From: Ray Stanford <dinosaurtracker.nul> Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 03:16:05 -0400 Archived: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 10:10:08 -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 I decided to celebrate my recent 75th birthday anniversary by sharing with you something I discovered years ago: The September 4, 1971 photo of an alleged UFO over Lago de Cote in Costa Rica shows a prosaic object , not an anomalous one. Thanks to Chris O'Brien's unsolicited comments on The Paracast for bringing me out of the closet on this. I hope you will consider this letter a positive thing and not a negative one, because in scientific work, as in life, one must filter 'noise' to better monitor 'signal'. Perhaps you will agree after carefully studying what I have to say and present, that the Lago de Cote photograph belongs only in the archives of UFO studies as an example of how a photo that is a hoax and therefore constitutes nothing but 'noise', can for a time become esteemed by some as important evidence. The Lago de Cote photo was discussed by Haines and Vallee in Photo Analysis of An Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 3, number 2, pages 113 - 131, 1989, so let's begin by looking at part of the authors' summary.: "In summary, our analyses have suggested that an unidentified, opaque, aerial object was captured on film at a maximum distance of 10,000 feet. There are no visible means of lift or propulsion and no surface markings other than dark regions that appear to be nonrandom... There is no indication that the image is the product of a double exposure or a deliberate fabrication" To be fair and provide you access to both sides of the issue, I suggest you study the whole paper at: http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_03_2_haines.pdf Please note the qualifier in the above text, "have suggested". By saying "suggested", the authors provided a caveat that they are not stating established fact. Yet. some persons with whom I have communicated have mistaken their paper to be totally documented fact, perhaps because they have not read it carefully and as a result have mistaken a lot of measurements and the authors' possession of Ph.Ds (and the fact that the authors are well-known in 'UFO studies') as certification of a 'gospel' that the authors surely never intended. Unfortunately, the paper's title might lead to the presumption that what was photographed was actually, "an aerial disc". In reality, the authors come no where near showing that the object was. "... an unidentified, opaque, aerial object ...captured on film at a maximum distance of 10,000 feet". They clearly state that no shadow of the object is visible, but they follow that with the suggestion that, "It should be emphasized that if the disc was located at the earth's surface one would not expect to find a significant shadow." Well, herein I suggest that the real reason there is no shadow is that a photographic image of an electric lantern (a large flashlight) reflector image was superimposed (See below.), and I could explain to the authors that there are several ways that could be done, and with the superposition remaining undetected by their study of film grain structure. If the image source were an aerial object (as said in the paper's title), by definition it would be in the air and not "on the earth's surface", but can we 'have our cake and eat it, too' -- that is, have an object on the ground (or lake's surface) and in the air, too? Also, shouldn't it concern a reader that even in the title the authors take the position that what was photographed was, to quote them, "An Aerial Disc" [My emphasis.]. "Aerial"? The authors certainly don't demonstrate that. Is it really a disc? After careful; study, I am convinced the photo image reveals something else. (See images below.). Shouldn't that interpretation ["an Aerial Disc"] in the paper's title more fairly have been posed as questions instead of stated as fact? Then, too, if we accept the authors' proposition that the photo is of a real aerial object but that maybe it did not leave a shadow because "it was located at the earth's surface", we must presume that they consider the lake's surface as synonymous with the earth's surface, since, if a real object between the aircraft and the water was responsible for the strange image, it absolutely is not on the ground but on the water. Yet,if that is accepted as a ' given', one must presume it to have zipped into position (the previous photo frame was taken only twenty seconds earlier and the object is not shown therein), stopped dead-still for its portrait, and then zipped off before the next automatic photo, which doesn't show it either. One would expect some rather dramatic kinetic after-effects on the lake surface, even into the next photo. None are visible. Surely if it were at the surface of the lake, we would see some light-absorption-reflection differentials on the lake surface near the object, due to the fast arrival and sudden stop (no matter if it arrived from below the surface or from any direction above it), but none are evidenced in the photo. And the authors admit there is no trace of a shadow. So, whatever made the strange image was reportedly unseen b y the photo-mapping crew. It produced no shadow. It seems more as myth than a physical reality. That's highly strange, indeed, but it's not the class of high strangeness that constitutes a good 'UFO' case. We see in the paper a lot of measurements and poor-quality descriptions -- such in where they try to describe the light and dark patterns on the 'object' image -- plus a large dose of what some might interpret as simply wishful thinking that an aerial object was really there. Perhaps due to a perceived need to add something -- Seemingly anything! -- to bolster the severe paucity of substance to the photo case, even in the abstract the authors drag in a purely anecdotal report from about fifteen years later (October 25, 1986) of a "partially submerged object" (very dissimilar to anything shown in the photo) reportedly seen in the same lake. Only a true believer could feel that something of such difference in appearance and separated by fifteen years could have any relevance whatsoever. Again, it looks more like wishful thinking than science. Both authors have demonstrated far better and more cautious writing than we encounter in the Lago de Cote photo report, so I prefer that we not regard either harshly for any problems in the paper. The best of researchers can slip up from time to time. Only the timid fail to make some guesses or take a chance on occasion. And, as to the photo, itself, of course, even good writers can miss something (like failing to recognize what actually created a photographic image) that is obvious to a more visual type person, and in my opinion that's simply what happened to their analysis of that 1971 Costa Rica photo. Having read the above- referenced paper several times, I could give a more in-depth, point-by-point description of where and how, in my opinion, their analysis went wrong, but this letter is not the place for that. Perhaps if Haines and Vallee had taken a relaxed look at the photo upside-down, they might have perceived the actual nature of the image, but that didn't happen, so some UFO websites around the planet have declared a photo that only shows something that definitely looks an electric lantern's dual- reflector system to be one of the best photos of a (They presume.) alien vehicle! With that kind of wide-eyed faith in what one merely hopes is there, 'UFOlogy' fails without the contribution of hidden adversaries. I am absolutely not referring to the authors of the paper, but to those who extrapolate well beyond anything the paper says, those who seemingly don't know how to discern what a paper's the authors say, but, equally important, what they DON'T SAY. Even persons who don't realize what's actually shown in the September 4, 1971 photo often remark to the effect that 'something isn't right' with the image, but I believe that's primarily because the legend connected with the photo has them thinking they are supposed to be seeing a slope-flanged disc in sunlight, instead of an electric lantern's larger reflector illuminated from above by a two-tube fluorescent light fixture. Reading the paper, one gets the impression that both authors may be quite uninformed, if not actually naive, about what darkroom techniques could have been used to imprint the image of concern onto the mapping photo film, and, presuming for a moment that the actual mapping photographer was not behind the hoax, even how the image could have been deliberately put onto the film that was to be used in the mapping operation before the film was loaded into the camera. Some personal background: I decided to get myself well-informed on both photographic and darkroom tricks way back in the late 1950s, because beginning at age 15 -- for a few years during my teens -- I was taken in by the photo hoaxes of George Adamski. Well, I got, as I said at the time, "fed up with it", and learned things that compelled me to publicly expose Adamski's fake photos and movies, as well as the ones of Daniel W. Fry, and a lot of other photo hoaxes since then. Those with the will to believe based on nothing but wishful thinking are not happy with my to willingness to expose the 'noise' and well as to help discern the signal in AAO photographic claims. In examining any alleged UFO image(s), it is advisable that we not lean on the hope that we might be seeing, e.g., a 'metallic UFO' (as some persons allege to be seen in the 1971 Costa Rica photo), but simply look at the image with objectivity, asking ourselves what we might really be seeing and how it might have gotten into the film, movie, or video. That is especially important in a highly suspect case like the 1971 Costa Rica photo, wherein it is said that NO ONE SAW THE OBJECT. In some such 'didn't see it' photo cases, we must consider the possibility that the claim is made to divert any possible suspicion away from a hoaxing photographer -- especially in cases wherein the alleged 'UFO' is so graphic that it clearly is not a bird, balloon, or insect, etc., that just wasn't noticed by the photographer. I'm not at all saying that a bona-fide anomalous aerial object couldn't show up in a photo, unnoticed at the time, and perhaps due to any number of possible reasons. I'm just saying that as researchers we must be very cautious about accepting the objective reality of puzzling images, such as the one under discussion, alleged to have been photographed, 'unbeknownst to the photographer', regardless of how emotionally appealing to our hope for photographic evidence an alleged image might be. So, please carefully read and think about the images and all the text you see below. Note that in my analysis, THE UNFOCUSED FRONT EDGE SHOWS THAT THE OBJECT WAS SMALL AND TOO NEAR THE CAMERA FOR THAT EDGE TO GET IN FOCUS, unlike the lake scene in the photograph. Thus,we can deduce that the object in question was separately photographed with a lens focus at inches-close range (but with the front edge still out of focus because it's so close), while the terrestrial scene was photographed with a lens focused far out from the camera. On page 221, the authors tell us, puzzlingly, that "...the entire image is in sharp focus..." As anyone can see in the images below, that is absolutely incorrect, unless one wishes to serve some faulted concept of 'analysis' that only wants to accept the clearest details of the object. That wouldn't be science, but it is wishful thinking. Some wide-eyed believers have stated that the near edge (the lower edge in the photo as published) of the object is indistinct because that part of the object is in the water, but there is no sign of any lake-surface turbulence that would surely result (and be visible due to the bright sunlight) from such a situation, regardless of whether the object is hypothesized to be entering, or leaving, the lake. Instead of such unsupported speculation, discovery is better served via unexcited, objective analysis, divorced from any fear whatsoever that we might be crumbling some believer's cookie -- be that 'believer' outside ourselves or internal to ourselves. The following combination of images with text is not intended to be a scientific paper (That would be far more detailed and in- depth.), but it's just an illustration I've quickly done to explain and show you what I feel confident was photographed, but without going into the several technical methods that could easily have been used to impose the image over the mapping photo of the lake area in a way that Haines' and Vallee's examination would have failed to detect. (Keep in mind that the 1971 photo was made back in the days of emulsion-film photography, so we are not involved with a 'PhotoShop job'.) Please attentively read what the text says, paying special attention to where I point out that the cut-out black 'mask' [in the dashed-white-line ellipses and at the turquoise-colored arrows in the illustration at right] fails to match the curvature of the larger reflector, and that the black mask is so close to the camera on the lower - near - side as to not be in focus. [Image at: http://ufoupdateslist.com/listers/1971costaricaanalysis.jpg --ebk] 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 amusingly prosaic. Even the light reflected off the thing is in contradiction of the direction of sunlight clearly evidenced in the 'mapping photo' background. 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 done so. Could it be that some researchers have been well-trained to measure, measure, and again measure certain things, but have in so doing lost (or at least temporarily neglected) the ability to simply sit back, relax and simply LOOK, allowing both sides of the brain to work together to correctly interpret and understand what one is really seeing? From what is known of human perception, that seems quite possible. Very correctly, the Haines-Vallee paper said (as quoted more fully at the beginning of this report), "There are no visible means of lift or propulsion..." Of course we can all easily see that it's true, and one wouldn't expect anything so prosaic as an electric lantern reflector, illuminated as described, to show any such effects. 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 flight. That subject can be addressed at other times. 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 do not know Douglas Trumbull personally, yet it seems he has the right approach. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jJhmwpQ-RI 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 wrong tree. BTW: If you'd like insight into my involvement in a very terrestrial subject (dinosaurs), click on the following link to my February 1, 2013, presentation to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Scientific Colloquia Lecture Series. It's titled, Life in A Dinosaur-Dominated Environment , and, believe it or not, it's NOT about politics in Washington, D.C. If click on that link, when you see the world turning with the NASA logo over it, put your cursor down toward the bottom-right, and a button will appear enabling you to enlarge the presentation to full screen. If you find important, new dinosaur discoveries intriguing, you will likely enjoy watching the whole presentation. Don't expect talk of AAOs though. My subject was literally down-to-earth, even though delivered at the Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA has long had a serious interest in earth science. http://tinyurl.com/qbxpt9c Ray Stanford author of the 1976 book on the Socorro CE III case Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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