Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Low flying UFOs

I occasionally come across UFO photos that show a dark blurred object in the sky that could be anything. Nothing unusual about that except that the object appears to be IN FRONT of nearby trees or buildings! And the UFO was generally not noticed at the time of exposure.

It is difficult to tell the size of an object in the sky unless you know its distance. And you can't tell its distance unless you know what kind of object it is. You can tell how far a plane is away, for instance, by seeing how big it looks in the sky and by knowing its approximate physical dimensions. However, with an unidentified object, you don't know its dimensions because you don't know what it is! The only way to tell the distance of an unknown aerial object is if it interacts with something of known distance. Obviously, if it is seen in front of an object like a cloud or mountain, it must be closer than those things. So anything in front of nearby buildings or trees is going to be small and close.

DragonflySo what might these blurry objects, that are closer than nearby trees, be? I had an idea but it was reinforced by something I saw the other day. I was looking out of a first floor window when I noticed several dragonflies flying by. We normally associate dragonflies with water and low level flight. But, in this case they were flying at around 3m height and nowhere near any body of water.

I would never have noticed these dragonflies if I hadn't happened to be looking out of the window. I certainly wouldn't have noticed them from below, unless I happened to look up. But what if I'd taken a photo of the building from the outside? The building would be in the photo, obviously. And in front of it a dark blur. The blur would arise either from the object's motion or its being out of focus. Or both! And it's unlikely that I would have noticed the dragonflies at the time of exposure.

So what were these dragonflies up to, away from their usual watery habitat? It is possible they were migrating. Relatively few dragonfly species migrate. But some do. Of course, this is only one possible cause of low-flying small UFOs. Others might include birds, model planes or even drones. Just like ghost sightings, there are more than one cause.

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