Re: 1971 Costa Rican Photo Is Prosaic Object
From: Edward Gehrman <egehrman.nul>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:27:21 -0700
Archived: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:05:53 -0400
Subject: Re: 1971 Costa Rican Photo Is Prosaic Object
>From: Ray Stanford <dinosaurtracker.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 03:16:05 -0400
>Subject: 1971 Costa Rican Photo Is Prosaic Object
>The much-touted 1971 Photo Of An Alleged UFO Over A Lake In
>Costa Rica Actually Shows A Prosaic Object. See For Yourself
>Well, there you have it. I trust that if you don't have greatly
>impaired, uncorrected vision, now that you are being shown the
>object image 'upside-down', you should be able to see for
>yourself that the object in the Costa Rica 1971 photo was
I examined your evidence and it didn't convince me. I had
never seen this photo before so I didn't have an opinion. But
after closely reading both articles, I have to say that Vallee
does the better job of sorting out the facts.
>If you are offended, instead of appreciative, because of my
>explanation of the photo as showing a common object, and are
>thinking I'm just anti-UFO, you simply don't know me. I am very
>positive concerning the existence of truly anomalous aerial
>objects, which I prefer to call AAOs, and certainly one can
>photograph them. I'm confident of that because various persons,
>including personnel in my AAO hard-evidence project and I, have
This is the same empty claim Ray has been making for many years:
He alone, through a secret formula or application he has
discovered, can know the difference between a "real" aerial
object photo and those that are frauds.
>Indeed, quite aside from what one can recognize as a the prosaic
>object in the photo under discussion, there are still an
>abundance of other things about the photo that inform certain
>colleagues, and me, that the object is not an AAO. I refer to
>the total absence of specific sets of physical phenomena
>(including propulsion-related effects) which are
>photographically recorded in association with genuine AAOs in
If the craft are surrounded by an electromagnetic vortex, and
they ride, as in the eye of a storm, then an aura might be seen
or recorded on film. Is that what you mean? Since you've never
shown any examples for us to study, it is hard to know what you
mean. Also I just saw a video of a witness describe a UFO going
into the water and he stated that there wasn't even a ripple of
>Concerning the AAO subject more generally: In my opinion, the
>study of AAOs has been hampered by its own all-to-heavy reliance
>upon anecdote (even with witnesses of high reliability), instead
>of the search for, and analysis of, diagnostic hard evidence. Of
>course, that approach wouldn't sell as many books, but
>credibility among physical scientists and aerospace engineers
>would likely result.
I think the Vallee photo analysis is excellent circumstantial
>Scientific credibility and insight concerning AAOs will likely
>come only from physical hard-data such as Trumbull is seeking
>(as contrasts with the purely observational) and via the science
>that examines it, not from politics. One might reasonably
>conclude that a Bassett has for years now been barking up the
Not only does this not make any sense, it's not funny. You must
know, through your own experience that hard data (ex: your
missing metal fragments from Socorro)can often be overlooked,
ignored, or suppressed by both government officials and the UFO
As soon as I read your photo analysis, I knew it was something
that Bob Shell would like to examine. Bob and I have exchanged
letters for the last six years, covering a variety of topics
including UFO, evolution, and anthropology. Below is my request
and Bob's reply:
You'll be surprised when you see my mailings to you this time.
I'd thought you might find this photo case to your liking. I had
never seen it before, until Ray Stanford brought it to the
attention on the Updates list. I've enclosed his posting to
updates and his explanation of the photos that Vallee analyzed.
I also enclosed Vallee's analysis and discussion of the photos
which I found very interesting. I thought you would too. I think
they show a disc either entering or leaving the water. I'd like
to know what you think of the photos and Ray's debunking
attempt. I'll send your thoughts to the list if you wish.
I don't like Ray Stanford's AAO. It makes the same wrong
assumption that "UFO" does - that what's seen is an "object"
in the common sense of that word. Something you can knock up
against. Myself, I have had three clear sightings of UAP
(Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) in my life, and I would not
swear that any of them was an "object" in the common sense of
the term. One could not have been. I can detail my sightings in
a later letter if you like.
Anyway, Ray Stanford commits the most common fallacy in photo
analysis. Simply because a photo looks like something, that must
be what it is. Not so. I well remember when experts proved that
the famous "surgeon's photo" from Lock Ness was the tail and
rump of a submerging otter! Yes, it looks exactly like that, but
that wasn't what it was. It turned out to be a carved wooden
head and neck attached to a toy submarine. Yes, the photo was a
fake, but it was not an otter.
Mr. Stanford has shown convincingly that the UAP in this photo
looks like the front of a common flashlight, but he has not
proved that's what it is. There are many questions not answered.
Most of all, how did the image get on that negative? Aerial
camera lenses, like the one used, do not focus. They are
factory-set at infinity focus. Such a lens could not image a
flashlight close to the camera with anywhere near the sharpness
seen in this image. It would be rendered as a blur.
Many photographers, myself included, have bought military
surplus aerial cameras/lenses with dreams of using these super-
sharp lenses in regular photography, only to discover that they
produce truly mediocre images at closer distances.
This is because the lenses are not only fixed at infinity focus,
but their optical design is optimized for use at a distance. So,
if this UAP was close to the camera and small, how come it's as
sharp as it is?
What is it? I don't have a clue. But I'm skeptical that it's a
flashlight. FWIW, there are many UAP photos in which the
photographer saw nothing when taking the picture. In aerial
survey photography like this the pilot and flight crew are
generally looking around the plane, not straight down where the
camera is pointing, usually through an opening in the belly of
the plane. So the fact that they saw nothing is meaningless.
Years ago an old friend of mine who wrote for the photo
magazines under the pen name Leif Erickson showed me a photo
taken somewhere in Montana, as I recall. A cone shaped UAP was
in the photo, not seen by the photographer as I recall. We had
the original negative and examined it under a microscope.
Everything in the photo was normal, rocks, trees, sky, but the
UAP was a multiple exposure. There was no indication of fakery.
The photographer didn't want publicity. All we could figure out
was that the UAP was flashing "on and off" rapidly while moving,
so it registered several times on the film during the exposure.
This was a daylight photo, so we thought the UAP was flashing
rapidly in and out of this reality. All in all a very puzzling
photo. What was this "thing" accidentally captured on film? We
had no idea except that it was very strange. We guesstimated
that it was about six feet tall, so not really large. Feel free
to put the above up on the list. I'll answer any questions the
List members may have on photo analysis.
Bob Shell #1201280
Pocahontas State Correctional Center
PO Box 518
Pocahontas VA 24635-0518
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