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

Max Phalange

Active Member
Very tenuous, but I wonder if there's a possible source of a bunch of mylar balloons on March 4, 2019, in Virgina Beach? I notice there's an expo called "The Outdoor Show" that seems like it might be on that date.
I had a look last night, time based searches on Google and Twitter. The main thing that happened was Pharrell Williams announced a music festival in Virginia Beach, but it was just a press release and pre-made video.

It was a Monday afternoon around 3pm, not a holiday - I guess a child's birthday party is a possibility but not one that would leave much of a digital footprint. Facebook would probably be the place to look.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
yea march 4th is still pretty nippy (ie. cold) for big outdoor events. maybe a car dealership or something...
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Recent podcast with Knapp: Source: https://youtu.be/xd4RZ21oFUM?t=719

He states that: "the images off of Oceana...look pedestrian and mundane... the people who shared them with me said...we don't know what they are looks like they are some kind of drones".
He then says that those people in the 2 years following analysed weather at that altitude etc. and "sensor data" they had and hadn't figured it out.
He states the sources said "they were just sitting there".
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Recent podcast with Knapp:
wow. ive never listened to a whole ufo podcast like that. why would knapp be hanging out with these guys?! dang. the government doesnt need disinfo agents with these yahoos babbling silly nonsense like that. one guy even put out that theory about ufos disguising themselves as balloons!

fyi, from a novice perspective that Corbell is SO unbelievable.

(of course you guys are trying to measure the size of a balloon blowing in the wind, so i guess it's all relative :) )
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
cleaning my desktop.. not sure anyone showed the side view of these balloons and how that matches up too. Didnt see a side of the shield shape one (UAP) but figure its the same as this longer one.

1619804743792.png
 

Domzh

Active Member
size comparison from your colleague Mick, from roughly 500 feet (bear in mind, helium expand at altitude so it will get a little bit "thicker")

source: centerforinquiry / skepticalinquirer
 

Domzh

Active Member
why? i believe there really isnt any argument anymore or would you disagree?

we have the balloon, we have the size, we have the distance and we found the speed for the jet shortly before stall happens

at altitude helium will expand, so it will "smoothen out" the top middle edge as well
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
why? i believe there really isnt any argument anymore or would you disagree?

we have the balloon, we have the size, we have the distance and we found the speed for the jet shortly before stall happens

at altitude helium will expand, so it will "smoothen out" the top middle edge as well
More for my own curiosity and records than anything.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
why? i believe there really isnt any argument anymore or would you disagree?

we have the balloon, we have the size, we have the distance and we found the speed for the jet shortly before stall happens

at altitude helium will expand, so it will "smoothen out" the top middle edge as well
Agree with jarlrmai.

Let's see a picture of that with an iPhone 8 raw from the camera like in the F-18.

We have demonstrated that the F-18 would need to be travelling unrealistically slowly for the size to match. So the batman balloon isn't a good match.

Also 500 feet = 152 meters.

Merging with a tiny balloon at high altitude at such a close range and taking a picture of it? How did they see it in the first place? How did they intercept it? Did they photograph it at the first pass and why? It doesn't make sense on so many levels. Those pilots are good but not THAT good.

And wouldn't they see batman on it at 150meters?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Just had some new ideas. Can we estimate speed for level flight by approximating the angle of attack and attitude of the F-18?

Fighters have very "flat" wings so they get most of their lift from AOA. It looks to be flying pretty flat.

Also, looking at the right DDI screen. What mode is it in? What is it displaying? Can we maybe glimpse something on that? What is that line? The horizon or some radar mode?
 

Domzh

Active Member
who concluded this? non pilots? Mick is a pilot and told you already its not implausible at all. i am in early training and am in private planes a A LOT of all sorts due to me wingsuiting. I dont see the problem with flying temporarily super slow almost to the point of stall at all. its a normal maneuver to get a feel for the plane. you even do it with canopies at altitude, you even stall them on purpose. and sometimes it even (i dont know why tbh, probably because of wind or thermal uplift) takes a lot longer than expected to stall.

for sure a navy pilot can temporarily fly extremely slow for the sake of a stable picture.
FA18 Flying Slow (YT)
Super Slow Flyby
Another example

Regarding the rest such as windspeed, thermal effects, turbulences cast by the jet itself, etc this is almost impossible to recreate.

The balloon matches in size, shape, color and even shows the same highlight at the same vertical third quarter.

If someone wants to acquire a batman balloon, pump it fully up and can get hold of an iphone 8 to make a picture through plexiglas (i assume the canopy of the jet is plexi?) at various distances, cool. I believe its a waste of time though lol
 
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jarlrmai

Active Member
Yeah the balloon is such a shape match for the acorn object, I can't really see it being anything else. But it would be nice to be able to show the plane could go slow enough for the numbers to match based on the photos. But there may be too many unknown factors (altitude/F18 loadout etc.)

Given the F/18 seems to the UAP spotting vehicle of choice these days. Who's going to be 1st on Metabunk to get the DCS F/18 sim and learn to be a pilot? :)
 

gtoffo

Active Member
who concluded this? non pilots? Mick is a pilot and told you already its not implausible at all. i am in early training and am in private planes a A LOT of all sorts due to me wingsuiting. I dont see the problem with flying temporarily super slow almost to the point of stall at all. its a normal maneuver to get a feel for the plane. you even do it with canopies at altitude, you even stall them on purpose. and sometimes it even (i dont know why tbh, probably because of wind or thermal uplift) takes a lot longer than expected to stall.

for sure a navy pilot can temporarily fly extremely slow for the sake of a stable picture.
FA18 Flying Slow (YT)
Super Slow Flyby
Another example

Regarding the rest such as windspeed, thermal effects, turbulences cast by the jet itself, etc this is almost impossible to recreate.

The balloon matches in size, shape, color and even shows the same highlight at the same vertical third quarter.

If someone wants to acquire a batman balloon, pump it fully up and can get hold of an iphone 8 to make a picture through plexiglas (i assume the canopy of the jet is plexi?) at various distances, cool. I believe its a waste of time though lol
Physics concluded that.

You can't do those slow manoeuvres at 25k-40k feet. The air isn't dense enough and the engines are less powerful.
To give you an idea here is the graph for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17


Also we know the plane isn't flying like that. Compare where the nose is pointing in your slow flying pics and compare now the nose in the pictures.

It's flying with a pretty normal AOA (angle of attack). So it's moving a lot of air under it's wings to keep level at that altitude as lift in an F-18 is generated almost entirely by AOA (basically no wing camber).

We can try to estimate flight speed by the AOA maybe.... jump into a SIM such as DCS or Xplane and try to simulate this situation. By replicating the nose attitude and AOA at various altitudes we may be able to see in which ballpark the speed falls.

P.s. to clarify: a PPL pilot has 0 experience with jets, high altitude flying and transonic-supersonic flight. An F-18 is not modelled accurately by a Cessna 172. Basically the only thing they have in common is the fact they are flying. That experience is not very relevant to the speeds/altitudes/systems involved in this picture.
 

Domzh

Active Member
Physics concluded that.

You can't do those slow manoeuvres at 25k-40k feet. The air isn't dense enough and the engines are less powerful.
To give you an idea here is the graph for the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17


Also we know the plane isn't flying like that. Compare where the nose is pointing in your slow flying pics and compare now the nose in the pictures.

It's flying with a pretty normal AOA (angle of attack). So it's moving a lot of air under it's wings to keep level at that altitude as lift in an F-18 is generated almost entirely by AOA (basically no wing camber).

We can try to estimate flight speed by the AOA maybe.... jump into a SIM such as DCS or Xplane and try to simulate this situation. By replicating the nose attitude and AOA at various altitudes we may be able to see in which ballpark the speed falls.

P.s. to clarify: a PPL pilot has 0 experience with jets, high altitude flying and transonic-supersonic flight. An F-18 is not modelled accurately by a Cessna 172. Basically the only thing they have in common is the fact they are flying. That experience is not very relevant to the speeds/altitudes/systems involved in this picture.
where you get your altitude information from?
 

Domzh

Active Member
lets get ockhams razor out..

what is more likely:

1) the pilots photographed a balloon that matches size, shape, colors and patterns to the T and our calculations and assumptions regarding speed and altitude or what or what isnt possible when navigating an FA18 are wrong

or

2) our calculations and expectations based on assumptions of non-FA18 pilots and some (maybe not verfied?) data sheets we found online are correct and the navy pilots photographed an UFO that matches size, color, shape and patterns to the T of a mylard balloon but isnt

I would go with 1


PS: yes the picture indicates banking, but it could be a "hold" maneuver as in the videos where you find a "dead zone" when you "drop" the plane into a curve.

just saying we dont know altitude, wind and the maneuver the FA18 did.
 
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jarlrmai

Active Member
Neither altitude nor speed. We know the general "flight envelope" limits but don't know exactly the speed.

Simulating in DCS would be fun...

Another note: the plane is banking around 20-30°? That reduced the stall speed.

Also. I've found this which might be useful: https://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-EF-200.pdf not sure I saw the full manual before.
Actually the banking is a good spot, if the plane is not flying directly towards the object the the airspeed and the closing speed will be different allowing a plane speed that wont stall and a closing speed that matches the balloon size theory.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Actually the banking is a good spot, if the plane is not flying directly towards the object the the airspeed and the closing speed will be different allowing a plane speed that wont stall and a closing speed that matches the balloon size theory.
Isn't it the opposite?
Since the F-18 is banking towards the target it would need to be even slower for the apparent increase to make sense.

I've always ignored the banking however since the time differential is miniscule and I think the difference would be negligible. But I might be wrong.

We have calculated we are outside of the F-18's flight envelope. But we should get someone to simulate this in DCS and see if it holds up. Also I want to see them try to intercept at 150 meters a tiny balloon floating in the wind at such an altitude. :) Good luck with that!

Also I don't understand why the batman design wouldn't be visible at 150 meters during the day with perfect visibility. Should be pretty clear to see no?
 

DavidB66

Active Member
....
Also I don't understand why the batman design wouldn't be visible at 150 meters during the day with perfect visibility. Should be pretty clear to see no?
Surely the sun is behind it, or slightly to one side (in the top photo of #143)? The left side of the balloon - sorry, the unknown object - is catching the sun, but the front is in shadow. Also, the image of the object is blurred, due to motion, limits to resolution, or some combination of factors. It would be unreasonable to expect much detail to be visible. For that matter, the comparison photo underneath it in #143 is hardly recognisable as Batman, and that is viewed in mild ambient light, not silhouetted against a bright sky.
Possibly some people can see more detail with better eyes or screens than mine. Some people have even claimed that they can make out the Batman design on the front of the object, but I think that, like the alleged wingbeats of the Gofast object, that requires the eyes of faith.
 

Domzh

Active Member
Also I don't understand why the batman design wouldn't be visible at 150 meters during the day with perfect visibility. Should be pretty clear to see no?
You dont have to understand why to believe it. The comparison picture is an actual batman balloon, photographed from about 500 feet and you cant see the batman design.

What you can see however is the shape, size and exact same pattern on the balloon.

The comparison shot is less inflated because of lower altitude.

Doesnt matter how but they clearly were able to get the shot. Luck, superior flying skills or average flying skills that only seem super advanced to us, who knows.

Your denial in the solution is based of assumptions and rough calculations where a couple of pixles can make a big difference.

You dont know if the FA18 did spiral down, if it was flying a full curve or even stalled itself completely for the shot.

You dont know the altitude and windspeed and directions on this height.

You dont even know if the iphone 8 pic was shot with the native camera app and stock settings or if a different mode was used or a whole other third party app.

Perfect match in size, shape, pattern and color.

Its not even reasonable anymore, its pure denial comparable to the ufologists argument of "well but theres still a 1% chance that it is aliens, because in quantum physics yada yada yada".

With all due respects my friend but this case is pretty much solved <3
 
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gtoffo

Active Member
You dont have to understand why to believe it. The comparison picture is an actual batman balloon, photographed from about 500 feet and you cant see the batman design.

What you can see however is the shape, size and exact same pattern on the balloon.
If two things look the same it doesn't mean they are the same thing.

The comparison shot is less inflated because of lower altitude.
I don't think those balloons are very elastic. So I don't think size would change much.

Doesnt matter how but they clearly were able to get the shot. Luck, superior flying skills or average flying skills that only seem super advanced to us, who knows.
Maybe. I still find it implausible an F-18 WSO was playing candy crush on a flight an was just lucky enough to take 3 pictures of multiple balloons on one flight. But it is possible.

Your denial in the solution is based of assumptions and rough calculations where a couple of pixles can make a big difference.
Not so much but we do have a lot of uncertainty.

You dont know if the FA18 did spiral down, if it was flying a full curve or even stalled itself completely for the shot.
We do know. We have two successive pictures that clearly show flight path and attitude.

You dont know the altitude and windspeed and directions on this height.
We can only guesstimate altitude true. Wind is irrelevant when flying.

You dont even know if the iphone 8 pic was shot with the native camera app and stock settings or if a different mode was used or a whole other third party app.
Why would it be relevant?

Perfect match in size, shape, pattern and color.
Just shape. We don't know size, pattern and color.

Its not even reasonable anymore, its pure denial comparable to the ufologists argument of "well but theres still a 1% chance that it is aliens, because in quantum physics yada yada yada".

With all due respects my friend but this case is pretty much solved <3
Agree to disagree? :)
 

Domzh

Active Member
If two things look the same it doesn't mean they are the same thing.

i agree
I don't think those balloons are very elastic. So I don't think size would change much.

true and false at the same time :)

they arent properly inflated to begin with, so they can expand at higher altitude. some
even have altitude ratings (i kid you not, i believe they are purely theoretical though).
so while the material wont stretch, they can get "ticker", more "rounded" which explaints why the ufo one has a less defined edge top center.

Maybe. I still find it implausible an F-18 WSO was playing candy crush on a flight an was just lucky enough to take 3 pictures of multiple balloons on one flight. But it is possible.

i have no fucking idea what they do on a flight. from how i know the military, i wouldnt be surprised if they were streaming youporn on their atflir display (while playing candy crush).
Not so much but we do have a lot of uncertainty.


We do know. We have two successive pictures that clearly show flight path and attitude.
i would argue its not so "clear" though. based on camera sensor and movement of the camera the balloon could appear smaller than he really is.

i dont know where you see the altitude though?
We can only guesstimate altitude true. Wind is irrelevant when flying.
oh no not at all! wind is highly relevant when flying. you can go 100 knots against the wind while basically standing still over the ground. thats why wingsuit tunnels are a thing for example or wave swim training pools.
Why would it be relevant?


Just shape. We don't know size, pattern and color.

size was roughly estimated (roughly) with pixel calculation versus picture size, where we could assume a distance to the camera when the balloon should match the other one. so yeah we dont know the exact size but we can say if the size would be plausible (within ballpark with this very rough calculation or very unlikely).

pattern is a perfect match as you can see on the comparison shots.

someone loaded the pic into photoshop and showed the orange hue on the outside. so we have a color match as well.
Agree to disagree? :)
No :p


Btw, we could do some testing if the pixel / size method works. We could take some shots of objects we know the size of from 200 meters and see what size comes out with the calculation method.

btw2: why do we know it was an iphone 8? are we 100% sure it wasnt an iphone 8 plus or an iphone 7? are these single shot pictures or stills from a video (can this be validated somehow?)

(this is really just for fun and giggles because its really a "but theres still a 1% chance it is something entirely different" discussion and we both know it pal ;-) )
 
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jarlrmai

Active Member
We know it's from an iPhone 8 because we got the original images and it's in the exif.

Luckily we got 2 photos taken very close together where the object increases in size.

The main debate is based on the fact that if we assume the object is the batman balloon then it is a certain size which means we can calculate the distance to the object because we know the camera and because we have 2 photos taken a known time apart we can calculate the closing speed of the object so now it's can the closing distance be slow enough for the size to match.

Even though I am largely convinced the balloon makes the most sense It's a fun challenge because there's almost all the data we need to prove it just the final piece is missing.
 

Domzh

Active Member
We know it's from an iPhone 8 because we got the original images and it's in the exif.

Luckily we got 2 photos taken very close together where the object increases in size.

The main debate is based on the fact that if we assume the object is the batman balloon then it is a certain size which means we can calculate the distance to the object because we know the camera and because we have 2 photos taken a known time apart we can calculate the closing speed of the object so now it's can the closing distance be slow enough for the size to match.

Even though I am largely convinced the balloon makes the most sense It's a fun challenge because there's almost all the data we need to prove it just the final piece is missing.
ah the object flies TOWARDS the camera? NOT away?

In this case the whole FA18 speed debate would be easily settled because you basically could fly 0 knots ground speed against fast enough wind (wind 150 knots, airspeed 150 knots against wind, groundspeed basically zero knots)
 

jarlrmai

Active Member
ah the object flies TOWARDS the camera? NOT away?

In this case the whole FA18 speed debate would be easily settled because you basically could fly 0 knots ground speed against fast enough wind (wind 150 knots, airspeed 150 knots against wind, groundspeed basically zero knots)

Yeah I mentioned this earlier on in the thread, I think it got skipped over a bit though. The balloon would be flying towards the plane as well with a head wind.
 

Domzh

Active Member
D539B242-2217-4849-930F-1EC4B04DF377.jpegD8DF8A6B-34D7-4228-BA6C-C4D075DFF5DF.jpeg
I enhanced contrast and highlights, remembered me of this shark.

anyone knows if balloons of this shark exist? upper darker half, fins, coned nose, eyes, smiling open mouth10DAEB60-ED28-461E-A0A6-822E30302EBA.jpeg
 
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gtoffo

Active Member
A lot of balloons that day :)


they arent properly inflated to begin with, so they can expand at higher altitude. some
even have altitude ratings (i kid you not, i believe they are purely theoretical though).
so while the material wont stretch, they can get "ticker", more "rounded" which explaints why the ufo one has a less defined edge top center.
I don't think that would make them much larger though. Just thicker?
i dont know where you see the altitude though?
Not altitude but attitude (angle of attack)

oh no not at all! wind is highly relevant when flying. you can go 100 knots against the wind while basically standing still over the ground. thats why wingsuit tunnels are a thing for example or wave swim training pools.
Not relevant when you are in the air. Both objects would be affected equally.

size was roughly estimated (roughly) with pixel calculation versus picture size, where we could assume a distance to the camera when the balloon should match the other one. so yeah we dont know the exact size but we can say if the size would be plausible (within ballpark with this very rough calculation or very unlikely).
We only know min and max size. It depends on the F-18s speed.

someone loaded the pic into photoshop and showed the orange hue on the outside. so we have a color match as well.
Did they? Didn't see that. Can you link?

Btw, we could do some testing if the pixel / size method works. We could take some shots of objects we know the size of from 200 meters and see what size comes out with the calculation method.
That's why Jarlrmai was asking for the raw iPhone 8 shots of the balloon I believe. That would be interesting.

(this is really just for fun and giggles because its really a "but theres still a 1% chance it is something entirely different" discussion and we both know it pal ;-) )
The only things I believe in are the ones I have incontrovertible proof of :) So far this remains unknown to me. I don't like jumping to conclusions. I have no problems thinking this remains unidentified. We just don't have a lot of data unfortunately.
 

Domzh

Active Member
@gtoffo

uhm.. well the FA18 has propulsion and is intelligently controlled, while the balloon lacks both.. so.. i would argue... wind doesnt effect both "airborne objects" the same lol, even more if the fa18 flies against the wind while the balloon gets pushed by it (so the fa18 could - depending on windspeed - essentially holding its position and wait for the balloon. airspeed =! groundspeed)

heres the color post:

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/sp...om-an-f-18-via-mystery-wire.11692/post-248100
 

Domzh

Active Member
46D8B4B6-3736-428F-9583-64DA85F207FB.jpegE97E08A1-5B03-4382-A71E-792BDD432B21.jpeg

Helium expands at altitude, so a distortion / flattening effect could very well happen

i increased contrast on original image

38 inch sized, belongs to the children show baby shark which is quite famous
 

folly4

Member
46D8B4B6-3736-428F-9583-64DA85F207FB.jpegE97E08A1-5B03-4382-A71E-792BDD432B21.jpeg

Helium expands at altitude, so a distortion / flattening effect could very well happen

i increased contrast on original image

38 inch sized, belongs to the children show baby shark which is quite famous
Haha. I just spent 20 min looking through balloons (what happened to my life?).

I identified the exact same balloon as my top candidate.

(Although, now that I look more closely, I'm thinking the mystery object might be broader from side to side than our shark balloon. And I'm not sure the different elements—dorsal fin for one—are congruent. Hard to tell. might need to order one!)
 

Domzh

Active Member
i expect it to flatten / get fatter when the helium expands at altitude

same as the batman balloon who became more round

when ambient pressure decreases, the balloon will naturally expand. i read somewhere how mylar balloons will never be fully inflated on sea level because they would burst if you increase altitude (drive up a hill for example or simply due to barometric pressure changes).

so when they rise up, they have wiggle room to expand and get "fat" xD

edit: it could also partially burst open, we only have one pic so hard to tell
 
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JMartJr

Active Member
when ambient pressure decreases, the balloon will naturally expand. i read somewhere how mylar balloons will never be fully inflated on sea level because they would burst if you increase altitude (drive up a hill for example or simply due to barometric pressure changes).
I have never heard that, though it would make sense if there was much likelihood that a balloon might be taken up or down a mountain. but I do know from experience that buying halium balloons in the summer (in these parts at least) it is wise to have them slightly underinfalted if the store has the air conditioning going and you plan for it to spend much size outdoors. The "tautness" of the skin definitely fluctuates with the ambient temperature.
 

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