An insight into UFO spotting

Having seen the video footage of the UFOs over Sandy Bay (see Journal website - Editor), I would suggest they are caused by solar balloons.

Having seen the video footage of the UFOs over Sandy Bay (see Journal website - Editor), I would suggest they are caused by solar balloons.

In Britain, there have been sightings and video recordings of objects in the sky that might have been caused by solar balloons. These can be easily made from black bin bags taped together or purchased in high street shops or online.

Instead of using helium or hydrogen gasses to lift the balloon, the heat from the sun is absorbed by the balloon's fabric and, as the air inside it gets hotter, the higher the balloon rises. These type of balloon can be cylindrical or 'UFO' shaped and can travel hundreds of miles.

At night, orange lights in the sky can usually be identified as being caused by Chinese Lanterns. UFO expert Jenny Randles on the ufologyinuk forum says:

"There has, indeed, been a visible upsurge in 2009," in UFO sightings.

"I have had twice as many calls in the past six months than the same period last year. However, one thing was immediately obvious...they...were overwhelmingly down to the immediately apparent cause of fire (Chinese) lanterns. I was able to identify this as the cause in a staggering 90 per cent of all cases so far this year with an interview and brief investigation.

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"This type of IFO has so utterly dominated UFO reports via Jodrell (Bank, radio telescope) this year in a way way that no other single UFO cause has ever done in the past."

Balloons of most types can be identified by the following criteria:

1. Shape - this can vary from teardrop, cylindrical, cone, oval, round or disc shapes. Tetrahedral balloons can appear delta-shaped and create the illusion of vertical surfaces.

2. The brightness and colour of a balloon can vary according to the type of material it is made of and by the time of day. At sunrise and sunset it can appear orange in colour. The reflection of city or moonlight from a balloon can also make it look more self-luminous and eerie.

3. Duration - a sighting of a balloon is likely to last a few minutes up to a few hours.

4. Movement - generally they travel slowly, but can reach speeds of 150mph. As it rises, the balloon will increase in size and might move erratically. Wind currents at a higher altitude are different from those at ground level, making the observer think it is "going against the wind".

5. Rotation by the balloon can make it look like it is a bright flashing light in the sky.

6. A cluster of balloons can look like a formation of UFOs moving in unison.

7. The parachute recovery of the payload or the rapid descent of a balloon envelope can appear like a UFO crashing to the ground.

8. Temperature inversions can create the illusion of a second balloon in the vicinity.

9. Having no engines, balloons are completely silent, although manned balloons do carry a noisy burner.

Nigel Watson,

Author of 'The Alien Deception',