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Facts about "Chinese Lanterns", the skeptics convenient and immediate response

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posted on May, 30 2010 @ 11:29 PM
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I have seen so many people here dismiss sightings as "Chinese lanterns" that it's really seems to me as if the "Chinese lantern" excuse is the typical and knee-jerk response of the skeptic or those too lazy to do their own research. You heard me right. I'm going to say that most of those claiming a sighting is a "Chinese lantern" probably has never seen one. Here is my contribution to the ATS UFO board - all you need to know about Chinese Lanterns, with video!

Some facts:

1. Chinese lanterns have been a part of Chinese culture for centuries. They were used by the military to send messages and warnings. Families placed them in their doorways to ward off evil spirits. Specific colors are used to celebrate weddings and births as well as to mourn a death. They can be plain or elaborate and are considered to be folk art. Although there are many different kinds, I will focus on the sky lantern.

2. Sky lanterns are constructed of light-weight, flame-proof paper, and operate on the same principal as a hot air balloon. A fire inside provides the heat necessary to make the vessel rise into the air since warm air rises. This site says they can rise up to 1,000 meters which is 3,280 feet or .621 miles. Another site that sells sky lanterns says this: "Like a hot air balloon the altitude reached will depend on the atmospheric and geographical conditions at the launch site as well as the size of the lantern and fuel cell used. We know some of our lanterns have reached altitudes of 800 metres."

3. The fuel cell that powers the sky lantern can come in many colors, however heat is always involved. Otherwise the physical principals that make the lantern rise would not exist. To generate that heat, you need fire, which also produces light. The lantern would be no good without light as you could not see it. Now that we have established sky lanterns are built to fly and produce light we can examine the properties of the light given off.

4. The light will most likely not change color, though I cannot rule this out completely. The paper on the sky lantern is colored.

5. Since the light is a candle or wax fuel cell or some other fuel that burns and flame will always flicker, lights generated by fire in these sky lanterns will flicker or shake in place. Watch the two videos below. The second shows many sky lanterns released. The flickering property of the light can almost always be discerned with the naked eye.





Conclusions

1. I'm not saying sky lanterns won't go past 1,000 meters but is it reasonable to assume that they can go 5,000 feet or more into the sky? While hot air balloons can certainly go that high they are also manned objects that put out flame/heat on demand. A sky lantern is unmanned and the flame is constant. If the flame goes out, the lantern will descend back to the ground, assuming an air current or draft does not carry it higher (but with the flame out, who would see it at night?).

2. The flame driving a sky lantern will flicker and that flickering can usually be seen with the naked eye.

3. Sky lanterns cannot move through the air very fast since their only source of power is rising hot air. They certainly will not move faster or even close to the speed of a prop airplane.

4. They will not change shape during flight. A change in shape could mean letting the hot air escape which would bring the vessel back to the ground.

With these facts in mind, can all of the conclusions of "it's a Chinese lantern" be accurate when analyzing UFO videos? In my opinion, the "Chinese lantern" conclusion is becoming more and more like the old knee-jerk conclusions of "it's Venus" or "it's swamp gas" played out by skeptics.

Please feel free to comment or make any corrections or add anything I've overlooked.


[edit on 31-5-2010 by black cat]




posted on May, 30 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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S&F for this interesting collection of information. As to your notion that Chinese Lanterns have become an automatic response to identify immediately unknown sightings, that may be true.

However, I suppose that these lanterns, as well as Venus or thermal inversion or Russian rockets, are all elements to be considered in a UFO sighting. That said, I've seen Chinese Lanterns in flight exactly as many times as I've seen a UFO: zero. In other words, I agree with your assessment insofar as lantern launches don't seem to be at a frequency and volume to account for it as a blanket explanation.



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 11:53 PM
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You're obsessed with chinese lanterns!

A glowing, orb-shaped light that seems to flash and change color, and what doesn't move like a plane, helicopter, missile, or kite. How could someone possibly mistake it for a UFO?!


It's not a "knee-jerk" reaction to call chinese lantern. Remember - it's much, much more likely to be one of these than an alien spaceship.

It's common sense to take them into consideration. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

P.S. I'm going to guess you're not British? Well I live in England and I've seen dozens of these things in the sky. A couple of times I got really excited thinking maybe it was a UFO. They are really popular over here right now (annoyingly!). I don't know how much they are used in the states

[edit on 30-5-2010 by FOXMULDER147]

[edit on 30-5-2010 by FOXMULDER147]



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 12:00 AM
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I told you before... "Red Dawn"

The "Lanterns" will be used as drop markers for the parachuters


SM



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by black cat
 


I thought the typical response was that the picture or video was too blurry or too dark or a smudge on the window or wire, etc. I've actually never heard of the Chinese lantern theory.

I'd keep the name calling to yourself. It really detracts from your overall post.




posted on May, 31 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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I'm not railing on coming to the conclusion that an unknown object in the sky may be a Chinese lantern. What gets me hot and bothered are the people who look at a video of an unknown object and immediately say "Chinese lantern" without really looking at the object. Does the light flicker? Does it move slowly or is it moving very quickly? Does it make erratic, sudden moves? Does it change color (there's a big one I had not thought about until now)? Is the object changing shape? Are there any sounds associated with the object?

[edit on 31-5-2010 by black cat]



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by black cat
You heard me right. I'm going to say that most of those claiming a sighting is a "Chinese lantern" probably has never seen one.


That's a bunk statement.



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by black cat
 


You didn't gave any facts. You gave your perception of Sky Lanterns.

First of all, they are not exclusive to the Chinese. Many cultures (including mine) have used them for a long time. My town even has a regional holiday in which we launch this things.


And to reply to your facts:

2.

sky lanterns are constructed of light-weight, flame-proof paper, and operate on the same principal as a hot air balloon. A fire inside provides the heat necessary to make the vessel rise into the air since warm air rises.


They are made of paper. Only (provably) in US the "flame-proof" version was applied. Provably for safety.

Most of them are actually built of paper, thin and cheap paper.

They can raise to the altitude the climate allows them to. It's like flying... A good day to fly will make you free, and in a bad day, you have to follow safety procedures.

Same way with this. Good day - high altitudes... Bad day - lower altitudes/crash/weird flight path/so on...

4.

The light will most likely not change color, though I cannot rule this out completely. The paper on the sky lantern is colored.


Yes, it will. A normal looking flame, with blue on the base and yellow at the top, can become completely blue if is being hit by wind. You can also change the color by changing the fuel. More than that, there are actually lanterns that you can buy that have different additives to the fuel so it have all sorts of colors and effects. That alone brings this point to the ground.

You said it yourself... The fuel for the lantern can be anything, as long as it involves light and heat.

Add to that things that you can attach to your lantern to make it change color (additional layer of colored paper), and it's impossible to judge one that is flying, unless you catch it when it lands (if it lands).

5.

Since the light is a candle or wax fuel cell or some other fuel that burns and flame will always flicker


You know something funny about facts? They don't change.

If they don't change, it doesn't make sense claiming something as certain, and then realizing that it isn't that certain.

The flicker on the lantern depends on the weather, not on the fact that it is a lantern.

I've launched lanterns that didn't flick, because it was a very nice summer day, and I only launched it when the flame was stable.

If the lantern keeps a flight path in which it won't encounter hard weather, the light might not flick at all, depending on the fuel, size and shape of the lantern, etc...

A flicker can be so stable, that you won't notice it in the naked eye, and in the distance, you can't even judge it anymore.


I'm not saying sky lanterns won't go past 1,000 meters but is it reasonable to assume that they can go 5,000 feet or more into the sky?


They will fly as high as the weather and typography let's them. Period.

That's why it's important to know the...I don't know...location and time of the sightings, instead of just putting "OMFG! AWESOME VIDEO! UFO IN BUTTNOWHERE!"


The flame driving a sky lantern will flicker and that flickering can usually be seen with the naked eye.


Again, they will flicker if they have characteristics that make them flick. From the fuel, to the air rushing into the lantern, and so on. And from a distance, your eye can't judge small movements, making the light constant.

Happens with aircraft.. Let alone sky lanterns.


Sky lanterns cannot move through the air very fast since their only source of power is rising hot air. They certainly will not move faster or even close to the speed of a prop airplane.


No. They will move according to the weather on that location and time. With no wind, the lantern will rise since the power comes from the heat propulsion coming out of the lower part of the lantern. But give it a little wind, and it can go up, down, sideways, or any other movement.

And yes, they don't move as fast as an airplane. But the problem with UFO sightings is that people don't know what they are... So a lantern, in a *medium* distance, can look like a huge airplane far away, moving fast, instead of a lantern that is close and moving slowly.


They will not change shape during flight. A change in shape could mean letting the hot air escape which would bring the vessel back to the ground.


The fun thing about lanterns is that they are unpredictable. That's why people use them to "make wishes", because in the end, you'll never know what you get. Like you'll never know where the lantern will land.

It can change shape during flight. The flame can make a small hole on the side, but if the flame makes only a small hole, the lantern can still keep flying, but in a weird way, and in different shape.

They can also, for example, keep flying normally, and then, all the sudden, it burst into flames and crashes. From a distance, the only thing you see is a sudden brighter light and then it disappears. A clear "omg, I saw a ufo and then it disappeared" scenario.

One thing certain about lanterns, is that they are unpredictable. Yet, you are here making a case like they are built to be as exact as a Boeing 747.


With these facts in mind, can all of the conclusions of "it's a Chinese lantern" be accurate when analyzing UFO videos? In my opinion, the "Chinese lantern" conclusion is becoming more and more like the old knee-jerk conclusions of "it's Venus" or "it's swamp gas" played out by skeptics.


No. Of course not. Ignorance is on both sides of the "battle". But that doesn't mean that one argument that is true in many occasions is false just because you are sick of it.

Most sightings are of aircrafts or celestial bodies that people fail to identify. Did you also make a thread on that?

I just think you wasted a lot of your time proving nothing other than your frustration that some people don't believe in the same things you do.

[edit on 31/5/10 by Tifozi]

[edit on 31/5/10 by Tifozi]



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 07:41 AM
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3. Sky lanterns cannot move through the air very fast since their only source of power is rising hot air. They certainly will not move faster or even close to the speed of a prop airplane.


You have ignored one thing important WIND.

They can move as fast as the wind blows them. they don't go directly up...


Also, when you post about them not being able to reach 5000 feet, who said they did? how can you possibly gauge how far up a glowing orange ball is, if that is your only reference to size? no aircraft body to note. just a flame.

Anyone who claims they saw a glowing orange orb 5000 feet up is a liar. unless they happened to have some quality science laser kit that could tell you.

------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------

The point is, most of us don't care about people spotting a distant moving light in the sky. its not at all remarkable in these days, it could be anything.

Even photographic proof, we don't really care much. because it cannot possibly be identified as an ET craft, or other UFO.

Its just a dot, on a night sky. it's not proof of alien visitation.

Now if it was a decent photo of an actual solid craft, then it is very interesting. and becomes a real mystery

[edit on 31-5-2010 by MR BOB]



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by FOXMULDER147
You're obsessed with chinese lanterns!

A glowing, orb-shaped light that seems to flash and change color, and what doesn't move like a plane, helicopter, missile, or kite. How could someone possibly mistake it for a UFO?!


It's not a "knee-jerk" reaction to call chinese lantern. Remember - it's much, much more likely to be one of these than an alien spaceship.

It's common sense to take them into consideration. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

P.S. I'm going to guess you're not British? Well I live in England and I've seen dozens of these things in the sky. A couple of times I got really excited thinking maybe it was a UFO. They are really popular over here right now (annoyingly!). I don't know how much they are used in the states

[edit on 30-5-2010 by FOXMULDER147]

[edit on 30-5-2010 by FOXMULDER147]


Just to keep the facts straight:
As long as it ISNT identyfied as a Lantern or plane or whatever..
IT IS A..... UFO...

But YES you are right on the statement that they most probobly
are NOT alien ships..



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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One can also construct a primitive hot air balloon using a plastic dry cleaner's bag, a wire coat hanger and a candle or can of sterno. These would have properties similar to chinese lanterns.



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by Tifozi
 
Tifozi, between all your excellent points and the wind statement by Mr Bob you guys didn't leave me much to add. I basically agree with everything you said about how many claims in the OP are false or misleading.

Flicker may or may not be visible and in the 2nd video, I noticed that while the flicker is visible on the closer lanterns, I didn't notice it on the more distant lanterns that were just tiny points in the sky.

And of course they can appear to move very fast, if blown by a 30 mph wind, and you think it's far away but it's not, it will give an illusion of great speed, much more than 30mph.

I could also easily make sky lanterns change colors by fuel additives as you suggested, or even taping different colors of paper together so that as it spins or we see it from different angles, it would change color. It would be very easy to put a small angled vent near the top to make it spin around to show the different colors. Here's a large lantern with different color paper attached together, made to look like a "football", or "soccer ball" to US folks.



And there are much larger sky lanterns that may shatter the 5000 foot barrier. Check these out:

www.abovetopsecret.com...


Originally posted by SacredLore
This is man-made. A common sight in Rio de Janeiro and I have seen it many times myself. Almost every night you can see small hot air balloons in the night sky. The burning material that produces the hot air often starts to drip and fall off to the ground, exactly like on this video. Maybe it is even parts of the balloon catching fire and falling off (they are usually made of paper).

Call it Chinese lantern if you like


Beauties of the Sky, Filled With Hot Air and Peril

YouTube: Les ballons pirates de Rio (Portuguese/French)

The only difference is that the hot air balloons in Brazil are not tethered, they move with the wind. This one seems tethered, or maybe the wind indeed was changing direction several times.

The sight is impressive and surprising if you don't know what it is. I would have mistaken it for a UFO as well. But no local resident of Rio de Janeiro would ever think that such lights are not from earth.


I embedded the 2nd video here:



These things are HUGE! And I think sky lanterns explain the UFO sighting in that thread. It's kind of scary to see all that flaming fuel dripping toward the ground as seen in the UFO sighting in that thread, that must be a real fire hazard.

But of course Sky lanterns don't explain all UFO sightings and it would be silly for anyone to suggest that they do. But the range of observable characteristics for sky lanterns is much larger than the OP suggests, as described so well by Tifozi.



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 12:05 PM
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I'll say it all again...

If it's orange, looks like its got a fire inside, moves randomly but mostly slowly and it's large bean bag size then it's NOT a knee jerk reaction to suggest it's a Chinese lantern.

Yes I've seen a few and they are pretty obvious.

The background was nice but it's simply the case that many people either hoax for a laugh or use these lanterns for any old event these days so yes people will see them. Also isn't it odd you don't see these odd flitty craft during the day, obviously it's because the expected impact will only happen at night.

There may be the odd case where there's more to it but every one I've seen on here so far matched the characteristics of a normal lantern 100%. And no, I don't just look at the video, see orange and instantly say lantern, I watch the whole video.

I hope we are not going to go down the lane as OPA and her UFO that pretend to be planes..Please


UFO's mimicking lanterns...classy



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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In 2002, I was at the Glastonbury Festival watching the Super Furry Animals tear up the stage in furry outfits. About half way through the set, some people around us started looking at the sky and exclaiming, 'What is THAT?!" We looked up to see some lights slowly pass overhead.

I'll admit I was fascinated and puzzled. Caught up in the atmosphere of the venue and likely a bit intoxicated on one one thing or other, I had no idea what we were looking at. It was a moment of wonder. I wasn't thinking OMG aliens! I was genuinely bemused.

I later found out we'd watched an elaborate Chinese Lantern when someone in the Green Fields sent another one up. I've seen more since.

This little anecdote serves two purposes. The first is to illustrate that I'm seen as a skeptic by some and certainly know what Chinese Lanterns look like. The second is to demonstrate how people can react to the lanterns. By the reactions of many people nearby, it's likely they went home convinced an alien craft had floated over the venue. They experienced a mystical convergence through misidentified floating candles.

I guess a handful of familiar ATS skeptics have just added a great deal of salt to your general premise.



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:50 PM
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Indeed, but as a Skeptic we have many other devices such as this:

A Skeptics Tools: Validating and Confirming UFO's

And I will be honest that sometimes a UFO is just that, a UFO, but the above should help anyone who wants to run through it as a checklist type of thing, before posting a video or picture
I will toss you a flag and a star, because as a Skeptic in Alien life I do enjoy the theories and this thread of yours black cat really allows many to see how passionate you and many others on these boards are about finding the truth
Jkrog08 would be proud.



posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 09:19 AM
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I'd never heard of Chinese Lanterns before coming here. I've got to question the legality of sending an open flame adrift in random air currents. Might be okay in China, but seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen here.

For me it's not the first explanation that comes to mind for all orb-like sightings, but if there is corroborating evidence, like a nearby festival that was launching such balloons, then it is a perfectly reasonable one. Like "earth lights" appearing before a quake, or ball lightning before an electrical storm, the correlation, while not absolutely proving the explanation, does make it more probable.



posted on Nov, 4 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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im trying to keep the lantern afloat for a long time and tie it down to a stone so it is suspended mid air.
i plan to keep putting camphor tablets to keep the fire burning...
but the problem is the smoke from the fuel cell and the camphor ruins the look of it...
its there anyway to get that smoke out??



posted on Nov, 4 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: black cat

Good point, and just a another thing to add to the growing list, let's see, Venus, Mars, Swamp gas, mass hallucination, misidentification, weather balloons, ball lighting,. All of which crash test dummies fall from.



posted on Nov, 4 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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So that's what I saw on halloween, saw 2 of them. We were looking up a planes coming into the airport wondering what kind of fireworks show the passengers were getting when we noticed the lanterns..they were moving across the sky slightly erratic but staying the same elevation, not sure how high but much higher than any kind of firework.



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