Wow. Just.. like.. wow. Entertaining thread!
1. If most of those pictures were NOT taken from behind a windshield, then I've never analysed a picture before. The pale reflections and the linear
glare patterns from the streetlight are the type found on windshields, not so much in camera lenses (esp the reflections..)
2. The main object is very clearly out of focus. The blur is evenly spread around the object, so it CANNOT be motion blur, unless the object is
coming right at the camera... The object is NEAR the camera. VERY near, as the camera clearly has much depth of field, just like any small-sensor
3. Yes, the bright light is a streetlight. Anyone who doesn't recognise that, clearly hasn't been down that road... If Fiona claims otherwise,
then I challenge her to get a perfectly MATCHING image (trees, foliage, road, etc) that *doesn't* show the light. I'd do it meself, but I'm a
bit north of Sydney at the moment, and I think Phage has pretty adequately busted that one with Google Earth, anyway..
(Oh, and the light has blown out that area with flare, so of course you can't see the flaming post.. sheeesh!)
4. The changing shape of the object *on her windscreen* was caused by simply changing the angle of the camera, and moving it a little nearer/further
away. Now, you're probably thinking that's a groundless claim, or wild-a$$ed guess, but look here:
(hope that works...)
I've cropped the object out of the *second image*, pasted the 'object' transparently into the first image, and then did a single linear
'transform' - the shape of the area shows you exactly what I did. Snap. And repeatable by anyone with a decent image editor (that's science at
Moving the camera will change the size of the object as well as distort it, usually in a linear fashion exactly as I have shown there. Notice that
using a small and very simple linear distortion, the two shapes can be easily made to match. As the camera was close to the object, any small change
in position involves a correspondingly larger change in angle (that's photogrammetry at work, folks!). And if the object was even slightly
3-dimensional - as, sadly, some squashed bugs/mud/birdcrap is - then it is even easier to get changing shapes (like the sultana example posted
Now, I'm not going to call deliberate hoax, as I know how the mind works. (I gave a recent example of my brain screwing up with a bird that I
thought was a 737 for a few seconds...
First up, I'll bet Fiona has not got an exact recollection of the exact sequence of images, perhaps some were out of the car, but the ones in
question were definitely behind a windshield. Secondly, I've caught an object on the windshield in the corner of my eye before, so perhaps she did
see 'something', snap some shots, and then maybe even saw more objects (birds, plane, helicopter, dunno). When she went back to the images, she may
have confused which were which. The windshield ones showing the crud were the most interesting, so why not use them...
But in simple terms, the main object in those pics is CLOSE, very close, to the camera. If she saw something genuinely flying in the sky, those
things are NOT it.
Sorry, but there it is. Only my opinion, of course - judge for yourselves if I know my stuff.
But do carry one, guys. It's been quite entertaining.
Edited to add..
PS - I should comment on the 'orbs', I s'pose... Frankly, they are too small and indistinct to make any real judgement - you can see that jpeg
artefacting along with the horrible sharpening that cheap cameras do automatically, has rendered them pretty much unidentifiable. They do look like
they 'may' be illuminated from the direction of the street lamp, but that could be just an effect caused by their shape and the sharpening/jpegging.
When I first saw them, I immediately thought stone chips in the windscreen, but they could be birds, bats or even close flying bugs, or just more
crud on that windscreen.
[edit on 25-3-2010 by CHRLZ]