Posted on March 21st, 2012 at 12:20 PM by Alaskankare

I watched an episode of SyFy’s Fact or Faked last night on the Paulding Lights of Michigan and thought they did a descent job of investigating, and agreed with their conclusion that it was unexplained. However, I was depressed to see that students at Michigan Tech also researched the lights shortly after the episode aired in 2010. The big difference? MIT thought to bring a telescope to look at the light. Thus, they found it was indeed headlights. MIT was able to prove this by using the telescope to identify a sign along the stretch of highway for this specific spot where the headlights could be seen. Although Fact or Faked, had also ran a vehicle up and down the highway with no results, obviously they must have been in the wrong stretch of road. The further information that the light was sometimes multiple lights, changed colors from red to white, or flashed blue and red, should have been HUGE clues that they were vehicle lights. This info was never relayed on the tv episode, only that it was a “light” that pulsated and never moved, or at least that was the impression the show gave.

It is sad to find out that a mystery light, that I had even heard about, is indeed something as mundane as vehicle lights from a highway.

Locally, we have a hill near town that snowmachiners follow a trail on. Once in a while you can see the headlights from the snowmachine. When it is dark out, you can’t see the hill and only this mysterious light that doesn’t appear to move. Maybe I should start a folk story about an old gold miner killed tragically trying to signal for rescue. The point being, lights at night, are hard determine what they are from and the likelihood that they are supernatural or alien ships is nill. More than likely, they are manmade phenomenon that we mistake for something else because the human mind craves sensationalism.

Posted on March 12th, 2012 at 11:06 AM by Alaskankare

lights in the sky

Proof of Aliens? Don't discount Military Craft.

First off, I just want to say that I am a huge fan of the show Fact or Faked from the SyFy channel. I love this show because they usually take care in doing their analysis and attempts to duplicate the videos. Imagine my disappointment, as I found them completely flawed in their analysis of the Red Lights over El Canio, California and other lights in Arizona that “hyper-jumped.” In the episode with the Arizona lights there appeared to be 3 to 4 lights that would vanish and reappear in front of one another. The lights were off in the distant with what appeared to be clouds in the background. F&F showed a video of flares being launched by a military plane, to dismiss it as a possibility, but showed a close up of them. Flares at a close angle, right under the aircraft launching them, will appear to fall quickly. However, you can’t compare a close up of flares being deployed with a shot of lights several miles in the distance. If you want to dismiss flares as the reason for “strange” lights in the sky, then you need to compare them from several miles out. An object up close will appear to fall quickly, but when you add a vantage point from several miles away, it will appear to not move because the distance is so great. I have personally seen military flares in use while in Fairbanks, Alaska. I myself couldn’t tell what the objects were, until a fellow officer came by and said, “Oh those? They are military flares, we used those all the time.” He was a veteran from the army. Just as the lights in Arizona, these lights appeared to simply hover there and not move. They lasted about 15 to 20 minutes, the same amount of time as the Arizona lights. Then they slowly and simply faded out one by one. It’s amazing how perspective can greatly change the appearance of an object. I would have liked them to ask the military to shoot a couple of flares in the sky that night for comparison.

Another possible reason, which I was surprised F&F never addressed, for the lights could have been military helicopters flying in formation with search lights on. As they went through the cloud it could have made them appear to disappear and reappear. If the helicopter simply re-orientated itself, that would change the direction it was facing and thus, make it’s light disappear. From a distance, helicopters flying in formation, towards the viewers direction would make it appear as a hovering and motionless bright light. Then as the helicopters changed direction, to head back to base, they would appear to simply disappear. I live in an area where medivac helicopters fly in often. You would think you would be able to see the strobes on the helo, but when they are coming towards you, the light on the front is so bright, and the strobes so close (not having wings that stick out) they were washed out by the front light. At a distance, before you could hear the helicopter, all you see is this bright light hovering in the sky far out. I’ve found myself doing a double, triple take before I realized it was a medivac coming in.

On the episode with the red lights shaped in a triangle, the F&F crews also tried to debunk the idea that it was a helicopter and went through a very sensationalized experiment with a helicopter with a triangle of lights attached at the bottom. Their decision that it matched except for the fact that you could clearly still hear the helicopter, is again completely flawed. In both of these attempts to duplicate the lights, they have forgotten to duplicate the one major factor in the original videos; that the lights were several miles away. Of course if your helicopter is hovering directly overhead, you are going to hear it. Helicopters can be surprisingly quiet when at a distance. They were able were able to match the lights size but were assuming it was something small.

One more possible explanation could be a prankster with a remote-controlled blimp with red lights on it. But anyone can fake anything now a days. Special care needs to be taken before jumping to the “alien ship” answer for lights in the sky.

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