im gonna go with uncocked pilot chute resulting in a pilot chute in tow.
Not necessarily. The wind can re-cock the pilot chute by itself and give a normal deployment with just a few second delay. Or even collapsed, there might be enough drag to extract the bag and deploy the chute. Throw-out altitude determines how much time you have to wait to see if that will happen, starting with "none".
For those who don't get the magazine, I've attached the photo so you can see what we're talking about.
For the "fish eye lens" theory, look at the ground at the bottom and note the curvature at the horizon. That same curvature would then also occur at the top where the pilot chute is, causing it to look distorted.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Apr 13, 2012, 10:55 AM)