Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Want to look for UFOs? Here's what you will need.

Normally I focus on stories and legends around the valley of all things paranormal, but today I thought I would do something different. I thought it would be beneficial to put together a list of equipment that would be useful if one was to either witness a UFO sighting or perhaps investigate a sighting (like the one on I-5).

For starters, I'm going to list the necessary equipment. These can fit in a small case that you can keep in your car and have ready at a moment's notice. Harbor Freight has a good selection and I purchased one there for around $20 and it carries everything except for my DSLR (which I always carry separately anyways).

Now for the necessary equipment. First and foremost, you need a good camera. My favorite is my DSLR, but a regular point and shoot will work fine. Make sure it has a good flash and is at least 6 MP. I also carry a disposable film camera with me for when my digital decides not to work (usually battery drain).

Next is a a video camera. I have a Sony with night shot which is especially useful at night where there is no chance of getting any evidence from your camera. A camera that has a connection to hook up your computer is equally important, but if you don't there are devices that you can purchase (Dazzle is the one that comes to mind) that allow you to upload to your computer. There are other cameras you can purchase for around $150 or so. I know Flip makes a good camera, but no night shot so keep that in mind. Also make sure to have back up media, never know when it will be needed. Also, a mini tripod can be very useful. I don't know how many shaky camera videos I've seen on YouTube that with the use of a tripod, would have been much clearer. Mini tripods do the job and can fit in your kit.

Next piece of equipment that is necessary is very low tech, but very important. Pencil and a notepad. Necessary for note taking and a quick sketch of what you saw. Always use a pencil, never know when you will need to write something down only to find out the ink in your pen has dried up.
A compass can be useful when taking notes and making sketches, noting which direction is what. I purchased one at Wal-Mart for around $5. No need to spend any more. A voice recorder is another option and is great for hands free notes, but as with any piece of equipment make sure to carry extra batteries.

Binoculars are also important. There might be something odd in the sky and a quick look through the binoculars can tell you if it's an airplane or something strange. I purchased a decent pair that is in my glove box for around $20 at Target.

Flashlights are another necessary tool that can be useful besides in any UFO investigation. I'm a fan of the Inova flashlight which you can get at Target from $20 on. It's an LED flashlight and the battery life is much longer as well as the light is cleaner and much brighter. I bought one for $40 and is brighter than a police issued flashlight and a third the size.

Finally, and this is something everyone should already have, is a cellphone. One, if you see something you can call the National UFO Reporting Center at (206) 722-3000. Also, when I would go on a ghost investigation, I would always let someone know where I was going in case something happened. Plus if you get into trouble or are lost you can always call for help.

There are other things you can use as acquire as well, but what I've listed is enough. Some people carry around equipment to register the magnetic field around them (EMF) or geiger counters. This stuff is cool to have, but not needed. Honestly if you have a something that will produce evidence for you, that is all that you need. The rest is just fluff.

Hopefully I've created a good starting point for anyone who may be interested in investigating UFO's. Nice thing is most of these things can be used for other things besides investigating, increasing their usefulness.