NARCAP Case 16 Part 2



Figure 6. Flight Path Diagram with Distances and Notations

The exact location of the airplane at any instant during this incident is not known. Nevertheless, several useful parameters can be estimated to a reasonable degree of precision. If we assume that the airplane was flying at 6,000 feet altitude above ground level (AGL) over the Yamato VOR, initiated its final descent for landing there, and followed a constant three degree glide path to the ground then the 34.5 km. distance flown to the runway would be reasonable. And, if the airplane was at 6,000 feet altitude at and just beyond Yamato VOR (which is about 25 km from the location of the witness) the vertical angle between the ground (assumed to be flat) and the airplane would be 4 deg. 11 min. arc. The witness's reconstruction of the event shown in Figure 1 suggests a somewhat larger elevation angle than this by a factor of two for some unknown reason.

Camera Information : The Canon FV1 (S/N 1680154649) was released in the fall of 1998 and had the following specifications: (see footnote 6)

Image Sensor: 0.25” interlace charge coupled device (CCD) (approx. 390,000
pixels); approx. 360,000 pixels (effective) The chip is sensitive to
wavelengths from approximately 450 nm to approximately one (1) micron.
Scan: 525 lines interlaced 60 fields (30 frames/sec.) NTSC

Video Signal: NTSC (standard color video signal)
Operational Range : approx. 2 lux (low light mode) to approx. 100,000 lux
Lens: 46 mm diameter. 3.9 – 62 mm, F/1.8 (35mm – 560 mm in 35mm film
High-performance aspheric lens (2 double elements)
Zoom: 16 x optical, 64 x digital (variable speed)
Tele-converter lens was also used by Mr. K.A. providing an additional 1.4
magnification for a total zoom of 16 x 1.4 = 22.4 x.
Electronic Shutter: 1/60, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000,
1/4000, 1/8000 sec.

Image Stabilization: optical image stabilization
Power Consumption: approx. 5.4 w during recording & auto focus); approx.
6.2 w using LCD viewing screen. Lithium button battery
Dimensions: 73 by 100 by 146 mm
Weight: approx. 720 g
Other Features: (selected) automatic wind noise reduction, digital video input
recording, auto-date memory, shutter speed or aperture memory, light
metering (center-bottom-weighted).

This camera incorporates a lens shifting image-stabilization system. A vibration-detection gyro sensor emits electronic signals (when the camera is shaken) that shift the lens group so that the resultant image remains steady on the CCD sensing surface. Manufacturer's brochures claim “…absolutely no degradation of image resolution.” However, this claim should be independently verified over a suitable range of camera movement amplitudes and frequencies before being accepted without qualification.

The digital image resolution is given as 525 scan lines (vertical) by about 685 scan lines (horizontally) for 359,625 total pixels which effectively limits its ultimate image resolution. Mr. K.A. does not recall the lens' zoom settings or changes in zoom during any of his video capture.

Videographer's Verbal Comments : The faint but audible comments made by Mr. K.A. during his filming were recorded by the camera and translated later. (see footnote 7) They are given in Table 1.


Table 1

Verbalizations Made During Filming
Time on Tape Translations by

Mrs. Samiko (Mr. K. Amamiya)



01:02 It's not airplane. (Is this an airplane?)

I don't know what they are [Japanese don't use plural/singular].
(what is this?)

01:30 I am trying to focus. (The image becomes dim when over

01:43 I am trying to focus camera [mumbling]. (I should take a picture of
this within the range of the optical zoom. Because the image
becomes indistinct when becoming digital.)

02:03 What's that? What's that?

02:17 I wish I could see by my eyes [translator said that Mr. Amamiya meant

that he could not see the light with the naked eye]. (I want to
see with the unassisted eye. However, it is not good because it
disappears when eyes are separated from the finder.)
02:30 It's flying away. (Oh! Do you go away?)

02:31 It is strange.

02:52 It's going away. Maybe focus of camera is not on. That is why it is

disappearing. It is going out of sight. (The outline grows dim…)
02:57 It is now out of focus. I can't see by my eyes. If I saw this by eye,

it could be different. - again he is reiterating that he can't see the

light by the naked eye. (…and is out of focus.)


Measurements and Discussion

The following measurements were made of selected video frames: (1) Airplane dimensions, (2) Relative UAP dimensions and distance from camera, (3) UAP Image Dimensions, (4) UAP Physical Size Determination, (5) UAP Pixel RGB Intensity Characteristics, (6) UAP Spectral Characteristics, (7) UAP Shape, and (8) How the UAP Disappeared.


1. Airplane Dimensions : It is important to quantify various physical dimensions of this airplane in order to assess the possibility that (a) the airplane changed its attitude (yaw, pitch, roll), and (b) the camera lens was zoomed in or out during this incident. Both can be evaluated from the imagery. The airplane's fuselage length and wing span was measured from individual, enlarged video frames between 00:10 and 00:38 seconds ET. Both measurements begin at the first clear frame containing the airplane and end twenty-eight seconds later at 00:39 just after the airplane leaves the field of view. These measurements are presented in Table 2. They are graphed in Figure 7 to illustrate the non-linearity of these dimensions over time. A straight reference line also has been added.


Table 2
Relative Dimensions of Airplane's Length and Wingspan Over Time
(measured from enlarged computer screen)
E.T. (min:sec.)
Length (mm.)
Wingspan (mm.)
airplane out of view



Figure 7. Change in Relative Aircraft Fuselage Length and Wing Tip

Breadth Over Time

It is clear that these dimensions do not change in a linear fashion. The change in airplane length suggests that the camera lens' focal length (zoom) may have been changed slightly just as the UAP appeared. The change in wing span may suggest either the occurrence of a slight roll maneuver and/or a heading change of the aircraft. Theoretically, both of these dimensions should vary as a tangent function.

2. Relative UAP Dimensions and Distance from Camera : The CD data file received from Mr. K.A. was played using Windows Media Player at maximum (full screen) enlargement between ET 00:35.8 to 00:40 seconds. The UAP first appears in the lower right corner of the frame at 00:35.6 seconds. The width and height of the yellow-orange-white UAP was measured approximately every 0.2 second (i.e., every six frames) during this interval with the following (relative) results: mean width = 1.84 mm (SD = 0.95); mean height = 1.32 mm (SD = 0.78). Median width = 2.05 mm; median height = 1.50 mm. Figure 8 shows all eighteen data points during this 4.2 second-long period wherein a small increase in the relative horizontal and vertical dimension was found on the average that is not visually apparent. It isn't known whether this was the result of an increase in the size of the UAP, an approach toward the camera, or both.

Figure 8. Change in Relative Width and Height of UAP Over Time

The video camera captured a generally round [or slightly flattened oval(s)] of intense light that possessed a short dark band above and another below it (see Figure 17 for an example). These dark bands are not likely an artifact of a contrast enhancing capacity within the camera's scanning circuit because they are not seen associated with the intense, white wingtip lights.

A critically important fact to be determined is whether the UAP was nearer or farther from the camera than the airplane. If the UAP occluded any part of the airplane during its flight it would have to be nearer than the airplane; if substantiated this would permit calculations to be made of its maximum size. In order to test this important matter several frames were enlarged and studied where the UAP passed by the left wing of the airplane. Figure 9 is an enlargement the airplane and UAP on frame 23 at 00:37 (see footnote 8)as the UAP approached the left wing tip. At this point in its flight the UAP was still too far from the wing to determine if it was nearer or farther than the wing. It is included here for comparison purposes. Figure 10 is an extreme enlargement of the wing area in question on frame 23.

Figure 9. Enlarged Image of Jet with UAP below Left
at Time 37 sec (Frame 23)


Figure 10.

Enlarged Image of Aircraft's Left Wing Tip

at Time 37 sec (Frame 23)

Figures 11 is an enlarged image for frame 24 (1/30 th second after frame 23) at 00:37 when the UAP has reached the tip of the left wing.


Figure 11. Enlarged Image of Aircraft's Left Wing Tip
at Time 37 sec (Frame 24)




7.The authors are indebted to Mrs. Samiko for her able assistance. Mr. K.A. also provided us with his
own translation that is inserted above in Table 1 in parentheses.

8. The camera captured thirty (30) frames per second.


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