Skinwalker Ranch Carriage House Lights and Bird on a Sunny Day

Gaspa

New Member
It would be nice to have an unedited version of the video. One take uninterrupted, instead of being cut, zoomed around and cropped. But, just from the lighting, it looks to me like all the frames in this video are at about the same time frame. The sun has not moved much.

Silk threads, or some thread-like object, sounds like a perfectly good explanation. I would be surprised if this is not the answer. They do look mostly vertical, but their angle varies slightly, they could be connected on both top and bottom and almost taut, just sagging slightly, so they wobble around a bit. They would be illuminated by something like a pillar of light passing through a slot, similar to the space between boards in the door to the back, but on a different angle. I'm thinking it's one of those ceiling holes.

As they move around they "sample" the shape of the beam of light (I'm having a hard time putting this in clearer words), and I think the shape of the light beam could be inferred from this "sampling", which would give us a rough shape of the hole where the light is passing through.

Also, even though the threads appear to be one next to the other, in the same "plane", at the same distance from the camera, that's an illusion. The one that appears higher up is farther to the back, so it crosses the pillar of light at a higher point. Taking this into consideration, when they appear to move up and down it is actually back (away from the camera) and forth (closer).

A flurry of insects appears at around 0:24 right after the bird flies off at 0:22.
Looks to me like dust and small debris that was disturbed by the bird's flapping. Might as well be insects, but I don't see a way to make that distinction.
Does it have to be backlit for highlights to appear?
We have a fairly good idea of the position of the sun based on the illuminated ground, and it is in front of the camera. That's why the threads would have to be backlit.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Let's define backlit.

First, let's consider the question in a general sense, not taking into account the lighting conditions inside the building in this particular video.

In general does there have to be a straight line between the lens or eye, the thread, and the source of light for a highlight in the thread to be visible? Does the source of light have to be directly behind the highlight? No. Which is supported by this video in which threads are side lit by the Sun.



We are seeing highlights in the threads with only a dark background. There is no strong light source in the frame. They are being side lit by the Sun. Farther into the video, the Sun is mostly behind the camera, yet highlights in threads are still visible.

I suspect that the path of light through a silk thread can be quite complex. We have to take into account refraction. What is the refractive index of silk? More importantly, I suspect that there can be multiple internal reflections - specular reflections from the internal surface of the thread. If this is true I suspect that you can get highlights in threads when the strong light source is generally behind the observer.

Next let's consider the light in this particular Skinwalker Ranch video. If a thread had to be directly backlit by the Sun for the camera to observe a highlight in a thread, it wouldn't be possible at all for these vertical lights to be highlights in silk threads. The Sun would have to be directly visible in the frame, and it isn't. That would be true no matter what distance the thread was from the camera.

What I think MW is saying is that because, in this particular video, the camera is generally facing the Sun, threads very close to the lens are problematic. And threads farther away from the lens are less problematic. Simply because of the geometry of the situation. Threads farther away from the lens have a greater chance of being in direct sunlight, without the Sun also being in direct view of the lens.

A different situation than in the above Barn Video in which silk threads are being side lit by the Sun. I concede that point.

Let's consider the sources of light visible to the camera in this Skinwalker Ranch building:
-Sunlight reflected by the landscape
-Scattered sunlight from the sky
-These two indirect sources of sunlight reflected from surfaces inside the building.
-Direct sunlight reflected from surfaces inside the building.


We see reflected light from the landscape and scattered light from the sky through the spaces between the planks in the doors, and in the open doorway.

We see - mostly - scattered light from the sky in the window and the holes in the roof.

And we see these two indirect sources of sunlight reflected from surfaces inside the building

I doubt that these sources are bright enough to be the source of light that created these highlights.

In this video we do not see direct sunlight; there's no sunlight directly hitting the lens.

Therefore, the simplest scenario is that there are two silk threads in direct sunlight and we are getting a view of two highlights in the silk threads, because of the optical effects cited above. Optical effects that change the path taken by light rays. These threads would have to be relatively distant from the camera.

But we also see direct sunlight reflected off the floor. I do think this reflected sunlight is more than bright enough to be the source of these thread highlights. This reflected light is visible to the camera and so is shining directly on the lens. If this reflected light is the source of the highlights on two silk threads, this removes the problem with the geometry of close threads.

There's a reason to believe in the close threads hypothesis. The highlights travel laterally across the view of the camera. There's quite a bit of apparent motion. The farther away the threads were, the more actual motion there would have to be. The closer the threads were, the less actual motion there would have to be.

Close threads would produce brighter highlights. Brighter highlights would look bigger because of glare. Close threads would produce highlights with a greater apparent size, because of poor focus.

Note how dim and small the highlights look in the Barn Video. Silk threads are small. The relatively distant threads in the Barn Video produce highlights that look dimmer and smaller than we see in the Skinwalker Ranch Video.

So I suggest the close threads lit by reflected sunlight is the most likely scenario.

The threads were moved by a slight air current blowing from our right to our left that bowed the threads to our left. It was only when the threads were bowed to our left that the highlights were visible.

When the air current weakened, the threads weren't being distorted and the highlights move to our right then disappear. Most of the time the threads weren't distorted and the highlights weren't visible.

If we were shown a more complete video, I think we would see the lights first appear more to our right, move to our left and then back again to our right where they disappear again.
 
Last edited:

overlord

New Member
A rough match of the footage to the full field of view of the camera:



At half speed (15 fps) to see the motion better, original time stamped at the bottom (I'll refer to this as the time).
Note that:
- The clips before and after the cut at 00:13.26 are separated (an unknown number of frames are missing in between) based on the motion of the lights
- The clips before and after the cut at 00:17.70 are overlapping (the end of the first is the same as the beginning of the second) for about half a second (16 frames)
It's unclear if these are intentional or just sloppy editing.

Overall I don't think the lights move too much to rule out them being highlights on strands of spider silk (or something similar) at the distance of the nearest two rafters.
Their paths in blue, red lines at every 10% of width and height:
a1.png a2.png
 

MapperGuy

Member
Cameras watching cameras could be of value is some cases, but perhaps not as much as two cameras that should be able to see a particular object. A second camera a meter to the right of the camera that provided this video should also capture the bright light, and if it did that would allow calculation of the distance to the glowing whatever. If it is not visible to the nearby camera that would suggest the object is very close to the first camera. More cameras is always better, but I would favor stereo set-ups over cameras watching cameras.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Overall I don't think the lights move too much to rule out them being highlights on strands of spider silk (or something similar) at the distance of the nearest two rafters.
Their paths in blue, red lines at every 10% of width and height:
a1.png a2.png
1. Because the highlights remain vertical, the threads must also remain vertical at all times. How do threads remain vertical through that range of actual lateral motion?
-If they are fixed at only the top end, they would be waving in an air current.
-If they are fixed at both the top and bottom, how do they achieve that range of lateral motion without bowing? It would also take a strong breeze to distort the threads that much.

My opinion: I don't find it credible that distant threads would maintain a vertical position across that range of lateral motion.


2. How do fine silk threads produce highlights that large and bright at that distance? Please look once more at the Barn Video in Post 82. Notice how small and dim the highlights are compared to the highlights in the Skinwalker Ranch video. Silk threads are fine.

Barn.png


Barn K.png
There are a lot of variables to consider, but I think this is roughly similar to the proposed distant thread scenario.


2022-12-30_09-58-35 (1).jpg
Things to consider:
-The barn threads are side lit rather than back lit. Would that make a significant difference in the brightness of the highlights? Unknown.
-The source of light in both cases is sunlight in a clear sky, so no significant difference there.
-By comparing the view outside both doors, I think the exposure setting on the two cameras is pretty much the same.
-The contrast is higher in the Barn Video which should make the highlights look brighter, yet they are dimmer.
-Has my cropped view got the image sizes about right? Depends on actual distance and focal length. But consider this: I could crop the Barn Video frame to make the highlights bigger or smaller... but I could not make them brighter.

My opinion: I just don't find it credible that highlights in distant threads could be that bright in that low contrast environment.


3. Notice also in the Barn Video, that the threads are often fully or mostly visible along the entire length. Not always, granted. But, because of all the holes, there is much more reflected light in general in the carriage house than in the barn. But why are the threads not visible in the Skinwalker Ranch Video despite the brighter light? The answer could be that the threads are in very poor focus because they are close to the lens.

My opinion: I don't find it credible that we would never see any trace of distant threads - other than the highlights - in that relatively well lit environment.
 
Last edited:

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
All in all though, this is just a debate about details.

The significant similarity between the highlights in the Barn Video silk threads and the lights in the Skinwalker Ranch Video is the important thing.

Beyond reasonable doubt the mysterious lights in the Skinwalker Ranch Video are highlights in sunlit silk threads - whether worm silk or spider silk.
 
Last edited:

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
And I don't think this video is fraudulent in that they staged something. They just caught a low probability situation. With all those cameras constantly going, they were bound to. Like rolling dice so many times you get snake eyes 4 times in a row somewhere along the way.

The rest is just sloppy, motivated thinking.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Things to consider:
-The barn threads are side lit rather than back lit. Would that make a significant difference in the brightness of the highlights? Unknown.
A large difference. Here's a more directly backlit spider web:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6rImV1Z7aU

2023-01-06_22-55-56.jpg

The long structure threads show the "invisible" nature of a thread with no glue, then there the bright glow in segments. It not clear if the segments are dappled, or if they vary somehow, or if it's just the angle.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Notice also in the Barn Video, that the threads are often fully or mostly visible along the entire length. Not always, granted. But, because of all the holes, there is much more reflected light in general in the carriage house than in the barn. But why are the threads not visible in the Skinwalker Ranch Video despite the brighter light?
That's a problem for me, too. There's quite a range of motion, both horizontally and vertically, where the bright shape remains fully visible (and some boundary where it shrinks). How, if it is a thread, is only that short bit visible? shouldn't the visible part be longer? how does that work?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
2022-12-30_11-44-32.jpg

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

2022-12-30_11-50-06.jpg
That's not perfectly aligned with the carriage house, but consistent with the lighting.
2022-12-30_11-50-06.jpg

Very rough sketch, to show the approximate sun position via sun ray tracing, suggesting that the moving bright objects are lit via the window in the opposite gable
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Very rough sketch, to show the approximate sun position via sun ray tracing, suggesting that the moving bright objects are lit via the window in the opposite gable
The sun is coming directly in the back door. with the sun shining from just left of dead center. That suggests to me that the "things" are lit from a couple of the ample holes in the roof above them. The spotlight effect you'd get from sun through the roof slits would account for the fact that we don't see any other portion of a strand illuminated, as @Z.W. Wolf was questioning.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The sun is coming directly in the back door. with the sun shining from just left of dead center. That suggests to me that the "things" are lit from a couple of the ample holes in the roof above them. The spotlight effect you'd get from sun through the roof slits would account for the fact that we don't see any other portion of a strand illuminated, as @Z.W. Wolf was questioning.
if you compare the door shadow to Mick's grid, you see that the sun must be right of center.

We also know the angle is shallow because the shadows are very long, and because Mick determined its elevation to be 15⁰. Note that there aren't any sun spots from the roof on either wall. I don't see the roof slits working as light source here.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
if you compare the door shadow to Mick's grid, you see that the sun must be right of center.
You're right, of course, about the sun angle. My apologies; I wasn't looking at the perspective lines. But there are plenty of holes in that roof, some we see and presumably some we don't. I'm not sure how the back window could illuminate something in the (apparent) position of the floaters.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
That's a problem for me, too. There's quite a range of motion, both horizontally and vertically, where the bright shape remains fully visible (and some boundary where it shrinks). How, if it is a thread, is only that short bit visible? shouldn't the visible part be longer? how does that work?
because there are a bunch of beams blocking the sun. even Micks video which is more in full sun..different strands do different things and move around. (i dont think there is quite a range..i dont think the webs are as far as the vid makes them look. kinda like the butterfly thread...objects are closer than our perception make them appear)
a.png

b.png
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Is Leifer a painter, or just a big, tall strapping lad that can reach the rafters without a ladder?
Yes on both accounts. :cool:

RE: hodge-podge bracing of the structure.....
Having worked in the Set Construction industry -- and often on remote locations, there is nothing surprising that a rarely used building might be 'temporarily' shored-up if only to preserve any "quaint" (read: "scary") character, for creative camera opportunities.
If done by a film production crew, it's also not surprising about the low quality and napkin-sourced blueprint engineering.....but this is simply guessing at this point.
I could imagine the verbal orders of those in charge, "Just make it last for about 6 months, and we'll slap a camera in there to see what we get. We wouldn't it collapsing on our assistant camera person when she changes the fucking camera batteries."

I'm leaning to believe these moving white lines are from some sort insect or spider.
According to this article and most other references, spider silk is highly stretchable.
Weight for weight, a typical spider silk is 20 times as strong as steel and four times as tough as Kevlar. It is also extremely flexible, stretching up to 50 per cent of its length without breaking. And it’s not just the silk’s physical properties that are impressive.
https://www.newscientist.com

It's possible that strands could be connected at both ends, and still travel across the camera, vertically like a curtain....... with only a slight breeze.

Fun Fact:
Superfine silk-like strands can be made at home. Common items like a hot-glue gun often make skinny hair-like strands.
In the film industry, there is a specific tool used to make VERY realistic spider webs and cobwebs from rubber cement.
 
Last edited:

Ravi

Senior Member.
Fun Fact:
Superfine silk-like strands can be made at home. Common items like a hot-glue gun often make skinny hair-like strands.
In the film industry, there is a specific tool used to make VERY realistic spider webs and cobwebs from rubber cement.

SirOaktree, cool company name. I am sure it is because the owner's name is VanEeckhoutte, which is an old Belgian/Dutch name meaning oak (eikenhout).
 

Scaramanga

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

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
2022-12-30_10-03-01.jpg

The objects waft around, they move right and fade out, then the bird flies away.



Greenstreet suggested they might be small caterpillars, like this:
2022-12-30_10-10-12.jpg

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.
2022-12-30_10-27-29.jpg

2022-12-30_10-29-09.jpg

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.
2022-12-30_10-37-45.jpg
2022-12-30_10-38-43.jpg
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.

If you look very carefully at 15 seconds in, you can see a third smaller orb of light appear below the two main ones, just as the bird flies in. This is clearly light being reflected off the bird onto whatever silk thread is causing the main orbs.
 
Top