Raj details

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Raj drone sighting

Initial contact

The following appeared on Craigslist on May 20, 2007 [1]

I was in Capitola with my fiancee at her parent's house this week and we saw this thing. We were eating with her family and they saw it too. What the hell is this? Did anyone else see it?

I was able to grab some pictures and make a Flickr account for them. There's more info there. Here's the link.

From the Flickr account, on May 20, 2007, the following text was appeared:


This week I was visting my fiance's parents in Capitola (we were actually there to tell them about our engagement, in fact). We were eating dinner on the back porch when we noticed this "object" sort of hovering in the sky. The camera was still out from earlier so I grabbed it and tried to get some clear shots of it. It took off over the roof shortly after, so I ran into the street in front of the house to follow, trying to get more shots without wobbling around too much (which was harder than it sounds). It then came in lower over a telephone pole, where I was able to get a few more pictures, before it finally took off into the distance pretty fast. I thought it was gone but noticed it was still visible, so I grabbed a few more pictures.

At one point a car stopped to look as well. No one had any idea what this thing was but everyone in the car was visibly freaked out by it. Once it was gone they told me to call the news and drove off. I'm not sure who else saw it in the neighborhood since I don't live down there, but I'm sure at least a few others must have noticed it. It was way too werid and way too close to go unnoticed. Once it was gone and I caught my breath I could barely stop my hands from shaking for the next hour or so. Needless to say, this is all we talked about for the rest of the night. None of us can figure out what it was (and that's saying something, because my fiance's dad is a mechanical engineer).

We sent a copy of the photos to their newspaper but haven't heard back yet. I dunno how long that kind of thing takes.

There's also some writing on this thing, which I didn't recognize (and I read both English and Hindi). You can see it in a few of the pictures.

Anyway, I created this Flickr account for the best of these pictures. I have no clue what this thing is so I'm putting it out there to see if anyone else saw it.

As noted from Nemo492 on May 23, 2007, the Flickr account had been edited:

"Rajman1977 edited his profile yesterday, and now has a name : Rajinder Satyanarayana http://www.flickr.com/people/8418528@N06/


OMF received postings on May 31, 2007 from Raj as a consequence of being invited by the forum administrator.

Hello everyone!

I have been invited to this forum to discuss the photos. I apologize for being a little late. My Memorial Day weekend was definitely one to remember, although I will take my friends/fiance's words for it as I can not remember all of it. But that's always the best sign of a weekend well spent, correct?

Anyway, I am AMAZED at all the discussion here! I knew the pictures would be thought-provoking (they have certainly given all of us here at home a lot to discuss) but this is really something! Clearly there are a lot of questions and ideas and I must confess I did not have time to read everything (that might take a month!) instead I have tried to hop around in the discussion and see where it went. So I have a general idea but I am probably missing many details.

If you would like to ask any questions, please do so and I will reply. As I said to forum member Brendan, this will be a light week for me so I should be a little bit more responsive than I have been.

Brendan also asked if I have been having any headaches or anything like that. I have not noticed anything of the kind, nor has my fiance. I didn't imagine any such things might happen, but I have since read about Chad and his experience (!) and am glad I'm not having quite the same situation.

Speaking of Chad, I'm not surprised someone else has seen this thing, but I had no idea pictures of this thing were already floating around the web. The differences between what we have seen, however, are fascinating to me. Also of interest is the lettering on his "craft", which is obviously the same as mine.

That's about it for now I guess. Any questions you may have, I will do my best to answer. For some questions I may have to ask my fiances parents (remember I do not actually live where these photos were taken), which might delay things a little but I will do what I can.

Talk to you all soon!


A second forum posting was made shortly after the first one above.

WOW, what a turnout. Maybe I should have thought twice before agreeing to answer questions! I probably won't be able to get to all of them, but I will do my best:

1) The object did rotate as it moved, but it was almost like the rotation and the movement were unrelated (if that makes sense). So imagine it moving in a straight line, but rotating very gently in such a way that the "arms" don't ever really match up with its direction. Also, the speed of the rotating would change every time it stopped or changed direction. So if it was moving in one direction with a very slow spin, it might then stop to turn in another direction, and the spinning would accelerate. I'm trying to think of an example of this kind of motion but none come to mind. The rotation was never very fast though, even when the craft flew away at the end.

2) It did not appear to interact with the power lines. It flew over them, and stopped for a brief period, but it didn't touch them or anything like that. I guess we'll find out if my fiance's parents get a big spike in their PG&E bill this month.

3) I didn't hear it make a lot of noise aside from some very faint pops and snapping sounds. Definitely no "engine noises". But I could "feel" something that was like when a car next to you at a red light is blasting the bass. It was like a vibrating I could feel in my chest. Nothing unpleasant or painful though.

4) Many have asked about the original camera photos. I uploaded them to Flickr but it won't let anyone download them! Since so many people have requested them, I am wondering if someone has a place where I can upload them so anyone can download them? It would be a pain to individually send them as email attachments to a million people. If you have any ideas please let me know.

5) I have no idea what it was, but everywhere I have read about it now, I hear people call it a "drone". My fiance's dad is an engineer and he suggested something similar. At first glance, before I even had a chance to process what I was seeing, I thought it was a remote control toy or something. I definitely wouldn't mind playing with a toy like that.

6) I had never thought much about aliens and UFOs before this event. I always figured there must be life out there somewhere but I have never been convinced that they are coming here. However, after this, who knows? I reserve judgement until I know more about what this is. This is already weird enough as it is!

7) I can't even guess why it was hanging around Capitola, or what it was after. However, my fiance's parents mentioned that in the 60's or 70's, a bunch of birds went crazy in Capitola and were attacking people and flying into walls. They say that's where Alfred Hitchcock got his idea for "The Birds". Of course I don't think it's related, but it proves that weird things happen in the area every now and then.

8) I have not heard from the "Men in Black" yet, nor has anyone else in my family.

9) The 6 photos I posted are the only ones that have the object in them. We had been taking photos all evening and my fiance's parents are KNOWN for never clearing their memory cards and then running out of room at the worst time. This has already happened on two separate vacations in the couple years I have known them. So when I reached for the camera, I was thinking to myself "Here is some crazy thing in the sky, and I bet that I won't even be able to take a picture beacuse they haven't downloaded their photos to the computer!!!" Luckily it turns out that I still had room for about 12 more shots, but I tried to make each shot count. It was nerve wracking enough chasing this thing around, but it's even worse when you are worried that your future in-laws have already filled up the camera! I could have taken a few more than I did, but I didn't expect it to fly away so abruptly. Also, I took a few more like the last photo, where it is off in the distance, but in the last two shots it is already gone.

10) I have been asked by a few people why I did not take video. Of course, I didn't have a lot of time to think about what was happening. They have an old Minolta (they got it like 7 years ago) and I'd never even used it before that evening. I never checked to see if it could do video but even if it does, I didn't know how to do it at the time. I do video with my digital camera (a Cannon) all the time, but I didn't have that with me. Plus knowing them, there was probably only room for half a second of video. And remember, this whole experience was over in a matter of minutes. I think some people overestimate how clearly I was thinking!

11) As I said in my original Flickr page, the only people that I KNOW saw it are me, my fiance, her parents, and the people who stopped in the car. I assume many other people must have seen it, but I don't know of anyone in particular beyond us.

12) They still have the memory card. I downloaded the photos and have a copy of them, and knowing them, they STILL probably have not erased the card. So if you guys want 10,000 pictures of us eating dinner on the back deck, you are in luck!

13) I posted the pictures originally to Flickr beacuse I didn't know of any other way to get them online for public viewing and I have a lot of work friends that use it all the time for their own photos. As for Craigslist, it was the first idea that came to me when I tried to think of ways to ask a lot of people in the Capitola area if they saw this thing. One funny thing was that we had been talking so much about UFO movies since it happened, and when I went to post the question, for a second I misread "casual encounters" as "close encounters". That was definitely NOT where it was supposed to go. Before the last week or so, I had never visited any UFO sites so I didn't know of any. I definitely would have started here though if I did.


The following private email from Raj to the OMF administrator on June 6th, 2007 was released:

From: Rajinder
To: brendan
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 2:01 AM
Subject: Re: Brendan here: - hi again!

I was just emailing you to ask what happened!!! I went to my account this afternoon and it says my account is no longer active. What happened!? How could it have been hacked? I have not received any emails from Flickr, I would imagine if something like that happened to my account they would notify me, especially if they shut my account down! I have been away for just a couple days and everything turns upside down??

Is there a way to get the account back? Over the weekend I uploaded some new photos that were not public that I would like to get back, I wonder if I can access them somehow?

Sorry that it has been so long to get back to you. I should mention that this is my personal email, and lately I have been using my work email for almost everything. I forgot that you guys are contacting me here and not there. I have not had time to check the forum in the last few days, this work week has not been quite as "mellow" as I expected it to be. I am going to catch up on the new posts tonight. I cannot believe how much has happened in just the few days I have not been keeping up! My Flickr account is gone, there appear to be all sorts of new questions, and who knows what else. I will do my best to keep up but this is really overwhelming. All hell broke loose at work on monday, and on a personal note some joker keeps calling our house late at night and hanging up, so I am way behind on sleep and a bit cranky. So I have a lot on my plate right now. When it rains it pours!

I can summarize what my family has said on the issue if you would like, or I can pass along your email to them and they can send you their thoughts directly. My fiance's dad is the only guy I know who is busier than I am though, so who knows when he will get back to you! Everyone else should be quick though.

Her father is a mechanical engineer, her mother is a homemaker, and her younger brother is studying graphic design and illustration. He is normally a painter but in the last couple of years he has been studying digital art at school. I should send you some of his illustrations, they are really beautiful. So that should give you some background on them.

Thank you guys again for being so dedicated! And sorry I have been away, I will try to keep up in the future!


The following email from Raj to IVO of OMF on June 8th, 2007 was released:

From: Rajinder
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 9:00 PM
Subject: RE: Brendan here: - hi again!


This really has been quite a ride. The hacking thing is just icing on the cake to me, after everything that has happened. I actually found a copy of the non-public pictures I had uploaded to Flickr so I'm not too worried about the account. However, I did think it was important to keep those pictures online. Thankfully you guys mentioned that you kept copies of the originals. Can anyone on your forum post them somewhere? I would be appreciative. I dont need to keep credit of them or anything, I just think they are important to keep available. I still don't really have any web space of my own but if one of the forum members would be willing to do so that would be good.

Thank you,


The following email from Raj to Bren of OMF on June 9th, 2007 was released:

From: Rajinder
To: brendan
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2007 2:11 AM
Subject: Re: Brendan here: - hi again!

Hi Brendan,

I spoke with Ivo and he mentioned that Flickr would like to help me, but at this point I am not too concerned with it. I found another copy of the pictures I lost so it is not a big deal. I really just created that account for the pictures of the "thing". However, as I was saying to Ivo, it would be nice if someone could post them again. I heard that someone has copies of the originals so if they could be so kind as to find a place for them that would be great. I don't have web space of my own.

I have spoken with everyone in Capitola and am getting mixed reactions. My in-laws are not comfortable with any of this but my fiances brother is very interested in it all. I am not sure if her parents will be cooperative but my fiance and her brother will certainly try to send something.

I have seen the new pictures as well, from Big Basin. I really dont even know what to make of all this anymore. It is just getting too weird. It's like, one day you are visiting your in-laws for dinner, and the next you are in the middle of a UFO movie, or so it seems. I dont even know what to say to a lot of what I am hearing and seeing now. The calls haven't stopped, either. I have made repeated requests to the phone company, and every time they say they have "figured it out" and blocked the number, I get it again. It sounds strange to say this, but I feel like I am being watched a lot of the time too, or like there is always someone just outside my window, or something. God, even saying this out loud, or typing it I guess, just makes it feel more real. I haven't even wanted to mention it to anyone because it's almost like if I keep it all to myself it isn't real. I just feel like something is about to happen and I dont know why. How can that thing in the Big Basin pictures even be real? How is this not getting more attention? Isn't this just too weird? I mean, are we dreaming or something? I was surprised when more people didnt respond after what happened in Capitola, but now this is just getting so crazy. I always thought if something like this happened it would be all over the media. But so far there is nothing and it makes no sense.

When something that bizarre happens to you, you begin to second-guess it the moment it ends, and the more time passes, the more you begin to doubt it yourself. I mean, I have pictures of it, my entire family has seen it, and yet still I find myself trying to convince myself that it was all just something I dreamed up. If there are any other questions your forum would like to know, I would be happy to answer, but if not I am thinking that perhaps I should simply take a break from all this and see if this feeling goes away. I think maybe I am just thinking about this too much.

Also the Sentinel never got back to us. My fiances brother was the one who sent the email to them (he originally got the pictures for me off their camera, he has really been a help through all this). He said he followed up but has been getting no response. So who knows, this is all just too weird for me. Maybe they will run it some day, maybe not. But as usual it is a mystery.

You guys have been great though. Please dont worry about us, we will be fine. I will be in touch as best I can but I really need to get my head straight and make sure I am not going too crazy just yet. I'm a little young to be senile!


There are no known communications from Raj after this last email.


As far as anyone knows, Raj only communicated via email, there is no record or acknowledgment of voice or written communication.


Much effort was spent looking in Capitola, CA for the photographed pole. All the locations in the photos were later found to be in Campbell, CA which is contrary to what Raj claimed in his writings.

Campbell is a considerable distance from Capitola (39 minute drive by car ), it is generally agreed that there would be no way to confuse the locations.

Close examination of photo locations and time from the photo EXIF reveals that the photographer would have to be traveling very fast between shots, possibly running almost as fast as an athlete. The session could have been done from a motorized vehicle, but that is contrary to Raj's writings.

Hacked account

Raj's initial Flikr account was unpaid and unable to allow public viewing of the large images that were uploaded. Only smaller compressed images were available to the public.

User spf33 paid a fee to upgrade the Flikr account so that the original high resolution images could be downloaded.

Not too long after it was upgraded, the Flikr account was changed (possibly hacked) and the images replaced with pornographic images. The hacking appeared to be done by someone calling themselves deeznuts.

Raj commented about the (hacking) in his emails to OMF.

Photo Analysis

In an attempt to confirm the shadow placement on the complicated craft in the Raj images, specifically PICT0016, 3D CGI software was employed by many people separately. The scene was never resolved, conclusions where that separate lighting sources were used for the pole and craft.