Kembara Langit - A Journey Into Twilight

This blog is dedicated to the study, documentation as well as any possible analysis of what I consider to be the most intriguing things in life. UFO's; odd scientific/technological/philosophical break through; pondering on the super/preter-natural; tinkering on plausible conspiracies. The type of things that defies the limitations of science, stretch the very depths of our imagination and ultimately shows us that we basically know very little about this universe called LIFE. This blog is thus not meant to provide or pretend to provide definitive answers for anything.

September 13, 2010

Lens Flare and the Media Hype

June 2010 also saw a rather interesting 'thread' in the BETA UFO mailing list. This time it was taken from another thread on one of the country's 'biggest' online forum, Kaskus. A member of the said forum uploaded two photographs allegedly taken on June 12 at the newly built Suramadu bridge, that connect the city of Surabaya with the island of Madura. In the photos, are seen several 'UFO-like' shapes in the sky near the bridge which -according to the photographer- were not seen before the photographs were taken. The original photos themselves were not very clear until another forum member helped to 'emphasize' the objects in question as can be seen below.

The photos has since attracted quite a lot of attention, particularly on the grounds of the photographer's belief that he those objects are indeed UFO, and sparked a lot of discussion both on the original Kaskus forum as well as in BETA UFO's mailing-list. One of the primary conclusion reached in the BETA UFO discussions is that the photo is nothing more than a lens flare effect.

Strangely enough, the photo then sparked the media's ongoing interest and hype over anything 'mysterious' or 'uncanny'. BETA UFO was contacted to state its conclusion on the said photos in August, for a Jakarta-based TV station's afternoon program. Guess what? Not long after that, someone finally came to the Kaskus forum to show, with two very clear photos seen below, that it is INDEED a simple lens flare effect.

I guess the interest on UFO's has indeed grown by leaps and bounds in the country, but the media's 'warped' approach to it all (most interest in the UFO-related phenomena are currently shown by celebrity gossip programs, for crying out loud) hardly promised a better understanding of the phenomena.

The Oldest UFO Photograph in Indonesia?

BETA UFO researcher and former chairman, Nur Agustinus contacted me about this intriguing photograph that he seemed to have found October last year. I have since been unable to verify the possibility of it being a genuine UFO photograph as those I have contacted –with presumably better understanding of photographic analysis- has never replied to my query. The object in question is the small, oval-shaped speck somewhat halfway to the center of the photograph.

If it is indeed so, then this photograph, which was shot in 1935 during the emplacement of the Dutch colonial administration’s state railway to Padang city, West Sumatra and found as part of a collection of old Indonesian photographs owned by KITLV, is definitely the oldest UFO photograph to date in the country.

The KITLV data showed that the photo was part of a collection of photographs which are featured in a book titled “Stations and Bridges in Sumatra: 1876-1941” by Michiel de Jong Ballegoijen that was published in Amsterdam in 2001. The photo itself was originally part of an album presented to C.L. de Voogt at his departure as head of the Dutch East Indies’ State Railways Operation in Sumatra's west coast, from April 1933 to August 1935. More data could be seen in the KITLV document entry of the said photograph presented below (google translated from Dutch to English).

Dutch to English translation

Collection: KITLV

Description / Description: Emplacement of the State Railways to Padang in

Sumatra's West Coast

Signature / Image Code: 52711

Album Number / Album Number: 610

Detailed Description / Detailed description: Left behind the station

Keyword / Keyword: Padang, railway stations, railways

Format / Size: 12x17cm

Physical form / Property type: Photo

Date / Date: 1935

Specialties / Additional: stations and bridges in Sumatra: 1876-1941 / by Michiel

de Jong Ballegoijen. - Amsterdam, 2001 Album presented to ir C.L. de Voogt at his

departure as head of the State Railways in Operation Sumatra's west coast from

April 1933 to August 1935

Collection / Collection: Ball, F.H.J.

Origin / Provenance: Ball, F.H.J.