Back to Main Page
Why You May Never See A Flying Saucer!
Many people who deny the existence of UFOs do so because they
have not seen one and, indeed, do not even know how to go
about observing UFOs and TLOs.
The "classic" sighting is one where the witness sees a
three-dimensional, metal object hovering in the sky at low
altitude or very near (if not touching) the ground, usually in
a remote area and generally when the witness is alone. The
witness is so bedazzled by the appearance of the craft that
they cannot give a good description of it and cannot recall
many of the important details, including its actual shape!
But UFOs must come from somewhere and go to somewhere on or
near Earth. That means they may traverse the skies from coast
to coast all the time at speeds too fast to record by the
human eye or mind except, perhaps, subconsciously. Even
cameras with fast film and high shutter speeds may often be
inadequate to record the flights of these craft. Here's why:
Let us assume, for purposes of illustration, that a bright
craft 500 feet in diameter and moving at 15,000 miles per hour
enters the atmosphere and could be seen by a steady human eye
at an altitude of 30,400 feet (5 nautical miles). Let's say it
is first observed moving East to West at a slant range of 200
miles by a person in St. Louis, Missouri. When first seen, the
UFO would be somewhere over southern Indiana generally above
At a speed of 15,000 miles per hour the UFO would be directly
above St. Louis in about 40 seconds. Forty seconds later, it
would disappear from sight in the West above Kansas City. The
UFO would have traveled some 400 miles in about 80 seconds.
Since the human eye generally cannot acquire objects that
small at distances so great, we must confine the area of
sighting to about 100 miles total (50 miles on either side of
the observer) in clear sky with unlimited visibility. The
entire sighting area would be restricted to a line no greater
than the distance from St. Louis to Hannibal, Missouri (or
perhaps to Quincy, Illinois).
The UFO would traverse the 100 miles in 25 seconds if moving
at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour.
But assume the UFO is moving at a speed of 200 km (124 miles)
per second, a speed estimated as that of the craft
photographed orbiting our moon. At that speed the UFO would
travel through the area of sighting in less than one-half
second! Unless you were looking directly at it and knew which
direction it would be moving; unless your camera was pointed
at exactly the spot where it would first appear, was on and
recording, and unless you could pan with the object as it
passed overhead, you would not even see it or know that it
flew over your cities!
At 200 km per second (450,000 miles per hour), the UFO would
make the entire trip from Key West, Florida to Victoria, BC, a
distance of some 3000 miles in about 24 seconds! It would not
be in your field of view long enough for your brain to record
To make matters worse, we have completely discounted clouds,
trees or buildings which might obstruct our view of the skies.
If the sighting was recorded at night and if the UFO was seen
as light reflected from the setting sun (rather than
transmitted), it would reach a point in its passing where it
would move beyond the terminator and would no longer reflect
light from the sun. For all practical purposes, it would
become invisible to the unaided human eye at that point.
So how may we record the flights of UFOs that are traversing
the skies of Earth at any given time day and night? A fairly
simple but not inexpensive device can help us record the
fleeting images automatically. Construction of the device will
require 1) the help of 12 friends with video cameras, or 2)
the purchase of 12 identical video cameras. 3) Purchase and
construction of a parabolic sound recording dish, tapes and
Preferably, the video cameras should be identical and should
be capable of recording data directly onto the tape (dates,
times, camera number, etc.). The focal length of the lenses
should be identical and the size and recording time of the
tapes should be identical for obvious reasons.
We will have to utilize 12 cameras because a normal personal
video camera generally will cover an area of 35§ horizontal
field of view. Placing 12 of the cameras on a circular
platform will give us coverage of the entire 360§ horizon with
some overlap for reference points.
Because vertical coverage is normally only about 25§, the
cameras should be tilted upward to include only a degree or
two of the horizon. This will still leave a void from about
25§ to the zenith, or a total of about 100§ overhead that will
not be covered unless you want to invest in several more
Generally speaking, most UFO sightings seem to occur within
this 25§ of area covered by our camera arrangement so we
should be able to record something nearly every night.
One good thing about video tape is that you can rewind and
reuse it if you do not record any significant images. All
aircraft lights, automobile lights, meteors and lights
reflected from satellites (if observed and identified) should
be discounted at once. We are only interested in those craft
or phenomena referred to as UFOs or TLOs.
Since the cameras and platform will be left outside and
operating most of the night, they should be protected from
moisture. This will require construction of angled windows
made of optically clear glass. Additionally, because some
condensation may form inside the enclosed housing, some sort
of low temperature heating or evaporating device should be
The cameras and recording devices should be connected to house
current and should be rigged to shut off when all the tape is
expended. If you stay awake to monitor the devices, this
automatic shut-off feature may be eliminated from the plan.
Smaller and less expensive cameras are those used to monitor
children or infants. These are "see only" cameras and must be
connected to recording devices (VCR recorders) and monitors.
This set up would require 12 cameras, 12 recorders and 12
monitors (if you plan to sit and watch). Eliminate the
monitors if you only plan to replay each tape when you arise
the following morning.
The advantage of this set up would be placement of the
recorders and monitors in a protected environment, eliminating
the possibility that moisture (dew, rain, snow) might damage
your expensive video equipment and the tapes. Additionally,
VCR recorders will shut off automatically when all the tape
has been expended. Set on SLP, the recorders could tape up to
six hours of surveillance data each night (more if you load
your own cassettes or can find 8-hour tapes).
Because the light transmitted from UFOs and TLOs is so
brilliant, you should give some serious thought to using
neutral density filters when taping these objects. By reducing
the amount of light entering the lens, we may be able to more
clearly identify the hull shapes and any prominent features
(portholes, sensing devices, etc.) not normally visible
because of the intensity of the light surrounding them.
Additionally, colored filters should be used on hand-held
cameras to eliminate certain colors while enhancing others.
During daylight shoots, try to use a minus blue filter (yellow
to amber) to darken the sky and brighten floating objects,
including clouds and UFOs. Make certain the camera is in focus
and batteries are fully charged. Anything you can do to
enhance the sharpness and definition of the images will
increase the chances of properly identifying what you have
A word about filters: Filters prevent their own color from
being seen while passing all other colors in an altered
fashion. If you use a red filter, colors like green and blue
may be transmitted as black; yellow and white as orange, etc.
This is not particularly a disadvantage as those altered
colors may reveal things about UFOs we cannot normally see in
the visible spectrum. Infrared and Ultraviolet films and
filters will reveal a great many more things considered
totally invisible to the unaided human eye!
Because sound can be enhanced or separated with sophisticated
equipment, you should make every attempt to record the night
sounds during your taping sessions. Audio tape, like video
tape, can be used over and over if you record no significant
sounds. Even if you think you have recorded no sounds while
having recorded the passage of a UFO, take the audio tape to a
sound studio and have them analyze it carefully, particularly
for sounds outside the range of human hearing. Their
instruments can do this easily, although not inexpensively.
All intelligence information is important! Sounds, no less
than visual images, can reveal important clues about UFOs and
TLOs, including the power source and reasons for the absence
of sonic waves. A fairly inexpensive piece of equipment all
UFO researchers should carry is a "BIG EAR" parabolic dish you
can attach to almost any directional microphone and recording
The "EAR" directs sound to the sensitive tip of the microphone
rather than allowing the sound to scatter in all directions. A
good directional microphone coupled with a parabolic dish can
enhance sound hundreds of times over that received by the
This information is provided as a public service, but we cannot guarantee that the information is current or accurate. Readers should verify the information before acting on it.