POLL: WHICH IS MOVING? LIGHT OR CAR?
And Solar angle analysis
July 1 2008
I'm having a hard time seeing any motion of this car, and in fact the light seems to be moving across the car. This video does use a cross-fade that isn't there, and it seems the original dimmer light remains while a brighter light shining closer to the car's front adds to and overwhelms it, holding for only one frame (action mode off, 3fps).
This is the car, in low res, sorry - a black, shiny one, and judging by its response, driven by a police or emergency responder-type, possibly off-duty. I estimate its orientation when still (a line running between the license plates) in the neighborhood of 20˚from north.
The angle of the light IS a very close match at least for the angle of light from the sun (azimuth, 113˚), just about perpendicular to the car's still position, meaning a reflection back along nearly the same line, roughly the same one camera 3 was on relative to the patrol car, and so registers a reflection pointing 'straight up." Geometrically, it all lines up, but the sun doesn't move like that. It can't be from the plane, as it happens at impact, over a second after the plane left that area. It's nowhere near a match for light angles from the impact area, so it's not the explosion that was happening then. At least not directly.
Any thoughts, anyone?
Update: Well, looks like I've annoyed Farmer for the last time, and he hasn't the time to explain how the car is moving when it seems to not be. Because I'm an idiot I need to get a new extraction of the video to find similar flashes to this one, but the lo-res 5-min version I have contains none that I see, despite multiple cars passing the same spot. All reflect light dimly from a certain spot to a certain band on the canopy, but only this one has this bright flash. At 9:36:50 video time a dark car drives by the same area, no such effect. A 9:37:17 a white car casts a dim light all across as it passes, no single bright flash. Farmer insists the other flashes are there as other cars pass, and so I suppose they are. But I'll need to see it myself at this point.
On the other hand, I finally did vertical angle analysis based on the known solar altitude of 32˚above the horizon and it IS looking even more like sunlight after all. The tricky part of this for me was always deciding on the reflection plane incline of this unknown automobile. I'm not a car guy, but thinking in terms of a possible patrol car, I looked at a Ford Crown Victoria, which I hear is the standard model. Perspective aside, the incline angle here is about 34˚from vertical at mid-window, curving further at the top. Considering the gentle curve of the car's side panel, the angle from vertical would degrease down the side, until the near the bottom, where it would be zero at some point, and then curve inward just a bit at the bottom. We can't tell where exactly the light is reflecting from, but an incline of about 20-32˚is likely for anything in that zone.
23˚from vertical, roughly, is what's needed to bounce light from the sun up under the canopy. This is a likely incline at about door-handle-level. So this would tend to indicate, as the source, something bright and high along the same line as the one towards the sun. ie, car moving or not, both lateral and vertical analysis indicate this is just the sun after all, or a bizarre coincidence if not.
But the car really doesn't seem to move, it's already reflecting the same sort of dimmer light from a similar angle as the other cars that pass, and this lonely flash of sunlight happens right at impact when there's that bright fireball as well. So... mysteries remain, at least for me, but this not seeming direct evidence of the attack and not a core issue, I'm leaving it here. To the south end fireball light effect.