Sunday, April 22, 2012


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We have a real problem. Lately, anything that streaks across a digital camera lens or video cam is being hailed as a flying saucer or UFO photo. These blurry, distorted images are not flying saucers, space craft, black ops aerial phenomena, motherships or scout craft. They are, in fact, bugs and birds which are passing quickly by the video camera within the range of focal inability I like to call the BLURFO ZONE. Just about anything zipping through this zone (ie, close to the camera when it is set on infinity focus or zoomed to focus on distant objects) is transformed into blips, blobs, disc-shaped smears and streaks. The tiniest of insects will appear to be a massive, dark object leaving quite a tracer (lingering smeared elements of itself on the tape) when in freeze frame. And therein lies the rub -- freeze frames! Freeze frame on the video tape is not the same as a frame of film. The illustrations below will hopefully help people wrap their skulls around this distortion problem and end once and for all the cavalcade of BLURFOs.

Examples Of BLURFOs

This is a composite of 8 freeze frames from a video purporting to show a UFO in flight.
Rather than it being a large, distant object, this is actually very likely a bug or very
small bird passing through the BLURFO zone. The video camera is unable to render
an accurate image -- it cannot focus on the object, and its shutter speed does not allow for
it to capture greater data which 'might' result in a cleaner freeze frame (though not often).
This composite is a good example because it shows multiple freeze frames of the
same bug or bird, with all the aforementioned distortion effects that take place in
the BLURFO zone. One need only look at the power lines to see just what level
of NATURAL, STANDING distortion exists in the freeze frame. Within the
BLURFO range, ghosting and double-images are not uncommon either,
especially for fast moving objects.

Here is another recent but classic example. What is being recorded is a
swatch of time on tape of a small, quickly moving object close to the camera.
The freeze frame is literally showing you a streak which represents microseconds
of time in which the digital conversion interpreted, without benefit of focus,
the movement of a small bug or bird passing through the BLURFO zone.
One very dishonest proliferator of BLURFO shots sent us a series of images. We asked to see the video itself, not relying on the selected freeze frames provided. The freeze frames were, indeed, interesting. They showed what appeared to be a bright disc shaped object with a shadow underside and a strong glint of reflected sunlight on the top. Several freeze frames showed it moving near some light clouds. When the video arrived, we expected to see the same UFO we saw in the freeze frames. But here's what we saw. The camera shooting a jet passing across the sky. Suddenly, the camera man zoomed in beyond his camera's ability to focus and distorted the distinct, distant jet into a large, glowing disc-shaped UFO. The camera then reversed zoom and the image revealed it to be a jet again. The freeze frames we were given were only of the over-zoom, blurred moments. When asked about this discrepancy, we were told that we must be blind, it was clearly a UFO "transforming" itself into a jet in order to escape detection!!!

It doesn't get any more ridiculous than that, folks. 

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