Written by Keith Rowell
Last Updated: 28 January 2013

Yes, it's true! Your Assistant State Director does put his money where his mouth is and he does commit to spending a few hours a week to scanning the night and daytime sky for that elusive prey: UFOs. I don't just talk UFOs. I try to proactively engage the phenomenon not only through active investigation of other people's cases but also by creating observation opportunities for myself. Lately, in the summer with the better weather, I've been on five or six skywatches both at night and in the day.

This special report is about my own personal UFO skywatch of July 31, 2011. The weather was clear, bright, and sunshiny with numerous cumulus clouds forming and dissipating. They were moving pretty fast generally from west to east at about a 2000 to 3000 feet altitude. It was a pleasant 80º.

I began by sitting in a comfortable chair on my back deck around 4:30 PM  and continued till around 6 PM. My procedure was simple: use my eyes and 9X binoculars to scan the small patch of sky I could see between my roof line and surrounding tall trees.

In addition to the usual airplanes, birds, tree fluff, wasps, etc., here's what I saw and/or recorded on my Canon 40D with a Canon 100 to 400 mm lens always at the 400 mm end.

So, there you have it:

I'd say that was pretty successful. So, do what I did, put your money where your mouth is and get out there and photograph and/or videotape some UFOs!  Tell me about your successes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Selected Photos From Keith's 7-31-11 UFO Skywatch

Photo Commentary

The photos are chronological left to right and down. No manipulations have been done on any of the images. These photos are straight from the camera. Note that all photos are the same image size in Photoshop at 200% and all were taken at the 400 mm maximum zoomed in range of a Canon 100 to 400 zoom lens. We can't calculate the real size of the UFOs unless we guess an altitude for the objects. However, we can know, of course, the real sizes of the airplane and balloon cluster quite accurately and, thus, we can then calculate the altitudes. I will leave that excercise to the viewer of this page.  (I have attempted this in many of the case studies on this site.)

Red One

The first two images (red ones) were taken one after the other within one second.  Note the difference in brightness between the two. The two photos were taken at the same exposure. It is highly unlikely that a balloon (the closest ID for this object) would vary in brightness to this extent within one second.

Black and White Balloons and Airplane

The black and white balloons and airplane are clearly identifiable for what they are, and their behavior was entirely consistent with a balloon cluster and an airplane! No mysteries here.

White "Balloon Mimic" UFO and Yellow UFO

The white image in the the bottom left looks like a balloon and if you just had the image, you would identify it as a white balloon pure and simple. End of story! The problem is there is more to the story, which you have read above. The white UFO was more or less stationary for about 10 to 12 minutes and then began to move SW and then a similar object (the yellow one) appeared nearby and then both disappeared unexpectedly within the next 30 seconds or so.

I did not see them disappear by naked eye or in my 9X binoculars because I was busy continuing to photograph the white "balloon mimic" UFO. Then the yellow one showed up and things got a bit more complicated with me trying to capture an image of both of them (which I failed at). I stopped trying to photograph them and started searching the skies with my 9X binoculars and they were nowhere to be found. The yellow UFO is blurred because I was moving the camera around rapidly trying to get a photo.  I believe a good, sharp image would have probably looked more or less like the white UFO, but we'll never know.

When you investigate UFOs, you always listen to the whole story. With UFOs, there is always more than meets the eye.