Missile launch? Lens flare? Mysterious object spotted over Whidbey Island

Discussion in 'Latest Fortean News' started by maximus otter, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. maximus otter

    maximus otter Recovering policeman

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    WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. -- It's time to get out that tinfoil hat.

    A mysterious object was spotted by a local photographer over the skies of Whidbey Island early Sunday morning, leading to lots of speculation and questions, but no solid answers.

    [​IMG]

    Greg Johnson of Skunk Bay Weather was looking through the pictures snapped by a weather camera on the Kitsap Peninsula when he spotted a photo with a mysterious object. The picture - snapped at 3:56 a.m. Sunday by a high-quality, 20-second exposure camera - shows a bright orange streak in the early morning sky over Whidbey Island.

    Johnson told Q13 News he was hesitant to release the photo.

    Mostly, because it appears to be a missile launched from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

    But Tom Mills, a spokesperson for NAS Whidbey Island, said it wasn't a missile launch from the facility. There are no missile launch capabilities on the Navy base at Whidbey Island.

    In fact, Navy workers are wondering what it was, too.

    "There's a lot of speculation around here," Mills said, suggesting it could be lens flare. "But it's definitely not a missile launch."

    Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, posted the photos on his blog Monday. Speculation in the comments runs from a Photoshopped picture to airplanes. But Mass agreed with Johnson's assessment.

    "It really looks like an ascending missile," Mass wrote on his blog.

    Regardless of what it was, Johnson said it's one of the weirder things he's spotted in his time as a weather photographer.

    "I've seen a lot of stuff," Johnson said. "But nothing like this."

    Tyler Rogoway at The Drive did some research and landed on a likely - if not exactly scintillating - answer: The object might've been an air ambulance helicopter that was flying in the area at almost exactly the same time.

    http://q13fox.com/2018/06/11/missil...spotted-over-whidbey-island-raises-questions/


    maximus otter
     
  2. Mikefule

    Mikefule Michael Wilkinson

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    Hmm. There was something similar when Odin cast Thor out of Asgard in this film I saw the other night...
     
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  3. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I think the clue is down in the extreme bottom left hand corner. There we can see a patch of brightly-lit yellow sky.

    I think this is a normal aircraft contrail illuminated by sunshine, which is partly obscured by a lower layer of blue cloud (which is in shadow). This is some time before dawn, but sunlight is just creeping in to catch high-flying aircraft.
     
  4. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    According to the other thread featuring this story, it's been explained as probably an air ambulance helicopter.
     
  5. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    It’s probably not a lens flare. They’re not diffused by clouds.
    Also you can zoom in and see a definite missile-shaped object at the top.
     
  6. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    Air Ambulance helicopter. Yeah right. If it was a missile-launching Air Ambulance Helicopter, the theory may have a chance.
     
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  7. henry

    henry still speeding

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    does look rather missiley to me
     
  8. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    LOCATION:
    Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
    It's off to North Korea.
     
  9. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    It certainly looks like a missile but you'd have to read the theory on the other thread. It stems from the fact it's a 20 second exposure so the trail is deceptive, distance hard to tell, no nearby missile/rocket launch sites etc..
     
  10. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    Best UFO photo in years. If it is a long exposure photo of a helicopter, I would expect it to look like a long, same-coloured smear. Not an object in front of a glowing trail.
     
  11. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    This is an odd picture. I don't see the vapour trail as being consistent with a missile at all.

    The reason why this conclusion is tempting to follow is because of its:
    • apparent straight trajectory
    • apparent angled track relative to a presumed perpendicular
    • increased brightness of trail glow closest to the source
    • contrast bite-through relative to the darker clouds
    Missile vapour-trails *do not* illuminate over their entire length, as a function of the flame at the jet outlet. Conversely, a vapour trail from an aircraft, lit by the sun above, *will* illuminate, fairly-consistently over an entire track, as a consequence of sunlight refraction/reflection and internal scatter.

    Admittedly the source 'object' looks odd, but this may give a clue. A skew perspective would foreshorten a fuselage, and also (conceivably) create an anamorphic straight path from a azimuthal curve. Contast levels can result in wings disappearing, especially if the aerofoil wing chord is in axial pitch anti-bias relative to the angle of acquisition.

    Presumably someone has checked and eliminated any concordance with existing FAA airway flightpaths, with cross-checks against time of picture taken? This only happened about 12hrs ago, so perhaps not (Naval Air Station....they should surely have considered that).

    ELA looks kosher...so probably minimal processing.
    http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=7086f9f84b25deb65a597ac58bda0ea1fcd528fd.123042&show=digest
     
  12. Vardoger

    Vardoger Bring the Beat Back!!

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    It does look like a rocket or something at the top end of the light.

    rocketlaunch.png
     
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  13. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Emperor of Antarctica

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  14. Austin Popper

    Austin Popper Emperor of Antarctica

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    This is a 20 second time exposure, though.

    Interesting photo. Lots of things it could be, I suppose, but it sure looks like a rocket.
     
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  15. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    A twenty-second exposure could make this a single light on the helicopter, or a landing light on a more distant jet aircraft. Metabunk have at least one candidate for a commercial overflight, but it would need to be quite low to move that far in 20 seconds.
     
  16. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    But there’s a missile at the top.
     
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  17. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    That's the important point, Its not Venus, a Full Moon, a Chinese Lantern or a Weather Balloon; it looks like a missile at the top.
     
  18. Yithian

    Yithian from time to time Staff Member

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    WEBSITE:
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    It very much reminds me of a submarine launched missile (SLBM) in the earliest stage of flight.
     
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  19. Shady

    Shady WHOOOOOOO ARE YOU?

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  20. Ringo

    Ringo likes to annoy Yith...

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    Or swamp gas.
     
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  21. kamalktk

    kamalktk Justified & Ancient

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    Since it's a 20 second exposure, it doesn't have to illuminate the entire length at the same time. The bright light of just a short trail would leave the long streak.
     
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  22. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    LOCATION:
    Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
    My guess is that something was launched in error, and the authorities are just keeping quiet about it.
     
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  23. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    ...Or...
    It’s a promotion for Amaretti when they’ve set alight to the biggest biscuit wrapper ever.
     
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  24. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    Apparently it was a helicopter taken in time exposure by a camera.
    See the ufo forum under Things That Are Not Ufos.
     
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  25. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    That's what THEY want us to believe.
     
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  26. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    Someone's been drinking that paranoia wine again...

    ;)
     
  27. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    You're one of THEM!
     
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  28. cycleboy2

    cycleboy2 Ephemeral Spectre

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    The Loch Ness monster? (I'm very, very, very tired!)
     
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  29. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Was there any kind of explanation as to how the Random family, down for the day from upstate Random (whilst stopping to let Grandpa take a whiz behind the bushes) just happened to have a tripod-mounted DSLR ready to slap onto a 20sec timelapse exposure

    Wait
    we're saying this was a fully-automated weather stills camera? Screenshot_2018-06-14-04-13-18.png
    Intriguing that this screepcap (taken from the skunkbayweather.com website, dated yesterday) when considered alongside the original, clearly-places the apparent path of the smoketrail to the right (as viewed) of the tree (with the unambiguous "two pom-poms of leaves" very-close to the smoketrail).

    So surely: that vapour line could be interpolated back down to a ground interception point (if we are accepting that it's a genuine undistorted straight line) which then gives a ground bearing towdards an imputed launch-point? This is often impossible to do, in UFO-style pictures...x marks the spot, perhaps, in this case?
     
  30. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    (and if that imputed point-of-origin is not consistent with the Naval Air Station...)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ak-light-spotted-Washington-state-island.html
    Apparently a wind-back of the FlightRadar24 data for the location/date/time place a helicopter in exactly the right place...

     

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