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Further Investigation by Martin Jasek

Calculation of UFO Size

ufo-distance-map.jpg (322882 bytes)
Map showing Kevin's location, the direction he was looking when observing the UFO, perceived UFO trajectories, maximum distance for UFO trajectories. The map indicates that the UFO could have been much further away and a lot bigger than perceived.

It is a known fact that the size of objects and their distance are almost impossible to estimate accurately if both of the following two circumstances are true:

1. If the object is more than about 10 metres (30ft) away. (This is beyond the limit of human binocular vision that enables one to render 3 dimensional spatial relationships between objects.)

2. If the object is unfamiliar. (i.e. the size is unknown). It is relatively easier to estimate the distance of a familiar object such as a car or a person since we have practice at this. Even beyond the binocular limit.

In Kevin's case, both were true. So what can we say about the size of the UFO?

We know that Kevin did estimate the size of the UFO as well as its distance from him. This does provide useful information. When Kevin observed the UFO, both its distance and its size were unknown. The human brain however immediately tries to assess both. This is instinctive; it is a function that is built into us to determine if something is a potential threat. Kevin's mind immediately ran through plausible known objects that he could relate to such as a "full-size school bus" or a "DC-3 aircraft". He quickly determined that the object's physical features were inconsistent with both of these but nevertheless his mind accepted that the object could be about the same size. Once his mind had a "perceived size", he could also estimate the distance. Notes on his drawing, gives an object size of 30 or 40 ft long (9 to 12 metres) at a distance of 400 to 500 yards (366 to 467 metres). Kevin made another estimate of the size and distance of the UFO as a DC-3 at about 0.5 miles (805 metres) in a letter written to his freind Doug. A full-size school bus is about 12 metres long and and Macdonald Douglas DC-3 aircraft is about 20 metres long.

There is an indication that the UFO Kevin was watching could had been much further away than estimated by him. Kevin mentioned that "I then watched it go behind a cone-shaped hill". This would put the UFO on the other side of the valley, about 6500 metres (more than 4 miles) away. To maintain a similar angular size to Kevin, the UFO would have to be much bigger than 9 or 20 metres. To get an idea how much bigger, one can take ratios to calculate the UFO maximum size. The following is an example:

Let's use a perceived distance of 450 yards (411 metres) and size of 40 ft (12 metres). We can set up ratios as follows and cross-multiply to obtain the possible size if the UFO was at the other side of the valley at 6500 metres.

12          x
----   =   ----
411    6500

x = 190 metres

This size is quite startling as the largest airliner, a Boeing 747 is only about 70 metres in length. The table below gives the results of several calculations based on several size and distance estimates that Kevin has provided.

Estimate Perceived Distance
Perceived Size
Maximum size
at 6500 m
A DC-3 at 450 yards* 411 20 316
A school bus at 450 yards* 411 12 190
A DC-3 at 0.5 miles** 805 20 162

* The distance of 450 yards (411 metres) was used as it was the average of Kevin's estimate of 400 to 500 yards.
** This estimate was given in a letter from Kevin to Doug.

The above table shows that the UFO could have been very large indeed. Somewhere in the order of one to three football fields. However, that would only be true if in fact the UFO was on the other side of the valley. Kevin did mention to me that the UFO could have hid behind the mountain on the other side of the valley or just looked like it did but "dematerialized" instead. This is one possibility as Kevin did see it partially dematerialize as it flew across its trajectory.

Have questions for Kevin? send e-mail to:
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Have questions for the investigator? send e-mail to:
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