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 Case summary

On July 5, 2005 ufologist Pieter HENDRICKX of the Belgian UFO Network (BUFON) received this photo in his inbox:


The young man who submitted the photo to BUFON added the following background information:

This picture was taken by a friend of mine. It definitely shows something strange. It was during the night of July 3rd - July 4th, when he intended to photograph a heavy storm. He only noticed that he had photographed something weird when he placed the picture on the pc. Photo taken at Deinze/Wontergem.

Deinze-Wontergem is in the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The picture shows a couple of trees and a cloud-filled sky illuminated by lightning. A dark elongated mass appears to be looming over the trees.


- Email from P.V. to Pieter HENDRICKX dated July 5, 2005.

- Email from Pieter HENDRICKX to CAELESTIA dated July 6, 2005.


What catches the eye immediately is that the clouds in the picture have sharper edges than the unknown object. To a lesser extent this is also true for the trees. The entire photo lacks clarity, but the object itself appears to be most out of focus. These simple observations suggest that the object was close to the camera and small in size. If the unsharpness would have resulted from a camera shake or a movement of the object, the blur would have followed a specific and detectable direction, namely that of the movement of either the camera or the object. Instead, the blur is uniformly spread in all directions.

Actually the object is nothing more than a water drop on a window pane (apparently, the bad weather had prompted the photographer to take his pictures through a closed window). The dark oval shape is an inverted mirror image formed by the trees lower in the picture. The lower half of he drop is barely visible because it reflects the sky and thus blends in with the background.

Our picture below depicts a similar blurred object hovering over a group of trees. The picture to the right, taken of the same scene but from one step back, reveals the nature of the object.

drop 1 drop 2

Imitation photo showing a similar scene as
in the UFO picture taken at Wontergem.

Photographed from a greater distance, the object's true nature becomes apparent: a water drop on a window pane. Three more drops can be seen at the bottom right of the picture. [© Wim VAN UTRECHT/CAELESTIA]

 Our opinion

The photo shows the out-of-focus image of a raindrop on a window pane.

 Notes & References

Other photographic effects caused by water drops can be found in our picture galleries.