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Trivial phenomena:

Reflections on UFO videos:

One Michael Cohen reports on the website "All News Web" at that the Edinburgh Airport Traffic Control referred a filmed UFO incident to the Ministry of Defense.

It is claimed it occurred in the skies above the airport on May 21 at 10:30 p.m., when a passenger plane approaching to land was filmed by local resident Jackie Gillies, and "two UFOs were seen looping over and around the plane."

It is claimed "David Morley form the Airport's Air traffic Control department has referred the case and the film to the British Ministry of Defense."

Cohen comments that "Many ufologists have noted that alien visitors are clearly peaceful and pose no threat."

The corresponding video file is showed:

The URL of the video on Youtube is as of June 1, 2009:

No other information is provided.

I found some comments on the video and the story on the Above Top Secret forum at but they were of little help. "Venus" and Chinese lanterns are proposed as explanations there.


The video seems to have been shot from behind a window, as it appears from the beginning of the footage. The frame rate is terribly low, so that fluidity is missing. The zoom is used intensively, with zooming in and zooming out. There is no sequence of steady pointing at the "UFOs" and plane that might had allowed to check that the blobs called "UFOs" are indeed moving or maneuvering. There is no reference point to the cameraman's position, so he might have moved, and moved the camera, during filming. The quality of the video is terribly poor, and it was heavily edited to repeat some parts, at slow motion speeds, and even as stills, and parts might even have been cropped.

When I looked at the video, I immediately noticed the obvious.

The so-called "UFO maneuvers", i.e., that the spots of lights approach the plane and get away from the plane, are related to maneuvers of zooming in and zooming out by the camera operator and the corresponding autofocus reaction.

This is very apparent around minute 02:00.

Of course, some might want to believe that the "pilots" of the two "UFOs" are aware that someone is zooming in and out to them with his video camera and decided to playfully synchronize their "UFO maneuvers" to this.

A less fascinating explanation however, might be that the two "UFOs" are no flying objects at all but merely reflections of some lights inside the room onto the window and back into the camera lenses.

The heavy editing, with the slow motions, stills, might just be the attempt to use the video to make believe in UFOS. It is quite possible that the cameraman knew very well there were no UFOs in the sky near that plane but took advantage of the reflection on the window and camera optics to fool people when he discovered it later, with a little bit of editing, slow motion, stills etc., as this reinforces the UFO illusion and makes the ordinary nature of the blobs less obvious.

Update on June 2, 2009:

The above was published on June 1 2009. The next day an astute reader gave me some elements I had missed. His email and my answer:


> Hello, I wanted to react the the update you did here :
> I may be mistaken, but it seems to me I can bring you other
> elements in regards of your analysis.
> In my opinion, the object was not filmed through a window at all, in fact,
> I think this is about someone who filmed his TV screen
> to publish the video.

that is well observed, cheers. Yes, totally possible. I will mention of it.

> and that this persone zooms in, pauses, goes forward,
> slow motions with his TV remote, which would explain that at times
> the framerate is poor.

Yes, that is what I noted.

> then, it would also explain that when he zooms in onto a hovering
> UFO (about minte 2 as you noticed, indeed,
> the movement is caused by the zoom : the video is paused, the guy zooms
> so that this spot is better seen.


> But if you look at about 2:13, the zoom theory unfortunately
> does not work anymore, I think, because it seems that each movement
> of the luminous spots is synchronized with the movement of the plane (at
> reduced framerate), so, whereas the camera partically stopped moving
> you see, at the speed of one images / second approximately, the distance between the spot
> and the plane decrease.

What I suggest is that in addition to the zoom, the movements, for example lateral movements, by the cameraman, coupled with low frame rate (1 second is a long time), movements that can't be measured any more due to the fact of the missing frames and and the lack by references, leads to this kind of effects.

> Finally, at about, 1:14 / 1:15, we observe a moiré effect (kind of
> curved lines on all the left part of the screen), which is
> typical when ou film a TV screen, or PC monitor.

Yes, I did notice it, but I did not have the good reaction you had, I did not realize that this was the clue that a screen was re-filmed. Bravo.

> that's it, in hoping my opinion can help you,
> Best regards,
> [Name].

Thanks for your email and best regards
Patrick Gross

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