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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 11

Re: Bruce Maccabee's photo 19 calculations

From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 10:49:14 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 19:53:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Bruce Maccabee's photo 19 calculations

>>From: c549597@showme.missouri.edu [Barbara Becker]
>>Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 15:47:27 -0600
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Bruce Maccabee's photo 19 calculations

> Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:26:42 -0500
> From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
> Subject: Your Posts to UpDates
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

(SNIP previous message dates)

> > >Bruce:
> > >Our discussion has prompted me to review your calculations on
> > >photo 19. I would like your permission to have the document
> > >scanned to be uploaded here or at another (UFO dedicatd) site for
> > >review.

>> > The.... original paper you sent to Walt Andrus.  The one
>> > where you place the camera height ("perfectly")at 4.1', the
>> > "UFO" dimensions at 24x17 with the ring measurement at 14.86,
>> > at a distance of 370'.

>>   Are you saying you want to scan the handwritten notes I sent?

>>  Complete with diagrams and calculations? Be my guest.
>>  If you do post these notes with the sketches then I can post my
>>  paper "Reanalysis of Photo 19 Supports Walters' Story."

>Why would you have to wait till I posted your calculations to
>post your article on the "reanalysis"?   Just put it out there.

The paper has a diagram included which I can't post (no scanner).
If you post the hand written notes then the diagram will be
available to interested people.   Also, (gulp) I recently had a
hard disk crash (sniff) and unless I can find an old saved
version of the paper I'll have to (sob) retype it!

>> Of course it will be necessary to note that the specific


>> on the blowup sketch of the UFO must be multiplied by 1.045
>> (e.g.,  4 mm becomes 4.2 mm, 3 mm becomes 3.14 mm, etc.)   This
>> changed the distances calculated in the handwritten notes you
>.> have somewhat.

> I am aware of that. I have adjusted the calculations.

>> Also, in order to carry out those calculations I used a
>> range of heights for the camera, as estimated from photographic
>> measurements and a crude road survey. I settled on 4.1ft as a
>> "best fit"to the available data.

These data consisted of road measurements combined with
measurements on the photo.

>I am aware of that also.  The only problem with 4.1 is that the
>steering wheel on that truck is at least 5 feet from ground.

The measurements of interest are the height of the bottom of the
window and the height of the windshield wiper..

The camera was close enough to the  bottom of the window so that
the camera could "view" the road as seen between the image of the
windshield wiper and the image of the front of the truck hood..
From my own experiments with a truck this meant the camera was
only a few inches above  the bottom of the window.

This is on a F150 truck.  (Not F150XLT which one person
measured). And, by my measurement on a truck similar to Ed's the
bottom of the window was 49" above ground and the windshield
wiper at a location a few inches to the right of the steering
wheel was about 52" and the top of the steering wheel was about
54" above the ground.

>> Many months later an actual road survey was done which basically
>> confirmed the crude survey.

>I thought there was a problem with that survey.  Wasnt it the one
>Ware had done where the sighting line was incorrect?  Or was this
>the one Walters did for you personally?

A professional surveyor did it. He made measurements about a
sighting line that wasn't quite correct. However, because he made
measurements to the left and right of his chosen sighting line he
did cover the area of interest. I was able to estimate heights
along the estimated actual sighting line by interpolating between
the surveyor's measurements.

>> Furthermore, months later I was able to get actual measurements
>> from a Ford 150 truck such as Ed had in January 1988 (date of
>> Photo 19) and from these measurements I  determined that the
>> camera height was probably closer to 4.5 ft (but not as high as 5
>> ft or more, as had been suggested by  someone else).

>Ya, I had nothing else to do either so I too measured (too many,
>that's more than one) Ford 150 pickup trucks and I couldnt find
>one where the top of the steering wheel was below five feet.

Ya, Ed measured his own truck back in 1988 when we were studying
the slope of the hood.   He found 4'1" to the bottom of the
window. As I said above, the bottom of the window, which I
measured as 49" on a similar truck,is important, as is the height
of the windshield wiper, which I measured as about 52" at a
location to the right of the steering wheel..  I could have
accepted Ed's measurements as "gospel" but instead I did my own

I discovered that Ed had told the truth about his measurements
(i.e., my measurements agreed with his) Since the photo includes
an image of the road just below the image of the windshield wiper
and just above the image of the front of the hood,  the camera
must have been above but close to the altitude of the bottom of
the window.

The "amusing" thing here is that the height of the camera was
estimated in my original work from measurements made on photo
19...measurements which had NOTHING to do with the image of the
UFO,... combined with measurements Ed made of where the estimated
sighting line crossed the road. I arrived at 4'1" as a "best fit"
to the available data.  Months later, after a professional survey
had been done and I had actually measured heights on a F150, I
revised my estimated height upward by 0.4".

As readers will see when you post my original calculations, the
4.1' estimate was based on photo measurements of millimeter-sized
dimensions with accuracies of a fraction of a millimeter,
combined  with distance measurements along the road of many tens
to hundreds of feet, accurate to a few feet (since the exact
sighting line could not be determined) and the result (calculated
camera height) was off by only 0.4 inches or so.

><BIG snip>

(Here Barbara deleted the discussion of the shape of the
reflection image which was the reason for the calculations
Barbara has mentioned.)

>I am sending a copy of this e-mail to Rex.  I dont think I
>should respond for him on this issue.

>> the  calculated size would be larger.   I knew from the stereo
>> camera  photos of May 1 that the diameter of the power ring in
>> that sighting  calculated to be about 15 ft.   If I assumed the

>What?  You assumed.  (Gee, when those of us who dont subscribe
>to GB ASSUME that makes US stupid and wrong.) You have put a
>lot of assumptions out as fact. The stereo photos were only as good
>as Ed.  He admitted that he did not take the pictures on both
>cameras simultaneously. And some were out of alignment.

Yes, I make assumptions and so do others. Some assumptions are
necessary,valuable, and  correct.   Not all desired data are
vailable.  Hence assumptions must be made. Sometimes new data
obviate the assumptions for force a revision of the assumptions.
And some assumptions people make are "stupid and wrong."

Regarding the stereo photos, the ones of importance here were
taken on May 1 when Ed used the "SRS" camera. Ed did not "admit
that he did not take the pictures on both cameras simultaneously"
when he took the May 1 photos.

He did make this "admission" when he took stereo photos several
months earlier in March. I advised him to practice operating the
shutters of the two cameras simultaneously. He did practice.

Also, he rebuilt the SRS camera after the March 20 photos and
what he used on May 1 was much more rigid.

His May 1 stereo photo pair (one picture from each model 600
Polaroid camera; the cameras were on a rigid support 2' apart.)
shows lights on a bridge of known distance.  These lights were
used to calibrate the cameras and thereby put them "into
alignment." Hence the parallax calculation for the two UFOs that
appear in the May 1 photos is quite accurate...but not perfect:
distance = 475 ft (+/-) 25 ft for the larger UFO (about 150 ft
above water) and distance = 132 ft (+/-) 2 ft for the smaller UFO
(about 120 ft above water). Both of these UFOs were over the
Santa Rosa Sound. NOTE ACCURACY: 25 ft/475 ft = 0.052 ---  about
5% accuracy).

>>(If I assumed the) UFO in photo 19 were  the same size as the
>> UFO in the May 1
>> stereo photos, then that  would mean it was about 370 ft away.

NOTE: 370 ft corresponds to the initally calculated distance if
the bottom ring were 15 ft in diameter.

>.With your adjustment of 4.5% I figured 354'. When I wrote to you
>you agreed. Do you still agree?

As you are aware from my letter of July 18, 1991, the distance of
354' was based on the estimate of the bottom ring being 14.8'
wide, said measurement coming from the May 1 photos.  The 14.8'
is an estimate because the distance to the May 1 UFO could not be
calculated with perfect accuracy (5% accuracy; see above). When
this dimension was combined with the revised measurement of the
image size on photo 19 (bottom ring image width 4.6 mm) and the
measured effective focal length of the camera (110 mm) the
distance to the bottom ring was calculated at 14.8'/(4.6/110) =

So, yes, I agree that 354' would be the distance, based on the
assumption of 14.8' diameter bottom ring.

No doubt you recall that you had pointed out that my assumption
of about a 24 ft width of the top section, if treated as an exact
dimension, would result in a distance to the top section that was
less than the distance to the bottom with a result that the UFO
would be tilted toward the camera (top closer than the bottom).
To this I responded that if one allowed that "about 24'" could be
interpreted as 24.5 ft the center of the top of the UFO would be
nearly over the center of the bottom.  If the distance were a bit
bigger than 24.5 ftt the UFO would  be slightly tipped away from
the camera as it appears in the photo.

(NOTE: the top section of the UFO in the May 1 photos was not
bright enough to make an image and hence the May 1 photos did not
provide a measurement of the width of the upper section.)


>> >> And, incidently, whil you're beating on Photo 19, I wonder if you
>> >> have any comments on a similarly important photo, #1,

>> >Dont go there.

>> Why not?  Perhaps it doesn't obey your Too Damn Perfect  (TDP)
>> principle because  part of the image is obscured by the  tree?

>No, because I've seen other analysis where it has been looked at
>digitally and the "UFO" isn't even behind the tree.  At face value
>it looks like it is but when looked at digitally it is obvious
>.that a product of the chemicals on the film is a sort of "filling
>in" process.

"...looked at digitally....obvious that a product of the
chemicals on the film is a sort of "filling in" process" Is that
so?  A number of photographers have looked at the originals and
none has mentioned "chemicals on the film" as explaining the
overlap.  The following professional photographers in the Gulf
Breeze area looked at the  photos in late 1987 and early 1988:
Curt Shields,  Marie Price,  Alan Audelman, Christopher Stark.
Then the first 5 photos were examined by  Robert Nathan.  Then I
and other MUFON investigators examined the photos.

Mark Carlotto did a digital analysis of photo 1 in order to
determine whether or not there was any evidence of rephotography
(photograph a paste-up) or any other explanation for the apparent
blockage by the tree. Bob Oechsler, working with a professional
photographer spent many hours examining the originals and making
prints at varying exposure levels. They didn't  spot any chemical
explanation for photo 1.

The most detailed analysis was done by Jeff Sainio who also used
digitally aided analysis. His analysis has been published by

None of these people found any evidence that chemicals "filled
in"....whatever that means. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

>While we are on photo 1... What was wrong with "A Believer's"
>photos?  You do remember "A Believer" dont you?

>GB Sentinel.  Thursday November 3, 1988.  Photo of "Ed type" UFO
>accompanies article.  Headline: New UFO Photos Received at
>Sentinel. Story:  Another anonymous photographer dropped photos
>in the Sentinel's night deposit this week with a letter signed,
>"A Believer". As has become our practice we will send the photos


>The object made no noise and moved moved like no other aircraft
>I've seen. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with
>my own eyes.  Sorry but because of my position, I must remain

>Thursday November 24, 1988.  Photograph in Sentinel with caption:
>After the publication of the UFO photos from "A Believer" a few
>weeks ago, The Sentinel received four more polaroid photos from
>him. We sent the first four to Dr. Bruce Maccabee who said
>Tuesday he has looked at the photos but can't begin a formal
>investigation without knowing precisely when and where they were
>taken.  End Caption.

>The interesting thing about this photo is that the second
>one(11/24/88) that is reproduced in the Sentinel shows an "Ed
>type" UFO partially obscured by trees. In fact, just glancing at
>this photograph from "AB" it would be easy to mistake it for one
>of Ed Walters, perhaps even photo number 1.

>Correct me if I am wrong (and Im sure you will) but wasn't one of
>your arguments FOR the validity of Walters photographs the fact
>that photo number 1 shows Ed's UFO behind a tree?  Didn't you say
t>he sheer difficulty of accomplishing this rules out a hoax?

>But here we very clearly have an "Ed Type" UFO photographed
>behind a tree with a Polaroid...just like Ed's.  When I asked you
>about this recently, you told me that you did not pursue "A
>Believer" because you thought the photographs were hoaxed.

Why did I think they were hoaxed?

Duane Cook, editor of the sentinel at the time, didn't publish
the whole story.  So, a la radio commentator, Paul Harvey, here's

Duane told me that a couple of weeks after the "Believer" photos
were published Duane got a phone call.  The person on the line
identified himself as "A Believer" and he wanted to know why his
photos hadn't been determined to be real and what was being done
with them, anyway.  I don't know how the conversation went, but
the key point is that Duane told "Believer" that the photos
simply showing a UFO against a uniform sky background were not
convincing.  It would have been much better if the photos had
shown the UFO partially blocked by a tree.   You see, by this
time (a year after Ed's first photos) Duane understood the
photographic arguments about Ed's photos and, in particular, the
significance of the tree image overlapping the UFO image.
Well!  It is said that a word to the wise is sufficient.!!!

Within a week Duane had four new photos from :"Believer". But
this time....GUESS WHAT!!! They showed a UFO partially blocked at
the left edge by a TREE!!!

Well!! Naturally I was UNDERwhelmed!! If Believer had presented
these photos originally the investigation might have been

BUT regardless of when the photos were presented, there was one
big gaping hole in the story: we requested that Believer reveal
himself so that a confidential investigation could be carried
out. But we never heard from him again.  This meant that no
investigation could be carried out.

AND BELIEVER??? After all they both show UFO images blocked
by tree images.

>Correct me if I am wrong (and Im sure you will) but wasn't one of
>your arguments FOR the validity of Walters photographs the fact
>that photo number 1 shows Ed's UFO behind a tree?  Didn't you say
>the sheer difficulty of accomplishing this rules out a hoax?

Yes, indeed. Under the circumstances that Ed took his photos it
would be too hard to do.

BUT...what were the circumstances surrounding "Believer's"
photos? We don't know. Since we couldn't go to the site of the
photos we couldn't determine, for example, that Believer wasn't
photographing through a window!!! Having a window available makes
a number of different hoax techniques possible. We also don't
know anything about "Believer's photo capabilities, knowledge and

I strongly suspect a certain photog who worked with the TV
station on GB UFO documentaries. But whether he is the person or
not the point is that I can't rule out professional trick
photography being in the "Believer" photos. I do rule that out
with Ed's.  For example, we know for a fact that Ed's photo 1 was
not taken through a window!

In fact, the only known ways of hoaxing photo 1 that would be
marginally compatible with Ed's camera have been published
(except this "chemical means" you have referred to).


What I have said is that I have found  no evidence that ED or his
friends couldn't have hoaxed them.

(NOTE: If Stephen Spielberg had brought me pictures like Ed's with
a nice story..I would have asked if he had been talking with
George Lucas recently!)

>How can Walters' UFO be "real" and "A Believer" (a knock off for
>Ed's photo 1) be a hoax?  Shouldn't the same standards apply for
>both photgraphs? If Ed's is real then so is "A Believer's" and if
>"A Believer's" is a hoax then shouldn't Ed's be a haox too?

I'll reiterate: we don't know the photographic circumstances of
the Believer photos. They appear to be outdoor scenes, but we
don't know for certain that they weren't done in a photo lab. One
analyst working with WEAR TV stated that to create photo 1 he'd
have to bring the background "into the studio". Is that what
he.... oops, I mean, "Believer," did?

So, what's the difference?  Aside from certain "oddities" of the
A Believer photos that don't show up in Ed's photos, the biggest
difference is that  with Ed we had a witness, a scene, the
camera, the capability of reenactment......etc.  With Believer we
have photos and that's all.


But Believer did not know this, I guess.   It is my opinion that
this was a set-up for a photographic sting.   The "rumormill"
provided info years later that the photographer was not happy
that his photos got such short shrift.

<Snip >

>> >I think you're getting paranoid.  I asked a question about photo
>> >19.  I thought it would be fun to toss the calculations out for


>>> You can totally understand?  Barbara, that has been your
>>> problem since 1991: uou don't "totally understand..

>>> As for me being paranoid, I think I gave a quite good
>>> summary  of the argument over the road reflection in my
>>> discussion above. What you have offered (or threatened?) to
>>> upload will provide mathematical support for my discussion.

>>We'll see. Why dont you scan it in? Anyone out there with a
>>scanner, want to load it in? Bruce will you send a copy to
>>whoever volunteers (I'm kind busy preparing to move to an even
>>colder part of the country.

>>BRRRRR. Looks like this email address will be invalid in a short

>>You mean you brought this subject up with the offer of uploading the
>>paper and now you are leaving it up to someone else?

>>> But speaking of paranoid, are you now abandoning what you
>>> put forward as the "conclusive" legal argument and are now
>>> appealing to  physical analysis (which "could be wrong") to prove
>>> that Ed's photos are TDP?

>Hardly.  If you are so damn sure Im wrong...just call up Ed
>Walters in Pennsacola Florida and ask him why he owns the
>copyright to the Believer Bill and Jane photos and ask him how he
>came to have it. Thats all.  Prove me wrong...dont just keep
>skirting the issue.

As I have said before, I did call him up.  He says his lawyer
says there is no problem.

>> >After all, what if someone without a stake in this case found
>> >your reasoning and math to be flawed...then what?

>> I would hope the readers here would have a better understanding
>> of what was going on in all those calculations than you did.

>I understood your calculations just fine.  And by the way, your
>insults are more degrading to you than to me.

><Snip>  Just another free ad for his book.

HERE'S ANOTHER FREE AD..... read my chapters on analysis of
photos 1 and 11 in UFOS ARE REAL, HERE'S THE PROOF.

Proves not simple double exposure. (I note no mention of a
"chemical" explanation for photo 11).

NOTE TO INTERESTED READERS:   Barbara brought the Ed Walters
photos up for discussion over a month ago by holding out the
"hope" that she had discovered conclusive evidence that Ed
Walters faked the Bill and Jane photos, and, by logical
extension, all of the photos.

WHAT THINK YOU? After all this discussion, has she proved her

And, how about her TDP principle (Too Damn Perfect).  Should that
be adopted as a major factor in the rejection of UFO photos?

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