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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Oct > Oct 20

Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 18:17:49 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 15:57:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos

 >Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 20:17:03 -0500
 >From: Roger Evans <raka@swbell.net>
 >Subject: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos
 >To: updates@globalserve.net

 >>Re: Bruce Maccabee and Gulf Breeze Photos
 >>Previously, Bruce responded

 >>>You can bet your boot disc (modern version of "bet your
 >>>boots") that the local investigators watched Ed like hawks
 >>>to find out if there was any hint of photographic interest
 >>>beyond minimal, and I payed attention to his photographic
 >>>understanding, which I found negligible.

 >Hi, Bruce!

 >You know, every time I write a check at the local supermarket,
 >the cashier asks,"Is everything on the check correct?" What does
 >she really expect me to say? What would she do if I suddenly
 >said,"Gosh, you're too fast for me! I was gonna try and slip a
 >phony check by you but you caught on and had to ask!" Do you
 >really think Ed would fess up if his original intent was to fool
 >you? Come on...>

Come on, Roger. You go through a cashier's line once. How many
times can you get away with it going through the SAME cashier's
line over and over, day in and out, dozens of times?

A better cashier analogy would be this: you slip a bad check
through once. Then the next day you do it again. A week later
you do it again. Pretty soon the store manager finds the $$$
aren't checking, the checks bounce. Now you come back the fourth
time and there are two people at the cashiers booth. You think
"I'm smart. I can do it again." So you do and get away with it.
Next time there are two cashiers a detective and police standing
by. Do you try once again?

Ed wasn't "monitored " for one day, or one UFO sighting.
"Surveillance " of Ed and his family occurred continuously for
days, weeks, months, years. He didn' take just one, or just five
pictures. He took dozens!. Each one was a potential disaster for
his scheme to defraud the world. Not only that but as time went
on the technical difficulty increased. Also the analysis and
surveillance increased.

I don't want to belabor this point but, although we couldn't
mount an FBI level effort, neither was it as trivial as you make
it out with your "cashier analogy."

 >Just kidding, but I think you get my point.

Sure, and responded to it.

 >As a photo analyst, you are supreme.

Perhaps I did one thing right?

 >But what can you scientifically base you're
 >assessment of Ed's skills on? His demeanor? His apparent lack of
 >photographic knowledge? The way he dresses? How he parts his
 >hair? Any one of the above is as good as the other IF he wanted
 >to fool you. I truly mean no disrespect, but a "gut feeling"
 >that Ed was telling the truth just won't do.

This "gut feeling" wasn't based on an occasional fleeting
contact with Ed. And it wasn't just my feeling. It was based on
numerous contacts, many of them consisting of many minutes to
hours of contact, face to face, or over the phone. If you take
the totality of what E produced, not just the 1987-1988 stuff
which Black rants about, but everything through 1995 (and some
not ever published), one would have to imagine Ed t be a
superstar of con men.... able to lie his way out of a cage not
onces but dozens of times...a man who culd recall the smallest
details of the biggest lies so he could "pass" interviews that
occurred as long as years after the events.

In all the hundreds of hours of conversation I had with him' he
never once indicated any photographic knoweldge other than point
and shoot. Oh, yes. He knew how to defocus and focus the camera.

Then there is the opion of the "personality professional" Dr.
Danielt Ovelade, clinical psychologist. Ed was willing to take a
battery of psych tests from Overlade. Then Overlade went through
hours of hypnotic regressions with Ed. Overlade probably spent
on the order of a hundred hours with Ed (at no charge) and after
it was all over stated that (a) Ed was normal and (b) Ed
believes what he said about the sightings. This is the most any
such testing could prove: that the person is basically honest
and that he/she believes in what he/she says.

 > Now the truth may
 >be that Ed knows nothing about photography. But you have to
 >admit that you really can't be sure just by looking at him or by
 >what he says. If you believe that he is telling the truth about>
 >his lack of photographic skills, then you might as well take the
 >plunge and believe that he really saw an extraterrestrial space
 >craft. If his word is good enough for one statement, then why
 >not the other?

I would agree with your just by looking at him" statement above.
However, I didn't make my decision "just by looking at him." In
the Gulf Breeze Sightings, page 307, I listed "factors" which I
considered. This is a highly abbreviated summary:

1) lots of photos and a video, al of which culd have been hoaxed
by someone with the capabiliy and time to devote to hoaxing. I
foud no evidence of capability and Ed certainly didn't seem to
have the time, even before the investigation started. (He was
busy building houses for a living.) Once the investigation
started the investigators took up hours of his time (I know this
for a fact), and yet he continued to produce UFO photos.

Ed was not the only one in his family to report taking UFO
photos. France, his (ex)wife took two photos. She was
interviewed numerous times.

2) There were non-photographic multiple witness sightings (Ed
and Frances, Ed and Frances and the children, Ed and Frances and
"Patrick Hanks" a friend

3) The UFO sighting events as reported by Ed and Frances are
rich with details. If a hoax it is safest to keep the story as
simple as possible (e.g., a big UFO was flying over and I took a
picture of it) rather than complex (a big UFO was flying over, I
took four pictures, had to go into the house to get more film,
took another picture, then walked into the street to get yet
another picture looking straight up but suddenly everything
turned blue, I heard a humming noise and a voice and saw
pictures in my head and noticed the ground was dropping down..
etc,m, etc. and this is just Ed FIRST sighting report)

4) Ed is wealthy.... doesn't need this for money and doesn't
need it for te harassment it brings him from UFO investigators.
He is well thought of in th community. Hard to imagine that he
would decide to pull of a long-duration hoax . thereby taking
the chance of being caught and losing all standing in the
community. Frances did not like the sightings because of what
the reports might do t teir relqationships wth others in the
community...hence Ed's official anonymity for several years....
but she never blamed Ed for the sightings.

5) One would expect the hoaxer would resist efforts to uncover
the hoax. Ed, however, cooperated with the investigators. In
particular, he allowed his camera to be tested by numerous
photographers including myself, he carried out numerous tests at
my request, including potentially damaging "road shot"
experiments and so on. I recall one afternoon and evening we
spent trying to duplicate "Frances and the Blue Beam" shot so we
could find out if the flash from the camera caused the sleeve of
her sweater dress to glow or if that was an effect of the blu
beam,. (We did determine that the glow was not caused by the
flash). Ed and Frances spent hours at the Road Shot site taking
pictures to test the hood reflection theory. Ed built the stereo
cameras I asked for. Not reluctantly, as I expected, but with
some "gusto". He wanted to be sure it could accurately measure
distance. Ed allowed his house to be searched. His personal life
was totally researched by the government of Florida AT HIS
REQUEST so he could get a pardon for his crime (of car theft and
cashing another person's check) when he was19 years old. (Ed was
granted a pardon, based on his exemplary life after his 2 year
jail term was over. This Florida State justice department
investigation INCLUDED an investigation of all the events
surrounding his sightings. Had they found evidence of fraud they
would not have given him a pardon.)

6 A strange circula area of dead grass was found behind Ed's
house in the high school playing field. Had Ed made that circle
as part of a hoax, one wuld expect that he would have claimed
that it was made by a UFO which he saw hovering over the circle.
Instead, afer th circle was discovered the investigators asked
Ed if he had seen a UFO over the circle and that incredibly
stupid or incredibly brilliant hoaxer said... no. He had seen A
UFO over the field (he had reported this earlier UFO sighting
before th circle was found) but he had not seen one over the
circular area. Here was a gift to the hoaxer, ready to be
grabbed, and Ed turned it down! Like I said, if a hoaxer he was
either incredibly stupid or incredibly brilliant to deny that he
saw a UFO over the dead grass circle. Incidently, that circle
was analyzed: no traces of chemicals to kill the grass. It took
several years for te grass to return to normal.

7) passed two polygraph tests taken at the suggesion of Budd
Hopkins. The second test was a complete surprise to Ed.

8) There were numerous other witnesses in the community who
reported seeing similar or identical UFOs. There were five dates
starting with November 11, 1987 and ending with March 20, 1988
when other people in Gulf Breeze reported sightings at nearly at
the same time as Ed.

I wrote as a conclusion:

"Considering the large number of sightings by other people in
Gulf Breeze it wuold be bizarre, indeed, to reject Ed's
sighitngs as a hoax and accept any of the other well-witneses
sightings of the same sort of UFO as Ed photographed."


 >Moving on, I had offered:

 >>....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

 >To which Bruce responded:

 >>I must admit that I hadn't thought of a "masked double exposure"
 >>in which the mask was effectively at the film plane.

 >Most (non digital) optical effects are achieved in just this
 >fashion. Fan magazines about the special effects industry are
 >available by the hundreds that explain just how this is
 >achieved. The average person would have no difficulty
 >comprehending the articles and emulating themIn addition, Bruce

 >>Of course,
 >>if you're going to take the film pout of the camera you have
 >>to be in a dark room... a "darkroom".

 >Sorry, Bruce, but this is incorrect. If you are using a NEW pack
 >of SX-70 or One-Step Polaroid film, there is a light tight card
 >that protects the film. On older "peel and wait" versions, there
i>s an opaque wrapping that allows for daylight loading. In
 >either case, the entire registration could be achieved in bright
 >daylight, before loading the camera. It would make no difference
 >at all.

Who's sorry? The 108 type film pack is as you claim. Can be
loaded in daylight because of the cover over the film..which
must be pulled off after the film is loaded. However, photo 1
was not the first picture in the pack. It was the 5th. (The
packs had numbers stamped on each picture; pack numbers run 1 -
8, During the investigation we discovered that the pack
numbering did not always occur, as if the macine which stamped
on the numbers did not always work. But the numbers were clear
for Ed's first photos).

So there was no opaque cover over the first photo..."photo
1"....which was NOT photo 1 in the pack. Ed's first 5 photos
were pack numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 in th first pack he used, then
number 1 in a second pack. Incidently, the camera was about 10
years old.

 >>To continue, I had offered this recipe for deception:

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

 >To which Bruce responded:

 >>No place for a tripod. But for the purpose of argument assume
 >>that Ed could make the camea rigid on a tripod in some way.

 >Wrong, again. Most Polaroids had/have tripod sockets in the
 >bottom (particularly SX-70's). There are a variety of plastic
 >clip-on mounts that allow for tripod mounting of cheaper
 >Polaroids that don't.

There was no tripod mounting hole.... this was checked. Perhaps
there was a plastic clip for that camera, but no one ever
produced such a clip. I suppose if I was "wrong" it was in
ignoring the plastic clip possibility. However. I nevertheless
gave you a "pass" on the possibiltiy of holding on a tripod by
pointing out that Ed could have made the camera rigid in some

 >Continuing this saga, I offered the next step:

 >>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.

 >Bruce responded:

 >>Probably could get close enough this way. Of course, the real
 >>problem is the registration (pointing direction) of the camera
 >>for the second exposure.

There is another problem alluded to above. The mask has to be
removed before taking the second exposure unless te hoaxer wants
zero brightness wherethe tree image is supposed to be. In the
actual picture the tree brightness is not zero so in this
scenario Ed must have removed the hypothetical mask ...which
means opening the camera in the dark (!) since photo 1 was not
the first picture in the pack.

 >>In actuality, I used the reference of a tripod to help simplify
 >t>he concept. Acceptable registration could easily be achieved
 >>hand held. Why? Because all one needs to obtain correct


I agree alignment would be possible by eye with practice shots
(the first four pictures in the pack?) to get accumstomed to
what scene in the viewer corresponds to having the real tree
align with the masked area.


 >>And Ed managed to take his first
 >>three pictures in a succession that shows clouds moving at a
 >>speed and direction consistent with the known weather. That is,
 >>there were many minutes or many hours between photos.

This _should_ have read..."That is, there were _not_ many
minutes or many hours between photos."

 >Actually, since the film pack's advance is easily defeatable,
 >the camera could literally be loaded with latent images just
 >waiting for a second exposure. The masking will always line up
 >since it "goes along for the ride".

Well, the mask would have appeared in only one... the
first... photo.

Then, your idea of preexposing a series of photos, i.e., in this
case preexposing pack numbers 5,6,7, and 8 and then #1 of a
second pack is questionable. First you would have to figure out
how to advance the negative without causing development to
occur. In this camera the "film advance" was acomplished by
pulling on th film, a procedure which forced th negative and
positive material together between rollers. To preexpose would
require taking the film pack apart and exposing the negative
material alone. That was quite complicated film, as I recall,
and I question whether it would be feasible to put it "back
together" after exposing just the negative. Unfortunately it has
been about ten years since I actually used the camerd and I have
used may different types of Polaroid camera, so I'm a little
confused as to exactly how that film worked. (It was not the
super old double-roll type) But I am sure that the only "adance"
was by pulling the film for development after clicking the
shutter once (or twice, or a dozen times).

If a double exposure hoax, I assumed it wuld have been done by
having a model set up ina darkroom, etc. and then Ed would
photograph the model (photo 1) with a mask over the left side,
run outside and photograph the sky (being careful to align the
edge of th masked model with th tree), run inside and pull out
the film for developing, then take the second photo of the
model, run outside and take the second background picture, then
ruin inside and pull the film for developing, then... etc....
running out of film, canging to a new pack, photographing the
model, running outside to photograph the background, running
inside and pulling out the film for developing... and then
collapsing in a chair, figuring 5 mondo UFO photos for the first
session ought to be enough to get him rich and famous.

 >Further, I had offered:

 >>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
 >>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

 >Bruce's response:

 >>Yes, yes yes..... all things are possible (?) given enough time,
 >>experience/capability. equipment, money and desire.

 >Yeah? Well that's the point, isn't it? Time would be minimal.
 >Experience would be minimal. Equipment he already had. His
 >investment is nothing more than the film itself and the model
 >(which would not have to be big). As far as desire....Well, he
 >made something happen, didn't he?

And investment in the copy stand and investment in the correct
lens so that he could properly focus on the composite Polaroid
picture. Easy as pie for a pro.

 >>All this takes photographic sophistication.

 >Perhaps, if used the "Hyzer method". I maintain that a much
 >simpler and more predictable method was used; one that Ed or
 >anyone else could grasp and exploit.

Surprising that Hyzer didn't prefer the simpler double exposure
method. Perhaps he thought the masked double exposure was too

 >>In order to be in
 >>focus in the final Polaroids it would have been necessary to
 >>have large prints so that the Polaroid camera could be far
 >>enough from them to get a good focus.

 >Again, you are perhaps misinformed about Polaroids. As I
 >mentioned in a previous posting, Polaroid has always offered a
 >copystand for their cameras. It comes complete with a close-up
 >lens for copying other Polaroid prints (that way they can sell
 >more film!). Is it your assertion that he didn't have one of
 >these simply because you didn't see it or simply because he said
 >he didn't have one? Is the information on my check really
 >correct? Did the man really saw the lady in half? (just

No doubt there is equipment, possibly even for that poor excuse
for a camera, which would have been used. It is true that no one
ever found such equipment, no one ever came forth to say he/she
saw Ed ever having or using such equipment in the years before
or after the sightings (or during the sighting period). Could he
have hidden it? Sure. But unless you assume that he bought it
specifically for the UFO hoax and never used it before in a
casual way and never showed it to anyone (or swore his family to
secrecy) it makes little sense to say he knew enough to use a
copy stand and appropriate lenses. Actually all he needed was th
appropriate lens, since he presumably held the camera by hend to
get the appropriate jiggle.

 >Again, there's nothing you can do if he intended to deceive. IF
 >his intent was thus, then investigators would not find models,
 >photographic equipment or anything else laying around. Any
 >conclusions from such personal observations or "searches" would
 >be false.

He would have to deceive everyone for a long time. No slips when
house searches took place. Wife and kids don't know. Friends don'
know. And, all this takes TIME...but Ed was still responsible
for building houses during these sightings. The road shot event
occurred as he was traveling to a job site to photograph the
electrical work for his records.

 >Finally, Bruce wrote:

 >>Few people are aware these days of all the argumentation that
.>>went on endlessly from 1988 through 1992 or so and then
 >>continued sporadically over the years. There's hardly a thing
 >>discussed now that wasn't discussed way back when.>

 >Really? Seemed pretty fresh to me....

You got a lot of catching up to do. The only new idea was
putting the mask inside the camera and now your suggestion of a
transparency on a piece of glass with the surrounding blacked
out instead of a 3D model.

Look, the bottom line is, as I said before the 37 photos (last
three stereo pairs, and this includes 10 Nimslo photos that were
largely -- but not exactly-- redundant) could have been faked
given enough time, desire, money and photographic capability. No
one ever produced conclusive evidence that Ed had any of these
except $$$. Moreover, Ed cooperated fully with the
investigators. If a hoaxer he was the ultimate in self
confidence and chutzpah.... yet never gave any evidence of that
in his attitude toward the sightings events. But these
sightings are a lot more than photos. And there were sightings
with no photos,. If a hoax Ed could have arranged to have
photos for every sighting. I have said before and will sa again,
te photos might not prove the sightings (a photo a UFO does not
make) but they also don't disprove the sightings. If you ignore
the photos there still is a lot of information which must be
explained if this is all a hoax.

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