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Mysterious red trails captured on camera in North Carolina


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Just answer the question as requested. If you can, that is. The tactic of retorting questions with questions, while your usual MO, is rather embarrassing on your part.

Edited by Trelane
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Does anyone here have any idea how far away distant clouds are? Are they 5 kilometers away (3 miles)? Maybe they are 100 kilometers away (62 miles). Yeah that's probably it. Wrong! They could be up to 400 miles away. Well that is the max.

The point is that things we see in the sky might be much further away than we think.

One night I was teaching young how to camp. I pointed out clouds in the distance. I asked how far away the clouds were. I got answers from 10 to 20 miles. I told them 200 miles. Then I suggested that storms often average 60 miles an hour. So I stated, in 3 hours expect a downpour.  It hit within seconds of my 3 hour prediction. That was luck, total luck. The main idea was that I made a prediction based on science. The big idea to understand is that my numbers had error bars and those error bars constrained the precision of my result.

 

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

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@Earl.Of.Trumps and @stereologist - might I suggest placing each other on ignore if you can't post together in a thread without insulting one another.

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So how far away are these lights that are seen in the videos? I checked the location of the videos and discovered how far away the turning lights probably are. I also learned that my guess that the camera was looking out to the Atlantic was incorrect.

 

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I'm a bit time challenged right at this moment, but will be back when life calms down...

In the meantime, here's another timelapse of the shipwreck, same photographer.  Kudos to him on these videos - they are wonderful.  I might use this one to determine the orientation of the ship so we can better understand what things were in the field of view of the camera in the original video.

wow...

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11 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

I'm a bit time challenged right at this moment, but will be back when life calms down...

In the meantime, here's another timelapse of the shipwreck, same photographer.  Kudos to him on these videos - they are wonderful.  I might use this one to determine the orientation of the ship so we can better understand what things were in the field of view of the camera in the original video.

wow...

If we assume that the video is not in reverse order, i.e. time is moving forward int he video then the rising of the stars over the horizon tells us that the video is looking southeast. I have been having trouble to figure out the constellations because the stars do not appear as they do to the human eye. I suspect that the bright object seen later in the video is the Moon.

Below is a screen capture from Stellarium. I circled 3 objects that I believe are seen in the video over the ship.

image.png.1ff35ea91217c0c787dfcc1c2dae31d3.png

You can disregard the planets in the Stellarium image. I was looking for the selected dust lane and then stars after that.

image.png.452e6eee5f7eac57ade6b59744149a74.png

 

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Forgot to mention that the screen capture is from 32 seconds into the video

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I'm not sure when I'll get enough time to continue, but yep, Stereo, that was the sort of approach I'd take, although there are some even better clues amongst these images.  One shows circular star trails around Polaris, so we can easily identify true North from that, and another shows a sunrise, so again programs like Stellarium can tell us the exact bearing of the sun in that location at that time of year (for those who don't know, the Sun doesn't rise exactly East - it varies according to location and season).  You're right, that was the moon, btw.

It's fun being a detective...  Note that as you said, there are provisos - you need to be sure about sunrises v. sunsets :) , and also the slim possibility that the sky / starry background can in fact be added later from a separate set of images.. (I don't think this applies here, plus others have done similar timelapses so we can cross check..)  Also, we need to take into account that the shipwreck may move... Again I don't think this applies here as it was pretty solidly and deeply buried..

 

I'll be back when I can - for now, work beckons, :( ...  Does anyone have any issues with what has been done so far?

Edited by ChrLzs
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Sidenote - at the moment I'm going to do the analysis while (initially) utterly ignoring quite a bit of information that is available from the photographer about the scene and the images and the camera settings.  That is a choice I've made, as it puts the onus on me to use more of the potential tools and references that can be used by *anyone* who wants to check/verify/analyse images, and that then gives me the chance to show off those tools and how to use them, and also hopefully show how good or bad my techniques (and assumptions) are...

I'm always wanting to learn new stuff, so if you have better ways to achieve results, feel free to interrupt!

So.. all in all, with a bit of luck, even the terminally unteachable might get something out of it...  I can live in hope.

 

Let's move on.  First up, let's see if we can locate the shipwrecked vessel.  First up, it's GONE, so there's no point in zooming in on Google maps... :(   The local authorities have gone in with earthmoving equipment and removed it leaving no visible trace it was ever there...  That process took place in October/November 2021, finalised on 15 Nov.  The shipwreck happened in March 2020.  As far as I can tell, there is no easily accessible satellite or aircraft imagery of that area while the wreck was there.  Dang.  If you know of any, I'd be delighted to see it.

Anyway, I looked up various websites to compare descriptions of the location (like this one):

https://www.obxtoday.com/updated-ocean-pursuit-shipwreck-removed-from-bodie-island-spit/

I was hoping to get a latitude and longitude, but after looking at several websites for that info, I gave up.  Anybody else find it?

So I went with the descriptions of where it was, and the consensus seems to be it was on the beach (obviously) about half a mile south of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ramp 4 (ORV4), which is just north of the newly built (2019) Marc Basnight Bridge (formerly Herbert Bonner Bridge).  The wreck was on what’s known as the Bodie Island Spit in North Carolina, on the coast facing the Atlantic.  Note that doesn't mean the vessel or the photos were necessarily facing the Atlantic..!  

So, here's my best guess:

00_OceanPursuit_location.jpg.cbaefa5f4ffce98dadc0fb00418bdd02.jpg

I've gone a little further than half a mile south of the ORV4 carpark, as several descriptions suggested it was further.  I don't think it makes a huge difference - it's the orientation of the vessel and the position and orientation of the camera that is more important, but I'll get onto all that later.  For now, I shall pause and you, dear reader, can let me know if you agree or disagree.  If the latter, please explain exactly why...

Also, if my description of how I got to this point is not clear enough, ie googling "Ocean Pursuit wreck" and looking at a variety of websites and then using Google maps to identify the location, let me know... :) 

I shall return on the weekend to proceed..

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Moving on (sorry it's slow and perhaps over-narrated, but I want to explain and justify everything I do.  Just look at the pretty pictures if you're not interested in the waffle...)

Next, I want to determine the angle of the boat (and then, the angle of the camera in the video of the OP).

In this respect we are lucky, because Wes Snyder, the videographer, has several time lapses we can look at (and he also appears to be VERY competent in his craft, and is offering quite a bit of information, which I'll come to right at the end of the process).

I want to get a couple of data points to help work out the orientation of the boat, so we can be pretty sure about where Wes's camera was pointing.  The first data point will use the North Star to help us, and here's a single frame from a different Wes Snyder video:
Polestar.jpg.ef5db0c8237a0ec45aedfb0059ea4bf3.jpg
Don't click it - it's just a still frame - but you can watch the video here:
https://www.facebook.com/wessnyderphotography/videos/capturing-the-ocean-pursuit-part-3-this-is-the-3rd-of-a-4-part-video-series-ive-/287134202293795/

Watch how the stars all circle around that one bright star - that star is at the North Celestial Pole and is called Polaris.  It's been used for millenia for navigating, as it is due North.  Note that the camera is pointing almost exactly North in this video.  But now look at the boat, if you look carefully, the prow is angled a bit towards the camera, but is pointing more to the left (West) by about 50-60 degrees...?  That's very rough, but it doesn't need to be that accurate - after all, it's my first data point only.  I'm going to use another video to pin it down more accurately (but that will be in the next post..).

So, my first rough data point is an estimation that the boat is pointed roughly WSW.  -ish! :D   Again, comments and corrections welcome.  I truly am typing this out as I do it - I'm not cheating and pre-preparing the content, so it may be littered with errors!

Be back later....

Edited by ChrLzs
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A brief continuation..  From that same video, you'll find frames like this one, showing the exact moment of dawn, ie sunrise:
OceanPursuit_angle_dawn.jpg.98685e28ce2ecd3925183409ca27fd84.jpg
Now, for those that aren't all that familiar with planetary orbits and sunrises and related stuff.....

For any given latitude, the sun rises at a different azimuth (ie direction) depending on the time of year - in other words, it drifts somewhat and only on a couple of days is it exactly East.  This time lapse video was made in May 2020, and by using a planetarium program like Stellarium, we can easily virtually visit the location and take a look where the Sun would have been when it rose at that time of year (I can give more details if anyone is a bit lost).  Anyways, the direction of sunrise around that date from that latitude is just a shade eastwards of exactly ENE.  You'll remember in the last post I already suggested from my first data point that it looked as if the boat was pointing WSW-ish.  And now, if you look carefully at the image we have a nice second data point and very obviously the stern (rear) of the boat is pointing almost exactly at the rising sun.  Ie ENE, out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Verified!

Now I could get some more data points from freeze framing the starry background, but in my not so humble opinion, the precise angle isn't that important, and I think you'll see why shortly as we look at those distant lights and try to work out what they represent.. 

Next post I'll try to pin down the sources of the distant lights, and also introduce the topic of time lapse and how we can work out just what speed the time-lapse playback is running at, compared to real-time (obviously it is much faster than real time..).  We'll also be looking at how time lapse actually works, and how easily an amateur can be misled (as witnessed by certain posts in this thread.....).  Time lapses differ in two very distinct ways from realtime video.  It's not as simple as you might think, but don't worry, I know how to pin it all down (and hopefully explain it in terms that will make sense...).

 

Gee, I hope @Earl.Of.Trumps will join in later, so we can discuss his earlier posts about the velocity of the flying lights.... :D 

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18 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

Gee, I hope @Earl.Of.Trumps will join in later, so we can discuss his earlier posts about the velocity of the flying lights.... :D 

And, uhh... this is supposed to be meaningful to me? :huh:

Be still my heart!

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6 minutes ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

And, uhh... this is supposed to be meaningful to me? :huh:

Be still my heart!

Perhaps it would, but your posting track record exhibits conglomerate aspects of dementia, Alzheimer's, Dunning-Kruger and mental retardation, so that might be a factor. 

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15 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

Perhaps it would, but your posting track record exhibits conglomerate aspects of dementia, Alzheimer's, Dunning-Kruger and mental retardation, so that might be a factor. 

 

Personal attack MARKER# 1, for mods.

 

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1 minute ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

 

Personal attack MARKER# 1, for mods.

 

Just answer the question as requested. It should be rather easy considering your certainty of opinion.

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Just to clarify, Earl made several posts earlier in the thread, including these 'interesting' statements of supposed fact...

Quote

..They are faster than the regular aircraft..
..At their speed - faster than regular aircraft, I would suggest that these crafts are not waiting to land. They would have to be circling slowly to be that..
..look at the first red one at the 23 second mark. it makes the tight circle going faster than the plane that just flew past (going right to left in video)  That's obvious

We asked him to provide his workings out.  He seems to have forgotten this interchange, and as usual, his statements remain unsupported.  And utterly WRONG, as Stereo pointed out, and I'm about to prove conclusively as part of my ongoing look in depth at the video.

 

Now me ... I would just say 'whoops, I'm in error, I apologise and thanks for teaching me the correct way to work out actual velocities'.  I'm capable of learning............

Edited by ChrLzs
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1 hour ago, ChrLzs said:

Just to clarify, Earl made several posts earlier in the thread, including these 'interesting' statements of supposed fact...

We asked him to provide his workings out.  He seems to have forgotten this interchange, and as usual, his statements remain unsupported.  And utterly WRONG, as Stereo pointed out, and I'm about to prove conclusively as part of my ongoing look in depth at the video.

 

Now me ... I would just say 'whoops, I'm in error, I apologise and thanks for teaching me the correct way to work out actual velocities'.  I'm capable of learning............

I would point out that I knew quite well about the difference between apparent speed and actual speed. I guessed about distances, and the mm of the lens (which can tell us about the angle of the view). My guesses about the numbers were wrong as we shall see. The difference between apparent and actual speeds is not wrong but a consequence of projection.

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2 hours ago, stereologist said:

I would point out that I knew quite well about the difference between apparent speed and actual speed. I guessed about distances, and the mm of the lens (which can tell us about the angle of the view). My guesses about the numbers were wrong as we shall see. The difference between apparent and actual speeds is not wrong but a consequence of projection.

Well, I don't think that your guesses were far wrong (I haven't run the numbers yet, so honestly I don't really have a good feel for the distances yet), and of course the principles you espoused were absolutely correct (and apparently unknown to Earl).  While there may be some debatable assumptions and probably large error ranges, there are a lot of helpful clues, eg:

- what regional airports/military bases might be in the field of view of the original video.

- what angular (apparent) velocities are actually being shown by the time lapse, and thus what actual range of velocities would result, after correction on the estimated / calculated distance. On that, here's a little hint for Earl - that footage is running at somewhere over 10 times the actual speed (although with time lapse it's not just a simple multiplication as THREE things affect it, namely the exposure time (or shutter speed for each frame), the interval between frames, AND the playback rate.  So when you say it looks fast... well, at 10x+, yes, it should...

- the color of those lights....  sometimes, distance haze can actually be helpful and aid in working stuff out...

I probably should deal with the time lapse issue next, but I think I'll continue to tease, and leave it until last.  So next up I'm planning to go back to the original footage as now we can work out exactly which way the camera was pointing...

 

Once again, if anyone sees any problems in - or doesn't understand - what I've posted so far, please let me know.  I don't claim to be the authority here, and I'm very open to be shown new stuff, or the error of my ways.  That includes you Earl - have you now remembered your earlier posts?  Or would you like to claim that your account here was hacked...? :D 

Edited by ChrLzs
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15 hours ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

 

Personal attack MARKER# 1, for mods.

 

You can't differentiate between your posts and your own self?

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On 2/1/2022 at 9:44 PM, preacherman76 said:

With it being time lapsed, I guess it could be anything. Helicopter maybe?  Really cool looking effects though. 

A flock of geese that had just eaten a vindaloo? 

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On 2/12/2022 at 5:47 PM, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

 

Personal attack MARKER# 1, for mods.

 

 

On 2/12/2022 at 4:49 PM, onlookerofmayhem said:

Perhaps it would, but your posting track record exhibits conglomerate aspects of dementia, Alzheimer's, Dunning-Kruger and mental retardation, so that might be a factor. 

And he lies, i probed that with his bs about geller on carson, he tried to blame me for calling out his lie, he tried to play poor victim.

 

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If the person who recorded this and intends to record it again, it would be great to have a clock positioned in the frame so that we can not only time it but see the time of day it occurs, and also a GPS location of where the camera is positioned, along with a compass bearing the camera is pointing towards.

That way it would provide a lot of evidence and methods to work out what it may be to rule out more obvious things. The more data available the better. Not easy when its a random sighting but being that it was set up and recorded multiple times that makes it easier to record the data.
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