Saturday, June 17, 2006
The title of this post links to a site which sells model locomotive wheels in the 1/32 scale. Note any similarities to the Heflin photos?
Another "Anonymous" posting has been submitted to UFO Updates regarding the Heflin photos. While the post is getting run through the ringer by Martin Shough and others, the protestations seem rather flat compared to the relative ease of testing the points brought forth by "Anonymous". Why waste a bunch of time claiming "trigonometric" inconsistencies and just test the claims?
To the left you can see an example of a model locomotive drive wheel (the larger wheel). Note that the wheel is not symmetrical, but has an "eccentric" hub and a counterweight built into the rim. (Shough claims the object in the Heflin photos is not symmetrical). Hmmm. Shough inadvertently SUPPORTS the train wheel explanation, perhaps? LOL
This is standard design for steam locomotive drive wheels.
Note also the smaller wheel, which seems more in line with the appearance of the Heflin UFO. While it does not have the asymmetrical hub or counterweight, it does have a hub which protrudes very slightly above the plane of the wheel face. Shough claims that the "flange" of the wheel is "narrower" than that of the object in the Heflin photos.
Well, since the photos are overexposed, determining the actual dimensions of the object is rather difficult, but Shough forges ahead and makes rather precise measurement calculations based on his PERCEPTION of the object as if it is represented accurately. This is simply not meritorious based on the camera used and the photos themselves...no matter how much you enlarge or "enhance" the photos. The object is very brightly lit and overexposed (just as the sky and background are overexposed), therefore the edges and true dimentions are distorted beyond any certainty. Yet this does not deter the "convinced", apparently.
In the Heflin photos, the object...like the sky...is highly overexposed due to the camera being in a dark truck cab. Thus the "gleam" evident on the object is "brighter" than it would actually have looked to the unaided eye. This alone could account for the perceived asymmetry. Keep in mind the film used in these photos was ASA 3200!!! Admittedly the aperture was very small, but this would still result in a VERY overexposed pohoto if taken from the interior of a dark truck cab, as the camera attempted to record a "good exposure" of the entire scene.
This camera was an amateur "point and shoot" type designed to produce a pleasing exposure in a wide range of conditions. It was built to take a "good" photo in almost any conditions. This is elementary photography, not sophisticated in the least. And overexposure is exactly what you would want if you were attempting to hide a suspension thread. Hmmm.
If one were to take one of these wheels and a Polaroid 101 camera and attempt to reproduce the photos...accounting for general weather conditions, time of day, and approximate scenery and perspective...I'm fairly confident that the results would be pretty consistent with the Heflin photos. But it could also rule out the wheel explanation altogether...or at least with high confidence. But no one seems to be interested in doing that. Instead we get trig calcs based on inaccurate photographic evidence and blustery accusations based solely on the anonymity of the witness. This is UFOlogy today? How impressive.
Why not just test the claim? I can only think of one reason...
It appears that these investigators are starting to get far too defensive of their hard work, rather than keeping an open mind and testing what appears to be a quite simple explanation. Several of them claim to have the SAME camera model in their possession and the film is in fact still available, or a reasonable facsimile. Note this link...ASA 3000 is pretty darned close. High speed black & white for the 101 camera. Twould seem a simple thing to try, eh? But nope...we get flailing numbers, anger, antipathy, dismissal, and just plain rudeness.
[UPDATE] - After reading an Updates post from Don Ledger asking why I "dragged him into this", I reviewed the List posts on this topic, and realized I had mistakenly included his name in this post. I have edited it to remove his name, and I apologize for the error. I have always held Don in high regard (as with Martin), and do not wish to leave any erroneous comment here regarding him.