The Pentagon has released “UFO” videos but is there an optical explanation better than aliens?

Tips & Techniques

On Monday, the Pentagon released three declassified videos of “unexplained aerial phenomena”. That’s a fancy term for “UFOs”. The Guardian reports that the Pentagon released the footage to “clear up any misconceptions by the public” on whether or not the footage that had been previously leaked was genuine. It turns out that it was.

The three clips are referred to as Flir, Go Fast and Gimbal, which are shown in the video above. But I wouldn’t necessarily go pointing the fingers at little green (or grey) men just yet. There may be perfectly reasonable optical explanations for strange speed and movements shown in the clips.

All three clips have been analysed and explained by skeptic Mick West, a debunker who wrote his own theories in 2018 to the Metabunk forums and a video he posted to his YouTube channel last year offering one possible explanation for the“Go Fast” clip. West posted another video this week, since the three videos were officially released.

Optical illusions (even if not intentional) often make things appear very strange compared to what we’re used to. The clue is kind of in the name. Illusion. It’s something that we’re not used to seeing and if we don’t understand how the trick is made, then our brain makes up a story of what it thinks we’re seeing. Like, the moon isn’t really this big for most of us under normal conditions. It looks strange. But, if you get far enough back and use a long enough lens, well, suddenly it is.

Speed and movement can also easily be explained by unusual optical setups. Parallax, the explanation offered up in West’s video as a result of the data shown on-screen during the video, can present some very interesting results depending on how it’s applied. It can make fast-moving objects appear to be moving quite slowly or can make even static objects appear to be moving quickly. As PetaPixel points out, it’s a technique that Michael Bay is famous for in his movies.

Just because Michael Bay does it intentionally does not mean that the same effect can’t be achieved out there in the real world purely by accident. For many filmmakers, it’s accidents that allow us to discover new styles and techniques for ourselves. Of course… It could also just be aliens.

[via PetaPixel]

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