# Why does the Gimbal shape change?

#### markus

##### Active Member
One question. In two of Micks videos where he demonstrated the glare effect, the glare-shape does not change at all. Although Mick ist changing distance, is changing orientation of the light source and even he lets it rotate.

Shouldnˋt it be in the case of the gimbal-thing as well? In the gimbal video, the shape is changing.
There's at least two possible sources for changes in shape in the gimbal video:

1. The image processing filters applied to the image seem different in black hot vs white hot mode.
2. Whatever's producing the glare, presumably a jet engine, is being seen at a different angle. So the shape of the source changes, which means that the shape of the glare (which is given by a convolution of the source with the point-spread function of the optical system) will also change.

This is very rough and dirty and is not intended as representative of what's happening in the gimbal video (in particular, I have made no attempt to match apparent sizes to plausible jet engines or whatever), but it is illustrative of the concept.

Python:
``````import numpy as np
import imageio
import scipy
import scipy.signal
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

convr = scipy.signal.convolve2d(round, kern, mode='full')
convg = scipy.signal.convolve2d(gibbous, kern, mode='full')

convr /= np.max(convr)
convg /= np.max(convg)

fig, ax = plt.subplots(2, 3)
ax[0,0].imshow(round)
ax[0,1].imshow(kern)
ax[0,2].imshow(convr)
ax[0,2].contour(convr, levels=[0.15],colors='r')
ax[1,0].imshow(gibbous)
ax[1,1].imshow(kern)
ax[1,2].imshow(convg)
ax[1,2].contour(convg, levels=[0.15], colors='r')

plt.show()``````

#### Attachments

• gibb2.png
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• kern2.png
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• round.png
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There's at least two possible sources for changes in shape in the gimbal video:

1. The image processing filters applied to the image seem different in black hot vs white hot mode.

I agree.

2. Whatever's producing the glare, presumably a jet engine, is being seen at a different angle. So the shape of the source changes, which means that the shape of the glare (which is given by a convolution of the source with the point-spread function of the optical system) will also change.
I have to admit that You, guys, have a lot more knowledge about that flight issues than me. So my role in this flight-segment is perhaps more about asking questions than giving answers. So the experts have an opportunity to recheck facts.

In this video, where Mick is showing the glare, the shape does not change. Although, among others, Mick is changing the orientation and angle of the light source approximately about 45 degrees at 5.40. (Then the glare is becoming smaller)

Source: https://youtu.be/q3Oeaot9eX0

Is that in line with the Gimbal Video?

I am sorry If I am asking stupid, disturbing questions.

In this video, where Mick is showing the glare, the shape does not change.
Is that in line with the Gimbal Video?
It's a very different optical system and light configuration. The shape of the glare in my video is symmetrical, and the spikes are from the aperture. I'd expect a consistent glare shape here.

The problem is that tail angle shows very small changes in the ~30Nm flight paths.

A way to get a more significant change in tail angle is to go a bit further, at ~40Nm, but this implies a significant change in direction. Along with other questions that are size of the glare (~90ft equivalent at that distance), and fuselage being invisible when seen under 30°.

Of note is that in Sitrec the clouds are quite slower than in the real vid, I did the count of frames needed to scan one FOV, for the sim versus the vid.

Frames per FOV crossed (left:vid ; right:sim)
from frame #0: 70 vs 85 (sim 20% slower)
from #301 : 81 vs 108 (25% slower)
from #601 : 136 vs 180 (25% slower)
from #801 (1/2FOV) : 85 vs 140 (65% slower)

This means more grouped lines of sight, I'd be curious to see the results with more accurate cloud angular motion.

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I think this belongs in this thread, with the following question: is the change in shape consistent with what we would expect from a physical object at ~10Nm, traveling along the "Graves" trajectory?
(from a pragmatic point of view, putting aside the saucer shape, aliens etc etc)

I think this belongs in this thread, with the following question: is the change in shape consistent with what we would expect from a physical object at ~10Nm, traveling along the "Graves" trajectory?
(from a pragmatic point of view, putting aside the saucer shape, aliens etc etc)

Well we would need to know the real shape of the objects IR signature for that right?

Well we would need to know the real shape of the objects IR signature for that right?
That's assuming the final shape, when it's in front of the F-18, is close to the shape of the object. The shape before that is not inconsistent with a slight tilt along the close flight path (my post above).

That's assuming the final shape, when it's in front of the F-18, is close to the shape of the object. The shape before that is not inconsistent with a slight tilt along the close flight path (my post above).
Why make that assumption?

To further explore this case? Unless you're settled on the glare from a jet and it's all explained? I'm not.
It's a thread about the shape of Gimbal and how it changes, are we allowed to discuss different possibilities?

The problem is that tail angle shows very small changes in the ~30Nm flight paths.
It's not really clear that's a problem. Note that what I described is only one possible contributing factor to shape changes. There are many others: for example, I used a very simple PSF with just two diffraction spikes, but the real PSF could be more complicated, with multiple spikes at different angles and different intensities (it could even comprise more complicate structures than spikes). The glare could be coming not only from the engine itself, but also its exhaust plume, which is longer and would evince more dramatic changes as the angle changes. The exposure is being automatically adjusted. The end result is piped through some mystery mix of proprietary filters and image processing black magic to make it sharper and more useful to the pilot -- who knows how that will respond to strong intensity gradients. I gave merely one example of how this could've happened, but there's a huge space of possibilities here.

Here's two more examples of filters and shape combinations that show how the shape can change. This is just playing with the image and PSF, I made no attempt to model the rest of the system (even though we know for instance that there's an unsharp mask or similar over the final result):

Along with other questions that are size of the glare (~90ft equivalent at that distance),
Betelgeuse's glare is about 0.16 ly equivalent when seen with the naked eye. The size a glare would have if it were a real object may help identify a minimum upper bound on the size of an object that could be occluded but it doesn't help assess plausibility apart from that.
I think this belongs in this thread, with the following question: is the change in shape consistent with what we would expect from a physical object at ~10Nm, traveling along the "Graves" trajectory?
You may be able to contrive some irregular shape that fits, but the hypothesis that the black shape is that of a physical object is already rejected on other grounds. A real object would rotate covariantly with the horizon as the F-18 changes bank angle, which this doesn't, and there wouldn't be any expectation that the angle should follow the geometrically required motion of the ATFLIR main roll axis, which this does.

It's important to realize how small a F-18 is at 30-40Nm, when seen in ATFLIR, even with NAR2 zoom (0.35 FOV).

A 56 ft F-18 is barely visible at that distance, here is an example from Sitrec at 35Nm. I switch back and forth with the glare to show how huge it would have to be compared to the angular size of the jet exhaust (we barely see the plane in the image). I get that a glare is not necessarily sized relative to the source, but this seems like a stretch. At the end I magnifiy the distant F-18 size 10 times. The glare is still quite bigger than the exhaust, but in a more "reasonable" way.

Even if things are classified, it should not be hard for optics expert to tell if it's even possible to get a glare that big from a tiny heat source 30-40Nm away. In a system designed to identify distant targets.

I've said it before, I'm open to the object being a glare, I'm just very skeptical of it being a glare from a jet at >30Nm. For the reason above, and more so for the need for this theory to require glitches in the pilot's instruments (I won't debate this here, this is discussed in other threads).

We know an F/18 is small at 30-40NM

Glare is just the spread of the light reaching the camera on the physical elements of the optical system, the distance makes no real difference except to attenuate some of the photons, we know an F/18 object is barely visible, it is small and not giving off many photons in the visible wave length, particles in the air also absorb.

But it's jet engine in IR is like a super bright torch throwing out photons in MWIR reaching a camera system that is then probably signal boosting those wavelengths.

The point is its the difference between not seeing a person in a field miles away and seeing the light from a torch held by the same person. The torch is even smaller than the person, but it is generating huge ammount of light.

Its not the size that is important (lol) it's the brightness.

Even if things are classified, it should not be hard for optics expert to tell if it's even possible to get a glare that big from a tiny heat source 30-40Nm away. In a system designed to identify distant targets.

I'm not sure what the actual numbers would be but you can reproduce these steps with better numbers, and then see for yourself.
F-18 at 30Nm, is about a 1m x 2m extreme heat source at a distance of 180000m. That's the same subtended angle as 1mm x 2mm source at a distance of 180m. The optics are possibly the equivalent of a 36x "zoom" over a normal camera. So, on a normal camera, to subtend the same angle, the source would need to be 5m away. So photograph the brightest surface mount LED you can find using a normal camera. What's the glare on that? For curiosity, examine those SM LEDs under a powerful lens ad see how much of the actual area was the light-generating part, and how much was just the mechanical package. Use 2 smaller LEDs to more closely mimic 2 spacially separated jet engines, if you can.

I was playing around with writing some image processing tools a few years back - I was trying to achieve "add to image A the difference between A-with-B and A-with-B-and-C, thus hopefully getting A-with-C" - and for one of my tests I used a cheaparse LED as my "C", at about a range of 5m, and the glare from those LEDs was huge compared with the size of the LED itself. Alas it broke my algorithms, but it was an eye-opener I learnt something from. If the numbers are accurate, it easily explains a jet engine glare being larger than the plane itself.

The video is 480 pixels high if I got it correct. 0.35° FOV shows 1300ft each side at 35Nm (tan(0.35)*35*6076.12)
Divide by 480 pixels, one pixel represents ~2.7ft It's about the diameter of one F-18 exhaust.

So here we would have two hot pixels creating a glare that covers ~10% of the FOV at some point of the video.
We're not even looking tailpipe, but more 10-15° at best, so the FLIR would not even look straight inside the hot engine.

This is a fighter jet at 5-10Nm in ATFLIR (rough estimate from angular size/possible FOV). There is x2 zoom on the left vs right. On the right the exhaut decreases in size with the plane. Put it three times further or more, the exhaust would shrink to a couple pixels, like in Gimbal. And the IR signature of exhaust would need to grow exponentially to look like what we see in Gimbal. If the aviators say they have never seen a fighter jet looking like Gimbal in ATFLIR, there may be a reason.

F-18 at 30Nm, is about a 1m x 2m extreme heat source at a distance of 180000m
you are overestimating that, I think?

but a F-18 isn't even the most likely jet to be in view, I believe, mostly because I expect the Navy would've been likely to identify one of their own aircraft even in hindsight.
F-15, F100 engine without afterburner at 1000⁰F = 811K
B777, GE90 113B engine maximum continuous power at 1922⁰F = 1323K

Disregarding size,
R(GE90)/R(F100) = (1323/811)^4 = 7.08
This passenger jet engine is 7 times brighter than the fighter jet engine from the temperature difference alone.

Size and thrust comparison
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_&_Whitney_F100
Diameter: 34.8 inches (88 cm) inlet
Maximum thrust: 14,590 pounds-force (64.9 kN) military thrust,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric_GE90
Fan diameter: 128 in (3.3 m)
Takeoff thrust: 115,540 lbf (513.9 kN)

Area comparison:
A(GE90)/A(F100)=(128/34.8)^2=13.5
The passenger jet's engine cross section is 14 times bigger than the fighter jet's.

I get that a glare is not necessarily sized relative to the source, but this seems like a stretch.
Each engine in the Chilean navy UFO, from a distance of ~40 nautical miles, produced a glare about "100 feet equivalent".

you are overestimating that, I think?

but a F-18 isn't even the most likely jet to be in view, I believe, mostly because I expect the Navy would've been likely to identify one of their own aircraft even in hindsight.
I think if we're talking military aircraft, the F-35 would be the likeliest candidate. It's stealth, so it would register poorly on whatever radar system was used to track it (i.e, it could be expected to be inaccurately ranged), but, unlike the stealthier drones that have been suggested (e.g. X-47B), it is a more compromised design and there is a direct line of sight to its single, blisteringly powerful F135 engine. It also almost surely employs some sophisticated electronic warfare suite that could've been responsible for the "fleet" reported in the SA.

It was also common knowledge and undergoing final testing at the time (so nothing super duper classified that would require testing at a more secure location, or which would bring up red flags).

I think if we're talking military aircraft, the F-35 would be the likeliest candidate. It's stealth, so it would register poorly on whatever radar system was used to track it (i.e, it could be expected to be inaccurately ranged), but, unlike the stealthier drones that have been suggested (e.g. X-47B), it is a more compromised design and there is a direct line of sight to its single, blisteringly powerful F135 engine.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_&_Whitney_F135
Diameter: 46 in (117 cm) max., 43 in (109 cm) at the fan inlet
Maximum thrust: 28,000 lbf (128 kN) military thrust

And its stealth construction means there's no direct line-of-sight into the turbine from behind.

If we're looking for a bright IR light in the sky, I don't think you can beat a big airliner.

It's stealth-ish, especially from the rear.

Contrast with a stealthier design like the YF-23:

Or the F-117:

The F-35 is an airplane that tries to do a lot of things, so it turns out there are some it doesn't do very well (rear-aspect stealth being one of them), especially in the infrared. Hiding a big juicy jet engine from a FLIR sensor is very difficult to achieve, especially if you're hoping to keep a semblance of fighter-like performance.

We've all seen that glare footage from the F-22, an airplane that's ostensibly better than the F-35 in this respect (though the afterburners may be lit -- it's hard to tell).

But at the end of the day, we don't really know. It could also be something like an EA-18G Growler. The airliner hypothesis is not all the way ruled out but I personally see it as somewhat disfavored since the altitude is a little low compared with typical civilian jet flight altitudes, and the it doesn't do anything to address the other aspects of the encounter, which electronic warfare and/or stealth does.

The one thing we can probably say with some clarity is that this is almost certainly not an airliner with wide-set engines, or the shape would change a lot more with ATFLIR roll angle (which it basically doesn't).

Each engine in the Chilean navy UFO, from a distance of ~40 nautical miles, produced a glare about "100 feet equivalent".

Here it is with a F-18 to scale (Mick did that). One circle (one engine) would be about the F-18 wingspan.

Here is what you need in Gimbal at 30Nm, with a F-18 more or less to scale for that distance/FOV (even smaller at 35 or 40Nm) :

It's more three times the wingspan here, in a more recent system with smaller FOV that is arguably better at tracking distant targets than the FLIR from the Chilean helicopter. Note that the IR blob is jittery and shrinks (not grows) with distance in the case of the Chilean UFO. They are not really comparable when you watch the videos side by side.

I remain skeptical of an unidentified fighter jet creating a huge glare like this, while spoofing the Navy F-18 with bogus radar returns. A closer object following the path that was seen on radar is still a simpler scenario to me. And this object may still create a glare, with proportions that are more reasonable with its distance.

After the pod (supposedly) rolled at the end, the distant jet would have been seen like this in ATFLIR, until next roll.
Does such disconnection between the shape of the hot source and IR blob even make sense? Any example anywhere?

Here it is with a F-18 to scale (Mick did that). One circle (one engine) would be about the F-18 wingspan.

Here is what you need in Gimbal at 30Nm, with a F-18 more or less to scale for that distance/FOV (even smaller at 35 or 40Nm) :

It's more three times the wingspan here, in a more recent system with smaller FOV that is arguably better at tracking distant targets than the FLIR from the Chilean helicopter. Note that the IR blob is jittery and shrinks (not grows) with distance in the case of the Chilean UFO. They are not really comparable when you watch the videos side by side.

I remain skeptical of an unidentified fighter jet creating a huge glare like this, while spoofing the Navy F-18 with bogus radar returns. A closer object following the path that was seen on radar is still a simpler scenario to me. And this object may still create a glare, with proportions that are more reasonable with its distance.
What path that was seen on radar? That's never been cleared up has it, just Graves' unclear description of what he remembers the fleet doing based on him apparently seeing a recording of the SA.

My understanding is a closer "real shaped " object has to make physical movements that anticipate and match the rotations of the a pod that is tracking it and from that one perspective only?

Bogus radar returns from what? Was the object on RADAR or not? If yes why no SLAVE? This also points back to the confusion in the conversation between WSO and pilot as to what is the L+S.

But at the end of the day, we don't really know. It could also be something like an EA-18G Growler. The airliner hypothesis is not all the way ruled out but I personally see it as somewhat disfavored since the altitude is a little low compared with typical civilian jet flight altitudes, and the it doesn't do anything to address the other aspects of the encounter, which electronic warfare and/or stealth does.
You just make discussion difficult. Spoofing has been mentioned above to narrow the possibilities for a jet, not by me.

The point I raise is whether the shape is without no doubt consistent with a jet at 30Nm or more, given how tiny it would be in the frame.

You just make discussion difficult. Spoofing has been mentioned above to narrow the possibilities for a jet, not by me.

The point I raise is whether the shape is without no doubt consistent with a jet at 30Nm or more, given how tiny it would be in the frame.
This is the "no other examples" problem

There is potential is the ATFLIR system renders glare differently from the more available MWIR videos we have.
There is potential is that this ATFLIR on this aircraft on this day had a mark or something which caused this specific glare, but as we have no other ATFLIR systems of known objects i.e. similar footage to compare to we don't know.

So all we have is examples that show that MWIR systems in general can produce glare where the glare is bigger than the object producing the glare, the specifics likely being highly dependent on the exact scenario.

However it's been demonstrated that if glare were recorded on a system that de-rotates the resultant image we would expect that the glare would appear to rotate relative to the background on the de-rotated view and, it has also been demonstrated that in this instance the rotation very likely follows the expected rotations required by the tracking mechanism based on the known angles shown on the video.

I know all this. But putting a distant fighter jet >30Nm and the IR blob in Gimbal in perspective has not really been done. I'm not sure many people realize how weird the IR signature would have been this day, when compared to ATFLIR examples we have. Another puzzling fact, to add with reports of a fleet, stop/reverse, etc etc ...

I think it's interesting to share, for people who are not as convinced as you are of what it exactly was.

Here using a F-18 seen at the end in Sitrec (target size=60ft), from 35Nm, with IR blob overlaid to scale (I had to magnify the F-18 10 times because it's almost invisible in the FOV at the original size).

This is an illustration of how the size of glare can be vastly larger than the light source creating that glare. It's essentially a point source, and the size of the resulting glare is dependent on
1. The brightness of the source relative to the scene
2. The exposure settings (e.g. are we exposed for a dim room, or cold clouds at night?)
3. The point spread function, which is related to
• Intrinsic point spread - i.e. what you get all the time from the camera, at this setting (NAR, etc)
• Focus
• Temporary diffraction factors, like streaks on the glass

Yes that's about the same ratio of source vs glare. Now this is a very bright source straight in the lense.
Look at how the glare is extremely dependent on the angle of incidence, in this little clip from your video posted above.

And here is the start and ~end tail angle for the flight path at 35Nm.

Would these two hot pixels way far create a glare comparable to your torch? Wouldn't the variations in tail angle create more dramatic changes in the glare, as seen when playing with a torch? Gimbal is very sharp and consistent compared to the glares you show with visible light sources (or even the Chilean UFO). I'm not convinced we are comparing apples with oranges here.

Gimbal is very sharp and consistent
Hmm, you were just asking why it changes so much.

Now this is a very bright source straight in the lense.
It's not "straight in the lens", it's simply visible. Flashlights normally have a reflector that concentrates the light in one direction. This is a single exposed led radiating light in all directions.

Jet engines are not that directed either, the hot bits just need to be visible, not pointed at the camera.

Hmm, you were just asking why it changes so much.
I'm talking about the contour. It's a well-defined shape all along, unlike the spiky glare in your example. Or the jittery Chilean UFO.

But as pointed out in the OP, the shape gradually changes, and it is unclear why it does in that manner.

But as pointed out in the OP, the shape gradually changes, and it is unclear why it does in that manner.
presumably because the pod head gradually rotates, turning the presumed smear or scratches that transform the much smaller IR source into the Gimbal shape

and ALL of that has been written before in this forum in this year, iirc

Here it is with a F-18 to scale (Mick did that). One circle (one engine) would be about the F-18 wingspan.
I measured one of those circles at 30 pixels when the video was playing full screen on my 1080p monitor. The FOV was stated to be 1.65 degrees including the black bars, so the angular size comes out to 1.65 degrees * 30 / 1920 ~ 0.00045 rad. At a distance of 70 km (the smallest possible), that gives an angular size of 31.5 meters, or 100 feet.

Alternately. Take this image. FOV is 1.65 degrees. The ATFLIR FOV in 2x NAR mode is 0.35 degrees, which would correspond to 0.35 / 1.65 * 1920 ~ 407 pixels:

Overlayed:

Note that the IR blob is jittery
The jitter is atmospheric turbulence. You see clear examples of that in Dave Falch's video with the T-45 where both visible light and infrared images showed the same jitteriness. There air at higher altitudes is calmer.
and shrinks (not grows) with distance in the case of the Chilean UFO.
The airplane in that case was seen from more or less the same angle throughout, and the change in distance is considerable. The change in the size of the glare was mostly because of the decrease in light intensity with distance (which is a subtler point than it might appear at first, see the discussion on the Travis Taylor thread). With gimbal in the proposed scenario with an airplane at ~30 nmi, the distance is more or less constant throughout the video, so the main cause for the increase in light intensity is the change in angle. There are examples of this in that F-22 video.

It's also possible the exposure is being adjusted, or that the software filters are doing something different as the video progresses.

That said: if the F-18 held its trajectory and the target were allowed to fly away, the model also predicts the glare shrinks with distance (given some natural assumptions about the shape of the PSF).
I remain skeptical of an unidentified fighter jet creating a huge glare like this, while spoofing the Navy F-18 with bogus radar returns. A closer object following the path that was seen on radar is still a simpler scenario to me. And this object may still create a glare, with proportions that are more reasonable with its distance.
The position that we're seeing a glare produced by a smaller, closer object is certainly more defensible than the claim that we're actually seeing the shape of a physical object. The main challenge there is to explain what seems to be an extraordinary coincidence, that the trajectory is so well-described by a straight line. It's hard to be precise about how much of a coincidence this is because it's hard to quantitatively describe a reasonable family of trajectories based on Ryan Graves' somewhat vague verbal description alone. My suspicion is that the vast majority of trajectories matching that description won't look like a straight line constant altitude path, at any distance and orientation, let alone one that's such a good match for the glare theory.

If you want to defeat that line of reasoning your job is to show otherwise, i.e., that it's normal and expected for just about any trajectory matching that vague description to look like a constant speed, constant altitude, straight line.

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Would these two hot pixels way far create a glare comparable to your torch?
Almost forgot to point out: where it pertains to glares forming due to optical effects (diffraction etc) the word "pixel" is not applicable. We're talking about electromagnetic waves and their propagation through material media. A bright enough source will always produce glare no matter how small it appears; that is how we get to see stars. The word "pixel" only becomes meaningful once the light is collected in one of the many discrete bins arrayed across the detector, when it's done refracting, diffracting, reflecting, and dispersing. Put another way: you could double the resolution of the sensor, or triple it, or halve it, and the image would look pretty much the same because the factors that compromise the ability to get a clear picture are optical in nature.

Your explanations on glare are very detailed, but frankly they are just speculations on how a glare would behave in those systems.

presumably because the pod head gradually rotates, turning the presumed smear or scratches that transform the much smaller IR source into the Gimbal shape

It's also possible the exposure is being adjusted, or that the software filters are doing something different as the video progresses.

You can make all sort of theories like this to explain what we observe, but without evidence or backing by a real expert, it's just speculations.
At the end of the day we have aviators saying they have never seen an IR signature like this before, and no directly comparable examples that shows an IR signature like this either. We need to accept we are left in the dark here.

If you want to defeat that line of reasoning your job is to show otherwise, i.e., that it's normal and expected for just about any trajectory matching that vague description to look like a constant speed, constant altitude, straight line.

I don't want to defeat anything, my goal is to highlight the complexity of the problem. From following/contributing to the analyses here, to directly talking to Ryan Graves and ask precise questions. Putting all the evidence together makes this case incredibly puzzling, objectively. I believe it needs to be presented as such, and not as "debunked" or "mundane", something I still see all the time in online discussions (Twitter, Reddit etc).

Now I don't want to digress again, it's been all discussed in other threads. Let's keep this one about the shape of the glare.

The position that we're seeing a glare produced by a smaller, closer object is certainly more defensible than the claim that we're actually seeing the shape of a physical object. The main challenge there is to explain what seems to be an extraordinary coincidence, that the trajectory is so well-described by a straight line. It's hard to be precise about how much of a coincidence this is because it's hard to quantitatively describe a reasonable family of trajectories based on Ryan Graves' somewhat vague verbal description alone. My suspicion is that the vast majority of trajectories matching that description won't look like a straight line constant altitude path, at any distance and orientation, let alone one that's such a good match for the glare theory.
Just want to add that this extraordinary coincidence goes both ways : how could two fighter jets 35Nm apart, with one randomly flying away unidentified, move both in a way that mimics the close trajectory of a bogus radar return that stopped/reversed direction on the SA?
See, I cannot discard this piece of information that is central to this case. Graves and the aviators saw it very clearly from the velocity vector abruptly reversing direction on SA.

True, the ~straight/steady line (it's not obvious in Sitrec, I did not find it either, see below) is also a weird coincidence, but to go all in with it may be a mistake, imo. Because it's not clear as day, if you will.

(To see how the distant plane's speed needs to change in 15s: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/gimbal-3d-analysis.12303/post-267003)

Just want to add that this extraordinary coincidence goes both ways : how could two fighter jets 35Nm apart, with one randomly flying away unidentified, move both in a way that mimics the close trajectory of a bogus radar return that stopped/reversed direction on the SA?
See, I cannot discard this piece of information that is central to this case. Graves and the aviators saw it very clearly from the velocity vector abruptly reversing direction on SA.

True, the ~straight/steady line (it's not obvious in Sitrec, I did not find it either, see below) is also a weird coincidence, but to go all in with it may be a mistake, imo. Because it's not clear as day, if you will.

(To see how the distant plane's speed needs to change in 15s: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/gimbal-3d-analysis.12303/post-267003)

"Lets keep it about the glare shape" Then you immediately post something not about the glare shape...

All we have is Grave's vague description of him apparently seeing a recording of the "fleet" the SA screen, which if it is accurate is literal world changing data, but for some reason he wont commit to details on it and remains vague and non committal and produces to phone shots of vague literal 'back of the envelope' drawings that don't really seem to match the various ways he has described it.

The pilots themselves in the recorded audio only refer to the "rotation" not to any odd velocity change. They also seems confused about whether the object they are seeing on ATFLIR is the L+S or not. They have also not spoken publicly about it.

If it (gimbal object) were on the SA with a VV and a LOS it would be a slavable track and distance etc would be shown ala Go Fast, however the ATFLIR is not slaved to it for some reason and even though not slaved LOS correlation would there ala Go Fast. At least I would like to hear a "expert" description of why this is not the case here.

If the Graves description of the SA recording is accurate and I had seen it, I would be pulling out all the stops to show a valid recreation of it, working with other people to make my own simulations etc like Mick's sit rec.

In order for me to take Grave's recollection more seriously he needs to present a clearer description of what he has apparently seen. Yet again the smoking gun evidence is a poorly outlined recollection of some weird stuff that someone apparently saw.

I was responding to Markus and the "extraordinary coincidence" of the straight line...
you don't understand that this coincidence is mathematical

if you have a curved flight path, it's very unlikely to be able to see it as a straight, level, constant-velocity motion. It's always possible to see a straight path as curved and variable. this is a mathematical certainty.

so the fact that we have data that allows for a straight, level, unaccelerated solution makes the second-hand witness claim of an uneven motion less probable to be true, mathematically