Yes, one of the videos was definitely bug like. They were talking about the UFO flipping end over end, which many kinds of insects do while flying, like grasshoppers and flies caught in a gust of wind.
The thing that amazes me is how UFO is automatically equated with alien technology. There are probably legitimate UFO’s out there – meaning things that we can’t identify and are flying. Just because we can’t identify it doesn’t mean that it is alien.
I’ve been out of the UFOlogist loop, so I’ve been oblivious to trends. It’s encouraging, and I really hope skepticism is growing in this area.
Of course, the crappy footage out there and the repetition of known errors makes it harder for people like me to blog about it, since what’s there to say other than the lastest video being another bug, orbs from dust, or whatever. Heck, the “weather balloon” jab they do is pretty outdated.
Good points, Steve. I think the news station is also assuming that the object in question is the same thing in each clip (as you mentioned, it could be a bug in one shot, and a bird in another).
What’s frustrating me is the “Aviation expert” Steve Cowell, the “former commercial pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention counselor”? Is this guy unreliable? And then the reporter at the story kept saying “and it’s not a bug, it’s not a bug,” and “don’t say bug, it’s not a bug.” Is this a form of response-driven well-poisoning? Question-begging, perhaps?
“Another way to look at this is that as cameras and videos have become ubiquitous, one would think that if UFOs were a real alien phenomenon we would start to see an increasing amount of genuine and compelling digital evidence. This has not occurred, …”
Really? Which particular longitudinal study on the quality of videographic UFO evidence are you refering to? Or are you simply guessing?
Collin, specifically, here’s what the reporter, Heidi Hemmat, said at the end of the report: “And it’s not a bug. People keep saying it’s a bug; it’s not a bug. That’s another one that he said, definitely not an insect.” And referring to the viewer tip line, she said, “I’m sure they will, but don’t say bugs, ’cause it’s not that.”
Also, the anchorman introduced the story with this: “A strange object, caught on camera flying over the city, and nobody — I mean nobody — can explain what it is…”
Seriously, these reporters have been told by so many people that the objects are bugs that they are fully exasperated with people telling them they are bugs, yet no one can explain what the phenomenon is? Interesting.
Finally, Heidi began the segment with this classic: “When I first saw this video, I have to admit I was skeptical.” Heidi, the next time you think you’re being skeptical, try consulting an actual, you-know, skeptic. They are abundant, right there is Denver. Would your story not have been better if at the end you showed an interview with a knowledgeable skeptic or “UFO investigator”, who even demonstrated how he could precisely replicate the video using — wait for it — bugs?
Anecdotally, though my experience is more limited in recent years, the quality of “lasting” UFO videos has been pretty consistently low despite the ubiquity of cameras and the increase in quality. The high quality ones that do exist usually get caught using using stock 3D objects, camera trickery, and such pretty quickly and then vanish. The low quality ones don’t have corroborating footage, which would be consistent with bug hypotheses and similar.
Last time I can recall encountering a UFOlogist, they linked to a bunch of YouTube videos that were slow motion pixelated closeups of dots against blue or black sky, with no comparison to the whole video where the zoom came from. Yeah, real convincing.
But again, what’s the story on the “Aviation expert,” Steve Cowell. They’re making an argument from authority with the “former commercial pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention counselor”? The objects the lens picks up are most likely bugs and birds, but why is this guy so naive?
davidsmith – fair point, my assessment is based on the fact that I have not seen such evidence, despite the fact that I regularly look for it and have a large audience of people who regularly send me such evidence (so I have a wide net of capture).
I think it is fair for me to say that if anyone claims that the increase in availability of cameras and videos has resulted in an increase in evidence for alien spacecraft, they have the burden of showing that this is the case. No one, to my knowledge, has done that.
A thorough survey would be best, either way. I am not aware of any, but will look again.
“Really? Which particular longitudinal study on the quality of videographic UFO evidence are you refering to? Or are you simply guessing?”
Steve, I think you’re being more accommodating to this point than you need to be.
I don’t need a study t say that video capture devices of all sorts have become more common and better in quality, and I don’t need a study to say that we have no video proof of alien craft, bigfoot, ghosts, chubacabra, nessy etc.
I think that the ‘UFO’ subculture is, among other things, based upon a particular (unwarranted) assumption. It is the assumption that the meaning of the term ‘Unidentified Flying Object’ equals ‘extraterrestrial artifact’, ‘flying saucer’ or, at the very least, ‘unexplained phenomenon’.
In fact, saying that something is a UFO, by definition, merely means that it is something that flies and cannot be identified at the moment.
People see things that fly and that cannot readily be identified all the time. An insect is not just ‘mistaken’ for UFO, it IS a UFO (again by definition) for anyone who does not recognize that it is an insect – after being recognized, of course, it ceases to be a UFO. Same may be said of distant aircraft, unusual clouds or planets in the sky.
In other words, UFO is a relational term – it is dependent on the observer/reporter being unable to identify it at the time.
The problem is that to members of the UFO community the term means something other than just a thing that flies and is not recognized. And this is, of course, their ‘weakest link’ – the proposition ‘if you are not being able to say exactly what an object is, and it flies, then the object in question must necessarily be an alien spacecraft’ contains a clearly notable distortion of logic. Clearly notable, that is, for those who think sufficiently clearly to be able to note.
There is, therefore, an amusing twist to the question ‘Do you believe in UFOs?’ A true skeptic can also rightfully define him/herself as a ‘UFO believer’ – one that honestly believes that UFOs are just what their name says – no more and no less. And those that consider themselves ‘UFO believers’ may also be designated ‘skeptics’, since they are skeptical about UFOs being just UFOs (as defined).
I watched the video at the TV station website, and saw 1 bird and about a dozen insects. The so-called “Aviation Expert” they interviewed was not an aerospace engineer or aircraft designer, but a former airline pilot. Hardly an expert witness.
DLC – I agree, I thought I saw one bird as well. The rest are obvious insects, probably bees. Bees tend to be most active at midday, and these “UFOs” are also most active at midday. Probably not a coincidence.
There is, therefore, an amusing twist to the question ‘Do you believe in UFOs?’ A true skeptic can also rightfully define him/herself as a ‘UFO believer’ – one that honestly believes that UFOs are just what their name says – no more and no less.
That’s one reason why I like to say I don’t believe in “alien visitation.” The other factor is that if you say you believe in aliens, they assume you’re talking about the Greys riding around Earth’s atmosphere in flying saucers, and not, say, a high likelihood of bacteria on various planets scattered around the universe and maybe one sapient species or two in distant galaxies.
I don’t usually pay any attention to UFO stories; so this is my unrefined view:
It seems the Fox people put together a good story (meaning good for ratings)- they have film footage and they have an ‘expert’ who has declared the objects to be UFO’s. The story has been covered in blogs and even discovery.com has chimed in.
Interesting to me–
It seems the people who have watched the original footage on television quality monitors don’t think the images were made by bugs. They could be wrong obviously, but they probably have the best view of the situation.
When I look at the video I see dots moving on the screen and I wonder if this is a new form of Rorschach test.
Anyway, I don’t know what those dots are. I have lots of ideas about what they could be– certainly bugs would be in the running, but I don’t know for sure.
I’ll bet you could make a video like this using any number of things– bugs, dust, video artifacts,… and that proves what, exactly?
That it could be any number of things.
Now I think this a perfect example of ‘unidentified flying objects’. It might not be possible to ever determine what made each of those dots.
So I think if someone asks if there are UFO’s, I will use this as a fine example.
Oh, and I will point-out that if someone knows it is an alien craft, then it isn’t a UFO.
As an aside– I’m betting the reporter Heidi’s career is helped by this. What the stations want is ratings– and she has created a buzz with this one.
If I’m right, that video was shot from a farm field. Many people would think such a place to be desolate of life, but in truth there would be many animals and insects about. Particularly around planting or harvesting season, when fresh seeds or waste material were to be had. Particularly bees, which would be nearby anyway, for pollination purposes. I think what we’re seeing here is a lot of credulous reporters coupled with a UFO-believer initial report coupled with a not-so-expert expert. The result — an uncritical look at people seeing what they want to see.