Rod (cryptozoology)

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In cryptozoology, ufology, and outdoor photography, rods (sometimes known as "skyfish" or "solar entities") are elongated artifacts produced by cameras that inadvertently capture several of a flying insect's wingbeats.[1] Videos of rod-shaped objects moving quickly through the air were claimed by some to be alien life forms or small UFOs, but subsequent experiments showed that these rods appear in film because of an optical illusion/collusion (especially in interlaced video recording).[2]


Optical analysis

Various paranormal interpretations appeared in the popular culture, and one of the more outspoken proponents of rods as alien life forms is Jose Escamilla, who claims to have been the first to film them on March 19, 1994 at Roswell, New Mexico, while attempting to film a UFO. Since then, Escamilla has made additional videos and embarked on lecture tours to promote his claims.[3]

However, investigators have shown that rods are mere tricks of light which result from how images (primarily video images) of flying insects are recorded and played back. In particular, the fast passage before the camera of an insect flapping its wings has been shown to produce rodlike effects, due to motion blur, if the camera is shooting with relatively long exposure times. [4]

On August 8/9, 2005, China Central Television (CCTV) aired a two-part documentary about flying rods in China. It reported the events from May to June of the same year at Tonghua Zhenguo Pharmaceutical Company in Tonghua City, Jilin Province, which debunked the flying rods.[2] Surveillance cameras in the facility's compound captured video footage of flying rods identical to those shown in Jose Escamilla's video. Getting no satisfactory answer to the phenomenon, curious scientists at the facility decided that they would try to solve the mystery by attempting to catch these airborne creatures. Huge nets were set up and the same surveillance cameras then captured images of rods flying into the trap. When the nets were inspected, the "rods" were no more than regular moths and other ordinary flying insects. Subsequent investigations proved that the appearance of flying rods on video was an optical illusion created by the slower recording speed of the camera.[2]

See also


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