Why are Starlink "Racetrack" Flares [Mostly] Reported from Planes?

The use of "orbs" to describe what is almost surely flaring satellites (essentially point light sources) in post 240 above is worth noting. This would appear to be just adopting UFO fandom's terminology, unless it is some pilot jargon with which I am not familiar. It implies that an object was seen close enough to determine something of its shape... which would not actually be the case for flaring satellites, where all that would actually be seen is a point of more-or-less bright light.
 
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Yeah - a light with no discernable shape is often called an 'orb'. But you're right, interesting that a pilot would use these words. It suggests he/she is familiar with the term and its use in UAPology.
 
Yeah - a light with no discernable shape is often called an 'orb'. But you're right, interesting that a pilot would use these words. It suggests he/she is familiar with the term and its use in UAPology.

Also, from "These orbs, when they moved, moved much faster than a Starlink satellite or a common satellite.", I'm guessing he's never heard of the concept of foreshortening. Has he never seen F1 cars absolutely stationary as they race down a starting straight?

His later presumption that a description of 12 and 7 o'clock - a one dimensional specifier - is adequate to represent locations, or at least directions, in 3 (or 2) dimenional space also shows that he doesn't know how 3 dimensions work. And he's a pilot? That's what worries me, not use of "orbs". Get him out of that cockpit, lives are potentially at risk.
 
why would a pilot make a report to NUFORC is he wasnt familiar with ufo terminology?
Well I'd expect someone might make a UFO report if they saw something they couldn't identify and would use words to describe what they saw. The term 'orb' is often used by UFO fans to describe what they see, but I don't think that the term 'orb' is a phrase that a random person would use to describe a light moving in the sky. this suggests that the witness, by using the term 'orb', is a UFO-fan and therefore their judgement on what they are seeing may be biased.
 
Well I'd expect someone might make a UFO report if they saw something they couldn't identify and would use words to describe what they saw. The term 'orb' is often used by UFO fans to describe what they see, but I don't think that the term 'orb' is a phrase that a random person would use to describe a light moving in the sky. this suggests that the witness, by using the term 'orb', is a UFO-fan and therefore their judgement on what they are seeing may be biased.

maybe. but Mick's recent pilot email thread, that pilot uses the term orb throughout. and he doesnt sound like a UFO fan.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/emails-from-a-pilot-regarding-starlink-and-other-objects.13397/
 
why would a pilot make a report to NUFORC is he wasnt familiar with ufo terminology?
The FAA actually directs pilots to report to NUFORC, so not sure that means anything by itself.
Article:
Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as the National UFO Reporting Center, etc.
 
The FAA actually directs pilots to report to NUFORC, so not sure that means anything by itself.
Article:
Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as the National UFO Reporting Center, etc.
There's some interesting history behind that.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/fa...-from-nids-to-baass-bigelow-and-nuforc.11827/
TLDR: They used to direct people to NIDS, the paranormal/UFO research organization belonging to Robert Bigelow.
 

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOPilotReports/comments/1bn11h1/all_three_lights_were_observed_to_be_moving/


https://nuforc.org/sighting/?id=178982
Occurred: 2023-10-19 03:00 Local
Reported: 2023-10-19 10:24 Pacific
Duration: Approximately one hour.
No of observers: 2

Location: Las Vegas (in flight), NV, USA
Location details: Spotted from aircraft at 37,000’

Shape: Star
Characteristics: Lights on object

While operating an airline flight at 37,000’ both pilots witnessed three lights at very high altitude moving in random patterns.

While operating a B777 from HNL-DEN at 37,000’ both the Captain and I witnessed what appeared to be stars moving at a very high altitude and distance. We were approximately 50 miles SW of Las Vegas at about 0300 local time. The lights appeared to be SE of our position. All three lights were observed to be moving independently in some type of pattern. The lights were the approximate size and brightness of the stars in the background and were steady with no flashing that we typically observe on aircraft. They would each move relatively quickly in one direction for about one minute and then reverse course and move in another direction. We observed this phenomenon for about one hour. We questioned Los Angeles Center about high altitude military activity but they were not aware of any. After about one hour two of the lights continued northbound until they were out of sight. The third light remained for about 20 more minutes before heading southwest bound and disappearing. Over the course of the hour we travelled approximately 500 nautical miles but the lights never appeared to get any closer to us.
https://www.metabunk.org/u/yerL5I.html

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Another sighting video with podcast...


Source: https://twitter.com/frederikdirks/status/1774732953597223241?t=feDzqGEfdL3AXTDmeBKDsA&s=19

Edit, added Reddit post


Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/1btvgwq/interesting_recordings_from_pilot/



Edit, added Youtube link


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cBICekDGLo&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2F&feature=emb_logo&themeRefresh=1

Edit 3: Added link to Danish News Article

https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/dansk-pilot-filmede-uforklarlige-lys-paa-himlen-over-tyrkiet
INDIA

Danish pilot filmed inexplicable lights in the sky over Turkey​

UFO sightings have become less taboo among pilots, says the podcast host. The Danish pilot, Peter, filmed an inexplicable light phenomenon from the cockpit.
On an evening flight from Turkey a few weeks ago, a Danish pilot saw a phenomenon in the sky that he still has difficulty explaining.
From his cockpit of the airliner, the pilot saw two very bright lights high above him. It looked like the two lights were chasing each other.
- It is some kind of dogfight (air duel, ed.) that is going on, he says.
- I just sit and look at it. My colleague can see it too and says: 'What is that?'
This is what the pilot Peter tells DR's podcast Flyvende platelle, which deals precisely with observations of UFOs - inexplicable flying objects.
He took out his iPhone and recorded the videos you can see in the article.

The video recordings only began about fifteen minutes after Peter had discovered the two lights. He therefore did not manage to capture the first part, which he describes as a kind of aerial duel.
The pilot does not want us to mention his surname or tell which company he flies for, for the sake of his employer, but DR knows his identity.
But in fact he is far from the only pilot who shares and talks about these kinds of experiences.

UFO hearing in Congress​

Today, UFO talk has become less taboo, says Frederik Dirks Gottlieb, host of Flyvende platel.
In his podcast, he has spoken to several Danish pilots who have seen unexplained lights and mysterious objects in the sky.
In 2021, the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon, released a report on 143 unexplained sightings by US military pilots, as pilots have testified under oath in Congress .
And in January, several pilots reported lights in a triangle formation over Canada .
- We see that more and more pilots come forward and say that they see things they cannot explain in the sky. And they also start talking more to each other, says Frederik Dirks Gottlieb.

Fighter pilot cannot explain observation​

Today, many more often use the term UAP - Unidentified Abnormal Phenomena - instead of ufo - Unidentified Flying Object.
It is considered more correct, as it is not known whether in all cases it is a question of flying objects.

The former fighter pilot Søren Sørensen, who is a co-host on Flyvende platel, believes that it is important that pilots share their experiences and any recordings.
Nor can he explain the lights on the pilot Peter's recording.
He notices that the lights seem to be above the passenger plane's position at an altitude of 10-12 kilometers.
Even the most advanced aircraft that he knows of cannot maneuver like that at that altitude.
- It is very difficult to achieve with the technologies we know about today. I myself have been up at those heights with the F-16, and there the air is so thin that the engine does not produce very much horsepower, and the wings do not carry very much, he explains.

Writes off satellites and drones​

Since drones are subject to the same physical conditions as planes, it is also not a likely explanation that it is someone like that that Peter filmed, explains Søren Sørensen.
The same applies to satellites, which are typically in a fixed orbit.
- They don't fly in a zigzag like that, says the former fighter pilot.
He also does not believe that some kind of glare from the cabin from which the video was filmed is a likely explanation.
- The pilots are used to that, and there will be such a mirror effect, just like when you look into a window, he says.
However, he emphasizes that he could be wrong and there could be explanations or technologies that he is not aware of.

Became glowing red​

The pilot Peter also has no explanation for what he filmed that night. Especially the opening part, the "aerial duel", puzzles him.
- It was so clear to see that they were chasing each other, and they just kept going, he says.
At one point, the light phenomena suddenly lost height with incredible speed, he describes.
- Then the front one will be completely glowing red, just as it has indicated. "Okay you got me".
Then the lights rose again in height. Along the way, the lights changed color several times.
https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/dansk-pilot-filmede-uforklarlige-lys-paa-himlen-over-tyrkiet
Content from External Source
 
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The video shows three distinct dates & locations
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  • Turkey - February 21
  • Bulgaria - March 9
  • Spain - March 24
I've had to take a guess at location (I've taken a central point for each country) and a rough time to show when exactly Starlink Flares would have been visible there. Hopefully the pilot will provide us with the original videos and metadata/timestamps)

  • Turkey - February 21
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  • Bulgaria - March 9
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  • Spain - March 24
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These show that Starlink flares were happening in those areas on each night. But was that what the pilot saw? Lets wait and see.

Edit: The podcast host has just posted this. Will have to fix the sitrec parameters.


Source: https://twitter.com/frederikdirks/status/1775256615920493041?t=mjGg8e9vOveF5ybjF6G7iA&s=19
 
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Another post on Reddit from a passenger on a plane who saw a 'UFO fleet' outside their window. I linked them to the "PVS-14 Night Vision Pilot's Footage of "Racetrack" Flares [Starlink]" thread and they said the following. So it was my assumption that they saw the same thing (a Starlink swarm).


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP03_sN4ZmM
Dude, literally exactly like this. As I said in the post I only saw 5 at a time but considering the darkness there might’ve been more out there, fascinating. We were also traveling at 36,000, similar altitude to the one in the video. Thanks so much for sharing, this looks like what I saw last night!

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/1bvvj46/comment/ky24rxr/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Content from External Source


Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/1bvvj46/ufo_fleet_seen_outside_of_plane_window_for_20/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3


This was the witness's flight:

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And checking sitrec shows the abundance of Starlink flares at the time they saw them. Permalink: https://www.metabunk.org/u/sl1iJm.html

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The witness said they stopped at 11.10pm, sitrec shows the last flaring satellite on the plane's track to be 11.09pm.

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Of course there's not real location or time given, but there's probably recognisable stars and I found this is in the comments

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For some reason they all think the lights must go in a circular-racetrack motion. Strange to think that way, but they (pilots) all seem to do so.
My understanding is that this is based on a plane flying a racetrack holding pattern (forgive and correct if I've mangled correct terminology)being the other time they'd see a light start out dim, get brighter as it moves a shore distance., then fade out, only to "appear again" an repeat the process -- with a plane turning towards the viewer, its light becoming visible and brightening, then dimming again as it goes on around the track and begins to turn away from the viewer, then repeating as it flies around the "track" and turns back towards the viewer again. Seems a reasonable interpretation of instances where a line of successive starlink flares is spotted.

Once they became known as "racetrack UFOs/UAP," that assumption might stick even in cases where multiple flares moving in multiple directions were spotted -- the name defines how the observed lights are interpreted. (This bit is admittedly conjectural.) Presumably as they become more widely known as Starlink flares, that tendency will fade a bit.

Of course the sightings correctly interpreted as satellites are less likely to cross OUR desk here at MB...
 
For some reason they all think the lights must go in a circular-racetrack motion. Strange to think that way, but they (pilots) all seem to do so.
It's because it's had to shake people out of patterns that they've already settled themselves into. Mick did a fantastic video showing the difference between linear and cyclic motion, but alas only we watched it.
 
It's because it's had to shake people out of patterns that they've already settled themselves into. Mick did a fantastic video showing the difference between linear and cyclic motion, but alas only we watched it.
Funny think about that video: I realized after I made it that I'd mounted the flashlight the wrong way for landing lights.

Regarding "circling", that can be shown to be inaccurate by stabilizing the video and then compositing frames at 1-second intervals.
2022-10-08_08-38-41.jpg

If it were circling, the dots at the end would be closer together than the ones in the middle, like this similar composite of a flashlight on a bicycle wheel:
2022-10-08_09-53-51.jpg

You can see it clearer in the sensor reflections,

2022-10-09_08-04-58.jpg

Here's the source video




I'm mounting the light facing out, but it it were a plane it would be facing parallel to the motion, and so would flare earlier, moving first left and then right.

Which all would look even less like what we see. I really should redo it.
 
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