FLYING RODS IN HAWAII
by Serge Kahili King, with photos by Thierry Pfau
Go straight to the photos
I'm pretty sure that it was in 2002 that I first saw a "Sightings" program on the Discovery Channel that featured Jose Escamilla's fascinating footage of rod-like objects apparently flying around during a film shoot in Mexico in 1994. I was intrigued, but, like UFO sightings, I didn't expect to have any personal experience with them except by accident.
The accident happened in February of this year (2004) when a friend of mine, Thierry Pfau of Zurich, Switzerland, showed me some footage of a video he had taken during a luau in November, 2003 on the island of Kauai.
The video he showed me was of a hula performed by two members of Halau Hula Na Lei Kupua O Kaua'i. During the editing process he had noticed something unusual and knew I would be interested because I had previously mentioned the flying rod phenomenon to him. In one close-up segment of the dance that we played on my computer there was a rod-like object crossing in front of the dancers. I was extremely interested, of course, so he gave me a copy of the video and I promised to capture some stills and maybe post them on the net.
Other projects required my time until May 7, 2004, when I finally took another look at the video in iMovie on my Macintosh G4 computer. I couldn't remember exactly where the scene was that had the rods in it, but since the video was only about five minutes long I started playing it from the beginning.
Just over 17 seconds into the footage something on the right caught my eye, so I started over and checked it out frame by frame. Sure enough, there was a rod-like object coming into the scene from the right. It crossed in front of one dancer and went behind the other before going off the screen. And it was not the segment that Thierry had shown me.
I went through the whole video frame by frame and discovered one or more rods flying around back and forth during the entire dance. I say "one or more" because, unless I missed something, there seemed to be only one rod on the screen at a time. On the other hand, the visible rod did not always appear to be the same size, but this might be accounted for by distance and angle of view.
Assuming it was one rod, it passed from right to left, from left to right, and from the top down. In one segment it came in from the right, did a kind of looping motion, and went back out the same way. In another segment, the close-up that Thierry had originally shown me, the wave-like appendages seen in other sightings are apparent, and in still another the rod comes in from the left and goes straight up and there is an incredibly interesting view from the top that seems to show cillia-like appendages along both sides. In this shot, the rod itself appears dark.
I am quite familiar with the insects we have in Hawaii, and this is not like anything I have ever seen or read about. In fact, there are some parts of the video in which there are insects flying about, and the difference in appearance and behavior between them and the rod is obvious. It is at least as intelligent as an insect, however, because it avoids contact with the dancers and in one segment it can be seen changing direction toward a wall and then quickly moving away from it.
In the first segment the rod passes from right to left in a fairly straight line among the dancers. The distance in view is roughly twenty feet (about 6 meters) and the rod crosses in 15 frames. At 24 frames per second this ends up being the equivalent of about 22 miles per hour (35 km/hr). This is not quite fast enough to be invisible, but it is fast enough to be ignored.
Thierry, working with the original video, sent me this comment about one of the early sets of frames in which a rod appears: "There is a funny thing about the flight direction. When the rod is between the two dancers you can hear a high pitched piano note. Exactly at that moment the object starts to change its direction downwards and disappears to the right (middle)."
I have divided the stills in my file into nine clear appearances of the rod in more than fifty frames, although there were many more that were unclear or dubious. With this many sightings in such a small area and time period, I think it highly probable that a close examination of more video footage in Hawaii would produce a multitude of examples of this phenomenon. For this web posting, however, I have only selected a few of the most interesting images and they are necessarily of much lower quality than the originals.
I don't have any idea what these things are. From their behavior they appear to be alive, but until they are investigated more thoroughly I think that any speculation as to their origin or nature at this point is no more than fanciful guessing.