# UFOs Filmed from Helicopters. Not So Fast!

#### Mick West

Staff member

There are a few UFO videos that are shot from a moving helicopter (or plane) where the camera tracks what seems to be a fast moving object. The best demonstration of this effect now comes from Tom Churchill of Churchill Navigation with this video of a mylar balloon filmed from a helicopter. After the cameraman starts tracking the balloon it looks like it's moving incredibly fast over the background, but we can see it's just a balloon drifting in the wind, and the apparent motion comes from a combination of the helicopter motion, and the magnified movement due to the zoom factor.

With just a little math we can find out where the balloon is relative to the helicopter, and discover that it's not actually moving very fast at all! Thanks to Churchill Navigation for permission to use this video! The original is here:
https://public.earthscape.com/videos/16309

Note: the "Go Fast" video was shot from a jet, not a helicopter, but the point still stands. Much analysis of that video can be found here:

#### Rory

##### Senior Member
Brilliant explanatory video that shows so clearly what at first may appear quite perplexing and counterintuitive.

Amazing piece of software too!

One thing: I was a bit surprised when you rounded 5.5 down to 5m, and 18 inches (45.7cm) up to 0.5m, to give 1/10th, when 1/12th is clear enough. Though I know it doesn't make any difference to the outcome.

#### Mick West

Staff member
Brilliant explanatory video that shows so clearly what at first may appear quite perplexing and counterintuitive.

Amazing piece of software too!

One thing: I was a bit surprised when you rounded 5.5 down to 5m, and 18 inches (45.7cm) up to 0.5m, to give 1/10th, when 1/12th is clear enough. Though I know it doesn't make any difference to the outcome.
The size of the balloon in the video is pretty rough, while 18" does seem the most common size, it's not certain - there are also 19" and 20" party balloons. And you can't really apply a generic dimension. Also the roofline was a bit blurred in the video, and really it was closer to 5.75 balloons wide, the way I stacked them, which again is approximate.

Given this approximate measurement, there are big benefits in saying the scale is 10x or 1/10th as a lot more people are comfortable multiply and dividing by 10 than by 12.

#### jarlrmai

##### Member
Can we load the Go Fast figures from the FLIR overlay into that software?

#### Mick West

Staff member
Can we load the Go Fast figures from the FLIR overlay into that software?
Not really, no. You could recreate it to some degree from the on-screen data, but there's no GPS location. You could rough something up based on heading and speed, but it's not really going to tell you much.

#### Lance Moody

##### New Member
For the other video Mick showed (for Puerto Rico), there was data available and our little group painstakingly created a 3D simulation of the video. We found an obvious and definitive pathway that suggested we were seeing the same thing--a slow moving lantern or balloon travelling at wind speed.

Predictably, UFO buffs (in a group called, hilariously, the Scientific Coalition for Ufology) clung desperately to their religious UFO beliefs and argued with hand waving and hysteria.