Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My thoughts on the "Wichita UFO"

Well the latest UFO photo to create a buzz (ok a small one so far) on the web is this guy:

The person who captured the image says that it was it came out of the clouds and moved faster then any aircraft (including F-16s, etc...) he has ever seen and left a pinkish glow for a short time. After sending it to UFO Digest (which helped earn it national attention), people are beginning to say that it is undoubtedly a secret military aircraft, or a B-2 Spirit bomber carrying a secret drone craft piggyback style, much like the SR-71 decades ago.

Sr-71 with drone

Now one of the things I hate the most is debunking a UFO photo, especially one that so many people are convinced is a secret aircraft. The other thing I hate about it is that it makes me feel like I don't believe in UFOs, when I sincerely do and know that some of the things I've have seen are not man made, or at least not normal. However I really, really have to call this one out. Why? Well what I see here is almost clearly and I mean clearly......................................a bird....

What makes me say that? Well first off, it's almost a perfect profile of a bird in flight. Secondly, notice the background is quite decently in focus leaving any objects in the foreground, out of focus, not to mention providing us with some sense of perspective. Now that object that is claimed to be a secret aircraft is quite clearly in the foreground. So if that is indeed a B-2 Spirit carrying a drone, it is a rather small B-2 Spirit carrying a drone. That to me leaves only one possibility and that is that this is a photo of a bird, banking slightly in the foreground.

Here is a close up of the object in the photo:

Here is a close up with my attempt at trying to highlight the obvious bird features (which I think are pretty obvious highlighted or not):

And now, for comparison, here is a smaller section of the Wichita photo and a small pic showing a bird in flight from a similar (not banking) angle:

By no means am I a professional photographer, nor do I have much experience in analyzing photos, but I have had some photography classes in the past and based on my knowledge from those classes, I am confident that that is indeed a bird...and if you read farther on the UFO Digest link, I'm not the only one who sees it.

Oh, and if this object was moving at a fast rate of speed like it is claimed, and if the photographer did indeed have a slow lens like he claims in the news article I've linked to below, then there is a slight lack of motion blur...

Ok...I'm spent...and tired of feeling like one of them debunkers...eww...I feel dirty for even feeling like one of them...

Sources and Further Reading:
Weird Object in Wichita - UFO Digest
Wichita UFO report draws wide attention - Kansas City Star


1grimreaper said...

"tired of feeling like one of them debunkers...eww...I feel dirty for even feeling like one of them."

There really is a feeling too, isn't there?

You have to do that though. It's better that it's done on this side of the tracks then the other.

You went to a whole lot of trouble explaining what you thought it was or rather 'could be'.

The first time I saw the picture I thought, "bird" and then my second thought was "hoaxer".

I was hoping (with all of the Kansas newspaper media on this) that an ornithologist who is familiar with the bird life in Kansas would step up to the plate but thus far, no go.

When one does, you can wash away that ewwww feeling you picked up. :)

Emperor said...

I wouldn't worry about feeling like a debunker, as we have to call them like we see them.

Also remember 80+% of UFO photos are going to be of something less mysterious and we are never going to find the ones worthy of further study unless we can separate the wheat from the chaff(inch).

Pictures of birds seem to crop up quite a bit (and I can't find the example I was thinking of):

Obama Inauguration

Anyone objecting to what seems like a sensible approach is clearly only interested in the exciting possibility it might be a flying saucer, rather than those who are looking for a decent data set which could help cast more light on the situation.

When you see actual debunkers at work it is more a form of dismissal followed by an attempt to extrapolate this to include an awful lot of other reports when we have to deal with everything on a case-by-case basis. See for example Joe Nickell and his Unidentified Flying Owl explanation.

Naveed said...

You guys are both right. It's good to call them like we see them, even if you do believe in UFOs in general. Even though it's gives me that dirty feeling of feeling like a debunker, it's better that I called it like I did as opposed to just jumping at it and saying..."OOO WOW! Best evidence ever!" as happens sometimes with all UFO or paranormal related subjects.

purrlgurrl said...

There are too many photos of birds and insects zipping through a photo frame posted on the Net as UFO photos. You're right, it's a bird. And you needn't feel bad about saying the emperor (not the previous poster) has no clothes. It's not debunking, it's being rational and responsible.

Raptor Lewis said...

What? NO Darwin Post? Shame on Happy Darwin Day!!

JaneDoughnut said...

Ha! The last time I called it like I saw it on a UFO blog I was told that people like myself were aiding and abetting a conspiracy.

Naveed said...

Aiding and abetting a conspiracy huh? Some people take this stuff to the extreme huh?

日月神教-任我行 said...