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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Feb > Feb 17

Re: Model Train Wheels & Heflin - Tarbell

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 15:34:21 -0700
Fwd Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 11:43:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Model Train Wheels & Heflin - Tarbell

>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:10:11 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
>Subject: Re: Model Train Wheels & Heflin


>Although the flying saucer images are small on all three Heflin
>polaroid pictures and thus appear very blurry and not very well
>defined when blown up, the saucer still looks like a typical
>model train wheel. Compare this with the small image of the
>"Face on Mars" that was first noticed in a picture taken by
>Viking 1 in 1976 when it was later compared to a much higher
>resolution picture taken with the Mars Global Surveyor decades
>afterwards. There are still people today that cannot accept that
>these two pictures are depictions of the same "Face".

>Last night I made a quick search on eBay for large scale model
>train wheels, preferably "1:32 scale" and from old steam
>engines, especially those manufactured in England (possibly by
>Roundhouse or Astor). I did not find any but I did make a bid on
>some assorted old wheels from England after I noticed that the
>two smaller wheels on an axis on the upper right part of this
>picture had the same relative thicknesses and ratios that Martin
>obtained for the Heflin object!

>Go to the URL below and check for yourself.


>Even though my search for the right model train wheel continues,
>like the "Face on Mars", there will be those that will never be
>convinced that they were mistaken.


I think once again you misrepresent the degree of match between
your newfound eBay wheels and the Heflin object. I have
extracted the wheel images and the objects in Heflin frames 1
and 3, and combined them into a single image with their
diameters scaled to match. See:


Again, the resemblance is undeniable, but they are _not_ a
geometric match to the Heflin object, as you claim.

For example, the outer-rim-to-inner-hub diameter ratio in the
model wheels is firmly in the range 1.22 - 1.25, while the
Heflin object is somewhere in the range 1.32 - 1.46.

Contrary to your baffling Face on Mars analogy, I am not
clinging to some obsolete image that you have since refuted or
improved. Do you suppose that a sharper image of either your
wheels or the Heflin object is going to rescue this geometric

On the other hand, you have twice categorically stated to have
found model wheels that precisely match the Heflin object, and
have subsequently provided images that directly refute your own
claim. I admire your being forthright in this way, but perhaps a
more stringent screening of your candidate wheels is called for.

I do not discourage you from pursuing this. _IF_ a particular
brand of train wheel -or, for that matter, bottle cap, hubcap,
etc.- is uncovered that was contemporary with the period of the
Heflin photograph and by every measure is a geometric match,
then a hoax is strongly suggested. This holds even if no one can
figure out how to reproduce the effect photographically.

I regard the latter outcome as highly unlikely. If Heflin
achieved this effect with a small model, it suggests
considerable ingenuity on his part... he is unlikely to have
used a prop that could be traced to a commercially manufactured

Alternatively, if a model were fabricated so as to match the
Heflin object, and with it one were able to convincingly
reproduce his images with the same or very similar camera and
film, then this also raises serious concern about a hoax,
although not to the extent of the previous scenario. Such a
result would be significant, but not necessarily case-closing,
considering that the community has had 40+ years to think about
how to reproduce the effect.


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