From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 15:06:45 +0100 Archived: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 10:31:07 -0400 Subject: Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11 >From: Peter Davenport <director.nul> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> >Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 11:29:29 -0700 >Subject: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11 >To the List Members: >190 Description: On Saturday July 30, 2011, I was out walking >my dogs shortly before 9pm EDT. It was a very pleasant evening >with clear skies, calm winds, temperature in the low 70 s with >a dew point in the lower 60s..... <snip> >...... I observed a very bright "fireball" looking >object on the northern horizon. The object was a brilliant red- >orange color. I would rate its apparent magnitude as -4 -- >comparable to Venus at its brightest or the International Space >Station. The fireball had a distinct circular shape to it. Its >apparent size was 4 times the size of Venus. This object >proceeded on a southerly course and flew directly over top of >me. It took approximately 45 seconds for the object to track >from the Northern horizon to a position nearly overheard. At >the closest approach, I would approximate the altitude to be >between 1500-2500 feet. I was able to approximate altitude >because I live a few miles from a small airport (Flying W >Medford, NJ). Single engine craft on approach must adhere to a >600 ft flight level. The fireball appeared to be 2-3 times >higher No, he was _not_ able to "approximate altitude" in the sense of approximately _judging_ the altitude. He was able to _guess_ altitude based on certain _assumptions_ about the nature, absolute brightness, true size and speed of the object. But he had no information about any of these factors for the obvious reason that the object was unidentified and unfamiliar to him. His eyes provided _no_ stereoscopic distance information about an object thousands of feet away. Neither did he have any other indirect distance cues such as the object passing in front of a target at known distance - not even a cloud, the sky being "clear". The true brightness, size and distance could _not_ be reliably estimated, no matter that he formed a strong subjective impression that it "appeared" to be 2 or 3 times higher than a single-engine plane approaching Medford. He had no logical or physical basis whatever for making such a judgment.. >This first object, after passing over me, vanished. >Within 10 seconds of the first object vanishing, I noticed a >second object, exact same characteristics; once again appear on >the northern horizon. This successive passage of identical lights on roughly the same course, bright red-orange in colour and described as "fireballs" which then "vanish", is typical of fire balloons or 'Thai lanterns' as anyone familiar with investigation or even casual reading of large numbers of reports ought to know. <snip> >... I firmly believe that the >object that was witnessed by my wife, daughter and me was not >something that I have ever seen before. It was certainly >extraordinary. I think I am most puzzled by the way the object >immediately cut out its light when I focused a spotlight on it. Actually the light did not "immediately cut out". He says he shone the lamp at it three times before it went out. And notice what he does not draw attention to - that the first light also went out when it passed over him, although he didn't switch the spotlight on at all. If the lights were travelling roughly horizontally from low on the N horizon over the top of the witness at the altitude he guessed, then the ratio of distances is in the region of 10 mi to 1/3 mile, and ratio of brightnesses of the same light seen at these two distances would be about 1 to 900. In other words, a light which was already comparable to the brilliance of Venus at maximum magnitude when first seen on the horizon would be dazzling by the time it approached overhead. The witness neither explicitly describes nor implies any such dramatic increase in brilliance. One explanation for this would be if part of the angular motion from the horizon to the zenith was due to the lights _rising_, in which case the slant range is not reducing so fast and the inverse-square brightness does not rise so steeply. A pair of orange lights on the same rising trajectory which then go out would be typical of Thai lanterns or fire balloons. >It certainly took my breath away to see the shape, color and >rotation of the solid object as I illuminated it from below. A two-foot paper balloon 400 ft away would appear a little over 1/4 degree across, as reported by the witness. It seems quite possible that his spotlight might illuminate it as it continued to drift away from him to the south until its internal air cooled. Both objects were travelling from north to south at a steady, not great, angular rate, about 2 deg/sec or less (45 sec from somewhere above the N horizon to almost overhead). Some of this rate would be real climb, some residue would be forward motion in a N-S direction. This suggests slow true speed. As does the fact that the second object was still within range of his spotlight after 3 minutes. The forecast for the New Jersey area that Saturday night, 7/30/2011, was as described by the witrness - clear with a low of 66 deg, and the forecast wind - which he does not mention - was light, from North to South. See http://weathernj.blogspot.com/2011/07/nj-forecast-73011.html Saturday nights are statistically the most popular nights for the release of these balloons at garden parties, barbecues etc Based on the established pattern of behaviour I have zero expectation that Director Davenport will even acknowledge these arguments, let alone attempt sensible debate about them. But possibly others on the List may find these thoughts at least cogent enough to be falsifiable. Martin Shough [Shooting the 'messenger', Martin? --ebk] Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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