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Pilot photographs orange/red "glow" over Pacific O
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mrpoulticeOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 17:36    Post subject: Pilot photographs orange/red "glow" over Pacific O Reply with quote

Now this odd.

The story comes from the website of a chap called JPC Van Heist, who is an aviation photographer. Last night he was 5 hours into a flight from Japan heading towards Alaska and seems to have caught something quite strange. he writes:

Quote:
Last night over the Pacific Ocean, somewhere South of the Russian peninsula Kamchatka I experienced the creepiest thing so far in my flying career.
After about 5 hours in flight we left Japan long time behind us and were cruising at a comfortable 34.000ft with about 4,5 hours to go towards Alaska.
We heard via the radio about earthquakes in Iceland, Chile and San Francisco, and since there were a few volcanos on our route that might or might not be going off during our flight, we double checked with dispatch if there was any new activity on our route after we departed from Hongkong.
Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light.
Since there were no thunderstorms on our route or weather-radar, we kept a close lookout for possible storms that might be hiding from our radar and might cause some problems later on.

I decided to try and take some pictures of the night sky and the strange green glow that was all over the Northern Hemisphere. I think it was sort of a Northern Lights but it was much more dispersed, never seen anything like this before either. About 20 minutes later in flight I noticed a deep red/orange glow appearing ahead of us, and this was a bit strange since there was supposed to be nothing but endless ocean below us for hundreds of miles around us. A distant city or group of typical Asian squid-fishing-boats would not make sense in this area, apart from the fact that the lights we saw were much larger in size and glowed red/orange, instead of the normal yellow and white that cities or ships would produce.
The closer we got, the more intense the glow became, illuminating the clouds and sky below us in a scary orange glow. In a part of the world where there was supposed to be nothing but water.
The only cause of this red glow that we could think of, was the explosion of a huge volcano just underneath the surface of the ocean, about 30 minutes before we overflew that exact position.
Since the nearest possible airport was at least 2 hours flying away, and the idea of flying into a highly dangerous and invisible ash-plume in the middle of the night over the vast Pacific Ocean we felt not exactly happy. Fortunately we did not encounter anything like this, but together with the very creepy unexplainable deep red/orange glow from the ocean's surface, we felt everything but comfortable. There was also no other traffic near our position or on the same routing to confirm anything of what we saw or confirm any type of ash clouds encountered.

We reported our observations to Air Traffic Control and an investigation into what happened in this remote region of the ocean is now started.

Two photos included, hardly edited except for watermark and resize. Note that photos are taken with extremely high ISO (sensor sensitivity) so quality might be a bit poor. Also an overview of our route + marking of the location is included.

Now I'm just hoping that if a new island has been formed there, at least it can be named after me as the official discoverer. Smile
That would be pretty cool!


The webpage with the all important photos is HERE

Mr P over and out...
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating! Looking at the geographical location, I think the most likely explanation is an underwater eruption of some kind.
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mrpoulticeOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 18:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree some kind of undersea crack opening up sounds right but the lights look "round" and then there this...

Quote:
Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air.


Which sounds odd and not very volcanic?
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 18:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does sound pretty extraordinary...yes.
Earthlights? Triboluminescence?

Or perhaps the Deros have finally made it to the surface... Shocked
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garrick92Online
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 18:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't figure out what's going on in the third photo (i.e., third from left in the thumbnail gallery). When expanded, the pic appears to show a view from inside an aeroplane cockpit, with instrument panels on display and a ghostly half-person in a seat (time-lapse image, and they moved away?). Part of the image appears to be an aerial view through a cabin/cockpit window, but again the angles are so confusing that I can't figure out the craft's relationship to the ground.

Overall, I would dismiss this image as a reflection of lights on the instrument panels, were it not for the previous two images, which are great stuff in terms of photos of the odd and unusual.

If this took place on a aircraft, there must surely be other witnesses as the sighting would be highly unusual and interesting. Has this guy interviewed them?
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 19:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interpretation is that it's an interior shot inside the cockpit, with the lights visible to the left through a side window. The interior glass surface is reflecting the cockpit interior to add some confusion.
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garrick92Online
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 19:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I sort of get that, but what about the half-person and their reflection?

Also, if this is (as it appears) taken from in the cockpit, which window is depicted? If it's the main windscreen, why aren't the lights obscured by the aircraft's nose? And why does the window appear to be angled inward toward the top (i.e., not vertical, but with the bottom further away than the top)?

I'm not casting doubt on the sighting (I have no opinion on the matter), it's just that until I can understand this image, I don't have any way of assessing its contents.
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OneWingedBirdOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 19:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if this ties in with the seismic activity that's been going on recently?
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 20:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears to me that the picture was taken by someone standing behind the pilot's seat / station, looking out a window on the port (pilot) side. The pilot was moving either to or from a position leaning to his left (port side) and peering out a side window forward of the one through which the photo was taken. The pilot's shoulder and left arm are clear enough, but he was apparently moving his head when the camera was triggered.

There are two important points I can't seem to pin down from the original Web postings:

(1) What type of aircraft this is, and ...

(2) The time of the sighting(s).
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 20:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneWingedBird wrote:
I wonder if this ties in with the seismic activity that's been going on recently?


The USGS earthquake center notes an earthquake in the area, to the west or southwest of the plane's position(s), on the 24th. That's why I'm interested in finding out exactly when these photos were taken.
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garrick92Online
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 20:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnolaGaia wrote:
It appears to me that the picture was taken by someone standing behind the pilot's seat / station, looking out a window on the port (pilot) side. The pilot was moving either to or from a position leaning to his left (port side) and peering out a side window forward of the one through which the photo was taken. The pilot's shoulder and left arm are clear enough, but he was apparently moving his head when the camera was triggered.


Yes, I thought the image might be time-lapse, which would mean the camera was fixed (on a tripod or similar) rather than casually snapped, but if so then there must be a great degree of parallax (or do I mean minor? I never get this the right way round) in order for the mystery lights themselves not to have been 'smeared out'.

Am I right in suspecting that the image has been taken with a fisheye lens, accounting for the extraordinary degree of curvature and general skew-whiffness in the pic?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 20:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light.

Since there were no thunderstorms on our route or weather-radar, we kept a close lookout for possible storms that might be hiding from our radar and might cause some problems later on.

This might be a Sprite...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_(lightning)

or a Blue Jet...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning

As for the other blobs of light, well, it's yer orbs, innit?! Wink
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garrick92Online
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 22:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the linked wiki article on sprites:

Quote:
They often occur in clusters within the altitude range 50–90 km (31–56 mi) above the Earth's surface.


From the linked wiki article on blue jets:

Quote:
Blue jets differ from sprites in that they project from the top of the cumulonimbus above a thunderstorm, typically in a narrow cone, to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 40 to 50 km (25 to 30 miles) above the earth.


Given that the photographer states that the aircraft was cruising at 34,000ft and that the phenomena occurred below the 'plane (and indeed, apparently below cloud), I think we can discount both of those suggestions, Rynner.
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 23:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can't discount that what was described as looking like a lightning bolt was, in fact, a lightning bolt, especially if we go with the possibility of volcanic event as the cause for the lights. Volcanoes are common causes of lightning, below is lightning at Mt. Merapi.

http://a.abcnews.go.com/images/Technology/ht_volcano_lightning_studied_mount_merapi_2_ll_120613_wblog.jpg
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garrick92Online
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PostPosted: 25-08-2014 23:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamalktk wrote:
We can't discount that what was described as looking like a lightning bolt was, in fact, a lightning bolt


Personally, I am struggling to see what else something that 'looked like' a lightning bolt could possibly be. They're fairly distinctive, as aerial phenomena go.
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