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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dec. 18 - An unusual UFO over Reading, Part I/Part II‏

Dear Friends,

Click the links to view the images.

Part I

Part II

Be Well.


An unusual UFO over Reading, Part I

William C. Treurniet, November, 2010

Summary. In July, 2010, an unusual UFO moving across the sky over Reading, England, was photographed repeatedly over a 95 second interval. The pink and white object had an organic shape that changed often over the sequence of photographs. The object was observed to move in a zig-zag pattern inconsistent with passively drifting in the wind. Thus, the shape changes are not likely due to changes in orientation of a fixed-shape object, or the tumbling of a set of helium-filled balloons. A similar unusual shape appeared in a photograph of a UFO over New York City taken three months later. These shapes are also similar to many aerial forms photographed by Anthony Woods over the UK as recently as 2004.

On July 17, 2010, Claire O'Regan of Reading, England, photographed an unusual object as it moved through the sky overhead. She took 14 photographs with a Nikon D60 digital camera, following the object over a period of 1 min and 35 sec. These photographs were among a larger set containing additional anomalies that she forwarded to the author for analysis. The object was very small in each photograph, but due to the high resolution of the images (3872x2592 pixels), it could be cropped and enlarged to show considerable detail. The sequence of cropped images, appoximately 6-7 times the size of the originals, are shown in the following table. The original photograph having the smallest file size (~1 MB), taken at 18:27:31, can be seen here to gain a sense of perspective.

Sequence of photos (July 17, 2010)
18:27:13 18:27:17 18:27:18
18:27:21 18:27:31 18:28:16
18:28:18 18:28:23 18:28:26
18:28:27 18:28:34 18:28:36
18:28:38 18:28:48

The object's shape seems to vary organically over time. For example, compare the object at times 18:27:17 and 18:27:31. In the first case, the object has an egg shape marked with pink lines while, in the second case, the object appears as if the lines have tightened and squeezed the egg into three joined bulbs. This brings to mind an image of cell mitosis, suggesting that the object may be biological in nature. It cannot be a nearby organism such as a bird or insect, however, since it was followed visually for 95 sec from the photographer's position, and was clearly high in the sky. The observed metamorphoses over the range of images also mean that it is not an inanimate object such as a single, high-flying balloon.

Can one rule out the possibility that the object is a cluster of white balloons, tied together with pink ribbon and tumbling in the wind? This could have the effect of a continuously changing two-dimensional projection recorded by the camera. However, according to the photographer, the motion of the object was not consistent with a set of balloons drifting in the breeze. In her words, "I noticed that the object had a mechanical movement - it was a forward, left, forward, left motion, almost a judder. It became clear to me that this object was moving itself, rather than something moving it". The object appeared to be at a high altitude, and although the movements were tiny, they could be clearly seen. She offers in the following figure, a graphic depiction of the object's path as it moved along. Such a path is clearly at odds with wind as the only propulsive force.

As a further indication that the object was most likely not a set of balloons, another object that was clearly a balloon was photographed as it drifted past approximately 15 min after capturing the above sequence. This balloon was obviously being carried by the wind, and it was out of sight in a short time. Click on the following image to see the complete photograph.

In this photo, it is clear that a relatively long ribbon is suspended below the balloon. Such a ribbon would offer a handhold for anchoring the helium-filled balloon near the ground. There is no indication of such a thing hanging below the mystery object. Since a set of helium-filled balloons accidentally released at a party is almost certain to have long appendages attached as a handhold, their absence is evidence that the object is probably not a cluster of balloons.


The object does not have the fixed shape that is usually seen in UFO sightings. A remarkably similar organic shape was seen recently in a single photograph of a UFO over New York City. It was supposedly taken during the UFO flap on October 13, 2010. The published photograph (e.g., [1],[2], or [3],) is shown below on the left, and the slightly enlarged object cropped from that photo is on the right.

The object in this photograph was presented as a possible balloon in a news report carried by a number of outlets. Further, the article contained an interview with a bystander which suggested that the object in the accompanying photograph was being discussed. However, it appears that this particular object had actually been photographed days earlier (see here). All media reports attributed the photo to the twitter account of @jasondiamond. This account reports the following on October 9, 2010: "I totally caught a UFO hovering over the upper east side". Apparently, a photo used by the media to represent the spectacle of UFOs over New York City on October 13 was actually taken four days earlier.

Some have suggested that the owner of the twitter account published the photograph as a hoax. This seems unlikely now given the similarity of the object in this photograph to the object in the Reading photographs. Photographs of the Reading object were first published here on November 23, 2010, so these were not yet available when the New York photograph was published. The appearance of similar UFOs in photographs taken in such different places and times strongly suggests that this novel form of UFO is a real phenomenon.

James Neff has compiled a review of apparently organic forms that have appeared in the skies over the years. Of particular relevance in the review are the many photographs of seemingly living things captured by Anthony Woods in the skies over the United Kindom. Some of these objects are quite similar to the object in the Reading photographs. It appears that Claire O'Regan is continuing the work of Anthony Woods who is now retired.



An unusual UFO over Reading, Part II

William C. Treurniet, December, 2010

Summary. Still photographs of an unusual pink and white UFO moving across the sky over Reading, England, were discussed in an earlier report. The object had properties not consistent with a balloon drifting in the wind. This report discusses a short video taken of the same object just before the still photos were taken, and the video confirms that the object did not appear to behave like a balloon. The object's speed varied by as much as a factor of four over a 10-second interval. Further, it was accompanied by another similar object moving rapidly at a very constant speed in a direction perpendicular to the path of the first object. It is likely that these objects were self-propelled.

On July 17, 2010, Claire O'Regan of Reading, England, photographed an unusual object as it moved through the sky overhead. She took 14 photographs with a Nikon D60 digital camera, following the object over a period of 1 min and 35 sec. These photographs are discussed in Part I

of this series. Included with these photos was the following short video of the same object taken just before the still photos. The video is the subject of this report.

At least two similar objects were captured on this video. Both appear to be black dots and are noticeable because they move against the backdrop of white clouds. They are separated in time by less than a minute, are very close together in space, yet have very different directions of movement. Thus, they cannot be explained away as passive balloons drifting in the wind. Figure 1 shows the approximate trajectories of the two objects, A & B.

Figure 1. Trajectories of the two objects.

Object A


The video camera followed Object A for about 11 seconds. There was considerable movement of the camera and the digital zoom was changing at the same time. The images to the left were cropped from the video at the times indicated. The different zoom factors were compensated by changing the size of each image until a particular cloud feature was the same size in all images. It was then possible to derive an estimate of the object's relative speed in successive seconds by measuring the object's distance in millimeters from a particular cloud feature. The procedure assumes that the cloud's position in the sky varied much more slowly during the 11-second interval than the position of the object.

Figure 2. Object A: The distance traveled each second (mm).

Figure 3. Object A: The change in speed at each second (mm/sec)

A small set square equipped with a metric ruler was used to measure the distance of the object from a nearly vertical cloud element that was present in the bottom half of all the images. From these measurements, the distance traveled per second was calculated, and these values are shown graphically in Figure 2. If the object had been traveling at a constant speed, all the points should have fallen on a straight line. Since this did not happen, we can say that the speed varied during the 10-second observation interval.

The fluctuations in the speed per second is plotted in Figure 3. There was an initial, relatively large, reduction in speed, followed by smaller changes, and a relatively large speed increase at the end.

Figure 1. Sequence of cropped Object A images with zoom adjusted.

About a second after the end of the above sequence, the object changed from a black dot to the pink and white object in Figure 4. This same object is also discussed in Part I, where a sequence of still photos show further changes to its shape.

Figure 4. The appearance of the pink & white object.

Object B

Another tiny mobile dot was photographed beginning at 1:02 minutes into the video. Figure 5 shows a sequence of frames spanning an interval less than two seconds in duration. During this time, the object moved quickly in a direction perpendicular to the object seen in Figure 1. It appears to be close to the cloud layer since it occasionally becomes less distinct and even disappears briefly. This indicates, at least, that the dot is not a bird or a nearby insect.

Times in units of 30ths of a second
1 10 19 27 36 48
Figure 5. Object B moving vertically starting at 1:02.

Figure 6 again shows the distance traveled by the object relative to a reference point in the cloud after successive 30thsof a second. In this case, the points fit a straight line very well. Any variation is within the range of measurement accuracy. This shows that the object was moving at a constant speed during the slightly less than 2-second interval.

Figure 6. Object B: Distance traveled per unit time.


Object A appeared to emerge from the cloud as a black dot and proceeded to move slowly across the white cloud. After about 11 seconds, it transformed into a pink and white object (00:36). It was picked up again in this form in the still photographs discussed in Part I. After careful alignment and resizing of frames extracted every second, relative changes in the speed of the object were determined. The speed was found to fluctuate as the object moved along. This might happen to a balloon buffeted by gusts of wind, but the METARS weather data archive reports that there were no gusting winds at that time of day. This is consistent with no obvious disturbance of cloud material during the observation interval.

Object B also apeared to emerge from the cloud at a nearby location, and immediately moved rapidly in a different direction across the cloud surface. Measurements of Object B's changes in position indicated that its velocity was constant within the limits of measurement error.

The behaviour of these two objects is evidence that they were not passively responding to winds in the atmosphere. First, although the objects were sighted within a minute of each other and their positions were similar, the respective directions of motion were very different, almost perpendicular. Second, if Object A's varying speed suggests the presence of wind gusts, Object B's very constant speed suggests the complete absence of such gusts. So we can be reasonably sure that these objects were not balloons responding to the vagaries of the wind. The alternative is that these objects were somehow self-propelled.




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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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