Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Turkey UFO Case Overview And Background

"The objects in the footage have the structure of a specific material that
is definitely not made up by any kind of computer animation, balloon, prop,
model, or special effects used for simulation in a studio."
The Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey
TUBITAK Report Documents

Unidentified object witnessed by multiple residents
of Istanbul and filmed over the sea

6-12-08 Footage

Turkey has a long and rich history of unexplained aerial phenomenon dating back centuries. But between 2007 and 2009 in the northwest region of the country, a series of unusual events took place. Multiple strange objects were observed over the sea and witnessed by local residents. During that time an important video was taken of something unidentified hovering in the sky at the same location. Is it possible that Yalcin Yalman was able to capture in close detail on film what people were seeing? This blog is an attempt to document, as much as possible, what happened.

Several local residents describe observing disc and oval shaped aerial objects with a metallic appearance that maneuvered silently while sometimes accompanied by strange red and orange lights. Some of the witnesses lived in the nearby housing complex while others were curious onlookers and fishermen. In 2009, after a UFO conference held near Istanbul, Roger Leir and 7 to 8 other people became witnesses themselves and observed a strange disc shaped object hovering in the sky under a bright moon. Roger Leir personally witnessed Yalcin taking video of the anomalous object in the sky and was interviewed multiple times before he passed away.

2009 Original Video Footage

Multiple anomalies were observed from the beach at a distance.

Approximate Location And Vantage Point Of The Camera

Reports were filed with the Sirius UFO and Space Science Research Group which is Turkey's primary UFO reporting organization run by Haktan Akdogan. Also, the videos were analyzed by "The Scientific and Technology Research Board of Turkey" and "TUG National Observatory" which are both sponsored by the state and highly influential. They reviewed the originals with the goal of finding evidence of a forgery, but interestingly came away with results that actually supported the authenticity instead. The original film cassettes have also been studied by people from Japan, Chile, Brazil, and Russia. After several attempts so far nobody has been able to successfully demonstrate evidence of a hoax, fraud, or manipulation leaving the case is still unidentified.

2008 Sightings And Video Footage

The previous year a number of sightings took place between May 22 and Sep 28 of anomalous aerial activity. Yalcin worked the night shift near the Yeni Kent facility located onthe shore of Kumburgaz which gave him a good vantage point. But, when the sightings started to take place it began catching the interest of the local residents and more people began to take notice. Similar to 2007 the 2008 sightings were discussed in the Turkish national media, even on CNN , while soon gaining interest from the local Turkish scientific and astronomy community who ended up analyzing the footage. There were different individual segments over a three year period. Posted below are the most significant ones in a condensed format, however a link is provided for the longer full length original for each year.

 2008 Original Footage - Part 1:

2008 Original Footage - Part 2:

2008 Original Footage - Part 3:

June 8, 2008 Sighting

June 9, 2008 Sighting

The next day a glowing ball of orange/red plasma type light is motionless in the sky for several minutes leaving a bright reflection on the water surface.

June 12, 2008 Sighting

Only four days later another orange ball of light is observed at first. Shortly thereafter the craft pictured below is filmed. There appears to be possible horizontal movement causing a light and shadow shift across the structure.

July 2, 2008 Sighting

As seen in the raw footage this elongated anomaly is motionless above the water's surface. Yalcin managed to zoom in and out several times which provided more information.

In the same location, one hour and fifteen minutes later, this unusual cluster of lights appeared.

Earlier That Morning At 3:53 am.

June 16, 2008 Sighting

20 Interesting Segments:

Multiple Local Residents Witnessed The Objects:

SIRIUS UFO Space Science Research Center Of Turkey

At first, the videos were analyzed under the direction of Turkish researcher Haktan Akdogan the director of SIRIUS UFO and Space Science Research Center. Haktan first spoke with all the witnesses separately and then did analysis of the videos. With participation of the members of their science board they enlarged the images and did the detailed analysis, checked the pixels, and went through frame by frame.

Haktan Akdogan: "After doing all the necessary analysis which went on for several weeks, the board came to a definite conclusion with no doubt that these are 100% genuine videos. The objects sighted in the aforementioned footage that have a structure that is made of specific material are definitely not made up by any kind of computer animation nor are they any form of special effects used for simulation in a studio or for a video effect therefore in conclusion it was decided that the sightings were neither a mock up or hoax. And it is concluded that these objects in the sightings that have physical and material structures do not belong in any category such as; planes, helicopters, meteors, Venus, Mars, satellites, fire balls, Chinese lantern, fire balls, weather balloons, natural or atmospheric phenomenon etc. and but rather fall into the category of UFOs. More information:" www.siriusufo.org

Video Explanation By Haktan Akdogan

Turkish researcher Haktan Akdogan and the cameraman Yalcin Yalman discuss several issues in more detail. In this video they answered several questions about the case.

Canon GR1 MiniDv Details:

The footage was taken with a MiniDV Canon DM-GR1-A based on the NTSC system with a diaphragm set at the maximum of 1.8. It's a 3CCD 20x optic 100x with a tele-converter mounted on a 58mm adapter. The tele-objective is a Sony brand vci hgd 1758 model lens, x 1.7.

May 14th, 2009 Sighting

During the 2009 International UFO Congress held in Istanbul, the following sighting occurred. A crowd of onlookers watched a glowing ball of light maneuver near cloud level. It was that night and into the morning of May 15, 2009 when more unknown objects continued being seen and filmed over Marmara.

The distance across the sea from the witness location is 44 to 91 nautical miles.

A photograph from the same location displays how land structures on the opposite side of Marmara are not clearly visible when viewed from Kumburgaz.

The approximate location of the July 2, 2008 unknown orange light anomaly.

2007 Original Raw Footage:

The 2007 video was filmed starting on June 20 and lasted several days until August 31. During that time more round, disc, and oval shaped craft were seen and filmed maneuvering over the sea while occasionally changing direction. The same thing happened again in 2008 and 2009. To this date the objects in the footage have also remain unidentified while nobody has yet been able to find an explanation.

TUBITAK Released Their Analysis On National Television:

At first the scientists in Turkey were highly certain that it was a hoax. At that point Haktan Akdogan, who had already analyzed the videos frame by frame and confirmed their authenticity, challenged TUBITAK representatives on television to check themselves. When they were finished they released their report in a two page document which is translated into English below.

The National Council For The Study Of Science And Technology

On January 31, 2008, a MiniDV format video cassette holding 35 minutes of footage was brought over to "TUBITAK" The Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey (a Scientific Institution owned by the state that is highly reliable and influential) the National Observatory (TUG) by Mr.Tolga Ozdeniz, the Editor of "Reporter" that has been aired on ATV Channel. The footage on the cassette was said to have been recorded by a Canon GL1 MiniDV digital camera on a beach of a holiday village in Kumburgaz/Istanbul by an amateur.

The images were examined by TUG - National Observatory Image Processing Unit. Because, it would take quite a long time to analyze all of the images, only randomly selected parts were pre-examined. During this process, emphasis was not placed on images produced by optical clarification effects which a number of point light sources generated. Here is a portion of their report: “The objects observed on the images have a structure made of a specific material and definitely are not any kind of CGI animation or in any means a type of special effects used for simulation in a studio or for video effects. "So the conclusion of this report is that the observations are not a model, mock up, or a fraud”. At the last part of the report, it’s concluded that the objects observed have a physical structure and are made of materials that do not belong to any category (airplanes, helicopters, meteors, Venus, Mars, Satellites, artificial lights, or Chinese lanterns etc.)" 2 Page TUBITAK Report

May 15, 2009 Day & Night Similarities

The 5-15-09 video begins while its dark outside at 4:59 a.m. then continues to film until after sunrise at 5:32 a.m. With the camera facing the same direction we finally see the horizon and more details on it's location. For an unknown reason what previously appeared as a metallic oval craft is now 4 orange lights in a semi circle. One speculation is that it's a plasma effect caused by the craft changing configuration or a reaction to the sun and different environment. When combining the shape of both the day and night objects. the similarities are interesting. It may be a possibility that it's one craft and not two objects. There has yet to be any further explanation.

33 Minute Segment From May 15, 2009

5-15-09 4:59 a.m. to 5:32 a.m.

Visible Similarities

Explanation Of Sequence

Dr. Roger Leir Describing What He Witnessed:

On March 31, 2013 Roger Leir also appeared on Coast to Coast with George Knapp to discuss what happened. Here is the interview with George Knapp: C2C Interview

Dr. Roger Leir Interviewed On Location In Turkey During 2009:

While he was visiting Istanbul for the 3rd International UFO Congress in May of 2009 is when he completed this interview near the location that he witnessed the phenomenon.

Yalcin Yalman Interview (Translated):

Yalcin Yalman discusses how he first became involved and why he purchased the camera. One of the interesting parts of this interview is when Yalcin revealed that he once had another sighting with his father when three unknown objects hovered above them, while fishing as a child. He recalled that earlier in 2007 there was another large sighting in Kumburgaz, but at the time he had not yet purchased a camera.

Notice The Barking Dog's Reaction:

Several instances involved unusual balls of light that appeared at the same time.

Yalcin Yalman observing the sky with another witness:

The village of Kumburgaz, turkey where most the sightings occurred:

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Q & A With A Group Of Local Witnesses In Kumburgaz, Turkey

The following interview was conducted by a television news outlet shortly after one of the sightings. The questions were conducted with a group of local inhabitants at the Yeni Kent, Kumburgaz, the location of the sightings. During the interview Yalcin reveals that, over time, approximately 20 people have witnessed the unknown objects with him.

Reporter: "We went to the tourist center Yeni Kent to find the people who accompanied Yalcin Yalman the single man who filmed the extraordinary evidence, demonstrating the authenticity of the case."

Haktan Akdogan: "These are some of the people who saw it. All the kids witnessed the UFO fly over the water. This is the compound just here in this place by the beach is were Yalcin Yalman recorded the videos."

Haktan Akdogan: "Usually they appeared over the sea here and went upwards silently to finish around this place. Then headed toward the city. Many people saw it fly over the housing complex here. And one of them here is going to talk."

Witness #1

Witness # 1: "The first time saw them was between 3:00 and 5:30 am, but not every night. I have been witness to this. They had their lights on."

Reporter: "What are your comments about what you saw?"

Witness # 1: "I don't agree with what the skeptics say, because I know that I saw them with my own two eyes."

Reporter:"Four more people spotted ufos with you when it was recorded is that true?"
Witness # 1: "Yes I saw it and there was no doubt that it was real."

Yalcin Yalman

Reporter: "So Yalcin Yalman when you record them what do you think?"

Yalcin Yalman: "I have seen it 7 times in 3 years I have recorded several times with people (witnesses) who were there and I calculate they are around 20 people."

Witness #2

Witness # 2: "I saw a very intense, extremely bright light. It stayed there in the sky. By the way it moved I think this definitely goes against the laws of gravity."

Witness # 2: "After staying there for a while it started to grow bigger like this and it suddenly disappeared."

Reporter: "What do the local inhabitants think about Yalcin Yalman?"

Witness # 2:  "Yalcin Yalman spends most of his time recording he is usually accompanied by witnesses, that is the reason we are convinced that this is about authentic objects. We are witness of it."

Reporter: "How important do you think this is?"

Witness # 2: "What I saw is very significant for me, and it is also very significant for humanity?"

Here is the interview (with subtitles in english):

The interview provides some new details about what happened. Of course having multiple eyewitnesses is an important factor to consider when determining the credibility of a UFO case. According to the second witness at one point there was a bright ball of light which ascended upwards and disappeared. The group of kids saw the ufos from the housing complex nearby. Haktan Akdogan explained the location were they appeared and that towards the end flew over the city. Previously I have written that there were approximately 12 witnesses, but it appears that number is more like twenty.

Below is another video which shows several witnesses. It was taken at a separate time outside a conference in Turkey when a large group of people spotted a bright light darting across the sky. What makes this most interesting is that it happened on May 14, 2009 in between May 13, 15, and 17 which the 2009 Kumburgaz UFO video was taken.

Istanbul, Turkey May 14th, 2009

There is still more to be learned about what happened and it continues to remain a mystery.

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Turkey NATO Air Force Bases And UFO Sightings

As the Marmara Sea and Turkish Straits are situated in a increasingly militarized and strategic region of the middle east, what is their importance in relation to the Kumburgaz case. With larger NATO allied nations possessing jets and helicopters equipped with more sophisticated censors and advanced photographic capabilities they are more capable than ever. Discussed in this post are the geographic locations of Turkish, NATO, and U.S. air bases in Turkey.

Historically there are several incidents in other countries that involved a military response to unidentified aircraft within a nation's airspace. Take for example the 1976 Tehran UFO Incident was a radar and visual sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) over Tehran, the capital of Iran, during the early morning hours of 19 September 1976. During the incident, two F-4 Phantom II jet interceptors reported losing instrumentation and communications as they approached, only to have them restored upon withdrawal; one of the aircraft also reported suffering temporary weapons systems failure, while preparing to open fire.

And more recently it was reported that UFO sightings have stumped numerous military groups in India, including their air force, NTRO technical intelligence agency and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police when more than 100 UFOs were been seen along the India-China border between Aug. 1 and Oct. 15 of 2012. The sightings, which have officials puzzled, were of yellowish spheres that appeared to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing.

- After the Cyprus conflict Turkey decided to close down all the American bases on its territory, except for those that also implied NATO activities. Although two bases were left open run by Turkish, British, and American personnel focused only on NATO operations.

- The Turkish Air Force and aerial warfare service branch, not any other country, has the primary responsibility for intercepting unknown aircraft and protecting Turkish airspace.

Detailed Below Are Some Of The Strategic Military Air Base Locations Near The Sighting Area.

Izmir Air Force Base Turkey - NATO

Izmir Air Base is 200 miles southwest of the witness location. Currently it is operated by the
Turkish Air Force and NATO command including some USAF.

Izmir Air Force Base, Turkey is one of the strategic military installations with US Air Force personnel in Europe. The Izmir Air Station is the oldest NATO base in Turkey and its importance has increased in recent years. The headquarters of NATO’s Allied Air Component Command for Southern Europe has been located in Izmir since August 11, 2004. Although the base is seen as being run by the Americans, it is not quite like that. The United States of America are not among Turkey’s best friends. It now it mostly concentrates on NATO activities. The USAF squadron does everything normally accomplished by a wing, with the exception of operations.

Incirlik Air Force Base Turkey - NATO

NATO’s Incirlik Base, which is located eight kilometers (five miles) east of Adana, Turkey’s fifth largest city, and 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea, is an important regional logistical air base. The base is near Ardana, the fifth most important city in Turkey, close to the Middle East. The population is mostly American – over 5000 troops. However, the base also hosts a few hundred British and Turkish soldiers. The place has two runways. One is 3 km long, while the secondary one is about 2.7 km. Turkey allows the United States to use the air base for operations associated with its air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Between 2007 and 2009 the US used Incirlik to launch operations mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Incrilik Base is located 473 miles southeast from the witness location.

With the ongoing situation in the middle east the United States uses the Izmir Air Base, with permission from Turkey, for operations in nearby Syria and also Iraq both bordering countries.

Akinci Air Base TAF 4th Air Wing

Akıncı AFB hosted the 4th Air Wing of the Turkish Air Force's 1st Air Force Command. It opened in 1960 with the purpose of defending Ankara. On April 25, 1996, the nuclear mission at the Akıncı AFB was deactivated following the end of the Cold War. Before July 2016 six Weapons Storage and Security System vaults were operational in stand-by status at the air base. During the July 2016 coup attempt Akıncı runway thresholds were bombed to prevent pro-coup forces from landing or taking off. Following the failed coup, Akıncı Air Base was redesignated. Initially named "Murted" the base is currently used by Turkish Aerospace Industries which is the center of technology in design, development, manufacturing, integration of aerospace systems, and modernization.

Bandırma Airport TAF 6th Air Force Wing

Bandirma is a military airbase and public airport located at Bandırma in the Balıkesir Province, Turkey. It is home to the 6th Air Wing of the 1st Air Force Command of the Turkish Air Force. Of the installations in Turkey it is one of the least frequently used.

Bandirma is 50.4 miles across the sea from the sighting area.

Balıkesir Base TAF 9th Air Force Wing

Balıkesir is a military airport in the city of Balıkesir, Turkey home to the 9th Air Wing of the 1st Air Force Command of the Turkish Air Force. Other wings of this command are located in Eskisehir, Konya, Ankara, Akıncı, and Bandırma.

Balikesir is 99.2 miles from Kumburgaz.

Were Any Military Or Air Force Exercises Taking Place?

To see if this is possible the first thing I did was check the annual drill known as "Anatolian Eagle" to find out of this operation or any other were taking place at the time of Yalcin's filming.

Anatolian Eagle Joint Turkey NATO Air Force Exercise

 Anatolian Eagle is an air force exercise hosted by the Turkish Air Force and held in Konya, Turkey. There are both national and international exercises held, the international exercises usually involving air arms of the United States, other NATO forces, and Asian countries. Anatolian Eagle exercises simulate a war-time environment and the difficulty level increases from easy to hard. First the training exercise is planned in the 'White Headquarters' building. Training is monitored with computers to help test knowledge, abilities and find deficiencies of the participants. The scenarios consist of a "Blue Team" which attacks tactical and strategic targets in a "Red Land" during Combined Air Operations (COMAO). The Red Land is defended by opposing combat aircraft and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. Statistical studies are also completed in the White Headquarters.

To see if this annual exercise was scheduled on any of the dates involved in the Kumburgaz UFO incidents it's possible to cross check with the published AE exercise schedule posted by the Turkish Air Force. (listed below)

2007 to 2009 Anatolian Eagle Schedule

1 sighting date out of 23 occurred during the AE exercise.

The Kumburgaz case sightings and video dates were: 2007 -- June 22, July 30, Aug 1, Aug 7, Aug 10, Aug 12, Aug 24. 2008 -- May 23, May 27, May 29, June 8, June 9, June 11, June 12, June 16, July 2, July 4, Aug 30, Aug 31, 2009 -- May 13, May 14, May 15, May 17

In total there were 23 individual dates in which video was taken of something unknown in the sky near Turkey at varied lengths in minutes. Because almost all of the footage, 22 different segments, occurred on days when Anatolian Eagle was not taking place it's not likely to be the cause of whatever was filmed. The 6-22-07 segment was the only one that overlapped with Anatolian Eagle. As the investigation continues maybe we will learn of other exercises, however as it stands, there is nothing pointing in that direction.

Another reason Turkey's annual drill probably wasn't responsible for a misidentification is that it takes place in Konya which is 305 miles away from the sighting area and behind a mountain range.

Is There Any Evidence The Turkish Air Force Responded To The Unknown Objects?

Even though the answers to this question remain elusive, overall the case has shown insufficient credible evidence to reach any solid conclusion indicating jet or helicopter interaction. More analysis needs to be completed, however the 7 to 8 witnesses on record have not claimed to observe military jets nor hear any.

A couple factors might explain why nothing has surfaced demonstrating a military reaction.

-- The armed forces and Turkish Air Force are notorious for being highly secretive, generally more so than other democratic countries in the region. Based on their reputation if there was a TAF reaction the chances are that news media and the public wouldn't be briefed on the matter.

-- UFO sightings in Turkey are nothing surprising. Turkish culture is generally more accepting of esoteric subjects and over centuries of history has grown used to hearing stories of the paranormal. It could be possible that government authorities could be so accustomed to UFO sightings that it no longer uses valuable military resources to approach them unless near restricted air space zones.

But there have been several cases involving Turkish commercial pilots who have gone on the record with their UFO encounters. For example, recently reported in Sabah the recollections of two pilots who had encounters with UFOs. Turkish Airlines pilot Ibrahim Bilir says he believes in UFOs because he has seen one. According to Sabah, Bilir encountered the UFO five years ago on a flight from Osaka, Japan to Istanbul.

The following is Bilir’s account translated into English:

" Five years ago on the return from Osaka, continuing on the same route we included the team of four aircraft we saw that object. We came upon us out. Right continued over us on the cross. We saw a strong light, silver color and cannot take care of UFO shape We have not seen. He came to our very close. I did not believe UFOs, I believe that mission. “We were flying three pilots. 38 thousand feet in 6 hours after departure (11 thousand meters) 4 were flying plane in the same direction. In front of me again THY flight from Shanghai was there behind me Lufthansa aircraft. Upcoming we saw a strong light. He came to our very close . Silver color and do not look, do not open your eyes. An incredible power, there were ten forces. Different anything, burn your eyes. Our plane was seen in all three pilots. He came upon us out. He continued right above us on the cross. They were between 35-45 seconds . "Therefore see four teams simultaneously. Strange thing is that everyone thinks it onto itself. If it was hallucinating about a person, but the team has seen the four planes. It was a very bright light silver in color. It was so bright that it hurt their eyes to look at it directly. At least three pilots had seen the UFO."

The story also includes a second pilot sighting. This sighting was in October of 1989 on a flight from Zurich to the Turkish town of Antalya.

The pilot, TK Selahattin, told Sabah, again translated into English:
"I left later in Yugoslavia airspace, we have seen two thousand meters away from an object. First we thought the aircraft. However, the light cluster will attract our attention to the sharpness of what is wondering we have. Light set, passed in front of us after 10 minutes. Suddenly he took on three primary colors. several times the normal plane in a big way began to fly in front of us. They said they have not seen such a body when we contacted the Istanbul tower. Fields, scattering their multicolored lights rose to 44 thousand feet and turned into a ball of white light. Then he disappeared into sharp rises a white ball of light."

Both incidents occurred several years earlier than the Kumburgaz case and there is no evidence they are related. Special thanks to Openminds.tv for providing the story. Source

Were Any Military Jets Or Helicopters Filmed?

The next step is to try and determine if the raw footage captured any human aircraft, but it's not clear enough to know for sure. A trained independent video analyst would be needed to get closer to an answer. Even though there are a few areas of the film I have found that appear to show secondary objects, they realistically could be anything, but still raise the curiosity level. What were the other objects doing? Could they have an explanation?

Unfortunately it's too distant to see detail, but this July 30, 2007 video, shot by Yalcin from the balcony of his father's condo shows an object moving left to right eventually behind someone's chimney. We are left to purely speculative it's origin.

Both sequences were taken consecutively. Could it have been the exact object seen 25 minutes earlier in the same area or was it a helicopter? Because it's so hard to see we might never know the answer.


A seperate additional unidentified object is present in the May 15th, 2009 segment taken just after sunrise at 5:21 a.m. To the right of the four circular lights is another object.

An additional unknown object was filmed on May 15, 2009

Also on July 2, 2008

It is not entirely possible to conclude exactly what the additional orange lights were, but none the less, they are an interesting element that could benefit from more analysis. There are several factors which seem to point away from these additional objects being an F-16 or other military jet, such as traveling speed, the objects seem to hover motionless unlike a jet, and lack of other characteristics.

General Summary

-- There are several Air Force bases within a range of 200 miles from the sighting location. 2 of them have U.S. and NATO personel. With permission from Turkey, NATO is allowed to use their base to launch operations in Syria and Iraq.

-- Turkey itself, and no other nation, is in charge of handling a military response to unknown aircraft within the country's borders.

-- "Anatolian Eagle", the annual Air Force exercise in Turkey, apparently wasn't occurring during the sighting and video dates.

-- So far no eyewitnesses have come forward who observed or heard military jet activity.

-- Overall, during my investigation, I haven't found any solid evidence yet pointing towards any Turkish Air Force and/or military activity during the Kumburgaz case.