Friday, May 3, 2013

Hundreds of UFO Photographs?
"I found this on my film when I got home"

Until the digital revolution photographs were considered the 'gold standard' of UFO evidence - after all, 'seeing was believing'. Photographs of UFO's were subjected to all kinds of analysis, by government laboratories, including those of the CIA for the Condon Report. But in the end there were none so remarkable they could not be explained away by doubters.

The Tremonton film's objects were considered by Hill to be proof of the existence of extraterrestrial spacecraft, but the Condon Report found them to be consistent with sea gulls. The CIA found in the Condon Report that the McMinnville object photographs constituted "… one of the few UFO reports in which all factors investigated, geometric, psychological, and physical appear to be consistent with the assertion that an extraordinary flying object, silvery, metallic, disk-shaped, tens of meters in diameter, and evidently artificial, flew within sight of two witnesses". Years later UFO researchers pretty well positively ID'd the object as the side-view mirror of a 1937 Ford truck. General Dynamics 'Chief Designer' Boyd Bushman had a special interest in the photograph of the Santa Ana Saucer, but the Condon Report concluded it was a shot of a suspended lens cap and our more detailed recent analysis confirms that. And so it goes.

In going outside to make a few dozen digital photographs of sky and landscape backgrounds for the illustrative pictures on the UFO DNA site, I inadvertently took several pictures of "UFO's", just as intriguing as those that glut Internet sites. It turns out the sky is full of things - bugs, birds, motes, airplanes - that you don't even notice in taking the picture, but loom out big time in modern thousands-of-pixels digital photographs. There was a pretty high percentage of pictures with such objects in them - pictures taken for another purpose entirely.

This is a very disc-shaped object. It's actually just some kind of bug, passing close by the lens.

A black triangle - or a bird in flight?

This I knew was an airplane flying high above. But it's interesting how it photographs - in most images the wings are invisible, and you just have a classic 'cylinder'.

Aircraft contrail pictures produced a variety of interesting images. Sometimes the aircraft was visible as a dot on the end, sometimes not.

Boosting the dynamic range on a contrail, or any image, produces spectacular 'night' images.

 After discovering these on pictures taken for another purpose, next step could only be to toss a few objects in the air and see how they photographed. A total of two minutes was spent looking for appropriately-shaped objects in the back yard. This is a plastic trash can lid. It looks just about as authentic as some of the most 'impressive' saucer photos.

A simple paper plate was also very impressive. What is interesting is how dark the white plate photographs in overcast conditions.
Of course, in this digital age, seeing is no longer believing. UFO report sights and Youtube are awash with photographs and videos of saucers, a few of them genuine, a lot of them 'I was looking at my pictures and this thing that I didn't see at the time was on it'. The fakes range in sophistication from awful to utterly spectacular (using the latest digital rendering technology).

So if UFO pictures can be easily faked or simply be pictures of common objects, and if experts can't tell the difference, then what's the evidence value of a UFO picture or film? In the current world, none.

Photography does however play an important part in proving or disproving UFO's however. In our modern world, nearly everybody has a digital camera in their cell phone. Hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras watch our streets, banks, and any facility of any importance. There are even dozens of always-operating surveillance cameras recording the sky day and night, set to capture imagery of UFO's. According to polls, there should be nearly a hundred close encounters with UFO's a night in the USA alone. Where are these pictures?

If there is a car chase, a burst water main, bad weather, a tornado, a plane crash - any rare event at all that is of the slightest news interest - there is amateur video of it. The Chelyabinsk meteor fall showed the enormous video coverage of a real physical event. Where are the hundreds of cell phone movies of close encounters? Where are the thousands of surveillance videos of nocturnal lights and daylight discs?

This is the greatest evidence that UFO's in fact do not exist, at least nowhere except the perception of the observer…. whether a psychological phenomena, or an intersection of our reality with another dimension of a multiverse, whatever they are, they don't register on film or video cameras...

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