Thursday, January 29, 2009


History Channel - Original Air Date: 1/28/09

In 2008, Britain, experienced a rash of UFO sightings, over 200 by August.  The team looks at a helicopter chase, a triangular UFO, and a UFO near a twister.  The show compares the current rash in England to the summer of 1952 flap in the US -- plenty of people seeing things in the sky.  The triangle and a silver object in a blue sky are pretty fuzzy in photos, but the team hopes to clean them up digitally.  The police copter chase was later denied by the cops, though Bill digs up a corroborating report from an airplane pilot who was in the area -- but he won't talk on camera.  Though there are a lot of witness reports, few provide solid evidence.  There is some speculation that the lights in the sky might be Chinese Fire Lanterns (a.k.a. ghost lights) -- tiny hot air "balloons" powered by candles that make them rise into the air and glow.  The show does a fire lantern test, but will the witness agree this is what she saw?  Nope (of course not).  She says what she saw had bright, electric lights.  The twister photo is a strange blur (unnoticed at the time) near a white funnel.  An optical expert doesn't think it's a piece of debris.  Ted's analysis rules out birds, insects, and other mundane objects.  They think the motion blur on the object means that the thing was moving faster than the 5/1000ths of the camera's shutter speed.  (But they don't mention that it might be blurred by the depth of field of the focus.  They seem convinced it's closer to the tornado, rather than something tiny closer to the camera.)  Sightings continue into September, though the show -- which must have been in production before then -- only mentions these new cases.

The lights look like lights to me--could be aircraft in formation or fire lanterns, or anything.  (Possibly even a military test vehicle.)  Lights in the night sky are just not great evidence.  The silver object certainly could be a Mylar balloon (see the Mexico episode of UFOs Over Earth), though the show doesn't mention this idea, or offer any other non-UFO explanation.  And the tornado footage seems more likely to me to be something tiny close to the camera. rather than something large near the funnel.  And, once again, I have to ask, with 200 British sightings in 2008, is this the best evidence they have?

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