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UFO-Forschung - Aus dem CENAP-Archiv: UFO-History Teil-188

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17.09.2009

The Brit Balloo-FOs invasion

French blog ufofu wrote about the recent mass “UFO” sightings in the UK, which turn out to be just small hot-air ballons, chinese lanterns. They made a nice compilation of the incidents to go along the nice image seen above:

Did you notice almost all sightings happened in or near the weekend? Ufofu did. That’s when those Earthlings are used to party, for whatever reason. And it just happens that recently, chinese lanterns are easily available in the UK.

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They quote BUFORA’s Robert Rosamond, who confirmed they are aware of that.

“Our volume of incoming reports continues to expand of late with a particular surge in sightings that more or less exhibit the known behaviour patterns of our old friend the Chinese lantern. We have also recently received a series of requests for information on various sightings from numerous radio stations dotted around the country, most of which curiously enough contain brief descriptions of sightings that suspiciously exhibit the same known behaviour patterns of, take a guess,…. Chinese lanterns. Islington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Watford and Bangor Co. Down, to name but a few, are some of the culprits”, he writes on BUFORA’s homepage.

Of the many website selling chinese lanterns, one pointed by ufofu is particularly interesting: UFO balloons. Check their “Sightings” section.

While thse Balloo-Fos are being quickly solved and not being seriously considered by serious ufologists, ufnortunately the same cannot be said about the other invasion of Identified Flying Objects: the terrible “Flotillas” (Fleets, in Spanish) of Jaime Maussán.

Those obvious helium balloons, originally promoted in Mexico by the world-famous hoax promoter, were originally filmed by one of his collaborators notorious for photographing a cheap toy and claiming it was a flying saucer. Most English speaking ufologists do not take the Flotillas seriously, but unfortunately in Latin America, including Brazil, and also in Spain some UFO promoters claim these Balloo-FOs are mysterious.

forgetomori

volume of incoming reports continues to expand of late with a particular surge in sightings that more or less exhibit the known behaviour patterns of our old friend the Chinese lantern. We have also recently received a series of requests for information on various sightings from numerous radio stations dotted around the country, most of which curiously enough contain brief descriptions of sightings that suspiciously exhibit the same known behaviour patterns of, take a guess,…. Chinese lanterns. Islington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Watford and Bangor Co. Down, to name but a few, are some of the culprits”, he writes on BUFORA’s homepage.

Of the many website selling chinese lanterns, one pointed by ufofu is particularly interesting: UFO balloons. Check their “Sightings” section.

While thse Balloo-Fos are being quickly solved and not being seriously considered by serious ufologists, ufnortunately the same cannot be said about the other invasion of Identified Flying Objects: the terrible “Flotillas” (Fleets, in Spanish) of Jaime Maussán.

Those obvious helium balloons, originally promoted in Mexico by the world-famous hoax promoter, were originally filmed by one of his collaborators notorious for photographing a cheap toy and claiming it was a flying saucer. Most English speaking ufologists do not take the Flotillas seriously, but unfortunately in Latin America, including Brazil, and also in Spain some UFO promoters claim these Balloo-FOs are mysterious.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: Villa’s shiny discs

Location: Peralta, New Mexico, USA
Date: July 16th, 1963

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One of a series of photos taken by contactee “Paul” Villa. In close contact with the space brothers since he was five years old, Villa finally arranged to take photos of the flying saucers when he was over his forties.
The image above is from his first series, taken in 1963. Telepatically instructed to drive his truck, alone, to the meeting point, he then faced a flying saucer with an estimated size of twenty meters. The saucer had nine occupants, four men and five women. Spacewomen, of course.

Villa_1Comment: Villa’s images have something difficult to define, similar to those from Adamski or Billy Meier. At first sight they do not seem so blatantly faked. Leaving the wild storied aside, one can wonder if the photos at least could be real without looking that much insane. At right, another image from Villa, with his pickup truck up front and the saucer at the background.

But in the end, the story and the images from Apolinar “Paul” Alberto Villa Jr. are too good to be true. Because they are not.

William Spaulding, from the now extinct Ground Saucer Watch, pioneer on the computer analysis of UFO images, analyzed this particular image from the many taken by Villa:

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Through digital enhancing filters, Spaulding could uncover the strings that held the saucer in the air. Villa hanged the strings on the trees around to hold his flying saucer models, which were not larger than one meter in diameter.

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Other methods adopted by Villa included the classic throwing of saucers in the air, and sometimes, not even that. Below we see what is supposedly a telepathically controlled probe with over two meters in diameter. That is, according to Villa:

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If you noticed the giant grass at left, you may wonder why Villa didn’t speak about this amazing side effect to objects close to the probe. Of course, it may be that the grass was of normal size, and the alleged probe was very tiny. The same probe can be seen in flight:

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The background is the same. If the disc had a sizeable dimension, the photographer should have been at some considerable height to be able to capture this geometry. There is a small shiny sphere above the probe, which could have been held by a string, or simply thrown in the air.

This case teaches an important lesson: do not believe in the shiny discs.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: Adamski scout ships

Location: Palomar Gardens, California, USA
Date: December 13th, 1952

Adamski scout ship

One of a series of four photographs taken by George Adamski near Mount Palomar, with a Kodak Brownie coupled with a six inch telescope. It shows a Venusian scout ship, in its second visit to the contectee.
All planets of the solar system being inhabited by beings similar to ourselves, besides the Venusians (“Orthon”), Adamski also contacted Martians (“Firkon”) and Jovians (“Ramu”). He travelled to the Moon, where he saw cities on the Far Side, as well as to Venuys and the other planets, including a seminar given to aliens in Saturn.
The main message of the extraterrestrial is one of peace and warning about our nuclear weapons. “Boom!”, Orthon the Venusian said.

Comment: Adamski’s photos are actually pictures of small models. A telescopic image of something at great distance shouldn’t show different parts of the same object focused or not, even if it was ten meters wide, as it’s claimed this ship was. Either the object would show up completely focused, or completely unfocused as seen by the telescope, being almost one kilometer as far.

As Arthur C. Clarke, who exposed the case in 1954, noticed, the focus problem is evidence of a small model photographed at short distance. And in at least one case, with the help of Scotland Yard, he established that the object photographed should have been inside the telescope.

But there’s much more to this case. Adamski’s “photos” are also retouched and include a drawing.

Adamski scout shipAdamski scout ship

Compare the two images above. They are two versions of the same alleged photograph. See how the upper part of the ship is blurred on one image, and how the bottom part is strangely lit on another. Those cannot plausibily be distortions due to different prints and copies: one of the images has been retouched, and both probably were. We are not looking at a photo, it’s in fact mostly a drawing.

This is much clearer on another of Adamski’s images:

Adamski scout ship drawing

The image at left is supposed to be the altered bottom of the scout ship — the cover over the spheres disappeared. Not by photo retouching, it’s claimed, of course. At right we see a comparison between this photo and a detail of the more well known image at the beggining of this page.

Not only the “altered” image is a copy, it’s also a drawing. No wonder Adamski always refused to offer his original negatives for analysis.

It was later claimed that Adamski’s Venusian scout ship was an art deco hatcher. According to French ufologist Henry Durrant, “it was just part of a lamp of an artificial hatchery, with three ping pong balls at the bottom used as landing gear!“.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: A real saucer

Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA
Date: August 8th, 1965

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James Lucci, 17, was photographing the full moon with his brother, John, 23. Around 11:30PM, a shining object appeared from behind a hill. James managed to take two shots before the flying object left. His friends encouraged him to send the photos to the Beaver County Times, where they were analyzed and declared authentic. On the image above, the moon can be seen at left.

Comment: This case is specially interesting not only because it was one of the first investigated by the most well-known skeptical investigator of UFO cases, the late Philip J. Klass. But because he declared it authentic!

beaver2“I interviewed James and his older brother John, and afterwards I had no particular reason to doubt their word. I also spoke with their father, who was a professional photographer in the Air Force and had been in Europe when the photos were taken. He told me that he had no idea how anyone could fake photos like that”, confessed Klass to fellow skeptic Gary Posner.

“But one of them faintly resembled a kitchen saucer held in the palm of a hand. So I asked James if he would allow me to photograph him in his front yard — where the UFO photos had been taken — with him holding a kitchen saucer. He flatly refused to do that, but he did agree to take a picture of me holding a saucer.”

Phil Klass even suggested that James Lucci’s photo, authentic, could have involved a “plasma UFO”. Shortly after the publication of his book, however, William Hartmann, investigator from the University of Colorado, part of the “Condon report”, solved this one. He managed to reproduce the photos, and the were indeed the photo of a saucer.

The photograph of Klass holding a saucer was taken in daylight, contrary to the original photos. Mix the darkness with the flash of the camera on your recipe, and you get a nice “plasma UFO” from a shiny metal kitchen saucer.

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Decades later, John Lucci confessed the hoax. “[The case] sure taught me not to be too trusting of seemingly honest folks“, Klass remarked.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: "Disco" saucer

Location: Nashville, Tenessee, USA
Date: September 27th, 1989

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Craft made on Pleiades Commanded by the Orions from planet Almintaka. Planets Confederation (c) Cosmic Intelligence Awareness
The funny source for the images also relate it to some “Commander Graham Bethune of the US Navy“, and tell us that despite the incredible images, the flying saucer was actually invisible!

Comment: On January 2002, british skeptic James Easton confirmed that the invisible flying saucer was in fact part of a special effects rig used in shows and discos during the 1980s. The smoke and lights are not part of the Almintaka’s planet propulsion systems. Their purpose is to help Earthlings to get in the mood. The inspiration for such strange artifact probably came from Spielberg’s “Close Encounters”.

James Neff, from Jeff Rense’s website, also got an image that clearly shows the rig used on a show or disco.

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forgetomori

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UFO photos: Barra da Tijuca, Brazil

Location: Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: May 7th, 1952

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On May, 1952 the Brazilian magazine “O Cruzeiro” had a bombastic cover feature:
“EXTRA: FLYING SAUCER ON BARRA DA TIJUCA
O CRUZEIRO presents, on a spectacular scoop, the most sensational documentation ever made about the flying saucer mystery — The strange craft came from the sea, with huge speed and was seen for a minute – Bluish gray color. Absolutely silent, without leaving any trace of smoke or flames – Complete report of the fascinating sight at Barra da Tijuca.
Reported by ED KEFFEL and JOÃO MARTINS”

Comment: A sensational series of five photographs. Too sensational: “Ed Keffel had only five negatives on his camera. He mus have known beforehand what would happen. And he knew. Everything was planned. In only five photos they managed to capture the alleged flying saucer in profile, from above, below and slightly tilted“, noted ufologist Claudeir Covo.

The hoax, made by “O Cruzeiro” magazine, took an unexpected turn with the involvement of the Brazilian military. Far from “cover-up”, they endorsed the case. Air Force officers, headed by col. João Adil de Oliveira, analyzed the images and, because they failed to reproduce them using a model thrown in the air, declared them authentic. The hoax was actually made by photomontage. 

A month after the images were publicized, Ciência Popular [Popular Science] magazine, through its director, Ary Maurell Lobo, did their due work and proved that us, Brazilians, were not all that gullible.

tijuca2Regarding the ‘flying saucer’ that gave an interview on Barra da Tijuca to the photographers … we emphasize the hoaxes being made on USA and Europe, by throwing small disks on the space and photographing them. Everything published on such periodicals can be easily obtained through this process, or by a special montage, with successive photos. We don’t want to claim that the sensational report was of such criminal nature, but we don’t accept it“, Wrote Lobo on June 1952. He was right about the “special montage”.

By 1963, american astronomer Donald Menzel, fierce enemy of the interplanetary spaceships — or of its promoters — was already nailing the case right on the spot. The flying saucer’s shadows are not coherent with the scenario. The “Condon report”, the Colorado University study about UFOs published on 1968, supported Menzel’s objection through independent analysis. The analyzed image, show at the beggining of this page, indicates that the flying saucer was illuminated from the left, while the scenario, notably the palm tree, was illuminated from the right.

On the 1980s, William Spaulding and Brazilians Carlos Reis and already mentioned Claudeir Covo presented even more evidence that the photos were hoaxed. On the fifth and last image, Covo wrote that “to create such shadow on the object, the Sun must have been inside the Atlantic Ocean”.

We end with the Condon report conclusion on this case:

This case is presented as an example of photographs which have been described as incontrovertible evidence of flying saucers, yet which contain a simple and obvious internal inconsistency.

forgetomori

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The Aztec UFO Crash – That wasn’t

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The Aztec UFO hoax has been mentioned recently in the discussion about Sparks and Greenwood paper on MJ12, and for those wanting to know more about it, Professors John L. Cotton and Randall J. Scalise have a very nice page about it:

Flying Saucers and Frank Scully. It includes a summary of the book that started it all, and full scans of the articles that thoroughly debunked the hoax.

Seen above, material alleged to be from a crashed flying saucer that turned out to be common aluminum, along with the mysterious superscientist “Dr Gee”, aka Leo GeBauer, proprietor of a radio and television parts store in Phoenix.

Incidentally, a drawing by Chan Johnson, which illustrated “UFO Crash at Aztec”, by William Steinman, published in 1987, very probably inspired special effects artist John Humphreys to create the alien in the infamous Alien Autopsy.

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Note the profile. The body is not similar, except for the legs, and Humphreys was probably inspired by progeria (warning: Graphic images!) at that.

forgetomori

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The Billy Meier hoax photographs

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Seen above, a shot of Billy Meier‘s “weddingcake” craft, allegedly an extraterrestrial device. A strange appendage is circled in blue. What could it possibly be?

According to The Billy Meier case: more conclusive “smoking gun” proof of deception, that’s just the handle of a garbage can lid that can be found on Meier’s farm:

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Read the full analysis for much more details. But maybe the best part is the “explanation” given by Meier (or his aliens) for why the lower part of an alleged alien craft looks exactly like a garbage can lid, complete with a handle. From Meier’s 254th Contact Report, November 28, 1995:

Ptaah: “. . . As far back as the 1920s we worked with flying devices you have named the ‘Wedding Cake Ship,’ … we endeavored to transmit all of the necessary data regarding the vehicles’ shape to terrestrial scientists, in the form of telepathic impulses, to assist them in developing flying disks on Earth … We thoroughly investigated the entire situation and discovered that the old, newly re-emerged drawings were used for the design and production of these receptacle covers. … This, then, is how the shape of the container covers came about, which, as I mentioned earlier, strikingly resemble the lower rim section and undercarriage on our flying devices.”

It’s more ridiculous than his excuses as to why his photos of the pretty Pleiadian girls were exactly like dancers from the Dean Martin show. Photographing an American show on TV and claiming it was a real contact with aliens is also not much different from photographing a book illustration and claiming it was from a time travel trip. Click the image below to check “SpaceTimeNews” comparison:

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But I digress. Knowing how Meier created his alien ship, and having a photograph of an enthusiast on his farm proudly holding a garbage can lid (probably assuming it was obviously different, which it is not), tempted me to use some Photoshop skills to correctly scale the Weddingcake craft. The result:

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Once again, I recommend the reading of The Billy Meier case: more conclusive “smoking gun” proof of deception for more on Meier’s garbage affair. Also, please note the man above is not Meier, and the actual model created over the garbage lid is not golden, but silver. The montage is just to show scale. And get some laughs from all of this.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: Viborg "Jellyfish"

Location: Viborg, Jutland, Denmark
Date: November 17, 1974

Viborg UFO

It all happened on a Sunday morning, when Mr. Laursen went on a walk with his dog. He liked taking photos of birds near the lake, and took his color 35mm camera with him. Then, he suddenly saw an enormous object in the air, got his camera and managed to take a shot. The captured image, in Kodacolor film, would be one of the most curious physical evidence of UFOs.
In 1979 the case was publicized on UFO-Kontakt magazine, where an analysis declared the object a “typical” alien spaceship encircled by a cloud. Many other publications around the world would go further claim that the flying saucer was camouflaging itself as a cloud, probably because there were “key NATO bases” in the area.

Cloud ringsComments: In 1993, artist Ned Kahn, who has among his interactive creations a three meter high mini-tornado in the World Financial Center in New York, created “Cloud Rings”, which you can see at right. A strange fog cloud is expelled from the central hole of a drum. A quick look at it may cause an instant dejá vù.

Kahn’s cloud ring is a stable toroidal vortex. They are better known as “smoke rings” created by smokers throughout history.

Both in its discoidal, seemingly solid upper form, as in its more loose lower appearance, Kahn’s vortex is an exact reproduction of the UFO photographed on that cold morning in 1974. The only difference is the scale, which suggests that the danish UFO was created by a very big sort of “drum”.

Ole Henningsen, of SUFOI (Scandinavian UFO Information), actually investigated this case, interviewing the main witness, and locating the exact place and direction in which the photo was taken. And he discovered that the photo almost captured the Houlkærvænget heating center, which is directly below the UFO-cloud photographed. The sight of these curious smoke clouds were not very uncommon when the boilers were being cleaned.

The Viborg UFO photo is therefore explained, and has little to do with NATO installations or alien spaceships camouflaging themselves as clouds.

This UFO didn’t turn into vapor. It already was.

See: Os OVNIs de Vórtice (in Portuguese) for more details.

forgetomori

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UFO photos: Lago de Cote

Location: Lago de Cote, Costa Rica
Date: September 4th, 1971

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The unusual photography was taken by an official mapping aircraft of the Costa Rican government, flying at 10.000 feet over Lago de Cote, Arenal region. The mapping photos were automaticlly taken, and the four crewmen, including an aerial photography specialist, a geographer, a topographer and the pilot, didn’t notice anything unusual at the time. The apparent discoidal object over the lake was noticed only after developing. The filme, black and white, special for those tasks, is very big, measuring 23 cm x 23 cm, which resulted in an extraordinary clarity. According to Jacques Valleé, who analyzed the case, “one can see the cows on the field“.

Comment: This is an unexplained photographic case to this day. It involves a real UFO. Or not.

The photo came to light on the 1980s, thanks to one of the crewmen, who contacted costa-rican ufologist Ricardo Vilchez. In 1985, a second generation negative got to the hands of Jacques Valleé, who along with Richard Haines, conducted an analysis published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The ufologists also had access to the negatives taken just before and just after the negative with the UFO — as those were all taken by an automated system. On those adjacent images, taken 20 seconds before and after, there is nothing unusual.

This photographic case is close to perfect. The possibility of a hoax is very small, given the official source. Precise date and location are known, furthermore, the negative is of an exceptional quality. Vallé and Haines analyzed the scenario geometry and estimated that the maximum value for the disk size, assuming a real object at ground level, would have been 210 meters. Their analysis also involved computerized image processing, something rare at the time. Their conclusion:

In summary, our analyses have suggested that an unidentified, opaque, aerial object was captured on film at a maximum distance of 10,000 feet. There are no visible means of lift or propulsion and no surface markings other than darker regions that appear to be nonrandom. This case must remain “open” until further information becomes available.”

The analysis was published along with a critical review by Marilyn E. Bruner, scientist from Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory. Peer review is a common scientific practice that one seldom see on ufology, so that adds to the validity of the studies on this case. Bruner wrote that:

“While I agree that the image is very suggestive, my impression is that it probably does not represent a physical object”.

Noting several inconsistencies of the image, she noted that

“the oval image is more likely to be an artifact such as a pressure mark than a photographic image of a physical object. Such a mark could have been caused by a foreign particle trapped between two layers of the film on the supply spool.”

costarica2On February 1990, Valeé and Haines finally obtained the original negative, and conducted a new analysis. They managed to confirm their previous evaluations, no signs of hoax were detected on the film. Equally important, they evaluated Bruner’s suggestion that the disk could have been the result of some defect on the film. According to them, as the original negative had no protrusion nor depression, her hypothesis failed to be verified.

The new analysis concludes:

“In summary, our good fortune in obtaining the original negative … has resulted in confirmation of our earlier speculation that the aerial disc is certainly anomalous. While it may not be inexplicable, it is at least unidentified.”

Indeed, it remains unidentified. Could it have been a real disk more than 200 meters in diameter coming from inside Lago de Cote’s waters?  It would have been something extremely anomalous, for various reasons.

The shots taken second before and seconds later show nothing unusual. Assuming the disc was not photographed on those other images because it quickly moved away from the camera field of view, one can estimate its minimum speed if it did indeed come from the lake. Valleé and Haines themselves made the calculations, and suggested the disc in this case must have moved at a minimum speed of 2,300 km/h.

Coming from the lake and shooting at such speed, one would expect a sonic boom, and also some perturbation on the water, which would have been visible on the images taken seconds later. No such things were reported or seen.

Of course, one could always assume that such an anomalous object would have such anomalous characteristics as absence of a sonic boom or significant perturbation of the water. But those characteristics suggest the object was not material — or at least, it didn’t behave like a common material object.

It could also be that the object was actually much smaller and closer to the camera, in which case one would assume it was not that fast and didn’t touch the water. But it’s appearance in this case, with a significant part seemingly vanishing in the clear sky, is also puzzling.

forgetomori

Quelle: CENAP-Archiv

 

 

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