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Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 7:49 PM

While exploring with the Google Earth satellite I came upon this object that appears to be some kind of aircraft. The object looks fake, but fake what? The area is a mile or two south of Interstate 40 (I-40) and a couple miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Using the Google measuring tool I figure about 160 feet long. Anybody ever seen anything like this?

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#1

Re: Unknown object in desert

12/10/2013 8:10 PM

As I understand it, Google Earth isn't satelite, photo's are taken from aircraft.

What you are seeing here is another aircraft flying below. The colours are simply artifact of the digital photo.

There is a website discussing this somewhere (sorry can't remember details).

Cheers,

Anthony

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#2

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 8:46 PM

aj's right.

It's a privately owned 737 based in Hot Springs AR, or it was 3 years ago.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 9:21 PM
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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 10:00 PM

Obviously a different aircraft. This is Embraer ERJ 145

OP's plane is 737.

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#9
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 12:44 AM

I did read the wired article and looked at their photo. Their photo looks like the plane is moving and the wings, etc. have distinct edges, whereas the photo I have they do not and the plane appears stationary. In fact if you look closely at my photo the fuselage looks like a ball point pen with wings painted onto it. The photo they show is obvious, a plane.

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#15
In reply to #2

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 3:46 PM

Correction. After viewing Drew K's post, this is the aircraft registered in Hot Springs, AR

788 × 535 - vagabondish.com

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#3

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 9:08 PM

It's the private jet of the Rainbow Coalition, photographed by individual color cameras for later combining.

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#6

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 10:13 PM

Google earth has a lot of your so called mystery's. It is already explained in the posted posts

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#7

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/10/2013 10:43 PM

Seen this before. It's just an aircraft in flight.

The camera that takes these overhead pictures uses a filter system that captures the three primary colors (RGB) in quick succession (plus one monochrome), then overlays the 3+1 images to produce a color composite. This is different than the typical camera you buy at a store with a Bayer style image sensor, but offers a much higher resolution.

The aircraft is moving at high speed and its position is not static long enough to get all three successive images at the same spatial coordinate, so it gives you the three-color smearing effect that you see.

Actually four colors if you count the last image capture, which is straight B&W monochrome. The first image is blue, followed by green, then red, then monochrome.

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#8

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 12:33 AM

If it is an airplane in flight then why can I not find a shadow? Also the front of the plane appears transparent. It also appears as if eyes were painted on either side. And if it has been photographed at different angles and the colors smeared then my next question is why would this be done and how could it be put on google earth? And when I put the pointer on the plane why does it show only 2 feet difference in altitude from the ground? Also the wings look as if they were drawn freehand, and when I try the street level view the plane looks like its on the ground.

Is it possible this was done to conceal the numbers on the plane? I also think the plane is in flight because there are no tracks around the plane(footprints, tire tracks) so did someone erase the shadow? maybe I missed the shadow. So many questions.

Thanks for your answers

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#10
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 8:00 AM

If the aircraft is at significant altitude, which is most likely, the corresponding shadow is probably off the field of view.

Also, at that speed you would not get a clear picture at any given camera frame, so the image has additional smear from its movement.

Maybe someone here knows the exact frame rate of the cameras employed that take four composite images for each finished image. I would expect each frame to be a fraction of a second, perhaps 50mS or less.

Google uses a mix of satellite imagery, aerial photography, and GIS 3D globe imagery for their data, so more than one camera type is employed. If I were to hazard a guess I would say this is satellite imagery.

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#16
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/12/2013 5:15 AM

you must see a lot of UFO's everywhere...

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#17
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/12/2013 9:19 AM

I do not understand how the altitude could be accurately determined using this picture.

The foliage in that area and in the picture is chamise, creosote, and mesquite along with desert prairie grass.

The creosote bush average height is well above 2 feet.

The picture is not even resolute enough to show the individual plants much less details such as leaf structure which means the distance between the plane and the plants is much greater than 2 feet.

I am sure the aircraft in question is a Southwest commercial flight that has not yet reached ceiling altitude.

Based on the coordinates you provided this is within the flight corridor for Albuqurque to El Paso commercial flights.

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#18
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/12/2013 5:35 PM

All you need is the camera type. That tells you it's approximate altitude by virtue of what types of cameras are used by aircraft versus satellite. This looks like a satellite and you can probably find out what satellites Google uses and look up their orbital altitudes.

If it is an aircraft they also probably use a standard altitude to take the picture.

Next, you can approximate the width of the road below and identify the aircraft type to get its wing to wing tip distance.

Having that information gives you a good approximation of the aircraft's altitude above ground.

If you know the camera type and its framerate you can also determine the approximate speed of the aircraft by the distance covered between each frame.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/18/2013 4:44 PM

agreed. that is definitely the color of a Southwest Plane.

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#11

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 9:44 AM

No matter how it was captured, it's a pretty neat find!

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#12

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 12:24 PM

Looks to me like the object was caught in-motion.

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#13

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 12:39 PM

This is not as uncommon as you might think. I did a google search of aircraft in flight on google earth, the search provided many picutres of this type of event.

https://www.google.com/search?q=aircraft+in+flight+google+earth&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=66CoUoz3K8emygG774GwBQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1422&bih=659

Drew K

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#14

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/11/2013 2:43 PM

World's largest stuffed rabbit spotted....!

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#20

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/27/2013 5:26 AM

Some good answers here, thank you all, but I have one more question; If this photo is as you say, an aircraft, then why are there not hundreds (if not thousands) of similar photos on the interweb? If you consider the numbers of aircraft/cameras out there. Hmmm?

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#21
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Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/27/2013 8:31 AM

There are more than you think, but even so, an aircraft is only so big and the Earth is far, far larger and the field of view (the angle or width of the camera's eye) is pretty narrow. The latter condition explains a lot.

So, probability rules here and that is why you don't see them in every arial picture.

Grab an empty toilet tube and look through it up into the sky for an hour and see how many aircraft you spot.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Unknown Object In Desert

12/27/2013 11:23 AM

Did you click on my link? Here, I modified the search so that it would zero in on more images.

https://www.google.com/search?q=aircraft+in+flight+google+earth&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=66CoUoz3K8emygG774GwBQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1422&bih=659#q=aircraft+in+flight+google+earth+rainbow&tbm=isch

Also, I bet google doesn't like the aircraft covering up the ground below so they replace the images when they can. As users, we like finding cool stuff but the service they are trying to supply is a good image of the ground.

Drew K

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