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Sighting Reports 2008

Photo of Helicopter Blades Reveals Unknown Streak in Background

Photo of Helicopter Using Quick Shutter Speed Reveals Unknown Streak in Background.
Photo of Helicopter Using Quick Shutter Speed Reveals Unknown Streak in Background.

Above Photo Has Been Darkened Showing That Streak is Reflection of Bright Streak on Helicopter.
Above Photo Has Been Darkened.
The Darkening Shows That Streak is Probably Reflection of Bright Streak on Helicopter.

Date of Sighting: October 28, 2008
Time of Sighting: 11:31 AM PDT
Date Sighting Reported:October 28, 2008
Duration of Sighting: Phenomenon Not Seen
Location of Sighting: Glendora, California (About 35 MI ENE of Los Angeles)
Latitude: 34.15 Degrees North
Longitude: 117.85 Degrees West
Number of Witnesses: Phenomenon Not Seen
Weather: Witness Stated That Skies Were Clear and No Clouds Were Present.

Description: I have a new lens for my camera and have been taking pictures of everything in my sight: plants, bugs, planes and helicopters. This helicopter came by and I took a few pictures of it at pretty fast shutter speed (1/750 seconds). You can see that it almost completely stops the blades on the helicopter. After looking at my pictures on my computer (only 2-3 minutes later ) I saw this streak that I had not noticed. I went outside to see if there were any clouds, but the sky was completely clear and blue. If it is something it had to be moving extremely fast. It could be something or not, just thought I'd share this. ( I used a Canon digital XT w/ Canon EF 100-300 shot at 300mm.)

Comments: As the witness stated whatever created this streak must have been moving very fast. Whatever it was would have been moving faster than the helicopter blades. No clouds were in the sky so the streak WAS LIKELY NOT A CLOUD! The comments received from a reader below suggest that the streak could be due to internal reflections in the camera body due to a very bright spot on the photo (reflection of glass on the chopper). Although I don't have extensive knowledge of camera anomalies this explanation seems reasonable. Therefore the streak is probably not a "time exposure" streak from a fast moving object, but due to an anomaly in the photography process. The second graphic above has been darkened revealing that the white streak in the sky is probably a reflection of the bright streak on the helicopter. (See comments below.)

Comments Received From a Reader: One of the most common sources of anomalous lights, streaks, etc. in photos is internal reflections in the camera body.  Good cameras like this fellow has are of course designed to avoid them, but they will show up if there is a strong enough light source.  By "strong" I mean an area in the camera field that is much brighter than the average in the photo, so that when it's image is reflected multiple times and attenuated by the dark interior surfaces of the camera (the strategy used to reduce internal reflections) it still is bright enough to show up against another part of the photo when it finally hits the "film" surface.
 
There is such an area in this photo, and it roughly matches the size, shape and orientation of the streak, although internal reflections can be distorted and flipped in one or more axes, so there is no need that they do so match.  Look at the glassed-in cockpit area of the helicopter.  You will see an elongated bright Sun glint there, which I believe is what may have caused the "streak", not a moving object.

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