Defence Force UFO

imageA photo taken in February 1965 has sparked debate over a UFO seemingly seen in the background.

The official Defence Force photographer snapped the picture of the navy cruiser Royalist whilst the ship was on its way back from Waitangi celebrations.

The photograph was recently dug out for a new website for Devonport Navy Museum. The staff member who found it checked the negative, then called in a digital imaging expert, who established that the image was in the original.

Opinions on the identity of the 'UFO' differ.

Museum director David Wright said there was nothing to explain what it was.

The object appeared to be some distance in front of the ship and none of the sailors working on the bow was taking any notice, as would be expected if something was going on.

He said it looked to be too distant to be a dinner plate thrown from the bridge and the same would apply to a clay pigeon used as a shooting target. The angle of the object and absence of visible lines suggested it was not a parachute.
However, Carter Observatory senior astronomer Brian Carter disagrees.

He said that when the object was enlarged it had a sharp edge to it. Under the same enlargement, the edge of the cliff on the right and the bow of the ship were not that sharp, he said.

That suggested the object was quite close and therefore quite small.

He believed it was something thrown from the bridge or some other part of the ship.

Extraterrestrial Life Military Photos

Posted on Fri Nov 10, 2006


If it is UFO sized, in the distance, and that dark on the bottom, shouldn't it be casting a shadow on the water?
Posted by Skeptical  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  08:57 AM
The angle of the shadows seems to indicate it might cast a shadow on the rock or behind it.

Kind of a dorky looking UFO. It looks like a flattened parachute.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  08:59 AM
It looks _exactly_ like a parachute. Just saying.
Posted by Vryce  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  09:31 AM
I don't think you would see a shadow on the water, for something that size and at that height unless the sun was an hour or two each way of Local Apparent Noon and you were wearing polarized lenses.

It looks pretty shallow for a parachute, but that seems reasonable.
Posted by Jim  in  Columbus, Ohio  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  10:43 AM
looks like one of those parachute things that get towed by boats. no people in it but still. could be an empty parachute being dragged by a boat behind the rock in the left of the picture.
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis City, Wonderopolis  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  12:55 PM
This shows exactly why photos aren't probative. It could be something very small and close up or something medium sized and a few hundred meters away, or something huge and very very far away. There's no way to know.

I'm guessing it's something small above the boat.

The fact that it seems to be in sharp focus is a pretty good argument that it's not big and distant.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  02:28 PM
Something big and distant usually doesn't have such a dark underside. The larger the underside the more reflected light, enough so that a camera would see it. Likewise a distant object would have enough atmosphere between it and the camera to color (lighten) the appearance of the dark underside.
Posted by Neal  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  04:19 PM
It looks like an open parachute to me...the question is, where is the person??
Posted by jackie  in  NY  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  06:50 PM
I am to tell you all that it was something thrown over by the mariners. It was not an interstellar expeditionary transport of the Vega Class X type, you know? Oh, I am also trained to tell you that it might have been Venus or swamp gas, okay? Honest to you, you know, it's not filled with warrior scientists bent on your subjugation and enslavement as we steal your sun. Really, that would just be so silly, you know? Ha ha ha don't get me started, okay? Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  07:40 PM
It does look an awful lot like a parachute. You can even make out something in the enlargement that looks like the shroud lines. If it was a parachute, and judging by the angle that it's at, it could be attached to something that's behind those rocks on the left.

Or, of course, it could be something small and close-up that fell off the bridge, or something else altogether.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  11:02 PM
If it were filled with warrior-scientists, they would be 40 years older by now. I can just imagine a bunch of old, grey, wrinkly, bug-eyed aliens wandering about, "Blast it all, has this atmosphere gotten more polluted since we came here? Dang hu-man kids! Fouling our rightfully conquered air! Where's my anal probe? I put it down right here, I know I did! Back in my day, we used rayguns for conquest, not infiltration and all this bloody shapeshifting business! No respect these days. Whut? Speak up!"

Although I suppose all the old alien-sighting pictures would have that same problem by now. I wonder why this has never occured to me before.

It looks sort like the cap off a torpedo to me. Maybe they were throwing bits of ordnance around as a frisbee? smile
Posted by Mentle  in  The Left Coast of Canada  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  12:18 AM
So, the Big Questions are:

*How did aliens land on the ship without being seen?


*Why did the aliens throw a bowl from the ship?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  01:31 AM
Chip in the lens, maybe?
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  03:59 AM
Looking at the inseret, there does seem to be something under the object. It looks to me as if it is more like heat exhaust than parachute lines, if it is lines then they are attached wrong. And Phil McBaggypants, I don't think parasailing existed in 1965. I think it was invented in the mid-to-late 70's. And the object does fit the description of UFOs from the earliest times, kind of. Descriptions have changed over the years. Maybe different groups of warrior-scientists. And Cranky Media Guy, yeah, it does look like a salad bowl, kind of, maybe the cook used the wrong kind of salad dressing and the Captain threw it away in disgust.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  07:52 AM
Well maybe it isn't parasailing. Maybe it is just some extreme form of kite flying. When was that invented Mr. I'm-Christopher-Cole-and-I-know-when-everything-was-invented? Kite flying, when did that start? Probably before parasailing.
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis City, Wonderopolis  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  11:50 AM
It looks kinda like a '65 VW Beetle hubcap.

By the way, this photo just turned up in a museum, and no one is claiming a UFO sighting that was hushed up all these years, right?
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  03:15 PM
Phil, kite flying goes back at least three thousand years before parasailing. I'm not sure, I wasn't around at the time. I vaguely remember the start of parasailing, I've never been interested in trying it, about the time I mentioned. And given the choice between a kite and a parachute, I'd vote parachute. At least the standard parachute given the airborne troops, not the more modern rectanglular type. And, now that I started thinking about it, I think I remember something about using kites for field recon, a large kite able to hold a single person who used the height to observe the enemy. When this was tried, if ever, I can't remember. Looking at the picture again, maybe it's Saran Wrap under the object, which would support my salad idea.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  03:33 PM
their work is coming in days- check SOHO. I can say no more.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  04:30 PM
behave yourself, priest. Remember our agreement, or need I remind you of my authority? Maintain your position and await further instructions. That is all
Posted by Raoul  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  04:33 PM
I heard that the glass plate negative the photo was taken from was found to be chipped.

No kites. No parachutes. No salad bowls. No aliens. Sigh.
Posted by Wendy  in  Wellington, NZ  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  05:06 PM
Wendy, if it is from a glass plate and the plate is shipped, then that would explain a lot. However, I think the upper edge of the object looks too smooth to be a chip. I could be wrong, I can't see the details too well. If anyone knows enough about optics, maybe they could explain why the one area is so dark. I would think that a chip would have let some light through the entire chipped area.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  06:12 PM
I do agree it is a parachute-like thing. It could just be very early parasailing. Without people. If it was a bowl how is it so high and far away from a high spot on a ship. Whoever threw it must have a really good arm. The ship is filled with strong sailers.
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis City, Wonderopolis  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  08:17 PM
Wendy said:

"No kites. No parachutes. No salad bowls. No aliens. Sigh."

So, Wendy, how much DO you charge to poop a party?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  01:17 AM
If it's something small and close, did anyone ever think that maybe it was a race of MINI ALIENS!?

Who says they have to be our size n_n
Posted by Mera  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  01:48 AM
"If it's something small and close, did anyone ever think that maybe it was a race of MINI ALIENS!?"

Heh, like in hitchhikers when they get eaten by a dog.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  10:51 AM
What about them getting eaten by a dog? Is that in Mostly Harmless?
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis City, Wonderopolis  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  11:26 AM
Joe DaJuggler, If I hadn't read you're comment first, 'twas the one I was gonna post...
Posted by Christopher  in  Joplin, Missouri  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  03:58 PM
Just a minute... Let me see if I got this... so you're lacking originality, Christopher? smile

Posted by DukeLeto  in  Bucharest, Romania  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  05:09 PM
"So, Wendy, how much DO you charge to poop a party?"

Five thousand bucks. But I'm booked right through Christmas, sorry.
Posted by Wendy  in  Wellington, NZ  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  07:38 PM
DukeLeto, where in the hell would you get that idea?
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sun Nov 12, 2006  at  08:46 PM
Comments: Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.