Thats interesting :] i have absolutely no idea what we're looking at. Its big, though - I assume those moving things are cars?
Its funny how there are places where you may not go, in no circumstances, because other persons think what they are doing there is - apparently - not
suitable to be known to others. In a universal way, its really funny.
That is really unfortunate. I doubt Steve authorized his video to be hacked up like that with a sound track added. He sold it for peanuts (near the
cost of duplication) a few years ago. Just the raw video on IIRC 4 CDroms. Anyway, it is the real thing. Funny though those jerks didn't use the
SU-27 video, which Steve was first to document.
I photographed the SU-27 flying out of Groom in October 2004, so this video would be older than that.
You can try to buy them from Steve Hauser. I think I paid $20 for 4 cds. I suppose I can bring the video gear next time I do a Tikaboo. What you do is
attached a CCD carmera to the back of the telescope, and use a camcorder to record the video. THe CCD video camera is powered with 8 AA cells.
Ahh okay I just thought he was using a very expensive telescopic lens or something.
That probably explains the low quality then. I mean he's recording an image that has been reflected off a dozen mirrors inside the telescope and then
compressed into a video format.
Why not attach a wireless CCTV camera, one of those miniature, spy-type ones and then have it transmit to a laptop or something, that way you could
record it a much higher bitrate or whatever and possibly give you a better quality reproduction.
Some interesting footage, assuming we can confirm that this is in fact Area 51, but on gut instinct I think that it is looking at the buildings and
the fact it was passenger jets landing there; it's no airport that's for sure.
The dramatic music kinda makes this footage a lot more intense than it actually is I thought, without the music it's just shots of buildings and
people driving around!
IIRC, Steve used an 8 inch reflector telescope. Most people only haul a 5 inch reflector or 3 inch refractor up Tikaboo. For a small CCD, a reflector
and refractor would be similar quality. [Refractors tend to be sharper at the edges. The video CCD is so small that the effects at the edge don't
show up ] The particular images were taped when the thermal disturbances were present. The quality would be better if done early in the morning. I
suppose I should search for the CDs to see if any were shot in the early morning. To be honest, I've seen the base live from Tikaboo enough times
that the video wasn't all that interesting except for the SU27.
There are two ways of shooting video through a telescope. One is to use a relay lens that screws into the camcorder lens. Two vendors come to mind.
One is Scopetronix, which makes adapters that use eyepieces to act as a relay lens. The other is Willian Optics, which make lenses for this purpose.
The other technique is to place a CCD camera at the focal plane. This requires a camcorder that accepts external video. In either case, focusing is
tough since you don't have a real optical path but rather a LCD to view.
Interesting, I didn't know you could get lenses that fit right into telescopes which you can attach a camera to. But they'd probably be
While I agree the video isn't extraordinary in what it shows, there aren't too many recordings of the base out there, there are a lot of high
quality photos but no recordings. And it's hard to get any closer than this really.
The only way I could see anyone getting better resolution videos of the base is to mount an enormous telephoto lens (+500mm) onto an SLR that can
record video and then film. But lenses that can produce decent quality shots beyond a few kilometres away cost literally ten's of thousands of
Great video! Best footage that I've seen of Area 51. You can tell they are well established out there, what with all the runways, warehouses and
such. I enjoyed the satellite image at the end. Shows you the real scope of the place. Bigger than I'd imagined.
People get IR and night vision confused all the time. The IR camera will not be very useful for photographing the base from Tikaboo because there is
no IR source illuminating the base. Don't confuse the IR camera with those video cameras that have IR LED illumination. Yes, if you have IR on the
subject, then the IR camera will work.
Night vision is amplification of mostly visible light, but NV does respond to IR as well as visible. Thus older generation NV gear has an IR
illuminator attached. [In real life, you would be shot if you had an IR spot light on your NV because the enemy can see the IR as well.] However, you
can use NV without the IR source. For example, the NV will show an airplane silhouette if it is close enough and back lit by the night sky. I had a
blacked out chopper approach me and the NV worked like a charm.
Unless you have gen3, night vision is pretty low resolution. I shot this a few years ago with Soviet era gen2. night vision of Area 51
At the bottom of this page cedar pipeline ranch
there is a NV video of two C130's flying over the Cedar Pipeline ranch area. It appears they had the solid IR beacon turned on.
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