|Occurred : 2/24/2007 20:06 (Entered as : 02/24/07 20:06)
Reported: 2/26/2007 11:50:01 PM 23:50
Location: West Melbourne, FL
|One UFO sighted in West Melbourn, Floirda on Feb. 24, 2007 beginning at 8:06 PM.
I have this report prepared as an email with all the photos I took. I also have the original native format images in JPG format with the EXIF internal data written to the image files. These photos are 8.2 megabytes each in their native formats. The photos in the email purposely have been made smaller but the size of the email is still about 4.5 Megabytpes including the text and JPG photos. My original email can be sent to you. The original JPG images also can be sent to you individually.
___________________ UFO SIGHTED IN WEST MELBOURNE, FL On Feb. 24, 2007 at 8:00 PM
I went to our lakeside pavilion (28-03-18.55 North latitude / 80-14-28.82 West longitude) to take night photos of our lake that I could use to later superimpose an image of a floating fountain at the center of the lake. This is a current interest of our homeowners association which the Board of Director is now considering for our community. We live on a 28 acre lake so some members of the Board of Directors were thinking about placing a large colorful fountain in the middle of the lake for esthetics. To support this project, I took my Canon 20D, a high quality 8-megapixel digital camera, and set it up on a tripod at our community pavilion using a ISO or light sensitivity rating of 1600 for night time photography. My photo shoot went well. I probably spent about 20 minutes getting all the photos I thought I needed. I was not aware of anything in the background night sky as I took my time lapse photos. I was only interested in getting good photos with proper focus and good exposure. It was not until I returned home, took a nap and woke up again about 11:00 PM that I decided to download the digital images from my camera to my computer. As I was going through these images I noticed a fuzzy spot near one of two radio broadcast towers that have powerful strobe lights. The two towers are located about 9/10ths of a mile east southeast of the location where I took the pictures you'll see below. When I zoomed in on the photo of the radio tower to the left in the photos below I could see that my camera had captured an image of something I'd not been aware of at all when I was taking these photos. While I was taking the digital images I noticed there were some aircraft quickly passing overhead but didn't think much of it except to curse a bit because of the visual interference. However, I knew I could easily eliminate these streaks left by airplanes by using my graphics software. Below you can see one such aircraft that came into view while I was shooting my photos. It left a visible trai! l in my time lapse photography. All of my photos, except one or two, were shot using time lapse photography. I used a 5 second exposure time, set the ISO to 1600, the F-stop was set at 5.6 with manual focus set at 55 millimeters. So any moving object in my field of view would have presented a trail, as you see below, caused by the time lapse photography. The UFO I later spotted in my imagery did not move. It was fixed in place as you'll see below.
A plane moves across the night sky on one of my first images of the night sky (Photo) Below at the arrow is where you see the movement of that plane during my 5 second exposure.
The camera is facing southeast. You can see the vertical ground-up illumination of the background sky lighting.
This image was depixelated to enhance the ringed view of the city background lighting effect. I saw this plane in my viewfinder as I was taking the photo. So this plane was very obvious because the lights on the aircraft were somewhat bright. The azimuth of the aircraft heading was about 100 degrees or ESE.
aircraft in flight (Photo) At 8:05:40 PM on Feb. 24, 2007 something quite mysterious and unexplained appeared in a series of digital images I took which you'll see below. An unknown object or UFO appeared in my images after I came home to view them on my computer. When I describe this as a UFO sighting I certainly don't mean an alien spacecraft. I don't even know if this object was flying. In the context of UFO I mean that I haven't yet figured out for certain what this particular UFO phenomenon might possibly be. One assumes that the object which shows up in my digital imagery must be some type of unknown aircraft or perhaps some type of light generated phenomenon in need of an explanation.
I've conducted studies of the physical properties of "light ducting" phenomena which occurs in atmospheric layers and also have considerable field experience in atmospheric physics. I've even written scientific papers on super refractivity and the UFO phenomenon. I spent a two year stint working on a government program to examine UFO sightings reported by foreign governments who sought to understand their own UFO sightings which they reported to the U.S. government. In nearly all cases our government scientists and astronomers could easily attribute a reason for nearly all of these sightings reported by foreign governments. After considerable thought and research they most often were explained as falling space debris, likely meteors, astronomical sightings of stars or planets or other known celestial phenomenon. Occasionally these UFO sightings are of earthly origin such as migrating flocks of birds and even large swarms of insects that catch light reflected from earth. Some sightings of insect migration even present radar returns on occasion. So I am no stranger to the fascinating subject of UFO's.
What I've been able to tell from my initial examination of my UFO photos of February 24, 2007 --- that you'll see below --- is that the unidentified object captured with my digital camera remained aloft in my field of view from 20:05:40 PM until the last image I captured of it which was 20:15:52 PM. I'm assuming it may have been present beyond 20:15:52 PM but I just don't have the physical evidence. I do know for certain that it was not in view prior to 8:02:02 PM because I have imagery of the exact same area and nothing was present in my imagery. The period in which my camera imaged the UFO was over a 10 minute period of time in a very small area of the sky. Airplanes quickly transit the sky as you see in the first photo above. They are very easy to distinguish. However, I was taking time lapse photography and the UFO in view was almost motionless during that 5 second interval the images were made with my Canon 20D. That long dwell time in the sky in a near motionless presence is very strange indeed.......unless the object was hovering or was a very far away. The UFO did slowly move in relation to the tree tops below but this movement was less than 10 degrees as it remained fixed about 4 or 5 degrees above the horizon. This was right above the pine tree tops at a distance away of 1,000 feet. All the time I was taking photos I was unaware of this object in the dark sky. It was almost pitch black sky at 8:00 PM and the moon was not out. Only the small amount of illumination from house lights and street lamps was available. So my vision was not nearly as good as you see in these photos which were taken with a $1,500 digital camera. I used an ISO setting of 1600 and a time exposure of 5 seconds which allowed my digital camera to see what I did not take notice of. The resulting images with a high ISO can literally turn night into day. However, I was not after that effect. I only wanted to capture realistic evening photos so I later could superimpose a fountain onto the lake and then be able to present the im! age to o ur homeowners association Board of Directors. Again, it was only hours after I took these photos that I realized there was something unusual on the digital images that I couldn't explain. Not only did I see in the images a suspected UFO, but I also saw a very large globe appear in the sky which you'll see in one of the photos below. This is a phenomenon that I do not attempt to explain except to suggest it may have been some sort of visual artifact within the camera. However, there is this perfectly round globe inside of which is the UFO as observed in several of the photographs. Again, I reiterate that I was not able to see these strange things while I was taking these images. I am able to slight enhance the presence of the light colored globe but have only done so in one image you see below. This globe-like halo effect is the most mysterious thing I see in any of these photos. I am mystified by its unique appearance. I have the original 8 megapixel images on my computer but to make the images you see below I have depixelated them which imperceptibly degrades the quality of the images.
Any seasoned photographer, even an amateur photographer understands that sometimes there are artifacts of light that get into their camera lenses and bounce around. This sometimes produces visual effects that obviously were not seen with the naked eye when the photo was taken. Often these artifacts are passed off as real ghosts by true believers. I'm sure there are UFO's reported that are nothing more than extraneous refractions of light that get into the camera and somehow distort images. However, in this case I have 8 photos of the UFO object and all were imaged at high resolution using an 8 megapixel camera. I have all these images in their original native format.
The first image I have of this UFO was taken at 8:02:48 PM. The image below shows the UFO with four white lights and what appears to be red lights interspersed between the white lights. The white dot below the object is either a star or perhaps a bad pixel. This UFO object is very large in the sky but it's really not that bright, certainly not as bright as any of the aircraft I saw flying last night. Aircraft are usually seen as small points of moving light and the aircraft engine noise is sometimes faintly discernable. When using time lapse imagery these aircraft always move along a ray trace on a photograph as you saw above. The unidentified object below, which I never observed visually with my own eyes, was really quite wide. As you see I am a careful not to say flying because I don't know if it was flying and, in fact, I suspect it was NOT flying because it remained somewhat stationary in the same approximate location in the sky for over 10 minutes.. So I use the term UFO very loosely to suggest the object simply remains unidentified, at least by me. I have measured the angular width of the UFO and determined that it is 1/4 or ) 0.25 degrees (or 15 minutes) in width. For reference purposes the width of the sun and moon are both 0.5 degrees. So the object below would be just 1/2 the width of the sun or moon. Using simple trigonometry it now would is possible to determine what the true width of the UFO would be for any given distance. See the on-line trig calculator at http://www.carbidedepot.com/formulas-trigright.asp . If the UFO was exactly one mile away its width would be 23 feet. If the UFO was 5 miles away the width would be 115 feet. At 10 miles away the width would be 230 feet. At 15 miles away 345 feet. And lastly, at 30 miles distant the width would be about 690 feet which is typical for many cruise ships. Sailing 30 miles off the coast of Florida is typical for these cruise ships.
The home you see in the photo below is directly across the lake and is exactly 1,010 feet away from where the camera took these digital images.
Below you see the first appearance of the UFO (Photo) The next photo was taken a full minute and 20 seconds later at 20:06:00 PM.
THe UFO seems to have slightly repositioned itself with respect to the bright star which now is perfectly in line with the object. The lateral movement is about 2 to 3 degrees to the right when compared to the photo above (Photo) Same photo as the image above. Notice that there are two radio broadcast towers in the background.
The taller radio tower you see in the image above is located along an azimuth of 126.5 degrees (ESE) with ref. to True North and with respect to the camera. The tower is 0.875 miles or 4,625 feet away. It's calculated height is 438 ft. high. Ground elevation is 26 ft. above mean sea level. North is up in the photo map. The tallest of the two FM radio broadcast towers is located at 28-02-50.50 North latitude and 80-40-31.69 West longitude. It has two strobe lights. The shorter FM broadcast tower with only one strobe light is 241 ft. high and is located at 28-02-55.08 North latitude and 80-40-32.54 West longitude. It is located 0.82 miles or 4,311 feet from the camera. The azimuth from the camera to the tallest tower with two strobe lights is 132.2 degrees (w/ref. to magnetic north) or 126.5 degree w/ref. to true North. This corrected azimuth applies the year 2007 correction for magnetic declination of 5 deg. 44 min. West for this particular location. The shorter radio tower lies along a magnetic north compass azimuth of 128.5 degrees which also is corrected to 122.75 degrees w/ref. to true North. This means there is 3.75 degrees of angular separation between the two FM radio towers as observed at the point the camera took the photos.
The terminus of the white line is the radio tower with two strobe lights located 0.9 miles away from the camera.
(Photo) Below is a satellite view of the tallest broadcast tower you see with two strobe lights as noted in the images above and below.The measured shadow length of the tower is 386 feet. I suspect that with the sun angle observed that the shadow approximates the actual height of the radio tower. However, when I checked with the FCC licensing for this tower I saw that they only permitted the licensee to have a 100-ft height tower. It therefore may be an illegal height.
(Photo) The image below was taken at 8:06:22 PM or about 22 seconds after the one immediately above. The object remained at the same range or distance. I simply zoomed in or blew up the size of the image differently in both the images above and below. The angular width of the UFO remains at 0.25 degrees in width.
As you can see in this next photo the UFO is really quite bright in the night sky so it surprises me that I didn't take notice of it when I originally was shooting these images. But the fact was my wife was cooking dinner for me so I wanted to hurry along and get this photo shoot done and return home. Never in my wildest imagination did I think my images would show the presence of a UFO in view.
The next image you see was taken at 20:14:56 PM EST. During the post processing phase I digitally zoomed in on the object to see the individual pixels that clearly show that there are four distinct white lights with what appears to be red lights in between the white lights. The lights look to be equidistant to each other. The object is angled at about 45 degrees in this image. I should note that lights transmitted within atmospheric ducts or between thermal layers of air as well as desert mirages often become angled, distorted, inverted or even twisted. In this blow-up it appears that the object is colored both red and green. There definitely are pixels in the image that recorded red and a few also were recorded as green.
This appears to be the best image I got of the UFO. To the right is the tall radio tower with the two strobe lights.The UFO is just below the arrow. Using a precision Suunto clinometer I accurately measured the height of the tallest tower to have an elevation angle of 5.4 degrees above the horizon. The angle above the horizon for the shorter tower is 3.2 degrees above the horizon.
The azimuth of the UFO is 119.95 degrees w/ref. to true north and the elevation angle is 5.5 degrees.
The next photo was taken at 8:15:07 PM. It is the brightest image of this UFO I imaged on Saturday night, Feb. 24th. You can see in the image below that the UFO appears to have been rotated on its axis. Now we see only three white lights. We also see a red light on the left side suggesting this rotation.
Azimuth of the UFO is now at 120.875 degrees w/ref. to true north Now something changes in the angle of the object with respect to my camera view of it. The time of this image is 8:15:18 PM, or 9 seconds after the image above was taken.
(Photo) Below is the full view of the object seen just above. The UFO is seen at an azimuth 121.75 degrees w/ref. to true North. Because the sight picture has changed so much it suggests that this is an optical aberration and not some kind of aircraft or alien spaceship.
(Photo) Now we quickly see an entirely different view of this object. This image was taken at 20:15:38 PM or some 20 seconds after the image seen immediately above. We now see 8 white lights and perhaps no red lights. Because of the double rows of lights I am inclined to think this is an artifact of light refraction. The image actually seems to have been split and set in parallel rows with four other lights.
In the photos that were taken between 8:14:56 PM and 8:15:52 PM there is the presence of a very strange light globe in the imagery contained in five frames. You cannot discern the angle of illumination for the globe in the photo immediately below, but you can see it in the photo that follows the one below. The angle of light illumination is not vertical as one might expect if the globe was the result of city light illumination. This aspect of the photo is very puzzling. The UFO is inside the light colored globe just above the radio tower strobe light. I was not aware of this light colored globe in the night sky when I was taking these photos. It is very discrete and only discernable with time lapse photography. It was much later after I looked at the digital images that the globe was first visible to me.
The azimuth to the UFO is about 122 degrees (ref. true North) The photo below is greatly depixelated to show the angle of illumination on the mysterious globe in the background.
This is the last image I took of the UFO at 8:15:52 PM. It may have lingered for a while longer but I was never aware of its presence, otherwise I would have taken dozens of images of it in rapid succession using 5 second times lapse photography. In this image the previous parallel lines of four lights each now seems to be bent at the near end.
MY THEORY ON WHAT THIS EVENT WAS: So what do I think these strange lights in the night sky were? From my scientific field experience in the South China Sea a quarter century ago, I believe the most likely explanation for this sighting was atmospheric ducting phenomena. This occurs under somewhat unusual but not rare circumstances called temperature inversions. What my camera imaged is possibly a light source that was coupled into an atmospheric duct or a laminar flow of warm air inverted above cooler surface air creating a low level ducting channel. This type of duct permits light and even radio signals to be transmitted great distances without any appreciable loss of energy. When I draw a straight line from my observation point where the images were taken along the 121 degree azimuth of the UFO sighting, the line travels towards the Bahamas. In fact it passes close to Grand Bahama Island where Freeport is located.
Another possibility is that this sighting of strange lights was possibly a cruise ship at sea about 30 miles from Melbourne, FL. Some of these ships are very tall and could serve as the light source for the UFO sighting. These ships also are very well lit at night. The map below shows various cruise line routes to the Bahamas and the Caribbean Islands. They depart for these cruses from Port Canaveral located 40 miles north of Melbourne and head south not far off the coast for some distance.
(Google satgellite view of eastern Florida) Why was I able to photograph this phenomenon? All I can conjecture is that for some reason the unexplained light suddenly decoupled from its light channel about where I was located when I took the images. Perhaps the decoupling out of the atmospheric duct occurred overland and it was simply fortuitous that I was in the right location at exactly the right moment in time. There's no doubt that my camera recorded something very, very curious. However, my inclination is to seek a rational understanding and not speculate that extraterrestrials came visiting on February 24, 2007.
I'll just have to guess that this light show I observed in my imagery was nothing more that light passing over the Atlantic ocean which warmed the air. The light was then sandwiched by a cold boundary layer of air from land. This caused a condition of super refractivity resulting in the unusual sighting of strange lights. Below you see a ray trace in red which is the azimuth along which I first sighted the UFO. At the bottom left corner of the graphic below you see a scale which depicts distance in miles. So 50 miles is about an inch on this graphic.