Thursday, January 5, 2012


These are difficult times for UFO investigators.

Advancements in technology, particularly software packages such as Photoshop and Final Cut, have made it terribly easy to do a fair job of faking a UFO photograph or video.  One of my Facebook friends demonstrated this fact just yesterday.  He took a photograph of an airliner in the sky from the vantage point of someone looking up and watching it fly overhead.  He then layered in a cluster of 1950s era saucers.  Only upon closely inspecting the photo could one see the differences in lighting and pixelation that render it a hoax.  Yes it has become much easier to fool people, much to the petty gasconade of the lantern-lighting crowd.

Now there is a new conundrum: UAV drones.  Not to be confused with UFO.  If you don't know by now, the acronym UAV stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.  Military and even law enforcement agencies get quite a bit of use out of them, handling missions ranging from intelligence gathering to outright combat.  These aircraft are often triangular or batwinged in shape and they create very little noise.  This is quite the cocktail formula for a "false positive" UFO report.  More so than that, at least one MUFON investigator thinks that UAV drone flights might be a danger to aerospace in general.

Robert Powell from MUFON recently investigated two separate UFO sightings in the Dallas area of Texas last fall.  Both sightings were of a formation of triangular shaped craft moving at speeds in excess of 200 mph.  The most interesting feature about these UFOs was that they were illuminated solely by a diffusion of ground light as they traveled from north to south.  That's right.  No navigation lights.

“What bothers me is, if these are drones, they’re flying into civilian air space without navigational lights,” Powell says. “So far as I’ve been able to tell, there aren’t any procedures in place that address this issue.”

The article linked above discusses an incident over Afghanistan where an RQ-170 UAV drone collided in mid-air with a military cargo plane.  Obviously not good.

I'm not ready to call UAV drones a bad thing.  Not by a long shot.  They've proven their worth in military application and they prevent having to place a human pilot or other operative in harm's way.  But this is a new technology.  There are going to be bugs that need working out.  I, like MUFON, just hope that it doesn't take a serious airline disaster to bring this issue to the fore.

It's also rather peeving that there is now just one more thing in the skies for people to misinterpret as a UFO.

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