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Daniel Tarr

The Flying Rods
by Jose Escamilla

- A Review -


Jose Escamilla presents » Roswell Rods


Rods, sometimes known as Sky Fish or Solar Entities or "Fulgure" in French, are a rather new entry in the field of cryptozoology. They are said to be creatures which flit about in the air at such a high speed as so not be seen by the naked eye. Rods gain their name from their rodlike shape, though they have also been called "flying rods," "skyfish," and "solar entities."

What is generally agreed is that these strange objects are organic. In other words, they are living creatures and not just some new form of flying saucer. Some people have suggested that they maybe a form of extraterrestrial lifeform because they are occasionally encountered with UFO activity. Some sceptics would have us believe that what we are seeing is nothing more than birds, insects or camera trickery, but as you can see from the film footage on this page, this does not seem to be a conclusive explanation.

The Rods were were discovered accidentally and first filmed by Jose Escamilla at Midway, New Mexico on March 19, 1994. José Escamilla has promoted video footage of rods recorded during the filming of BASE jumpers (Brandon Daruna and Andrew Bradberry) at the Cave of Swallows in Mexico.


For further explanation please visit: Bruce Maccabee - Strange Flying Object in the Cave of Swallows

Since then, many more 'rods' have been captured on film from all over the world. One of the key investigators into the 'rods' phenomenon is video production company owner Jose' Escamilla. So far, Escamilla, who is in charge of a team of independent investigators, has obtained spectacular footage and photographs from a wide range of countries, including the UK, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Mexico and the USA. Rods are claimed to have been spotted in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Philippines and China. Escamilla claims to even have footage of rods underwater.

Escamilla's discovery of the Rods phenomenon has been a controversial subject worldwide the past fourteen years. The evidence reveals why Rods are something "other than" insects, birds or CCD camera artifacts as commonly claimed by "insect theorists."

Jose Escamilla

Jose Escamilla is from Roswell, New Mexico. When he decided to put together the web site, the name Rods.com was already taken, so he decided to register Roswell Rods, because, Roswell is in fact his home town, and the place where he had filmed them. The web site presents evidence collected over the many years of research. Since that day in 1994, over 48 million people have visited the web site and thousands have submitted photos, video clips and written reports from experiences they have had with Rods. What is extraordinary about most of the written reports submitted by people from all walks of life, are that some of them have relayed information that only Jose Escamilla and his team of researchers had found out for themselves. Information that has never been released to the public started coming in from reports made by eye witnesses from different parts of the world.

Looking at all we present here and turning away from the low shutter settings used by debunkers to explain away the Rods, what you get is a difinitive look into a mysterious object that cannot be explained away that easily. After you review what is presented here we know you will have a new way of looking at Rods as being something more than mere insects close to the lens of a camcorder.

The investigations continue.

[Source: Roswell Rods]

Recently, the Echo patrol proved rods to be existent. The patrol assembled a HOT POT testing theory, after being swarmed flocks of rods while patrolling "run 6". The HOT POT testing theory (similar to the Cloud chamber of the 1940's) involves heating a combination of H2o and saline to 300 degree's F, and then put into thermal isolated spray bottles. When encountered by a flock of rods, patrollers expel the liquid from the spray bottle, isolating the Nero stimulus in the rod creating temporary paralysis in the rod. Upon paralysis rods are quarantined and taken to the PR for further investigation. Run "6" has been closed since the 1970's (at the old Squaw pass area) after guests were experiencing vision obstructions. The theory is that "rods" migrated to the Mount Evans area for an unknown reason. Since August of 2008 patrol has tracked the exponential increase in population of rods by 35.3% It is believed that rods thrive and produce more frequently with out the presence of humans. Hence why rods are so prevalent on the abandon "run 6".

[Source: Wikipedia: Rods]

UFO Flying Rod

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS (Rod theories and speculations)

Just what are these things, described as flying rods? Your guess is as good as mine, however in my personal opinion, they represent possibly the best evidence of alien life to date, or at the least, an exotic new form of life often described as sky fish, due to the undulating motion in which they travel.

These "things" move much to quickly to be seen with the naked eye, but they can be captured on film and seen when the film is played back in slow motion. They appear to have appendages along their torsos which move in wave like motion, and the torsos bend as they move. Measuring from inches to several feet in length, flying rods have been observed and filmed all over the world.

Despite the difference of opinion on the nature of rods, close examination of the video footage has uncovered a number of consistent features. Analysis reveals that the rods seem to be cylinder-shaped 'creatures' that range in length from about 10 centrimetres to 3 metres, and can travel at speeds of up to 300 kmph. They appear to fly through the air by using an undulating solid membrane which vibrates extremely rapidly on each side of its body (similar to how a squid propels itself through water).


I. Rods are unknown creatures

Believers in rods claim them to be unknown creatures. Rods on camera appear to be able to behave and move on their own. It is proposed that they have a thin membrane across their axis which is used for propulsion through the air, in a manner similar to the way a cuttlefish uses its fins.

The rods appear to fly over at extremely high velocities and show some type of intelligence, as they will often dodge things that they would otherwise collide with. They could only be described as blurs crossing the sky, almost too quickly to be seen.

Such instances could be dismissed as bugs flying past, or abberations in my vision, or any number of possible optical distortions that could occur. Skeptics claim that the rods are nothing more than bugs or birds flying very close to the lens of the camera taking the picture, and that may well be true in some cases. But what Jose filmed that day at the cave, and alot of what others have filmed all over the Earth, there could be something more.

Where do the rods come from? Are they indigeneous to the planet Earth? The fact that they are so different from any other indigeneous lifeforms on the Earth lead many to believe that Rods may well be extraterrestrial. Usually aliens as being portrayed as two legged, two armed, two eyed human like beings. But the truth of the matter is UFOs may well be reagrded as alien lifeforms. (See: Sky Critters and Energyzoa).

[Source: Flying Rods]

In 1997, Escamilla attempted to gain scientific recognition of the phenomena by taking a selection of his footage to zoologists and entomologists from the University of Colorado. 'They were totally baffled,' states Escamilla. 'All they could say was that it was unlike anything they had ever seen and that it deserved further study'.

Biologist Ken Swartz has been investigating the rods phenomenon since 1998 and says 'Rods appear to be biological, but without a physical specimen it is difficult to say anything conclusively. They seem to be amphibious, as they have been seen entering and leaving water. Perhaps they are born in the sea and emerge into the air?' Speculating from the eyewitness testimony of people who have seen them, Swartz maintains that they appear to have some similarities to the family of creatures known as cephalopods, such as squids. 'There have been descriptions of them expanding like a balloon and rapidly deflating,' he states 'so they could be using a mechanism similar to a squid which sucks in water and jets it out for propulsion.'

If rods are biological entities, why has no one, so far, found the body of a dead rod? If they are flying around us all the time as is commonly believed, then how is it possible that not a single body has been discovered on the ground? Swartz explains that if the rods are indeed similar to squid, they will not have any hard body parts and so could decompose without a trace. Swartz points out 'If you look at the fossil record, there is only one creature that ever lived that had the rod mode of locomotion, and this was the dominant predator of the time called anamalocaris, which lived in the sea during the Cambrian evolutionary expansion 400 million years ago.' According to Swartz 'the creature propelled itself by a row of plates or fins that vibrated in a similar manner to the membranes seen on rods, it is possible that anamalocaris is the evolutionary ancestor of rods.'

[Source: The Mysterious Rods]

Possible Rod Ancestors

1. Anomalocaris - (anima-loh-karis) by Jim Peters



Anomalocaris was the largest creature on the planet when it lived 525 million years ago during the Cambrian evolutionary explosion. Fossils in Canada are up to two feet in length, some in China are larger. Anomalocaris was so successful at the top of the food chain that it survived for 20 million years. Anomalocaris shares some of the basic physical characteristics that we think Rods possess with its long body and fins running down the middle of the sides of its body. Today we can see the efficiency of this propulsion method in cuttlefish. Being predators, anomalocaris and cuttlefish are agile and quick.

Nature has experimented with the physical form that Rods exhibit and has had a great deal of success with the design. But anomalocaris was an ocean dwelling creature. What could the possible connection be between them and Rods?


2. Protopterygote - (proto-terry-goat) by Dave Blackburn

The day after Jose and Jim Peters flew to London in November, I found Stephen Dalton's book "The Miracle of Flight". It was there that I began to learn of the work of Professor Robin J. Wootton of Exeter University. In the book, on page 39, is where I found the strobe flash time-lapse photo of the physical model Protopterygote that was built and photographed by Dalton. Wootton drew a picture of what he deduced the protopterygote must have looked like, and Dalton's constructed a physical model that matched Wootton's paleo-entomological vision.


(click on thumbnail for video)

So I synthesized the notions that the Rods that are being filmed and videoed by Jose and his associates around the world are the modern day descendants of the primitive protopterygote. Entomologists, led by Wootton and his colleagues explain that protopterygotes are the extinct missing link that had to exist, emerging sometime during the 70 million year period between the emergence of crawling insects, and the emergence of winged insects.

According to Dr. Robin Wooten a Rod is a Protopterygote, a hypothetical ancestor of todays insects. This is the model built by Dr. Robin Wooten of Exeter University, London.

[Featured on The History Channel's Monster Quest]



[Source: Rods - Theoretical Evidence]

II. Rods are insects

Investigators have proposed that rods are mere tricks of light which result from how images (primarily video images) are recorded and played back. In particular, the fast passage before the camera of an insect flapping its wings has been shown to produce rod-like effects, due to motion blur, if the camera is shooting with relatively long exposure times. (In low-light conditions or even when pointed at blue sky, the automatic exposure programming of a video camera is likely to select the longest possible exposure time, which is 1/60th second per video field for NTSC format or 1/50th second for PAL format.)

This criticism suggests that such video is incapable of capturing a clean image of something which moves so fast relative to the camera. In particular, the "membrane" in a video frame of a rod is effectively a time-lapse of the wings of the flying animal in different positions over several wingbeats that occurred during the field exposure time, while the central "rod" is a time-lapse image of the body, showing the full distance traveled during the field exposure time. The effect is especially pronounced with large, long-bodied insects which have broad wings and fairly slow wingbeats, such as mantises, grasshoppers, and katydids, or completely opaque wings such as moths.

On video equipment which resolves the two interlaced fields of a single video frame (which are captured successively and then displayed as alternating horizontal lines), the "rod" effect can be seen to alternate from one field to the other, producing the distinctive gaps between successive images. Similar results can be produced using standard film, if there is a long exposure and/or a stroboscopic lighting effect which lasts more than a single wingbeat. In other words, one can produce "rod" effects at will with the right equipment, lighting, and subject.

Reproducing the "Flying Rod" effect on video is easy: First, find a place with lots of flying insects. Then set your digital camera (on video mode) or camcorder to its slowest exposure speed (1/60 second is the slowest speed for an NTSC camcorder). Aim the camera to a fixed spot with insects flying left and right, and start recording. Lighting the target area with a light source will enhance the rod-like effect as light is reflected from the flying insect. The resulting video footage will have flying rod-like effects in place of the flying insects.

[Source: Wikipedia: Rods]

Insect Rod
Insect Rod
Insect Rod

There is one consistency about my images of RODS. All of them were take about an hour before sunset; into the sun, at about a 30 degree angle to the horizon; with a dark background. For a week I took pictures of the bugs every day, at different times, with different backgrounds and angles, but the only thing I got were blurs and dark streaks. Only when the sun was low on the horizon, and the insects were back lit, did images of RODS magically appear.

[Source: Hot Rods]

For further explanation please visit: Sol's Rod Study - Jose Escamilla's "Rods" Video Sequences

III. Rods are UFOs

Others have speculated rods may be UFOs traveling at high speed, explaining why they are usually only seen on camera, and the fact they are often associated with the UFO phenomena. Rods may be intelligent probes of some kind sent by aliens.

IV. Rods are Lightning Rods

These rods are no ordinary rod, they fly around at high speeds (usually at night) and can be seen lighting up. They are usually seen inside houses or cabins, in places such as The Adirondacks or the Fingerlakes. They got their nickname from the way they light up.

[Source: Wikipedia: Rods]

UFO Flying Rod


Because of the speed that they move, it can be difficult to capture rods on film. Even with 30 frames per second (fps), good video cameras still have problems capturing detailed pictures of rods. With rods moving upto speeds of 300 kmph, the video is only capable of capturing a few frames of footage before they disappear. Also, because of the fast movement, the video images of rods generally lack resolution, meaning that it is hard to see fine details, such as if these 'creatures' possess eyes or even a head.

What seems to be the best footage taken so far of rods was filmed by Mark Lichtle who is a professional cameraman for US television. He was making a film of parachutists jumping into a deep, vertical cave near San Luis Potosi, Mexico. As in most cases, the rods were only noticed when the film was reviewed later. On observing the slow-motion video, Lichtle saw numerous rods darting in and out of the frame and flying around the base jumpers as they fell through the air. In one shot, a rod avoids colliding with one of the jumpers by veering sharply away at the last second.

Optical expert Bruce Maccabee, better known for his analysis of UFO footage, has viewed the film and confirms that the objects are between 2 and 4 metres in length, therefore ruling out the possibility of birds or insects.

[Source: The Mysterious Rods]


On August 8-9 2005, China Central Television (CCTV) aired a two-part documentary about flying rods in China. It reported an incident which happened from May to June of the same year at Tonghua Zhenguo Pharmaceutical Company in Tonghua City, Jilin Province, which debunked the flying rods. Surveillance cameras in the facility's compound captured video footage of flying rods identical to those shown in Jose Escamilla's video.

Getting no satisfactory answer to the phenomenon, the curious research staff of the facility, being scientists, decided that they would try to solve the mystery by attempting to catch these airborne creatures. Huge nets were set up and the same surveillance cameras then captured images of rods flying into the trap. When the nets were inspected, the "rods" were no more than regular moths and other ordinary flying insects. Subsequent investigations proved that the appearance of flying rods on video was an optical illusion created by the slower recording speed of the camera (done to save video space). This is the empirical evidence showing that the "rods" themselves can be captured, and that they do indeed prove to be ordinary animals.

For further explanation please visit: Sol's Rod Study - Tech Sina (in Chinese)

Rods were the subject of season 1, episode 11 of the History Channel series Monster Quest, first aired on January 9, 2008. During this episode, the proposed rod body structure was tested by engineering students, who commented, "Not a whole lot of lift. It would take a huge propulsion system to make it fly..." This documentary also includes footage where a "rod" is captured simultaneously by a traditional video camera and a high-speed camera. While the video recorded by the traditional camera showed a brightly-illuminated "rod" with multiple undulating wings, the high-speed video clearly showed a common moth flying across its field of view.

[Source: Wikipedia: Rods]

UFO Flying Rod

For further information please visit Jose Escamilla's » Video Channel on Youtube.

Related articles and links

» Ufology - The Sky Critters
» Ufology - Extraterrestrial Energyzoa Hypothesis


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