UFOs from flight deck over South China Sea - Flares?

jackfrostvc

Active Member
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.


Ok, now I understand what you are saying. You are saying the south china sea video is on Mufon, and was loaded that same day as Willease loaded the same video on YT.

What is the case number on Mufon for the South China See video?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's some flares being fires in similar lighting conditions, above a cloud layer.

 

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jackfrostvc

Active Member
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.

"Nobody has admitted to faking this video. It was uploaded anonymously to Mufon"

How do you know it was loaded to MUFON anonymously?

I didn't think you could see the uploader to MUFON due to privacy. So I'm wondering why you think it was loaded anonymously
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I didn't think you could see the uploader to MUFON due to privacy. So I'm wondering why you think it was loaded anonymously
Maybe I'm missing something my friend, but, if one can NOT "see the uploader to MUFON due to privacy", doesn't that by definition, make the uploader "anonymous"?

I'm thinking what your hinting at is, the uploader wasn't staying anonymous due to some nefarious reason, merely that anonymity is the default setting on MUFON, right?

Though in either event, the uploader is, indeed, anonymous.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
Maybe I'm missing something my friend, but, if one can NOT "see the uploader to MUFON due to privacy", doesn't that by definition, make the uploader "anonymous"?

I'm thinking what your hinting at is, the uploader wasn't staying anonymous due to some nefarious reason, merely that anonymity is the default setting on MUFON, right?

Though in either event, the uploader is, indeed, anonymous.

I could be wrong, but I think sightings can be loaded with the persons name or they can elect to be anonymous (like dont give their name at all) . I wanted to know if Mick had somehow found out that the person never gave their name when the sighting was loaded.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
I could be wrong, but I think sightings can be loaded with the persons name or they can elect to be anonymous (like dont give their name at all) . I wanted to know if Mick had somehow found out that the person never gave their name when the sighting was loaded.

I don't know much about Mufon but I remember looking at their "latest reports" page on the day that the video was uploaded - as, I believe, both Mick and Willease did - and there's no uploader information there:

https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=latest_reports

You can still the "long description" for this video at:

https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=view_long_desc&id=119564

But there's nothing useful there - just what was included when it was later uploaded to YouTube.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
I don't know much about Mufon but I remember looking at their "latest reports" page on the day that the video was uploaded - as, I believe, both Mick and Willease did - and there's no uploader information there:

https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=latest_reports

You can still the "long description" for this video at:

https://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=view_long_desc&id=119564

But there's nothing useful there - just what was included when it was later uploaded to YouTube.


Yes, I believe they dont tell you the uploader. There is no dispute there. The question I had was whether Mick had found out that the guy had loaded it using name = Anonymous. As I said before , I'd guess they collect names when names are given. Remember the privacy outrage when people found out BAASS had been allegedly given access to the MUFON DB. So I'm wondering if the video was loaded with name=anonymous. If so, then the loader can not be identified via MUFON themselves
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, I believe they dont tell you the uploader. There is no dispute there. The question I had was whether Mick had found out that the guy had loaded it using name = Anonymous.
No, I just meant there's no identifying information (not even a flight number) in the video description on Mufon.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Notice how 9news said it was filmed by a pilot. Did they find the pilot and talk to him? Did they verify this?
If they had, they'd have reported it.

The evidence we have is
a) the word "flight deck" in the title
b) the ATC announcement

Considerations against:
a) a word in the title isn't proof
b) airline pilots aren't supposed to use their smartphones
c) I don't understand why the announcement is heard so clearly
d) it could have been added in post-production
e) some passengers (esp. pilots) listen to ATC
 

PacketSniffer5000

New Member
I commented in the Reddit thread when it appeared, and I would agree that this case was well resolved in #37 here with the MIG example and by the others who proposed flares on Reddit. It is not a question of whether these are flares or not, or of debunking flares, but of why the plane is not visible.

Gargamel's video example and others show it possible to miss the plane in the footage, but given the precedent set by the uploader, and the slight desync towards the end of the video where the final flares jump about and disappear, it would seem logical that it was another superimposed video (sans jet) with a slight mismatch after stabilisation.

If not a purposeful hoax, then a pilot confirmation would change the story to, yet again, flares being dropped and the weird syncing thing an artifact of the magnification and camera optimisation software.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Gargamel's video example and others show it possible to miss the plane in the footage, but given the precedent set by the uploader, and the slight desync towards the end of the video where the final flares jump about and disappear, it would seem logical that it was another superimposed video (sans jet) with a slight mismatch after stabilisation.
What's the time in the video where you see the "slight desync"?
 
Nothing about that video looks like flares to me, my first reaction, like others, was a reflection of some kind.

Note the lights along the centreline in this image:



https://www.diehl.com/aviation/en/portfolio/cabin-lighting/

That's more or less exactly what I thought I was seeing reflected....But how?

Scratch that, after several more viewings I'm coming around to the flares perspective...They seemed remarkably consistent in their behaviour at first, but on futher examination there does seem to be some variability to their 'intense burn' duration and some of them do appear to retain some degree of incandescence for longer than others.

Still not 100% though.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's something weird that looks like a jump with the rightmost set of flares around 0:33.
I'm not seeing it. Is it possible to isolate the frames?

A possible issue is that it was recorded or re-encoded at a highly variable frame-rate (30 to 66 fps, average 36.914)

Hmm, looking at the EXIF again, it uses "ReplayKitRecording", which means it's a Apple screen capture. The variable frame rate might indicate it was recorded from an iPhone, but might also be from a Mac.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Nothing about that video looks like flares to me, my first reaction, like others, was a reflection of some kind.
The problem I have with the reflection hypothesis is how firmly rooted they are in the scene. The camera is moving around quite a bit, and yet the lights move smoothly along relative to the clouds.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
SmartSelect_20211215-041730_Samsung Internet.gif
The right set of flares seems to moving forward erratically, less smoothly than the camera pans. Maybe it looks better in your stabilized version?
I'm really not seeing anything significant here, or in the original footage. Possibly some motion compression artifacts
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
SmartSelect_20211215-041730_Samsung Internet.gif
The right set of flares seems to moving forward erratically, less smoothly than the camera pans. Maybe it looks better in your stabilized version?
I think I see what you mean, some dots move in "steps". I cannot (with my lack of video/fx knowledge) say if that is normal or not.
 

NESurf

New Member
Well, good luck getting the PLAAF to tell you anything about their ops.

Three smallish Chinese fighters (J-10s or so, which present a small profile and are uniformly "lo-viz" matte gray in color) in these lighting conditions would be near-invisible to the naked eye at a certain distance, while flares at such a distance would easily be seen.

I found an example of a MiG-29 doing it in Russia, as well. One after another, slowly:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A7MW5q5KgQ

Notably, the actual plane isn't visible here either.

IMO it's not a question of whether it's flares or not, that seems so obvious that any alternative idea would require flares to be decisively debunked first. The question is what exactly the point of this is, as they are short-lived decoy flares, not more long-lived illumination or target flares (yes, there are air-dropped parachute-suspended flares used for IR targeting exercises). Mick showed another spot-on demonstration of another aircraft dropping them in this fashion, so it's obvious that they do it occasionally, but I still don't quite understand the point.

edit: Few years back there was an aerial altercation in the Baltic between a Russian jet and a Swedish SIGINT aircraft, and the Russians wanted to chase it away from near Kaliningrad. They dropped flares demonstratively, or more like a harassment method.
I always love coming to Metabunk to check my initial reaction when one of these videos surfaces. The original video certainly LOOKS weird when you first see it, and the human brain starts to ascribe all sorts of strange significance just because it doesn't look like something we are all that familiar with. Then I come here and am always amazed by the great, objective work being done on these forums. It is clear as day that these are flares; nothing more.

Not seeing the planes is really the whole reason this video is even interesting (if you COULD see them, nobody would even care about this video), but this video that Gargamel posted (great username by the way!) really seals the deal. It's entirely possible that you may not see the jets. Two other potential theories on that front:

1) I would bet it is possible that drones are also capable of dropping flares like this (meaning craft even smaller than a normal fighter jet, which is pretty darn small to begin with).

2) A little more 'out-there:' but the advances that military programs are undoubtedly making in camofluage/invisibility could also be at play.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/news/features/2015/WashPostF352.html

In fact, maybe the 'exercise' being conducted by these three jets is a proof of concept for just how hard these jets are to see and the flares are actually the jets announcing their position...

Who knows, that last bit is wildly speculative; but the fact that these lights are flares is decidedly NOT speculative.

Thanks Mick and everybody for fighting the misinformation battle!
 

VFXual

New 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.
Long time lurker (came here for the chemtails, stayed for the UFOs), first time poster!
I've worked in high end VFX for 20 years so for what it's worth I could remove a small airplane from this footage (especially of that quality) undetectably in under 30 mins easy. I could probably rush it in 10 and no one would notice. I've no doubt someone with some basic knowledge could do the same, especially with the compression doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

Equally compositing some flares from another video over this would also be fairly simple. There's plenty in the scene to track and keying off some very bright flares from another shot would be pretty easy.
 
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