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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Oct > Oct 15

Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos

From: Roger Evans <raka@swbell.net>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 20:46:37 -0500
Fwd Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 09:19:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos

 >From: Dennis Stacy
 >Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 14:34:42 -0500
 >Fwd Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 09:17:02 -0400
 >Subject: Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos

 >>Subject: Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos
 >>Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 15:29:26 -0400
 >>From: Mark Cashman
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto

 >Previously, Dennis had opined:


 >>You express your own doubts about multiple photograph cases, but
 >>Gulf Breeze goes far beyond that. It is uniquely unique among
 >>UFO cases. Everytime Ed was handed a challenge (or a new camera
 >>set up) he came through with supposedly shining colors. This
 >>came to be taken as proof of the phenomenon rather than, say,
 >>Ed's own ingenuity.


Hi Dennis.

I must agree. I understand Bruce's position that Ed could have
gotten rich off of this whole affair since someone offered him
big money for his story. The fact that Ed turned it down could
add some credibility to his story. On the other hand, maybe Ed
simply thought it was worth more and the people said "No deal".
I see it happen all the time in the entertainment business; you
get one chance.

More to the point at hand in your posting; much has been made of
the difficulty of producing double exposures using Polaroids. In
a previous posting I pointed out the error in that line of
thinking. In addition, it has been pointed out that the photo(s)
showing the UFO going behind trees would have been too
complicated for Ed to figure out how to do, especially if he
used the "newly discovered Hyzer method" requiring a latent
image to pre-sensitize a given area of the negative. I'm sorry,
but this technique is not new nor is it particularly
complicated. Photographers have known about it for years. In
fact, a variation of it called "pre-flashing" was/is used to
lower the contrast of motion picture film on a regular basis
when available light is going to be the source of illumination.
It is also used in the darkroom to lower the contrast of prints
done from slides or other positive to positive reproduction

Did Ed use the "Hyzer" method? Bruce seems to believe that he
did not because Ed isn't clever enough. I tend to agree, but not
because Ed isn't clever. On the contrary, the "Hyzer" method
would not even be necessary, ESPECIALLY if one is using
Polaroids. Why? Because a Polaroid is unique among cameras in
that it's "film gate" (the opening surrounding the actual film)
is not a fixed part of the camera. Instead, it is part of the
disposable film cartridge. Therefore, it is possible to attach
masks to the cartridge that would prevent exposure in the "tree
area". Additionally, because Polaroids can be processed
immediately and (most importantly) privately, numerous tests
could be made to be sure the masking is dead on. Even older
"wait and peel" Polaroids would allow variations on this

The recipe would be this simple:

1. Lock the camera down on a tripod pointed at the treeline
intended for use as the background. Snap off a print and

2. Using a piece of acetate and a fine tip marker, technical
pen, fine tip paint brush or other marking tool, trace over the
area of the tree line that is supposed to pass infront of the
UFO. A steady hand would not be necessary. In fact, the more
random the pattern, the better.

3. Using the "film gate" as a registration device, tape the
acetate square over the opening and place in the camera during
photography of the model.

4. Without changing anything, double expose the background into
the shot.

Now, someone might suggest that the "hand drawn" treeline would
be a permanent part of the picture if the acetate is not
removed. This is correct. But so what? Unless someone compares
the actual tree line with the one photographed, no one would
notice.  It's my bet that no one ever did. The "fake" treeline
would simply merge with the darkness of the "real" treeline. The
mask would not be perfect, but it would not have to be. As long
as some parts of the tree obscure the UFO, the illusion would be

But the point is this: The camera could already have the latent
image of the UFO on its film negative, complete with "tree"
masking, at the time the background is shot. Even if someone
nearby were watching Ed, they would never see him shooting the
model (the model having already been shot). He could literally
point to the sky, yell "Look at that UFO!" and click a picture.
For those nearby that "looked too late to see it" he would
provide proof 60 seconds later after processing the Polaroid
right in front of them. I'd be willing to bet that, given such
on-the-spot astounding photographic proof, there would be those
that said they saw it, even if they didn't. No one wants to
admit the were a head turn away from witnessing something so

The other point that Bruce brings up is the matching blur of the
UFO and the surrounding lights of the background. If they were
produced separately they would, indeed, be hard to match. On the
other hand, if the master Polaroid were copied on a Polaroid
copy stand, it would simply be a matter of moving the print or
the camera during exposure time. This would produce a uniform
blur on all information within the photo. By careful
manipulation of the exposure times and masking, even selected
areas could be blurred within the frame.

Did Ed use the "Evans" method to produce the GB photos? If Ed
were clever enough to know how, he'd certainly be clever enough
not to admit it. But the truth is that neither act requires a
great deal of brain-work. I do special effects for a living and
I can tell you this is all old hat technology dating back to the
earliest days of photography. If in doubt, go to the library and
check it out. Nothing new here.

Are the GB photos fake? Who knows? Obviously just because
someone can copy the Mona Lisa does not make them a Da Vinci. On
the other hand, all this discussion about how technically vexing
it would be to produce these photos on Polaroids is pointless.
It would be a breeze. Maybe even a Gulf Breeze.

Later, Roger Evans

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