a reply to: mirageman
Just wanted to signup to talk about an aspect of Rendalsham I've never seen examined. namely the artificial nature of the shadows in Larry and
Adrian's encounter with the ship and 'lifeform'.
The details that Larry recounts about the incident are so congruent with an attempt to generate a 'mixed reality' computer rendering that the event
cannot have been a false memory or hypnotic suggestion.
Larry mentions that their shadows fell on the craft as they walked to and around it. He also mentions that the shadows were sluggish and lagged behind
their movements slightly.
this description suggests an attempt at real time shadow generation either on the surface of the object or as part of a projection.
Why would anyone want to generate artificial shadows? To make a less than realistic or incongruous object blend in with its surroundings. The giveaway
is that the shadows Larry described were sluggish, or in computer graphics speak ,the systems latency wasn't fast enough to be realistic.
A camera observing the interactive elements (Adrian and Larry) would calculate and project appropriate shadows. Whatever computing system was
generating this illusion could not complete the process in real time.
This is why the shadows lagged.
This detail on its own would only be suggestive. It's the second detail that screamed that the shadows were artificial. Larry recounts that it was odd
that the shadows were so strong as there was no light source behind him.
With no direct light source there should have been no shadows created by a point light source ( a spotlight). With no lightalls functioning in
position - the correct type of lighting for a movie recreation would be 'area lighting' or radiosity / occlusion.
These would generate very realistic faint, soft edged shadows. These would have been far more computationally intensive to generate though.Looking at
computer graphics patents from the late seventies - radiosity and occlusion were not even being talked about.
Ray tracing was and that could have generated more realistic area lights and shadows but would have required immeasurably more computer power.
I'd like to propose that requirement for blending the craft into its environment meant that any shadows were preferable to no shadows. As such 'shadow
mapping' with a hypothetical point or spotlight source was chosen.
These two choices are by far the least computationally intensive.
This can only be for one of two reasons - the technology to generate realistic shadows was not possible due to a fault or the system lacked the
computing power to generate them.
The details fit well enough to make me think that a real craft with active camouflage (of any origin) or a 'mixed reality' attempt are the only
This hypothesis rules out false memories or hypnotic suggestion.
I find it incredibly unlikely that these two major details regarding shadows would have simply been imagined . They fit a computer rendering scenario
with limited or faulty computer power far too well.
To put this another way it would be nearly impossible to take a video of a background sene and composite a crude computer generated vehicle,with no
visual cues such as lighting and shadows, and have it be believable.
I've never seen any attempt to explain Larrys recollection of the lighting 'artifacts'. The latency of the shadows or the inappropriate shadow type
or lack of light source to cast them all fit in with the state of the art in computer graphics in the late seventies.
Of course - no real time systems existed then to do this so the logical conclusion is that the system generating the graphics was 15 - 20 years ahead
of consumer systems.
This suggests either a much more advanced system that was very faulty. Or somewhere near by was a large block of processing power that were ahead of
the state of the art by a decade or so.
That means a room full of computers, possibly repurposed from another task within tens or hundreds of meters and possibly some sort of fibre optic
network to link them...