An observed property of UFOs in photographs
Summary. A widely available image contrast enhancement technique was applied to photographs containing UFOs. The results show that toroidal optical anomalies are often adjacent to UFOs. At least one torus is always very close to each UFO, suggesting that the torus may be a side effect of an unknown propulsion technology. Further, the UFO is never centered on the torus, but is always located on or near the ring. Some tori found near a small aircraft were also associated with a barely visible UFO in the vicinity. This suggests that other tori found in photos of the Hubble space telescope and the Challenger disaster were also created by invisible UFOs, perhaps for the purpose of monitoring the performance of our aeronautical and space technology.
William C. Treurniet, October, 2007
A simple image processing technique applied to digital photographs is useful for enhancing parts of an image that are normally too faint to be seen. This technique was applied to a chance observation of a curious, disc-shaped optical anomaly superimposed on a cloud background. Further investigation of photographs from various sources discovered many doughnut-shaped objects or tori that appear to be an optical effect in the atmosphere.
The tori are often present in photographs of UFOs, and they have also been found in a few pictures of of airplanes and space technology. They can occasionally be seen in the unprocessed image, but they are easily overlooked or interpreted as a natural element in the scene. Tori in the frontal plane are most easily detected, but those with other orientations can also be discerned. When a torus deviates from the frontal plane, it appears to have a finite thickness. In the extreme edge-on view, the projection on the frontal plane approximates a rectangle.
The visibility of the tori outlines range from distinct to faint. When the intensity of the area of interest is not saturated, image processing can extend the visual range of intensities to improve discrimination. The Adobe Photoshop image equalizer tool usually has this effect, and a free plugin available from Mehdi provides additional non-linear equalization that can be controlled by the user. The Mehdi equalizer was used to process the images presented here. For viewing the processed images, the display should have ample spatial and color resolution; for example, 1600x1200 pixels and 32 bit/pixel.
Comment: Since publication of this report, I have noticed that some computer displays do not show the contours outlining some of the tori. Perhaps the display pixel size was too large to show edges that were less than one pixel wide on those displays. My initial observations of the tori were made on a Dell 15 in. Ultrasharp UXGA display driven by an NVideo NV17 3D video system. Unfortunately, some people using lower quality displays may not be able see some of these tori.
The pages in the picture gallery show examples of photos in which a UFO is associated with one or more tori. Both the original and processed images are shown. Detecting some of the fainter tori requires some attention to detail, and the ability seems to improve with learning. Therefore, versions of the processed photos are shown where the inner and outer boundaries of some of the tori are outlined with ellipses. Since initial publication, some images were added as they became available.
Before we attempt to understand the origin of the tori, we need to consider the possibility that they may be perceptual artifacts. Increasing the contrast of images with the equalization tool brings into view noise-like variations in image intensity, and these may be interpreted by a biased observer as particular shapes. In some cases, a well-defined torus is clearly visible, but in other cases, the torus can have various degrees of imperfection. When concentric ellipses are seen near the UFO in a noise-like background, there is a tendency to recognize a torus even when the ellipses are not well-formed.
Further, the complexity of visual interpretation increases when we try to understand the image as a projection from three dimensions. For example, as the angle between the frontal plane and the plane of the torus increases from 0 to 90 degrees, the projection of the torus is an ellipse within an ellipse and finally an approximate rectangle. There are also cases where tori appear to intersect at arbitrary angles, and the resulting projections are even more confusing. Finally, the shapes may disintegrate over time, so less well-formed tori may also be useful data. In spite of these difficulties, regularities in shape and placement strongly suggest that the torus shapes are not random occurrences. The consistency of appearance and placement across images can give us confidence that the tori are real phenomena.
Properties of toriSome properties of the tori may be inferred from the photographic evidence.
Optical properties. A torus is visible mainly because the edges are darker than the rest of the ring's surface. When the line defining the boundary is covered, it is usually more difficult to distinguish the torus from its background. If there is a difference, the surface of the torus tends to be darker than the background. Since the surface typically has the same texture and perhaps a slightly lower brightness than the background, it appears to be optically transparent with the ability to absorb a small amount of light energy. The darker edges are perhaps a result of increased absorption of light passing through more surface material at the edge where the surface is at a larger angle to the plane of the image. In summary, the torus appears to be a hollow object, and its surface appears to absorb a small amount of light energy.
Physical properties. Most of the observed tori were photographed in the atmosphere, so it is possible that the shell of a torus is defined by a particular atmospheric condition. There is evidence, however, that a torus can exist without an atmosphere. The following image of the Hubble telescope is accompanied by a torus, and there is very little atmosphere in its environment. The torus is seen in the processed image as a small dark ring extending from the left end of the telescope.
Interaction with matter. Tori were also detected in the following frame from a video of the Challenger shuttle explosion. That image suggests that the tori can interact with matter. Notice the stack of tori on the left of the processed picture just beyond the range of the explosion. Also, on the right side of the picture, a tendril of smoke appears to extend upward through the hole of a torus and follows the contour of the ring. This image suggests that the positions of the tori were affected by matter/energy, and the motion of matter (i.e., smoke) was influenced by the presence of the tori.
HypothesesThe tori are predominantly associated with UFOs but have also been found occasionally in the vicinity of identified flying objects. This circumstantial evidence suggests several speculative hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1: The torus is created by an unknown technology.
In most of the photographs in the UFO photo gallery, there are usually several tori to be found, and at least one appears always to be in close proximity to the UFO. In fact, there is a strong tendency to find the UFO touching the ring of a torus. The short distance between a UFO and the closest torus supports the idea that some unknown technology on board the craft is responsible for creating the torus. Such technology can be considered alien in the sense that it is not in the public domain.
If the responsible technology is alien, how would we then account for the appearance of tori near objects like the Hubble telescope? It is possible that alien technology might have been installed secretly, but it is unlikely that this would have gone unnoticed. An alternative scenario consistent with the hypothesis is that we are being monitored by technology under alien control. That is, the observed tori may be created by alien monitoring devices. Therefore, the appearance of tori near man-made objects is not inconsistent with the hypothesis that they are generated by alien technology.
The following photograph of a small airplane also supports the idea that alien devices near conventional airplanes are responsible for the observed tori. The photograph is accompanied by the equalized image showing several tori. Notice also the red spot in the upper left corner touching the ring of a distinct torus. Given the earlier examples of tori accompanying UFOs, it is not a huge leap to suggest that this object is a UFO responsible for creating the tori shown in the picture. It is just barely visible in the original image as a reddish smudge. The smudge and associated torus in this enhanced image is good evidence that a UFO may sometimes fail to register on photographic media.
Hypothesis 2: The torus is an electromagnetic system effect.
Consider the possibility that both UFOs and some man-made objects use some kind of electromagnetic transmission system that can influence light propagating through the atmosphere. Such a system may be used for navigation or communications, and the torus would appear when the system is activated. However, radar transmissions are usually not associated with a visible effect in the atmosphere, so this hypothesis is unlikely to be true.
Hypothesis 3: The torus results from translation of a rotating mass.
The photographs show that tori appear around both UFOs and some man-made objects. Therefore, if on-board technology produces the torus, it must be common to both kinds of craft. Perhaps the essential component of this technology is a rotating mass. The gyroscope used by conventional aircraft navigation systems contains a spinning rotor, and the disc-shaped UFO may also have a rotating mass as a component of its propulsion system. As it moves, the rotating mass might create a large-scale dynamical process in the surrounding space that affects light propagation in a toroidal pattern. This process would be mediated by some novel property of space. Several theories outside of mainstream physics hold that space is not empty. For example, Stoyan Sarg's Basic Structure of Matter theory says that space is filled by an active lattice structure that mediates the propagation of light. Perhaps a particular lattice dynamics could create a toroidal macrostructure which would be visible to the eye.
Hypothesis 4: The torus is an unrecognized natural phenomenon.
In most photographs, the tori seem to be concentrated preferentially in the region surrounding the UFO, suggesting that one may cause the other. However, in some photographs the tori are distributed more widely and the causal connection is harder to infer. It is still possible that the distant tori were created by passage of the UFO through the space where they are found. They may simply persist for a period of time. On the other hand, the tori may be distributed randomly due to some unrelated process, and a UFO positioned anywhere in the photo would likely be close to at least one of them. This would imply that the tori and UFO are not causally related. Perhaps a more careful study of the space/time positions of tori in a video sequence would help to demonstrate a causal link if it exists. In the absence of such a link, the possibility that the torus is a natural element of our environment cannot be ignored.
ConclusionThere is presently little evidence to support Hypotheses 2, 3, and 4. Hypothesis 1 offers the most likely reason for the existence of the tori, given the consistent proximity of tori to UFOs. That is, they are most likely created by alien technology. This technology might power the disk-shaped craft as well as other devices placed in our environment. Perhaps tori photographed near our technological devices are created by undetectable alien technology designed to monitor our technological and social progress. The ability of UFOs to be invisible to the naked eye is not without precedent. Some invisible UFOs have been photographed with cameras sensitive to the infrared spectrum. Therefore, it is not inconceivable that other alien devices should remain invisible as well.
The consistent appearance of tori near UFOs photographed over the years offers a tool for discriminating between staged photographs (i.e., hoaxes) and photographs of devices employing alien technology. When recognition grows that UFOs may be accompanied by tori, hoaxers may begin to simulate the tori as well as the actual craft using computer graphics tools. In the meantime, the presence of tori will help to distinguish a photo of an alien craft from a photo of a hubcap tossed into the air.