Updated: Jun 25
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 18/06/2020
Last Modified: 25/06/2020
Note: For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used
It was the afternoon of 17th February 2014, between 1-5pm. Julia was at the office studio where she works in Risør, Norway. Her work colleague David was also present. It was a slightly overcast day but was very still. Julia suddenly noticed a strange object in the distance out of the office window. To the South South West she saw what appeared to be a brightly glowing white coloured cigar-shaped object. It seemed to be at least 2 km from her location and at high altitude, at least as high as an aeroplane would fly at. The UFO was shining brightly, possibly due to sunlight reflecting off its surface. It appeared to be much larger than a passenger aircraft. It was moving to the left across the sky on a level course at roughly the same speed as a helicopter would fly at.
Julia immediately grabbed hold of her iPAD and leaned out of the window to take some photographs of the object. She managed to take 4 photographs over the space of 60-90 seconds before the object vanished behind the peak of Risør Peninsula.
Strangely when looking back at the event later on she did not recall having seen the object from the office window. She remembered being outside the building and observing it. It was only when she checked the angle of the photographs taken that she realised they had been taken from the window.
The four original photographs which Julia took:
Photograph of a passing aeroplane for comparison:
Zoomed view of the UFO. The object is behind the tree, the way in which it appears to be in front of some of the branches is down to colour bleed out:
Zoomed view of the UFO with edge find:
When analyzing the metadata behind these images it is clear that they have been opened and saved in Windows Photo Viewer. Unfortunately this has changed a lot of the data. However there are still some observations worth pointing out. Below are a number of images which show a comparison of the metadata of three different photographs as displayed in an comprehensive online metadata viewer. The photo on the left is a control image taken on an iPad Mini. The middle photo is the same image after it has been intentionally modified in Paintshop Pro. On the right is Julia's first photograph. Important points have been highlighted. Below each image I will discuss these highlighted points.
Basic Image Information
- Original and intentionally modified iPad Mini images generally have very little Basic Image Information as you can see. The additional tags seen on the UFO photograph are going to be down to particular settings of Julia's device.
- When an iPad Mini image is modified the size of it changes as the editing software has better compression than the original camera software. Obviously we don't know what size the UFO photos are supposed to be, so this cannot be used to verify authenticity.
- Original iPad Mini images do not have a color profile embedded within them. Once they are manipulated a color profile will then be set, usually sRGB. The UFO photograph has no embedded color profile.
EXIF 1/2 & Photoshop
- The Software tag in the UFO photograph indicates it was opened and saved in Windows Photo Viewer. This is not an editing tool.
- Original iPad Mini images have an EXIF Image Size tag. When the photo is modified this changes to Image Size. The UFO Photograph has Exif Image Size tag and no Image Size tag.
- The Photoshop tag IPTC Digest in the original control image shows up on some iPad Mini versions. It is related to image standard information and does not mean that the image has been saved in Photoshop. This tag may have existed in the original UFO photograph but then vanished when it was opened and saved in Windows Photo Viewer.
EXIF 2/2 & MakerNotes
- MakerNotes tags sometimes appear on original iPad Mini images. They are related to the camera software and so if any exist they will vanish after the image is modified. The UFO photograph has these tags intact.
JFIF & File
- Like File Size in the Basic File Information, File Size in the File tags also reduces in the same way.
Composite & ICC Profile
- Composite tags are copies of other existing tags for convenience. Because the UFO photograph has lots of additional EXIF tags it will therefore also have lots of Composite tags. This does not suggest modification.
- ICC Profile tags are related to editing software and so do not appear on original iPad Mini photographs. There are none of these tags on the UFO photograph.
Although some of the metadata taga are missing because it was saved in Windows Photo Viewer, there are enough other changes to suggest that the UFO photo has not been manipulated in any way. It is possible to purposely modify metadata. The most straightforward and logical way to do this would be to use a specially built tool. The most widely used and detailed tool avaialble for this is known as Exif Tool. While it is possible to modify most of the tags using this, there are particular tags which cannot be changed. Once the Exif Image Size tag changes to Image Size, it cannot be changed back again. While it may be possible with raw code, I have not had this confirmed by anyone, and it stands to reason that if Exif Tool cannot do this then the same issue will occur with code.
I believe the metadata behind the UFO photographs proves beyond reasonable doubt that they have not been manipulated in any way.
The most logical mundane explanation is that the object in the photographs was an aeroplane reflecting the sunlight making it appear brighter and larger than usual. That said, the photograph of the aeroplane Julia sent me for comparison was taken from the same location in the same lighting conditions, and the differences are very easy to see. Julia also says that she has often observed planes from the window and they have never appeared like the photographed object. Also the sound of their engines has been audible, whereas the UFO made no sound at all. That said, it may be that any noise was lost due to how far away the object was.
It is clear that the object was not any kind of blimp or balloon, and it was moving too slowly to be a daytime meteorite.
It is unlikely that the fact the witness initially felt she had been outside when she observed the object, and later realized she had actually been in her office, has anything to do with the UFO. This was probably just down to how excited the witness was at the time of the incident, what she was looking at became of paramount importance.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2020