Skinwalker Ranch Carriage House Lights and Bird on a Sunny Day

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


When Steven Greenstreet visited Skinwalker Ranch in the summer of 2022, he asked to see their best evidence of anomalous events. One of the things they showed him was the above video.

It shows the interior of the abandoned Carriage House. The camera is facing the sun, which streams in through the open door, an upper opening, and numerous gaps in the roof. There are four rafters visible, which I'll refer to starting with the one closest to the camera as the "first rafter".

We see two luminous objects on the right, they are the same bright white as the sky
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The objects seem to dance around randomly. A bird flies from the chimney to the fourth rafter back, at this point the upper of the two objects (and presumably both of them) is in front of the 2nd rafter
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The objects waft around, they move right and fade out, then the bird flies away.



Greenstreet suggested they might be small caterpillars, like this:
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That's possible, but to me their motion and the way they fade out at the end suggests a "silk in sunbeam" explanation. I think the unusual light condition mean that a beam of sunlight is strongly backlighting two silk threads fairly close to the camera.

Here's an example of silk in sunlight, not backlit, just in a (fairly wide) beam of sunlight.
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I don't think they are particularly out of focus, just very bright, and hence our old friend glare shows up.

It's raining here for the foreseeable future, so I did an indoor experiment with a simulated sunbeam.




And here's a closer versions:



We see at the correct angle we can get a super bright segment of the fishing line, when the exposure is set to show the interior.
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This is just using a flashlight, about 15 feet away, through a slit in a cardboard box. I suspect a sunbeam would be considerably brighter.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Did anybody ask him WHY he saw fit to take videos of the interior of a derelict building?
They have constant surveillance of several locations, hoping to see something anomalous. This was one of the best things they found over the years they have been doing it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
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At that time the sun would be about 15° up, and at a heading of 103° (ESE)

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That's not perfectly aligned with the carriage house, but consistent with the lighting.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Something that needs to be worked out: How do the highlights both stay mostly vertical?

In your demonstration, the fishing line is diagonal and the highlight is diagonal as well. The highlights in your silk line examples also follow the direction of the silk lines.

This suggests that the hypothetical lines of silk would also produce highlights that would follow the position of the lines. Since the highlights in this carriage house video are always vertical this suggests that the hypothetical silk lines in the carriage house were always vertical.

In the video, the highlights share a common drift, sometimes to our left, sometimes to our right, but they also have an independent motion. Their relative postions change both horizontally and vertically. Yet they remain parallel vertical lines. This precludes a single line of silk because it's not credible that a single line of silk blown by an air current to our left or right would have no smooth and consistent bend in it. This suggests two lines of silk.

The camera is fixed so the lines of silk must be moving. So how do even two separate lines drift to our left or right yet maintain their vertical position (and perfectly vertical highlights)? Lines of silk typically don't do that when disturbed by air currents. If only the top of the line is fixed to something and the bottom is not fixed the lower part of the line drifts off to the downwind direction. The silk line develops a curve, in other words. If both ends are fixed, the line will bow and/or vibrate.

My tentative idea is that these lines are very close to the lens. The movement of these hypothetical silk lines to our right is a very slight movement. In this way a very slight downwind movement does not produce a noticeable change in the vertical shape of the lines or the highlights produced by the lines.

It's a very weak air current. Enough to move the silk lines slightly to our left or right, but not strong enough to distort the lines; or to make them bend in other words. We are also seeing a very small section of the line, which would make any curve in the line less noticeable.

This is consistent with threads of silk, which are very fine; much thinner than fishing line. The highlights produced by silk threads would be much less bright and much smaller than the highlight produced by your fishing line. Being very close to the lens would make the silk line highlights look bright. The resulting glare would help make them look big. Being very close would help them look big. Being very out of focus would help them look big.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
The camera is fixed so the lines of silk must be moving. So how do even two separate lines drift to our right yet maintain their vertical position (and perfectly vertical highlights)? Lines of silk typically don't do that when disturbed by air currents. The lower part of the line drifts off to the downwind direction. The silk line develops a curve, in other words.
Good point. Perhaps they are lines of silk with a bit of weight from something snagged on the end. Or perhaps Greenstreet's comment about caterpillars is closer to the mark, as they might provide either the weight on the silk, or be the reflectors of light themselves as they drift from a thread of silk. Tiny larvae are nearly weightless and behave in much that way, dangling vertically and floating along (generally in front of my nose if I'm reading under a tree). And a fade-out would also be seen from a "caterpillar in sunlight" phenomenon as it goes into the shade.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Looking again, the highlights do go slightly off vertical, and I think that correlates with whether the highlights are moving to our left or to our right. What do you think, everyone?
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I've realized that the silk lines may be fixed at both ends to a hood/sunshield on the camera itself.
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In this scenario the air current is blowing from our right to our left. The lines are bowing to our left and vibrating. When the air current is blowing more strongly the highlights move to our left. When it is blowing less strongly the highlights move to our right. When it is blowing even less strongly, or not at all, the lines straighten out and the highlights aren't visible. The angles are critical.

Note also that when the lights move to our far left, they start to get shorter and dimmer. The angles are critical. If the threads moved even farther to our left, would the highlights suddenly disappear completely as they do when they move too far to our right? I suspect so.

Could this be why the lines are slightly off vertical? The lines are bowed slightly to our left?

2022-12-30_09-58-35.jpg

It's important to note that there are two spliced-together scenes. The first one without the bird and the second with the bird.

In the way this video is edited, the lights are already visible at the beginning of both spliced-together scenes. I'd like to see more of this video. Do the lights suddenly first appear where they disappear in the second scene?
 

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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
They have constant surveillance of several locations, hoping to see something anomalous. This was one of the best things they found over the years they have been doing it.
Do they say that the bird was startled by the approach and disappearance of the lights? Judging by track record I'd expect they would. It's the kind of post hoc fallacy they'd push.
 
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Ann K

Senior Member.
Do they say that the bird was startled by the lights?
I've realized that the silk lines may actually be fixed at both ends to a hood/sunshield on the camera itself
The lights move much more noticeably about 1-1/2 to 2 seconds after the bird's wings flutter as it lands. I don't know whether that gives a clue as to the distance between bird and lights, but it suggests to me that they're not as far distant as the camera appears to be, perhaps a distance of four feet from the bird, but my highly dubious "measurements" are only based on my blowing (not too hard) at a scrap of a tissue.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A problem with them being very close to the lens is what is then illuminating them? Can it still be sun, and not hit the camera, the sun is only about 6° to the right of the centerline of the house. Maybe just missing the camera?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
So how do even two separate lines drift to our left or right yet maintain their vertical position (and perfectly vertical highlights)?
are they vertical in real life? that doesnt jump out at me as a fisheye lens, but those walls are pretty evenly/oddly barrel shaped.

they disappear about here(straight pink), is that too far toward the middle to vertical up a slight bended web?
1672450705410.png
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
are they vertical in real life? that doesnt jump out at me as a fisheye lens, but those walls are pretty evenly/oddly barrel shaped.

they disappear about here(straight pink), is that too far toward the middle to vertical up a slight bended web?
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Seems that way to me. The 2-piece truss closest to the camera has some obvious bowing of the bottom cords from the center to the walls. Some of that is the actual wood I think, but some of it matches the bow in the wall.
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Though clearly someone has tried to shore up what's left of the building as evidenced by the new looking 2x6 running under the center of the trusses with a new looking stud supporting it.

I'm still trying to figure out what is in the corner. It looks like a Microwave mounted to the wall, which makes no sense, and maybe a big white chest freezer? I don't know.
 

MapperGuy

Member
This situation, a relatively small enclosed space, would be ideal for a multi-camera setup.
STEREO imagery, in this case, would be far more informative than any single camera.
Are you seeing a tiny object inches from the lens, or a large object many feet away? With a single camera you can't tell, with two or more it becomes easy.

If they are serious about catching ghosts they should invest in another camera.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
a Microwave mounted to the wall, which makes no sense
Or a room air conditioner, which (considering the state of the ruins) makes even less sense unless it's a very old air conditioner indeed. I had a similar one more than half a century ago.

What are the diagonal cords running nearly corner to corner?
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
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A flurry of insects appears at around 0:24 right after the bird flies off at 0:22. Their motions are very fast, but it seems the bugs flying closer to the camera turn brighter like the one whizzing by the diagonal beam behind the third rafter.

These bugs add credence to the hypothesis that the dancing lights are larvae dangling by silk threads closer to the camera. They would also explain the presence and behaviour of the bird.

Tineola bisselliella, the common clothes moth, is common also in North America. Their larvae are considered a serious pest. They can hang from ceilings as shown here:

8B8A3AB5-6616-4F3E-B8F6-CEC5E94CCEE4_4_5005_c.jpeg

An oak leafroller (moth) caterpillar hanging by a silk thread:

FA103D11-FDA4-4140-8EBA-3BDDF3AA6A09_1_201_a.jpeg

Spider egg sacs and lacewing larvae also hang from threads:

04AEE5C5-C6C2-48D7-B342-AB815D42CA17_1_201_a.jpeg
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deirdre

Senior Member.
It looks like a Microwave mounted to the wall, which makes no sense,
im assuming its vented. there is a pipe going up out of the roof...which would seemingly have no purpose otherthan as a vent for that thing. (not that his is on topic :) also that chimney thing on the right doesnt look like it has a purpose either. and dont get me started on the bad fung shui !!
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Skinwalker ranch building-min.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
there's a clear geometric limit to where the objects are visible. At 0:18 the shortening of thd lower light shows one such limit.

there a few options that could cause this:

a) we're looking directly at the object, and the volume of sunlight it flies through is sharply limited. Con: the object seems to be completely invisible when unlit.

b) we're looking at a light shining into the scene before us. This could be a reflection from a mirrored surface near the camera, and the surface would be able to move somewhat. The geometric limit would come from the reflection being obscured. The mirror would need to be close the cameda, otherwise the light would appear to break up as it moves around the scene.

c) we're looking at light reflected onto/into the camera.

The main problem is that we'd need a reverse shot showing the wall that the camera is mounted on to check for potential reflective surfaces.

Is the original footage at 1:1 speed, or is it sped up?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This situation, a relatively small enclosed space, would be ideal for a multi-camera setup.
STEREO imagery, in this case, would be far more informative than any single camera.
Are you seeing a tiny object inches from the lens, or a large object many feet away? With a single camera you can't tell, with two or more it becomes easy.

If they are serious about catching ghosts they should invest in another camera.
Two cameras observing each other would help.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Two cameras observing each other would help.
Not if you want to keep it all a "mystery". Look at it, they deliberately keep an old crappy dusty shack for "finding anomalies".. Of course dust and insects and other stuff will show up, making me believe their real goal is to NOT find out.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
(not that his is on topic :) also that chimney thing on the right doesnt look like it has a purpose either. and dont get me started on the bad fung shui

Yeah, a bit but as Ravi noted:

Not if you want to keep it all a "mystery". Look at it, they deliberately keep an old crappy dusty shack for "finding anomalies"..

The strange appliance like things, the fact that there is shoring in place to help hold the roof up, but it's barely adequate and then there's the diagonal ropes or wires noted by @Ann K. The wires appear to be connected to a ledger of relatively newer lumber attached to the upper left wall and then anchored in the ground. I'm guessing it's a form of bracing to keep the left wall from falling over.

The whole thing begins to take on a "staged" feel. It makes otherwise mundane things, like silkworms or spider webs catching the sun, more mysterious and ominous. Even in full daylight, the place is kinda creepy, imagine what it would look like at night with sketchy night vision footage?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If they are serious about catching ghosts they should invest in another camera.
i was listening to a podcast last night and they said (1:08:00) that Bigelow's team...the prior owners ...investigated like 8 years and they finally decided to use cameras watching cameras because the entity knows to avoid the cameras, but the watching camera didnt pick anything up either.

anyway im thinking this new owner's team likely does have cameras watching cameras. based on how ridiculously high tech their control room is... would be unbelievable if they didnt have cameras watching cameras.

The whole thing begins to take on a "staged" feel
well it is a tv show now. but in fairness if you knock down the haunted house the haunted goes away. and from personal experience..., old rotten, moldy buildings do "feel" more oppressive then newer builds.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
How "convenient". I'm sure you can hear my eyes rolling from wherever you are.
what's more convenient, according to the above podcast reporting, Bigelow decided that nothing was actually visible ever and that the entity just made the witnesses see what they saw but in a hallucination type way. so..the cameras never got anything because it was never visible in the first place :)
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
A problem with them being very close to the lens is what is then illuminating them? Can it still be sun, and not hit the camera, the sun is only about 6° to the right of the centerline of the house. Maybe just missing the camera?
Yes, I see what you mean. If we assume that the silk thread has to be more or less directly backlit, then the sun would have to be shining into the lens as well, and there would be glare.

But how much is known about what happens to light inside a silk thread? Does it have to be backlit for highlights to appear? Or can it be lit from other angles? Could there be specular reflections from the internal surfaces?

We often see colors when sunlight interacts with spider silk, so there must be refraction effects separating white light into its constituent colors.

This is an illustration of how water droplets produce rainbows. A combination of refraction as light enters, specular reflection from the interior surface, and more refraction as the light exits.

water-drop-prism-lrg.png
If we assume this is a cross section of a silk thread rather than a raindrop, could this be happening to light inside a silk thread?



This video is the closest match I've found to what might be happening inside the carriage house. I think this demonstrates that silk threads don't have to be directly backlit to produce highlights.


Notice the vertical movements of the highlights. Much like we see in the carriage house video.

A difference is that the camera is moving in this video and the camera is not moving in the carriage house video. In the carriage house video we have to assume that it's the silk threads that are moving.

I'm confident that what we are seeing in the carriage house video are light effects associated with silk threads. The only thing to work out is where the threads are, and what exactly the optical effects are.
 
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Nemon

New Member
When Steven Greenstreet visited Skinwalker Ranch in the summer of 2022
I wait every day for his video/part 4 to come out on the Basement Office YT chanel. In part 3 Greenstreet was already in the helicopter with Brandon Fugal. A trailer showed him at night on the ranch, pretty confused by what was going on there.
Quite a cliffhanger!
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I'm confident that what we are not seeing are illuminated worms.

-The vertical movements don't make sense. How could they be bouncing up and down like that?
-The lateral movements don't make much sense either. If we assume that these are worms hanging from the rafters... That's a lot of movement.
-The way the lights foreshorten and wax and wane in brightness just doesn't make sense for illuminated objects. These look like optical effects to me. In other words refraction effects depending on the angles.
-How could sunlight in front of the camera illuminate objects in front of the camera this strongly? The angles don't make sense.
-How do the worms just disappear completely? Wouldn't there still be enough reflected light from the interior surfaces of the carriage house to still see them, at least dimly?

Now, what we could be seeing is the left over silk threads from worms that aren't there anymore, rather than spider silk.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
theres a window in the back.
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i wonder if the camera is outside the window?
That could make sense. They would want to have the most complete view possible of the interior. Having the camera outside the structure would do that.

If this were so, the spider silk could be part of a web in the window frame. The threads could be fixed at both ends to the frame. Having the threads fixed at both ends - rather than just the top end - helps explain why the highlights (and the threads) remain vertical rather than waving about.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
That could make sense. The would want to have the most complete view possible of the interior. Having the camera outside the structure would do that.

If this were so, the spider silk could be part of a web in the window frame. The threads could be fixed at both ends to the frame.
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Having the threads fixed at both ends - rather than just the top end - helps explain why the highlights (and the threads) remain vertical rather than waving about.
and if the web strands are just a few inches from the camera, the webs would be barely moving really anyway.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
It couldn't be that window high in the structure, though. The angles aren't right. We can see the underside of the rafters. The camera is also to our left of the center line of the carriage house.

Maybe another window or more likely just a hole lower down in the wall that we can't see in that photo.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
It couldn't be that window high in the structure, though. The angles aren't right. We can see the underside of the rafters.

Maybe another window or just a hole lower down in the wall that we can't see in that photo.
yea i dont see another window. maybe the "header beam" that holds up the window. so yea that would be below the window.

but as your vid shows you dont need a window frame anyway to get vertical attached webs
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i really only mentioned the window for light bouncing back on the web fromt he front..but the pics i found shows back light works fine anyway.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
There are plenty of holes in that wall. Skinwalker ranch building-min (1).jpg

Skinwalker ranch building-min holes.png
It would be off to our right in this view and not visible in this photo.

Edit: Looking again... Are those holes or splashes of light shining on the far wall? Doesn't matter, though.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
There are plenty of holes in that wall. Skinwalker ranch building-min (1).jpg


It would be off to our right in this view and not visible in this photo.
maybe a start of one just below the window "header", but we dont know if the hole goes all the way through...or how old this pic is. (not that it matters much)
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Off topic

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Vintage conventional wall oven (which needed to be vented)
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Or maybe an early microwave that replaced a gas oven?
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1969 Amana Radar Range

Vintage chest freezer
DSCN1816 (800x600).jpg

My guess is that long ago - circa 1960/1970 - this old carriage house was used as a bunkhouse for laborers.



Much farther back...
Small forge for horseshoes and miscellaneous.
jO1GnXH.jpg
The forge is gone but the chimney remains.


Just more or less empty speculation, of course. That "oven" looks oddly 2 dimensional and I'm not convinced there is an oven vent pipe.


The pipe on our left is the vent for the forge, but is the thing on our right a vent pipe for an oven or a post for attaching electrical wires? A microwave wouldn't need a vent of course...
Skinwalker ranch building-min.jpg
 
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yoshy

Member
I wait every day for his video/part 4 to come out on the Basement Office YT chanel. In part 3 Greenstreet was already in the helicopter with Brandon Fugal. A trailer showed him at night on the ranch, pretty confused by what was going on there.
Quite a cliffhanger!
Part 4 was just released a few days ago. It's good but it still hasn't gotten to his night on the ranch
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
What are the diagonal cords running nearly corner to corner?
Very old electrical wiring. Remains of these circa 1920 wires also hang from the rafters. When old buildings were retrofitted with electricity, the wiring was just strung up along the walls and ceilings.

They probably had a generator.

This type ran on kerosene. Those are exide glass farm lighting batteries on the right.



Just an old kerosene engine with no generator or batteries in this TV prop, but you get the idea... Wires strung up along the wall and careful rationing of watts. This equipment was hopelessly quaint in the 60's, like the candlestick phones in the Andy Griffith Show. But many a farm still had more modern generators... and still do now.

Edit: Oops, you were talking about the guy wires that are helping to hold up that sagging wall on our right.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
I suspect if it was used for a bunkhouse, it would have been a sub-standard place to live indeed
the freezer to me says more like slaughter house type thing. like after you shoot a deer you string it up (outside) and hack it up then would use the freezer to store the meat ?? or maybe they had pigs, there is some sort of "corral" build off to the side of it. or maybe just for baby claves? i dont know much about cattle ranching. but i know people need meat to eat.
 
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