Signaling over 3 Miles (5 km) with a Mirror

>>Today’s episode is brought
to you by Squarespace.>>Head on over to, sing up for your free trial and when you do sign up for the service, get 10% off by using promo
code rogue at checkout. That’s R-O-G-U-E,
spell it right, you heathens!>>Heretics, monsters. [wilting]
>>Blasphemers!>>You know, I’m thinking
about being lost in the woods, but nowadays just being lost in general, how often does that happen?>>More than you would think. It’s like, when my signal goes out and I’m like at the mall
or downtown or something in the city I’ve lived in for 20 years.>>You mean emotionally lost. Unless you can get that Candy Crush, it’s like why am I still alive? Take me, Lord! [deep synthetic rumble] [electrical pop]
[gentle vinyl static] [rising chime] All right, Murphy, remember
we did the bug out bag?>>Yeah.>>I was told that out of everything in there, the single most important thing if you’re lost in the woods… signal mirror.>>Signal mirror? I would have thought shotgun.>>Or food.>>Or food!>>None of those are going
to get you back home. They’re going to make it a
little bit more comfortable until you get eaten by a bear. If you are lost in the woods and you can assume people
are looking for you, there’s nothing more valuable than the ability to signal to all these planes flying overhead.>>You can use one of
these signal mirrors, which the US Air Force Survival Handbook describes as the most
underappreciated tool in their kit.>>Okay, here’s what I never understood, I figured a mirror is a mirror. Oh look, yes, you make the little dot show up on your hand
and everything’s fine, but to aim it, you got this
little hole in the middle, you got these little
sentinels all around it, and it took us a bit of doing to figure out why and how it worked.>>Now of course, you’ve got
to have sun to do this, right? It’s got to be daylight. Doesn’t work nearly as
well with cloud cover, but you can use the
finder, the aim finder. What do they call it? The aiming hole! That’s what they call it! I didn’t make that up.>>Try this, hold your hand out flat. I’m going to give just
a perfect reflection. Now I’m looking straight through the hole, and when I have it exactly centered, I’m looking at the reflection
and there’s no glow. If it starts to get off-center–>>JASON: Then it starts to glow
in those circles around the aim finder.>>Those sentinels scream, so if you have it exactly lined up, you’ll
be able to see it, and if you get slightly off,
then these guys say, “Hey, you’re too far off to this side, “or you’re too far off to this side, or you’re too far off to this side.” But where it really matters is when you don’t have a frame of reference. When you’re looking up at the sky, it’s like, well, how do
I know where I’m aimed? For example, you can see that
there’s an airplane flying. If I wanted to aim for it, I would have to use only the sentinels, so the sentinel tells me I’m too far down and to the left, right? So, if what I wanted to do is get at that– oh look, you can see it!
You can see it up in the trees there!>>JASON: Yep, I see it.>>BRIAN: So, the sentinels are telling me it’s down and to the right,
and so I would go just– somebody is very annoyed
in first class right now.>>And it’s important that you have that level of accuracy and precision with aiming because you’re
really going to be doing this for someone who is miles away, like out of earshot, right? Because some of these reflections can go for several miles to
get someone’s attention.>>Well, before we try
going several miles, I just want to see if we
can get it across the pond and we only have a little
bit of daylight left. Do you want to signal or be signaled?>>I’ll be signaled, you signal.
>>Okay, great. I’ll go where the sun is,
and you go where it’s not.>>Okay. [walkie-talkie chirp]>>All right, so we’re what, half a football field away from each other? This is 150 feet or so?>>Uh yeah, that’s about right. Somewhere between 150
and 200, I would say.>>All right, so in this case
I’m looking right at you, so I’m going to say it’s not
much of a rescue operation and I’m not having to use
any of the special features. I’m just going to put a spotlight on you. Do you see any big flash just yet?>>Oh yeah, definitely. It is unmistakable.>>All right, buckle up.>>Ah! [Brian laughing]>>Was it like looking into the sun?>>Very much akin to that. It was terrible.>>You’re a passing plane
and I’m just trying to get your attention, and so I’m like
♪ do-do-do-do-diddle-da ♪ Is that going to get?>>That would get it. The traditional emergency request message is usually three quick flashes.>>Oh yeah, that’s the S-O-S, right?>>Well, you can do S-O-S and
that’s totally acceptable, but just three quick flashes is enough.>>Holy cow, do you remember when we did the lens finder to look
for secret spy stuff?>>Oh yeah, it’s kind of like that. Super low-fi, right?>>Yeah, so just an array of LED lights and looking through it. Boy it really does just pop. The lenses on the–oh my god! Look at the lenses on the cameras!>>JASON: Oh wow, yeah. It just blinks.>>BRIAN: That’s brilliant. You will not believe how bright the camera flashes back
at me when I do this. [astonished]
Wow! In the interest of science adjacency, now we have to do a distance test, right?>>JASON: Well, we are scientists, so let’s run that experiment. [whoosh] [wind]>>Dude, the Wizard’s Tower.>>One of the best views
in all of central Texas. You can see it from miles around.>>I already scouted the area around, I found one spot that’s a mile away as the crow flies, and
I found another spot that’s four miles away. Pretty sure we could do a mile. I want to see if we can hit four miles.
>>Okay.>>You down?
>>Yeah, you’re going to be on the away team?>>Yeah, I’ll do the away team. You head upstairs,
and then I guess what– oh, we’ll use the walkie-talkies.
>>Yeah.>>So, I figure we’ll park in the gas station and… and as long as we get
a good sunshiny spot. The other nice thing is
both of these locations [diagetic walking noise bleeds in]
are north of the tower,
so at this time of day we should almost be doing a straight back reflection to the tower. Yeah, I’m going to
step out, take a look. [car door shuts]
[walkie-talkie chirps]>>BRIAN: All right, so I got the first location. I got a direct line of sight to the tower, so I think we’re good.>>All right, we’re ready to go.>>So here’s what we’ll do. You scan the horizon
and see if you’re able to tell where I am, because
I haven’t even told you what direction I am and
see if you’re able to find my– I’m just going to try to
give you those three flashes.>>All right, sounds good. Just so you know, I’m
looking in the direction of the Hindu temple,
but I will keep scanning all around the entire, wow,
180 degrees of the tower.>>All right, starting now
I’m using the signal mirror. ♪ [smooth jazz-infused beat] ♪>>I think I see you. ♪♪ I think I see you at the 10 o’clock above the Hindu temple. I’m almost positive.>>BRIAN: All right, here it’s on right now. I’m going to take it away now.>>Copy that. That could not have been more easy. I found you in seconds.>>Holy cow! Do you want to try from
the farther distance?>>JASON: I think we have to. Is that you flashing it again?>>Yeah, that’s me. In fact, let me see if I
can do the distress signal of three short flashes, like flash, flash, flash.>>It’s not quite smooth,
but it does look deliberate. ♪♪ All right, that’s good. You’re getting more precise. There are still some flickers in there, but you’re getting
really much better at it.>>Yeah, so the trick was once
I got it positioned right, I just nodded my head. I pushed it up against my head, so I wasn’t using the fine
motor control of my hands, but instead just using my head as a pivot.>>That’s fascinating because
it started to look way better. You could definitely
see that it seemed like someone was trying to send me a message, rather than just random flashes.>>Well cool, we’ll go
to the far distance one. Man, this one’s going to
be four times as far away, so I really hope it works. We’ll see.>>If it’s even remotely
as easy as this was, I’m really confident. We’re standing by.>>All right.>>So from where I’m standing, Brian was at about my 10 o’clock just over the Hindu temple. Over here at my 12 o’clock,
that is the city skyline that you can see in the distance. There’s a little bit of smog
and it’s far enough away that it’s looking pretty fuzzy. I’m anticipating if he’s
following that road, that he’s going to be appearing somewhere in my 11 o’clock
range, like right up here. But in order to get a
good view of the tower, he’s going to need to be high
up on one of these hills, but his precision is going to have to be much more fine from that distance. So, I’m wondering how
difficult it’s going to be just to even hit the tower. I think it’s slightly shorter for you to take the left-hand turn up here. All right, so we just walked in to position and I cannot express just how far away the Wizard Tower looks. I can recognize its distinctive shape, but that’s about it. So we are just under four miles away. The good news is that there’s a mailbox that I can prop to try to get a nice direct line of sight with some precision.>>If I need to take my shirt off to give you a brighter
target, just say the word.>>Ha! All right, I’m going to
set down the walkie-talkie, but tell me if and when
you see it, all right?>>Copy that. Scanning the horizon now. ♪ [upbeat chillhop music] ♪ [giddy laughter] I was right! 11 o’clock. There it is. All right, this is base. I see you. Repeat, I see you.>>You’ve got to be freaking kidding me. For reals? Here, I’m going to try
to do the three flashes. ♪ [subdued breakdown of same song] ♪ ♪♪
[bugs and ambient noise from both locations]>>It is definitely someone
trying to send a message. It’s not three flashes. It’s a series of staccato pulses, erratic, but definitely deliberate.>>Dude, that is phenomenal! Four freaking miles away! All right, I’m going to try to give you the longest, smoothest pulse I can. ♪♪
[diagetic noise] [chirp]>>It’s still a flickering burst, but it is much more sustained. It doesn’t look like
you’re directly on us, but it is flashing and brighter more continuously than before. And I can’t stress how unmistakable and remarkable it is from up here.>>Dude, I’m calling it. Legend tested. This stuff is powerful
and will save your life.>>Mission accomplished,
come on back to base.>>Roger that.>>So you know what
makes Squarespace so good is that it’s so easy to make changes and additions to your website, whether you’re a web guru or not. And you remember a few weeks ago?>>JASON: Did we get some responses?>>Did we ever.
>>Really?>>We got an avalanche. I asked, in general,
what would you most like to see added to the website, because it’s easy to do with Squarespace. What do you think the
number one answer was?>>Dancing baby gif?>>What do you think the number two? [laughter]
>>Okay, a forum?>>Yes! Yes!>>Really‽>>100 percent! Now we get to figure
out how to add forums in there. We’re going to have a
clubhouse where everybody can see the new video and discuss it. Right now everything’s a little bit quiet because we’re building the HQ over at Modern Rogue Headquarters.
>>Yes.>>They are pouring the slab tomorrow.>>But we need our digital HQ.>>We’re building
everything a piece at a time and it’s all thanks to our
friends over at Squarespace.>>And it’s so easy. All you really need to do
is just click and drag. The interface is just the
epitome of simplicity.>>So whatever your blog portfolio or other business, head on over to,
make us look super good, sign up for that free trial, get 10% off when you use promo code rogue at checkout.>>There’s no reason not to do it., 10%
off when you use code rogue.>>I’m calling a code rogue.>>Code rogue.>>Code rogue!
>>We need that.>>Yeah, Mr. President
we have a code rogue. Oh my god, they’re make
a Squarespace website!>>They’re making a website! Yes they are, well go about your business. Click.
>>Thank you.>>Also, why are they
British in the White House? [posh]
Code Rogue! — CC BY REV —
** MODIFIED BY BIZARRE MAGIC **>>BRIAN: All right, so we just
stopped at the new location and I am walking into view where I can see on the horizon, wait– Now! I have a clear line of
sight to the Wizard Academy. Also, that was a total lie because I started talking too early, but there are no cameras on me.

100 thoughts on “Signaling over 3 Miles (5 km) with a Mirror

  1. Have you told a friend about the show lately?
    This week, we’re giving away two misfits versions of our latest puzzle box, Houdini’s Cell. They may be scuffed or imperfect, but they’ll still contain everything you need to be the next Houdini including invisible thread, a custom lockpicking kit, tactical thumbcuffs, and more in our most difficult puzzle yet!
    We’ve got a misfit Houdini’s Cell for two winners of this week’s free giveaway at (no purchase necessary, giveaway ends April 4, 2019)
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  2. Love how Jason is wearing his thrift shirt! Also what’s the walkie talkie app you guys use in your phones ?

  3. In the theme of survival, I'd love to see these two have an episode on how to take care of an axe and maybe talking about different types of axes and thier functions. Its a whole community to itself I personally find interesting.

  4. Any series of three signals, whether it is gun shots, whistles, lit fires in a triangle are considered an international distress signal.

  5. As a boy scout I participated is several attempts to communicate from mountain peak to mountain peak throughout Utah. Using the small mirrors like you have in this video we could see flashes 40 miles away (no clutter in the background.) With a 16" square mirror we were able to detect flashes 120 miles away. The Morse code we were attempting never did work out, but attracting attention and being able to locate someone from a great distance … a mirror works very well, is discrete, and multi functional. Definitely suitable rogue gear.

  6. Any chance you can make a video on how effective a CD would be as a signal mirror? Or other impromptu signal mirrors?

  7. Brian is 3 miles behind Jason on the hike. Jason yells out make up check." Brian flips out the mirror and points it towards Jason. "Gorgeous" jason yells femininly

  8. How in the hell is the pilot of the plane gonna see the reflection of the mirror when he’s inside the cockpit of the plane and looking out his windshield and not down at the ground?

  9. I cannot stress enough how great the little countdown timers on the pop up text are! It's so nice to know how long I have to read the text on screen and not have to pause every time. Props to the editors!!

  10. At 9:35 you can see a rectangular reflection on the wall behind him and in the next shot its not there, could that have been the mirror?

  11. They had to put Jason on top of the tower because Brian would have quit the episode and walked off with Rex looking for Daniel's secret stash.

  12. I love that you just included the app you used, I was about to ask about it when i found it in the description.

  13. I’m not sure about mirrors but shining a laser pointer at a plane for fun is a 15k dollar fine or soemthing

  14. QUICK!!!! Take that damn signal mirror…. and shine it in that bears eyes!!! ….now run! Good thing I had that mirror. whew.

  15. The only thing that would make this video a million times better is if there was a scene where you both had a bag of marshmallows and all we saw and heard was “Brian to Jason! Brian to Jason! Do you read me? Over!” “Jason to Brian! I read you! Over!” Brian to Jason! I like going csh! Over!” “Jason to Brian! Csh! Me too!” “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh! “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh!” “Csh!” Jason to Brian! Help yourself! Over!” “Yummy!” Then Brian devours the bag of marshmallows as he finally says “Brian to Jason! The deliciousness has landed!”

    If no one gets this reference, you should be ashamed…

  16. Its a late comment (hopefully just like last time youll read it) but yall dont do many Q&A's… im just wondering do yall have any pets? (If so will yall possibly do some animal episodes again soon? Maybe this time with your pets… 😀)

    And another question… do yall get recognized decently often in your hometowns/where yall live?

  17. Wow I am amazed! I would have loved to see just a regular pocket mirror used as well. see if you could get the accuracy with it to.

  18. Amazing transition from what im assuming was a drone shot to the wizard tower.

    Also that mirror is surprisingly effective.

  19. Great demo! I like the shots showing the view through the aimer, and your point about how hard it is to send flash signals accurately freehand. You could have flashed farther than four miles though – here's an older version of the same signal mirror at 11.1 miles ( ) and (barely visible at) 22 miles ( ). Great images of the glowing sighting aid – since only the person looking through the sight can see that image, video/photos through the aimer are the only way to convey that without actually using it. The glowing dot is created by retroreflective material in the aimer – how it works and lots more about signal mirrors can be found here ( ). You didn't say, but the signal mirror you were using was the American Medical Kits SOL Rescue Flash signal mirror, designed by Doug Ritter. That's my favorite 2"x3" plastic signal mirror, though the StarFlash is another good choice. I do like the (heavier, breakable) glass signal mirrors for their scratch resistance – the Coghlan's Survival Signal Mirror is a good choice if you don't anticipate extended water immersion. The USAF issue MIL-M-18371E 2"x3" glass signal mirror is pricier, but fully watertight.

  20. I wonder how well a cell phone screen would work as a signal mirror since you are way more likely to have one of those in an emergency than an actual signal mirror

  21. I never even knew something like this existed. This is genius and mindblowingly effective. Everyone who enjoys time in the wilderness needs one of these for emergencies

  22. Greatland Laser Flares, sold in Alaska ……mo better, best, awesomized 15 miles curvature of the earth goodness !!!!

  23. Im waiting for someone from roosterteeth to be on a podcast like. "Yeah so i was on a plane on the way to RTX Australia and i was blinded by a SoS signal from the ground."

  24. Instead of moving the mirror you could've tried holding it with one hand and blocking the light with the other hand for the 3 flashes.

  25. I love your content, guys. At first I was thinking it was a bit too goofy, came to learn it is only your hilarious characters. I love the shit you make. This is my type of stuff. The more you learn!

  26. I agree that signal mirrors are essential, but Jason was right; shotgun. Or any rugged firearm, like a revolver or heavy bolt gun or lever-action. Wild animals, wild people, the ability to make fire, get food, signaling. Grav the mirror if you can, but grab the gun always.

  27. Best way to send a message with accuracy is to point the mirror and then sending the message with your hand. Hold still the mirror and with the hand close and open the light source. This way you hold the aim and the message is super clear.

  28. I just focused on the idiom "as the crow flies." I've never heard that before in English actually but in Finnish we have word "linnuntie" for the same thing. It literally translates as "birds way"

  29. I usually carry a signal mirror when I am sailing and kayaking – this is a test I always wanted to do but never got round to – this video has really given me confidence!

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