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Author Topic: Dover barrage balloon mystery  (Read 106559 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #337 on: July 29, 2015, 11:51:17 »
Yes, I did read your previous post, which is why I posted the enlarged version of your image, to confirm what I am seeing/not seeing on my screen – certainly nothing like  you say Google Maps shows.

But let’s stick to what we agree on. I am certain that the sightline from Cap Blanc Nez to the barracks tower passes just to the right (not over) the northernmost transmitter mast and is the basis for both our scenarios.

My point about the balloons is that I can’t see how you can view the arrangement of those balloons in the air and conclude that they are forged because they don’t conform to the arrangement of their winches on the ground, which has a wide range of possibilities. Nor do I see that an apparent pairing of balloons is significant. A balloon on the near side of the city will appear paired with a balloon on the other side of the city if they are on close sightlines, and will appear to be the same size from that distance. Your map shows a number of cases where two balloons are close to each other. On that point I must say that to convert those grid references to locations on a 1” scale OS map was a task that deserves a pat on the back.

Of course I can’t say that the photo was not forged, but if it was forged my response remains the same. The other missing 18 balloons are explained in my scenario. Also, as dealt with in my scenario, the balloons over Canterbury are in the height band of 500 to 550 feet, and at the relevant time the ORB shows them at 500 feet. And there is that smoke behind St Margaret’s Bay to consider.

The technology, so far as we know it, of infra-red photography was discussed many posts back, when we discovered that the equipment was a telescope with camera attached rather than a camera with long-range lens attached.

Good or poor visibility is unrelated to the time of year, as evidenced by the dismal mid-July day last Friday and the sometimes crystal clear weather of mid-winter.

That has triggered another thought to add to my own scenario. Manston control tower, presumably the observation point, is about 150 feet above sea-level, whereas the view from Cap Griz Nez to above Canterbury is more than 400 feet above sea-level. I’m not sure how much difference it would make, but the visibility at that height must be better than at Manston.

But in the end, as I’ve said several times, without getting into a time-travel capsule and going back to that day, it can only be conjecture.
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Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #336 on: July 28, 2015, 21:37:32 »
I am not entirely sure you read my previous post on the masts ? Or perhaps it is just a diversion ? My lower blue line goes from Cap Blanc Nez, and passes over both the barracks tower and the northernmost Transmitter mast. That sight line was established in numerous previous posts.

When I plotted the balloon locations with the grid refs, I used the site names as a cross-reference. Wherever they wanted to place balloon sites, they needed the room to bed the balloons. We are therefore limited in towns to areas like school play areas, greens outside churches and railway sidings.

Which is worth considering when you look again at the three close grouped pairs of balloons in the forged image and decide whether that was likely in real life ? You will also need to explain the other missing 16 balloons if you say that image is not forged.



"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #335 on: July 28, 2015, 18:06:00 »
The attached is what I am seeing in your post, only that is much smaller. Are you saying that the four points ringed in red are not the tower bases, and the red line is not the sightline to the clock-tower, as seen in the photos? (I may have the red line fractionally too far from what I thought was the northernmost transmitter tower).

When plotting positions using the blue lines, please bear in mind that just 1/10 degree difference in their direction causes a difference of 350 feet (107m) in the position at which they pass over Canterbury.

Presumably you lifted the balloon positions from the list we have to plot on the OS map – it must have been quite a task :). I think the grid references in that list are Cassini Grid references, and again I think that is based on 1km squares, like the National Grid. If so the 6 digit figures are accurate only to the nearest 100m = 328 feet, a factor to consider when plotting the balloon layout.
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Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #334 on: July 28, 2015, 12:52:35 »
The line does pass over the northernmost tower.

Zoom in on Google maps satellite view. The two remaining masts are shown. There are two more sets of bases to the south of those. There is a slab of concrete to the north which may be throwing your perception ? That was not a mast.
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #333 on: July 28, 2015, 09:47:33 »
Otis, I see the lower of the blue lines in the first post of your series as passing from the clock-tower and between the two centre towers of the transmitter array, whereas your text states it to pass over the northernmost tower. However, all the photos show the sight line to the clock-tower passing just to the north of the northernmost transmitter tower, approximately as per the green line here:.
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=18559.msg161763#msg161763

The difference in the angle between the blue line as drawn and the sightline derived from the photos will make a difference of about 3 miles in the point where they cross the French coast, so if the blue line tracks back to Cap Blanc Nez, that is not the viewpoint from where the photos were taken.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #332 on: July 27, 2015, 10:48:05 »
A remarkable piece of work Otis - congratulatons on the time you must have spent on it :).
It will take me a while to absorb, so just some quick observations for now.

All those photos that you have provided links to seem much the same as the panoramic photo I was using, although I’m not sure if that’s relevant.

Also, I posted a cropped version of the photo in Blitz on Britain at Reply#94 (on my computer) in the Canterbury Blitz thread, on 23rd March, which showed only the smoke, the ‘Canterbury balloons’ and one radar tower. Not until Reply#190 on 22 May did you suggest re-visiting that photo, whereupon I posted the un-cropped photo from the book and which you used to open this thread – what was it in my cropped photo that caused you to suspect that it was not genuine?

And sorry, but I can’t think of the very good IR reflector that you refer to :)
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Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #331 on: July 27, 2015, 06:03:50 »
http://www.scribd.com/doc/134268923/Der-Adler-1941-5

Here is the copy of Der Adler I referred to many posts back. It is talking about the long range telescopic cameras issued to the War Reporting Companies of the long range artillery units. They basically put a huge telescope in front of a camera, (something that we are all familiar with nowadays). It mentions a different technique, infrared photography, that can also be used for long ranged pictures.

The caption says that the pics shows the cliffs between Dover and Deal. Balloons protect the harbour from low-level attacks. The images are taken from 40km away.

If anyone wants to see what an infra red image of the same scene looks like, then Nemo has already provided them in two links.

Most recently in post #305    http://www.bills-bunker.de/77401.html   under 5th Feb 1941

..and  http://www.blighty-at-war.net/german-coastal-gun-sites.html      at the very bottom of the page. The clouds are noticable in the second image. Stormy clouds look very dramatic in infra red photos. Also see how grass and other foliage look light in colour, as they reflect an unusual amount of IR. I can think of one particular item that makes a very good infra-red reflector ! ! !
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #330 on: July 27, 2015, 05:21:26 »
Take a look again at the doctored image. The six forged background balloons have appeared that are not present in the longer panoramic version. Some of these appear to be placed over marks visible on that panoramic image. It does seem now that someone decided to make believe that the rising smoke was Canterbury, and marked that spot with 6 forged balloons to make the point!

This is the "31st October 1942 "image that I originally said looked fake. Apart from the weather being unusually clear for the time of year, we now also know.....

1) The balloon placement is nothing like the real life sites in Canterbury
2) The mast pattern dates the image to mid 1940 to mid 1941.
3) The balloon flying heights depicted are not as shown in the balloon ORBs.
4) The balloons were not sited in pairs.

( Sorry for the four posts, but was the only way I could easily set out those 4 images )
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #329 on: July 27, 2015, 05:15:33 »
I have taken liberties with the best of the long panoramic “C” images here. The vertical red arrow just highlights the tower at the Duke of York’s Barracks. The large red oval indicates where the six balloons appeared in the doctored image. I have added in the six plotted balloon locations as measured from the Canterbury map and indicated where they would fall on this image, if they were up and visible. I have oversized them because I wanted them visible to the viewer. Note there would also be around 5 more balloons behind the taller transmitter masts and perhaps even more to the left of them.

If the doctored image was real, we ought to see something like that close pattern of six balloons in pairs in the area of the red oval, but in real life, there is nothing like that. We also have the problem of the missing 16 other balloons which should appear to the left of those six red balloons marked!

If the pattern of 3 pairs of close balloons in the doctored photo is not mirrored in how the real balloons were sited, then the photo must be faked. The placement of balloons in pairs itself, seems to have been something imagined by the forger?
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #328 on: July 27, 2015, 05:14:01 »
Another Old OS view of Canterbury. The two different  balloon flights are marked with yellow and green dots. See how only one balloon seems to have been in our target area of the Cavalry Barracks. All the other balloons are to the left of that one. The green line is the sightline from over the Duke of York’s tower again.  There are indeed six balloons to the right of this line, but NOT in the cluster we see on the forged photo, but much more evenly spaced out.

There seems to be five more of the yellow-marked balloon sites just to the left of, and very close to, the green sightline. These would appear behind the Transmitter masts in the long panoramic “C” images, if they were really there and flying. They are not seen in those images, of course.
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Offline otis

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #327 on: July 27, 2015, 05:12:23 »
I have taken two lines from the confirmed German viewing point on Cap Blanc Nez, and passed it over the mast locations on Google Earth. The black box in the bottom right is a zoom-in on the Cap Blanc Nez viewing location. The upper red box is a zoom in on the mast area and you can see here that the lower blue line passes over the tower at the Duke of York’s Barracks and over the northernmost of the Transmitter mast basses as in our “C” range of images. The upper blue line passes just beyond the Y-shaped pattern of Receiver mast bases. The two blue lines are about 700 metres apart here.

The yellow box shows an old map view of Canterbury. Note that the lower blue line passes just northeast of the Cathedral and the upper one cuts past the Cavalry Barracks. I have shown a big pink ring around that location because that is the vicinity of the six background balloons in the doctored image from Blitz on Britain.

If we plotted the balloon locations from the grids we have, do we have six balloons around there?
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #326 on: July 26, 2015, 08:14:56 »
Sorry to be a bore, but it might be helpful to summarise my scenario.

1) The photos mostly referred to are the panoramic photo at Reply#315 of 17 July 2015 and the photo in the opening post.

2) The viewpoint on Cap Blanc Nez is aligned with the CH radar transmitters and the Military School clock-tower..

3) The smoke and the balloons above are in the direction of Canterbury, their apparent size corresponds to the distance and their height corresponds to No 994 Squadron’s ORB.

4) The photos look ‘strange’ due to being infra-red.

5) Infra-red photography over that distance (23 miles to Dover and 38 miles to Canterbury) must have been practical, or the photos would not have been accepted as genuine worldwide.

6) Conditions were suitable for photography at about 09:00 on 1st November 1942, (description of weather is in the 'main' account) and photos were taken of the smoke and balloons at Canterbury (opening post) and smoke behind St Margaret’s Bay.

7) The Germans wanted to extend the photo westward to include easily recognisable landmarks, such as the towers of Swingate CH Radar. So the panoramic photo was compiled by adding existing photos to the one in the opening post.

8) The photos added to the left were from a time when two short towers forming part of the Swingate radar may not have existed, hence the panoramic photo does not show the true situation in that respect.

9) It is also the reason why no balloons are shown in that part of the photo.

10) The 2 balloons seen at Dover in the opening post, whether they actually existed or not, would not show in the panoramic photo because the top of that has been cropped.

The above is a scenario and hence subject to revision, but it is valid until proved otherwise, in accordance with normal research procedure. It does not, of course, preclude other scenarios.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #325 on: July 25, 2015, 10:17:46 »
The photo at Post 1 is a second generation copy of the one in Blitz on Britain, which is clearer.

In that the horizon is just discernable, with smoke rising from behind it and the white line is a very narrow rectangular shape sitting on the horizon, and so apparently in front of the smoke.
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #324 on: July 25, 2015, 07:38:34 »
Oops - for earthworm please read earthwork! So much for predictive text!

Offline Nemo

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #323 on: July 25, 2015, 00:30:04 »
Interesting, don't you think, that the smoke (in the original image in post 1) seems to obscure part of what appears to be a horizontal white line, that is arguably consistent with an earthworm exposing chalk.

 

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