12-007-AN1 (Guttenberg, Iowa)

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Synopsis: On 23 Sep 12, at sunrise, the witness was taking photos of the sky with a camera. While reviewing the photos, the witness noticed a strange object on the right end of the photo. The witness submitted the photo to The Aerial Phenomenon Investigations Team for analysis.

Evidence Submitted: Photo of a UFO.

Initial Action: This UFO investigation was opened as an AN1 – an anomaly that left no lasting physical effects, such as lights in the sky and similar phenomena. A preliminary analysis of the video indicated the UFO was more than likely a Catadioptric Lens Flares.

Investigation and Findings: The witness claimed the UFO was not personally observed while taking photos of the sunset – a common indicator of a lens flare. The UFO was, in fact, noticed later that day while reviewing the photos. Additionally, the Sun was also within the frame of view, which indicated the likely source of the lens flare.  In an effort to positively identify the object as a lens flare, investigators obtained the original photo and applied standard cross-section analysis. The analysis of the photo indicated the anomaly intersected with the known light source inside the frame of view (the Sun) on the left side of the photo.

Object Details: Lens flares are created when non-image forming light enters the lens and subsequently hits the camera’s film or digital sensor. The lens flare often appears as a characteristic polygonal shape, giving the appearance of a “flying disk or saucer”.

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