UFOs over Edinburgh

While out with my camera the other day I took the following photograph:

Ross Fountain

Ross Fountain, East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

This is the Ross Fountain in the East End of Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.

Extract from Wikipedia:

After being cast in the Durenne Ironworks at Haute-Marne in the early 1860s, it was displayed at the Great London Exposition of 1862 where it was seen by philanthropist and gun-maker Daniel Ross, who bought it for the City of Edinburgh. It was transported in 122 pieces and arrived in Leith in 1869.

I didn’t notice anything when I took the picture (click on image for a larger view).

But what about this?


Are these alien spaceships?

Doesn’t this look like a formation of UFO’s? (maybe it’s just me?) This is a view cut from the above picture.


UFO’s over Edinburgh

Here’s another view to put it into perspective. I took an almost identical picture only seconds before and there was no sign of these “UFO’s” so they must have been moving pretty fast and it is highly unlikely to be artefacts on my lens/filter.

Just to be clear, I don’t really believe these are alien spaceships, in fact I very much doubt these are flying objects at all, I assume it is some sort of effect of the light. I took the picture with my Canon 550D using a Canon 17mm-50mm lens fitted with a circular polarising filter (focal length: 18mm, F-Stop: f/8, ISO-100, Exposure 1/200 sec.) with no lens hood.

It is not uncommon to get lens flare when facing directly towards the sun. Quite often the filter will cause lens flare, additional light effects or additional light reflections but I have never seen something like this, normally lens flares move out from the sun, while these do not, although they do seem to fade the further away from the sun they are. I took this image almost immediately after the other image but deliberately moved to one side to catch the sun shining around the side of the fountain.

Lens Flare

Classic Lens flare

Lens flare?

Suggestion they are caused by the light source

I drew lines joining the dots and extending them, these lines do seem to radiate towards the main light source (the sun) although not perfectly. There are several holes in the fountain and perhaps these dots are caused by light shining through them, reflecting on my filter and just happen to make a “triangle” shape.

I can easily see why some people would jump to the conclusion that these are UFO’s when looking at the picture. If I said I actually saw these lights moving in the sky then I imagine a lot of people would immediately accept the image as proof of UFO’s, like most “UFO” photos they are not clear (fuzzy white dots), the “lights” appear to be in formation and there is nothing obvious to cause a lighting effect.

N.B. UFO’s do not necessarily mean alien spaceships, the name is, Unidentified Flying Objects, some UFO picture may well be genuine images of natural phenomena, military aircraft, chinese sky lanterns or other “non-extraterrestrial” effect.

What do you think?

If nothing else, I hope you like the original picture, I was quite pleased with the  way I caught the sun glowing behind the fountain.


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