Skinwalker Ranch - Laser Beam Stops and Starts in Mid Air

Somewhat amusingly the producers seem to have faked this shot:
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It shows up when Travis says "the beam changed color", but it appears to just be this shot (but at a different time, as the dust does not match) with a hue adjustment.
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We can tell it's a hue adjustment because the green laser is blue, and the red laser is green. The individual lasers would not change their colors.
 
In the full episode Travis says that the cameras are set to "take a snapshot every so often" and that they are "long exposure photographs". This kind of eliminates the rolling shutter in my opinion, assuming it is true of course. You wouldn't have these hard cuts on laser beams in a long exposure image.
They also show three different images from three different angels with missing laser, I assume it is three different cameras, but it is unknown if they are the same type of camera. I'm mostly leaning towards a hardware malfunction (with the specific sensor type in the cameras used) or a deliberate fake at this point. But without the original photos I think it will be almost impossible to tell. And I highly doubt they will ever release the original photos.

Edit: Come to think of it, it reminds me a bit if the "black sun" problem with extreamly overexposed parts of the image, like the sun. Blackmagic was plagued by this problem for a long time. It was a CMOS sensor problem if I remember correctly. This video is a good example (although I would recommend turning off the sound):
Source: https://youtu.be/RjGPiJpS_tg

I'm not 100% sure the same thing would occur for long exposure images of lasers, but since the areas that are "cut out" seems to be more black than the background, I find it a possibility.
 
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How does this work? Are there several lasers of each color that are beam-split between the outputs. Or one laser per mini-beam? Do they share a power supply, or are there multiple power supplies.
If this was a problem I needed to solve, I'm sure my solution would be one laser per beam. Heat is one of the biggest problems for something of that power, you need active cooling, and spreading out the generators of heat into a matrix with gaps between permits easier cooling than cramming them together into fewer hot sites and optically splitting their output. However, I've never needed to solve this problem, this is just gut feels.
 
Why would a TF/movie production wrap supports and cranes in green?

Indeed. The lift, I think just happens to be green. The base is green, but the side covers are gray as is the cable holding telescoping arm on the left side of the boom:

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Sunbelt Rentals has various locations in Utah:

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And they have a habit of painting all the equipment they rent with a trademark green paint, like this JLG lift which is usually orange:

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As for the camera mount though, that does seem a bit suspect.

The whole thing is asinine. This is just a big, ridiculous, overblown set up for TV because it looks good on TV. In an attempt to understand a possible "portal/wormhole/UFO" these guys set up a light show from the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival. I guess aliens dig a Rave. All they're missing is a few DJs and some Molly.
 
If this was a problem I needed to solve, I'm sure my solution would be one laser per beam. Heat is one of the biggest problems for something of that power, you need active cooling, and spreading out the generators of heat into a matrix with gaps between permits easier cooling than cramming them together into fewer hot sites and optically splitting their output. However, I've never needed to solve this problem, this is just gut feels.
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Here the white box with narrow black base is the lasers. The green is power supply, the large black box is liquid cooling. The "Action" box is just a stand.


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This laser seems like a simple on/off with three knobs (Red, Green, Blue) to control the color.

I'm guessing the knobs control a relatively high frequency attenuator - something that turns the laser on/off (or blocks it) for particular duration, not perceptible to the human eye - that's how dimming LED flashlights often work.
 
Are there several lasers of each color that are beam-split between the outputs. Or one laser per mini-beam? Do they share a power supply, or are there multiple power supplies.
The significane of mini-beams comes from the observation that there is partial gapping in one main beam (the leftmost green). If this is not simply a fake image (a possibility) then that implies that some of the mini-beams are off, and some are on (in the left beam). Or maybe just a wierd timing thing.

I agree with this, and noticed the same phenomenon in several locations.
Each beam must be a cluster of smaller beams that are connected up to a range of different power/control systems that occasionally glitch in unison.
 
I'm not 100% sure the same thing would occur for long exposure images of lasers, but since the areas that are "cut out" seems to be more black than the background, I find it a possibility.
That seems possible, except that in one image the blue laser beam shines through the gap. If the sensors cut out because they were overloaded, then surely the blue laser beam would disappear too.
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That seems possible, except that in one image the blue laser beam shines through the gap. If the sensors cut out because they were overloaded, then surely the blue laser beam would disappear too.
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Not if it's only the green pixels that cuts out. I don't know if that is possible, I've never heard or seen something like that before, but I wouldn't rule it out. It could potentially also explain why the blue laser looks darker where the green cuts out. Some of the blue light would probably shine through the green laser, I would assume. It would be interesting to do an experiment with a green and blue laser, and use a filter to completly block all green light and see if it is possible the light from the blue laser would be visible "through" the green laser when the filter is applied, and the green laser is in front of the blue.
It might be a stretch, but I'm just throwing out some ideas.
 
I'm guessing the knobs control a relatively high frequency attenuator - something that turns the laser on/off (or blocks it) for particular duration, not perceptible to the human eye - that's how dimming LED flashlights often work.
This 'attenuation' would produce short periodical gaps in the laser beam emission, which would be detectable using a camera using a rolling shutter. I'm just surprised that there are so few gaps. Perhaps the lasers were turned up to near their maximum.
 
I share all your assumptions. I notice the coolant goes in right at one corner, and comes out at the far corner, this says to me that they've spread the hot parts as far apart as possible. Of course, the hot bits touching the coolant might just be fins connected to lasers elsewhere, but I'd still say the most likely scenario, just from a simplicity perspective, is that each light emerging is its own source.
 
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If I were to hoax this, I would use a rectangular piece of blue filter, tape it to a glass pane, and hold it in front of the camera at some distance.
If I didn't align it very carefully, the filter would clip a beam it wasn't supposed to clip (or partially miss a beam).

Or, you know, select a rectangle in photoshop and dial the green channel to zero.
 
If it is a rolling shutter artifact (which seems likely) then there is no need to fake anything.

The Skinwalker Crew need not have known anything about it until they looked at the pictures, although the laser specialists might have anticipated this and told them beforehand.
 
In the full episode Travis says that the cameras are set to "take a snapshot every so often" and that they are "long exposure photographs". This kind of eliminates the rolling shutter in my opinion, assuming it is true of course.

I wouldn't make that assumption given that Travis has a history of deliberately making false statements that eliminate mundane explanations, like "it's moving waaaaayyyy to fast to be a satellite" and "where did it go, it's not cloudy?" Those were just from one incident and both are objectively false statements designed to mislead when the object was just a satellite moving behind a cloud.

Taking long exposure photos in this scenario makes no practical sense. The beam would have to be disrupted for the entire time the shutter is open to get this effect, which seems highly unlikely given that 1) nobody saw it happening with their own eyes, 2) they obviously weren't caught on video because that would have been far more compelling evidence. I don't believe for one second that they weren't capturing video of the beams during this "experiment", especially when they had three cameras supposedly dedicated to taking periodic long exposure snaps.

In my opinion, "long exposures" is deliberate misdirection design to eliminate the rolling shutter explanation. We're also probably looking at portrait crops of landscape images for the same reason.
 
All of it shines through. Light throws no shadow.
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Although you are right, the image you show is not light, but a flame, which is a bunch of exited atoms. :)
What also is true that light does not "collide", meaning crossing laser beams show no interaction (unless of course coherent light).
 
I wouldn't make that assumption given that Travis has a history of deliberately making false statements that eliminate mundane explanations, like "it's moving waaaaayyyy to fast to be a satellite" and "where did it go, it's not cloudy?" Those were just from one incident and both are objectively false statements designed to mislead when the object was just a satellite moving behind a cloud.
I'm not stating he is correct, I'm simply going by what is being presented. Without the original images with metadata we can only speculate.

In my opinion, "long exposures" is deliberate misdirection design to eliminate the rolling shutter explanation. We're also probably looking at portrait crops of landscape images for the same reason.
Maybe we are. Again it's hard to say without the originals. The rolling shutter just doesn't explain why the area where the green laser cuts out seems to be darker than the background. If the effect was from rolling shutter and the green lasers are turning on and off at a given frequency like in the Tom Scott video, the part with the missing laser should look like the rest of the background, which it does not. It looks darker like someone censured that area.
 
the part with the missing laser should look like the rest of the background, which it does not. It looks darker like someone censured that area.
I don't think that is the case all over. In this screen grab from post 92, a section as tall as the cutout area and about twice as wide seems to have a distinct greenish cast, while the part to the right of that looks darker than the faint blue glow of the background. More and more it looks like a solid object blocking a portion.
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Although a solid object might explain the dark region in the left beam, it doesn't explain the fact that blue light can shine through the gap in the right beam.
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So far, the only reasonable explanation for this gap I can see is a rolling shutter effect. Unless the 'solid object' is opaque to green light and transparent to blue light, which seems unlikely.

Remember as well that this gap in the beam is 100 feet up in the air; I can't imagine any practical way to hoist any object to that elevation without a support structure visible in these images, let alone a perfect blue/green filter.
 
Although a solid object might explain the dark region in the left beam, it doesn't explain the fact that blue light can shine through the gap in the right beam.
How do you know the blue beam isn't in front of the green beam? They're not solid.
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So far, the only reasonable explanation for this gap I can see is a rolling shutter effect. Unless the 'solid object' is opaque to green light and transparent to blue light, which seems unlikely.
The left edge of the dark field is not aligned with the pixels, but it would have to be if it was caused by an electronic rolling shutter. Your enlargement shows that it is slanted.

What puzzles me is the width of the green glare on the left.
Remember as well that this gap in the beam is 100 feet up in the air; I can't imagine any practical way to hoist any object to that elevation without a support structure visible in these images, let alone a perfect blue/green filter.
a) drones
b) a filter need not be up in the air, it could be low and close.
 
The left edge of the dark field is not aligned with the pixels, but it would have to be if it was caused by an electronic rolling shutter. Your enlargement shows that it is slanted.
I'd guess that the apparent slant is due to the way this photo has been cropped.
Here is the whole of the original picture; the slant of the objects on the ground is identical to the slant of the 'discontinuity', so I guess the whole image is tilted.
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How do you know the blue beam isn't in front of the green beam? They're not solid.
A good point. The green beams and the blue beams are both only visible due to scattering, so the blue beam should be visible through the green beam, and vice versa. So if the blue beam is in front of the shadowing object, it should still be visible. Looking at the larger picture, it is quite possible that the blue beam is in front of the green beam, so it could work.
 
I'd guess that the apparent slant is due to the way this photo has been cropped.
Here is the whole of the original picture; the slant of the objects on the ground is identical to the slant of the 'discontinuity', so I guess the whole image is tilted.
I find that unlikely.

Maybe there are not two, but 3 (or more) beams on the left, and some are very close to appear as one?

I'd still like to know whether the laser equipment they were seen to be using is capable of producing this effect.

For a long exposure, I expect a cheap camera could just keep sampling the sensor and adding the values in software; in that case, a rolling shutter effect could maybe still occur? But I'd like to see evidence of it.
 
So far, the only reasonable explanation for this gap I can see is a rolling shutter effect.
I'm tempted to agree, but does that not also imply that the pulsing of the left green laser is precisely matched to that of the right one? I understood them all to come from separate sources on the ground, so I'm not sure how that would work.
 
Remember as well that this gap in the beam is 100 feet up in the air; I can't imagine any practical way to hoist any object to that elevation without a support structure visible in these images, let alone a perfect blue/green filter.
The closer to the camera the object is, the lower it's altitude will be. It need not be high in the air out there amongst the beams. It COULD be done by shooting through a pane of glass and sticking a bit of gaffer's tape on the glass where you want a beam blocked. Of course that would not allow the blue beam to peak through the gap in the green beam -- but the section of blue beam in that gap does not look like any section of blue beam anywhere else in the picture. The color does not match, the "texture" does not match -- it looks like what you might get if somebody said "This would look even cooler if the blue beam was still there!" and handed it off to an intern with limited skills to handle the photoshopping.

That would also not require some fancy filter material that completely blocks the green beams not the blue ones.

I am not claiming that IS how it was done. But that sort of scenario is possible, and would produce this sort of image.

(This is similar to what Mendel wrote about in THIS post above.)
 
I think it's unlikely, but a double exposure, or a long exposure where different lights in circle were cycled on would around a physical block to the green beams would also be a possible explanation.
 
I'm tempted to agree, but does that not also imply that the pulsing of the left green laser is precisely matched to that of the right one? I understood them all to come from separate sources on the ground, so I'm not sure how that would work.
Perhaps they are synchronised to the local AC current supply, or to the local generator.
 
I'm not stating he is correct, I'm simply going by what is being presented. Without the original images with metadata we can only speculate.

I don't disagree, however we're never going to get the original images because Brandon Fugal refuses to provide any original data despite being asked to by numerous people over the years. When Mick asked for the bottle drop data he got a condescending response from Erik Bard basically saying "it's all very complicated, you wouldn't understand it."

The broader point is that nothing Travis Taylor says on this show can be taken at face value, nor can it be used to rule out any explanation. It's a fact that he deliberately misleads the audience, most of whom defer to his impressive credentials.

Maybe we are. Again it's hard to say without the originals. The rolling shutter just doesn't explain why the area where the green laser cuts out seems to be darker than the background. If the effect was from rolling shutter and the green lasers are turning on and off at a given frequency like in the Tom Scott video, the part with the missing laser should look like the rest of the background, which it does not. It looks darker like someone censured that area.

True, I pointed out on page one of this thread that the particular section you are referring to looked badly Photoshopped.

There may be multiple deceptions happening here. I imagine they spent a lot of time and money on this particular "experiment", and having three cameras dedicated to the task of taking periodic images, in my opinion, lends to the argument that they set out to achieve this rolling shutter effect. Perhaps they didn't get quite the result they wanted across multiple beams and Photoshopped the rest?
 
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Eburacum said:
Perhaps they are synchronised to the local AC current supply, or to the local generator.

If you can remotely control the lasers, doing so in sync is not hard.

Not hard, but I doubt the lasers were operating in that kind of configuration. The pictures above of the lasers, show they are probably large stacked laser diode banks/arrays, in combination with a beam collimator (multi lens array). Here it is more "power over control" imo, no syncing required. EDIT By syncing I mean the laser beam modulation.

But I am still in the middle with it all, no explanation is satisfactory yet. The taped piece of green filter on a glass plane sounds interesting, but we would see the transition also in the purple laser as the filter must also reduce the purple a bit and we don't see that.
 
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The taped piece of green filter on a glass plane sounds interesting, but we would see the transition also in the purple laser as the filter must also reduce the purple a bit and we don't see that.
Maybe somebody would use two pieces of filter or tape to block the two green beams and leave the center blue beams unblocked? Then clean up any telltale edges in photo shop. While you're there , put the blue laser back, that would look mysterious...

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It's worth mentioning again that the company operating the lasers is Nu-Salt Laser Light Shows International. Putting together highly synchronised laser light shows is their bread and butter.
I am guessing that it would not be productive to ask THEM about it... surely there is an NDA with the production company or equivalent in place. Can't hurt to ask, though.

I'm up in the mountains where I have Internet but no e-mail, for some reason. When I get back down the hill, if nobody has chimed in to say they've reached out to them, I will. Probably a waste of time, but it costs nothing to ask.
 
True, I pointed out on page one of this thread that the particular section you are referring to looked badly Photoshopped.
I think the 'photoshopping effect' in these images is due to oversharpening after the event. The SW crew rarely seem to actually fake anything.

However they often use expensive equipment in ways that are almost guaranteed to produce mysterious results. Here's Mick West's replication of their Drone-Wormhole effect, which seems to demonstrate they were using standard equipment in a non-standard way.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/sk...-lidar-scan-with-gap.13038/page-2#post-294226
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I think they knew, or may have guessed, that the attenuation of the green laser would produce periodic gaps in the beam, so they took a series of rolling shutter photos that would display this effect.

Possibly it didn't look quite as weird as they expected, but it does look pretty weird.
 
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I think the 'photoshopping effect' in these images is due to oversharpening after the event. The SW crew rarely seem to actually fake anything.

However they often use expensive equipment in ways that are almost guaranteed to produce mysterious results. Here's Mick West's replication of their Drone-Wormhole effect, which seems to demonstrate they were using standard equipment in a non-standard way.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/sk...-lidar-scan-with-gap.13038/page-2#post-294226
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I think they knew, or may have guessed, that the attenuation of the green laser would produce periodic gaps in the beam, so they took a series of rolling shutter photos that would display this effect.

Possibly it didn't look quite as weird as they expected, but it does look pretty weird.
I think we have come to the phase where we need to practically experiment to show it works. If only I had a few frequency modulated laser diodes at hand here..
 
It's odd that we never see the bright green and blue lasers in video. Here's a video still, where we see a ful range of colors, including white and reddish light. The lasers just look blue, and pretty much the same intensity
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Here a video still we get a bit more of a hint of two colors. Three blue and three cyan (green+blue), one kind of mixed, but a bit more cyan
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Adjusting the color balance brings out some color, levels tweaked to keep the background black
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Erik Bard did say they would use some filters.

But really I think we'd have to see to original photos with metadata to have a clear shot at solving this one. Unfortunately the team at SWR is very reluctant to make any data public.
 
It's odd that we never see the bright green and blue lasers in video. Here's a video still, where we see a ful range of colors, including white and reddish light. The lasers just look blue, and pretty much the same intensity


Here a video still we get a bit more of a hint of two colors. Three blue and three cyan (green+blue), one kind of mixed, but a bit more cyan


Adjusting the color balance brings out some color, levels tweaked to keep the background black


Erik Bard did say they would use some filters.

But really I think we'd have to see to original photos with metadata to have a clear shot at solving this one. Unfortunately the team at SWR is very reluctant to make any data public.

It would be interesting to hear about how their laser systems work, indeed. The state of the art laser diodes of today can be pretty beefy, and likely put through photonic crystals or fibres, resulting in broad band high power laser light with continuous spectral wavelength selection.
 
It would be interesting to hear about how their laser systems work, indeed. The state of the art laser diodes of today can be pretty beefy, and likely put through photonic crystals or fibres, resulting in broad band high power laser light with continuous spectral wavelength selection.

They seem to be using a Laser Space Canon, possibly by Phantom Dynamics? The company at SWR, New Salt lighting has Laser Space Canons as an option for setup. Phantom Dynamics does shows like New Salt, but they also sell components that look like the one in the video:

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External Quote:

DESCRIPTION​


Skybeam Laser Cannon Searchlight is SIX TIMES more visible than the brightest ordinary searchlight – this LASER can be seen from tremendous distances!
The Laser Space Cannon is the brightest laser in the world at over 500 Watts (that’s 500,000 mW) of laser power, requiring only 110 VAC or 220 VAC at 15 amps. It can project a bright, thick full color laser beam into the nights sky with many different color patterns and effects like strobe, flash, and fade at set speeds.
The Laser Space Cannon will take your special event, business, or historical land mark to a new level being see from all over your city by thousands of curious spectators. This new technology replaces the old search lights that require allot of power and are limited in there capacity. - May be some restrictions - Requires a FDA / FAA Variance and Installation (FDA / FAA Variance included in price)
Laser also includes a new LIDAR system to comply with the FAA requirements for flight path support
USA Patent Protected
Please contact us for pricing and more details - Rentals Available! - 406-270-3326

https://phantomdynamics.com/phantom-dynamics-laser-space-cannon-skybeam-searchlight/

Can't find anything like a user's guide though.
 
They seem to be using a Laser Space Canon, possibly by Phantom Dynamics? The company at SWR, New Salt lighting has Laser Space Canons as an option for setup. Phantom Dynamics does shows like New Salt, but they also sell components that look like the one in the video:

https://phantomdynamics.com/phantom-dynamics-laser-space-cannon-skybeam-searchlight/
A nice example of a vantage point where it's clear the beams disappear well before the vanishing point here:
Hard_Rock_Cafe_Lasers.jpg__97649.1639710512__67516.1643342584.jpg

(Harking back to posts #52, #53, and #59 ( https://www.metabunk.org/threads/sk...stops-and-starts-in-mid-air.13479/post-316798 ).)
 
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