UFOs and 'falling leaf' or pendulum motion.

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posted on May, 17 2012 @ 06:07 PM
As briefly mentioned by Jacques Vallee in the video below taken from Orkojoker's UFO Education thread, sometimes 'patterns' of UFO behaviour can be studied and there seems to be quite a few reports down the years of unidentified flying objects performing a kind of pendulum or 'falling leaf' motion during vertical descent.

For those that are interested, NASA's Paul Hill goes into more detail below about specific UFO flight characteristics and there's also a good section dealing with the subject taken from NICAP's 'UFO Evidence' report - the RAF Topcliffe incident is also posted but if anyone is aware of any more case examples then please post away.


Peculiar behaviour such as falling leaf or pendulum motion during vertical descent has been independently reported many times by UFO witnesses in widely separated parts of the world..


Pendulum/Falling Leaf Motion

A curious, but fairly common, flight characteristic of UFOs is a pendulum-like motion (swaying back and forth) during hovering, slow climb, or descent. Witnesses frequently have compared this to the gyrations of a falling leaf.

Side-to-Side Oscillation

A very similar pendulum-like motion, occurring as a UFO travels in a horizontal plane (rather than ascending or descending) has been noticed occasionally. It consists of a side-to-side oscillation as the UFO proceeds in a constant direction.


Paul Richard Hill - NASA Aerodymanicist:

Maneuvers. Hovering at any altitude is common. UFOs hover close to the ground for long times instead of landing. The different maneuvers include:

a. falling leaf or UFO-rock like a coin falling in water

b. silver-dollar wobble - like a coin with a slow spin on a flat surface. This maneuver is consistently observed at the end of a rapid descent as the UFO initiates hovering

c. acute-angle turn with rapid stop at the vertex

d. sudden reversal of direction

e. bank and turn - exactly like conventional aircraft

f. straight-away speed run either horizontal or vertical

g. tilt to maneuver "UFOs tilt to perform all maneuvers ... they sit level to hover, tilt forward to move forward, tilt backward to stop, bank to turn"


Other Links:

'Ufology' by James M. McCampbell

UFO Research of NASA's Paul R. Hill.

UFO Flight - Maneuver
edit on 24-3-2013 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 17 2012 @ 06:08 PM
Case examples:

The Topcliffe sightings from Yorkshire, England, 1952 where several RAF Officers witnessed a rotating silver disc shaped object performing a 'swinging pendulum motion' - there's also a CIA document about the incident mentioning the 'creation of the correction of public opinion', whatever that means..

RAF Sightings: Huge, Round,Metallic, Incredibly Fast

British authorities have received reports from trained observers, including RAF pilots, and the Air Ministry maintains a UFO investigation project which parallels Project Blue Book in the United states. Reuters reported one such aerial encounter on September 20, 1952:
"A flying saucer entered the eight-nation Baltic area maneuver headquarters that an unidentifiable silver circular object had been sighted 15,000 feet above the airfield. The object, which appeared five miles behind a Meteor jet fighter (piloted by Lt. John W. Kilburn), maintained a slow forward speed before descending in a swinging pendulum motion. Then it began a rotary motion about its own axis and accelerated at an incredible speed in a westerly direction but later turned southeast. It was seen by RAF officers and men on the airfield."

Another RAF pilot encountered a UFO October 4, 1954. Flight Lt. J. R. Salandin of the 604th Fighter Squadron, flying a Meteor jet out of North Weald, Essex, nearly collided head-on with a huge, metallic-appearing object. The UFO was shaped like two saucers pressed together, one inverted on top of the other. At the last second, it flipped to one side and streaked past a tremendous speed. Two round UFO's had been sighted speeding between two other Meteor jets in the vincinity just before Lt. Salandin's sighting.


CIA Document:

September 19th, 1952.

A British Meteor jet aircraft was returning to the airfield at Topcliffe, Yorkshire, England, just before 11 A. M. As it approached for landing, a silvery object was observed following it, swaying back and forth like a pendulum. Lieutenant John W. Kilburn and other observers on the ground said that when the Meteor began circling, the UFO stopped. It was disk-shaped, and rotated on its axis while hovering. The disk suddenly took off westward at high speed, changed course, and disappeared to the southeast.

'British Activity in the Field of UFOs':

"In some RAF field, there was some sort of demonstration to which high officials of the RAF in London had been invited. During the show, a 'perfect flying saucer' was seen by these officials as well as RAF pilots. So many people saw it that many articles appeared in the public press. This is distressing to [Dr] Jones because he realises that the creation of the correction of public opinion is a part of his responsibilities."



Policeman witnesses UFO in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England, Feb 2000.

Mr. Robert had contacted MAPIT after obtaining our telephone number from UFO Magazine. Mr. Robert is 35 years old and has recently moved into a farmhouse in the Ribble Valley area. Mr. Robert does claim to have had a previous UFO exerience when he was a child and that he has no interest in the subject and is level headed. Mr. Robert has by all accounts assured us that his initial telephone call is not a wide up of any sort.

He claims that, approximately three weeks ago, (February 2000) he awoke about 10.30pm to a strange noise. At first he thought it to be a Quad Bike engine sound. He got up out of bed and walked to the _ (It was at this point Mr. Robert became agitated). He stated 'I wish I had never looked out of the window'. In the distance he noticed the noise coming from a combined harvester, probably from one of the local farms, as there is sheep in a field near by. He then suddenly looked to his right and was amazed to see, what only can be described as a metalic spinning top shaped UFO, just hovering completely silently about 50 feet away, Mr. Robert watched as the object slowly moved from left to right in a falling leaf motion about ten foot side to side.

He described the object to be shaped like a spinning top with a centre rim, and just above the rim was what looked like, portholes. One porthole had a blue light, as if there was illumination from inside the craft. There were belt type straps on top of the object and recalls how the moonlight relected of the top of it, as if metalic in structure. Mr. Robert then described watching a small blue light move out of the object and move around..


posted on May, 17 2012 @ 07:18 PM
Now if there were more threads like this in the A&UFO forum id actually start participating in this place again.

Excellent thread and topic Karl12.

Ive always wondered why UFO's supposedly move(ed) as they do, its interesting though how in more modern sightings these odd maneuvers seem to have become alot rarer or non existent. You see supposed Youtube vids of UFOs and they display none of this more classic form of motion.

I especially like the 'Coin falling in water' description (never thought of it like that before), would be interesting if they where in fact falling through a medium we didnt understand or perhaps earths magnetic fields or gravity in general had some unknown fluid aspect to it when dealing with propulsion based on repulsing or negating the effects of gravity.

Personally I think studying this sort of thing would take us alot further in understanding just what it is that makes these craft tick. When you take in things like Bob Lazars claims about how these craft function piloting a UFO sounds more like surfing waves than flying.

Thats about all i have to say, besides... More threads like this please people!


Edit:- Had a thought if the craft move by falling forward or being sucked forward then the safest way to descend I guess would be to rock or spiral downward. Moving at super high speeds, across vast distances across the surface of a planet is alot safer than trying to do the same traveling the relatively miniscule distance in comparison from your position above the ground to the ground itself. maybe some UFO have a minimum speed limit to there operation which is still to fast for a quick and safe vertical decent.

Opps, mbkennel mentions that bellow
edit on 17-5-2012 by BigfootNZ because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 17 2012 @ 07:24 PM
Maybe it isn't a "falling leaf" in fact but a spiral, as if going on the surface of a cylinder with a central axis down.

And the reason is the usual: minimize air resistance. Like a plane doing a rapid descent in a spiral?

And it only looks like a "falling leaf" from the outside because of the symmetrical shape of the craft?

posted on May, 18 2012 @ 02:55 AM
Yes it could also be an optical illusion of some sort, perhaps caused by field powering the object.

There is another aspect of these discs that has struck me. Many many witnesses describe the top part of the disc as having portholes or windows. But they almost all describe them as soft light emitting from within but not being transparent. This is an interesting fact which leads me to believe what are they are seeing are real objects as if they were just making up stories and not very knowledgeable many of them wouldn't know they are basically never transparent.

That leads me to believe that the 'portholes' distributed around the top of the disc are not windows at all for purported aliens to look out of (I think it's ridiculous to think there are living creatures piloting these complex and probably intelligent machines) but rather they are something to do with the machine's propulsion system.

posted on May, 18 2012 @ 03:46 AM
Assuming propulsion that in effect cancels inertia, the pattern suggested here could be one guided by a computer for ground-penetrating scans.

posted on May, 18 2012 @ 08:32 AM
It could also be a type or defensive maneuver, making it's trajectory unpredictable. I think this idea makes more sense as they should be able to control the craft without such a seemingly random movement.

posted on May, 21 2012 @ 10:31 PM
Two main forces control the Teslaship according to Tesla so if the shoe fits
we might have a better understanding of the saucer. One force is above
to lift. So we might have straight up or straight down performance.
The second force is from the side so that at any height or altitude the travel
can proceed with a horizontal force.

Changing the lift or relaxing the lift will made the ship drop. In the drop the
side pull effects the cone like flight envelope.

ED: Interesting where did Jacques Vallee get such detailed film of saucer travel.
What makes him so special and we see flash balls all the time now.
Sounds like he is analyzing Bill Meier film for real.
edit on 5/21/2012 by TeslaandLyne because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:14 PM

Originally posted by BigfootNZ

I especially like the 'Coin falling in water' description (never thought of it like that before), would be interesting if they where in fact falling through a medium we didnt understand or perhaps earths magnetic fields or gravity in general had some unknown fluid aspect to it when dealing with propulsion based on repulsing or negating the effects of gravity..

Hey BigfootNZ, good to see you again mate and thanks for the reply
- although it's a bit too in depth for me, there's a relevant page here speculating about the 'falling leaf' maneuver and this E-book also has a go at explaining the physics of it (although I do realize it's all pure conjecture).

I remember reading quite a few UFO reports over the years describing this type of behaviour so it would be interesting to see just how many are out there - it's not military but here's researcher Jerry Cohen describing his UFO sighting back in 1967 and he also mentions the motion.

Jerry Cohen

At first glance, I first thought it was an airplane with its engines sparking. I turned away to put down the garbage pail and all of a sudden realized I didn't hear the sound of the engines from the plane which should have been passing directly overhead at the angle it was coming in. (It was fairly low. I normally can easily hear planes much higher. I am a respected musician/teacher with really excellent ears.)

When it first hovered, I remember it having a mist around it that eventually cleared; Also when it hovered, it exhibited the "typical" falling leaf motion mentioned back then..also .. its lights were rotating. I cupped my ears and aimed them right toward it and all I could hear was a super-faint, light sort of "peal of static electricity." It was around for at least 3 minutes; generally over 2-3 neighbor's houses.

At that point, it completely blew my mind because there was absolutely no doubt what I was looking at. It was a definite craft and fairly large. (Way too large to be up there with virtually no sound) Things raced through my mind: I asked myself if it was a balloon, dirigible, kite, helicopter (actually didn't have to do that... no sound), model "anything" ... and _nothing_ fit. I'd never seen anything like it before or since. (It wasn't a dirigible or blimp of any type because the movement was totally wrong and I could always hear the motor on any blimp I ever observed and focused my ears on. It was, for the most part, quiet in our area at the time of the sighting; i.e. no competing noise.)

This next part gets to the point I am trying to make by mentioning all this: I ran into the house to get my wife and finally got her to come out to take a look. (We didn't own a camera back then.) She is not into mechanical things or electrical equipment & won't touch a computer. This "craft" was up there doing its silent thing with a "controlled" movement and I went through a whole series of questions with her; i.e. was it any of the above things previously mentioned in the last paragraph. When I was finished and got a "no" to everything I asked, and we were staring at it together, I asked her; "Hon., do you think we could be looking at a UFO." Her reply to me was; "It can't be. There are no such things.



posted on May, 22 2012 @ 10:23 PM
They sound too smart for me or are they.
All they had to do is read the first works of Tesla about electrical activity is found
to react as if in an insulating liquid with independent electrical charge carriers.
Thus a vehicle acting on electrical principles will react to the liquid of its medium.

Sounds like they know something but can't tell and must exhibit how smart they were
allowed to work on saucers. We don't get details like that.

Tesla's high voltage breaks through the insulation to control the soup of electrical charge.
The volume of charge is far reaching at the speed of light includes the ship and crew.
We know free ions exist on their own from cosmic radiation to the tune of 500 per cu cm.
Tesla does not want the free charge Tesla wants the charges locked in the liquid and alternating
or moving or oscillating with the frequency. When the inertia of locked charge points the
negative toward the ship a lift will take place. So as far as I can tell from Tesla's work in
atmospheric electricity his ship operate in a soup of locked charges.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 10:59 PM
Thanks for the read Karl! I sat and read through this early this evening, and really enjoyed the information!

As said earlier, it would be wonderful if more threads in this section contained posts like this, instead of just a video from YouTube and a "what is this?" question.

S&F for you.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by TeslaandLyne

Why ATS did away with the ignore button is beyond comprehension. For years you have wandered into very good threads and posted completely off-topic conjecture about Tesla. Please stop.

On-topic: Another great thread Karl that is very well put together with plenty of information to go at. I've often wondered myself why some of the older UFO footage kind of, well, looks like the object is flying on a pre-configured pathway or piece of string... I know many of the older UFO videos, before the age of digital image manipulation, the objects filmed looked like they were swinging back and fourth on a piece of wire held up by a broom handle. However those same images and film after analysis were proven to be authentic objects quite far away from the camera.

I found quite an intersting testimony from some of your links that you posted. People that are interested in observations of UFO's by qualified pilots in the United States Air Force should have a read at some of the material available.

SAC Officers Watch UFO With Satellite Objects

At SAC headquarters in 1958, a group of officers, airmen and missile engineers observed an elongated UFO with satellite objects for about 20 minutes. The case was reported to NICAP by Major Paul A. Duich, USAF (Ret.), one of the witnesses, who was then on active duty. Until recently, Major Duich was an Air Force Master Navigator, accumulating 4000 flying hours and 300 combat hours. During World War II he was one of those who saw "foo-fighters," while crew member of a B-29 making bomb runs on Japan. The time was approximately 1840. The date: 8 September 1958. I had just ordered dinner at the Officers Club, Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska

edit on 23-5-2012 by Jocko Flocko because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2012 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by Jocko Flocko

Stop posting to me as I contribute to Karl's thread.

posted on Jun, 16 2012 @ 04:34 PM

Originally posted by Jocko Flocko

I found quite an intersting testimony from some of your links that you posted. People that are interested in observations of UFO's by qualified pilots in the United States Air Force should have a read at some of the material available.

SAC Officers Watch UFO With Satellite Objects


Thanks for the replies and I certainly agree that anyone with even an opinion on the UFO subject should have a read through the NICAP Evidence report - it contains some pretty fascinating stuff.

A synthesis is presented of data concerning Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) reported during the past 20 years through governmental, press and private channels. The serious evidence is clarified and analyzed. The data are reported by categories of specially trained observers and studied by patterns of appearance, performance and periodic recurrence.

During the process of selecting the most reliable and significant reports, emphasis was placed on the qualifications of the observer and on cases involving two or more observers. This resulted in 740 reports being selected, after consideration of over 5000 signed reports and many hundreds of reports from newspapers and other publications.

The UFO Evidence - published by NICAP

As for other reports of pendulum or falling leaf motion, there's another news article below which describes the maneuver taken from multiple witnesses involved in the French UFO flap of 1954:


A new worthy of faith testimony comes to be added to the Gard file on "flying saucers". One of these mysterious machines was seen Sunday evening, around 8 p.m., at the fall of night above the Saint-Felix point, in Anduze, behind which it seemed to land.

It is our fellow-citizen Mr. Edmond Nicetta, brother of the famous foot runner, fishmonger, street Benoit-Malon, who was the principal witness of the fact. He was on the terrace of the house of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Brodarier, in company of this relationship, Mrs. Nicetta and Mr. Marcel Alméa, when their attention was drawn by a bulky circular mass which seemed to rotate, presenting gleams alternatively blue and red.

The craft was then approximately motionless above the Saint-Félix point; but it soon started to go down with a slow rocking movement, like a falling leaf, and disappeared soon behind the point, which is a high hill. The appearance had lasted several minutes..



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 05:20 PM
Two other reports sourced by 1963 taken from the NICAP Chronologies:

April 19, 1966; Quincy, MA

11:45 p.m. EST. Several persons saw a large disc-shaped object accompanied by two smaller discs that flashed red and white lights, hovered and swung back and forth like a pendulum. (Fowler 1974, p. 339.) [Note: Bellingham, Cohasset, Quincy, Sharon, and Stoughton, Mass., all are within about a 30-mile radius of Boston, in an arc from the southeast to the southwest.]

Aug. 19, 1966; Donnybrook, ND (BBU 10872)

4:50 p.m. U.S. Border Patrolman Don Flickinger saw a bright, shiny, round disc, 30 ft in diameter and 15 ft high, colored white, silvery or aluminum, floating down the side of a hill wobbling from side to side about 10 ft off the ground. It moved across a valley from the SE climbing to 100 ft height, hovered for 1 min over a reservoir in a horizontal position when a dome on top became visible, appeared about to land in a small field about 250 ft away, then tilted on edge and rose up into clouds at high speed. (Berliner; cf. Vallée Magonia 788; Jan Aldrich, Phillips, 1975, p. 43; witness report to CUFOS; Hynek, 1977, p. 152; Gilmor, Condon report case 8, p. 273.) [Note: This occurred within the Minuteman Missile Launch Facilities area at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Donnybrook is in the Kilo Flight Launch Facilities area.]

The 1966 UFO Chronology

posted on Jul, 18 2012 @ 04:46 PM
NICAP report from 1953 involving U.S. Military pilot witnessing a 'brilliant round white object with small ray-like appendages' descending in a falling-leaf motion - the object then reversed its direction and began to climb using the 'reverse falling-leaf maneuver' whilst changing colour from white to orange:

Feb. 8, 1953; Barter Island, Alaska (BBU)

Witness Sketch:

Footnote Document Viewer

4:50 a.m. local time. Captain R. E. Barnes was thawing and heating a C-47 at Barter Island air strip when he heard a noise that seemed to be out of synchronization with the Herman Nelson heaters running nearby. He ducked out of the wheel well and walked over to the heaters located in front of the left main gear. He immediately realized that the noise was emanating from a large, round, bright object which was descending over the building area about 3/4 of a mile away. This object appeared to be at approximately 5,000 feet in altitude and descending in a sort of falling leaf pattern. Captain Barnes estimated the distance covered by the side to side movements at about 200 feet. Approximately 45 seconds later the object had reached an estimated 2000 feet directly over the building area.

The object was described as round in shape and brilliant white in color and approximately 30-40 feet in diameter. Small ray-like appendages appeared on either lower side. After hovering for approximately 45 seconds, the object began an ascent using the same pattern as it did for the descent. During the climb out, 1st Lt. Lewis E. Griffin arrived at the aircraft and Capt. Barnes pointed out the object for Lt. Griffin. a rated pilot. At this time the object was directly overhead at an estimated altitude of 10,000 to 15,000 feet. The two witnesses continued to watch the object for two more minutes as it traveled to the east blinking as it went. Capt. Barnes is an F-94 jet pilot with 1470 hours of flying time.


posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 05:39 PM
Engineer and student witness 'coffee-cup saucer' shaped object descending in a pendulum motion whilst working on an irrigation project for the Mexican Ministry of Agrlculture in Tepic, 1969 - Source: APRO bulletin:

Field Investigator Oscar H. Egly of Guadalajara, Mexico, has forwarded a report on his investigatlon into a UFO slghting at an irrigation project site near Tepic, capital of Nayarit provlnce, on the West coast of Mexico. The obseryation took place on July 24 and the witnesses were Fernando Flores Garcia, 31, and Jesus de la Rosa Pacheco. 20. a student.

Flores, who is in charge of a small irrigation project by the Palillo River (employed by the Department of Hydraulic Resources of the Ministry of Agrlculture), was talklng to the engineer in charge of all small irrigation projects in Nayarit Province, Jesus de Rosa (Sr.), father of the second witness. After the conversation, Flores and de la Rosa (Jr.) had walked about 1,100 feet toward a pick-up truck when de la Rosa pointed out an object descending into the mountainous bushy area behind where Jesus de la Rosa (Sr.) and two colleagues were conversing. At first, Jesus de la Rosa thought it was an alrcraft but before long both witnesses were able to observe a bright object shaped literally like a "coffee-cup saucer" for 20 or 25 seconds. Flores described the object to Field Investigator Egly as a "metallic, round object."

Young Jesus de la Rosa believed that the object was moying slowly, at about 10-12 miles per hour. His narration goes: "I yelled at my friend and said 'Look, there is an airplane coming down,' then I saw it stop over some trees near where my father was standing with two other engineers. It banked slightly and I saw that it wasn't a plane but a round disk. It made no sound. It was white, like an aluminum color; it moved up, away from the trees and we saw it like a 'silver peso' facing us. 'fhen it again moved higher, leveled off and then descended with a pendulum motion until it was behind the brush. near the mountain edge and seemed to have landed there as we lost sight of it. We ran to where my father was and asked them if they had seen the round object almost above them near the trees."

However, they had not noticed anything except a noise like a "smooth truck engine approaching." Engineer de la Rosa had commented on this sound to his colleagues (as no trucks could approach the iuigation project that close) seconds before the two witnesses "with startled looks on their faces" came running up- The whole party then proceeded towrards where the object seemed to have descended, but the brush was too thick and muddy..

PDF File

posted on Aug, 21 2012 @ 01:00 AM
I read this thread, had an idea, and found that I had already posted it a few months ago.

Why I think it is probably a spiral and not a 'pendulum'.

If it were a "pendulum" then there would be a preferred axis. What chance is it that the UFO's pendulum motion happened to directly face some random observer all the time? Very little.

If instead it were a spiral, with the central axis generally pointing inwards, then it would look sort of pendulum-like in every direction.

Even if these supposed ET's might have 'warp drive' or anti-gravity propulsion, it's still possible that aerodynamic forces could have an effect. If you have a thin plate-like craft, you have less air resistance cutting through air sideways instead of brute-forcing your way up while remaining flat. Fuel and energy efficiency could still matter and so if you want to climb up in a fluid medium with resistance like air, a spiral like pattern would be economical so you cut through the air reasonably "sideways" most of the time. Also aerodynamic lift could still be important and you'd want to take advantage of it to save fuel.

Presumably if this were the case, then it might also mean that the UFO's warp engines aren't able to give a completely 'horizontal' (relative)/ vertical "absolute" thrust/displacement with the UFO turned 90 on its side, or possibly also this flight path would be unpleasant to the crew & passengers.
edit on 21-8-2012 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-8-2012 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:27 PM
This is true...in 86 when I saw 3 black objects the first one I saw was hovering maybe 5000 feet for a minute then descended making a back and forth motion. To me it looked like a "tornado " descent or cicular back and forth and stopped to a hover right above the trees. As it spiral led down its shape was larger as if I was seeing the bottom of a disc because at hover just a black line then tripled in size as came down.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 05:41 PM

Originally posted by mbkennel

I read this thread, had an idea, and found that I had already posted it a few months ago.

Why I think it is probably a spiral and not a 'pendulum'.

If it were a "pendulum" then there would be a preferred axis. What chance is it that the UFO's pendulum motion happened to directly face some random observer all the time? Very little.

If instead it were a spiral, with the central axis generally pointing inwards, then it would look sort of pendulum-like in every direction..

Mbkennel, appreciate the reply and that's some interesting speculation there - I can certainly see how a spiral motion with an inward central axis would appear to be a pendulum motion from other vantage points and you do make a good point about the likelihood of the observer directly facing the object each time.

There's a relevant document at Jan Aldrich's Project 1947 website below which provides more information on the Topcliffe incident as mentioned in the first posts - the 'restricted' report states how the object began 'a rotary motion on its own axis' but only after 'the pendulous motion and descent had ceased' so I don't know what to make of that - it then goes on to state how the UFO 'suddenly accelerated at incredible speed':






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