Delve into the topic of UFOs for a one-off short film. Namely a rational approach to one of the stranger objects mis-identified in the skies overhead. How perspective can trick the eyes. Exclusive photos and footage.

Aircraft that appear to have no wings and no engines. Exclusive photographs and videos. Looking at an explanation. Looking into Flying Rods, the strange UFO design.

Been a while since tackled an unexplained subject, good fun treading the ground once again.
Flying Rods as a term finds itself mixed up with “SkyFish”, “Roswell Rods” which we talk about, but not what we are discussing.
Back in 2017, saw a number of Flying Rods in a short period of time. Which prompted keeping a camera nearby at all times, let’s see what I captured. Hopefully demonstrating what flying rods may actually be!

This is a topic, I struggled to even contemplate doing this video in the first place, bantering back and forth and gathering footage of recent months.  Need to frame this correctly. I had recorded an earlier audio, for use last year. Including elements, such as the flying cigar craft that landing in the British school playground in the 1970s, which returned a week later and was drawn by more than 30 children who witnessed this event and talking about the footage captured by a MIG pilot in 1989, showing a cylinder like craft accelerate from stationary to mach speed and beyond radar range in a mere matter of seconds. The discussion seemed to focus on “Skyfish” flying rods and the debunking process and the pacing was off for what I came back to, to create a punchy 6 minute information packed short.

I consider Flying Rods, to be literal cylinder rods that appear to be flying, no wings and no engines. Like in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home. CylinderUFOYet everywhere you look online under such term, it refers to Jose Escamillas “Skyfish” that he also dubbed “Roswell Rods” too, to only further confuse the issue. Touted as some alien/cryptid and thankfully debunked as insects and birds being captured with wings beating faster than the frame data of the camera. I do cover this in a condensed form in the video. Even in the very first comments on social media and youtube, without even watching the short film. They were this has been debunked. Totally agree. That’s not what I am talking about. The explanation and debunking I am doing is in the video, but of the cylinder like flying rods.

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Transcript: and bonus notes!

Flying Rods, cigars of the sky and other such phenomena.


Humans have looked to the skies in wonder trying to understand the natural world and the cosmos beyond. Unidentified Flying Objects have been alledgedly observed reaching far back into antiquity. Many people are familiar with airplanes and helicopters. So when an object does not appear to conform to the typical expectation, it stands out. Chinese style lanterns notwithstanding. UFOs are reported to take on many forms and comprising of different shapes, a significant proportion accompanied by observations of defying conventional physics. Changing direction instantly and reports of increasing to phenomenal speeds in a mere instant.

Lets take you on my journey to discover more about Flying rods. Beginning with a series of personal observations of a cylinder-shaped flying rod, flying very high, close to where I work, which I have recreated – North of the city of Nottingham in Mid-July 2017.

Exhibiting no form of typical aircraft pre-requisites such as wings, tail rudder, dorsal aft levelling wings and also lacking any identifiable engines that I could see from my perspective. Silent in motion. Remarking in the blog i posted at the time, how it looked like a tic tic. With my hand outstretched, it was less than the width of my forefinger. Followed by noticing a second, a few days later over the Forest Recreation Ground/Forest Fields area central to the city. Where remarkably I was looking skyward outside my workplace, beautiful day thinking about the object I had seen previously!

Later on, on that same day, near sunset – I’m explaining about the first and second object. To my close friend. As I’m doing so I remarked about the colour of the sky. Gesturing and talking with the hands as we all so often do, lo-and behold there’s another! Then it just so happened another similar object comes into view! it did mean, I no longer had to describe the aerial object to the person I was with, as she could now see one for herself!

Timing could be considered eerie! If questions were not forming in the mind. Where are we, what time of day is it? What time of day did I see the last object. The solution was coming.


When it came to writing up about the Flying Rods, and was reading about the experiences wrote and photographed by others. Discovering there are other such phenomena under the same general heading. It became somewhat challenging in specifying what ‘one’ I was referring too. Clips – Initially, my understanding at the time was that these ‘rods’ were the same as ‘cylinders’, also related closely with cigar shaped craft. ‘Voyage Home’ flying rods, shall we say named for the similarity to the unexplained cylindrical probe alien spacecraft which arrives at Earth seeking to communicate with whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Craft with no discernible wings, tail or markings, variable in size. Some with rocket-like tips, other flat cut off, other with blubing bodies around the centre.

Typing in flying rods into a search engine, did not bring up results I expected. Instead the majority of the initial pages of connections are all about ‘Skyfish flying rods’ rather than the ‘Voyage Home style flying rods and cigars. I expected to find.

Skyfish flying rods came to greater public attention with Jose Escamilla, in a number documentaries and interviews, describing Flying rods and what he also calls ‘Skyfish’ as well as dubbing them for PR purposes ‘RoswellRods’ to make it further confusing. Claiming in 1994, he and his brother recorded footage resembling flying fish with sets of wings along the body. Citing more around the world. Called by some ‘undulating membranes’. TO MAKE IT SOUND SCIENTIFICAL Moving at a considerable speed. Proponents advocate that they are perhaps alien in origin. A new Cryptids ready to be discovered! However, those who knowledge of cameras, quickly solved the mystery – followed by Chinese scientists using nets and video equipment in a documentary.  Proving flying rods/skyfish/roswell rods to be birds, bats and Flying insects with the wings beating faster than the capture rate of the camera per frame. In the first draft recording back last year, I went into detail and spent more focused on explaining this than was necessary.


Since noticing these “flying rods”, I have intentionally kept my camera and phone with quick launch camera apps close by. The solution came quickly, in particular as I am north side of the city is it a high-frequency air corridor for passenger and cargo aircraft for East Midlands Airport. It is possible to be seeing dozens of aircraft on a daily basis, at different heights and angles. this has opened up the knowledge of observing aircraft from a side-on view that the wings are not always visible. Perhaps they are turning, or tilted on its Y axis. Planes at distance and at height, can appear undetailed. Towards sunset and sunrise where they perspectively appear to be illuminated beneath, all a trick of the light can effectively create optical illusions where the wings are not so visible.

Which thankfully satisfies this curiousity and brings me to this conclusion, to explain many a number of rods being observed. Particularly if one is unfamailar. From these images, as you can see, they can indeed appear like flying rods, cigar shaped – if it wasn’t for the contrails  Contrails are composed primarily of water, in the form of ice crystals. The combination of water vapor in aircraft engine exhaust and the low ambient temperatures that exist at high altitudes allows the formation of the cloud trails.

When I mentioned this suggestive conclusion in an interview with veteran UFOlogist and author Phillip Mantle, he concurred. That this may be the case.

Further thoughts

That does leave a portion of reports, such as this video footage declassified from the KGB Secret files, narrated for tv by Sir Roger Moore. Where a craft was observed up close and personal by a Russian pilot flying a MIG 23, obseved and recorded without wings accelerating far beyond conventional engine abilities. Hitting a speed exceeding mach 3 from. They remain unexplained. 

A notable mention to include from British UFOlogy. occurred in the February of 1977, a class of children from Broad Haven Primary School made the news reporting that a yellow cigar cylinder like craft had landed close to their playground. Headmaster Ralph Llewellyn took the initiative asking the 14 witnesses to draw what they had seen. 13 days later the craft returned, observed by a number of teachers.

In the figures

According to figures and cases investigated by the infamous Project Bluebook between the years of 1947 and 1952. Within that 5 year period concluded that 5.2% of UFOs reported were cigar-shaped/cylinder/long rocket shaped sometimes with a rounded bullet tip others flat ended. National Investigations Committee of Aerial Phenomena summary put forward that 8.3% of UFO sightings were of cigar or cylider shaped craft between 1942 to 1963. Ok facts, we like facts.)

Then I discovered, skyfish. Also under the same general heading on flying rods. Which is where, I was like no, no I’m not covering this. And forged part of the reason, why i never went any further at the time with video content.

In the August of 2005, China Central Television aired a 2 part documentary about flying rods in China. Tong-hua Zhen-guo a pharmaceutical company based in Ton-gua City, captured video footage on security cameras of flying rods identical to those featured in Jose Escamillas videos. Scientists at the company, were intrigued and decided to investigate. Setting up huge nets and same cameras captured footage of the rods flying into the traps. When the nets came to be inspected, the mystery was solved. They turned out to be moths and insects. The rod-like appearance with a spiral like blur running along the sides, is a video artifact created between the frame rate of the camera and the wingbeat of the insect/bat/bird. –

Russian cigar UFO mach 3 )

Source: – Project bluebook documents and reference files.

Personal archive – Jose Escamilla

Maurice Townsend, writing for ASSAP 2009 through 2013 on the subject demonstrates with many great examples of flying insects, replicating the alleged Skyfish/Roswells Rods phenomena. How the beat of the wings multiple times occurs, within the time taken of a single frame of video. Creating the blur like motion effect,

Doug Yanega of the Entomology Department at the University of California also officially commented with a paper and information, confirming this to be the case. Yet this hasn’t stopped believers holding on to the ruled out Cryptid/Alien possibility, despite evidence to the contrary.


Doug Yanegas conclusion is that rods are a videographic artifact based on the frame capture rate of the videocam versus the wingbeat frequency of the insects. Essentially what you see is several wingbeat cycles of the insect on each frame of the video, creating the illusion of a “rod” with bulges along its length. The blurred body of the insect as it moves forward forms the “rod,” and the oscillation of the wings up and down form the bulges. Anyone with a video camera can duplicate the effect, if you shoot enough footage of flying insects from the right distance.