Author Topic: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations  (Read 3002 times)

Offline sanman

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A few days ago, the New York Times broke a story about an incident in 2004 where 2 US naval jets encountered some object they couldn't identify or explain. The object displayed extraordinary mobility and speed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html

Video footage:






News interviews:






So while trying to stay within the realm of rational analysis and speculation - what are the thoughts on what was observed? What conclusions can be drawn?

Could this all just be a hoax? Could it be an aircraft of another country? Or what about some high-performance American aircraft unfamiliar to the observers?

Even if the object doesn't fit the characteristics of known aircraft, are there any experimental or hypothetical vehicles which could behave this way? What might at least be the closest match?

Could it be a spacecraft?

Some notes:

In Video#1 above, we hear one observer state that the object is "rotating" and we see the object's profile change. He seems to be saying that the object is changing its orientation by pivoting on its axis in a way that doesn't conform to aerodynamic change of pitch & yaw.
Near the start of that video one observer says there are other objects visible on radar (ie. "a whole fleet of them")
The object appears to have a glowing halo around it. Would that be some mere optical artifact, or does it indicate something about the object?

At the end of Video#2, we see the object from its side, as it suddenly shoots to the left and out of view. It appears to have an elongated teardrop shape.

In Video#4 above, USN pilot David Fravor says that he saw something in the water, which the UFO was apparently hovering above.
If it was a foreign submarine, then wouldn't it have been detected by sonar networks near the California coast?
The encounter was supposed to have happened off the California coast, ~100 miles from San Diego.
« Last Edit: 12/20/2017 07:07 PM by sanman »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #1 on: 12/20/2017 07:11 PM »
I watched the videos, and it looked for all the world like a refraction effect of some kind.  Refraction and reflection events in the atmosphere, derived from all sorts of lighting and atmospheric conditions, can appear to be rock-steady, but as you approach a critical angle from which the refracted/reflected light no longer reflects back to you, the image appears to dart away to the side.  I've seen these kinds of odd effects in the sky, and in water, a number of times.

As to what exact sea and atmosphere state could cause such a thing, that, as a non-physicist, I can't tell you.  But I can imagine any number of odd things that the sea/air interface could pop up.  A waterspout that was intermittently pulling up seawater, then pulled up from the sea but held as a solid vortex in the air for several minutes?  That wouldn't look like a funnel, and it could generate radar returns.  And as the seawater boiled around, spun and suspended in the vortex, a complex set of interactions where larger drops break into small ones and then recombine, could cause all sorts of odd acceleration vector ghosts on those radar returns.

That's just the first natural explanation that popped into my mind.  I bet there are a bunch more, from transient clouds all the way to full mirage events.  Airline pilots see mirage images of faraway offshore oil rigs and even large coastal cities well out in/over the ocean, on occasion.  That may well be what happened here.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online TorenAltair

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #2 on: 12/20/2017 08:08 PM »
I think the reason they published these videos is to encourage pilots to report all strange things. Not because of Aliens but because of foreign aircraft of any kind. Often in the past new stuff was only found/detected by luck/coincidence. And if it's really the case that pilots no longer dare to report things because they are mocked then it is very understandable that they want to change this behaviour.

Offline gosnold

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #3 on: 12/20/2017 08:09 PM »
Here is a recap of the incident from an alleged friend of the pilot interviewed above:
https://fightersweep.com/1460/x-files-edition/
If the report is to be believed, there were detections accross the spectrum by:

-SPY1 radar from a ship (repeatedly)
-Airborne radar on Hawkeye
-Visual by several crew
-F-18 radar
-F-18 FLIR

Now FLIR imagery is notoriously difficult to interpret (the previous UFO caught on FLIR turned out to be a liner, but the Chilean Navy was stuck on the case for a while before it released it to the public, see https://www.metabunk.org/explained-chilean-navy-ufo-video-aerodynamic-contrails-flight-ib6830.t8306/)
The combined detection is however much more indicative of a solid object at the observed location.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #4 on: 12/20/2017 09:35 PM »
I don't know if this is related, but apparently there were some prominent sightings in Mexico around that time:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_sightings_in_Mexico#2004


There's some video that's been up for years, purporting to show UFO footage from June 2004, Guadalajara:



Those seem to look like balloons of some sort, but the date and location aren't that far away from this reported November 2004 US Navy jet encounter - and plus it's a whole bunch of lights. I wonder if, when the naval aviators felt they saw a "fleet" of UFOs, if they looked something like in that video.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #5 on: 12/21/2017 11:50 PM »
More interview segments:















Offline Andy DC

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #6 on: 12/21/2017 11:57 PM »
This should probably be moved to Entertainment. You don't want UFO wacky people invading NSF.

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #7 on: 12/22/2017 04:51 PM »
A lot of this feels like a politician coming around to say "hey look, something shiny!" There's not enough detail in the released footage to come to a firm conclusion, and other technical details that would help corroborate and explain the incident are not available to the public. Releasing it to the press like this is, at the very least, a little bit strange.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 04:52 PM by RotoSequence »

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #8 on: 12/22/2017 06:53 PM »
Well, it's the New York Times that broke the story, so you'd have to ask them about that.

I'm wondering about this claim of the US govt holding "alien alloys" or other exotic materials related to UFOs, which sounds weird, cliche and questionable.

Modern materials science has advanced to even include nano-engineered materials, so I'd imagine that just about any exotic material can be examined to determine its structure and properties. I can't imagine some material existing that modern science couldn't figure out through examination, even if it was degenerate matter.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-those-alien-alloys-in-the-new-york-times-ufo-story/



Another thing I wanted to ask - what is the best and most incontrovertible way to prove that a UFO is not a regular aircraft?
If we say that no exhaust is visible on FLIR - is that incontrovertible? Or are there some stealth aircraft which can totally conceal heat emissions for their exhaust?

Based on the reports of the 2004 incident, the vehicle was said have an "aura" or halo of some sort. What's the best way to record and analyze that? Presumably any aura would result from interaction between the UFO and our atmosphere - so could spectrographs reveal something if they were used?


If radar is fallible and can produce false readings, then are there data analysis techniques which can reveal which readings might be faulty and for what reason?
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 07:52 PM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #9 on: 12/23/2017 01:49 AM »
There's a sudden spate of UFO sightings tonight - I guess not everyone knows about SpaceX's launch schedule









« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 01:52 AM by sanman »

Offline tyrred

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #10 on: 12/23/2017 06:16 AM »
I have a funny feeling that for all unidentified flying objects, the sample size of people that can actually identify it is >1.  First (sometimes the hardest) step is to identify who can properly do the identification.  The wanted party may just intend to remain unidentified

In any case... Get your ass to NSF.  Best place I've ever been to learn about what's up.  There are wickedly wonderful things ahead.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #11 on: 12/23/2017 12:54 PM »
Regarding Video#1 from the OP, after re-watching it a number of times, it does look like it could be a mere bug/insect on the camera lens, protected under a clear cover/windshield. If you particularly watch the part where it's rotating, it looks consistent with the way a bug/insect might move while sitting on a lens.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #12 on: 12/23/2017 01:32 PM »
I only saw the "black saucer" version. It looked to me like some sort of lens flare where the oversaturated values become black.

Now I see a version where sometimes they occasionally show the inverse. So I don't even know which was correct. One is black with a bright aura. One is white with a dark aura .. in any case most of the shape definitely just looks like a 2d effect to me.

I didn't encounter any clips offering real journalism. I suspect that the story would suddenly become dull if any real journalism was applied. So of course it isn't applied.

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #13 on: 12/23/2017 07:25 PM »
Now I see a version where sometimes they occasionally show the inverse. So I don't even know which was correct. One is black with a bright aura. One is white with a dark aura .. in any case most of the shape definitely just looks like a 2d effect to me.

FLIR allows you to invert between white = hot and black = hot at the flip of a switch for the pilot's convenience.

Online Chris Bergin

When I saw this thread early on, I did think "Uh oh". Then last night happened, so it was pretty timely ;D

Offline deaville

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #15 on: 12/25/2017 07:15 AM »
Carl Sagan dealt with this in the course of his 'Cosmos' series of programmes for television. One should remember his wise words about UFOs and alien visitations - "Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof."
Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until they speak.

Offline LaunchedIn68

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #16 on: 12/26/2017 02:57 PM »
Carl Sagan dealt with this in the course of his 'Cosmos' series of programmes for television. One should remember his wise words about UFOs and alien visitations - "Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof."

So, if you or him were a member of an undiscovered tribe living in the jungle, cut off from all of the rest of humanity, and one day you saw an Airbus A380 fly over, what would you say to your tribe mates?  Now maybe more than one person saw the A380 but most didn't being cooking in the huts or out hunting.  The tribal elders say there are no other tribes, they would have arrived if they did.  So does the A380 not exist?  The members are human, but why can't they build one and not just spears and harnessing fire?

A "rational" discussion would concede all the possibilities involved.  I'm personally turned off by the "Armstrong saw an alien base on the moon" crowd, as I am by the rigidity of those on the other side "It was a bug on the lens"...SMH.  In the above posts, why is no one taking into account the Navy pilots observations.  Has anyone watched the video?  Take into account the whole picture.  The radar operator on the ship who called the jets up to investigate what he saw, the object then spotted on the surface which then shot up to the jets altitude.  Take into account the pilots description of the encounter, it wasn't just the FLIR video, so what about this "40 foot Tic Tac" that excellerated away at 50K MPH? 

Also, what is very important here is that the government insisted for 50 years that with the closing of it's investigation with Project Blue Book in 1969, it had NO interest in investigating aerial phenomena.  And now we know that wasn't true, as all these years there's been this secret Pentagon investigation.  Whose to say there's not another one now?

This news event just confirmed what I've thought about this topic all along.  There has been too many credible accounts over the years among the noise, some scientifically measureable, for the whole topic to be just be discredited and laughed off.  The Government knows that there have been unknown objects coming and going in and out of our airspace, which can be documented as such, and are interested in what might be the origin.  With the added caveat that the evidence shows there performance to be such, that they could not have originated on this planet.
"I want to build a spaceship, go to the moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back, sell it." - Harry Broderick

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #17 on: 12/26/2017 07:13 PM »
I find it more than a little frustrating that our military seems to be equipped with the same technology that walmart uses for its surveillance systems.  Much like alot of criminal cases, I think alot of this could be cleared up just by getting a good view of the subject.

Maybe "a bug on the lens" will become this generations weather balloon or swamp gas?
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #18 on: 12/26/2017 09:09 PM »
Maybe "a bug on the lens" will become this generations weather balloon or swamp gas?

Sure seems like it. It's a pretty bad explanation too, since lenses are sealed units to prevent contamination. The really good ones are made and maintained in clean-rooms.

Offline Avron

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #19 on: 12/26/2017 09:26 PM »
UFO's the best CIA gig ever, had the Soviets spend themselves out of existence. Its amazing how the gov. series of projects all start around the beginning of the cold war.  Funny how the CIA ends its  focus on UFO's in the early 90's.

Offline Lar

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #20 on: 12/26/2017 09:27 PM »
Look up Rocket Wasps on Facebook  ... sealed lenses or not, bugs do get in pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/246228265738245/
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Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #21 on: 12/26/2017 09:36 PM »
Look up Rocket Wasps on Facebook  ... sealed lenses or not, bugs do get in pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/246228265738245/

Any alternate sources? I try to avoid Facebook when I can  :P

Offline Lar

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #22 on: 12/26/2017 09:48 PM »
Look up Rocket Wasps on Facebook  ... sealed lenses or not, bugs do get in pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/246228265738245/

Any alternate sources? I try to avoid Facebook when I can  :P
Group's moderated by The Roadie, you'll be OK. 

My point was merely that bugs in pictures of rocketish things are not at all uncommon.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #23 on: 12/26/2017 09:56 PM »
Group's moderated by The Roadie, you'll be OK. 

My point was merely that bugs in pictures of rocketish things are not at all uncommon.

I don't have a Facebook account. I intend to keep it that way.  ;)

Any examples of insects in infrared systems?

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #24 on: 12/27/2017 12:11 AM »
Maybe an example of one on an airborne reconnaissance camera would be more relevant.

Offline Lar

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #25 on: 12/27/2017 01:01 PM »
Maybe an example of one on an airborne reconnaissance camera would be more relevant.

(Fan:off - Mod:on)

Not convinced this *thread* is relevant after that long ranty post about how the government surely is hiding something.  See what you can do to fix that by posting actually relevant, meaningful, non-conspiracy-theory things...
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 01:03 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #26 on: 12/27/2017 02:23 PM »
Maybe an example of one on an airborne reconnaissance camera would be more relevant.

(Fan:off - Mod:on)

Not convinced this *thread* is relevant after that long ranty post about how the government surely is hiding something.  See what you can do to fix that by posting actually relevant, meaningful, non-conspiracy-theory things...

Especially when every bit of "proof" of alien spaceships that gets trotted out is of inferior resolution and/or general quality, shows very little detail, and depends only on verbal context (which can be skewed, either accidentally or on purpose) to try and prove its point.  I am reminded of all these "popular" TV shows these days about ghosts and Bigfoot, which have all these IR-camera sequences with people saying "Wow, look!" and the camera always pans over and just misses whatever was supposedly just seen or heard.  Obvious fake, scripted BS, but it pulls in the super-gullible... who are the people being targeted by these programs.

And who are also the people being targeted by these skewed news reports.  Running "eyewitness" reports of incidents that happened more than a dozen years ago.  Right.

Quick -- describe a traumatic Christmas day incident from 15 years ago.  In detail.  I guarantee you are not recalling the facts -- just how your experience hit you emotionally.  You'd be lucky to correctly identify the individuals involved, much less be able to remember the supposed details these "eyewitnesses" are spouting.

Of course, being an "eyewitness" to such a thing has no value at all -- until it gets you on NATIONAL TELEVISION.  At which point, your memories are encouraged to become lurid and sensationalistic, so they are worthwhile enough to get you your promised fifteen minutes on NATIONAL TELEVISION.  (You can see what motivates such "eyewitnesses" -- and it ain't making sure the story gets told correctly.  Or else they would have been on NATIONAL TELEVISION more than a dozen years ago, while their memories were still fresh...)

Add to that the fact that the UFO crowd rejects, as a whole, all rational thinking and explanations.  I will reference the many, many posts throughout cyberspace about the Iridium Next Four launch's contrail with such messages as "SpaceX's lame explanations are BS, THIS IS A UFO AND NOW HOW ARE THEY GONNA HIDE THE TRUTH???!!!"  As much as I appreciate the OP's desire to start a rational discussion about the subject, I'm not sure it's possible.  There is a much higher percentage of irrational people who wish to toss in their opinions about this subject than about most every other subject out there.  It's awfully hard to weed out the irrational posts in such a thread.

I'd say all this argues for locking it.  I wouldn't just pull it, though.  Leave it out, but locked, to illustrate that such a rational discussion just doesn't appear possible, in the current public environment... :(
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #27 on: 12/27/2017 08:08 PM »
Maybe an example of one on an airborne reconnaissance camera would be more relevant.

(Fan:off - Mod:on)

Not convinced this *thread* is relevant after that long ranty post about how the government surely is hiding something.  See what you can do to fix that by posting actually relevant, meaningful, non-conspiracy-theory things...

Alright - so given that there have been so many alleged sightings of UFOs with evidence that seems ambiguous at best, what kind of technologies/methodologies might be best to clarify and resolve ambiguity in future sightings which are inevitably bound to occur in the future?

There are already legitimate projects like SETI which seek evidence of life elsewhere in the distant universe, in the form of intelligent radio signals. There's no guarantee that such signals will be found, but efforts are nevertheless underway.

Similarly, there have already been efforts to look for evidence of extraterrestrial visitation by investigating sightings - but there hasn't yet been any irrefutable proof turned up yet.

Based on what we know, what would be the best chance of finding solid/irrefutable proof of extraterrestrial activity or spacecraft, if any exist?

Is it a matter of simply improving camera and/or radar technology?
Are there any other detection methods that might be brought to bear?

Recently I'd been reading about the new development efforts for "Quantum Radar" - ie. use of multiple entangled photon emission streams to greatly improve radar imaging by measuring local light field information to interpolate details about an object. Could Quantum Radar enable long-distance detection and imaging of UFOs to resolve their ambiguous nature?

If "alien spacecraft" are by definition characterized as vehicles observed to be operating beyond conventional engineering physics (eg. no exhaust, maneuvering non-aerodynamically), then what types of technology and what telltale traces of it should we be trying pick out?
Gravity sensors are routinely used by survey aircraft to uncover mineral deposits and other hidden features.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_gradiometry
Could these or something like them be used to detect some kind of unconventional propulsion physics?
Also, if aliens in the vicinity of Earth presumably communicate with each other, and whereas we've not yet detected any noticeable activity on conventional radio frequencies, what other useful things should we be looking at that might bring any communication to light?

AI has been brought to bear to in watching the skies and parsing through large volumes of data generated from telescopes, including even spacecraft like Kepler, finding pattern correlations that would escape human notice. Could AI be used to discern something we human beings have been unable to out of all the various seemingly random UFO sightings?

Also, we're increasingly a planet full of people constantly carrying portable cellphone/camera devices with us at all times, which have been collectively described as a sort of sensor network, so that all kinds of sudden random events are captured and shared with the rest of the world. Sudden meteor events or other phenomena are routinely recorded and put up on the internet.
Most standard cellphone cameras are even able to pick up the infrared spectrum not visible to our eyes (if you aim your TV remote at your eyes while looking into it, you won't see anything, but if you aim it at your cellphone camera while pushing buttons, it will pick up the flashes)
Could simple inexpensive enhancements to cellphone technology provide critical information in resolving what might otherwise be ambiguous sightings?

Lastly, will spacefaringness and development of associated technologies help to solve the UFO mystery?
When man ventured out into the oceans, there were many encounters with the bizarre and the unfamiliar, but these eventually passed from lore into explainable things. Will an increased human presence beyond Earth - some people in the "new space" industry want us to have "millions of people living and working in outer space" - then give us greater or lesser clarity on UFO phenomena?
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 08:19 PM by sanman »

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #28 on: 12/27/2017 08:18 PM »
We all know that discussions about the subject tends to be emotionally charged. I don't know what good is meant to come about discussing why that's the way it is, though.  :-\

Regarding bugs in lenses, I concede that they can in fact make their way in. Are there any examples of infrared systems with insects in them?
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 08:21 PM by RotoSequence »

Offline missinglink

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #29 on: 12/27/2017 10:06 PM »
On occasion, I will indulge in a guilty pleasure and head on over to Youtube to wallow in the stark, raving madness emitted by the UFO-vid commenters. Whatever my own shortcomings, I invariably feel better about myself afterward. This NSF thread, however, does not serve that purpose, and I'm not sure what else it could be useful for.

Numerous reports and studies -- academic and government -- have analyzed UFO sightings and their conclusions are always the same:
- natural phenomena (misinterpreted)
- man-made phenomena (misinterpreted)
- hoaxes and frauds
- a very small number of uncategorized sightings due to lack of conclusive data

These findings were widely reported in the media. Without checking to make sure, I confidently predict that these reports and studies are cited and linked on Wikipedia, because this is the kind of thing that WP is good at. Politicians, on the other hand, are good at wasting taxpayer funds. If a Nevada senator considers pouring tens of millions of dollars down the drain to investigate UFOs a good use of resources, then so be it. There are more egregious examples of mis-spending.

On NSF, what I'd prefer to see instead is a thread on old magazine cover art showing buxom females in various stages of undress beset by bug-eyed space alien monsters. Not that I expect to get it  :P

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #30 on: 12/27/2017 10:14 PM »
What's the most plausible explanation for the 2004 Nimitz incident?
(and please don't mention time-travel to 1941)  :P

Online RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #31 on: 12/27/2017 10:28 PM »
What's the most plausible explanation for the 2004 Nimitz incident?

The Final Countd-

(and please don't mention time-travel to 1941)  :P

Aw. :(

The video itself corroborates to an unidentified aircraft. What's missing is video corroboration of the most extraordinary claims, which makes them unreliable, at best. I don't think there's any firm conclusion we can draw about the nature of the aircraft itself, with the most reasonable explanation, based on the available footage, being a terrestrial aircraft.

Offline gosnold

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #32 on: 12/28/2017 10:49 AM »
Numerous reports and studies -- academic and government -- have analyzed UFO sightings and their conclusions are always the same:
- natural phenomena (misinterpreted)
- man-made phenomena (misinterpreted)
- hoaxes and frauds
- a very small number of uncategorized sightings due to lack of conclusive data

This is factually wrong. See the statistics of the unidentified aerospatial phenomena group of the French Space Agency:
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=fr&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnes-geipan.fr%2F%3Fid%3D196&edit-text=&act=url

Quote
Category A:Perfectly Identified Phenomena
20%

Category B: Probably Identified Phenomena
39%

category C: Non-Phenomena (lack of data)
34%

Category D: Unidentified Phenomena (after investigation)
7%

Note the number of category D cases has been divided by 3 in recent years due to better investigative methods. However there remains something like 3 cases/year of unexplained aerospatial phenomena in France, that the agency cannot attribute to a lack of data. These case probably include unknown exotic atmospheric phenomena (like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning, which are a relatively recent discovery). They could also include other stuff. The Nimitz case would argue for a solid object (moving, repeatedly detected radar signatures across multiple wavelength, correlated with infrared and visual detections).

Offline gosnold

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #33 on: 12/28/2017 11:35 AM »

Alright - so given that there have been so many alleged sightings of UFOs with evidence that seems ambiguous at best, what kind of technologies/methodologies might be best to clarify and resolve ambiguity in future sightings which are inevitably bound to occur in the future?

I would argue it's the same as any detection problem. You want a detection system that is sensitive (ie detects what you are looking for) and specific (it does not detect anything else). Since we don't know what we are looking for, there is not much we can say about the sensitivity part.

For the specificity part however, you want to have a false positive rate so low that if you have a detection, you can be confident it's not a false positive. That means having 0 false positives during you observation time, at some level of certainty. So you have to set up measurement systems, and filter those measurement to get rid of false detections. That could be done using simple rules, to take into account only observations that:
- are made by different instruments, to get rid of single instrument malfunctions
- are made by different models of instruments, to get rid of design issues common to a class of instruments
- are reported by trustworthy people who have a reputation to lose if they fake observations

That would filter out a lot of noise, but leaves a lot of atmospheric/astronomical phenomena in the result (rocket plumes for the recent falcon launch would pass the filter for instance). So if you are interested in artificial objects, you may want to restrict more to observation that:
- are precisely localized (through ranging or triangulation), to get rid of astronomical observations
- are made using several physical phenomena (for instance using very different wavelengths)
- are mobile and have high speed (over the maximum speed of winds for instance), to get rid of atmospheric phenomena carried over by wind
- are resolved (ie a shape can be distinguished)

That kind of rules leave a lot of interesting observations on the side (the Chilean Helicopter now-identified "UFO" would not pass because it's single-sensor), but the ones that do pass would be worthy of consideration. However I'm sure they can be improved, all you have to do is find a false positive that passes though the filters to prove it's not perfect.

Offline deaville

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #34 on: 12/28/2017 12:42 PM »

So, if you or him were a member of an undiscovered tribe living in the jungle, cut off from all of the rest of humanity, and one day you saw an Airbus A380 fly over, what would you say to your tribe mates?  Now maybe more than one person saw the A380 but most didn't being cooking in the huts or out hunting.  The tribal elders say there are no other tribes, they would have arrived if they did.  So does the A380 not exist?  The members are human, but why can't they build one and not just spears and harnessing fire?


You miss the point Sagan was making. Might I suggest you watch this -

Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until they speak.

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