Sphere, Acorn, Metallic Blimp - Three iPhone Photos From an F-18 via Mystery Wire

gtoffo

Active Member
Ive seen the Batman balloon listed as being 33in = 86cm, but exactly what dimension this relates to is unknown, (link)

It would be interesting to do the calculations the other way around, ie, if we know the size of the Batman balloon, can we calculate the speed of the aircraft using the photos and metadata, and is it within the flight envelope of the F/A-18E...?
If the balloon was 1/3 of the size I've calculated you would need to scale down the whole "triangle" and that would give you a third of the distance (so very very close) and the aircraft would need to go 1/3 of the speed and would be stalling even with full afterburner.

Even at half the speed I used in my lower estimate the plane would be at the minimum controllable speed for sea level and probably would be stalling at that altitude even with full after burner and full flaps.

No intercept would be done at stall speed with full after burner. Jets like to fly fast especially at high altitudes and afterburners are very inefficient.

300/350knots (what I used in my lower bound) is probably the minimum given the altitude. Maybe 250 is the extreme minimum but highly unlikely in this scenario.
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
While doing calculations on the speed of an object based on known sizes it's best to remember that when it comes to mylar balloons they can be created at home, in almost any conceivable size and shape. Here's a demonstration video of designing, cutting, sealing, filling and releasing into the sky a balloon of the video makers own design.

There are few limits to the size, shape, color and release location of an unidentified object that could be created by anyone at any time.

DIY Type Balloons
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Using the calculator above and given we know the full camera specs so by measuring pixels we can calculate:

The size given a distance or the distance given a size, however we do not know either of the variables so we don't gain much here alone.

We can however measure approx jet speed by assuming a fixed position object and noting the increase in apparent size over the gap between 2 pictures (0.374s)

The object goes from 20 pixels tall to 32 pixels tall in 0.374s

If we assume a 1m object that's 163m to 101m in 0.374 seconds = 322kts
If we assume a 5m object that's 815m to 509m in 0.374 seconds = 1590kts

I would suggest this puts bounds on the object size of 0.5m (approaching stall speed) and 3m (very fast cruise speed) given they were making passes to take photos and get a closer look on the slower and thus smaller end.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
https://www.scantips.com/lights/subjectdistance.html

This is the best calculator to use in my opinion

Image is 4032x3024 4/3 3.99mm 28mm equiv

Object is 20pixels in the one image I have
What image are you referring to? An iPhone 8 camera screen is said to have a standard pixel count of 1334 x 750, giving a h:w or w:h ratio of about 1:1.78. Presumably if it is redisplayed in some other format the pixel count might change, but the ratio should not, if the only change is a proportionate increase or decrease in pixels . 4032 x 3024 gives a ratio of 1:1.33, which is significantly different from 1:78 - the ratio is increased by about a third. Does that imply we are looking at a cropped image?

If the object image is 20 pixels wide in an image with total width of 4032, the ratio of object to total is 1:202, which (much to my surprise!) is very similar to the result I got from my stone-age method of using a ruler. So I think we are agreed that the width of the object is about 1/200 the width of the overall image.

There remains a question about the field of view. I think you assumed a horizontal fov of 65.5 degrees. I assumed 30 degrees. Is there any way of determining the correct value?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Using the calculator above and given we know the full camera specs so by measuring pixels we can calculate:

The size given a distance or the distance given a size, however we do not know either of the variables so we don't gain much here alone.

We can however measure approx jet speed by assuming a fixed position object and noting the increase in apparent size over the gap between 2 pictures (0.374s)

The object goes from 20 pixels tall to 32 pixels tall in 0.374s

If we assume a 1m object that's 163m to 101m in 0.374 seconds = 322kts
If we assume a 5m object that's 815m to 509m in 0.374 seconds = 1590kts

I would suggest this puts bounds on the object size of 0.5m (approaching stall speed) and 3m (very fast cruise speed) given they were making passes to take photos and get a closer look on the slower and thus smaller end.

We are in similar ballparks. Just a note: 161knots is lower than the stall speed of the aircraft at that altitude for sure.

The F-18 stalls at around 200 knots with no flaps and minimum load at sea level.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
What image are you referring to? An iPhone 8 camera screen is said to have a standard pixel count of 1334 x 750, giving a h:w or w:h ratio of about 1:1.78. Presumably if it is redisplayed in some other format the pixel count might change, but the ratio should not, if the only change is a proportionate increase or decrease in pixels . 4032 x 3024 gives a ratio of 1:1.33, which is significantly different from 1:78 - the ratio is increased by about a third. Does that imply we are looking at a cropped image?
The screen aspect ratio doesn't have any bearing on the camera's sensor, which is indeed 4:3. The lens has a 28mm focal length (35mm equivalent, actual sensor size is 4mm), which gives a 65.5º horizontal angle of view.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Extreme approximation of the calculations here...

Using FOV of 53° for the camera (not sure it's the right one tried finding an exact value but I failed...in any case this is such an approximation that I think it shouldn't introduce such a big error).
I calculated number of horizontal pixels between an approximate centerline for the aircraft and the object and I see: 10,15° in the first one and 15,06° in the second one.

Using the most probable speeds above and assuming the object is stationary we have two triangles:
Screen Shot 2021-04-08 at 13.45.04.pngScreen Shot 2021-04-08 at 13.45.24.png

This would indicate a range between 203 and 336 meters in the second image. The faster the F-18 the longer the range.

I see 30 pixels of width in the second image so at that range using the same approach I would estimate:
@203 meters: 1.40 meters wide
@336 meters: 2.31 meters wide

Obviously several factors are not being taken into account and this is a big approximation (and FOV could be very wrong. Anyone know the exact FOV for iPhone 8?) but the result is pretty close to an expected intercept range and the size of something not impossible to find in the sky.

Conclusion: the batman mylar ballon seems to be sold in 45x70cm formats. I argued in the past this size was almost impossible to spot and intercept in the air with an F-18. I think the calculations above (if correct...big IF... please double check) show the object should be 3X-5X as wide and we can therefore exclude a party balloon candidate.
The screen aspect ratio doesn't have any bearing on the camera's sensor, which is indeed 4:3. The lens has a 28mm focal length (35mm equivalent, actual sensor size is 4mm), which gives a 65.5º horizontal angle of view.
My calculations above are not as dependent upon FOV as I thought. Basically changing the FOV yields minimal changes in the results.
The main factor is the F-18s speed.

however I made a mistake in my previous calculation.
To calculate the size I used the distance of the first picture with the apparent pixel size of the second picture.

Rerunning the 350 knots simulation with 65° FOV yields:

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 13.43.59.png

And using the correct a=137 meters of distance (I used the b=202 meters in my past calculation) we get an estimated minimum size of 1.16 meters.
Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 13.49.50.png

At higher speeds we get bigger sizes. I think this is basically as low as we can go. If we had GPS coordinates we could get the full picture.

p.s. new idea: could we estimate the altitude given the curvature of the earth observed in the pictures?
 

DavidB66

Active Member
The screen aspect ratio doesn't have any bearing on the camera's sensor, which is indeed 4:3. The lens has a 28mm focal length (35mm equivalent, actual sensor size is 4mm), which gives a 65.5º horizontal angle of view.
I know next to nothing about cameras, but surely the fov depends on the zoom factor, if any? If I understand correctly, the iPhone 8 has an optical zoom of x2 (by switching to a different lens) and a digital zoom of up to x10.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
only the iPhone 8 plus has a 2x optical zoom, as far as I know this is not a plus, unless the EXIF for a plus still puts iPhone 8 in the camera model field.

Trying to judge the angles from the iPhone in hand in a moving banking jet seems less accurate than just doing the increase in size in pixels from a known camera sensor, which is fully known quantity.

I get between 0.5m and 3m but 3m is only if the jet is doing 1000 kts which seems really unlikely, I still think the most likely range is between 0.6 and 1.5m which given margins of error still allows a balloon, anything bigger than 3m has the jet performing at or above it's max speed.

It seems more likely to be in the range of 0.8 to 1.5 meters which given error margins for pixels etc is still in the range of a balloon.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
My calculations above are not as dependent upon FOV as I thought. Basically changing the FOV yields minimal changes in the results.
The main factor is the F-18s speed.

however I made a mistake in my previous calculation.
To calculate the size I used the distance of the first picture with the apparent pixel size of the second picture.

Rerunning the 350 knots simulation with 65° FOV yields:

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 13.43.59.png

And using the correct a=137 meters of distance (I used the b=202 meters in my past calculation) we get an estimated minimum size of 1.16 meters.
Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 13.49.50.png

At higher speeds we get bigger sizes. I think this is basically as low as we can go. If we had GPS coordinates we could get the full picture.

p.s. new idea: could we estimate the altitude given the curvature of the earth observed in the pictures?

Another issue with those calculations: we are using knots which is dependent upon the air density. What we ideally would need is the TAS=true air speed of the jet to calculate its movement.

The higher you go the less dense the air is and the indicated airspeed will drop. So 350knots indicated air speed at 10k feet of altitude is approximately 420 knots of True air speed. The 350 knots true speed I used would actually correspond to 290 indicated at 10k feet (see: http://www.csgnetwork.com/tasinfocalc.html)

This complicates matters and makes my estimation above even more conservative. 1 meter is probably the absolute minimum size of the object. It is probably larger.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
only the iPhone 8 plus has a 2x optical zoom, as far as I know this is not a plus, unless the EXIF for a plus still puts iPhone 8 in the camera model field.

Trying to judge the angles from the iPhone in hand in a moving banking jet seems less accurate than just doing the increase in size in pixels from a known camera sensor, which is fully known quantity.

I get between 0.5m and 3m but 3m is only if the jet is doing 1000 kts which seems really unlikely, I still think the most likely range is between 0.6 and 1.5m which given margins of error still allows a balloon, anything bigger than 3m has the jet performing at or above it's max speed.

It seems more likely to be in the range of 0.8 to 1.5 meters which given error margins for pixels etc is still in the range of a balloon.
See my comment above. You are using true air speed while the jet flies with the available air and indicated air speed. 1000 knots true air speed (800knots indicated at 10k feet) is not out of the ordinary for an F-18 that can reach mach 1.8+

Consider maximum-range cruise airspeed is around 0.85 Mach http://krepelka.com/fsweb/learningcenter/aircraft/flightnotesboeingfa18hornet.htm

When manoeuvring it wouldn't be strange to be flying transonic however we can set mach 1 as a limit as the f-18 won't supercruise (break the sound barrier without afterburners) and it is unlikely they were making an intercept with afterburners.

Altitude is a big factor to determine probable speed. Can we estimate it with the earth's curvature?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Given the object is stationary the speed I am calculating is ground speed relative the stationary object.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Given the object is stationary the speed I am calculating is ground speed relative the stationary object.
Yes me too.

The problem is the speed assumptions you are making are based on the flight envelope of the F-18. The F-18 doesn't care what the ground is doing. It only takes into account how much air is under its wings and entering its engine.

Hence the difference between TAS and IAS.

The higher you go the faster you need to fly but the slower it "feels" like you are going.

For example if you are at 85k feet you need to be doing Mach 3+ and you need to be in a pretty capable machine to keep your engines running and enough air under your wings (this was top alt and speed for the SR-71).
Indicated airspeed will be extremely low (almost stall speed) as there is almost no air entering your pitot tube. But the ground is moving pretty fast....

Also let's not forget that the higher you go the more wind you can have. That would complicate things a bit if the "Acorn" was indeed stationary.

Wind would actually be the easiest way to determine if this was a balloon or not. It would take the Navy 1 second to determine that this was a balloon at such altitudes given a radar contact establishing its position. If it doesn't follow the wind exactly... can't be a passive balloon.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I understand the way wind affects the ability of a plane to fly, perhaps we can look up some data for the day they were taken.

How would they establish the radar position if it were small balloon not reflecting radar?

This goes back to Micks statement in the OP

Article:
The Task Force reports noted that the objects were able to remain stationary in high winds, with no movement, beyond the capability of known balloons or drones.
Source: https://www.mysterywire.com/ufo/new-uap-photographs/

For me this one line makes the whole story seem ridiculous. Stationary relative to what? And how was this measured. High altitude air movement is not very turbulent, so balloons would appear still.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
ok my photoshop transform skill are lacking big time. i was trying to 'deflate' balloon bits but dont really know how to get the tail to hang right without messing up the arm fin. anyway....
1617980656847.png

original balloon below
 

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Max Phalange

Active Member
only the iPhone 8 plus has a 2x optical zoom, as far as I know this is not a plus, unless the EXIF for a plus still puts iPhone 8 in the camera model field.
It's not a Plus so only the single lens. To rule out digital zoom, this would show up in EXIF as both "Digital Zoom Ratio" (which is absent from these leaked photos) and would affect the "Focal Length in 35mm Film" figure too (these are Apple's display labels, I'm not sure what fields they correspond to in the metadata itself).

This is a photo from an iPhone with a 26mm lens with what was displayed as "5x" zoom in the camera app:

And 26 * 5.1 ~= 132

Here's the corresponding data from The Debrief's photo:

So it's pretty safe to say that there was no zoom on these UAP photos and they're all 28mm equiv.

edit: According to the developer documenation, the EXIF field for digital zoom has been available since iOS 4, circa 2010. It's just absent when there's no digital zoom applied.
 
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gtoffo

Active Member
To me the horizon looks curved (although clouds are present).

I found something that could be interesting: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19037349/
Visual daytime observations show that the minimum altitude at which curvature of the horizon can be detected is at or slightly below 35,000 ft, providing that the field of view is wide (60 degrees ) and nearly cloud free. The high-elevation horizon is almost as sharp as the sea-level horizon, but its contrast is less than 10% that of the sea-level horizon. Photographs purporting to show the curvature of the Earth are always suspect because virtually all camera lenses project an image that suffers from barrel distortion. To accurately assess curvature from a photograph, the horizon must be placed precisely in the center of the image, i.e., on the optical axis.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
Just a thought - does anyone have a full subscription to flightradar24.com, who could have a look around that Virginia Beach warning area on March 4th 2019? Maybe see if there are any Project Loon type balloons showing up?

You can of course register for a free 7-day trial on flightradar24.com and then cancel without being charged, although that might be a tiny bit unethical.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Just a thought - does anyone have a full subscription to flightradar24.com, who could have a look around that Virginia Beach warning area on March 4th 2019? Maybe see if there are any Project Loon type balloons showing up?

You can of course register for a free 7-day trial on flightradar24.com and then cancel without being charged, although that might be a tiny bit unethical.
do balloons show up on flight radar 24? no point wasting a free trial if they dont. or if the time has run out

Article:
How far back in time you may go depends on your subscription level. All users have free access to 7 days of flight history, Silver subscribers may access 90 days, Gold subscribers 365 days and Business subscribers up to 730 days.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
do balloons show up on flight radar 24? no point wasting a free trial if they dont. or if the time has run out

Article:
How far back in time you may go depends on your subscription level. All users have free access to 7 days of flight history, Silver subscribers may access 90 days, Gold subscribers 365 days and Business subscribers up to 730 days.

Project Loon ones definitely do. The FAQ page may be out of date — the subscription page says 3 years.

 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I think Loon balloons are too big at 15m the jet would have to be moving faster than it's capable of to account for the object size increase in the time frame given by the exif data.
 

Max Phalange

Active Member
I think Loon balloons are too big at 15m the jet would have to be moving faster than it's capable of to account for the object size increase in the time frame given by the exif data.
Sure but it would be interesting to see if there was anything unusual up there with an ADS-B transponder. A bit of a long-shot.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Long shot but does anyone have or know of a free and open format F-18 3d model file, ideally with the canopy modelled and 2 seats.

If not I'll try to model the canopy but I suck at modelling.
 

abyssal dission

New Member
Could try asking the Ace Combat community, I believe the developers modeled the F-18s in Ace Combat Infinity and Ace Combat 7 pretty close to the real thing and there are a couple data miners that extract models from those games pretty successfully. In 7 the F-18 is featured in its 3 PSVR missions so its definitely got a fleshed out model there.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Oh there are lots of amazingly accurate models available for a price which is fine as it takes skill and effort to make them. I'm just not going to pay for one for a fun recreation of these photos.
 
Hi All

Let me say from the off that they all appear to be balloons to my naive, "untrained observer" eyes, but look at the totality of the supposed encounters:

1. The pilots (amongst the best-trained in the world one would think) are supposed to have (a) been unable to identify the objects and (b) been worried about mid-air collisions with them. If an F/A-18F struck a child's helium balloon, would it even matter (air intake issues perhaps)?

2. Assuming that the photographed objects are the same ones being described in the relevant articles, the pilots alleged that they could move, apparently under their own power, against the prevailing winds. That doesn't meet my definition of balloon.

Given the nature of this site, therefore, are people's underlying assumptions that (a) Graves, Accoin, the Pentagon, etc. are all deliberately misleading us (for reasons unknown), and that (b) Knapp, Corbell, et al are inadvertently misleading us in repeating what they're being told as if it were true?

Thanks
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
2. Assuming that the photographed objects are the same ones being described in the relevant articles, the pilots alleged that they could move, apparently under their own power, against the prevailing winds. That doesn't meet my definition of balloon.
Can you quote the words of a pilot who said that?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
I was rereading the thread and calculations and realised I didn't reply to this:
I understand the way wind affects the ability of a plane to fly, perhaps we can look up some data for the day they were taken.
What I am saying is the speed indicator is dependant upon air density which at high altitudes is much lower.

So the actual speed over ground of the aircraft (what we actually need to calculate relative movement of the two objects) will be higher.

Wind is an additional factor but unrelated to this.

You estimations are therefore lower than they should be. The acorn is bigger than what you think.

How would they establish the radar position if it were small balloon not reflecting radar?
That's a big argument against this being a non radar reflective balloon. Almost impossible to see and intercept it this way if this was a 50cm balloon.

Maybe doable? Trying really hard. But I doubt it and why would they turn back to photograph a balloon? An F-18 costs something like 50k$ an hour to fly....they aren't going around joyriding taking pics of balloons if you want to have a career in the Navy...

For me this one line makes the whole story seem ridiculous. Stationary relative to what? And how was this measured. High altitude air movement is not very turbulent, so balloons would appear still.
High altitude air is extremely windy. It is highly improbable (impossible?) for a balloon to stay still very long at high altitude. In the Gimbal video (I think banditsat12oclock is referencing that) they state: "they are going against the wind. the wind is at 120 knots". (120knots=222.24Km/h....I wouldn't call that "not very turbulent")

They can see the bandits on radar and they can tell their exact position on the SA (situational awareness) screen. They know exactly that they aren't moving.

For reference: in the gimbal video we see that the aircraft is flying at mach 0.59 at 25k feet which at that altitude corresponds to 408mph or 355 knots. The actual speed indicator would only show 238 knots at that altitude (lower density up there). So they were flying rather "slow" for the aircraft (not a lot of air under its wings).

At high altitudes the pilot is shown speed in mach and not in knots also for this reason.
http://krepelka.com/fsweb/learningcenter/aircraft/flightnotesboeingfa18hornet.htm
Typical cruise speed is 580 knots at high altitude (720 knots at low altitude). The Hornet is capable of reaching Mach 1.8 (1,127 mph, 1,814 km/h) at 36,100 ft (11,000 m). The changeover from indicated airspeed to Mach number typically occurs as you climb to altitudes of 20,000 to 30,000 feet (6,000 to 9,000 meters).

Maximum-range cruise airspeed is approximated by flying at 4.2° AOA, no faster than 0.85 Mach. Maximum endurance can be approximated by flying 5.6° AOA.

Remember that your true airspeed is actually much higher in the thin, cold air. You'll have to experiment with power settings to find the setting that maintains the cruise speed you want at the altitude you choose.

Incidentally 350 knots (so 5 knots less than the gimbal video) is what I used in my calculations for minimum speed. You can't go that much slower at such altitudes without stalling an F-18.

The size calculated at that speed was 1.16 meters wide. And it looks taller than wide. That's a pretty big balloon.

The F-18 was certainly not going at 1/3 that speed which would give us a batman balloon size of 40cm.
 
Why do you think we think the Pentagon is misleading anyone?

Hello,

I don't know if people on here generally do think that, hence the question. I assumed that the Pentagon was lying, but I wondered whether a less malign interpretation might have generally been adopted on here (honest mistake rather than deliberate misinformation, a bit like the Chilean "plume" episode that MW referenced in his interview with Elizondo).

I mean, step back and look at this situation. These photos are released, the UAPTF apparently says they're UAPs, Corbell, Knapp et al lap it all up, even though to all the world these objects look just like kids' balloons, and then in a day or two, Metabunkers rather convincingly show that they are probably kids' balloons. Doesn't that make the US military look anything from mildly ridiculous to downright incompetent? However, do we really believe that US pilots and military radar systems can't tell a 33" Batman balloon from a physical, drone-like, aerial vehicle of some kind? I don't, hence my conclusion was that we're either (a) deliberately being lied to, or (b) there's more classified evidence that we're not being shown.

I get very tired very quickly, though, when officialdom falls back on the "We have much more we can't show you" routine, as it just feels to me like I'm being played for a mark in someone's much bigger confidence trick. In such instances, my gut tells me that whatever the guy is trying to sell is bunk.
 
Can you quote the words of a pilot who said that?

Hi Mick. Re-reading all the articles now, no, I can't. In fact, in re-reading them, it surprised me how much I was reading into the various statements.

I'm still happy to go with balloons and official dishonesty as my conclusions!
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Some time has passed and nobody has disputed my and jarlmai's calculations that the object must be at a MINIMUM 1 meter in width.

Here are the conclusions (REDACTED to compress see original posts for full details)
If we assume a 1m object that's 163m to 101m in 0.374 seconds = 322kts
If we assume a 5m object that's 815m to 509m in 0.374 seconds = 1590kts
The main factor is the F-18s speed.

Rerunning the 350 knots simulation with 65° FOV yields:

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 13.43.59.png

And using the correct a=137 meters of distance (I used the b=202 meters in my past calculation) we get an estimated minimum size of 1.16 meters.

At higher speeds we get bigger sizes. I think this is basically as low as we can go. If we had GPS coordinates we could get the full picture.

Speed and altitude is key here.

The higher you go the less dense air is so the INDICATED air speed (IAS) at that altitude (basically what the aircraft FEELS like it's flying at) would be lower than the TRUE speed of the aircraft (TAS). TAS is what we care about as it basically corresponds to speed over ground and actual movement.

So 322kts of TRUE SPEED at 25k feet is approaching the stall speed of the F-18 as it corresponds to 232 knots INDICATED (see: http://www.csgnetwork.com/tasinfocalc.html).

So jarlmai is correct in using around 320knots as the minimum speed of the F-18.
Therefore minimum size is 1 meter across approx.

Going the other way: 1500kts True air speed at 25k feet is 1000kts indicated (approx. Mach 1.2 at that altitude).
That is well within the envelope of an F-18 that typically cruises at 0.85 Mach for best range. However it would require afterburners to maintain that speed in level flight (not very likely as expensive) or a dive with no afterburner (possible).
So Max approximate size is several meters across and most probably no more than 5 meters across.

Counting pixels the object appears approx 30x32 pixels. So basically 1x1 meter or 5x5 meters is the maximum range approximately.

For reference (using http://www.hochwarth.com/misc/AviationCalculator.html):
Gimbal video: 25k feet @ 0.58 mach = 349 kts TAS
GO Fast video: 25k feet @ 0.61 mach = 367 kts TAS
FLIR video: 19990 feet @0.55 mach = 338 kts TAS

350 knots TAS is the most probable approximate speed at 25k feet for an F-18 not manoeuvring aggressively.

Typical batman balloon sizes (I initially found 45x70cm but can't find that format anymore):
71cm w x 69cm h https://www.instaballoons.com/products/batman-cape-shape-28-mylar-foil-balloon
69cm x 99cm https://rakkoonsballoons.com/product/supershape-balloon-batman-action/ (different design)

From 1 meter to 70cm we would need a big (but not impossible) error given our approximations.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
the UAPTF apparently says they're UAPs, [...], even though to all the world these objects look just like kids' balloons,
unless you can definitively prove they are a kid balloon, then they are still technically UAPs.

although her last sentence here (i'm bolding) does sound like she's hinting she knows they are identified to at least her satisfaction
Article:
UDPATE: The Pentagon did respond Friday, April 9 for a request to comment on the images and video. A Pentagon spokesperson sent Mystery Wire the following statement:

“I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF has included these incidents in their ongoing examinations. As we have said before, to maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to potential adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examinations of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.”

SUSAN GOUGH, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON
 

Todd Feinman

Active Member
Hello,

I don't know if people on here generally do think that, hence the question. I assumed that the Pentagon was lying, but I wondered whether a less malign interpretation might have generally been adopted on here (honest mistake rather than deliberate misinformation, a bit like the Chilean "plume" episode that MW referenced in his interview with Elizondo).

I mean, step back and look at this situation. These photos are released, the UAPTF apparently says they're UAPs, Corbell, Knapp et al lap it all up, even though to all the world these objects look just like kids' balloons, and then in a day or two, Metabunkers rather convincingly show that they are probably kids' balloons. Doesn't that make the US military look anything from mildly ridiculous to downright incompetent? However, do we really believe that US pilots and military radar systems can't tell a 33" Batman balloon from a physical, drone-like, aerial vehicle of some kind? I don't, hence my conclusion was that we're either (a) deliberately being lied to, or (b) there's more classified evidence that we're not being shown.

I get very tired very quickly, though, when officialdom falls back on the "We have much more we can't show you" routine, as it just feels to me like I'm being played for a mark in someone's much bigger confidence trick. In such instances, my gut tells me that whatever the guy is trying to sell is bunk.
Right. See my post here:
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/py...-footage-maybe-bokeh.11695/page-4#post-247855
 

gtoffo

Active Member
As we have said before, to maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to potential adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examinations of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.”

SUSAN GOUGH, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON[/article]
This is their boilerplate message every time they release a comment on this subject. No point reading into it much. It is meant to be vague.
 

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