Friday, 30 March 2012

Can You Tell Me What It Isn't?

Or ... Please tell me that's not a UFO over Langley Mill

Now, I know this is a bit off my normal every day whinging subjects but I've been a bit spooked by what I saw - or actually didn't see - on Wednesday night.

The fuzzy light to the right of Venus and the Pleiades
I was out in my usual position on the back yard with my super-whizzo-zoomy camera and tripod, plus my brilliantly-gadgety-app-laden-android-jobby, taking photos of anything that didn't appear to move, and even more photos of things that were meant to be passing over, i.e. Iridium's and other satellites (got an app for that).

Ahem, as I'm still learning and don't believe in reading instructions until I'm desperate - yes, I am a woman, honest - I keep making minor adjustments on the camera and taking photos of the same bit of sky - in this case the moon, Venus and the Pleiades - in the hope that I'll get a brilliant photo. Meanwhile I'm looking at the android phone to see what's due over next and scanning the sky for low aeroplanes as they make interesting subjects too.

Eventually my grumpy old man popped out to see if I was ready for a cuppa and I went onto the front to take a last disastrous photo of Sirius (too much lighting), before going in.

The moon is the bright light (obviously)
I was somewhat excited because I knew I'd got a decent photo of an Iridium flare. I looked at them all on the camera and came to the three I'd taken together and I was perplexed as to what was there.

I went out again armed with my equipment to see if I could recreate what was on the photos, impossible though as we'd moved relative to the stars, and the moon and Venus had moved relative to us.

Anyway what I want or NEED is as many debunkers as possible to tell me what caused these 'light anomalies' on my camera. Maybe it was the moon reflected, an airship over Langley Mill or a moth going past extremely slowly - two 13 second and one 15 second exposures - I can honestly say I saw nothing so I won't be arguing with anyone about 'what I saw'.

I know it's the darkest photo but also clearest of 'it' when tweaked
I went out again last night but I didn't enjoy myself at all, it was possibly too cloudy, I was staring too hard, and then I got the horrible feeling I was being watched - I do have a lively imagination. Eventually I grabbed the tripod by the middle swizzly bit (to straighten it out in one deft move) and ran in.

The photos are exactly as I took them, no tweaking, cropping, anything. Obviously I have done so with my copies, including superimposing them over each other, lightening, sharpening, softening, de-colouring, etc. etc. But I'm still no wiser. So download them (left click on photo to the next page, right click 'save image as' - bigger than just right click), play with them, tell me they're reflections, specks of dust, a four spotted double crested three winged Weeble Turd Muncher walking across the lens, whatever. Just don't tell me it's actually what it looks like to me.

Not a suspected UFO (I hope), this was me trying to recreate the metallic, knobbly blob. The photo number (15) is a coincidence, there are 30 more between 14 and 15, they're from different days and folders.
Oh nooooooo, I've just looked at last nights photos - it's definitely the moon reflected on the cloud ... yeah :)

Update 1st April: (yes I am aware of the date)
I bravely went out again last night (earlier though, so not all that brave) and took many photos of the moon to recreate the first three photos (28th). I nearly did it - OK, I didn't even get very close - but we'll definitely discount the last one (29th) as 'moon reflection' shall we?

However I spent a lot of hours yesterday going through all my hundreds of 'sky at night' photos. I saw absolutely nothing out of the ordinary in any Skegness photos where the moon, Jupiter and the International Space Station feature quite a lot.

Close up of The Pleiades, Venus and the 'thing' (photo 14)
And then I got to the at home photos ... oh dear. Nothing at all odd in any direction except directly over the Nottingham to Sheffield railway lines - all recent (seven) photos - with and without the moon in situ.

So, ahem, are there UFOs zipping from Nottingham to Sheffield over the railway tracks - the occupants having a pause and a jiggle over Langley Mill, to laugh at that daft woman - wearing pyjamas - on her back yard taking really bad photographs?

One photo was taken immediately before this and two after in exactly same position, without the 'shooting star'.
 Hmm, I don't know what to believe, but if there are UFOs passing over, can you stop pratting about and give us a lift to skeggy ...


  1. OK. I give in!
    I've popped in here every day Julie, and I still don't know what I'm looking for?
    I must get some stronger specs.
    Are we looking at that last picture?
    At about 'half past two' from the Moon?
    The thing that looks like a Salami sausage standing to attention, with a band around the middle?
    Well - I guess it is NOT a low flying Salami sausage.
    Am I the winner? :)

    1. Your guess is good enough, anything that doesn't suggest a UFO is fine with me. It's given me the eeby jeebies and stopped me from enjoying standing in the dark outside on my own.

      I wish I didn't know how to tweak photos (with useful but ancient software) to enhance what is visible.

      The last photo I am convinced (nearly) that it's the moon reflected onto my camera then back to the clouds, I like that theory.

      But the others, hmmm (and I have more, one behind a tree and two more oddeties). I'll upload a tweaked version of the dark longest exposure (15 secs) photo.

      Oh and if your monitor is tilted up, it's almost impossible to see, I had my friend jumping up and down so she could look down on it. I've told her that her ancient monitor is rubbish and it's high time she started using her shiny new laptop :)

  2. Hi Julie.
    I've copied both 013 and 015 and enlarged bits, altered brightness and contrast. I have a bit of S/W that can improve sharpness and things like that and it looks like reflection, as you say, of the moon.
    There is a strange light under the eves of the house next door. Could it be a reflection of that?

    1. Yes, thanks for pointing out the light reflection next door, I thought we'd got it there. But now I've checked all my other photos in that direction (a lot over time) and it's there on the vast majority of them.

      But you have nudged me towards the answer to why whatever 'it' is is lit up from the right on 12 and 13 as well as from above left (the moon) Apart from photo 14 ('it' is dark except top left).

      I've checked all the times that I took the photos - usually between 10.00pm-11.00pm - because I noticed on the earlier ones the - complete waste of money - floodlights from the nearby recreation ground have lit up the trees and our houses, on one photo they're in the process of going off, this is at 10.08pm (30th March).

      Photo 12 is 10.07pm, 13 and 14 were 10.08pm (28th March) just before and just after switch off. Photo 15 (29th March) was 10.24pm so no floodlights but brighter because of clouds and moon shine.

      It is however, completely dark where I stand, which is a bit of a bugger when I have a feline audience that sit just where I'm going to stand next :)

  3. Yippee! It's practically unanimous that they're all lens flares. This means I can go out and play again and not be afraid of the dark ... I am actually very relieved.

    I thought I'd seen enough lens flare - including green blobs and what looks like a jellyfish - to recognise it. Just shows that I'll always be learning.

    From now on I'll just disregard anything odd that I find in my photos that I didn't see myself - which seeing as I look the other way, will be everything.

  4. If you are going out after dark in your thermal Daymart nightie, no sorry, flowery jimmies, be very careful, and don't "just disregard anything odd". There are bound to be some 'Peeping-Toms', about, even in Langley Mills! :O

    1. Tut, Bernard, me ... flowery ... in the same sentence.

      The only peeping toms likely to spy upon me are next door's cats, who - when they're out - insist in wrapping themselves around my ankles on the off-chance that I've got a tin of food stashed about my person.

      I'm also wearing my big - flowerless - dressing gown, because it's not that warm where I stand :-)

  5. Julie.....Do you 'really' think it's just lens flare?

    1. Hi Caz,
      firstly, welcome to my blog.

      I 'really' don't know what to think. We've been at Skegness since before I reported my 'sighting' but we're going home later today.

      I will be out every clear night to take more photos when I'm back (just as I do here).

      I know Andrew (at uk-ufo) is right about the moon and the anomaly being relative to one another in the photos, I've had enough lens flare to know this fact. But I've never managed to get anything 'odd' in a photograph that looks so solid before.

      If I actually witness anything myself (I'll try looking that way) I will report it to uk-ufo, but if I just get 'something strange' in any photos, I'll add them here.

      Hmmm ... Like the 'shooting star' which is in exactly the same direction as all the other oddeties ....

      Right, back to my packing for home ;-)

  6. Hi Julie, Thanks for taking the time out of what must have been a very busy day, to reply to me! Unfortunately, I know nothing about photography and lens flare, but I do feel I know a 'solid' object when I see one and am amazed that the only comments you got, apart from my own, were advocating lens flare! I think perhaps, some people, though they 'believe' in UFOs, have never had an 'honest to God, in your face' personal sighting of one, as I have! So, there may still be some underlying doubts! Haha....once was enough! I was terrified! I do 'get' what you're saying! Thanks again Julie!

    1. Hi Caz, yes I know what you mean, I did hope to get the photos explained away, as frankly it scared me, simply because I DIDN'T see anything.

      But most comments were too quickly dismissive, because the wrong photo was looked at without reading what I actually wrote.

      I will sort out my other photos later, although they're not very good, because they're not meant to be of 'UFO's' :-)

  7. Hi Julie, As you'll have realised by now, I'm a 'lady of a certain age' just like yourself, and I've spent most of my life researching UFOs and Aliens! My interest started when my mother, who was a 'no nonsense' woman, had a daylight sighting of a huge silver disc, just 'hanging' in a clear blue summer sky. She witnessed this along with 5 or 6 other people [who she didn't know] and together they watched this thing for about 10 minutes or so, till it suddenly shot straight upwards till it was out of sight! The sky was totally cloudless! This was in 1959/60, when I was 10 years old! I began by reading everything about 'them' that I could lay my hands on, and found it all terribly exciting. Then came the age of computers and gradually, over the years, I have found the subject more and more terrifying! I'm not scared for myself, but for my children and grandchildren! The thing I find 'scariest' of all, is that how few people are 'aware'.....the young people in particular! How can we fight something we don't even believe in? Our Governments are only 'too well aware' of this! You have now had 'in your face' proof! Check out 'The Dulce Report' and then check out what Phil Schneider had to say on YouTube before he was murdered! Don't let this stop you from going out in your garden and doing your photography! You are as safe there as anywhere! You may think I'm crazy and that's ok.......Truth is, I wish I was!

    1. Hi Caz,

      I'd know idea how much was involved here.

      I have always been fascinated by astronomy and SETI, I fully believed that there was probably 'someone else out there'.

      Even the thought of UFOs flitting back and forth to look at us didn't unduly worry me but, hmmm, this mutilation stuff I've just read about is more scary.

      I'll be working all this weekend one way or another, but next week I'll have time - if all my gadgets behave - to read a lot more about it then.

      I do look at uk-ufo nightly now, when I'm in bed, and recently someone more or less described seeing what was in my photos (Neasdon 1st May).

      Ooer, Just had an email (comment from you) saying 'Take all the time you need Julie ... no rush!'

      Spooky :-)

  8. Haha......Yes, spooky! Yes it will take time to read, see, digest and check out. It is very scary, so if you decide at any point you'd rather not know anymore, that'd be ok! I'll check out that other sighting you mentioned! Your photo is really amazing you know. I've looked at the animal photos BTW.....I'm a big animal lover......especially wildlife and dogs! Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Hi Caz,
      hope you had a good weekend. I've downloaded oodles of UFO reading matter for the Kindle. I will read and digest some of it soon (180 pdfs).

      If you want to give me your email address in a comment, you can. I promise not to publish it. But it's entirely up to you.


  9. Hiya, just reading your blog. Very good it is to.

    I belive those things that you say are UFO's are actually Jupiter and Venus.

    This was when they were on the same orbit as the earth but ended up in a paralell line

    1. Hi and welcome to my blog.

      Yes, Venus is in the photos, along with the Moon and the Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters), Jupiter is not there as it had gone below the horizon at the time these photos were taken. You can check the positions using 'Stellarium'.

      Whatever 'it' is in my photos, it's not a planet or a star as it was way too close for either.

      It is most likely 'lens flare'. Albeit - ahem - solid, chunky looking with knobs on lens flare.


Be nice, I'm very sensitive.