Not a drone nor a bird. What's that "thing" seemingly orbiting over Homs, Syria?

Mar 01 2012 - 9 Comments

While seeking for new interesting footage from Syria, to update the yesterday post about the weapons being used by the regime against the opposition in Homs, I stumbled upon this video.

Something seemingly “solid” seems to orbit in the smoke coming from a burning building (an oil pipe according to a comment) at Homs. Most probably it has nothing to do with a drone (too low, it would be operating inside the smoke cloud where visibility is poor, and so on) and it is not even solid.

An optical illusion caused by a strong light? Thermal convection? Anything else that can be scientifically explained?

What’s your opinion?


  • Mark

    Looks like the reflection of light off the smoke of sunlight being reflected off something on the ground. A rotating dish or something similar.

  • M Brueschke

    Really could be a compression artifact. How many times is that video compressed? Once at the camera, then to the satellite, then again to You Tube?

  • AG-1

    Parachute from some kind of munitions?

  • Andy

    I think it’s a bird between the camera and the smoke.

  • Jonathan

    Could easily be something extraordinarily light being buffeted around in the updraft caused by the smoke. Something similar to a mylar balloon, for example.

  • Ugo

    No compression artifact. See at 1:26 how a white smoke is mixing with the balck one soon after the thing/vortex is moving. As there is some white smoke coming up too it’s possible that there are two different materials burning with different smoke density and different temperature that causing the faster spiral movement of the white one inside the black one….

  • Francesco

    Hi, could be some electrostatic effect?

  • David

    Jonathan took the words right out of my mouth. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw it. It seems like every “orbit” was a bit lower, as if gravity was having a greater effect than the updraft.

  • Rip

    Somebody sampling – particulates and/or vapors? Who and why? Concern over CW? Can the location of the burn be triangulated from multiple images? Then Google Earth to see what’s there. The apparent control of the platform to remain inside the plume suggests local command vice semi-autonomous. Very strange indeed.