UFOs from flight deck over South China Sea - Flares?

Rory

Senior Member.
On the other hand, we don't know the specifics of the camera used and cannot see/calculate if that can resolve it.

The file on MUFON doesn't reveal much: Apple phone, 828x434 resolution, 0.35mp.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
seemingly for no reason, three examples from three vastly different countries.
i think testosterone does things for seemingly no reason across all countries. same with estrogen :)

maybe it's akin to how men (and toddler boys) slap table tops instead of clapping. but the cost article had some ideas
Article:
Beyond their use in actual combat, even in training, helicopters and ground attack aircraft will practice firing flares off when entering into high-risk areas of their flight envelope and mission where shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles could be present. Fighters will also pop flares during training dogfights when the adversary is within the firing envelope of their short-range missiles. Sometimes fighters will even thank a tanker boom operator by popping flares.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But what speaks against it is that we have three examples of planes doing this slow dropping of flares in a straight line seemingly for no reason, three examples from three vastly different countries. Something tells me that there is some other point to it, but I can't figure out what it could be.
Why not simply practicing and/or testing dropping heat decoys? They have to test and practice at some point.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The file on MUFON doesn't reveal much: Apple phone, 828x434 resolution, 0.35mp.
I don't think it's an Apple phone (iPhone). It's encoded with Apple Quicktime (Encoded date: UTC 2021-12-04 09:14:41)

838x434 is not a common resolution.
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gargamel

Member
Why not simply practicing and/or testing dropping heat decoys? They have to test and practice at some point.

Right. Well, the "purpose" discussion is really more of a sidetrack I suppose, anyway.

The Russian guy who filmed the MiG-29 appears to be an aviation enthusiast based on his many videos, travelling around filming aircraft, and he started filming before the flares were being dropped, and apparently knew it was a MiG-29. Pure conjecture on my part now, but my guess is that he listened to a radio scanner (huge thing in Russia as it is elsewhere, see radioscanner.ru and their forum...) and overheard some kind of flare dropping announcement. Which would support the notion of an exercise.
 
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Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
Since flight HX2735 whose communications are heard in the cabin took off in the afternoon, the video was made with the sunset on the left. So that plane was heading north and likely encountered 5 Chinese fighter that occurred in Taiwan's southern ADIZ area on November 24th. See this link for details:
Article:
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday (Nov. 24), marking the 23rd intrusion this month.

Four People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane entered the southwest corner of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF planes.

2021-12-05_10-21-55.jpg
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I just guessed 30° which might well be a serious flaw in my argument. Even so, if it was just 10° then the observers should still have been able to resolve a 10 m plane although, as Shrinker says in post #30, planes aren't spheres and contrast can be very important.
Resolving objects that are 6 miles/10 km away is difficult. 20 miles/30 km even more so.
A fighter might be 5m high at best.

And then we're not talking about the human eye, we have a low resolution smartphone video.
 

johne1618

Active Member
Resolving objects that are 6 miles/10 km away is difficult. 20 miles/30 km even more so.
A fighter might be 5m high at best.

And then we're not talking about the human eye, we have a low resolution smartphone video.
In addition to the video itself we seem to have the reports of eyewitnesses on the sound recording. If they had seen aircraft they would have reported that fact. I suppose they might have been looking at the phone screen rather than at the lights themselves and therefore were not direct eyewitnesses.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
In addition to the video itself we seem to have the reports of eyewitnesses on the sound recording. If they had seen aircraft they would have reported that fact. I suppose they might have been looking at the phone screen rather than at the lights themselves and therefore were not direct eyewitnesses.
No, they must have at least seen the lights first with the naked eye. They did not mention planes, so it's likely they did not see them.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
A fighter might be 5m high at best.
The most relevant dimension is probably the diameter of the fuselage, which is basically a cylinder tapering at both ends. The usual sources (i.e. Wikipedia!) don't usually give this dimension in the 'specifications' for aircraft. A figure given for 'height' will probably be the height measured from the ground to the highest point of the plane (usually the top of the tail fin) while the plane is standing on its wheels. This will be much more than the diameter of the fuselage. Judging from photos where people are standing next to a fighter plane, the fuselage diameter is usually about one man-height or a bit more, say about 2 meters. This would be less than the 3-meter limit of resolution at a distance of 10,000 m. (I did give this a bit of thought before making my comment at #2 above. I assumed the traditional figure of 1 arc minute [i.e. 1/60 of a degree] for the limit of naked eye resolution, but this is very close to the .0003 radian measure quoted in earlier posts.) Of course in flight the wings and tail fins might also be visible. I do find it mildly surprising if nothing (of three planes) is visible at 10,000m, but a lot less surprising than a fleet of tiny UFOs of an apparently novel type, and in any case we don't know the distance for sure.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
If we had the original footage with the camera spec we could possibly get some approximate distances based on a range of jet speeds and the distance travelled between 2 flare drops. Remember the footage is zoomed on a phone, so likely crop zoom as well affecting the ability to see a jet.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's quite possible that the jets were just visible as tiny grey specks. They might even show up very slightly in the original video. This is just 828x434, which is non-standard, and so probably manually cropped and resized from a larger video.

Clouds lack obvious definition, but should actually have sharp edges (theses look like developing cumulus cloud). But if we zoom in on the actual pixels we see there is no definition, no sharp edges, even at this resolution. The places where a plane would most likely be visible are against a bright background, and there's a few frames that show a few dark pixels (position offset by motion compression) which might be consistent with this - but impossible to say.
2021-12-06_07-52-05.jpg
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
If we had the original footage with the camera spec we could possibly get some approximate distances based on a range of jet speeds and the distance travelled between 2 flare drops. Remember the footage is zoomed on a phone, so likely crop zoom as well affecting the ability to see a jet.
Very good point.

Assuming (1) that the jet fighters are travelling approximately at right angles to the direction of view, (2) that they don't change their speed or direction relative to the viewpoint), and (3) that the flares are all of the same type, then presumably the horizontal distance between two successive flares dropped from the same plane represents (approximately) the distance travelled by the plane itself between drops, since each flare will be retarded by air resistance to the same extent. (In a vacuum they would of course continue travelling at the same horizontal speed and direction as the planes.)

I haven't tried timing the exact time interval between drops, but I think it is between 1 and 2 seconds. Just to give some ball-park figures, with a time interval of 1.5 seconds, the horizontal distance between flares at 300 kmph would be 125m, at 500 kmph about 210m, and at 800 kmph about 330m. These are all quite large multiples of the likely length of a fighter (about 11m for a Mig17, or 17m for an F18); say between 10 and 30 times the length. In the film the apparent horizontal distance between successive flares is not large, and a jet only 1/10 or 1/30 as long would really appear very small indeed. As far as I can see, this relative size comparison should not be affected by zoom or crop factors.

As regards my assumptions (1) - (3), I think assumption (3) is very probable, and assumption (2) is a reasonable approximation. (Mick West's reconstruction of the path of the jets suggests a slight change of direction, but not enough to worry about.) Assumption (1) is more doubtful. There could well be some component of movement by the fighters towards the airliner. The viewer would then be looking obliquely at the intervals between the flares. The effect of this would be to reduce the apparent size of the intervals. I haven't done the trig, but just by experimenting with rotating a suitable object (i.e. a pencil) it doesn't make much difference until the obliquity is quite large, i.e. the angle of direction towards the observer is more than 45 degrees. As a compensating factor, the apparent length of the jet fighters would shrink in the same proportions.

Apologies in advance for any errors of math or physics.

[Written before seeing Mick West's latest comment.]
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
(Mick West's reconstruction of the path of the jets suggests a slight change of direction, but not enough to worry about.)
I think that is more likely an inadequacy in the motion tracking, due to a temporary loss of focus.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Do aerial display teams ever drop flares, I know they do coloured smoke, likely they wouldn't drop flares over land, but over sea maybe? Not use I'm looking for reasons but it might be a source of comparative footage.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Do aerial display teams ever drop flares, I know they do coloured smoke, likely they wouldn't drop flares over land, but over sea maybe? Not use I'm looking for reasons but it might be a source of comparative footage.
They do, but they pick the more visually interesting ones.
 

gargamel

Member
Do aerial display teams ever drop flares, I know they do coloured smoke, likely they wouldn't drop flares over land, but over sea maybe? Not use I'm looking for reasons but it might be a source of comparative footage.

Could be a more east vs. west thing.

Russian jets often drop flares at airshows, and Russian jets in other nation's service do it too.

Malaysian Air Force Su-30MKM:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNx6DV8EcF8

(from 6:40 in the video, it drops flares even as it enters the "scene" of the airshow, but goes wild after six and a half mins)

"The Russian Knights" (Russian Air Force display team):
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywHGubbO_SI

(at 3:10 in the video)

...And so on. That's why I questioned the alleged cost of launching flares like this, in a previous post of mine. Doubt it's all that expensive, for the reasons I outlined prior.
 

johne1618

Active Member
The video was first uploaded from MUFON by "willease", who then went and created a fake video "UFOs captured on the HDEV live stream hoax" that briefly got Reddit all excited. This obviously somewhat raises the possibility that he faked this too.

I still think it's genuine, but always something to keep in mind.

Willease has left comments on this Reddit HDEV video debunk post by Apaiss confirming that his “UFOs from flight deck over South China Sea” video is not a hoax but was uploaded from the MUFON database.

Unfortunately after concocting his video "UFOs captured on the HDEV live stream hoax" who can trust him? Though saying that even the hoax HDEV video is based on a genuine MUFON UFO video of a dancing light in the night sky.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Note: downloaded from MUFON. Uploaded to YouTube.

I don't think it's faked, I think it's a genuine MUFON upload that he just took a shine to and wanted to share.

Just speculation, of course.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
It would seem odd to fake a video that so closely reassembles jets dropping flares, down to the the timing of the appearance/disappearnce of the lights being so consistent with each other. Though I suppose it MIGHT be "half faked" by someone, somewhere in the chain of custody, taking an interesting video of flares being dropped and digitally removing any visible traces of the jets that were dropping them. Faking by subtraction rather then the more usual addition! Detecting traces of that is outside my skillset; I throw it out there for anybody with the skills and interest to make an attempt.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This video is a bit problematic due to it not being an in-camera original. It has been cropped or resized, and there's no useful EXIF. While I think it's probably genuine, it would be a lot more compelling if the original video were posted, or the actual person who filmed it gave more detail.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
It strikes me as potentially significant that the admitted hoax UFOs are small points of white light, and the UFOs in this vid are small points of white light.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
If there's ever a video
It strikes me as potentially significant that the admitted hoax UFOs are small points of white light, and the UFOs in this vid are small points of white light.
I still think no-one making a hoax from scratch would make it look this much like flares being dropped.

They could still possibly have removed/obscured the planes dropping them or cloned one flare drop into 3 or something but I still think it's a genuine video, possibly edited a little as its not the original file.

This is why any significant video needs the source file from the device for a proper investigation.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Three reasons why this case is not interesting anymore:

-made by a person know for hoaxing videos
-no original file available
-no sign of any of the "5 requirements" visible, to be declared an UFO.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
If there's ever a video

I still think no-one making a hoax from scratch would make it look this much like flares being dropped.
Unless it was a gotcha aimed at debunkers? Which at the moment does not seem to be the case...
Of course the "coincidence" of similar UFOs could go the other way, with this flare video inspiring the look of the fake ISS vid.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Three reasons why this case is not interesting anymore:

-made by a person know for hoaxing videos
-no original file available
-no sign of any of the "5 requirements" visible, to be declared an UFO.

I think simpler than that:

- it looks exactly like flares
- flares exist
- it's almost certainly flares
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Three reasons why this case is not interesting anymore:

-made by a person know for hoaxing videos
It's not know that he made it. He posted it on YouTube on Dec 4 2021, after downloaded it from the MUFON latest reports page the same day. Of course he might have posted it to Mufon first.

But yeah, I'd not do any more unless we get an actual source or original video.
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
It's not know that he made it. He posted it on YouTube on Dec 4 2021, after downloaded it from the MUFON latest reports page the same day. Of course he might have posted it to Mufon first.

But yeah, I'd not do any more unless we get an actual source or original video.

He literally admitted to merging two videos together to make that hoax.

One was the ISS video, which he merged with a MUFON video.
 
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jackfrostvc

Senior Member
That's the other one. Mick's referring to this one.


Which one?

I'm totally confused here. There are two videos the guy said he merged together. He is not saying he used one off MUFON and that was it. He said he used one off MUFON and merged it digitally with the ISS one to form the video he posted.

Perhaps if people posted the links to the videos they are referring, so at least then we can say what is being said here, because I'm totally confused.
 

jackfrostvc

Senior Member
video 1

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/hoax-ufos-captured-on-the-hdev-live-stream.12160/#post-262381


A hoax of white dots sent from the ISS,

video 2 is the video in the this thread


I guess it's possible the guy cut out one of the flares from the flare video and added it to the ISS RAW feed, but that seems an overly complex way of generating that hoax


The videos he said he merged are noted by him as per : https://www.metabunk.org/threads/hoax-ufos-captured-on-the-hdev-live-stream.12160/#post-262295
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Which one?

I'm totally confused here. There are two videos the guy said he merged together. He is not saying he used one off MUFON and that was it. He said he used one off MUFON and merged it digitally with the ISS one to form the video he posted.

Perhaps if people posted the links to the videos they are referring, so at least then we can say what is being said here, because I'm totally confused.
Just to be clear, I was referring to the "South China Sea" one that's the topic of this thread.
Source: https://youtu.be/c8A1tGBOK9k


Nobody has admitted to faking this video. It was uploaded anonymously to Mufon, and then (the same day) uploaded to YouTube by the guy who admitted to faking the ISS video.

The "same day" thing is not quite as suspicious as it sounds, as Mufon videos are only easily available for a day or two on the "Last 20 Reports" page (and you need to log in to download the files).

While it's obviously not without suspicion, nobody has found source videos for the South China Sea video, and there's no impossible or inconsistent elements to it.
 
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