Nostradamus — King of Terror
Marshall Masters, 24-September-01
Table of Contents
Analysis of NASA Video Feed Solar
Eclipse as Seen From Turkey
on August 11, 1999
By Marshall Masters
Former CNN Field Producer, Science and Technology Features
report was authored by Marshall Masters and first published as part of
The Millennium Group (TMG article), Solar Eclipse as Seen From Turkey, on August 17, 1999. It received over 1.5 million hits within the first month .
SUMMARY: The images shown on this page were captured from QuickTime
movie of a NASA feed. In this video clip, three unusual objects appear
at the instant of the full eclipse. I have named them Objects A, B and
C. These objects were captured by the camera and not the result of a technical
What caught my attention were the camera movements. I could see that the
cameraman was trying to acquire something that had appeared in the overscan
area of his camera viewfinder, in the upper right hand corner of the image
FIRST SIGHTING: I first detected Objects A and B on a Real Networks
G2 80K video clip taken from the CNN site on 11-Aug-99. I reviewed that clip
several times and determined that the objects were not caused by a lens flare,
a defective camera imaging chip, or a dropout on the recording tape stock.
At that point, I brought my findings to the attention of Earl Crockett and
Gary Goodwin of the Millennium Group. What I wanted to know is if these objects
were something explainable, such as a reflection from a building or an airplane
that had crossed the camera's point of view.
ANALYSIS: Gary Goodwin examined my findings, and was able to find
the QuickTime clip of the exact same NASA feed. QuickTime 4 clips have a much
better resolution than Real Networks G2 clips, and Gary found a third object,
which I've titled Object C. He sent me this clip and asked me to confirm the
third object, which I did. He also asked me if the clip had been "edited"
in any way.
I installed QuickTime 4 Pro on my PC and used it to capture the images shown
on this page, directly from the clip. I used Microsoft Paint to add comments
to the BMP files generated by QuickTime and then used CompuPic to convert
those images to the GIF and JPEG formats for use on this web page.
These images are presented in order below. (Click on any image to view a
full size JPEG version.) My conclusions follow the images.
Please keep in mind that video captures images in 1/30th of a second. Many
of the captures shown in this still sequence represent fractions of sections.
For the typical televison viewer, these split-instant images are a blur. On
the other hand, experienced video professionals learn to spot aberrations
such those shown in the images below.
CONCLUSIONS: I can only speak as a video producer and a professional
photographer. I am not a trained astronomer. What these objects are is not
for me to say, but I can say the following:
- These Objects are Real: Please note 00:00:18A and 00:00:18B. Object
A appears in the same place and on two frames and with very different exposure
- The Cameraman Instinctively Tried to Acquire Objects A and B: For
the first six seconds of the clip, the cameraman does a sure and steady
job of panning with the Sun to keep it centered. However, at the moment
of the eclipse he zooms out to acquire Objects A and B. He cannot, and zooms
back to his original perspective. Then, for some reason he zooms back out
again as though he had reacquired Objects A and B in the overscan area of
his camera viewfinder.
- The Clip May Have Been Edited: The jump between 00:00:18A and 00:00:18B
seems odd. However, without access to the original media, it is impossible
for me to ay with any certainty that this scene was edited. On this issue,
I would rather defer to the opinion of a professional video editor.
August 15, 1999