December 3, 2014 – Abbotsford, BC, Canada – 4 to 4:30 PM PST



Description: Hi William: I have a photo here with two curiosities. First, what drew my attention was a ring or circle in the western sky south of the setting sun. I drive this area doing bird photography and have never seen this before so I took some photos to capture the moment. When I looked at the photos in one I noticed these colored orbs in there and of the photos that I took this is the only one that has it. First I thought it was a reflection or distortion in my lens due to pointing the camera towards the sun, but if so my other photos should have them also, but they don`t. It might be nothing or as in some of my photos from last year it seems these things always appear in tandem. I leave up to you if there is anything here.

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3 Responses to December 3, 2014 – Abbotsford, BC, Canada – 4 to 4:30 PM PST

  1. Jack L. Metcalfe says:

    The circular contrail could be any of a host of aviation related operations, but it’s probably a military aircraft, maybe a tanker or more likely an E-6B TACAMO or E-4B airborne command post. E-6B TACAMOs & E-4Bs often fly oval orbits near GEP sites (Ground Entry Point – you’ll have to look it up) & offshore while in communications with submarines. Offshore, they fly tight orbits, because they trail miles long wire antennas for VLF communications with submarines & the antennas need to remain as vertical as possible. This could also be a tactical military aircraft in a MOA (Military Operations Area) working with ground units or even a commercial aircraft running some sort of test.

    I don’t see any “orbs”, but in every photo I have seen, they are just reflections or lens flare, generally.

    • Administrator says:

      Thanks for the information. You have a good knowledge of military aircraft and operations. I am a meteorologist and I am not aware of any atmospheric processes that would produce a cloud like the one in the photo.

      • Jack L. Metcalfe says:

        Well, thank you. I often see E-6Bs & E-4Bs in “orbits” near my location in central Kentucky. The aircraft will sometimes be on station for a few hours as they fly near the GEP site at Signal Mountain, TN.

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