Utah Drone video of UFO [Probably an insect]

Ravi

Member
They are just rods all over again from what I can see, just cameras on drones detecting them in videos this time rather than single images with motion blur.

Same thing, a moving object smeared by motion blur and made to look fast by being close to the lens.

We should be able to simulate it in 3d modelling software as long as we can simulate the camera motion blur.
We should focus on the video subject of the topic. Not generalise and group everything. We have a number of analysis and none is conclusive yet.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I am completely for any earthly explanation or CGI but the last responses in this thread more or less say "well it is bugs, so shut up". This is I think not the way we should tackle the problem. I thought we should explain things by proof using models and simulations that without doubt explain the video of the subject. No?
Sure, but I'm not saying all the cases are exactly the same. However, they do share some similarities - specifically, they are apparently fast moving objects that zip by a drone traveling in the opposite direction. This raises the very real possibility that they are, like rods and orbs, an artifact of nature revealed by an advance in technology.

What we have now (in technology) are highly stabilized cameras that are able to fly and maneuver at 20-30 mph at 400 feet above a landscape. So, if something small passes close to the camera this would create a highly convincing illusion of something 10x bigger flying at 300 mph, or 100x bigger flying at 3,000 mph.

So there's a general case here. Looking at other examples helps to understand what might be going on in this case, and seeing if it fits that hypothesis.

The number of variations on this theme also seems to argue against CGI. Why fake variations of something that has the mundane "zipby" explanation? why not fake something OVERTAKING the drone?
 

Ravi

Member
Sure, but I'm not saying all the cases are exactly the same. However, they do share some similarities - specifically, they are apparently fast moving objects that zip by a drone traveling in the opposite direction. This raises the very real possibility that they are, like rods and orbs, an artifact of nature revealed by an advance in technology.
I agree. I remember the rods...


What we have now (in technology) are highly stabilized cameras that are able to fly and maneuver at 20-30 mph at 400 feet above a landscape. So, if something small passes close to the camera this would create a highly convincing illusion of something 10x bigger flying at 300 mph, or 100x bigger flying at 3,000 mph.

So there's a general case here. Looking at other examples helps to understand what might be going on in this case, and seeing if it fits that hypothesis.

The number of variations on this theme also seems to argue against CGI. Why fake variations of something that has the mundane "zipby" explanation? why not fake something OVERTAKING the drone?
Indeed it argues very well against CGI.
 
The drone was lucky enough for a flying object far away from it came quite close to it but not as much to trespass pass through it [sorry for my English].

Can you calculate the likely size of the object to be visible 3.5 miles away to see if that's compatible with apparent size when it passes near the drone?
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I am completely for any earthly explanation or CGI but the last responses in this thread more or less say "well it is bugs, so shut up". This is I think not the way we should tackle the problem. I thought we should explain things by proof using models and simulations that without doubt explain the video of the subject. No?
Well, simulations are all very well but if you could get actual drone footage of known bugs and it looked like these UFOs then I think that would be quite convincing, no?
 

jarlrmai

Member
The drone was lucky enough for a flying object far away from it came quite close to it but not as much to trespass pass through it [sorry for my English].

Can you calculate the likely size of the object to be visible 3.5 miles away to see if that's compatible with apparent size when it passes near the drone?
I tried to work out the size of an object visible on a 1080p camera at the distances claimed by people saying it is occluded by the ridge, you can do it as long as you know the details of the camera, but I couldn't find accurate info for the camera used.

[Mod add: Here's a link to a calculator of object size from image size, with the math explained]
https://www.scantips.com/lights/subjectdistance.html
 
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Ravi

Member
Well, simulations are all very well but if you could get actual drone footage of known bugs and it looked like these UFOs then I think that would be quite convincing, no?
Absolutely. Have not seen real good matches yet though. For some reason the (bug?) flight as seen in the Utah video is very smooth but also very fast. The video's of bug's from Youtube are all basically blobs, in a straight line passing through the frame. So the objective would be to find out if this can be reproduced, either practically or virtually..
 
Most videos here can't be opened and I think the problem is not my computer. It must have to do with linking restrictions and it makes this thread less informative.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Absolutely. Have not seen real good matches yet though. For some reason the (bug?) flight as seen in the Utah video is very smooth but also very fast. The video's of bug's from Youtube are all basically blobs, in a straight line passing through the frame. So the objective would be to find out if this can be reproduced, either practically or virtually..
Just for comparison, here is a compilation of "near misses" of real aircraft with drones, and for the most part they don't look particularly fast on camera.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc0AejXRYwc
 
I tried to work out the size of an object visible on a 1080p camera at the distances claimed by people saying it is occluded by the ridge, you can do it as long as you know the details of the camera, but I couldn't find accurate info for the camera used.

[Mod add: Here's a link to a calculator of object size from image size, with the math explained]
https://www.scantips.com/lights/subjectdistance.html
According to metadata provided in #2 by The Dude Abidez:

"Source Image Width 1920 Source Image Height 1080 X Resolution 72 Y Resolution 72"

Anyway, just filling scantips.com for a pixel 3.5 miles away (leaving defaults, which are for a typical camera, I think), it says the pixel size is 1.4 miles! If you can fill in that accurately, let me know.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Most videos here can't be opened and I think the problem is not my computer.
i just went through and tried them all. except for the 2 that say "only viewable on vimeo", they all play for me. and i'm using Internet Explorer which is an archaic browser and often doesnt open things like i cant see twitter videos on IE.

Try clearing your browser cache and reopening your browser. ??
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Anyway, just filling scantips.com for a pixel 3.5 miles away (leaving defaults, which are for a typical camera, I think), it says the pixel size is 1.4 miles! If you can fill in that accurately, let me know.
It's simpler to consider the field of view, either horizontal or vertical. This link has the horizontal FOV at 81 degrees.

So you can simply think of the width of the image at 3.5 miles away.
Metabunk 2019-02-19 12-25-55.jpg

The width of the view is 2 * tan(40.5) * 3.5 = 5.98 miles. So if the image is 1920 wide, then one pixel is around 5.98/1920 miles = 16.5 feet.

That's assuming a rectilinear lens though, it's slightly different for more fisheye.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Also even if an object is theoretically less than a pixel across it could presumably still be visible if it is sufficiently different in brightness to significantly affect the average value for that pixel.
 

Gerard

Member
The width of the view is 2 * tan(40.5) * 3.5 = 5.98 miles. So if the image is 1920 wide, then one pixel is around 5.98/1920 miles = 16.5 feet.
Based on this the relation between distance to the object d and the object size s corresponding to one pixel is:

d = 1124s

Assuming that the object is initially seen to be about 1 pixel in size and closes the distance to the drone in about 1 second we have:

s = 1 ft => d = 0.2 miles, speed = 766 mph

s = 1 inch => d = 94 ft, speed = 64 mph.

So it looks like a bird size object can probably be excluded but an insect size object appears quite plausible, especially since the closing speed includes the speed of the drone.
 

Gerard

Member
then one pixel is around 5.98/1920 miles = 16.5 feet.
This imposes some constraints on the theory that the object is occluded by the tree line. If someone is willing to do the work it should be possible to determine where the supposed occlusion occurs and if there is anything at that location large enough to occlude a 16 ft object.

I don't think a single tree would be enough. There would have to be an isolated crop of trees for that to make sense.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I did a few physical experiments to see what actual small things look like when passing close to the camera, with a focus on recreating something like this video.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw2lIUO3Yy8


 

igoddard

Active Member
@ 2:09 a bug or bird flits across the sky and displays some characteristics of the UFO in question. In its most visible frame, this flying object has a similar softened / smoothed oblong shape, then it's disappeared entirely in the next frame. I've grabbed each unique frame (the second frame here is one of two exactly duplicate frames).

bug-zoom.jpg

The UFO in question has the dark landscape behind it, whereas this bug or bird has the luminous sky behind it, possibly accounting for this object being dark and the other bright. The sudden disappearance of this object might give a false impression of extreme speed and is very much like the UFO in question. I notice the video as I downloaded it has a frame rate of 23.976 fps. Not sure if that's its native rate, but it's less than the common rate of 30 fps.

This object and the UFO may be out of focus more than fuzzed by motion-blur due to being very close to the camera with its focus set at infinity.
 

igoddard

Active Member
The 24 fps I mentioned is on the downloaded youtube video. The high-resolution copy is 60 fps and reveals this extra frame of the smooth-curving path of a likely bug (appearing @ 1:21 in the hi-res footage)...

hi-res-video-rendered-720.png

Based on popular reasoning about the UFO in question, this might as well be another extraterrestrial aircraft.
 

igoddard

Active Member
Here's a slow-motion analysis of the bug zip-by on the same Utah-drone video...


While curving, the path seems smooth and zip-by fast, not unlike the UFO in question, imo.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a good example of bird zipping by a drone from a distance.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Sjw8y5P5M

Mavic-Pro-Drone-near-miss-with-a-flock-of-birds-copy.gif

It's a 4K video and if you download it and zoom in you can see the birds appear at 14 seconds, even though viewed on YouTube you don't really see them easily until after 20 seconds.
Metabunk 2019-02-20 11-51-54.jpg

Video Location:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/K...20b7949554f6f2d!8m2!3d40.031414!4d-85.9987342

The drone appears to be traveling at about 14 mph, based on ground covered.

Pigeons can fly at around 60 mph.
 
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The flying thing by igoddard appears between frames 4916-4923 (both 1:22) on the downloadable raw video at

Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QVGWQI46qbt4UkK1_keYne4-NXUwrLQe/view


There's another flying thing, likely a bird again, between frames 9826 (2:43)-9950 (2:45) on that video as reference.

Frame 9857 here:

upload_2019-2-20_20-42-47.png

I enjoyed Mick's recreations and we're perhaps starting to see as yet strange flying things as drones become more banal. We're still learning to recognize them.

One thing I think wasn't discussed here was that people commanding drone were close enough to it so as to have seen that white flying object if it was as big as it seems (and perhaps noisy too).

All that's a pity because I was already studying topographical maps near Beaver, in Utah...
 
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i just went through and tried them all. except for the 2 that say "only viewable on vimeo", they all play for me. and i'm using Internet Explorer which is an archaic browser and often doesnt open things like i cant see twitter videos on IE.

Try clearing your browser cache and reopening your browser. ??
I have just put a video here from drive.google.com where I can open it without any problem, but can't open it here in the thread...
 

Ravi

Member
Interesting!

I also just watched the analysis from Rob Woodus on Youtube agian, and I like how he created track points in the image showing the shifts in perspective. Check some stills from the video below.(source: http s://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFN7KofHpcY). What he shows here is interesting I think.

Here the shifting of the objects at different distances is seen very clearly (arrow pointing at "ufo").

6.png

Here is a closup, showing that the object is not moving with the foreground, as one would expect with an object very close. Also it is not even yet clearly coming into frame...

2.png


Here is another still, with an important observation.


3.png

Anyway, I would highly recommend looking at this analysis again as I am stuck.
 

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igoddard

Active Member
Occurs to me that a known video frame rate could serve to measure the distance an object travels relative to its own size based on the span of blur seen in a single video frame, assuming the line of sight to the path of motion is close to 90˚, which becomes the case in the last frames in which it appears, such as this frame...

Distance-per-frame.jpg

My off-the-cuff hunch is that if this object was the size of say a jet, and each 1/60th of a second it's traveling a distance very close to the length of itself, it could not be traveling several miles in a second. Perhaps there's a flaw in this analysis, just thinking out loud...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here is a closup, showing that the object is not moving with the foreground, as one would expect with an object very close
An object that was not moving, yes. But this is clearly a moving object that's swooping left and right.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Occurs to me that a known video frame rate could serve to measure the distance an object travels relative to its own size based on the span of blur seen in a single video frame,
You need to measure the distance between the same feature on the object on successive frames. The motion blur is not a full 1/60th exposure.
 
The problem here is that we need to know how far is the object and I don't think it easy. It seems it contours the hill edge, but can be anywhere between the farthest ill and the camera (just for sure farther than when it appears bigger). The camera is still at the time, which makes it harder to guess distance relative positions as by moving one could compare movements of surface and object (even if composed by movement of the object).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
this ^ UFO believer is thinking it is a gyr falcon.
When I googled "Utah flacon fast", what came up, was the Peregrine Flacon, described in one video as a "living missile", with recorded speeds of 242 mph. Common in Utah.

Video describing the "stoop" high-speed dive.
Source: https://youtu.be/ovocT91G1ww?t=179


Another example of a Pergine stoop.
Source: https://youtu.be/uapP1yldldk?t=35


And some showing it coming out of a stoop, pulling 25g!
Source: https://youtu.be/cKqt05iR9WI?t=30
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Peregrine Flacon
eerie. i was just trying to find the falcon cam at 55 water street in NYC to see if they had an outward view, so we can see the birds as they fly in. :0 so are far only finding cams pointed at the nests.
 

igoddard

Active Member
You need to measure the distance between the same feature on the object on successive frames. The motion blur is not a full 1/60th exposure.
This study shows a pretty tight relation between motion blur, velocity and frame rate:

Figure 3. Beach volleyball ball traveling at 90 km/h. (a) Still image, (b) Motion blur at 1/1000 s shutter
speed, (c) Motion blur at 1/250 s shutter speed.​


It gives this formula: Motion blur = object velocity x shutter speed

So algebraically: Object velocity = motion blur / shutter speed

Seems to me some ballpark estimates could be made from the video. As well, one should be able to estimate the expected magnitude of motion blur for given possible object sizes and speeds.
 

jarlrmai

Member
Digital video cameras usually use the 180 rule where the electronic shutter speed per frame is 1 / (double the frame rate ) so 30 fps is 1/60 shutter speed per frame this makes the correct amount of motion blur to mimic vision persistence.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Utah 12 frames gridded.png
That's a 12 frame composite, same pixel size as original

Photoshop shake reduction (remove motion blur) on frame 9
Metabunk 2019-02-22 08-37-34.jpg

And frame 10 (with deblur settings shown)
Metabunk 2019-02-22 08-40-46.jpg

Peregrine falcon
Metabunk 2019-02-22 08-46-07.jpg
 
12-frame composite and deblurring frame 9 are awesome, which makes it consistent with a peregrine falcom for instance.

However, would such a bird produce frame 12?

Whatever, that's also awesome that relative sizes made this clear, especially from frame 6 on may allow one to calculate likely distances from camera.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
To my eye, and i might be biased as i used to be addicted to watchign bird cams.. it is coming in at a slight angle, but mostly heading towards our right but when we first see him he is over this field. between those 2 rows of trees.
field.png


this is when he starts his turn and his body shifts, his wings are more vertical here (one wing toward sky, one toward ground. and he is about 'mid' field, well maybe like 25% into the field.
startturn.JPG

this is the end of his turn, he has straightened out and he is already past this row of trees or just about to pass the trees. its a bit hard to tell. But to me it looks like he is already past those trees.
end turn.JPG
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
hmm this guy has a zoomed in version. this is my second pic.. vertical wings. and he might already be just past the tree line there.
zoom.JPG
 
That's really hard to tell. The only sure thing is that it's anywhere between camera and mountain. The only other sure thing is that the bigger it is the nearer the camera. We're watching a 3D scenario in 2D...
 
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