Ultraviolet UFO Photography
At the opposite end of the visible light spectrum and just beyond the colour violet, we have the ultraviolet. Like the infrared part of the spectrum, ultraviolet radiation is also invisible to normal human sight, but by using a full spectrum camera or camcorder in conjunction with an ultraviolet pass filter you can take a glimpse into this normally unseen world and record the strange invisible life-forms and objects that reside there.
In his later work Trevor James Constable also began probing the ultraviolet, his filter of choice being the Wratten 18A, and in 1975 he discovered that he could capture UFOs from the window of an airliner by placing an 18A filter over the lens of a low-light Super 8mm movie camera loaded with Ektachrome 160 colour film. The 18A filter is designed to absorb the visible light spectrum while passing its two invisible ends i.e. the infrared and ultraviolet, but despite this Constable managed to capture the UFOs in full colour as they flew alongside the airliner at 30,000 feet. He theorised that these colours were created between the camera filter and the film, and he called this mingling of the two invisible ends the reverse or dark spectrum.
Fig: 1. My first convincing capture in the ultraviolet was this jellyfish-like invisible life-form, filmed as it moved "tentacles" first above the main roof of my house on the afternoon of September 29th 2011. The object was captured using a full spectrum Sony Handycam, which was fitted with an X-Nite 330nm UV pass filter. The "sun obliteration technique" was employed, with the apex of the house roof being utilised to block out the main body of the sun. The "jellyfish" which was recorded at 25fps only appeared in two frames, and by the next frame it had moved far enough out of the "illumination zone" that it became very faint and almost transparent and barely visible. Fig: 2 shows an inverted version of the same image.
The X-Nite range of UV pass filters
X-Nite UV filter transmission rates. Copyright MaxMax.com.
The above graph shows the transmission rates of the X-Nite 330, 330C, and UVR ultraviolet pass filters available from MaxMax.com. The x-axis shows the infrared transmission in nanometres, while the y-axis gives the percentage of transmission. As can be seen from the graph, there is a slight differential between the ultraviolet transmission of each filter, as well as the amount of infrared radiation that is also passed.
The X-Nite 330 filter blocks the visible light spectrum while allowing the invisible ultraviolet radiation to pass to the camera's sensors, having a peak ultraviolet transmission of 80% at 330nm. It also has a slight infrared transmission around 720nm.
The X-Nite 330C filter by comparison has barely any noticeable infrared transmission, giving you a pure ultraviolet image.
The X-Nite UVR filter blocks most of the visible light spectrum apart from a small amount of visible blue light, and like the X-Nite 330 it also has an infrared transmission, but ultimately it passes a larger amount, having almost a 60% infrared transmission at 720nm.
In the summer of 2011 I began using the "sun obliteration technique," whereby I would utilise the nearby rooftops adjacent to my main research area, in order to block out the main body of the sun. This creates an area just above the apex of the roof which I refer to as the "illumination zone," as any invisible objects passing through or above this point, are completely illuminated by the sunlight, making them visible in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, sometimes for a mere fraction of a second.
Typically, I would set the camcorder up on a tripod, and then aim it straight up at the rooftop, zooming in slightly, and then focusing the camcorder (using the view through the viewing screen) on the apex of the roof, always making sure that the main body of the sun was kept hidden below the roofline. Although most of the objects I captured using this technique were only visible in the ultraviolet when reflecting the sunlight, a small minority, however, appeared to be self-illumined, and therefore required no illumination.
After much experimentation I discovered that the X-Nite 330nm filter performed best for my needs when used in combination with the "sun obliteration technique," and much of my best ultraviolet UFO footage was obtained this way. Because it is such a dark dense filter I found the X-Nite 330nm to be much more efficient when used in bright sunny situations with lots of ultraviolet light in the scene, and it didn't perform that well on dark or overcast days when there is little or no natural sunlight.
Due to the X-Nite UVR filter passing both infrared and ultraviolet radiation along with a small amount of visible light, I found that the sheer amount of reflected light would often be too intense for the camcorder's sensors, sometimes causing distorted or over-exposed images. For this reason the X-Nite UVR is much more suitable for filming things further away or much higher up in the sky, rather than employing the filter in any type of sun obliteration.
It is advisable to keep an eye on the camcorder's LCD screen quite regularly when filming to ensure that the sun does not rise too high above the edge of the roof, as this will create a "white-out" which will ruin any potential footage and could potentially damage the camcorder's sensors. Always use the LCD screen when working, and never look directly at the sun through the camera/camcorder's eyepiece if it has one, no matter how tempting it is, as this can result in permanent eye damage.
In Figs:3 and 4 we see a perfect example of an invisible mushroom-like UFO entering the "illumination zone" and becoming visible in the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This was my second capture in the ultraviolet, and was also taken on the afternoon of September 29th 2011, at around 3pm, using a full spectrum Sony Handycam fitted with an X-Nite 330nm UV pass filter.
Fig:5 shows an invisible worm-like bio-form, captured as it moved above the main roof of my house using a full-spectrum converted Sony HDR-PJ650 Handycam, fitted with an X-Nite 330nm UV pass filter. The video was recorded in HD at 50 frames per second on June 6th 2016, at 4.15pm, and the object only appeared in the one frame. Inset, we see a black and white enlargement of the object, showing the detailed markings of the bio-form's chrysalis-like, almost transparent body, which is heavily reflecting the afternoon sunlight in this position. A cloudbuster was used to excite the atmosphere locally prior to, and during filming, and its pipes were aimed right above the house roof at an angle of around 60 degrees, and exactly in line with where the camcorder is pointing.
Fig:6 shows a rather strange-looking invisible form, captured on ultraviolet camcorder footage as it moved above the rooftops, at the edge of my research area on July 31st 2013, at 12.10pm. The footage was recorded at 25 frames per second on a full-spectrum converted Sony DVD-650 Handycam, fitted with an X-Nite 330nm ultraviolet pass filter. The object only appeared in two frames, and in the second frame only a small part of the propeller-like appendage is visible.
Over the years I have noted many examples of objects similar to this, morphing and changing shape as they move through the atmosphere, and in many cases, as in this case, they appear in a form that makes no sense aero-dynamically, or in terms of propulsion. Like many of the invisible forms I have captured in the ultraviolet since I began my work, this object appears to be caught up on, or riding a fast moving west to east etheric flow. Fig:7 shows an inverted version of the same image.