Ben Hansen, host of the SyFy channel’s Fact or Faked Paranormal Files, hosted a sky watch with advanced night vision equipment for the Phoenix area Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and captured some interesting video of two curious objects.
The Phoenix area chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) holds sky watches after many of their meeting in the nearby Superstition Mountains. On November 16, 2013, Hansen was the guest lecturer for their monthly meeting. He joined the group, as did I, for the sky watch. Fortunately, Hansen owns a night vision company called Night Vision Ops. He brought along some great equipment for everyone to try out.
During the sky watch two lights were spotted that could not be seen with the naked eye. Hansen was able to track the lights and record them on HD video. I was also tracking the objects with another of Hansen’s night vision devices.
The objects did not have any blinking lights, like planes would. As Hansen explains on the video, “Although there are many commercial and military vectors in the area, conventional craft are required to use nav beacons which are easily seen pulsating though night vision.”
The description Hansen posted with the video reads:
November 16, 2013 skywatch in the Superstition Mountains which took place after a Phoenix MUFON meeting. 3rd Generation night vision was adapted to a DSLR camera filming in 1080p HD. Two objects were witnessed for over 9 minutes traveling in unison across the sky. Some satellite formations such as the NOSS do orbit in formation. The video is an example of the capability of Generation 3 night vision to enhance objects too dim to see with the unaided eye. The LRS night vision scope attaches directly to the camera body of your DSLR Nikon or Canon for crisp filming with the included lens or your own lens attached to the end. Other night vision scopes can be adapted to your iPhone. To learn more about night vision and thermal options and to purchase your own equipment, visit Night Vision Ops at www.nightvisionops.com.
Often simple points of lights turn out to be satellites, but satellites do not typically travel in groups. However, the Navy has the Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS). These are satellite formations that can travel in groups of two or three. They are also dim enough that they cannot typically be seen by the unaided eye, but night vision could spot them.
In the video, Hansen writes that he is “almost certain” what he captured are NOSS satellites. Although he admits, “In all my skywatching, it’s actually the first time I’ve seen a pair of these.”
One of the people present at the sky watch, who claims to have worked for the Air Force tracking satellites, said he was certain these were not satellites. I am not so sure either.
A few days prior to this sighting I wrote a story about a UFO video that does appear more likely to be NOSS satellites. In that video the objects keep the same distance from each other. In Hansen’s video the objects change in position relative to each other. My guess is that they change position because they are much closer than satellites, and as the angle we view them changes, they seem to change position.
The Navy does not publicize the orbits of the NOSS satellites. However, hobbyists have tracked them and sites such as Heavens-Above.com predict their orbits based off of that information. Heavens-Above.com did not list any NOSS satellites passing over the Phoenix area on the night of November 16.
Another MUFON investigator that was present suggested they were military jets with their lights off. Nearby is the Goldwater testing range, and jets are often seen flying over that area doing exercises with all lights off. However, technically the military should not be flying over an urban area such as where we saw them with their lights off, but it is certainly possible.
NOSS satellites, military jets with their lights off, swamp gas, or something more mysterious? Let us know what you think.
UPDATE: A reader has pointed out more evidence that the video is of two NOSS satellites. Read the comments below.
we had starlight scopes in Vietnam; to see the enemy at night….this must be a direct descendant of our scopes?
NOSS satellites aren’t named “NOSS” in satellite databases. They use the “USA-” designation.
USA-194 passed the Superstition Mountains on that date at that time. Its movement in the horizontal and vertical directions changed over time as seen in the video. USA-194 is a pair, vice a triplet, of NOSS satellites.
USA-194 peaked at magnitude 5.3. Heavens-Above doesn’t report satellites passes dimmer than 5.0 magnitude.
Never heard about birds? In night vision you can see the the heat of their bodies and they don’t do any noise
AHA! Thanks Chew! I have seen NOSS satellites listed as NOSS on Heavens-Above.com. I have also noticed previously that Heavens-Above will list each satellite in the group separately, but as you note this is a pair, but is not listed separately.
I researched the other satellites from that night with a USA designation there is a USA 181 and USA 181 DEB listed. These are also pair of NOSS satellites that travel together. This could have been those also. I’ll have to find out if Ben noted the exact time we saw them.
Here is a great site listing the NOSS satellites: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/noss3.htm
Thank you for your tip. I think you have helped us identify these little suckers!
I highly recommend that people who are interested in this phenomenon find a partner with the same 3rd generation optics and camera setup. Using identical equipment placed at a known distance apart would permit the use of stereogrammetry – the measurement of size, distance and speed via stereographic cameras placed at larger than normal distances apart. Starting with about 10 feet apart, equip each system with a laser pointer pointed at the camera’s infinity, one mounted on the left side of the camera, and one mounted on the right side. Have the laser pointers on the side closest to the other camera. To align the cameras, the operators just seek out each other’s laser beam; the cameras are aligned when the beams touch at the vanishing point. From this arrangement a 3D movie can be made which would allow visualization of the objects relative to the motionless starfield (infinity). With some daylight calibrations using cars, airplanes or buildings, the size of these objects can be deduced by how different the left and right images are. It is simple geometry.
I don’t know what they were, but I live not too far from the base of that mountain range and have been seeing strange lights for years in this area. One can never be too sure, but I think it’s a good idea to start having periodic meetings where people record with night vision equipment. If there’s anything out there to be seen at night, that stuff will probably be the most helpful for capturing it…..either that or it will get YOU captured! lol….But seriously, I’d like to go up there with that group and some night vision goggles and see what I can see. Good luck in the future.
Human made Satellite usually does not change speed or trajectory and I am not talking about geostationary satellite
The UFO objects stopped and changed trajectory multiple times!
1. Do you have any idea how match energy/fuel required to stop or change a speed of any satellite??
2. If any satellite makes a “Deorbit Burn” it will burn in atmosphere after few minutes.
Satellites don’t stop. You have got to be kidding?????? As an astronomer, I see satellites in orbit constantly. They move across the sky at a constant rate and fade as they move across the sky. They are moving fast and they orbit the Earth. These objects stop. Either they are faked in a movie making computer program, or they are manned space ships. Satellites orbit around the earth……. period……. We are at a fixed position. If they stop ” by two’s”…… Your kidding right???????? What the heck????? If this is real footage, look at how they line up with some other similarly illuminate objects which have the same apparent lumination and diameter in the video. I think there are 4 or 5. But you need to record the coordinates to see what is a star and what doesn’t belong at that particular time. If no satelites are supposed to be there at that time, then you are golden…… These stop?????? Are you kidding???????? UFO…………… end of story……..
Well, looking at this video many times, I realized something. It appear that they are moving right to left, but as you watch the video, you see that as they move across the sky, they don’t actually stop, but slow down. They stay at the same distance relative to each other. It seems now, as I don’t mind sounding like an idiot in my last post, these are satellites moving, in stead from right to left, but at a diagonal away from the viewer making the appearance that they are slowing down but because of the intense luminosity, you can’t tell that they are moving away in distance from the observer. Probably satellites. Too much wine on a Tuesday night!