caldonia:jellystone (about 13 miles from 43 throughout route) but i dont see any laser beams, but we do see some examples of how the clouds sort of change brightnesses which Ben (if youre reading) was asking about in his analysis video. certainly in most of the vid she is waving the camera around, but int his scene they are pretty stable.
1671661928011.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There's never (well, not since abritrarily complexly programmable controllers came on the market a few decades ago) been a need for long-term repeated patterns in Christmas lights displays.
You can control them from any computer with a DMX interface; that computer would also control the music. With a setup like that, you can make whatever sequence you like.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
If you can see everything going on, you might recognise the patterns within, but just those 6 spots seemed fairly erratic to me
The video you posted shows the beams themselves very well (with sparkles, no less) so I assume it was snowing steadily when they recorded it. I like the music too, and if this is what they were doing, I can easily imagine it sending lights on the clouds flying rapidly.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Seems like if he was going north he'd be going away from Candy Cane Lane, unless there's another one.
There is. There's a holiday decorations store called Candy Cane Lane, which sounds like a plausible location for an annual outing with the kids. It's closer to West Allis and Wauwatosa, just off I-41-45, a little way north of the intersection with I-94. It's address is in Wauwatosa. (Picture from google maps.) This is probably not the place, as it's a lot further away, but for the sake of completeness I thought I should mention it.

9C364E29-4ED3-4396-8C9C-13AA20B361F6.png
 
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jackfrostvc

Senior Member
I've confirmed with the Flanders that on Dec 1 one light had a bad connection, which explains why we only see five lights.

2022-12-21_08-58-54.jpg

Thanks for asking about if one of the lights were out. As I mentioned in DM's, someone would have eventually brought it up, so always good to leave nothing un answered
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
There is. There's a holiday decorations store called Candy Cane Lane, which sounds like a plausible location for an annual outing with the kids. It's closer to West Allis and Wauwatosa, just off I-41-45, a little way north of the intersection with I-94. It's address is in Wauwatosa. (Picture from google maps.) This is probably not the place, as it's a lot further away, but for the sake of completeness I thought I should mention it.

9C364E29-4ED3-4396-8C9C-13AA20B361F6.png
thats only 3.5 miles up the road from Micks candy cane, probably doesnt make enough difference
1671668434071.png
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Boerner Botanical Gardens?
Maybe. Although he claims the lights are to the South, but I know I get confused with directions when traveling along various highways, especially when a Northbound road is actually running more East/West. I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that there are multiple Christmas light shows going on around the greater Milwaukee area.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Although he claims the lights are to the South
they cant be that south as if they were south south when he started the 20 mins, they'd be behind him pretty fast.

if youthink youre heading east here, because my car doesnt have a compass and the highway basically goes east. the location would be south and its south of greenfield where he stopped and he said he aimed in the direction they were.
1671681510335.png

obviously im sure there are multiple locations it could have been.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
except he said he couldnt really see them from greenfield. so you'd have to back up a bit i'd think. (of course it is all dependent on the cloud layers)

was thinking the big place in caldonia:jellystone (about 13 miles from 43 throughout route) but i dont see any laser beams, but we do see some examples of how the clouds sort of change brightnesses which Ben (if youre reading) was asking about in his analysis video. certainly in most of the vid she is waving the camera around, but int his scene they are pretty stable.
1671661928011.png
The changing clouds looks to me an effect of the phonecam. The "auto gain" or "auto white balance" is obviously doing its thing here. You can observe it as she moves the cam: the software abruptly tries to optimise the scene. It is caused by the bright lights everywhere.
In your example images the right one has increased brightness, check out the blue part that is now "washed out".
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
You can control them from any computer with a DMX interface; that computer would also control the music. With a setup like that, you can make whatever sequence you like.
We seem to be talking at cross-purposes.
My claim: There's no longer a need for simple easily-detectable loops
My support: Because arbitrary sequences have been possible since 1990/2000s (that being the standardisation of DMX)
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
The video you posted shows the beams themselves very well (with sparkles, no less) so I assume it was snowing steadily when they recorded it. I like the music too, and if this is what they were doing, I can easily imagine it sending lights on the clouds flying rapidly.
The first vid in my post was just a redundant copy of Mick's. My vid contribution was just the famous 2004 original. You can do some fermi-calculations to see what kinds of speeds and illumination are possible.

E.g. assuming the mounts do a sweep from -65 degrees to +65 degrees from vertical (25 degrees to opposite horizons) and back in a second onto a cloud layer at 2km then the average speed of the dot on the cloud will be
? tan(65*Pi/180) (opposite/adjacent) * 2 (triangles) *2 (kilometers) * 2 (per second) * 3600 (seconds per hour)
61761.8 km/h
That's one scary spacecraft! It defies the laws of physics! And that's just the *average* speed.

Similarly, if it loses 0.1% of its brightness every 10m to diffusion, then by the time it's passed through 200 such slices of air/snow (pointing straight up), it will still retain
? 0.999^(2000/10)
0.81865
80+% of its brightness. Each of those 10m slices will be 0.818/0.001 = ~800 times less bright than the dot at the end of it.
Even at the end of the 65 degree throw, where it's passing through 470 10m cylinders of air/snow the final dot has
? 0.999^(2000/cos(65*Pi/180)/10)
0.6228
60+% of the original light (spread out over a wider area, of course), which is still ~600 times more light than any of the 10m slices of air its passed through. Of course, viewing at a close angle to the beam, you'd be looking through many such slices so that ratio would decrease (Mick's , "A) you are at a relative shallow angle to it" from post #4). Hence the low brightness of the beam compared to the dot it produces.

The reason you see the sparkles of the snow in the beam in the vid is because you are so incredibly close to it - as soon as you start positioning yourself many kilometers away from something rather than just tens of metres, everything changes by many orders of magnitude.

Yes, there are some horrific simplifications in the above fag-packet calculations (e.g. cylinder vs. frustum, and my 0.1% loss was pulled out of nowhere - it seems like a highball guess, but snow and mist will be way worse than clean air), but hopefully it's a starting point. Of course, and alas, I'm slowly learning that I'm terrible at explaining things...
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Yes, there are some horrific simplifications in the above fag-packet calculations (e.g. cylinder vs. frustum, and my 0.1% loss was pulled out of nowhere - it seems like a highball guess, but snow and mist will be way worse than clean air), but hopefully it's a starting point. Of course, and alas, I'm slowly learning that I'm terrible at explaining things...
Nope, you've explained it well! Thanks.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
According to Flanders,

It takes just over 51 minutes before starting over, there is 3 songs with the beam lights with 3 songs in between
...
about 13 minutes of beam lights, more next year
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and https://flandersfamilychristmaslightshow.com/
Our Light Show will start November 28, 2022, and end on January 7, 2023. Show runs from 5:00PM to 10:30PM Monday through Sunday.
Content from External Source
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
The little fluffy clouds "blobs" are never exactly on the same altitude, making the projected light look like it is erratically moving.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
11) Why can't you replicate it?

You could, but you'd need the right weather with an extensive medium-high (6,000 ft) cloud layer. There's only so many days in the season and there's a winter storm. If you want to try, the show runs from 5PM to approximately 10:20PM. But the lights are only on for 13 minutes out of the 51 minute set. You might want to check with the Flanders to see if it's on. Then go to 43.448051702, -88.103568870, approximately the intersection of Wallace Lake Road and N Church Road, and look ENE (just to the left of the road, looking east.) You might want to try different locations based on the weather conditions. It will be cold. You might die if you pick a bad day. I'd wait until at least Tue Dec 27, but Dec 29 might be the best bet.

2022-12-22_03-09-08.jpg

I've added a FAQ to the OP. Example above. Suggestions and corrections appreciated.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
4) Why can't we see the beams?
Pure air is transparent to visible light (apart from a small amount of Rayleigh scattering), which is just as well, because otherwise we could not see through it! The puzzle is not why sometimes we can't see light beams, but why sometimes we can. People may have an unreasonable expectation of always seeing light beams because in public displays of searchlights or lasers the visibility of beams is often deliberately enhanced, either by choosing suitable atmospheric conditions, or by releasing smoke, dry ice, etc, into the air. (In photos and films, there may also be simple faking. I wonder how many old photos of searchlight beams in wartime were 'touched up' for dramatic effect?) A video here lists 10 ways of making laser beams more visible for demonstration purposes:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0SV0oidMk&t=210s


Of course, the conditions required for light beams to be visible - mainly the presence of dust, smoke, or water droplets in the air - are not uncommon, so it is not surprising that quite often beams are visible, if only faintly. Especially over cities, there is often some visible air pollution. For example, in London in the 1940s, there was usually some combination of mist and smoke from coal fires in the air, so it is not surprising that searchlight beams were often conspicuous. In rural Wisconsin, maybe not so much.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Suggestions and corrections appreciated.
"you might die if you pick a bad day?" maybe "be sure to check the weather conditions- looks like some abnormally cold days ahead -and dress appropriately. And as always..never let your car go below a half full tank of gas in winter" :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a grid at 6500ft, and a blue vertical 6500 ft wall running along the Flanders' street, cetered on their house.
2022-12-22_10-12-15.jpg



Here's Kim's video, overlaid on the Google Earth viewpoint


This shows the Flanders' location is at the center, and the scale of lights on the cloud matches.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
In his initial rebuttal, Ben posted this video of the lights taken from "2.5 miles" away.



Two things are of note. Firstly the beams are clearly visible, even at 2.5 miles. But we don't see any spots - maybe because there's no clouds.

The other thing is that he seems to be standing under a bright light, which will greatly change the exposure, making the beam seem darker.
2022-12-22_14-41-33.jpg

2.5 Miles puts him at the Park-and-Ride in Fredonia - a convenient place to park. The NE corner has a line of sight to the Flanders house, but is by a bright light.

2022-12-22_14-49-45.jpg

So the combination of bright local light, and lack of visibility of a spot might have led them to make the premature elimination.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
G) The 380w spotlights used are about the most powerful consumer spots you can get, easily capable of shining on low cloud in the dark.
Are these LED lights? If so, what's the equivalent incandescent/arc light wattage, or its light output?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
But we don't see any spots - maybe because there's no clouds.
i see spots without beams in one section. or is that just the camera not being able to keep up?
88.jpg


i was thinking of the lake balatan thread and how the beam "spread out" as it got longer.
i'm not sure how to verbalize my thought... but thats why they dont see the beam on clear nights? because it spreads out too much? or am i making it more confusing?
1671756581180.png


buac18-vid-lighthousebeam-poster.png
 
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jackfrostvc

Senior Member
I saw Bens video at 2.5 miles. The cloud cover is hard to se, but sort of seems broken. And as the lights move around, on occassion they seem to hit clouds? and spots lights up - at least 3 different spots that I can see. For example @deirdre above has highlighted one of those occasions
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I saw Bens video at 2.5 miles. The cloud cover is hard to se, but sort of seems broken. And as the lights move around, on occassion they seem to hit clouds? and spots lights up - at least 3 different spots that I can see. For example @deirdre above has highlighted one of those occasions
frame 85 see can see the beam hit the cloud and where it hits it is much brighter
scene00085.png
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
Was scrolling through NUFORC, looking at reports of UFOs and saw this one, feel like it's relevant. Emphasis mine, hopefully no one else has posted this here:
Seven bluish white lights zigzagging in the sky at unexplainable speeds and directions. Beams going down to earth.

Sighting: Belgium, Wisconsin 12/12/22 at 6:45pm
My son, 13 years old, and myself, both with a clean bill of physical and mental health witnessed a phenomenon. We left our home in the Country driving west (near Lake Michigan) while it was dark. I suddenly noticed unexplainable bluish/white lights in the sky. They were zigzagging around the sky at speeds that made them appear 100 ft away to 100 miles away in milliseconds. The hair on my neck stood and I had goosebumps! I said to my son, “Please tell me you are seeing this too?” , “Please tell me I’m not crazy.”, he replied, “Oh my god, what’s going on?”, “They are following us!” We both starred, seeing 7 in total. They followed along side the car at times and at one time flew from behind and over the car. At this time I actually grabbed a hold of my son’s coat and just felt I needed to hold onto him. I’m was truly scared as it felt like we were surrounded. It was as though they were playing with us. At times they came together almost appearing to dance- choreographed- they’d swirl together and then disburse across the sky. At one time they all came together and then faded. Then 3 or 4 would be aside or in front of us again. We were both freaking out with disbelief at what we were seeing. We could also (at times- when they were further away) see beams going down to the earth from the lights (they could have been anywhere from 50 to 100 ft off the ground over the fields). While moving together at a distance they looked like little lights (tinker bells). When closer they looked like bluish flying clouds around a cylinder. My son tried to record the event, however, to further our astonishment at what was happening, they wouldn’t show on the video or camera. As though you look in a mirror and see no reflection. As we exited the Country roads and neared town, they disappeared. We did not see anything further on our way home. We can’t explain what we saw. It was truly amazing and I believe unearthly. Terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
This seems to support the Christmas lights theory, it may provide additional information about how to geolocate the light show.

I wish there was a way to contact this viewer and his son and reassure him, knowing that there was a likely explanation may be soothing after this traumatic experience. If anyone is reading this and lives in the area and may know this family, I'd love for them to be linked here. No pressure for them to believe our explanation, I just think it may balm their post-experience nerves.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Are these LED lights? If so, what's the equivalent incandescent/arc light wattage, or its light output?
Yes. The Flanders likely use a few lamps as made by the company Varilite. This lamp could well be the one.
A 1000W monochromatic light engine producing 85,000 source lumens and an efficient optics system is delivering 45,000 lumens out of the front of the fixture.
"light engine", I downloaded the manual and it says LED. Formerly, Xe lamps were used.

Screenshot 2022-12-23 at 09.51.46.png
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Are these LED lights? If so, what's the equivalent incandescent/arc light wattage, or its light output?
LEDs will typically give you 80-100 lumens per watt - about 6-7 times a halogen incandescent bulb. You can get higher (120+ lm/W), but you pay more for it. I presume just from the practical standpoint of quantity and budget that these are cheaper quality, it seems like you can get IP65 ones (necessary for this application, but doubling the price) for ~$600.
E.g. random first google hit https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/380w-led-moving-head-beam-light.html quotes:
"Marslite 380W Waterproof Moving Head Light Outdoor Ip65 Moving Head Sky Beam Searchlight
$598.00-$642.00 / piece"
"380w Beam Light Pro Show IP65 Sharpy Outdoor Waterproof 380w Sky Beam Moving Head Stage Light
$660.00-$780.00 / piece"
I couldn't find lumens figures for these budget models, which nudges me towards thinking they might be towards the lower end of the scale.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
From the photometrics:

That's about 2% of the brightness of a German WW2 60cm anti-aircraft searchlight (135,000,000 cd). If the beam was more focused, it'd be even more.

These ones are so cool, with the carbon rod HV discharge sources! Must have been not only an optical (lightlevel) hazard, but also you can get zapped using them..
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another report from Port Washington, this being the same date and time as Kim and Ken's sighting

Mufon #127449

2022-12-01 10:45PM
Between 2 and 6 lights flying in circular and linear formations just above cloud cover. Thought it could have been spotlights but the lights would disappear completely before reappearing further north with more lights each time. The lights were an oblong shape, and decent in size so I don't think they were flying too high. There was no sound from any aircraft. 35° outside with 3mph wind. Each time the lights started it was too brief (2-4 seconds) to take a video so I'm attaching drawings of some of the formations I saw.
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127119_submitter_file1__20221201231532.jpg127119_submitter_file2__20221201231527.jpg

127119_submitter_file3__16699585163121510707934984974558.jpg

And of course these are also 100% consistent with Flanders.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
This seems to support the Christmas lights theory
With a quick note that there is nothing restricting use of these lights to Christmastime. I'd expect this sort of light to get use on July 4, the Big Sale at the car dealership or opening night at the community theater. Etc.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I wish there was a way to contact this viewer and his son and reassure him
he would be either in Middle school or a freshman in high school. can't be too many schools out there, someone can contact the science teachers. i took meterology freshman year.. so this topic might be fun for the science teachers anyway.

add:I contacted the 7th/8th grade science teacher and asked him to maybe talk to the other science teachers in the area. Maybe he can do experiments over the xmas break!
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
With a quick note that there is nothing restricting use of these lights to Christmastime. I'd expect this sort of light to get use on July 4, the Big Sale at the car dealership or opening night at the community theater. Etc.
Except it gets darker later on July 4th (fewer eyes on the sky), and there's less likely to be low cloud cover.
 
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