From: Steve Sawyer <stevesaw.nul> Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 10:54:15 -0700 Archived: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 14:22:25 -0400 Subject: Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11 >From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> >To: <post.nul> >Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 15:06:45 +0100 >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 <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] Hi, Peter/Martin/EBK/List While I agree with Martin that due to the general characteristics of the witnesses description, and Martin's analysis, that these two sightings may very well have been of "Chinese lanterns" or "fire balloons", since it's very difficult to judge the distance, height, speed or size of an unfamiliar illuminated object when you have no relative scale with which to compare it (for example, if the object were actually at a higher aerial elevation than estimated by the main witness, it would have been much larger than he thought, or if lower, relatively smaller), we really don't know if these were comparable objects to what Martin suggests, since none of us were there. What I find interesting are the other details the witness reported after the light went out shortly after he illuminated it with his high-powered flashlight: >The object appeared solid. >The object had a round, circular shape. >The object was clearly rotating or spinning in a counter- >clockwise fashion. >The object appeared to be 50-60% the size of the full moon. >The object had a gray or silver color that reflected the >spotlight beam. [details from the nuforc.org site report] My understanding is that the vast majority of commercial "fire balloons" or "Chinese lanterns" is that they have a bag shape, omewhat rectangular, and when heated with the light source to gain bouyancy, take on a vertical egg-shaped form when inflated. Unless these two objects were a "custom job", I don't know of any aerial lanterns that are round or spherical as the witness described, although the lighted portion of any such object might appear spherical in shape as the light could radiate and appear spherical around the light point source. But, OTOH, the witness describes a gray or silver color that reflected his spotlight beam, and that he says was "clearly rotating or spinning in a counter-clockwise fashion", which seems quite different from a standard or typical aerial lantern. So, what might explain that aspect of the observation? If the object was "only" 50 to 60% the size of a full moon, and after the light went out and he directed his spotlight on the object, it would seem, conversely, that this perceived size might have been enough to create the later impressions noted above, and which could have been of a prosaic object, such as a DIY rigidized balloon painted light translucent gray or silvery. But, I hesitate to enter into any subsequent debate about this between Martin and Peter, as I think we just cannot determine either way what it was the witnesses observed, although the most _likely_ answer is something man-made, alternatives cannot be ruled out. Unfortunately, the photo on the NUFORC website is similarly indistinct, and does have the color of a commercial aerial lantern, which I believe have some candle affixed underneath and slightly inside the lanterns sold commercially. BTW, the site only has one of two photos taken by the man's wife with her Nikon - what does the other photo show? And if she took a couple pictures while the light was still going or on, why no subsequent picture of the object when the light went out and the man was illuminating it with his spotlight? If it was reflective, and he could even see it spinning counter- clockwise, you'd think that it could and should have been photographed also, even if less visible than when initially illuminated - if he could see the latter details when he was using his spotlight, something should have been able to be photographed and digitially enhanced and blown-up to see any additional detail as the main witness described, IMHO. [I also agree with Michael Hughes that Jeff Rense's website carries fairly reprehensible and disreputable material, and that Rense is not someone I would ever associate with or appear with on his radio program due to those anti-semitic materials on his site - there are a fair number of other radio and podcast "paranormal" and/or UFO-oriented shows one might alternatively consider being on instead.] So, while I tend to lean in Martin's direction, I wouldn't rule out some other atmospheric (plasma? ball lightning?) or even unknown phenomenon, either. I suppose further research, and testing with a DIY or commercial lantern from some distance away under similiar overhead wind conditions might yield further data, but that is likely to be equally inconclusive, any way you objectively look at it. Better data is required. Steve 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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