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Sometimes what you see isn't what you think it is

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:09 AM
As a young man I learned that what you see isn't always what you think it could be. It was on a lonely stretch of dirt road somewhere in the middle of Newfoundland many years ago that my friend and I stopped the car and let the engine cool as the car was beginning to act up a bit. We were on a journey through the Atlantic provinces at the time. The night was incredibily clear and the air slightly cool for an early August night. We were sitting there chatting when suddenly from a distance across a field behind a line of thickly spaced trees we noticed what appeared to be a bright luminous cone like object. The trees were thick enough to hide the rest. We noticed that is was ever so slowly rising. Now we're sitting there seeing this and asking ourselves "what the hell is that?". My friend suddenly said "That's probably some sort of a space ship" Now I thinking to myself "Oh. wow, finally I may get to see a real alien space craft myself". This was beginning to make my friend antsy and he said "I'm leaving man". Now I didn't want to be taken away from this incredibly rare oppurtunity so I got out as my friend started the engine, turned the car and gunned it in the opposite direction of this event. I figured my friend probably just drove back about a half a mile or so. I didn't care. All I wanted as to see what this was and I'd be damned if I'd be stopped at this point.

So now I'm standing there staring at this really bright object and its slowly rising. It got to what I later found was the mid point and keep rising slowly, noticably, but surely. After it got past the mid point, I was beginning to wonder about what this really is. Its not easy admitting that what you are looking is really something explainable and you may probably look lke a fool for thinking it was something really incredible. As the bottom of the object cleared the trees, this all happed in about maybe 15 minutes or so, I suddenly felt outright dissappointment. Realization dawned upon me. It turns out that what we saw was roughly a quarter moon and because of the athmospheric conditions, the optical illusion of immense size due to the moon being close to the ground and the incredibly bright nature of it, both of us were fooled by what we thought we saw.

I'm now sitting on a stump at the side of the road thinking, "Oh great, now I'll have to walk all the way back".Fortunately my friend drove back up the road, saw me and stopped the car. I got in. We didn't say anything for a couple of minutes, I guess we we both embarrassed by it all. Then we both started laughing about the whole thing and swore we would not tell anyone. After all we did feel a bit silly that we got all worked up and excited by mis-interpreting a natural phenomenon.

I write this story to illustrate that we may not always see what we think we see and maybe if you hang around long enough you may actually know what you really saw. I have to admit it was scary yet exhilerating at the same time when we both first saw the tip of that bright object poke above the tree like that.

Does anybody have any similar stories to tell?

[edit on 12/1/2009 by The Alfer]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:34 AM
A star and flag for you
For being able and willing to admit such an occurrence.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:53 AM
You shouldn't feel foolish about it. It can happen to anyone. At least you stayed and found out what was behind the mystery, or we might have been arguing what it could possibly be right now!

You are in good company at least. Jimmy Carter made exactly the same mistake, and it's still being argued over decades later. I have also been caught out by the Moon rising in the past, at least for a brief instant before I realized what it was.

Thanks for posting!

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:04 AM
Excellent story Alfer!

Does anybody have any similar stories to tell?

First time I saw Thai Lanterns, I actually stopped the car in the middle of the road and got the kids out of the car to watch. They rose quietly and brightly over the local park, and I had never seen them before. I got paper out and started jotting down their positions and the formation and directions they were flying in.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:05 AM
One summer evening, I was looking out of my window and saw a long, brilliant orange light moving across the sky in the distance.
I pointed it out to the other people in the room, and we were all like, wow what the hell is that?
Then it changed direction slightly, and turned out to be a plane reflecting the evening sunlight.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:07 AM
reply to post by The Alfer

I have one that i will keep to myself, but it was when i was 9 or 10 in ireland years ago. The farm had a fort too, so you never know what went on there years before.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by The Alfer

I was 13 or 14, It was suppose to be a cloudy night and it had just rained. I walked outside and was sitting on the porch and looked into the sky. I saw hundreds if not thousands of spaceships darting over head, I hooted and hollered got the whole street in an uproar we were being invaded by aliens, then one ten year old kid says " hey those are stars moving against wisps of clouds".

I never felt dumber in my entire life.... I should Also add that I had just saw the movie Independence day at movies.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:04 AM
I have mistaken jets on odd approaches as UFO phenomenon. The key is to be able to admit that you failed, and try again. An open mind is open to the dea that it may be wrong.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 10:38 AM

I write this story to illustrate that we may not always see what we think we see and maybe if you hang around long enough you may actually know what you really saw.

I had a similar experience. I caught sight of some low flying lights out of the corner of my eye once. I immediately assumed they would be planes, but when I saw them clearly, they were vast orange spheres of light, very low, and silent, underneath the cloud cover and I knew they could not be anything conventional.

I also saw what I thought was a satellite making it's way steadily across the night sky, consistent brightness and direction, until it 'powered up' and grew incredibly bright and made a right angled turn then eventually did the same again, dimmed back down, and continued on it's former course.

What that showed me was that what we expect to see 99% of the time is conventional objects, and if we don't bother to look closely and pay attention, we will assume that we are seeing conventional objects. I have to wonder how many legitimate UFO's are missed by people who don't bother to look because all they expect to see is conventional objects.

So, I agree, but it works both ways and I think it works against the identification of UFO's more than for it, because the vast majority of people expect the conventional.

[edit on 2-12-2009 by Malcram]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by The Alfer

Don't feel embarrassed, that is what ufology is all about, using logic and the scientific process to find out the truth behind lights in the sky and such. Most UFO reports are mundane, so you are not alone. I appreciate you sharing this with all of us, as it shows one of the many types of misidentifications we can see, that at first may seem definite and "out of this world", but after further inspection turn out to be mundane and explainable, even if that isn't the answer we want that is the only way to get the "truth". Kudos to you for taking the initiative to further pursue investigation and actually try and succeed in identifying a UFO, as well not letting any bias to believe skew your judgement or willingness to spread your story.


posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 12:29 PM
While walking down to the beach one fine summer day I came upon a group of people looking up with their hands shading their eyes from the Sun and pointing at the sky. I looked up but couldn't see anything. As I got closer to them I could hear comments; "It's huge!", "Look how fast it's going!"

Really curious now, I asked what they were looking at. One of them said, "It's a UFO. Look, right there." I looked. I saw. A black toy balloon about 10" in diameter and maybe 100' in the air, drifting with the wind.

An object isolated in the sky, with no points of reference, can fool the eye. The observers had made the assumption that this was a very large object. Going from that assumption, because it looked so small, it must be very high in the sky. From there, its motion must be very fast instead of just drifting with the wind, the way balloons do. As a group, they had come to the wrong conclusion about what they were looking at. Their excited chatter feeding the illusion.

I said, "Um, I think it's a balloon." There was an immediate, "Yeah, right. Look how big it is." But then there were some abashed giggles as the observers' perspective changed. The group dispersed as the balloon passed under a cloud, making it obvious what was being seen.

[edit on 12/2/2009 by Phage]

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:04 PM
I live under flypaths of DIA traffic and military traffic. I often see lights in the sky and think: Wow, that looks just like this or that video I saw on ATS. As I keep watching, I see it is a plane approaching DIA.

Cant even tell you how many times I see these lights and think: I bet people would swear that is a UFO.

Then, the other night I was driving at night and see lots of sporadic lights off in the distance but up in the "sky". Blinking. There. Gone. There again but in another spot. Ive actually seen some videos posted here of the same thing (cant seem to find one). As I kept driving and getting closer to these lights, I realize.....they are car lights on a winding road in the mountain in front of me.

So really, it is true: Sometimes what you see isn't what you think it is

Good thread OP.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:37 PM
Ah, the Moon illusion. It's been a fascination since the dawn of man.

While walking my dog in brilliant noonday sunshine, it was almost cloudless and I scanned the sky with my pocket binos. As the pale blue filled the eyepiece, a bright spot zipped across the field. Surprised, I carefully back tracked and managed to find it again. It was a sphere, miles high and apparently made from shiny metal, or maybe aluminised Mylar. Balloon I thought, but it's mightly high, almost a pin prick but definitely spherical. I observed it for several minutes, fascinated. This thing was definitely a metallic orb and stationary. Any ideas? I now know what it was, but maybe others have seen similar and made their own conclusions.


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