‘UFO’ Videotaped From Airplane: What Is It? : Discovery News

by Benjamin Radford via Discovery News

A home video allegedly taken just before Christmas during a late-night flight appears to show a UFO flying next to the plane. The video, posted to YouTube by a man named Mauricio Ruiz, has the Internet buzzing.

According to Tom Rose, an Examiner.com blogger,

The UFO itself is of a type possibly never filmed before. For most of the video the lustrous, rounded object flies alongside the jet, maintaining relative distance and speed. This in itself is unusual as aircraft are usually separated by a mile or more for safety reasons. The object looks metallic and resembles a closed fist encased in a glove.


Still frame from the video in question
showing the alleged UFO.

Actually the video doesn’t show a “lustrous, rounded object” — nor, for that matter, a metallic one — but instead a group of six or eight clustered irregular-shaped lights that remain more or less fixed in one position. Still, its identity has many puzzled: Lights on the ground? A hoax? Reflection of interior cabin lights? A flying saucer?

Though a definitive conclusion has yet to be reached, there are a few clues in the video that offer a plausible explanation.

For one thing, the light cluster does not move relative to the airplane; indeed it remains apparently stationary in the sky from the cameraman’s point of view. It keeps the exact same speed and altitude near the plane, which would very unusual if it is an aircraft sidling nearby.

It’s important to remember that airplane windows are different from ordinary house windows. For one thing, the panes are not flat but instead slightly curved, which can alter and distort images seen in them.

Furthermore, objects outside the cabin are viewed not through one pane but instead through at least two transparent panels of glass and plastic; this creates an overlaying double reflection of lights from inside the cabin.

The image is reflected once by the plastic near the seat, and once more by the thick laminated glass on the inside of the window itself, a few inches beyond. The result is a reflection that often appears as a duplicate image, depending on the angle of the viewer.

Indeed, this effect can be seen in the ‘UFO’ video. At several places in the video (including 0:18 and 0:41), this duplicate ghosting effect is apparent; though the image is moving and blurry because of the unsteady camera, the same pattern of lights can be seen overlapping each other.

Mr. Ruiz moves his hand toward and around the window, apparently trying to rule out the possibility that the image is a reflection from within the cabin. However his hand only blocks reflections coming from the extreme left of the window; it does not rule out reflections coming from above and behind him — which is where cabin lights would be.

At one point the lights suddenly disappear, likely because …

MORE . . . .
IllumiNuTTi.com editor’s note:

I think Benjamin Radford, author of the above article, is onto something. I agree the UFO seen in the aircraft window is a reflection from some light source originating from inside the aircraft cabin. I think an overhead reading lamp like the one pictured below would make an excellent UFO reflection in an aircraft window. What do you think?

On the left

On the left is a typical overhead reading lamp.
On the right is the reflection (UFO) in question.

One response

  1. I don’t buy the reflection theory. The top of the window angles inward so the light would have to be below the level of the camera. Look at the level of his index finger and its reflection at 0:27 seconds. The reflected finger is higher than the finger. If the overhead light first bounced off something from the row in front, like an iPad screen propped up on a food tray, it would work but the seat in front of him is blocking that path. To me it looks like he placed his hand far enough forward to block a reflection.

    The uploader has since commented this was during the approach to Chicago, which would have been flight 1186, not flight 3475 like he originally said, so my “Dry Moon over Houston” theory I posted on Doubtful News is shot to hell.

    Here’s the last 20 minutes of the actual flight path of SW1186 on 19 Dec 12 in Google Earth format: https://sites.google.com/site/chewtansy/msfn/SW1186%2019%20Dec%202012%20approach%20to%20MDW%20all%20times%20EST.kmz

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