Developing Some Ideas

For my final outcome I aim to portray the idea of specific cloud formations commonly being mistaken for UFO’s. The inspiration for this came from the various eye witness accounts and stories that I have come across where members of the public have confused a lenticular cloud with an alien space craft.

The lenticular cloud usually forms in remote areas above or aside a mountain, this makes them unfamiliar to the majority of the worlds inhabitance and therefore, it is understandable that people could create an unlikely explanation to understand what they are seeing for instance in the earlier post The Myth of Mt Shasta. This post explored the story of the Lemurians, an ancient civilisation that took refuge in the mountain itself, creating tunnels and homes miles beneath the ground. It is common for Mt. Shasta to be wearing a lenticular cloud as a ‘hat’, but the explanation that I discovered was extremely elaborate, however, people believe this to be true. The clouds above this particular mountain are said to be cover for space crafts coming and going.

Whilst focusing on lenticular clouds I found a great deal of information on mistaken accounts where people have reported UFO’s that were later found to be clouds. This area really interested me.

I knew from the beginning of the project that I didn’t want to focus on the obvious, I didn’t want to create some sort of infographic on cloud formations and so when I came across the lenticular cloud in particular I was instantly inspired.

Over the last few days whilst doing some final research I have been thinking about where I can take this project next. Admittedly I couldn’t see it going anywhere, other than a cheesy book about aliens or an infographic on lenticular clouds, however, today I have had a brain wave and began developing a couple of ideas that I feel would engage the audience.

Revisiting The Brief

The Research Bit

When doing a project I like to refer back to the set brief before designing a final outcome so that I can assure that all points are covered. I often look back throughout the research process but I don’t see any harm in exploring it again to make sure that my work is on point.

At the beginning of this project we looked into globalism, activism and community over three sessions, these are areas that our final topic should fit into. At the moment I feel that my topic could fit into globalism and/or community, depending on which route I follow. Not only this, but it must also fit into PEST (political, social, economical or technological), again this will depend on which area I decide to focus on in the next stage of development.


Clouds are a broad topic. During my journey I have slowly narrowed down the subject area into various different topics, that are all linked by clouds but are very different in their own ways. I have looked into a couple of these areas in more depth than others where I have uncovered some interesting information that I would have never known otherwise. I know now that I need to determine my focus and look through the research again to ensure that I know all that I can about that one area. However, I believe that I have successfully found specific areas that I have gone into depth with so far.

The Outcome Bit

The outcome must be a book, magazine or digital presence that includes both text and imagery! I need to ensure that my final topic will be suitable for at least one of these.

As of yet I have not begun developing anything as I have not chosen my final topic as such. However, I know that I need to do this very soon to make sure that it is completed to the deadline that has been set (14th Nov 2014).

‘Consider the relationship between text and image, layout, grid use, colour, hierarchy of information and typographic treatment.’ All of these are important points when designing anything and they are all something that I consciously look at when creating anything.

Final Submission

The final submission must include:

  • Strategy / Visualisation
  • Research and design development
  • Specifications / Grids
  • Final outcomes / Revisualisation

Eagle River CE3

Whilst looking into UFO sightings and experiences I came across a story about Joe Simonton, a man from Eagle River, Wisconsin. He claims to have been given ‘pancakes’ by three humanoids that appeared from a silver aircraft in April 1961.

The story says that Simonton was eating his breakfast when he heard some strange noises, that sounded almost jet-like, and so he went outside to investigate. He stood there and watched a disk shaped space craft land, open up and then saw as a alien creature came out. Joe then claims that he received a message telepathically to fetch the visitors a jug of water, not only this but he when he looked into the craft he saw another of these beings cooking ‘pancakes’ over a flameless cooker.

Joe Simonton gave this water to the aliens and in return they presented him with four of the pancakes hot from the stove. He described the pancakes of being around 3 inches in diameter and had small holes, he also stated that they tasted like cardboard. He did only eat one and the others then went off with the US Airforce where they were tested at the Air Force Technical Intelligence Centre. The test came back and they were simply made of flour, sugar and grease. There is a rumour that the wheat in the pancake is of an unknown type.

I know this isn’t particularly relevant to clouds as such but I really enjoy this story, it’s undoubtably better then the sightings that were actually lenticular clouds, so I thought I’d share it!

Oh yeah, apparently the aliens looked Italian!

The Myth Of Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta is a volcano located in California that has been the focus for many myths. The one that I am most interested in is that of the Lemurians.

The Lemurian race was a mixture of beings that came mainly from Sirius, Alpha Centauri and a smaller number of them from other planets as well. Eventually, as these races mixed together on Earth, they formed the Lemurian civilization. To say the least, it was quite an awesome mixture. Lemuria was really the cradle of civilization on this planet, the “Motherland” who assisted in the eventual birth of many other civilizations. Atlantis came about at a later time.

The Lemurians are supposedly survivors of Lemaria, a continent larger than the U.S that was lost beneath the Pacific 12,000 years ago who are said to have created an under ground city beneath the volcano itself in order to preserve their culture.

The Lemurians are said to be around 7 feet tall with long flowing hair, long slender necks and gracious in appearance. They dress in white robes whilst fashioning elaborate collars made of precious gems. According to the legend they have a sixth sense which enables them to communicate with each other using an extra-sensory perception, not only this but they can TELEPORT, and make themselves invisible. Of course they speak in their native language, Solara Maru, but they have also learnt how to speak english, in an english accent. They have become an ascended civilisation living in a fifth dimensional vibration and consciousness.

It has been suggested that Lemurians had mastered atomic energy, telepathy, electronics and science as far back as 18,000 years ago, and their technology makes us look as if we were all toddlers by controlling this technology with their minds. When their community was blossoming on earth and not beneath a mountain they could propel boats by energy radiated using crystals.

So, this is the bit that I’m interested in that actually links to my project…

The Lemurians are also said to have space ships that they would use to take them to Atlantis and other places. It is suggested that today they have an entire fleet of ships that is named the ‘Silver Fleet’ that come out of the mountain and go into space by either using invisibility or a lenticular cloud as cover to stop them being detected by the military!

The mountain has been subject to many abnormal sightings throughout time where strange lights have been seen entering the top. These lights have been interpreted to be space craft constantly entering and leaving from a spaceport located deep within the mountain as it does not just home the Lemurians but is also home to a inter-planetary, inter-galactic portal that is used by extra terrestrials. Not only is there a city within the mountain but also one above, this is called the Crystal City of Light of the Seven Rays and it is said that in the near future within the next 12 to 20 years this city is going to lower down into our realm and manifest before us.

So, there are people that say they have met and even befriended Lemurians, one of these people is Bill Hamilton. He knows ‘Bonnie’ who is from this mysterious world, although she does spend time amongst humans, living within our society with her parents and cousins, her dad is 300 years old. Anyway, Bill claims that ‘Bonnie’ has had many talks with him about her civilisation where 1,500,000 Lemurians live. He asked about the power source of their aircrafts where she replied “A lot of it is crystal generated, particularly the atmospheric vehicles. An Ion-Mercury engine drives the planet-to-planet vehicles. Spaceships can reach speeds way beyond light — they can enter hyperspace-which means you generate into the fourth dimension. This is controlled by an on-board computer that takes you into and out of hyperspace,” she continues. “I know this is a simplification. When you are on a ship going into hyperspace, you will hear this vibration, and a loud screaming sound when you enter, then you will hear nothing…” (

I’m not sure about you but all of this sounds a little far fetched in order to explain a lenticular cloud, but people are convinced that this is real!

Some none ridiculous sites to look at (this one has Lemurian music!!)


Iridescence in ‘Lennies’

Iridescence is the property of certain surfaces that appear to change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Iridescence in clouds occurs when light from the sun or moon passes through an optically thin formation. This is a result of scattering in the cloud that produces colourful displays.

Scattering happens when different particles within a formation are different sizes, such as small particles like oxygen or nitrogen that reflect mostly blue or violet light as they are better at scattering shorter wavelengths. However, droplets of 20 micrometers  are large enough to scatter all visible wave lengths, this is the reason that clouds appear white. However, when a cloud becomes to dense the incoming light cannot get through to the bottom, causing greyish tones. This type of scattering is referred to as Mie Scattering.

Coronas (like seen in the Cirrostratus) and iridescence are two closely related optical phenomenon that are closely linked. A corona exhibits colourful rings around the light source often referred to as a ‘halo’. This ring usually goes from a blue or green in the centre to red on the outside. Iridescence however, is much more random and the colours appear as swirling patches. Generally the colours are of a pastel tone due to the high content of white light and diffracted colours.

Iridescence happens when the average number of particle sizes differentiate within the cloud region or when this mean particle size is particularly small. The droplets that form lenticular clouds are usually made up of water droplets of narrow particle size, these particles are usually of a temperature as low as -36°C. However, if the temperature drops just slightly below this value it will freeze creating circular ice particles. Lenticular clouds can produce extremely clear coronas and iridescence because of these particle sizes.


This week we had individual tutorials. I used this time with Jo to discuss the research that I have already gathered in oder to determine which aspects were the most interesting and which had the most potential.

Using the concept map that I created, which focused on, The Morning Glory, The Cloud Buster, Lenticular Clouds and Cloud Harvesting. I went into depth with each topic and after some discussion found that perhaps the cloud harvesting was a dead end, PHOG already have branding and social media sites that appear to be successful and so I feel that there is nothing more to do on that which left it down to three options. I know that I want to create something that is interesting and not obvious, I want to stay away from creating an infographic on cloud formations etc I just need to decide on a way in which I could so that.

I found that this tutorial helped me narrow down my options, we talked about perhaps focusing on lenticular clouds, when speaking about these I found myself going into the most depth, I find them truly fascinating, the formations are amazing! Not only this but the link to UFO’s is also an appealing topic, Jo agreed.

Over the next few days I intend to investigate lenticular clouds in more depth, look into UFO sightings and the begin to develop an idea of what I want my final idea to focus on.

Concept Mapping

The concept map below aims to pin point important areas of research in a brief way, that highlights and focus’ on information that has interested me throughout the project. I aimed for the visual to be as concise as possible, by only selecting necessary points and elaborating only on the things that were going somewhere, or still are.

When doing this I found myself thinking too much about the layout and the overall aesthetic rather that the quality of information provided and so I had to take a step back and re-write points again separately which I then transferred digitally.

For the final visual I chose to group certain topics together, this way the information is much clearer and the topics don’t get confused. I like clean space and clean lines and therefore chose to use mostly black and white with a muted colour in the background for some simple illustrations, which I felt was needed to bring a bit of life to the page. A clouds appearance is usually thought of as clean and crisp and this is why I decided to used a serif font, Didot. However, the 10 in the background is Bodoni.

As before when I have been asked to complete a concept map, I have struggled and no found it particularly useful. There are other process in which I am more comfortable in using.

Concept map

Cloud Related Questions

Whilst researching clouds, I have read article after article written by cloud lovers that all say that ‘people’ do not appreciate clouds, they ‘all’ link them with negative things like bad weather. But is this really the case? Is it only cloud lovers that prefer the sky with clouds in?

So, I’ve done a quick survey that asks people a very small number of questions relating to this.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 17.52.44

What’s the Story Morning Glory?

The Morning Glory is the name given to a unique type of roll cloud a formation of the stratocumulus genus, that usually appears for a few mornings of the early spring months of September or October. The area in which it appears is a very remote part of Northern Queensland over the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia.

The formations name Morning Glory derives from the meaning ‘conveys the feeling of elation which it’s passage arouses’, this is very different from the native aborigine name ‘Yippipee’ which means that the cloud brings the wet season which starts around late October. The aboriginal communities local to the area where the Morning Glory appears respect the danger that this phenomenon brings, describing it using the word ‘dunderman’ (dangerous), but they do not fear it.

The Morning Glory usually appears from the Northeast, this comes in from over the Gulf. It is said to appear as a dark line on the horizon and as the sun comes up and the cloud moves closer to land the reflection of colour on the clouds surface is mesmerising. The sunrise illuminates the pure white coat orange, lilac and indigo. The clouds surface can vary, sometimes appearing smooth, others rough. The roll cloud can stretch up to 600 miles, the length of Britain and moves at a speed of around 35mph, disturbing the dust on the ground as it moves closer to land, however, once overhead it causes a still air that is motionless.

The Morning Glory can also come in from other directions like the South and Southeast, if and when this happens it can cause a terrifying disturbances, to ‘cloud surfers’ and residents to the settlements local to the coast.



‘Cloud surfers’ refers to the small community of gliders that have heard of The Morning Glory and travel thousands of miles to surf the air. They arrive at small towns such as Burketown that according to the 2006 census only had 178 residents. In the month of September these avid gliders congregate on the air strip at 5am every morning hoping to see The Morning Glory on the horizon, however, it is not a certainty and many go home after waiting weeks without getting even a glimpse of the cloud. The lucky ‘cloud surfers’ of the other hand make the most of the experience.

These ‘cloud waves’ form structures over 1,000 feet high and 1,000 feet from the ground. The air surrounding the cloud is said to be still and ‘as smooth as glass’ which provides gliders the perfect lift. However, once inside the cloud, things change, the air is chaotic and turbulent that gives gliders the opportunity to be lifted up to heights of 8,000 feet. These ‘cloud surfers’ once in the cloud itself turn their engines off and ‘ride’ the cloud, doing loops and riding the front for hundreds of miles. The Morning Glory can just disappear at any point cause the wave of high pressure to vanish, with no push at all which can be turbulent and cause the glider to be tossed around.



Its Nice That…

The first curated by… event, It’s Nice That was held by James Cartwright who talked about the company. I myself follow It’s Nice That on various social networking platforms and was really looking forward to learning more about their aims and beliefs.

James discussed how they seek out eyeopening work based on the concept and ideas behind piece to allow various designers a platform to show their work. He talked about the best designers the they have featured throughout the year, some of which I have see, others which I have not.

Lucy Hilmer, Birthday Suits is a somewhat photographic diary of her body. She decided to take a photograph of herself semi-naked on each birthday, which was somewhat provocative, it makes you remember that this happens to everyone. I think that this project is beautiful in so many ways, and not just the message but the photographs as well, some are humorous and others serious. The second was Daniel Hashimoto who edited videos of his 3 year old son using CGI to give him super powers. It was funny and light hearted, I can see why James chose to show us this. Eleanore Pourriat, Oppressed Majority, is a show film created following a man who is experiencing harassment, just as woman do on a daily basis. The women are in charge, they shout crude things and even of the main character sexual favours. It is about role reversal and making a point. We only watched a short clip during the talk and so I decided to watch it when I got home. Cory Archangel’s ‘Working on my Novel’, is a book featuring other peoples tweets about working on their novels. Finally we saw Joan Cornella’s comics. These were not what you would expect to see. At first glance you expect the to be friendly mainly due to the childlike drawings and vibrant colours, however, on closer inspection they are somewhat morbid and rude! I quite liked it because of this, it plays with you.

James also spoke to us about his and his colleagues inspiration for Its Nice That. Some of these were This American Life, Haw-Lin, The Unilever Series, Weird Comics, Pocket and Pitchfork.

It’s Nice That create an annual that brings together some of the best works of the year. James Cartwright talked about how they see so many amazing projects that some get lost and forgotten about, they appear on twitter and are soon pushed down the page and not often seen, and so they use this annual to bring back the greatest designs. Not only do they create an annual but they also hold a yearly conference ‘Here’.

I forgot to mention that It’s Nice That are also behind Printed Pages, a magazine that I am familiar with. This, like the annual features inspiring pieces of work from a variety of diverse designers. I really like printed pages.

The event overall was inspiring, I heard a lot of new names and saw a lot of interesting work that I would like to look at again.