How to Capture a UFO Sighting
By Perry Jones
Spotting and capturing a UFO on film isn’t the easiest thing to do. No one knows when one will appear – so if you’re sky watching in search of UFO’s your best bet is to be as prepared as possible at all times. This means having the right photo or video equipment in a convenient package that you can carry around with you all the time. We have all seen the shaky videos and blurry images, and that’s why we are going to talk about how to incorporate modern technology into the hunt for UFO’s. Here are a few of the more common types of equipment you can or should always have on you – just in case a mysterious object appears before your very eyes.
A few researchers have captured some interesting Bigfoot images on game cameras. These are the kind you put up on a tree and wait for something to trigger the camera – sorta like a security camera. The problem with game cameras is the slow response rate. It takes a second or two of movement to “wake up” the camera, and for a UFO that’s just not quick enough. Not to mention, even the highest quality game cameras are not meant to capture very fast moving objects. If you’re a Bigfoot or cryptid researcher a game camera would probably work nicely to provide surveillance of remote areas, but unless the ship lands and the alien gets out to walk around to pose for the camera these are just are not going to work for the UFO researcher.
To start out, you need a camera up to the task of capturing high speed objects. Cameras that can do this have extremely fast shutter speeds and large apertures for the perfect exposure. They also tend to be more expensive than your average digital camera.
If you’re looking for a camera aimed at capturing UFO’s think of sports photography – especially baseball. A high frame rate allows the photographer to capture a 95+ mph baseball as it approaches the bat. A UFO is presumably moving much faster than that. Properly dialing in the frame rate of your professional grade camera will reduce blur and give you a better chance of seeing the UFO.
If you cannot afford professional grade photo equipment, even a newer and lower priced digital camera is a pretty fantastic piece of equipment to have with you. You can also justify the purchase to your significant other by showing them the benefits – plenty of romantic walks to capture outdoor photography of plants and birds (and potentially UFO’s) as well as family photos.
Sometimes, pulling out your awesome handheld camera might mean missing out on the UFO sighting of a lifetime. Luckily, there’s one type of camera almost all of us have on our bodies all the time – the cell phone. The large majority of UFO videos over the last 10 years have been those captured on cell phone cameras. In fact, it’s rare to find a video these days recorded on anything else. Today’s cell phones cameras have become pretty advanced with a suite of camera settings that helps them take pictures and HD video that rivals professional grade equipment of just a few years ago.
I use the LG V40 and it has 5 cameras and an extremely detailed set of photo enhancement and stabilization options. The cameras themselves are probably superior to many dedicated digital cameras on the market. The built in software allows the camera to adjust to lighting issues which helps to minimize lens artifacts (a source of many false UFO and paranormal reports). I can also capture 3 photos at once from different perspectives. If I saw a UFO, I could use this Triple Shot feature rather than pinch to zoom in and out. That’s a big time savings when time is of the essence. If you are using a cell phone camera as your main way of trying to capture a UFO sighting keep these tips in mind:
1) Keep your phone in the same pocket every time, to save time. If suddenly a flying object appeared you don’t want to waste time wondering “where is my phone?” This happened to me several years ago when I witnessed a weird creature near my home. I was not able to get a picture of it since I was fumbling to get out my phone.
2) Practice makes perfect. You might forget what button does what when under the stress of a UFO sighting. Play with your camera from time to time to stay familiar with its buttons and features and get good at using them. It’s simple, but if you don’t take a lot of photos you should practice taking pictures of things from various distances, lighting conditions, etc. Maybe trying taking pictures of traffic, a high speed object like a car could give you a good idea of how to capture a UFO.
3) Know your camera settings. Practice firing up the camera and quickly accessing the different settings on your camera and find the perfect one. You will not have time to adjust color temperature etc, in the moment. That’s why it may make sense to keep the setting on automatic. If you witness something, try snapping off a few photos with the automatic settings, then if you still have time adjust things like light and distance and keeping taking pictures or video for as long as you can. The more evidence you can get the better chance you have of substantiating your sighting.
While drones can themselves be responsible for many mistaken UFO sightings, their value as a platform to photograph unidentified flying objects cannot be understated. Newer drones are easier to control (most have autopilot) and come with HD cameras that could capture up close, high quality footage of a mystery object. If you’re wondering what kind of things you could capture on a drone, I recently wrote about some drone operators who captured a high speed aerial phenomena with a drone in Utah (view footage by clicking here).
Just a few years ago, Drones were really expensive and out of the budgets of most people. Now the price has come down making them accessible for just about everyone. I even saw one at the supermarket this past weekend for $30.00. That’s amazing. Granted, the camera was lower resolution, but to get a remote controlled airborne object for that price is amazing. A cheaper model could be a good way to practice, and then as you build skills and become confident that you will not crash or lose your drone, you could invest in a higher quality model. I did a search on Amazon and the Discovery Wifi FPV is highly reviewed affordable option. Once you’re ready to go to the top of the line – the Holy Stone HS700 is packed with features including 1080p resolution. It’s the drone of your dreams.
While the other items on this list require you to see the UFO and react in real time to get the recording, a dash cam provides an unparalleled amount of ‘set it and forget it’ reassurance. We have become aware of how valuable dash cams can be to law enforcement, but how about to UFO researchers? There’s nothing faster than a camera that’s already recording. Today’s dash cams can record many hours of video on a single SD card in high definition. Something like a GoPro (which is 1080p HD and waterproof) could serve multiple purposes to justify the price – a dash cam for UFO watching and something to take along mountain biking and hiking. Later you could go back and review the footage at high speed to see if there was anything you missed the first time around.
Capturing a picture or video footage of a UFO or alien is not easy and that’s why you have to be prepared when opportunity knocks. Hopefully my tips help you capture a UFO on camera. If you do – be sure to report it to me so that BDSC readers can analyze your sighting.