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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 14

Re: More On The Trindade Island Case

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:59:39 -0000
Archived: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 07:17:09 -0500
Subject: Re: More On The Trindade Island Case

>From: Greg Paloma <fractalmaze.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 15:54:40 -0700
>Subject: Re: More On The Trindade Island Case

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:23:52 -0000
>>Subject: Re: More On The Trindade Island Case


>>Please do not induct me into any sort of "block vote" on this
>>issue or any other. If "the Brazilian researchers" have a
>>corporate position, then like you I will be interested to see
>>what it is, and why, but I am not joining any campaign team or
>>having any badges pinned on my lapel, thanks ;-)

>I accepted your one-minute upper estimate based upon your
>current understanding. But, we must concede that the Trindade
>UFO observation is well known as a short duration event.

There you go again. I neither offered an "upper limit", nor will
I do so. I did not offer a one minute as an "my estimate" of
anything. Rather, I cautioned you not to assume that your "14
seconds" (recalled by Barauna from the Navy's timing of 6 rapid-
fire shots with his camera) was regarded by the Navy or anybody
else as the true event duration. Another example of what I mean
is Capt Brandao's intelligence report in which he opted for
(IIRC) "half a minute" for the 6 photos. Clearly the purpose of
the timing exercise (14 seconds) was understood as setting a
*lower bound*. The practical value dependent on memory and
circumstances thern becomes a matter of judgement. But these are
not my estimates, neither should you use them or any others to
infer an upper limit on my behalf.

I already explained that there is an unresolved tension between
the apparent cloud changes (well brought out by Kentaro Mori)
and plausible duration, which might amount to a discrepancy. As
you may have discovered, a few years ago I tried to estimate
some brackets for possible duration based on angular
displacements of some (possibly) identifiable cloud features and
likely wind speed and direction at various levels estimated from
historical averages. Making certain assumptions about the type
and height of cloud etc I concluded that the photos were more
likely to be consistent with a minimum duration of about 2

Clearly this result is in tension to some extent with subjective
guesses and reasoned judgements lying in the <1 minute area. But
not so much as would be the case if the result had been 30
minutes, say, or if it had been impossible to find any cloud
features in common at all. So whether the tension amounts to a
serious discrepancy is another matter of judgement, and depends
for example on whether one agrees or not with identification of
a certain cloud type as cirrus or altostratus etc etc. I
regarded this exercise as interesting but inconclusive.

Indeed Kentaro has since cast doubt on whether a certain
distinctive cloud feature which I attempted to isolate in
multiple photos and use as a marker is really a reliable feature
at all. He suspects I may have been misled by a defect in the
print emulsion. If so this would mean the exercise is invalid
and we're back to square one - except for one general result
which I believe is more robust, and that is that *most* of the
cloud in the photos is foreground convective cloud due to the
presence of the island mountains and would probably change on a
timescale too short and in a fashion too chaotic to offer a
useful "clock".

So the argument rests on uncertain estimates about the type and
altitude and likely speed of a single small area of what appears
to possibly be (but may not be) a stable cirrus or altostratus
feature visible through a gap in the foreground mountain clouds.

The meaning of much of the rest of your post is a little opaque
to me, but I hope this gives you some feeling for the
uncertainty involved and illustrates why a) I recommend caution
in trying to reduce the case to a simplistic numbers game and
why b) I will not give you a number.

Martin Shough

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