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scopes

Any aircraft experts?

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Hi I'm new to the forum so please be gentle. :-)

A bit about me first, I'm interested in all things up in the sky whether it be planets, stars, unidentified craft and all sorts. I have an interest in UFOs but generally I go on the side of debunking videos on YouTube, not because I don't believe in aliens (I'm not sure what I believe there) but I like to point out to people what things are more likely to be rather than alien, but obviously not everything can be debunked. It's a fascinating field for me.

Onto my personal sighting. I live about 15 miles from Heathrow airport so over the years I've learned to spot planes etc and usually easy to do. But early on Monday morning about 4.20am when it was still darkish I saw something which I've not been able to debunk yet. It was a craft which was quite fast but quite low in the sky. It wasn't going the normal flight paths of Heathrow landings although heading in that direction. What sets this out for me is that it didn't have multiple night lights like normal planes but had a large single slow pulsating light. Trying to photograph it on my phone resulted in a disappointing black image.

I know it wasn't a helicopter as there was no rotor noise, I can only describe it finally as being similar to ISS but with the pulsating light. I've checked the heathrow historical flightpath data and there were no flights between 4-5am so I'm stumped right now.

And right now it is technically a UFO as I cannot explain it. I'm wondering does anyone know of an aircraft type which has only one slow pulsating night light?

Thanks for reading :-)

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Hey Scope, welcome to the forum. :)

You said, "I know it wasn't a helicopter as there was no rotor noise..." They do make helicopters with little or no rotor noise now. Check out the Eurocopter.

Edited by Likely Guy

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I don't know that I'm an aircraft expert per say, but I did once fly a kite OVER 50 feet into the air.

Ladies... line begins to the left.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1
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Hey Scope, welcome to the forum. :)

You said, "I know it wasn't a helicopter as there was no rotor noise..." They do make helicopters with little or no rotor noise now. Check out the Eurocopter.

Hi thanks for the reply. Fortunately I know what the eurocopter sounds like as Thames Valley police use them, also air ambulance, they still have a distinct whooshing sound. With no noise pollution around at that time I think I would have noticed it, but maybe eurocopters have a truly silent mode? I don't know. I really wish I was able to record it :-(

I don't know that I'm an aircraft expert per say, but I did once fly a kite OVER 50 feet into the air.

Ladies... line begins to the left.

Put lights on it and let's rock and roll :-)

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What was the pulse frequency ?

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Lights from aircraft can be quite misleading. If it was moving left to right you wouldn't see the red and green navigation lights, and a flashing, or indeed strobing, strobe could be prominent, depending which angle you were looking at it from.

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Is there any possibility this could have been a rotating chinese lantern ?

I saw one of those a year ago, and it looked VERY strange. It seemed to be moving WAY to fast to be a balloon or lantern (because I was misjudging its distance from me), and I thought it was WAY to bright to be a stupid flying candle. But..it was.

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What was the pulse frequency ?

That is difficult to judge from memory but it was slow like imagine saying "one" but longer like oonnee. I'm not even sure that makes sense.

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Lights from aircraft can be quite misleading. If it was moving left to right you wouldn't see the red and green navigation lights, and a flashing, or indeed strobing, strobe could be prominent, depending which angle you were looking at it from.

It was moving say from 10 o'clock to 4 o'clock across the sky so I think I got a good view of front, left side and rear. Just didn't see the right side.

Edited by Scope

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Is there any possibility this could have been a rotating chinese lantern ?

I saw one of those a year ago, and it looked VERY strange. It seemed to be moving WAY to fast to be a balloon or lantern (because I was misjudging its distance from me), and I thought it was WAY to bright to be a stupid flying candle. But..it was.

Hi I'm certain it wasn't a Chinese lantern. From my experience Chinese lanterns flicker and are more of a burning yellow light, whereas this was slow on/off and a white light. Also Chinese lanterns tend to fly with the wind, yet this seemed on a direct course. I can only really say it was like the iss but with the pulsating light - fast and determined. But not as fast as iss, fast like a plane.

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If you saw it moving from the 10 to 4 position the light would have been pulsating with a tinge of green.

Keep in mind that the flasher unit on older aircraft as they get old tend to weaken and the time between flashes as well as intensity can weaken and slow.

Todays modern acft incorporate an LED light assembly with a strobe all in one and can be very intense in brightness and they also tend to have a slower flash time as the power supply charges and releases, charges and releases and so on in a pulse type charge.

(28 Years as an aircraft mechanic)

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I've checked the heathrow historical flightpath data and there were no flights between 4-5am so I'm stumped right now.

I'm not sure what you mean by the above...there are 5 terminals with planes taking off and landing every few minutes or so, 24hrs a day. So what do you mean there was no flights between 4 and 5am?

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I'm not sure what you mean by the above...there are 5 terminals with planes taking off and landing every few minutes or so, 24hrs a day. So what do you mean there was no flights between 4 and 5am?

I'll have to quote myself here....i've checked and you're right, I had no idea they restricted the flights back to that degree in the early hours at heathrow. Learnt something new there.

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You're not giving us much to go on. Did it have an aircraft shape? Approximately how high was it? Any kind of noise? How far away from you?

Edited by Merc14
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One thing that might help - if you go to flight tracker.com, they show the live flight tracker, you'll probably have to pay but I think you can get the historical flight tracker too, so you could plot your location and see if anything flies outside of the original flight corridors and corresponds with what you see.....could be worth a try!

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If you saw it moving from the 10 to 4 position the light would have been pulsating with a tinge of green.

Keep in mind that the flasher unit on older aircraft as they get old tend to weaken and the time between flashes as well as intensity can weaken and slow.

Todays modern acft incorporate an LED light assembly with a strobe all in one and can be very intense in brightness and they also tend to have a slower flash time as the power supply charges and releases, charges and releases and so on in a pulse type charge.

(28 Years as an aircraft mechanic)

I do not recall a green light but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. I am thinking at the moment this may have been a plane but not related to heathrow.

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You're not giving us much to go on. Did it have an aircraft shape? Approximately how high was it? Any kind of noise? How far away from you?

Sorry there's not a lot of info but to be honest there's not a lot to go on.

I can recap though: ISS shaped, fast like a plane but not as fast as ISS, one large slow pulsating light instead of lots of night lights. No red or blue lights that I could see but maybe that was my angle I didn't get to see the right hand side of the aircraft.

Travelling towards heathrow in a direct line sort of North to South rather than circling like they usually do.

I'm on my phone at the moment so later when I get home after 11pm I will pull up flightradar and draw a map of it's path.

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One thing that might help - if you go to flight tracker.com, they show the live flight tracker, you'll probably have to pay but I think you can get the historical flight tracker too, so you could plot your location and see if anything flies outside of the original flight corridors and corresponds with what you see.....could be worth a try!

Hi I'm with you there I do have the flightradar app but I didn't know it could give historical data. Thankyou for that I will check it out later and do a map for you too.

The flight radar app would be more useful than just the heathrow data.

As an aside does anyone know the name of the app for this forum please? The link at the bottom is not loading the App Store it stalls on a blank screen

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Okay I cannot find the option for historical data in flightradar app but I've hand drawn on the map the route it took.

Red lines mean flights generally go towards heathrow in those routes

Yellow is the path this aircraft took - you can see it cut across the middle of the area. I'm at the blue dot so I was facing the aircraft on it's right hand side. I'm sorry this is the best I have.

post-150310-0-98650600-1409785338_thumb.

Edited by Scope
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Well Monday at 0420 UTC the ISS was over the pacific, according to http://www.satflare.com so it wasn't the station. You can use that site to track various satellites and go backwards and forwards in time as well.

Edited by Merc14

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My first thought was the iss then I remember we aren't supposed to see that again here until October.

Someone asked about height, that's difficult to judge especially in pitch black but I reckon it was much lower than iss would be and probably in our atmosphere.

I do think it was a terrestrial aircraft but my main question is what type of aircraft only has one night light? Would a plane have only one light if it wasn't in approach mode?

The only reason I'm asking is so I can use this knowledge in the future to weed out explainable objects in my videos.

Edited by Scope

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My first thought was the iss then I remember we aren't supposed to see that again here until October.

Someone asked about height, that's difficult to judge especially in pitch black but I reckon it was much lower than iss would be and probably in our atmosphere.

I do think it was a terrestrial aircraft but my main question is what type of aircraft only has one night light? Would a plane have only one light if it wasn't in approach mode?

The only reason I'm asking is so I can use this knowledge in the future to weed out explainable objects in my videos.

My son and I watched the ISS fly over our location last week, just after sunset. I must say that if I didn't know exactly what I was looking at I would've been completely flummoxed. My son saw it first and I said "No way, to big." As usual my brilliant kid was right. It looked huge and was incredibly bright, I'd guess it was at angels 20 which is so very wrong but my mind was tricked.

It appeared at the exact position predicted, tracked the predicted course and disappeared on schedule and I am still astounded. I could swear I heard the thing rumbling through the sky. Of course I didn't hear a thing but my brain filled in the blanks. Amazing stuff. I am a highly trained observer of things moving in the sky, thanks to Navy flight training, and I am still amazed at how my brain can react to things I see, even at this advanced age. I love being amazed.

Our minds try and make sense of things they weren't designed to understand, so they adjust what they see to what they know, which is fine. Our intellect teaches us how to delineate between what our instincts tell us we see and what our rational mind says it really is. Well, at least for most of us. I enjoy the dichotomy when it happens to me because it helps me understand how people can believe impossible things and like I said, I love being amazed.

Edited by Merc14

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Hi Merc I totally agree with you, the world (and the mind) are incredible things.

I love watching the sky at any time whether it's stars, planets, iss or other objects, got my first telescope about a month ago and I am expecting delivery of a night vision scope later today, so I'm hoping to get a closer view of all things around us.

Incidentally about 10 mins after I saw this object I saw another which had no lights on at all and was sort of triangular shaped. My initial thought was that it was a bat as there are a lot around here but it wasn't flapping like a bat, it was more like a bird gliding, so I presume it was a bird, would be great to highlight wildlife around here at night. I'm excited for this next project :-)

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Hi Merc I totally agree with you, the world (and the mind) are incredible things.

I love watching the sky at any time whether it's stars, planets, iss or other objects, got my first telescope about a month ago and I am expecting delivery of a night vision scope later today, so I'm hoping to get a closer view of all things around us.

Incidentally about 10 mins after I saw this object I saw another which had no lights on at all and was sort of triangular shaped. My initial thought was that it was a bat as there are a lot around here but it wasn't flapping like a bat, it was more like a bird gliding, so I presume it was a bird, would be great to highlight wildlife around here at night. I'm excited for this next project :-)

What telescope and night vision scope did you get?

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One thing that might help - if you go to flight tracker.com, they show the live flight tracker, you'll probably have to pay but I think

you can get the historical flight tracker too, so you could plot your location and see if anything flies outside of the original flight

corridors and corresponds with what you see.....could be worth a try!

You can view the flight history for the last 8 days for free on flightradar24, just click on playback in the upper left corner and select

a date. :yes:

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