Friday, May 20, 2011

More than Meets the Eye (UPDATES)

If you're like me, you'll periodically check out the countless YouTube videos screaming "ZOMG!!UFOZ!!!!." And if you're like me, 99 times out of 100 your reaction will be "get a frickin' life already."

Then there's this video.

The story is that there was a massive blowout of transformers in Fort Worth, Texas following a nasty thunderstorm. This video was shot from the 34th floor of the Tower Apartments in the downtown area. The explosions are shocking (no pun intended)- a seeming chain reaction lighting up the night sky. But there's also a whole lot of anomalous to look at here.

Or listen to- anyone who's witnessed a transformer explosion will tell you they're loud as hell. We get them around here during storms and they rattle the windows. However, you don't hear a single peep here. Well, you do hear peeps -- of birds. Which in itself is a trifle odd for the common flocks you get in urban areas. Then there's the spectrum of colors- from time to time there's a kind of rainbow effect. Maybe it's the residual moisture in the air, maybe not.

Then there are the hovering lights. They seem to coincide with the explosions. They're certainly not ball lightning. Some think they're lens flares (reasonable, though if you look closely they appear to be behind the flashes and are obscured by them), some think they're helicopters. The guy who shot the video says they're neither:
"Still working on that. Originally thought traffic helicopters were getting close for a look, but they all say not in a thunderstorm and nobody has come forward with any videos from above the area."
Now, as I've said many times in the past, lights in the sky are just lights until proven otherwise. But in light of the anomalous situation we're looking at here (you feel its strangeness too), I'm starting to lean towards otherwise. What exactly is beyond my ken.

But it is worth noting that there's been a string of these transformer explosions across the country. The most recent was in Hoboken. A case of the nerves? Maybe. But there's also been a lot of weird in the air lately.

Bonus Sync: Oh, I forgot to mention. This building where this video was shot? It's two blocks away from "The Flying Saucer."

UPDATE: Speaking of Fort Worth. Can't say what this is either, but it's definitely not lens flares.

UPDATE: Good gravy- there's been a raging epidemic of transformer explosions. Thanks to Greg.

UPDATE: Camerman disputes lens flare theory: "This video looks just like it did to us watching it in person. Amazing. I have 7 more videos with 3 lenses I will put up next week." Let's see what turns up.


  1. Somebody call Fringe Division!

    Seriously though... that is just weird. The only thing I can think of is that something failed badly in the power grid, resulting in a large overcurrent/overvoltage to that particular section. The lights could, I suppose, be different emission spectra of different metals in the transformers lighting up as they are vaporized by current spikes.

    I'd love to see a more up-close shot from someone down there, but I doubt anyone would have wanted to approach such a thing (and for good reason).

    I've never heard of anything like this.

    The real question is: what could cause the power grid to do this? I mean, grids have fuses and circuit breakers that are designed to kick power off in the event of a short circuit or dangerous transient pulse.

    Lights in the sky... and electromagnetic fields playing havoc with the power grid?

  2. the "lights in the sky" are definitely lens flares. you can tell because they bounce and move along with the camera (especially noticeable at about 0:18 and 2:00) another dead giveaway is, at several points there are actually two points of light aligned in a straight line from the "source light" (the explosion). there is one very bright point, and a fainter, larger point of light near the top of the image (for example, near 0:22)
    camera optics, especially cheap camera optics, can often react in strange and unexpected ways to bright light sources, creating all kinds of glints and flares. but always take care to notice how they move in relationship to how the camera moves.
    all that being said, the length, color, intensity, and sheer number of explosions is very strange indeed..

  3. That was my very first thought too, Travis. But there's no pattern- some especially intense flashes produce no flares and others do. What looks like secondary flares might also be reflections on the clouds- if you look again there seems to be a correspondce. Note also that the lights seem to be behind the flashes- that the flashes obscure the lights. Lensflares would be upfront. There's distance there. The guy who shot the video didn't think they were flares either.

  4. Chris. I enjoyed the article. Short but sweet. I'm glad this caught your attention. I looked at the video as well and got a very strange vibe, as you did. Anyone with any life experience knows these were NOT transformers going off. Not that many. Not with total silence and not in that fabulous spectrum of colors. After I pondered this a while I remembered something you said months ago. I considered that this fabulous light show might have been intended for someone viewing it from above. Given that possibility, the whole episode makes a lot more sense. If you want to send a coded, unmistakeable message to someone hovering about in the heavens...a flashing, colorful light show, visible for miles, just might do the trick. And Fort Worth's position on a map? Just about at the 33rd parallel. Cool.

  5. well, that's the thing with flares- they often behave in very strange ways. whether they appear or not depends on the intensity and angle of the flash in relation to the curvature of the lens. so sometimes even a slight movement of the camera or change in intensity of the light source will cause the flare to appear, disappear or change shape. ive worked with footage where the lens flares literally look different in every frame.

  6. Guys- this is just a one-off. Working on a longer piece over the weekend. Glad you enjoyed it.

    As to the flares, I'm not saying no, I'm saying there's no appreciable correspondence that sells me on it and the behavior is very odd. If anyone has some video with the same effect from known flares I'd love to see it. I'm not sold that those lesser flares at the top aren't caused by the lights themselves.

  7. lab 9 zapping them all over

  8. Fringe Evәnt is right AdamI

  9. btw, the Flying Saucer in Hosuton has the best beer selection in town

    I'm assuming they guy shooting the video thought they looked like helicopters with his naked eye so therefore they are not lens flares but maybe not

  10. I'm just hoping this is not a first taste of what the Sun has in store for us when it's activity peaks in December 2012 :-/

  11. I feel VERY strongly that the little dots in the sky above the bright flashes on the ground are lens flare.

    This is nothing more than an optical artifact from the glass lens. The shape of the lens this effect, and it is more profound in low light situations.

    The image of the tiny dots in the sky can be measured using a piece of paper and a pencil. I marked the paper with two lines that match the two dots in the sky.

    These two lines match up exactly with the two bright flares on the ground.

    The tiny dots are positioned on the direct opposite side of the center of the frame, an effect that is normal given the round lens shape and the shape of the glass that makes up the lens.

    When ever the dots show up, it is at the exact instant of the brightest flashes. Each flash is positioned on the opposite side of the frame from the exact center point.

    PLEASE KNOW - I think that the issue of these transformer explosions is VERY strange, but the small dots that show up in the sky on the video are nothing more than lens flare.

  12. Interesting, but we are all waiting for your thoughts on the THOR film; it had ATT all over it.

  13. Again, the cameraman said it's not lens flare and if you watch the whole video there's no consistent pattern. He's going to put more videos up- let's wait to see them before any judgment is rendered.

    I still haven't seen Thor yet. Too busy.

  14. Beautiful transformer show. Crazy to see so many of them. I remember when a transformer blew outside my girlfriend's house years ago-- unbelievable. It really did look like something out of Close Encounters.

    I'd have to concur with lens flare though. Certainly seems to match.

  15. thanks for validating me, Mike. :) the lights do line up with the light source exactly as lens flares do, and they are only there when an explosion is brightest. unfortunately you cant really 'prove' theyre lens flares with so little camera movement, but they definitely look that way to me.
    once again, this is not to discount the whole light show, which is certainly very strange!

  16. Is anyone interested in what the cameraman said? There's no geometric pattern to these bursts that I can see or correspondence to the intensity of the flares. Personally I'm leaning towards some kind of weird superheated plasma bursts but I'm going to wait to see what the new footage shows. I'd love to see if any other anomalous data showed up that night over the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

  17. when i first saw them earlier this week i was leaning towards emp weaponry but i tend to think some weather anomalies are warfare so what do i know

  18. I'd love to hear what Walter Bishop thinks about all this ;)

  19. The UFO video is 3-4 months old and the video itself was shot over 100 miles from Fort Worth near Lake Kickapoo Field, the largest antennae array in the US.

  20. wow, I'm so glad you covered this. I posted this on the comments for the last post, but no one seemed to care.

    Interesting to see you linking GLP for this as well, have to weed a lot on that site. Interesting at best, crap otherwise just like you mentioned about Youtube (ZOMG).

    I've heard a load of crazy things coming from that area in Texas. I still wonder what the hell kind of orb/drone I saw in San Antonio a couple of years back!

    Look so forward to your next post this weekend. Thanks-

  21. Off topic Thor post again:

    I really hope that you have a chance to see it soon, Chris. I was quite surprised by how heavily it hit the alien contact theme:

    The Alien Beam from Heaven: You have to see how the Bifrost looks when it touches down on Earth.

    New Mexico: Yep, all of the Earth scenes are set there.

    Alien contact as the source of human religion:This one is really weird, as it is commonly asserted on the Net that the Asgardians are depicted as aliens in the film so as to "defuse" protests from Christian fundamentalists! Talk about misdirection. Are fundamentalists that stupid?

  22. Guys,

    This comment is not very serious, but how interconnected do we want to go? Transformers, Dark of the Moon, Greys, Robots in disguise, etc. Details are fun to pin down, but context and flavour and atmosphere can sometimes tell us far more.

    Moon machines and mindbombs... well, those 'exploding transformers' sure are spectacular. Personally, I think Michael Bay was hired by the power companies to fake the whole thing - as a viral marketing ploy for the new movie.

    Also, we do live in an electrical system, as well as a system of conspiracy, unfortunately. Even if there was some 'rational' explanation to these transformer explosions - the question I'd ask is "Why now?"

    Synchronicity often gives us a seemingly rational event as a sign or confirmation of something, and only the experiencer would perceive any hidden subtleties or context to its occurence.

    As Chris says, there's a whole lot of weird going on.


  23. The Ft. Worth cameraman said he was able to take 7 videos and switch 3 lenses!

    So how many transformers exploding is that?

    Where is the record from the power company of all the damaged parts?

    This would clear things up a bit..OR NOT ;)

  24. P.S.

    Since I'm in a fuzzy, post-coitus kind of mood, I thought I'd suggest another theory.

    What if those anomalous lights above the explosions are INTELLIGENT lens flares? I'm not ruling out literal physical craft, by the way.

    But I'm talking kinda like how some people view the phenomenon of orbs. Anyone who has studied orbs closely will know that lens flare is often a VERY plausible explanation for them, EXCEPT that they often behave too intelligently and with a strange awareness of their contextual surroundings.

    I'm just riffing, so don't freak out and think I've lost my marbles. But what if certain forms of exotic intelligence are able to 'hide in the light' as The X Files once put it?

    Perception is a very curious thing, as is experience itself. This being the case, I'd offer the suggestion that all manner of high-weirdness is constantly occurring around us, but generally speaking we have not armed ourselves with the deductive and associative power to recognise or engage with it.

    If the event was truly strange, maybe observers of such things were in attendance. Just a thought, mind you.


  25. I think red pill has it. The sun is the driver. When the aurora borealis goes to ground anything can happen.

    Every year in my state a good electrical storm will blow up a transformer or two and they do flash - once. I've seen because there was a substation just over the hill near where a lived as a kid (within 2 miles)

    The effect in the video (I'm not sure about the floating lights) is extremely interesting and looks to be plasma based, and there is a source of ELECTRICAL current that keeps the (plasma) lights going, just like a light bulb (but without the wires.)

    The sun is getting sick. Maybe those NASA guys were on to something when they started chattering about the next great mega solar storm, one of which in the past melted down (shorted) copper telegraph wire in the late 19th century all over the continent.

    If something of that scale happens in the next ten years, every single nuclear reactor facing the solar storm will go Fukushima.

    -J Spring

  26. If something of that scale happens in the next ten years, every single nuclear reactor facing the solar storm will go Fukushima.

    Now that's a scary thought. We really need to replace these ancient 50s/60s light water reactors. They're dangerous dinosaurs.

    Of course, if you study deeply into cosmology it really brings home how fragile life can be. There are any number of things that could fry us, blast us to bits, or cause our technology to blow up in horrible ways. As Chris hinted in one of his interviews: planets can be killed. Worlds are mortal.

  27. (Raj) >"Since I'm in a fuzzy, post-coitus kind of mood, I thought I'd suggest another theory."

    Trying to get the most of the few hours left before Rapture, eh?

    Show-off!! :P

  28. Sorry to go off-topic, but has the Secret Sun Facebook page gone private? The link I've always used from this blog now takes me to a sign-up page instead of the links and commentary I enjoy so much. :(

  29. The FB link has been updated- click it now!

  30. Some examples of canon 70-200 lens flare

    More examples by google

    The IS(Image Stabilization) model have a floating element inside

  31. The shift from red to blue to red while maintaining essentially the same intensity is the most striking.

    Here is video of an actual transformer explosion during the day. Note, these are the kind at power stations, not on electrical poles out in front of your house.

    Here is a residential one:

  32. I was in a house once about 3 houses from a transformer exploding in a big storm. It was extremely loud. Also, it only exploded once. Once it blew up, that was it. It looks like there are multiple lights coming from the same place in this video over time. Is the same transformer exploding over and over? I also was right under one that blew up in the day time, again it was quite loud. I don't know how far this camera is supposed to be from the lights, but I can't imagine no sound travelling with the lights it was an explosion.

  33. Perhaps these groups of transformers were manufactured and installed at about the same time, and perhaps they're failing now because power companies waited too long to replace them.

    That doesn't discount anything weird, natural or supernatural that might be triggering the explosions.

    It does suggest that our nation's infrastructure is being allowed to crumble along with our political standing in the world.

  34. Just for fun, I made 2 analyses of the lights.

    Stop Frames and
    Stop Frames Highlighted

    I found quite a few lights that are only there for a milisecond as well as plenty of light(orb) motion while the camera was still. You can also see how the orbs get brighter in unison with the explosions. Very odd.

  35. Yeah, I think what my GIFs show is that there is an odd "intelligence" to the apparent light phenomena. Many of those frames were captures from a one second duration, say 4-5 frames from one second of video.

    I had this random notion that the orbs were ultra-spectral or ultra-dimensional entities that were made apparent by the electrical display. Although, I'm not sure if the said orbs were "causing" or "feeding". Watch it enough and they start to become alive, especially when they pulse with the explosions. High weirdness.

  36. Is synchromysticism simply a new religion?

    People here are focused on lens flares, spirals in the air, and case reports of UFOs. Perhaps we are like the tribesmen who created Gods to explain the seasons. There are natural phenomenon we don't understand. So we turn the mundane into the magical.

    A belief in aliens is as irrational as a belief in the Christian God. By age 15, I realized how silly it was to speak of pillars of salt and snakes in forests and the world being 4,000 years old.

    What alien species would cower at the fringe? Appearing in LSD trips and seances. Making crop circles at night. And abducting housewives from Iowa.

    From Mother Mary to the Mothership. Angels and aliens as ancient and all-powerful, yet hidden and ephemeral.

  37. "There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

    I go with choice # 2.

  38. Off topic link.

    New Twilight move preview is out. Can't help but notice that Edward Cullen's middle name is Masen.

  39. it happen again 9/11/12 at 9:30ish pm i witness the flash 3 times and each time the power drained
    no noise....and i found this

    the report said no damage! so what caused the bright flash?