Twin-boom.. thing.. over Oxfordshire UK

Gridlock

Senior Member.
Around 1417BST, facing WSW 240deg from approx. 51.82,-0.85 - corner of my eye I see what initial instinct was a parasail, but not quite right for that. No sound.

It was moving in a constant direction of approx 300deg. Altitude and speed hard to gauge because I had little idea what size it was - the timestamps on the images might help with that, I was shooting around 1 frame per second.

Cropped;





Flickr album of all photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gridlock/albums/72157668125752635

My best guess? Although it might be the Enterprise picking up a whale, I think I can make out a tether line in;



Some sort of dirigible? It was way bigger than a mere child's balloon so maybe a solar blimp, or 2 tied together?



It really was moving at quite a clip though. LHR's traffic is all stacking away from my today so nothing on FR24 in the right direction;


If nothing else it was a test of my Skydentify reaction skills - I should have made more notes about apparent speed, direction and size...And video. Needed video.

EDIT: From @Mick West ;

 
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Gridlock

Senior Member.
It's a 200mm lens btw, full zoom. The object was approx the size of a biro's width, at arms' length. The final photo through the trees shows the size best, as this was at a good distance vs the tree 100ft away.

 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
My gut reaction was that it was one of these


But I don't think it was for a number of reasons..
1) thats an Anti-grav ground effect vehicle and wouldn't get that high.
2) it doesn't exist outside the Wipeout series of games.

Seriously though looks balloon like and you can get letter balloons...



I wonder is someones M or W has got away
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Balloon seems very likely. When carried by the wind they can move very fast - especially if you think they are larger and higher than they actually are.

20160508-073222-lpuyi.jpg

For scale:

20160508-073647-zt8um.jpg
 

Gridlock

Senior Member.
It seemed far too large for a rogue letter, like after seeing the tether I thought it was part of a bouncy castle, that large.

A gif suggests it turned to the right rather than heading in a straight line;

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
How do you know how large it was? In the sky things can be very deceptive in terms of scale, as you have no real sense of distance beyond a certain point.

Looking at your other photos, the color and reflections are entirely consistent with a silver mylar balloon


20160508-075101-en7f8.jpg
 

Gridlock

Senior Member.
How do you know how large it was? In the sky things can be very deceptive in terms of scale, as you have no real sense of distance beyond a certain point.
As I'm finding out! It was low to the horizon and I see plenty of airline traffic, small aircraft and birds through the same window. The only things that travel at that approx speed and of that apparent size are the small aircraft and choppers so I guess this novel shape went into that category, hence assuming it was a parasail.

I pulled some strings and got a glider at unknown alt and an A320 @ FL350 (VY7816) to line up in the same view just now :)



Plus I only really studied it briefly before grabbing the camera because it was crossing the sky fairly quickly.
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
Except for the tether, I thought it was a drone.
I did too, this one specifically came to mind:

With my recent discovery of the RC aircraft community I've now come to the realization, because of current amateur drone tech, (hobby level electronics available for the creation of all sorts of outlandish creations that can fly,) I don't know how successful the 'I WANT TO BELIEVE' types are ever going to be in convincing anyone aliens exist with photos or videos of UFOs again when you see videos like this:


Or this


These fellows got a 15 foot long replica of a Star Wars Star Destroyer airborne:

 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
How do you know how large it was? In the sky things can be very deceptive in terms of scale, as you have no real sense of distance beyond a certain point.
As I'm finding out! It was low to the horizon and I see plenty of airline traffic, small aircraft and birds through the same window. The only things that travel at that approx speed and of that apparent size are the small aircraft and choppers so I guess this novel shape went into that category, hence assuming it was a parasail.

This was a familiar topic in Ufology. How big and how far and how fast?

It is dependent not only on the distance between the pupils, which varies, but also upon visual acuity, with the weakest eye being the limiting factor. So how far away is stereopsis effective in human eyesight? I can't say because I've never been able to find a reliable source for that figure. Two hundred feet is a figure I've seen bandied about. "Not far" is the only thing I can say.

There are other cues we use even within the effective range of stereopsis. But beyond the limit of stereopsis we rely on monocular cues only.
I suggest you read this entire article, because it gives definitions and examples.


Judging the size, distance and speed of an unknown object in the sky becomes very difficult because not only is stereopsis out the window, these monocular cues also become weaker.

Relative size, perhaps the most important monocular cue, is lost altogether. The others may be stronger or weaker depending on how featureless the sky is, with a dark featureless night sky the worst.

You're left with a visual stimulus that is highly ambiguous.

In this situation, perception of size, distance and speed become dependent on unconscious decisions, with each factor affecting the other two in a complicated way.

I can give you an example from my own life:

At a night baseball game at Anaheim Stadium I looked up and saw an enormous ovoid luminous alien spaceship, a mile or miles long, traveling across the upper atmosphere at some enormous speed. I felt a deep feeling of awe - a sense of wonder. ...Until I realized it was a moth illuminated by the powerful stadium lights.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
There is one more cue that you can use in some situations. How things move. I've found that useful when identifying birds. A big bird moves differently than a small one. For instance a raven flapping its wings just looks different than a crow, because it's a bigger bird and the wings move differently.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
My gut reaction was that it was one of these


But I don't think it was for a number of reasons..
1) thats an Anti-grav ground effect vehicle and wouldn't get that high.
2) it doesn't exist outside the Wipeout series of games.

Seriously though looks balloon like and you can get letter balloons...



I wonder is someones M or W has got away
DAMN YOU!!! That was MY exact same thought.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Everybody making Wipeout, Star Trek, or Star Wars guesses loses 50 nerd points for not immediately thinking "SF Manticore."


On the letter balloons, they do come in larger sizes, too, the largest I've seen are over 60 inches. But with no real sense of scale it could be just about any size. It's too rigid at speed to be something like the black solar blimp in the OP, it has to be something shaped.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
I was at the beach one night at dusk and saw what I thought was a cessna heading towards me, with a green light on one side and red on the other. I really thought it was flying at small plane altitude until I heard the hum of the drone engine. And my perspective immediately changed. Just seeing it against the sky it looked like any other private plane flying to the Hamptons I see all the time.
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
"Will you 'arry Me?"
"Sorry love, what was that, was looking up at the Che trails"

I also feel like it was likely a loose balloon. Maybe keep an eye on the local newspapers from the areas in which the object flew in from, in particular those pages about humorous going ons in the neighbourhood ie

"This weekend in the Wycombe Gardens, William Wills got down on one knee to ask his partner of 4 years, Margaret Meers to be his wife. An elaborate proposal scene involving flowers, friends and family, and multiple balloons spelling out "Marry Me" went astray after a large gust of wind from a passing RAF helicopter disrupted the special event. The couples Scotch Terrier "Mr Snowball" was tethered to one of the balloons that took flight, but luckily landed safe and sound in a haycart. She said yes."
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Really, people?

So "just some guy" steps in to tell you that an ominous mystery shape in the sky is
merely a harmless, silver helium mylar balloon...and you believe it? Look up, sheeples!!

Random Balloon Initials.jpg
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
I am SOOOOOO tempted to make a youtube video of this, Weird UFO over England... military helicopter gives chase....
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
http://www.numerology.com/numerology-numbers/5
No wonder that balloon made a break for it.
 

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