Rumor control: UFO fleet over London

June 29th, 2011 by Jarmo Puskala

A lot of websites and newspapers have picked up on this video of UFOs above the Radio 1 building in London on 24th of June. There has been a lot of speculation about the authenticity of the video and several news sources, including Space.com, have suggested it is viral marketing for Iron Sky. It’s not.

We would like to make it absolutely clear that we have nothing to do with the video, or the similar Jerusalem UFO video from last January. In our opinion the Norway spiral seen in 2009 seemed a lot more like something we would do.

From a computer graphics point of view the only thing special about the footage is the very visible rolling shutter “jellycam” effect. It’s caused by the way digital cameras work and most visible in cheap cellphone cameras, but even the mighty RED suffers from it. What it means is that it makes it more difficult to add anything to a video that has a strong rolling shutter effect since one would have to add distortion to all the new elements that would match the original video. This does not mean that the London footage is genuine, just that if it’s faked they either a) went to some trouble compositing the UFOs or b) that they added the jellycam effect to a stable video to make it seem more believable.

Other than that the video would have been very easy to fake and my personal opinion is that it most likely is fake. I’ve got no other evidence to back that up than seeing quite a few shops in my time, but I’m sure there will be a thorough analysis soon enough.

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13 Responses to “Rumor control: UFO fleet over London”

  1. Migotsi says:

    I doubt anything bigger than a bird could fly that fast, after all it should be near 60.000km away from earth (would make 4ish concordes in size)and it would probably be impossible to recognize OR hear. Compare to moon or airplane both going with quite a speed :)

  2. I dont belive in Aliens visiting us, do however belive that the next gen spyplanes.

    Apparently all the bluebook sightings were confirmed to have been either U2 or Boxcar (pre SR-71) planes.

  3. Juha Autero says:

    Am I only one that thinks that they are obviously halo effects? They look suspiciously like images of sun reflecting from ice crystals.

  4. Ctg says:

    Now, now, don’t say they are fake, when what we see is obviously swamp-gas filled weather balloons. Or maybe even Chinese lanterns.

  5. Jaap says:

    As already suggested by serveral people on the internet, it’s most likely just a joke by one of the many VFX artists working in that area.

    To be clear to all and everyone: It’s CGI, I’m extremely sensitive for image manipulation. But I think that point has already been made, hasn’t it? ;)

    @Energia
    Do you have any problems with the rolling shutter of the RED ONE on Iron Sky?
    It’s not really an issue on the RED MX in most situations, isn’t it?

  6. Peter says:

    I think the jelly effect is fake. The distortion should be relative to the movement of the cam and the objects in the picture. Moving cars in a still picture (or moving UFOs) will look slanted to one side and should be more distorted than the still buildings behind them. Also a lot of the jelly is seen during relatively still parts of the video, where in the faster moving scenes the effect is lesser. Cars hardly distort at all towards the end and birds don’t seem to suffer from any jelly. The distortion should also relate to the distance of the object from the cam.

    It just doesn’t feel right.. also to me it looks as if the pixels might shake both horizontally and vertically when it should at least favor one over the other, because of the scanning effect.

    The basic effect could be described as the lower part of the picture lagging behind the upper part, this effect is not so prominent in the video.

    But, anyway.. that’s just some stuff that popped into my head, cool video. :)

  7. Skyler says:

    I would like to submit my eye witness account of this UFO. I saw the same thing over a month ago in Manor, TX. I don’t have video, but I did make an animation to show my friends. i.imgur.com/pYsLT Also there’s another youtube video showing the same UFO from a different angle here: http://youtu.be/xw8b8pBW5Sc?t=1m3s

  8. Peter: I was thinking the same about the jelly happening at odd times (ie. when the moves among the clouds that would offer a lot of reference points to see tracking errors…). Also even though it might sound petty, I find the sudden focus blur at 0:37 strange, considering that the rest of the video is perfectly in focus.

    The Jerusalem dome video was debunked by running an image stabilization software on it – which showed that the background shook independent of the foreground (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHOc35nmUDk). That’s very difficult to see, but easy to prove. Let’s see if there’s a smoking gun in this video.

  9. Ellyn Fasel says:

    Thanks for the info!! I know it will open some eyes.

  10. sample-d says:

    it’s obvious that this did not come from energia as the objects are clear white and move in a stupid way. If this would have been ironSky viral marketing, we would have seen it on CNN this evening and Obama would have prepared the speech to the nation…

  11. Jaap says:

    Can you prove that with some source files?

    If you’re really behind this viral, chapeau, very well done!