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Strange Lights above Canberra 03/01/16


Dr.Brian
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A video has surfaced of purported ball lightning being filmed in Canberra, Australia during a thunderstorm.

There are multiple things wrong with this video, but I'll post this and then discuss.

This has become quite the story quickly in the national media: http://www.abc.net.a...ghtning/7066414

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Before people get carried away about the news reports that this is a genuine event I have attached some photos of the purported flashes of the ball lightning. Does anyone see anything odd about these?

post-154735-0-05372000-1452014465_thumb.

post-154735-0-81981000-1452014472_thumb.

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I don't see anything odd beyond the phenomenon itself being odd and the aurora like colors in the sky while it appears to be cloudy (can't see the A-B with an overcast sky). Honestly, I haven't seen .enough ball lightning to call this real or hoaxed

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I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, that's where the wormhole to another dimension is at.

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Hmm.

If the light source would be such strong that it even would iluminate the house side thats in oposite direction to the light source,

then there would be shadows visible, like from the bushes on the left side. And the far away city lights do not change their

intenseness while the big light shine so I would say the vid is doctored.

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Hmm.

If the light source would be such strong that it even would iluminate the house side thats in oposite direction to the light source,

then there would be shadows visible, like from the bushes on the left side. And the far away city lights do not change their

intenseness while the big light shine so I would say the vid is doctored.

I watched it again after reading your comments and it looks like it's much farther off in the distance and is illuminating the hillside on the far side of town. It looks pretty legit to me and I think it's a great catch. I've heard of ball lightning but never seen it before.

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I found astronomer Brad Tucker's statements a bit bizarre. He takes way too many facts and assumptions off a simple youtube video. A bit irresponsible in my opinion.

When Tucker says "It's always hard to discredit aliens, but I think they would probably visit somewhere more active than Canberra coming back from holidays." That is a WTF kind of statement, seriously?

At the end of the article they get a statement from a weather forecaster who makes a much better and conservative statement.

Forecaster Sean Carson said while he was speculating, he agreed that the light could be ball lightning.

"It's pretty amazing, no doubt about it," he said.

"There were obviously thunderstorms at the time, so lightning is all I can think of."

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Are there *any* other reports of this, other than this video (which I note has absolutely nothing in the way of technical info or comments from the person who took it..)?

Other than that, I'm not seeing major issues apart from the sky colours, which could just be from too much color saturation either in the camera settings or post-proc. It's certainly not an aurora, but storm conditions can create weird colorings in clouds esp. if the sun is not too long set, plus you can get colors from ground lighting..

As for shadows, well, this isn't a small source of light so you shouldn't expect to see defined shadows. I can envisage not so much 'ball' lightning, but more that one of the 'arms' of a large in-cloud lightning discharge could have aligned itself towards the camera - it could give an effect like that shown. Note that I haven't done a frame by frame check to eliminate the possibility that the 'brightening' effect was added.. Frankly the whole thing wouldn't be a particularly difficult thing to fake.

So, is it faked? Dunno, but will be interested to hear Dr B's misgivings. The thing that *least* impresses me is the fact that this seems to be the only report - the only witness for such an impressive looking effect? Hmm. Hmmmmmm.

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...When Tucker says "It's always hard to discredit aliens, but I think they would probably visit somewhere more active than Canberra coming back from holidays." That is a WTF kind of statement, seriously?

LOL!

It's a Canberra inside joke. He's a local, being interviewed by local media, so it doesn't surprise me he'd insert a local joke.

The thing is that this time of year a substantial proportion of the population go on holidays, usually down to the coast, so Canberra's often referred to as a ghost town at this time of year. Plus the only pollies in town are the local members - the rest have gone back to their homes. Hence, if aliens really did visit the capital city of Australia they came at the wrong time of year to meet our national leaders.

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Having had a longer and audio-enabled look, I smell/hear a rat. This *looks* like it was webcam footage, and yet it has clear sounds of people / children playing and wind blowing into a mike, but no reactions to the flash, and no sounds of thunder that I could detect... the sound doesn't seem to belong to the scene.. There is also a low-frequency buzz that happens about a second or two after the thing dies - that sounds fake..

Webcams don't usually have sound, and if he was deliberately filming this - why? Yes, it could be to catch lightning, but with this sort of cloud-to-cloud 'sheet' lightning the chances of a good shot are slim.

And those sky colours...the weird coloured donut at the end, the fact that the blob is EXACTLY centred in the field of view (wow what a coincidence! almost like he knew it would be there..) and of course no comments from the owner..?

(Still haven't gone thru it frame by frame. Given all the above and that it isn't corroborated by even a single other witness report, then it just ain't worth the time..)

Overall, now I'm a lot less inclined to buy this. And I gotta ask, how come any 'respected' news agency would run with this without getting a single corroborating report, or an interview with the owner? It seems being on YouTwit is enough...

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Great footage, with a nice steady camera for once! lol :tu: Not often ball lightning is caught like this, definitely gives a dramatic display! Must admit it is perfectly framed, perhaps too perfectly if I may play devil's advocate? Well if it is genuine, great, if not....why bother?

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My impression from watching this several times is.... hold on, wait for it... CGI. Why?

1: I am a VFX and 3D generalist and can easily do things like this.

2: The fact that some people actually make a good living out of their youtube channel and need to feed it with mysterious crap to keep the traffic and earn money.

When you take 2 values into an equation, money and humans, you know you have to be really careful about what those values are trying to convince you about.

3: Where are the other surveillance camera videos? i guess there are more than 1000 cameras in Canberra which should have this in part of their frame and picked this up too. And as Silent Trinity mentioned, maybe too nicely framed in the middle.

Edited by Captain Dumbass
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My impression from watching this several times is.... hold on, wait for it... CGI. Why?

1: I am a VFX and 3D generalist and can easily do things like this.

2: The fact that some people actually make a good living out of their youtube channel and need to feed it with mysterious crap to keep the traffic and earn money.

When you take 2 values into an equation, money and humans, you know you have to be really careful about what those values are trying to convince you about.

3: Where are the other surveillance camera videos? i guess there are more than 1000 cameras in Canberra which should have this in part of their frame and picked this up too. And as Silent Trinity mentioned, maybe too nicely framed in the middle.

But there is nothing extraterrestrial or otherworldly about this, IMHO, except for the halo at the end which I thought could be an artifact on the camera but ChrLzs didn't say or something that is part of the natural phenomenon which now seems more likely. You can even hear the rumble of far of thunder in the background although it is somewhat masked by the wind.

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But there is nothing extraterrestrial or otherworldly about this, IMHO, except for the halo at the end which I thought could be an artifact on the camera but ChrLzs didn't say or something that is part of the natural phenomenon which now seems more likely. You can even hear the rumble of far of thunder in the background although it is somewhat masked by the wind.

Who are talking about extra terrestrials? what did i miss?

My previous comment is just my opinion. It might change with more physical evidence but never by other peoples arguments ;-)

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Who are talking about extra terrestrials? what did i miss?

My previous comment is just my opinion. It might change with more physical evidence but never by other peoples arguments ;-)

My point was why fake it as there doesn't appear to be anything that would sell on someone's YouTube channel. The person who originally posted it has only that one post on YouTube, although the fringe sights are now going after it, so seemingly no profit margin to maintain. Just an interesting weather phenomenon they captured and posted is my thinking. I would like to hear from real meteorologists on what they think caused that halo at the end. Maybe some kind of charge applied to the surrounding clouds? An afterimage in the camera?

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Besides staring at the video and arguing over whose opinion is right or wrong let's look at some actual facts. Fact 1; the aurora seems a bit fishy here. In order for Canberra to experience an aurora nearly overhead it would have to be a 9 on the Kp scale. There was nothing even close to this on the night in question. Not only this, but it is overcast and one would not be able to see an aurora like this under cloudy conditions. One of these so called "experts" who examined the video stated that the aurora could have been created by the thunderstorm. First, there is no precedence for this happening anywhere ever and auroras are not created from ground level to 30,000 feet. Second, the aurora suddenly disappears at the end of the video. This also has no precedence as auroras don't just "turn off" like a light switch that dramatically.

Fact 2; the lightning taking place is behind and to the sides of the person filming. You can tell this by the shadows that are appearing on the building as well as any object facing specific directions. When the "ball lightning" occurs the shadows are very similar to the lightning shots of before. Before you jump and argue do a simple test; take something opaque and block the top of the video and only watch the ground, trees, and the building as the lightning flashes. When the "ball lightning" hits you will not be able to tell from the shadows. Since the "ball lightning" is out in front of the viewer and much lower than than lightning in the sky you would expect to see long shadows from the trees and more darkness from the building and the objects facing the camera; we don't. When the "ball lightning" appears there are two flashes. The first one is very quick and the second one, also fast, is a little brighter. When looking at both as stills you can see long shadows suddenly appear on the building as they should in the second photo, but not the first. To me, it looks as if these shadows were brushed in to the video. Besides the perfect setup being a bit too miraculous to have aurora appear out of nowhere during a storm and the camera being centered on the "ball lightning" I might have believed it all had it not been for the cartoonish smoke ring when the "ball lightning" disappeared.

Click here to see an example of the lightning flash as well as stills of the first and second "ball lightning" flash.

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Australian Astronomer Brad Tucker has had a look at it and figures ball lightning is the best explanation along with a generated aurora.

LINK - ABC News 'Strange light' above Canberra probably ball lightning, astronomer says

Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker said the red and green light which glowed faintly in the background was "characteristic of an aurora" however believed this time it was ball lightning.

"An aurora is when energy from the sun hits the earth's atmosphere, the energy rubs the earth's atmosphere with friction and charges the gas," he said.

"But the problem is there was no activity from the sun, it was cloudy, we can't see the aurora, so it doesn't really fit."

Dr Tucker said in this case, the energy to create an aurora probably came from the thunderstorm itself.

"The same activity that causes an aurora, can actually happen inside our atmosphere if you have a storm with a lot of electrical charge that is rubbing against the gases in our atmosphere, causing it to grow that green or red colour," he said.

"Sometimes, if you get a really interesting occurrence, you create something called 'ball lightning'.

"Normally lightning strikes up and down hitting the ground, but ball lightning is a weird thing where it appears as a ball explosion, sometimes it can even move around in the sky."

Ball lightning had been reported to occur "more often in Australia than elsewhere".

Mr tucker was good enough to comment on the alien angle as well ;)

It's always hard to discredit aliens, but I think they would probably visit somewhere more active than Canberra.

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The problem with Mr Tucker's opinion is that it completely accepts that this is a genuine video - I would question his abilities to spot hoaxed imagery.

Also, there's a big problem when he says thunderstorms can create aurora-like effects - the greenish and reddish tints are generally accepted NOT to be an electrical effect, but more to do with light dispersion. And that doesn't explain the donut at the end - can Brad direct us to an example where this effect has been recorded before?

Initially I thought there might be something to this, but the biggest problem is that NO-ONE else, as far as I can see, has reported the alleged event. Just the mysterious, vanishingly non-existent "Johnson Thompson" whose only contribution to society seems to be this one video...

Johnson Thompson, google your name and then come on over and let's talk....

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Besides staring at the video and arguing over whose opinion is right or wrong let's look at some actual facts. Fact 1; the aurora seems a bit fishy here. In order for Canberra to experience an aurora nearly overhead it would have to be a 9 on the Kp scale. There was nothing even close to this on the night in question. Not only this, but it is overcast and one would not be able to see an aurora like this under cloudy conditions. One of these so called "experts" who examined the video stated that the aurora could have been created by the thunderstorm. First, there is no precedence for this happening anywhere ever and auroras are not created from ground level to 30,000 feet. Second, the aurora suddenly disappears at the end of the video. This also has no precedence as auroras don't just "turn off" like a light switch that dramatically.

Fact 2; the lightning taking place is behind and to the sides of the person filming. You can tell this by the shadows that are appearing on the building as well as any object facing specific directions. When the "ball lightning" occurs the shadows are very similar to the lightning shots of before. Before you jump and argue do a simple test; take something opaque and block the top of the video and only watch the ground, trees, and the building as the lightning flashes. When the "ball lightning" hits you will not be able to tell from the shadows. Since the "ball lightning" is out in front of the viewer and much lower than than lightning in the sky you would expect to see long shadows from the trees and more darkness from the building and the objects facing the camera; we don't. When the "ball lightning" appears there are two flashes. The first one is very quick and the second one, also fast, is a little brighter. When looking at both as stills you can see long shadows suddenly appear on the building as they should in the second photo, but not the first. To me, it looks as if these shadows were brushed in to the video. Besides the perfect setup being a bit too miraculous to have aurora appear out of nowhere during a storm and the camera being centered on the "ball lightning" I might have believed it all had it not been for the cartoonish smoke ring when the "ball lightning" disappeared.

Click here to see an example of the lightning flash as well as stills of the first and second "ball lightning" flash.

I tried blocking off the top half and the questions that are hard to answer are how large is the ball lightning itself and what is its real location? I once again go back to the why of hoaxing this? Painting in shadows and such for what? To fake an interesting weather event? Ball lightning is not a huge ball of electricity it is relatively small in size and localized. It can travel and mostly does from my limited knowledge but I am thinking this happened fairly close to the camera.

Could that halo be an artifact form such bright light hitting the CCD? Could it be from the electrical discharge? Surprisingly the astronomers and others haven't commented on that halo, which is odd as that is the one thing I found really odd about this video.. Maybe ChrLzs will check back in and take a closer look at the halo

The problem with Mr Tucker's opinion is that it completely accepts that this is a genuine video - I would question his abilities to spot hoaxed imagery.

Also, there's a big problem when he says thunderstorms can create aurora-like effects - the greenish and reddish tints are generally accepted NOT to be an electrical effect, but more to do with light dispersion. And that doesn't explain the donut at the end - can Brad direct us to an example where this effect has been recorded before?

Initially I thought there might be something to this, but the biggest problem is that NO-ONE else, as far as I can see, has reported the alleged event. Just the mysterious, vanishingly non-existent "Johnson Thompson" whose only contribution to society seems to be this one video...

Johnson Thompson, google your name and then come on over and let's talk....

Back! Could that halo be a camera artifact? JT's lack of presemcne is kind of like mine, I posted that ISS video and maybe one ither for convenience, at least that is my excuse.

Also,ball lightning is ridiculously hard to catch so the lack of other witnesses or images may not be a big deal.

Edited by Merc14
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I tried blocking off the top half and the questions that are hard to answer are how large is the ball lightning itself and what is its real location? I once again go back to the why of hoaxing this? Painting in shadows and such for what? To fake an interesting weather event? Ball lightning is not a huge ball of electricity it is relatively small in size and localized. It can travel and mostly does from my limited knowledge but I am thinking this happened fairly close to the camera.

Could that halo be an artifact form such bright light hitting the CCD? Could it be from the electrical discharge?

Nope to both. Or at least not according to my experience with optical/digital artefacts. Optically, you can have lots of different lens flares, but they depend on -and exist only while- the bright object that creates them is there, they don't persist.. And the image was focused via an optical lens - there is nothing that could somehow focus an electrical discharge or EMF in such a way as to align with the optical image - that just doesn't make sense.

There are some sensor effects that might persist after a bright light, but they would be in vertical/horizontal lines or exactly where the brightest area was, not in a donut shape around it. That was either in the real scene or created artificially, imnsho.

Surprisingly the astronomers and others haven't commented on that halo, which is odd as that is the one thing I found really odd about this video.. Maybe ChrLzs will check back in and take a closer look at the halo

I think that astronomer (singular - have you seen anyone else?) was asked for a quick opinion and only had a short time to look, and to think..

JT's lack of presemcne is kind of like mine, I posted that ISS video and maybe one ither for convenience, at least that is my excuse.

Yeah but you post lots of stuff, and you are contactable - JT has absolutely ZERO other presence, and when you add that to a video for which there is ZERO supporting information, and then not a single report from anyone else.. I smell dead fish.

ball lightning is ridiculously hard to catch so the lack of other witnesses or images may not be a big deal.

Maybe I'm odd, but on nights like this I love to watch the sky - had I spotted something weird, I'd be looking for videos and then posting my supporting comments - "yeah I saw that too!!!". No-one has done that. Not a soul. (And if they do it now, I'll bet it was JT who read this and thort "I better fix that.."...

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Nope to both. Or at least not according to my experience with optical/digital artefacts. Optically, you can have lots of different lens flares, but they depend on -and exist only while- the bright object that creates them is there, they don't persist.. And the image was focused via an optical lens - there is nothing that could somehow focus an electrical discharge or EMF in such a way as to align with the optical image - that just doesn't make sense.

There are some sensor effects that might persist after a bright light, but they would be in vertical/horizontal lines or exactly where the brightest area was, not in a donut shape around it. That was either in the real scene or created artificially, imnsho.

I think that astronomer (singular - have you seen anyone else?) was asked for a quick opinion and only had a short time to look, and to think..

Yeah but you post lots of stuff, and you are contactable - JT has absolutely ZERO other presence, and when you add that to a video for which there is ZERO supporting information, and then not a single report from anyone else.. I smell dead fish.

Maybe I'm odd, but on nights like this I love to watch the sky - had I spotted something weird, I'd be looking for videos and then posting my supporting comments - "yeah I saw that too!!!". No-one has done that. Not a soul. (And if they do it now, I'll bet it was JT who read this and thort "I better fix that.."...

Thanks ChrLzs. The halo was the only thing I questioned and apparently I was right to question it. So the UM is what is that halo and if hoaxed, which is likely, why fake it? What is the end game? It may be a wait and see game now.

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The problem with Mr Tucker's opinion is that it completely accepts that this is a genuine video - I would question his abilities to spot hoaxed imagery.

Also, there's a big problem when he says thunderstorms can create aurora-like effects - the greenish and reddish tints are generally accepted NOT to be an electrical effect, but more to do with light dispersion. And that doesn't explain the donut at the end - can Brad direct us to an example where this effect has been recorded before?

Initially I thought there might be something to this, but the biggest problem is that NO-ONE else, as far as I can see, has reported the alleged event. Just the mysterious, vanishingly non-existent "Johnson Thompson" whose only contribution to society seems to be this one video...

Johnson Thompson, google your name and then come on over and let's talk....

Fair comment, but the reasons people are calling for a hoax do not seem to be panning out, is there anything that stand out in this video that would indicate such?

I keep thinking of Fatima. Although it purportedly lasted a bit longer than this. About Ten Minutes.

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Later I might log into youtube and see if I can gently goad 'Johnson Thompson' into actually saying something... who knows, maybe we can migrate from there to asking him/her a question or two...

I won't be holding my breath..

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Later I might log into youtube and see if I can gently goad 'Johnson Thompson' into actually saying something... who knows, maybe we can migrate from there to asking him/her a question or two...

I won't be holding my breath..

rabbits-foot.jpg

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