Saturday, January 28, 2017

How long does it take? - does size matter?

Hi all,

Unusual observations

1. In broad daylight, a man sees an unusual object rising from the ground. He describes it as looking like two saucers face to face. A 'hissing' sound accompanies the visual observation. The object, despite being only an estimated 25 yards away, shows no structure. The object departs into the sky at an extremely fast rate.

2. Again, in broad daylight, another man, hears a 'hissing' sound and then sees an unusual object approaching the vehicle he is in. The object hovers mere feet from the man's vehicle. It appears as an inverted saucer shape. By the time he gets out of his vehicle, the object is no longer in sight.

3. Yet another man, another daylight observation. During low cloud and rain, a man sees an object descending from clouds. A 'swishing' sound accompanies the sighting. The object hovers over a tree and then rises into the clouds and is lost to view.

Each of these Australian observations, is totally unexpected by the individuals involved. Each was simply going about their normal, daily work at the time.

Minimum duration?

In analysing reports, I always look, among other things, at two aspects. Firstly, the duration of the event. What would you say is the minimum duration of events such as this, so that you could be certain that the object was not simply a misidentification of a mundane object? To be clear in your mind that it could not be something ordinary, experienced in some set of unusual circumstances? Perhaps time for an aircraft heading straight towards you, to turn and show its side view.

So what were the durations of the three events I describe at the start of this post? The first, Tully, Queensland, was 5-6 seconds. The second, Yerecoin, Western Australia was 10 seconds. The third, Moe, Victoria was at a maximum 15-16 seconds.

Minimum angular size?

The second thing I look for, is an indication of the angular size of the object. A very small angular size may not allow sufficient detail to be made out, thus not allowing a positive identification to be made, e.g. an aircraft seen at such a distance, and direction, that no wings nor tail are visible.

What of the angular sizes of our three Australian examples? From the witness' estimates of distance and diameter, I calculated the angular size of both the Tully and Moe objects to have been around 19 degrees, which is 38 times the angular size of the full moon. The Yerecoin figure is a staggering 122 degrees.  These angular sizes should certainly be sufficient, so that the witness would be very clear they were not looking at anything conventional.

How accurate?

All in all, how accurate are these eyewitness observations, given their short duration, but large angular sizes? Unfortunately, in each instance there was only one witness, so in the end we cannot say with any certainty if the observations were accurately described or not.

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