Friday, May 26, 2006

Bob Shell on the Heflin photos


















[Click title to see post]

Bob Shell adds his 2 cents on the Heflin photos, but misses a primary point on the lack of a suspension thread in the photos.

He claims that the only way for a suspension thread to be invisible at such close range (5 feet or so from the lens) is for the thread to be non-reflective and very thin.

This is actually not true. While it is much easier to "hide" a thread when it is very thin and non-reflective, it is not necessary. What is important in the Heflin photos is that they were taken from inside a dark truck cab. The Polaroid 101s automatic exposure would average the scene lighting and expose accordingly.

So, as the majority of the field of view is dark, the camera would over-expose, which causes the sky to become very uniform, and any suspension thread is over-exposed to invisibility just like the clouds in the sky.

So even a fairly thick suspension thread could be hidden by ensuring that the images are more dark than light.

And when looking at the images, what strikes me is that in each of the object photos, the object is NOT centered in the frame, as a human instinctively seeks to do, but the camera remained well within the truck as if Heflin did not instinctively move as close to the window as possible to get the object centered in a field of sky.

Look at each of the photos 1-3 in succession...you see the object very near the top of the windshield in photo #1...Why didn't Heflin lean forward to allow the sky to fill the frame with the object in the dead center? Well, I know that if the object was hanging from a fishing pole, it would possibly show the pole, and if I filled the frame with the bright sky, the exposure would be such that the thread would be quite visible.

Same with the other two object photos...object is very near the door frame, and not centered. If Heflin had leaned out the window to get the big sky and the object centered in the frame, we'd see the thread, and maybe the pole. By staying well within the truck and centering not on the object but the windowframe itself, he insured that the exposure would be over-compensating, and the thread would vanish.

This would mean that the object itself would be actually much darker than the photo indicates, and would enhance the "shine" noted in photo 1. This item could have been a pork pie hat dangling from a fishing pole with plain old fishing line or kite string. No fancy tungsten wire required.

Note also that once the model is no longer required...in the final "smoke ring" photo, that Heflin has moved outside the vehicle and we see the smoke ring centered in the frame with big sky all around...just like you'd expect.

For what it is worth, the images above were done using the large images in the Re-analysis cited before, with levels adjusted to enhance the contrast. I think there's a case for a filament between the object and the window frame. You be the judge...

I think we can chalk this up to hoax unless some compelling evidence comes forth to refute these conclusions.

[hat tip to UFO Updates]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Replicant Redux...

I was blog-surfing and came across a comment on ABC News' Brian Ross' blog. The comment was fine, but the commentors signature was what caught my eye...

"Teach your children Spanish and your grandchildren Chinese."

Now, I realize the irony expressed, and it gave me a chuckle when I initially caught it. But a few minutes later I found myself thinking back to that really odd "Hispanic/Oriental/African" dialect spoken by the "street people" (and by the cop character played by Edward James Olmos) in Blade Runner.

Blade Runner is one of my all-time top 10 films, and the texture of it seemed so freaking presciently accurate that I think I remember that "texture" more than any individual performer or performance. The unique "street-talk" was definitely part of that for me.

At any rate, today it seems quite reasonable to recommend teaching ones children Spanish. Of course, I live in Southeast Texas, so Spanish is a no-brainer. And it certainly seems plausible that in the next generation or two, we'll be becoming WAY more familiar with Chinese people, language, and culture.

Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, and Syd Mead RULE!! So why not a hybrid Latino-Sino-Afro slang dialect?

[via the web]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Paul Kimball on Coast to Coast AM tonight!!

Blog brother and all-around renaissance guy Paul Kimball will guest on C2C this very night...about an hour from now.

Outlining a few cases and hyping the upcoming filmwork no doubt.

This is a rare opportunity to hear a "new voice" in Ufological discourse, and a refreshingly independent and frequently unorthodox voice to boot.

This is "must-hear" radio!! LOL

And FYI...of the two rugged, pointy-topped icons in the photo above, the one on the LEFT is Paul...LOL

stream available here

[POST-SHOW UPDATE]
Paul was an excellent guest. Some might think that his position makes him a poor "promoter" of the UFO field, but you'd be wrong. By appealing to the "center" of the debate, he was able to generate real excitement with his retellings of the RB-47 case, appealed to budding Ufologists with his reference to the online Blue Book Archive, and showed respect for the "wizened elders" (Hall, Friedman, Clark, Sparks) responsible for the body of reference and research extant, while still plugging a few "rising stars" of the field (Redfern, Bishop, Wise).

A bravura performance...KUDOS!


[hat tip to Coast to Coast AM]

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tim Shell: 3rd Dimensional Heflin

[Click title to view Tim's 3D image]

Tim Shell grabs a couple of the famous Heflin photos and creates a 3D anaglyph image. (He erroneously calls them analglyphs, but hey, maybe he's just de-TAIL oriented...)

The Heflin photos are considered among the best examples of UFO images. I have a fond attachment to this case because it was the Heflin "profile" photo...on the cover of "Is Something up There"...that first got me interested in UFOs.

The intriguing thing about the profile shot is the swirl of dust on the ground directly beneath the object...apparently giving some sense of distance and scale to the object.

Of course, I eventually realized that the swirl is DIRECTLY beneath the object, while the underside of the object is at an angle pointing at an area some distance from where the dust swirl is located, which seems to indicate that the swirl is a separate event, or an event incorporated into the image on purpose. But who knows...it still looks pretty real to me, even thought the shape of the object seems a little "boxy".

Tim takes the fact that Heflin photographed from two horizontally discrete spots, and builds his anaglyph to determine any depth cues that might be present.

Unfortunately, the result is that the object appears to exhibit a precision of lateral movement in relation to the camera that is highly suggestive of an object which is small and VERY close to the camera.

Conclusive? Hardly. But Tim is doing the kind of thing that makes UFOlogy so interesting. He has a skill, and he applied this skill to the UFO case, and actually acquired new information. Debatable information, but definitely information.

Tim deserves kudos for his work here.

For the record, Tim, I agree with your analysis regarding the change in perspective versus the non-change in object size. You seem to have produced compelling evidence that the object was in fact more likely attached to the truck than to some unseen alien propulsion force.

While I'm disappointed at the prospect of having to concede the Heflin case, I applaud your ingenuity!

Sallllll-UTE! LOL

[hat tip to UFO Updates]

Rick Nielsen consolidates into a consistent whole!

Posted by Rick Nielsen to UFO Updates...my comments underlying parenthetically...




[And no, this isn't the same Rick Nielsen, but it's a badass photo, no?]






The Current Situation: If We Can Defend Humanity, Let's Do So
There is much credible scientific research published with
accurately deduced conclusions. I list the following, not
because they are the only ones worth considering, but because
they are reliable, concisely expressed, and made freely
available for public review. These also make it easy for someone
like me to consolidate into a consistent whole.
(This first paragraph is a mess...Of course "there is much credible scientific research published with accurately deduced conclusions". Like saying the sky is often blue. He then says he's listing the following because they are "reliable, concisely expressed, and freely available for public view". What exactly is "reliable" about any scientific conclusion? He ends by saying these qualities make it easy for him to "consolidate into a consistent whole". Man, I bet THAT wasn't pretty!)
In his standardizing works, Stanton Friedman (Thanks, Stan!) has
determined the following:

"As a nuclear physicist who has had a serious interest in flying
saucers since 1958, [he has] reached four major conclusions:

(First, why is it necessary to include the fact that Stan Friedman is/was a nuclear physicist? Does that background make him a more "legitimate" researcher of UFOs? Why do we not see..."As an ironworker who has had a serious interest in UFOs since 1958...? Means about the same doesn't it?)
1. The evidence is overwhelming that Planet Earth is being
visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft.
In other words, _some_ UFOs are alien spacecraft. Most are not.

(This is an opinion disguised as an "accurately deduced conclusion".)
The evidence is overwhelming to a very few that Earth is being visited by ETs. To the vast majority some weird shit goes on sometimes, but not to the extent of "overwhelming evidence" of ET craft flying around.)
2. The subject of flying saucers represents a kind of Cosmic
Watergate, meaning that some few people in major governments have
known since July, 1947, when two crashed saucers and several
alien bodies were recovered in New Mexico, that indeed SOME UFOs
are ET. As noted in 1950, it's the most classified U.S. topic.

(Again, this is an opinion, not a conclusion. The evidence that supports this view is suspect at best, and relies on data from the very source of the "Cosmic Watergate". How can you trust data from the very body you most mistrust? And, whenever you learn that something is your governments "most classified topic", please consider for a moment that that is what THEY want you to believe...see the paradox?)
3. None of the arguments made against conclusions One and Two by
a small group of debunkers such as Carl Sagan, my University of
Chicago classmate for three years, can stand up to careful
scrutiny.

(This is commonly called a "feint". No one can effectively argue that some UFOs are not of ET origin, or that the government isn't covering up knowledge about UFOs, because one is unable to "prove" a negative. Also, why is the fact that Stan and Carl were classmates relevant to the conclusion? If it isn't, then why the name-dropping?)
4. The Flying Saucer story is the biggest story of the
millennium: visits to Planet Earth by aliens and the U.S.
government's cover-up of the best data (the bodies and wreckage)
for over fifty years.

(My trouble here is that in Conclusion 2 it says that a few people in "major governments" have known since 1947 that some UFOs were ET, and then here it is the US Government which is covering it up. What about the other "major govts"? Is the "Cosmic Watergate" an American issue or does EVERY major government cover up the UFO truth?)
"The problem is _not_ that there is not enough evidence to
justify [his] conclusions; but that most people, especially the
noisy negativists, are unaware of the real, non-tabloid
evidence."

(This statement is at best disingenuous...another way of saying that "if you don't believe me, you're simply ignorant of the facts". In other words, "only a fool could disagree with me". Tsk, Tsk...that hundreds or millions of people could look at the evidence extant for ET craft flying around our skies for at least 60 years and find it lacking is now "ignorance"? While many people believe that some UFOs are from elsewhere, it is quite a leap to say that anyone that doesn't agree simply hasn't read the non-tabloid literature. And here we have an example of Stan's creative euphemisms for those with which he disagrees..."noisy negativist". I can only presume that this moniker describes anyone who disagrees with the conclusions listed above.
Well then...where do I get my "NN" t-shirt? LOL)
Dr. David M. Jacobs' research has also brought us much
information. (Thanks, John Velez!) Speaking of the motives of
the TRUFO pilots, (Thanks, Dr. Maccabee!), Dr. Jacobs writes:

(Ok...so here we have already concluded that some UFOs are indeed of ET origin, so we can move right on ahead to the motives of the UFO "pilots"!! Whee!)
"The common goal is the physiological exploitation of humans for
the purposes of their breeding program [for the purpose of
creating a race of human/alien hybrids]. One must keep in mind
that people are physically missing from their normal
environments, other people some times see them being abducted,
and they [the abductees] often desperately wish that they are
never abducted again.

(If the purpose of UFO pilots is to create a race of alien/human hybrids, why would they need more than a few humans...high failure-rate? Incompetent aliens? If the hybrids are being created, why aren't they reproducing on their own? Sterile?)
We now have thousands of - alien - abduction cases. We know a
tremendous amount about them. We know that when an abductee
describes the shape of a certain instrument, what that
instrument is used for even though the abductee does not. People
do not tend to talk in terms of symbols. They describe real
events that have befallen them.

(We have thousands of abduction cases, and we know a tremendous amount about them...about the cases, the people claiming them, or the abductors themselves?
How do you know that the instrument the abductee describes is what you think it is? How do you KNOW? "People do not tend to talk in terms of symbols"...WTF? People talk in symbols every hour of every day...we build our whole lives around symbols...we dream in symbols, we teach symbols. What a ludicrous statement. "We describe real events that have befallen us"...yup, sometimes, except when we get really excited, or when we're sleeping, or when we are very upset, or when we're in a life-threatening situation, or when we're...uhh...breathing. Ask ANY attorney how reliably people tend to describe real events that have befallen them. You will find that WE are often the worst witnesses to what happens to US!)
We know that they - i.e., human/alien hybrids - are not here -
i.e., living on Earth. My guess is that the majority of them
live on some other planet or wherever. I also think that a
significant number of them reside on UFOs where there task is to
assist in the abduction and breeding program. It is also
important to say that the abduction phenomenon takes place in
real time without any time-space alterations as far as we can
see. But you have to remember that we are dealing with a
superior technology."

(Yikes...a phrase like "My guess". Geez whiz...you guess they live elsewhere. But some live in their saucers to help with the abductin' and breedin'. And this is a gem..."It is also important to say that the abduction phenomenon takes place in
real time without any time-space alterations as far as we can see. But you have to remember that we are dealing with a superior technology". My, my bullshit meter just went off-scale...If the aliens have superior technology, how in the hell could we presume to "see" whether aliens manipulate time/space"? This pair of sentences should illustrate the complete buffoonery afoot. Or, would someone please decipher the meaning of those two sentences...? "It is important to say that abductions happen in real-time as far as we can see. But you have to remember that we are dealing with a superior technology". Yes, and? Is there a point hiding stealthily in that vacuous collection of words?)
Aliens are piloting the TRUFOs and abducting and exploiting
human beings for their own purpose and benefit. We can conclude
that the aliens hate humans and should be seen as enemies.

(Rick's beverage of choice is apparently Koolaid. And, if we "abduct" and "exploit" cattle for our own purposes and benefit, can we conclude that we hate cattle, and are their enemy? Or should the cattle see US as enemies? Or...oh, holy crap...let's just move on.)
With all this in mind, shouldn't we humans unite to defend our
people and our planet, to the best degree possible? With all our
flaws as a people, including recent regional suffering and
personal hardships, even including the quibbling squabbles on
this list, speaking of all humanity, I still choose humanity.

(Well, thank heavens Rick still chooses humanity. The "hybrid-breedin TRUFO pilots" probably would throw him back anyway)
The aliens are attacking individuals in secret. Space-based
defense systems won't combat that. And aluminum hats only help
those who sell the foil. Since the attacks are individual, does
the defense have to be? I have no idea if such a defense is even
possible. But if an appropriate program can be developed, it
should be. And since secrecy is so important to the aliens,
exposure of some type might be a good line for development.
(Thanks, again, Dr. Jacobs!)

(OK...the aliens are attacking in secret, but we have thousands of abduction cases, and we know a tremendous amount about them...erm, ok. And since secrecy is so important to the ETs, we should expose them, dammit!! Wow Rick, you've really spent some quality time working this all out, huh?)
If there is a way to defend against the systematic invasion and
exploitation of human beings by aliens, let's find it and use it.
What say ye all?

( Well, I dunno...Koolaid stands...lucrative tinfoil sales...no-doze? *sigh* Okie Dokie, Smokie!)

[I imagine many out there will accuse me of "consolidating into a consistent 'hole", as well. LOL]

Pot, meet kettle: Dick Hall jumps the shark...

In the current UFO Updates thread "Re: Specific Cases In Condign Report?", Martin Shough...a likable, respectable, and well...able UFO researcher, takes UFOlogical luminary Dick Hall to task for claiming that reading, examining, and pondering the UK "Condign Report", is a waste of time.

Dick has lamented dozens of times the fact that many people would feel that UFOs are real phenomena if only they'd read the compelling reports with an open mind, and not dismiss them out of hand.




[NOTE: Photo posted as found...unaltered]


But now, in the face of Martin's efforts to distill the report for whatever real benefit there may be therein, Dick claims that the entire report is a study in pseudoscience. He bases this opinion on a reading of the "Executive Summary", rather than the entire 3 volume report, which includes over 400 pages.

Whatever you may think of Dick Hall, this is simply hypocritical. If people took his UFO books and read the table of contents alone, and formed an opinion that any further reading would be a silly waste of time, I feel confident that Dick would cry foul, and claim DEBUNKER! By the way, why is the Debunker Guidelines page titled "Meet Richard Hall's cats"? LOL

Dick also added to the confusion by saying that Martin was wasting his time, but that his observations were of value. WTF?

Dick also slyly attempted to pawn his entire argument off as "humor". But any reading of his initial post on the thread reveals very little to be construed as humor, unless derisive humor is your cup of tea.

In the end, ANY documentation of government interest or involvement in UFOs is of value to the community. Money was spent, research was conducted, and effort was expended to produce this taxpayer funded report. It reaches no firm conclusions, but only attempts (badly IMO) to suggest how some UFOs might be explained.

I think its value is in what it does NOT say...that all UFOs are explainable.

In the end, we have a government...a world power...officially claiming that they really just don't know what UFOs are for sure. If this isn't worthy of close scrutiny, I don't know what is.

I applaud Martin and the other who are "wasting their time" to take a closer look at the details...wherein lies the devil if I am properly informed. LOL

And a big fat raspberry to Dick Hall, who should be encouraging the dissection of ANY and ALL government commentaries on UFOs, and not waffling about "jokes" or "wasting of time" or "valuable observations".

After all, did he dismiss the "Condom" report after only a cursory glance at the summary? Not damn likely. In fact, most UFOlogists say that the contents of the Condon report contradicts the Summary. Obviously, someone(s) had to READ the entire report to determine same. Even if the summary rings hollow, shouldn't UFOlogy scrutinize it just in case the summary doesn't exactly fit the report itself? Wouldn't you, of ALL people in UFOlogy, be the first to suggest that the summary may well be non-indicative of the report contents?

Finally, does anyone else see the Magonian argument made here?...that Dick feels suitably schooled on the UFO subject that he can arbitrarily dismiss anything that doesn't jive with his "beliefs"? This knee-jerk repulsion of anything that even hints at being anti-ETH. Pelicanists must be chortling at this turn of events.

A scholar is considered so because of how he uses his amassed knowledge, not the mere fact that he has amassed it.

And once someone is convinced that he has amassed sufficient knowledge that he does not need any more, he has surely become something other than a scholar, no?

I respect you, Dick, but this is beyond the pale.

[via UFO Updates]

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