Friday, 27 July 2007

Strange lights over Fettes College, Edinburgh, summer 2007

One night just after midsummer, five or six days after the solstice, I decided to take some photos of the residual light in the northern sky at Midnight GMT, so 1 am BST. At the latitude of Edinburgh for a few weeks either side of solstice the sky does not get completely dark, and I have wanted to get a photo record of this for a few years now.

I figured the view from Learmonth Terrace north over Fettes College would be good.

I used my basic digital camera, hand-held, no flash, and mediocre resolution, but I wanted the sky-light and wasn't too bothered about a bit of camera shake!

I took five, two landscape and three portrait style. When downloaded onto computer I became aware of lights in the sky on some of them, all bar the first. Strange, shouldn't be planes at that time of night, certainly not in formation. If military, jet planes, or helicopters, at least four, would have made a bit of a din. There was no noise at any time!

Also I was unaware of any lights in the sky, at the time of taking the photos!

I considered birds, swans or gulls perhaps, as these lights were white, but too brilliant to be birds I reasoned, and they should be in silhouette against the light to the north.

I considered particles of whatever on the lens, but as stated above the camera was rotated 90 degrees between landscape and portrait, any surface particles should also have been rotated.

They are not stars, they move and are too bright, and appear against or below the cloud in the second and third photos.

A friend made a video of them and posted them on YouTube, the link being here!

Then an e-mail arrived with a link to the Daily Mail report of a formation of lights over Stoke-On-Trent recently!

Seems similar to what I had found in my photos!

The five photos shall be posted, (next post above) and a series of five zoomed images of the lights above Fettes College. The video above at least shows the movement of the formation of three/four lights, arcing over the College and dropping down to the west.


Anonymous said...

The fact that you didn't see them with your eyes is telling. Whenever the paranormal gets going, people seem to forget reflections, lens flares etc. The lights are in fact "ghosts" of three particular lights in front of Fettes. You can see that the lights on the lamps move in parallel to the ones in the sky, so it is almost certainly to do with your camera, not atmospheric phenomena.

Tom Graham - Landscape Geometry said...

I thank you for that observation. I think you may be right, I shall retain some doubt though as the lights causing the 'ghost' reflections are orange, but the reflections are pin-prick sizes but white. There is another salient fact in favour of your solution. The last two photographs, were taken after I had walked down a bit to be clear of the nearest street-light. Those are the two photos with the lights against the clear sky, and there are only three, unlike the first three photos with four lights showing. Thanks for the contribution.