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.
“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.