Who Forted? Magazine

Birdwatcher Photographs Eerie Black Object Floating Over Ocean

Could this be a photograph of a ghostly pirate ship?

A man on a birdwatching outing in Southampton, New York caught a glimpse of this bizarre sight on Thursday: a thick, coal-black cloud hovering just over the Atlantic Ocean. This might not be strange, if not for the fact that the skies were otherwise clear that evening, leaving the weirdly dense object in stark contrast to the orange sky.

“It seemed to be moving very slowly westward and northward with very subtle shape change,” David Sagman told Patch.com. “No fishing boats were observed nearby.”

David snapped a few photos “the best he could” with the 800mm telescope/camera combo he uses for birdwatching and decided to share the photo online in hopes that someone might be able to explain the odd sight.

“I wondered if it could be composed of thousands of birds but other thoughts are welcome,” Sagman said.

So far, the responses that he’s received have been varied. One particular armchair anomalist believes the object to be the product of a HAARP weather machine:

That is a the report and smoke from a HAARP weather manipulation pod which will work in tandem with chemtrails to cause whatever weather calamity is next on the horizon. Look up HAARP weather manipulation and don’t say I never gave you anything.

Other guesses range anywhere from ghostly pirate ships, an on-fire submarine, to a ship “blowing stacks” – or burning too much oil. However, there could be a more logical explanation involving a particular form of optical effect referred to as a “Fata Morgana”, named after the Arthurian sorceress who’s witchcraft was thought to cause deadly mirages.

Per wikipedia:

“Fata Morgana mirages distort the object or objects which they are based on significantly, often such that the object is completely unrecognizable. A Fata Morgana can be seen on land or at sea, in polar regions or in deserts. This kind of mirage can involve almost any kind of distant object, including boats, islands, and the coastline.

Fata Morgana mirages are visible to the naked eye, but in order to be able to see the detail within them, it is best to view them through binoculars, a telecope, or as is the case in the images here, through a telephoto lens.”

In other words, you can relax, David. There’s ominous mutant clouds of birds on the horizon, probably just some dude in a polo shirt. Or possibly a ghostly pirate ship.

 

Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Senior Editor at Who Forted
Documentary film-maker, professional monster chaser, and mystery monger, Greg is the senior editor for Who Forted? 'Zine. When he's not occupied by writing about the wide world of the weird, he's busy directing and editing documentary films like The Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching or writing about offbeat travel for Roadtrippers. He's currently in production on his new project: an original documentary web series titled Planet Weird. He currently lives in Cincinnati.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

12 Comments

  1. RayG

    01/06/2013 at 6:58 PM

    If he had spent any time at any beach on the south shore of Long Island, this would have been a non-issue. Especially in the winter with the cooler air over a slightly warmer ocean. The container ships on their way to New York take a route that puts them over the horizon near Southampton and gradually get closer as they move west. (or vice versa as the leave port) This is a very common site and has never really been an issue. IF he had been on a bird watching trip 30 miles further west, he would see a line of ships heading west to NYC, and no mystery at all.

    • Chuck

      01/09/2013 at 7:39 AM

      you may be right Ray but it also looks like a jackup rig for offshore drilling. Being from the Gulf Coast that is what it looks like to me, however It could be just what you said a container ship which would be normal for that location

    • RoyG

      01/09/2013 at 8:03 AM

      I agree. I’ve seen the same effect on the great lakes with large ships just over the horizon. The superstructure appears dark and appears to float just above the horizon. This can also happen with sailing boats.

  2. Pateriot

    01/09/2013 at 6:19 AM

    Looks EXACTLY like a mirage… so I’m guessing that this is what it is… of course it could be an alien craft from Nibiru sent by Lord Garzon to get salt water to fuel his death star weapon.

  3. Danny

    01/09/2013 at 7:46 AM

    Yep, you betcha. It is a mirage of a ship far out to sea. Atmospheric conditions cause this all the time down here in La. Sometimes you can see an Oil Platform out in the gulf that is otherwise never visible. Some say the mirage effect or reflections on water is what caused the Titanic not to see the iceberg it hit. On the water, in the swamps strange things appear only to be a normal occurance. Don’t be afraid my darling, it’s nothing to worry about.

  4. LEVI

    01/09/2013 at 9:04 AM

    its a black budget item.sub warfare hardware no doubt,brockton is near an a sub base.comm unit i would suppose.sorry no UFO

    • Greg Newkirk

      01/09/2013 at 11:35 AM

      To be fair, I think that secret military submarines are just as cool as UFOs..

  5. Bob Davis

    01/09/2013 at 10:35 AM

    Here is a pic I took off the coast of Hokkaido Japan in 1999. To me this looks like a ghost ship of a Chinese Junk. History say’s that Japan was invaded several times throughout history by the Chinese. Is this possibly one of their ships still looking to do battle? It’s interesting if nothing else.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1099518088730&set=a.1099517888725.2015499.1250003559&type=3&theater

  6. Jerry

    01/09/2013 at 5:56 PM

    This on is so obvious. It is Atlantis. The cooking device was turned off letting the civilian snap this picture.

    Commander Brown
    Stargate Command

  7. Jones

    01/10/2013 at 9:04 PM

    You can’t make it out. Therefore it’s got to be something supernatural or otherwise outlandish. Maybe a time travelling troll craft?

    • Greg Newkirk

      01/10/2013 at 9:12 PM

      Ah, but therein lies the undeniable fun of the paranormal! Once it can be explained, it is, by definition, no longer paranormal.

      Which is why I never recommend the fringe, the fortean, or the bizarre to people who don’t like to have any fun. They tend to miss the point.

      • sailingawayfromhere

        01/12/2013 at 11:38 PM

        That is such a valid point. The world needs mystery to stay interesting. A little other worldly or “paranormal activy” is what spices up our mundane day to day existence. Some of us are not overly talented ane able to wrote beautiful music or prose so we need to use our imaginations to “enlighten” our journey.

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