1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    In the last week the seems to have been a flurry of sighting of strange beams of light in the sky. The majority of them were quickly identified as camera glitches caused by the rolling shutter just catching a strip of a scene illuminated by a flash, leaving the rest with normal illumination, which gives a "beam" effect.

    But why were there suddenly so many? Had something changed? Was there more lightning? An update in iPhone software? A transdimensional rapture portal opening in the fabric of the universe?

    None of the above. It turns out the reason we are suddenly seeing so many is largely because one of the photos went viral, and the rapid spread of this photo across the internet led to people posting photos of what they might other have discarded as a messed up photo. But it mostly led people to remember photos they took quite some time ago, and so they posted (or re-posted) those photos, and they seem "new".

    This really started about six years ago with this photo:
    The photo was taken in 2009 by Hector Siliezar. For some reason it did not get much attention until 2012, when it went viral to a degree - first being published in the web site "Earthfiles", and then getting picked up by various other sites.

    I wrote an article about it, a few other examples were found, like these in Japan, taken in August 2012:

    These rolling shutter lightning artifacts continued to crop up occasionally, like this in 2013 (although actually taken in 2012):
    But the phenomenon faded away, until August, 2015, when we got the image in the animation above.

    Then we have the Florida photo. The first posting was by what seems to be the original photographer, Kirby Cameron, who shared it to the Facebook page of local TV station NBC2 News:

    Then on August 14th 2015. A post by ABC7 Southwest Florida

    This was shared over 14,000 times. The next day it was shared again by NBC2 News, and re-shared another 17,000 times.

    That same day (the 15th), the image was posted on Imgur, and then shared on Reddit. Over the course of a few hours, the image made it's way to the front page of Reddit, and then to the #1 position, where it stayed for a good portion of the day. The Imgur post was viewed over three million times, largely via Reddit.

    How can we gauge how much Reddit played a part? Partly by luck, one of the first comments on Reddit contained a link to my thread about the Mayan pyramid beam.
    And on that one day, the thread here on Metabunk got nearly 200,000 unique views. Normally Metabunk get less than 10,000 visits a day for the entire site, so this was a very significant spike. Of the traffic that could be tracked to the referrer, the traffic over the last 7 days broke down as:
    Reddit is the biggest source, but Facebook is a close second. However that's the last 7 days, if we just look at the 15th, we see:
    Over 80% of the traffic coming from Reddit that day, and less than 10% from Facebook.

    And it was this huge interest in this one photo that led to the "sudden" increase in similar photos being published. There were a few on Reddit, but NBC2 quite specifically asked:

    And so people started posting them:
    And that's just in the top 50 of 4,000 comments.

    So it's not that these beams have suddenly started to appear. It's just there's been a big spike in public interest due to one photo, so people posted their own photos (often taken months or years ago), and that created the artificial impression of a sudden increase in the number of such photos.

    New Technology

    However there is a technology factor here. While these images have not suddenly started to happen, they only happen with a certain type of camera technology. One where the sensor is scanned on line at a time, but with overlapping technology. On an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 1, with a flash set at 25 hz, you get:

    The more modern phone gives the distinctive "beam" of illuminated photo. The older iPhone 1 (from 2007) just gives individual lines that are corrupt color, with no detail. The fact that there's three of them indicates that it's only exposing a few lines at once, and is taking about 1/6th of a second to expose this scene in bright sunlight.

    So at some point between 2007 and now, the iPhone camera (and phone cameras in general) became capable of capturing this type of thing. The Mayan temple example is (supposedly) from 2009, and there are very few from before then.

    So while it's not sudden, it did only start a few years ago.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
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  2. MickeyS

    MickeyS Member

    I can see it now. Beams of light? There's an app for that ;)
  3. J allen

    J allen New Member

    I like the explanation. Here is a webcam image with clear skies projecting similar beam, Found on Youtube.
    . Is that the sun looks kinda small. beam no clouds.JPG
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's a very different type of beam, cause by CCD vertical smear. Example:
  5. J allen

    J allen New Member

    What is CCD smear?
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  7. J allen

    J allen New Member

    Looked it up...very interesting. Thanks for the reply.
  8. Thomas H. Reed

    Thomas H. Reed New Member

    It's the green tennis shoe effect. Something I explained to my Stepson when he bought a pair of green tennis shoes. He said, "No one was wearing green tennis shoes until I bout them. Now everyone is wearing them." Then I had to explain to him that they were always wearing green tennis shoes but he hadn't noticed until he bought a pair. Not to long ago he bought a red Rav 4 and I heard him explaining the "Green Tennis Shoe" effect to my granddaughter.
  9. J allen

    J allen New Member

  10. J allen

    J allen New Member

    Hi Mick,

    I was wasting a lot of time thinking of ways to debunk flat earth claims. Since they won't or can't accept anything mathematical as proof I thought I would attempt to show them how the sunrise and sunset thoroughly support the earth being round. I knew that a lot of volcanoes have webcam and was going to show the exact times in the webcam video associated with the volcano location to prove the impossibility of the earth being flat. I have enough evidence but I keep seeing anomalies whenever the sun is in the picture. I wonder if you can tell me if the beam in this video is rolling shutter,
    and what is causing the strange lights in the other 2 . The third video shows stars in front of the volcanoe, the population of the island is a mere 148. Thanks

    video 1 is self explanatory
    video 2 the flash is obvious but the lights at .10 ?
    video 3 towards ends
    a few stills of lights on 3 vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h08m02s035.
    vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m50s540. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m29s392. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m07s565. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h08m02s035. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m50s540. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m29s392. vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h07m07s565.

    the videos last less than 15 seconds. Would like to get your opinion if you don't mind.

    thanks vlcsnap-2015-09-21-01h08m02s035. jeff

    Attached Files:

  11. Michael West

    Michael West New Member

    I have just joined this org, so forgive me if I'm not impressed at this point. No offence intended. My name is Mick West too, but I have been around many decades more than Mick West of this org. Although I support and agree with Mick's work - I have beien doing this since the 50's. I am a full member of one of the so-called secret orgs since 1972. The things that are investigated here are child's play. The REAL happenings would 'KNOCK YOU OUT' - Good luck and peace. Regards Michael West
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  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's rather a meaningless claim without evidence. Also seems a bit off topic. Is it anything to do with the beams of light?
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  13. Becky Beckerson

    Becky Beckerson New Member

    About 3 years ago, in Wenatchee Washington I saw probably 11 or 12 giant columns of light, probably 30 feet radius, emitting from the sky. It was late, I think around midnight on a cold, but not below freezing, very cloudy night, the kind that make it seem almost day time because it's so light out. I was with a friend of mine who also saw them but unfortunately we didn't have a charger for our phones and both our phones were dead. I tried calling my mom to tell her and after it happened it was like I forgot completely about it until just recently. To be honest it scares me, because I know that I saw these pillars with my own eyes and I can't identify what or who was shining the light or what was the purpose of these light beams? My friend and I went to see where the lights went to investigate, we love adventure......we couldn't ever get to it, but it was definitely coming down from the sky but with the thick cloud cover nothing else was visible. There was no lightning storms, it was like it almost wanted to snow. The city was incredibly quiet that night and the beams were completely silent. I don't know how long they were visible for but we sat and watched in disbelief for atleast an hour and looked for the source for atleast a good 30 mins or 45 mins......they didn't appear to be targeting anything in particular, but sparatic all over east Wenatchee and Wenatchee, not on the mountains but in the valley. It was something I can't figure out, and I know it was not a trick of the lens because I didn't take pictures, but they looked like the beam from the pyramid and the one in the road. The pictures from the sun you can see the sun's beams and they are very beautiful.....but nothing like the beams of light I saw that night.
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    could you have been facing seattle? real solid looking like these? or more transparent? Do you think they were coming from the sky itself because they didnt reach the ground?
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  15. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    In the other thread you said they looked more like the photo of the lightning than the Rolling shutter photos? So they looked like beams rather than forks of lightning?
  16. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    I'm thinking light pollution on low cloud cover.
  17. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    Could they have been light pillars?


  18. Jscott

    Jscott New Member

    Nothing groundbreaking to add but heres my personal experience with these lights:
    20181229_222735. 20181229_222739.
    I took this from my back door around December 28th in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The city was absolutely surrounded by these lights for about 3 days...very cool to see. However, when I saw them I immediately knew that this phenomena would show up on the YouTube conspiracy/ufo channels(such as secureteam).....and of course they did. This is such a common occurrence so it's strange to me that people are acting like this is a brand new thing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2019
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  19. Dorothee

    Dorothee New Member

    20190415_190437. I have 2 photos taken 3 years apart, on disposable cameras, a Fuji and other Kodak, indoors, same house, 2 different rooms, both images are of my youngest child, both have a bright beam of light next to her on her right. Taken in the day time. The rooms were strangely dark in the image. I have never seen a photo since of this light beam taken indoors.
  20. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    This appears to be a hair very close to the camera illuminated by the flash.
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  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I just took these photos holding a few hairs (from my head) in front of my iPhone with the flash on.
    Metabunk 2019-04-15 17-22-14.

    Metabunk 2019-04-15 17-23-36.
    Metabunk 2019-04-15 17-24-34.
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  22. Dorothee

    Dorothee New Member

    Resembles the images taken outdoors as well, the father of child in image took one, and sibling took the other. The hair does resemble this light, but does not explain the darkness in both rooms that should be sunlit otherwise.
  23. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It probably just exposed as dark because you used the flash. Disposable cameras have a weak flash. So you get the dark corners.

    Example from Fuji disposable camera.
  24. jarlrmai

    jarlrmai Member

    Yeah you would fully expect that in a sunlit room when using the weak flash that the camera would expose for the flash which is only capable of illuminating the subject and the rest of the room would be darker. You can see some flash bounce from the white cabinets in the top photo.