Turkish beach UFO 2023 - a curious high res photo

BartekSitek

New Member
Hey guys! Long time lurker here! I've got a case that you might find interesting.
I do some hobby investigative work on my streams on Twitch on JacexDowozWideo (it's in polish, so probably not much interest to most of you, but I wanted to share my background)
Recently I've been investigating an interesting photo shared by "Paranormalna Polska" on Facebook, a polish UFO enthusiast group (not very sceptic, I might add).

A reader has shared a photo they've taken 20th of june, 2023 on a Turkish beach in Dilek Yarimadasi Buyuk Menderes Deltasi Milli Park
It's a picture of a woman holding a child, looking out into the sea.
The woman claims that she has not seen anything weird when the photo was taken, neither her nor the people she was there with at the time.

(The original photos can be found in the attachments)
image1.jpgimage0.jpg

The Facebook post with all the data Paranormalna Polska provided, which I've been using in my research (translated using google translate):
View attachment 62421

Source: https://www.facebook.com/paranormalnapolska/posts/pfbid0hZVh7wyeNxdooxVoXPvMxHG3XmXx1q4iC59vsDJDr4J8v7kwALNDSwecX8UxfL8Dl


View attachment 62417

The object in question can be seen to the top right of the photo.
View attachment 62418
The photo uploaded to fotoforensics, for your convenience:
https://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=c72f7fd6d329be64517cb0036c7e9dbfe50dad0e.7416824
Sadly, the EXIF data was compromised by "Paranormalna Polska" when they had to hide the face of the man swimming in the distance.

The photo in question is a part of a set of six photos, taken one after the other with an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

View attachment 62419
(screenshot of a conversation, provided by Paranormalna Polska)

Here is the photo #5, taken right before photo #6 (the one with the object)
View attachment 62420
Fotoforensics:
https://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=11f734f2124552e81eaa5390b1da83ee7743cf2f.7402971

As you can see, the object does not appear on photo #5. I'm not sure of the time between the two photos, but looking at the advancing wave closest to the camera, it must have taken less than a second (no proof of that, feel free to correct me)
"Paranormalna Polska" concluded that it means that the object was traveling at great speed.
I however propose that it was a smaller object, closer to the camera.

View attachment 62423View attachment 62424

This is where the photo was taken (info provided by the photo owner to "Paranormalna Polska")
https://goo.gl/maps/jcKEA3eeiTpQcEB67
My investigation:
Things I've considered:

a) a floating/flying item:
1. a bird

We've been going through some videos of the beach, such as this one.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgqo8G9HfZE

What we've noticed immediately is a lack of birds. No seagulls or pigeons that would normally be associated with a busy tourist beach. It's possible there is more present some other time of the year.
If the UAP is a bird, we would be looking at it at a very interesting angle, with its legs behind its back (like the one below), or flush against it.
View attachment 62425View attachment 62418
It seems unlikely, but not impossible.

2. a bug
There are plenty of insects present in this Turkish park. Cicadas are plentiful, so it became one of my prime suspects. However, no angle really fits.
We've been looking at other insects in Turkey, but
A cicada molt was also considered, but I'm not convinced. Unlikely.

View attachment 62426View attachment 62418
3. a balloon
View attachment 62428View attachment 62418
A balloon, thrown around by wind, a bit deflated, traveling on its side. It would also explain how reflective the top of the object is (the white on the top of the object is as bright as the sun reflected on wet rocks on the bottom of the picture)
Where did it come from though?
From the video posted earlier, we know that there are stands nearby where you can rent/buy inflatable toys, but there are no helium balloons in sight.
View attachment 62429View attachment 62430
It easily could have traveled from a nearby city though, if we consider how beaten up it seems.
What doesn't fit into that theory is that the people present claim that they havent seen anything weird while there, and I feel like a floating balloon would catch their attention.
There is also the fact that the object is not present in the picture taken just before this one: that would be one fast balloon. Not impossible, but less likely.

4. an inflatable toy
We haven't spotted any toys of this shape on the stands, and an inflatable toy would require much more wind than the balloon. Probably would have been noticed by the witnesses.
5. a plastic bag
Same as with the balloon and inflatables. Harder to miss.
6. a nut or a leaf
This came to me while watching the youtube videos of the park
View attachment 62431

(the place in the picture is a few hundred meters east, but there could be similar ones closer to where our photo was taken)

There is quite a lot of foliage right behind the beaches in the area where the photo was taken. The noon sun casts shadows from the top, so even though we dont see tree shadows in our picture, it's possible there were trees nearby.
View attachment 62432
We can also see some cliffs to the east, from where the leaf, nut or seed could have been blown down.
View attachment 62433
We know some wind was present, because when we compare the two photos, we can see that the woman's hair on the one taken after "travels" against gravity.
View attachment 62434
Dead leafs, nuts and seed have different sizes, but what doesn't fit that theory is how reflective the object seems to be at the top.
It's as bright as the wet stones reflecting sunlight, but a bit more "creamy"
View attachment 62435

7. a piece of trash
This one is my favorite.
I think there is a high chance that the object is a piece of foil you would find on top of a wine/champagne bottle.
This would explain the "creamy" reflective properties

View attachment 62436View attachment 62437

There are cliffs near the beaches where people frequently make BBQs and picnics.

View attachment 62444
(the place in the picture is a few hundred meters east, but there could be similar ones closer to where our photo was taken)
View attachment 62445

My 3D model I made used to explain the angle
View attachment 62438View attachment 62439

View attachment 62440
What doesn't fit this theory however is the fact that I've never seen a piece of foil that would have this kind of ridge.
It could be made by this particular type of wire used to hold the cork in place.

View attachment 62441
But again, I don't have proof.
We've been looking at wine bottles available in Turkey, most of them have this more classic wire design
View attachment 62442
Which creates 4, smaller ridges.

A different comparison, made by one of my viewers
View attachment 62443View attachment 62418

This is where I need your help!
It's as close as we got to explaining what the object is. Maybe there is a different type of cork used for condiments, with a foil top that looks just like our object?



So these were my theories if we assume that the object was floating in the wind/flying. However, there is a chance that we were lied to, or the witnesses just forgot about something. In that case:

b) a thrown item
1. a rock

Most rocks on that beach were smooth, but we can find some more irregular ones. It would have to be moist to be this reflective, but it's possible.
2. a shell
How about a seashell? Some of them are quite reflective. It's possible, though I couldn't find a seashell that would be exactly that shape. Maybe you know of one?
3. a toy
Some viewers proposed a squished pingpong ball. I could see that.
4. a turtle shell
Let's address the elephant in the room. The thing looks like a turtle shell. Maybe Gamera took a wrong turn somewhere over the indian ocean?
Or it could be a regular turtle shell thrown into the sea. Weirder stuff happened, right?


Oh also, one other thing I noticed I hope you could help me understand
View attachment 62448
What is this jpg artifact, and could it be something that would help us deduce which direction the object came from?



So yeah, this is all the stuff I've been going through recently. As I said above, my main theory is that it's a piece of foil protecting the top of a bottle, that was blown off a nearby cliff where people hang out. I would appreciate your help in helping me ID what bottle it could be.


Thanks for checking out my investigation, I hope it was a fun read!
 

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Objects that nobody saw at the time, but were found on photos later, are often
• something small and close to the camera that looks bigger in the picture, or
• something mundane that looks weird because of the flatness and low resolution.
I see you're already thinking in those directions.

Another suggestion, that might be supported by the jpg artefact you noticed, is that the object might have been edited out of the other pictures. Have you examined them?
 
A helium balloon can blow in from miles away, does not have to be acquired locally, I have seen them fly by whilst hiking up in the hills.

Phones have wider field of view than people, people are concentrating on other things out of the line of sight of the the balloon, there's no reason why someone must have seen it at the time.

Do we have the original images, from the device, with EXIF?
 
Sand Fleas live on beaches and have a top shell and compartmentalized undercarriage. They can jump (which is why they are also known as Sand Hoppers). If they could jump high enough to reach where this object is in the picture is another question.

4-9-2012_Crystal_Beach_031_crop-420x285.jpgFemale-sand-crab-back.jpg
 
Sand Fleas live on beaches and have a top shell and compartmentalized undercarriage. They can jump (which is why they are also known as Sand Hoppers). If they could jump high enough to reach where this object is in the picture is another question.
FWIW, I've spent a lot of time on beaches where those fellers reside, they are also called mole crabs (Genus emerita) or, around here, beach diggers. Never seen one leave the ground. Also never seen them on a rocky beach; they spend their time buried in the sand, making short runs up or down the beach in the waves of incoming or outgoing tide.
These small animals burrow in the sand in the swash zone and use their antennae for filter feeding.
Content from External Source
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerita_(crustacean)

There is (at least) one other critter called a sand flea:Talitrus_saltator_2a.jpg
That is Talitrus saltitor in the picture there. They can leap an inch or two into the air. There may be others that can leap higher. They reach about a third of an inch long.

I wouldn't rule out something like a mole crab relative, but if so I'd put them into the "what somebody might throw into the air from behind the camera position" rather than "potentially leaping into view."


Looking at the pic, it pretty closely resembles a turtle shell bleached in the sun, if somebody felt compelled to toss it from behind the camera:
Capture.JPG
But at the end of the day the beach seems to be covered with potentially similar UFOs in the form of small rocks, and people frequently throw rocks in the water, that seems a very likely explanation to me.

EDIT: Added source for Mole Crab habitat/behavior.
 
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which suggests it must have been moving at great speed, so we are impressed that it was captured so clearly.
How does this work?

Instead of being impressed should they not be skeptical of the premise?

I appreciate that burst mode would use settings that result in "less" blurring of moving objects but surely there's still a limit to how fast something moves before it blurs?
 
Phones have wider field of view than people
I don't think that is generally true. Maybe higher end ones? The 200$ one I have has significantly narrower fov, maybe as low as half as my eyes. Looking at the picture, I'd say it's narrower fov than what we see, especially horizontally, but even vertically.

Ps: you probably meant to say narrower than people anyway. That would make sense considering the rest of your comment.
 
How does this work?

Instead of being impressed should they not be skeptical of the premise?

I appreciate that burst mode would use settings that result in "less" blurring of moving objects but surely there's still a limit to how fast something moves before it blurs?
This is a very bright outdoor scene that should have had a short exposure. Would the EXIF data have that info?
It's obvious that there's going to be some motion blur at some amount of speed, but IMO conditions were such that this speed would be quite high.
 
Would the EXIF data have that info?
Yes, the shutter here will likely be very high given the brightness. But the EXIF will tell us for sure.

Burst mode has nothing to do with how blurred an object will be in any specific frame, unless that algorithm make the shutter faster as well (at the expense of ISO.)
 
Yes, the shutter here will likely be very high given the brightness. But the EXIF will tell us for sure.

Burst mode has nothing to do with how blurred an object will be in any specific frame, unless that algorithm make the shutter faster as well (at the expense of ISO.)
In one of the batches of pics in the opening post there's a f1.5 and 1/7463 s which looks like it might be from the EXIF of one of the pics.
 
The full frame equivalent focal length (a stand in for field of view) is also listed as 26mm, a fairly typical phone focal length.

Human vision can't be easily compared given we have differently accuity in the various extremities and obviously our eyes saccade to cover a perceptually larger area.

But you find figures quoted for around 40-60mm FF equivalent.

If we had original photos we could make some estimates on size/distance ranges and speeds if we have more than one photo from the same viewpoint similar to the work done on the Batman balloon photo.
 
If the photos were taken a few fractions of a second apart, that would probably rule out a balloon, unless there was a very fast breeze a few tens of metres above their heads. A smaller, closer, faster-moving lightweight object might fit the bill - a small piece of windblown silver paper would suffice.

Really we need to know the length of the gap between photos.
 
If the photos were taken a few fractions of a second apart, that would probably rule out a balloon, unless there was a very fast breeze a few tens of metres above their heads. A smaller, closer, faster-moving lightweight object might fit the bill - a small piece of windblown silver paper would suffice.

Really we need to know the length of the gap between photos.
An iphone specific page on photography says:
Burst mode is feature built-in to the iPhone Camera app that allows you to take ten photos per second for any given number of seconds.
 
Actually, the interesting one being the last shot of the series*, there's not terribly much to deduct, is there? Very roughly, it covered anything between a few centimetres (if very close) and a few kilometers (if humongous and far away) in 1/10th of a second.

Based on eyeballing distance to the edge of the frame, not corrected for angular distortion, it covered at least 10 times its own dimension in the time since the last shot if entering from behind the camera, and about 15 times if entering from the right. Obviously it's much more when going left to right.

For an object floating in the wind:
Sea surface, gown and hair certainly don't give a very breezy impression, so let's give it an upper bound of 2 Bft on the day which is at its upper end a bit more than 3 m/s winds. In 1/10th of a second that gives a max. distance of 30 cm or 12-ish inches. If "it" entered the frame from the right, that makes it not larger than 2 cm (as its approx. 15 times its own length from the right side of the frame). If it came from the left, obviously that would make it smaller. And if it came from behind, it could be larger based on its speed (having covered *very roughly* 10 times its size), but then it wouldn't be terribly far away from the camera either, so at the very least it's probably not a normal-sized balloon, I guess.

For an object not floating in the wind, I'm sure there's a bunch of throwing solutions. Half-peeled pistachio, anyone?

*that's a rather unfortunate coincidence.
 
It was 50% more.

SmartSelect_20230913-230203_Samsung Internet.gif
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2023/...ographic=-332.21,37.82,9323/loc=27.074,37.688
Picture was 11:48 local, this is 09:00 UTC as Turkey is on UTC+3
Very good! Is that the coastline in question - as in can you identify which relative wind direction we have in the photo?

Also, here's a "but": 4.7 m/s winds would be 3 Bft for which Wikipedia has a reference slide saying
Crests begin to break, [...], scattered whitecaps
which means I can't really square the wind report with the picture.
 
which means I can't really square the wind report with the picture.
I'm not familiar with how the software Mendel use works, but note that the area in question is in a bit of a "funnel" created by offshore islands. Topography has a big impact on surface winds, and if the software is tracking winds aloft then what happens near the ground will likely be different. If that's the beach site circled, I'd expect a bit more wind blowing through that "slot" (similar to the effect of being near a tall building in an urban setting that deflect winds and can make it gusty on the sidewalk!)

There also appears to be a bluff just upwind of the beach

That would tend to create turbulence on the beach, with the windspeed second-to-second swinging around from below the average to above it -- and also with abrupt direction changes due to turbulence and eddies off the bluff.

Wind there is going to be complicated... I'd not rule out whirling eddies picking up small bits of trash, and would certainly not be surprised at bits of trash blowing off the bluff.
 
Very good! Is that the coastline in question - as in can you identify which relative wind direction we have in the photo?
I took Latitude and Longitude from the OP, but as the coastline is rather ragged, the circle may not identify the spot precisely.
Also, here's a "but": 4.7 m/s winds would be 3 Bft for which Wikipedia has a reference slide saying

which means I can't really square the wind report with the picture.
This is obviously the output of a weather model, but it is the surface wind—though that's compared to the 1000hPa altitude (100m), and wouldn't reflect that there's less wind leeward of certain terrain features.

You can use the link, and then use the "Earth" menu to set the date and time, and then examine whatever you like.
 
I think the piece of champagne foil explanation is pretty solid-definitely the kind of thing no one would take any notice of at the time and that could catch the wind and be blown around pretty quickly. This would probably have been no mystery at all if this was a video.
 
Looking at the full size .jpg in Photoshop, there is some noticable rectangular noise around the object...is this compression/post processing? Not sure how the Iphone works in that regard...

Zoomed in (no changes left - contrast increased right):
artifRect.jpg

Besides that, the complete lack of motion blur on the object is interesting...even under these conditions I'd expect to see a bit more of that...so the object definitely can't be supernaturally fast...even if it's just in frame for a tenth of a second...

Personally I'd bet on a thrown stone...as we are at a beach with a million stones...and people throw rocks into the sea from time to time...that's a thing :) Also something easily missed at the time while taking a photo and/or managing the kid...

Edit:
When the contrast gets pushed a bit further it looks even more suspicious...:

rectNoise2.JPG
 
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Looking at the full size .jpg in Photoshop, there is some noticable rectangular noise around the object...is this compression/post processing? Not sure how the Iphone works in that regard...
I inverted the colors on the original image to see the block a bit clearer and it looks like it's 32x32 pixels (which would be a multiple of the 8x8 block size used in jpeg compression) but I don't know enough to say if it's normal or not.
1694669006584.png
 
Edit2: This post was made under the impression that the inverted image was a fair representation of the original - that assumption is now not so certain. Take with a pinch of salt, and do your own pixel-peeping.

I inverted the colors on the original image to see the block a bit clearer and it looks like it's 32x32 pixels (which would be a multiple of the 8x8 block size used in jpeg compression) but I don't know enough to say if it's normal or not.
1694669006584.png
If there's any part of something with a hard edge or hard contrasts in an 8x8 block pre-compression, then jpeg artefacts can definitely mess up the whole block, as it puts energy into the higher frequency coefficients which quantisation makes hard to cancel back out again in the flat/smooth areas. However, at least that bottom right corner square does not contain any of the object, and threfore has no reason to be different from the empty sky blocks next to it and elsewhere. Well, there's one reason, and that's that it, or at least part of it, has been copy pasted in from elsewhere. So I'd say you've found good evidence for it being a hoax, good enough to make that the leading explanation, in my book.

Edit: and thank you for zooming raw without smoothing. If you want to look at the pixels, don't mess with the pixels.
 
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(The original photos can be found in the attachments)
Wait, I think you attached a scaled down copy here somehow, which is what I was looking at. The version from the link from facebook is much larger and doesn't have the weird block around the object.

Hi-resolution copies of the photos with a face covered at the request of the reader.
https://easyupload.io/m/qpe2g4
Content from External Source
Attached here:
image1.jpg

Edit: Hmm, seems like mine got scaled down too...maybe the forum software is doing it?

Uploaded to imgur:


Source: https://i.imgur.com/NAOjS3V.jpg


Source: https://i.imgur.com/gOx63ya.jpg
 
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Wait, I think you attached a scaled down copy here somehow, which is what I was looking at. The version from the link from facebook is much larger and doesn't have the weird block around the object.
try the fotoforensics links in the OP
 
An iphone specific page on photography says:
Burst mode is feature built-in to the iPhone Camera app that allows you to take ten photos per second for any given number of seconds.
But is ten photos per second the only option in burst mode?

Even though the photos show little change, they do show some change; the differences that occur between these photos seem to suggest a slightly longer gap than 0.1 second.
 
But is ten photos per second the only option in burst mode?

Even though the photos show little change, they do show some change; the differences that occur between these photos seem to suggest a slightly longer gap than 0.1 second.
I haven't seen any mention of being able to change that, and my last iPhone a few years back definitely didn't provide an option to change it.

Do we know the photos really were taken in burst mode? Are they in the correct order? Do we have timestamps?
 
We need original files with EXIF to go any further and probably even then we won't work out what it is, just establish some range of parameters.
 
the differences that occur between these photos seem to suggest a slightly longer gap than 0.1 second.

Could you please elaborate?
Now I'm not so sure. I superimposed the two pictures that are supposed to be 0.1 seconds apart, and flicked between them; although there are some significant differences, the major features (such as the waves in the distance) remain the same.

So a tenth of a second difference is reasonable.
 
Wow! First of all, thank you all for your engagement in the case.
We need original files with EXIF to go any further and probably even then we won't work out what it is, just establish some range of parameters.
I have requested the original photos from Paranormalna Polska, but they haven't responded so far.
It could be that they don't trust me poking around in their case, I'm a known skeptic.
Do we know the photos really were taken in burst mode? Are they in the correct order? Do we have timestamps?

I'm now fairly certain that the photos were not taken in burst mode, and the claim was a misunderstanding.
I presume that the photos were indeed taken in a quick series, but done so manually.

Here is a video taken by my viewer, showing the speed of the burst mode.

Her conclusions:
- The time between each photo in burst mode is around a 10th of a second, while the changes between photos #5 and #6 suggest a longer period (waves, woman's hair, the swimmer)
- A burst mode capture, even a short one, produces quite a lot of photos. You would have to hold the capture button for just around half a second to produce 6 photos. That's a very short time, especially when you compare all of the photos.
Presented below is a screenshot of the conversation with the witness. The screenshot was provided by "Paranormalna Polska" in the original Facebook post.
As of now, this is our only source of photos #1-#4.

1694693391007.png
Even by just looking at the thumbnails, we can tell #1 has a different angle than the rest. #1, #2 and #3 shows the child being held closer to the woman, while #4 immediately after shows them with more space between them. That's quite a lot of instant movement for half a second.

- The images taken with burst mode show a distinct icon when viewed in the photo gallery.
The icon is not visible on the screenshot provided by Paranormalna Polska.
1694694377979.png372419913_563887069144977_6435234402064950058_n.jpg

However, the icon disappears when the picture is removed from the set, so its lack is not definite proof:

1694694388386.png

What does seem weird however, is that the original photos were taken in the HEIF format, while the burst mode photos in the reconstruction are in JPEG. Is it possible to take burst mode photos using HEIF? If not, that would be definitive proof that the photos were not taken with burst mode.

Does it cast a shadow?
We've been looking around the ground area for one, but couldn't find one. Could be we missed it.

One could see the inner bit as being concave, like a helmet-ish thing, too.
The object is a great optical illusion, which makes it so much harder to identify. Here is an interpretation of it being hollow, drawn by one of my viewers.

1694694814597.png1694694960917.png

How does this work?

Instead of being impressed should they not be skeptical of the premise?

I appreciate that burst mode would use settings that result in "less" blurring of moving objects but surely there's still a limit to how fast something moves before it blurs?
Sadly, Paranormalna Polska is not known for their skepticism. I worry that they might be withholding vital information.
 

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Could you please elaborate?
Here are two pictures of the wavelet immediately in front of the people, taken in the shadow. In the space between pictures it has come in some number of inches (six or eight, at a guess), which seems a lot for a tenth of a second.
IMG_0289.jpegIMG_0290.jpeg
 
Here are two pictures of the wavelet immediately in front of the people, taken in the shadow. In the space between pictures it has come in some number of inches (six or eight, at a guess), which seems a lot for a tenth of a second.
IMG_0289.jpegIMG_0290.jpeg
This just appears to be the water distorting the shadow. Notice the small wave coming in. The wave is ~6 inches further in the second (anomaly) photo.
 
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