Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mack Brazel/Walt Whitmore Roswell Interview

Not all that long ago a story appeared about a fire in California in which a man, David Aaron, said he lost all of his collection of UFO related materials. Included in that was a reported interview of Mack Brazel telling about the UFO crash on the property he managed. If such was the case, it was something that I have never heard, and it was something that surprised others who had been researching the case for years. But more importantly, we might be able to learn something about what had fallen from the mouth of the man who had found it.

Don Schmitt was able to interview Aaron this last weekend (April 2012) and learned a little more about this. According to what Aaron told Schmitt, he said that he had received an anonymous letter in 2003 with the claim, “My Dad recorded this interview about a UFO crash that happened back in 1947.”

The letter also said that the recording had been transferred from the original wire recording onto cassette audio tape. That, of course tracked with what we all knew, based on interviews with Judd Roberts and others. They had a wire recorder they used at KGFL for news interviews in 1947.

Aaron said that he was able to make duplicate tapes and offered them for sale. I will note here that it seems odd that in 2003, when Aaron received the tape, that neither he nor his source thought to contact any of the researchers who specialized in Roswell, or that he didn’t take the tape to a news organization for release. And I wondered how you would verify that the voice on the tape was that of Mack Brazel which means that the source would have to provide some kind of documentation. Those who knew Brazel were few and far between in 2003, and I’m not sure that they would have recognized the voice after all these years if we could find them. Mack Brazel died in the early 1960s.

Aaron, however, added it to his collection and offered copies for sale. He said that he had sold nine copies of the tape, which also seems odd given what it was supposed to be. I would have thought that it would have done a little better than that.

He told Schmitt that he had made no notes of what was said, that everything was destroyed in the fire, that he did not have the original letter, did not remember the name of the man who contacted him, and he couldn’t provide the names of those who had purchased copies. What was interesting was that the tape wasn’t completely lost. Duplicates existed. All we had to do was find one of those who had bought a copy of the tape, but Aaron had no records of that either.

Aaron advertized the tape as the Brazel/Whitmore interview based on his reading of The Roswell Incident. Schmitt asked if the names Whitmore, Roberts or Joyce were the original owner, but Aaron said they were not.

Aaron told Schmitt that it was an interview with Brazel at KGFL radio, which suggested that this would be Brazel recanting the earlier, more exciting story.

Aaron never listened to the entire tape, which struck me as odd. Had I been given something like that, I would have listened to the whole thing. Aaron said that he listened to just the beginning, and then provided the clue we all needed. He said that he remembered the announcer saying, “Well, it’s been a couple of interesting days here in Roswell...”

Schmitt recognized the line as soon as Aaron told it to him, and as I was reading the information provided by Schmitt, I recognized it too. This is from the ShowTime original movie, Roswell, with an actor portraying Frank Joyce (Bob Gunton) preparing to interview an actor (Dwight Yoakam) playing Mack Brazel.

That seems to solve the riddle of how we all could have missed this. Someone audio taped the interview from the movie and presented it as the real thing. It explains why they hadn’t sent it on to one of the Roswell researchers. Almost any of us would have recognized it immediately.

As Schmitt noted, “Without a copy of the original tape and no paper trail to the owner, all the facts point to forgery. Until any additional information is forthcoming, this tale was just destroyed by the same fire.”

To finally put this to bed, we’d need to hear a copy of the tape, and there are nine of them out there. While that would prove it to be from the movie, Aaron’s memory of the opening line of the interview almost demolishes any possibility of this being the real thing. Just one more of the many interesting paths in the Roswell case.

53 comments:

Lance said...

Many thanks, Kevin for the above story!

Lance

steve sawyer said...

This is the first time I've heard anything about a "fire" destroying Dave Aaron's "UFO Clearing House" collection of materials, primarily video and audio tapes.

The original story about this broke online at the "Top Secret Writers" website, in an article by Ryan Dube entitled "City Action Destroys Thousands of Historic UFO Audio Recordings."

The story told there is that Aaron, who's retired, had left his collection of former items for sale (including, allegedly, "45,000 hours" of recordings) at his ex-girlfriend's house, who supposedly had called him the day before she died to come get all his UFO stuff out of the garage where Aaron had lived at one time, but by the time Aaron showed up, the city where the house was located had (probably due to the woman who died there being found, and the awful condition of the house being observed) moved to legally declare the house and everything in it a "toxic site" and a contractor was sent in to dispose of all the household materials, including Aaron's erstwhile collection of UFO materials.

It's a very weird story, and those interested should read it for some perspective on Aaron's claims, which I also find quite dubious, to say the least.

I hate to say it, but there are a number of questions about Aaron's mental competency at this point, and therefore his truthfulness. I think Kevin is correct in his assessment of Aaron's tale. It seems mistaken and/or confabulated.

See: http://bit.ly/GN9gKz

KRandle said...

Steve Sawyer -

I went back over Don's notes on this. He was told that there was a fire and that everything was either destroyed in the fire or was water damaged and beyond salvaging.

Aaron said all of his invoices had been destroyed in the fire.

We originally thought that he had an interview with Bill Brazel and didn't realize that was the son rather than Mack.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this was a hoax perpetrated by someone else and not by Aaron. I've had people tell me that a brother, father, uncle, sneaked some top secret documents out of an archive, vault, and when they showed me the documents, there were the Eisenhower Briefing Document and the Truman Memo. But it was always something that someone had stolen that should be given to the world.

So, I doubt that Aaron was the one who made up the story. It was just someone else seeing what he could get away with.

steve sawyer said...

Well, if Aaron told Schmitt that his stuff was destroyed in a fire, it's in direct contradiction to what Aaron told Ryan Dube in the article where Aaron's story first appeared.

Again, see: http://bit.ly/GN9gKz for the details and Aaron's photos of a contracted crew disposing of his stuff due to toxic contamination (mold?).

I've also sent you two emails a few minutes ago with supplementary info.

Perhaps you or Schmitt, after reading Dube's article, should ask Aaron about what he told Dube in the interview he did, and that Dube's article documents.

Aaron seems, to put it most politely, rather... confused. Could Aaron have been talking about an earlier incident involving a fire?

KRandle said...

Steve Sawyer -

The point was not how the tape was destroyed, but that it was destroyed, along with any records or documentation that might have been useful...

The point was that Don was able to identify the source of the tape based on the opening quote by the announcer, which was clearly from the Roswell movie...

The point was that there isn't a taped interview with Mack Brazel, but a filmed interview of Bob Gunton (as Frank Joyce) interviewing Dwight Yoakam (as Mack Brazel)...

The point was that we have solved this particular mystery and it doesn't matter if Aaron told someone that the material was all collected and carted away, or if burned as he told Don.

We can now move on to other, more productive arenas for our research.

Kurt Peters said...

....as long as Aaron isn't referred to as "The Pied Piper of UFOs", I guess it's OK...

KRandle said...

Actually, it was The Pied Piper of UFOlogy... close but no cigar.

Don said...

Points to Don Schmitt.

Probably it (or a new version) will show up on youtube.

Kevin wrote: "They had a wire recorder they used at KGFL for news interviews in 1947"

Did they have a way to dub? Another wire recorder? A disk recorder? Whitmore Sr might have had a reason for copying such recordings.

Regards,

Don

steve sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve sawyer said...

My only point, Kevin, was that the story by Aaron to Schmitt of "a fire" is demonstrably untrue, regardless of his reasons for saying it, and I was only suggesting that you might want to correct that factual error in your blog post.

If you prefer to elide that point, then that's your right, but it's not irrelevant, as it goes to and regards Aaron's contentions about that, and his initial belief that the audio tape was genuine.

I was simply suggesting a correction to Aaron's belated and erroneous comments about "a fire" to Schmitt, which you incorporated into your blog post and which currently remains there without sidebar or added notation as to it not being factual, is all.

KRandle said...

Steve -

You made mention of this in the comments section... you have brought it up again but I don't see the point. My story was what Aaron told Don and that the alleged tape was from the movie.

The important fact was that he claimed an interview by Mack Brazel and we now know the truth. I say we move on.

Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

I have to agree with Steve that it is very interesting that Dave Arron's story is so wildly unclear. Ryan's story was full of details that sounded plausible (about the loss of the material, deceased ex-girlfriend/hoarder, police, etc.) and now we hear that Aaron was also telling another completely different story about a fire.

I find that fascinating.

The number of absolute nuts that pervade this field is astounding. You, yourself have been fooled some of them with disastrous results.

I also have to give Don Schmitt my first compliment ever on a good bit of detective work.

Best,

Lance

Lance said...

Yeah, this is really weird. Kevin, where did the story about a fire (mentioned above) appear anyway?

Lance

Don said...

If the municipality thought it was a health hazard, after carting it off, they would have burned it, wouldn't they?

At least I hope so.

Regards,

Don

Lance said...

I doubt it, Don. I'm sure that such stuff just goes to the landfill (and there is no mention of fire in any of the other reportage, which is quite detailed and includes pictures).

Lance

KRandle said...

All -

Aaron told Don that his records had been destroyed in a fire. I do not know why some of you can't figure this out. I thought I had made it clear. Aaron told Don that the records were burned... that he couldn't give us a name because the records had been burned. He didn't know who had sent the letter, he didn't have his invoices with the names of those who bought the tape, he didn't have his copy of the tape because it had all been burned...

Now, we can argue about what the others have said. We can speculate about what Aaron meant when he said it was burned, but the point is that he has nothing to corroborate his tale whether it was carted off (and possibly burned) or if it was merely taken to the dump. The point is that Aaron is saying that neither the records nor the tape exist.

Aaron recalled the first line of the interview, and it is clearly from the Roswell movie. Unless we can find one of those who bought the tape so that we can listen to it, there is nothing more to be done.

I believe that this has been resolved. There is, as far as we know, no existing interview between Mack Brazel and anyone at KGFL.

Let's move on.

Lance said...

Gosh Kevin,

I don't know why you are so touchy about this and I don't know why you can't see that there is some additional weirdness to this story.

You say:

"I do not know why some of you can't figure this out. I thought I had made it clear."

We can figure it out and have. All that has been pointed out is that there are two stories about how his collection was lost.

And this adds additional interest to the story (for some of us). Did Dave Aaron make up the fire or the hazmat team? In the story over at Dube's site, Aaron claims that one of hazmat team threatened to shoot him, which doesn't have the ring of truth.

You say above that the story about the fire destroying his collection "appeared". Where did it appear?

Lance

KRandle said...

All -

I guess the point is that I lost interest when it turned out that the interview was probably from the movie. I lost interest when it became clear that there were two versions on how he lost the records and tape. To me the point has always been that there isn't, in this case, an interview with Mack Brazel... and now we continue to talk about the two versions of the story.

And the story about the fire appeared here.

So, if you all want to pursue this, fine by me. But when it became clear that there really was no interview, everything else became moot.

Lance said...

Kevin,

As you are probably aware, Dave Arron now denies telling Don there was a fire.

He also emphatically states that his recording was not from the Roswell movie (which he also claims to have works on).

None of the elements of the story from Aaron ring true for me and his logic is not sound (for instance, he suggests that if someone finds his catalog, they will see the entry for the interview, as though that proves anything at all).

Weird story.

Lance

KRandle said...

Lance -

Let's see is we have this straight. Aaron now says he didn't tell Don there was a fire... but the evidence is still gone. We have no way to verify where he got the interview because the original letter is gone and we can't hear the tape because the tape is gone and we can't trace the nine people who bought copies (though it is interesting that he remembers it was nine) because his invoices are gone.

In other words, there is no independent corroboration for what he said about his acquisition of the tape.

He says it was not from the Roswell movie, though the opening quote he gave is directly from the movie... I can hear Bob Gunton saying in my head as I write this. But we don't know for certain because all the evidence is gone.

He said that he worked on the Roswell movie, but I have a complete list of those who did, including the caterer and the drivers and his name does not appear anywhere (though mine appears in three places and Don's appears in two).

He says that if someone finds a copy of his catalog, it will prove that he offered the tape for sale, but as you note, it doesn't provide us with the source or anything else.

So, where are we now? Right where we were before, except Aaron has injected his name into the Roswell case. In the end, we have nothing at all, unless one of those nine people can be found.

Lance said...

I agree with all of the above, Kevin.

As I said, it's just weird and all too common that flaky stories are part of the whole field.

I know you try to operate beyond that but the problem stands as part of the foundation of the whole UFO idea.

Best,

Lance

steve sawyer said...

"...the problem stands as part of the foundation of the whole UFO idea."

Uh, Lance?

Actually, that's wrong, IMHO.

That flaky UFO stories, and the tellers of same, exist, is a given. Granted.

Just like in most fortean and/or esoteric fields, bizarre stories persist, both from and about the tellers of such stories, and the content of such tales.

Aaron is an illuminating example of that syndrome. Yet, he is also atypical, and has some personal problems we needn't go further into, as they should be self-evident by now.

But, I think you paint with far too broad and nebulous a brush here -- the same could be said of used car dealers, lawyers, politicians, Mom and apple pie, along with the MSM and America itself, etc.

And, the same _could_ be said of many fields of endeavor, mainstream and otherwise. Just how true that is needs to be analyzed.

But that's the human side of the issue, and thankfully a minority of cases and people, or the anthropo- and sociological aspects of this and many other "fields."

It, however, is not the phenomenon itself, or its basis, or primary "foundation," or historical record.

The quite generalized, debunkerish implication that such stories "are part of the whole field," without quantifying that statement rather suggests that part is a majority, if not the "whole," when in fact, for serious and objective researchers who know the history of the UFO phenomenon, it's a minority aspect, or carnival side show for the rubes, not what's important or real in the sense of what an unknown phenomenon requires to be investigated empirically.

To then say that "the problem" of such "weird and all too common" "flaky stories" are "part of the foundation of the whole UFO idea" is both mistaken and misleading, in fact, not to mention kinda ambiguous and imprecise, leaving behind more of a leading impression, or your opinion, more than anything else, without qualification of the actual situation.

And, again, IMHO.

The UFO phenomenon is undeniably real, and in about 5% to 10+% of known cases, may even suggest some form of unknown, anomalous control or behavior which at least implies some form(s) of possible non-human intelligence may be involved. IMHO.

That's what needs to be addressed, and scientifically researched, not the extraneous, residual solipsistic detritus.

The truly unknown cases, and the people reporting them, plus the evidence, in serious cases, is what needs to be focused on. Not the side shows and sensational... stuff.

YMMV, obviously. 8^}

Lance said...

Darn it! Lost my first response and have to type this up again. Keep in mind that my original comment was so immaculate that it would have convinced you to give up UFOs for good! :) This one will just annoy, alas!

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the comments. I know where you are coming from.

Admittedly, my statement springs from a skeptical viewpoint. I realize that you might not agree but I think my point is supportable.

Above you try to make the argument (which skeptics hear a lot) that the 5% (or whatever) is somehow important. In reality, this subset of UFO reports is no more valuable than the sum of the individual reports. You can't lump them together and suggest that they means something more in that form.

Most UFO reports are essentially boring (something like 95% get tossed instantly as prosaic even when reviewed by the biased sources that collect such reports) and I suggest that many of the 5% could also be readily dismissed given better circumstances.

I went out on some MUFON field investigations with the late Kenny Young and most of what we looked at were simply lights in the sky incidents. I don't know if explanations were found for these reports but the ones I saw were essentially meaningless, easily explained by witness imperfection or air traffic or celestial display, if you had the time and means to track these factors, which I suspect MUFON did not.

The most damning indicator for UFOs as being non-prosaic is that the evidence never gets any better. With the proliferation of video cameras, virtually everything is photographed nowadays. We should have multiple-camera unrelated independent sequences of clear daylight UFO's. But nothing like that exists.

Even worse, combined with camera proliferation the factor of time means that the evidence should be getting better and better. But it doesn't. It's basically as crappy as 1947.

And now to somewhat address the point I made which you responded to. The worst thing about UFO evidence is that the more interesting, dramatic, and clear the case is, the more likely it will be shown to be a hoax). For instance the Jerusalem video which captured public attention recently with multiple cameras, etc. was revealed as a clumsy hoax.

Another example is the Trent case, that looks interesting until the true circumstances are known and the UFO-nut factor begins to enter picture (the Trent's were repeaters, the photos weren't taken when claimed, the story changed fundamentally with different tellings, etc.).

Now knowing my audience here, I can already hear some folks dredging up the hack claims of Bruce Maccabee defending the Trent photos.

He also defended the photos from that lying sack of crap in Gulf Breeze and yet the UFO enthusiasts somehow with a straight face present Maccabee as an expert of some sort.

Maccabee also defended what was known as the Battle of Los Angeles photos, describing a craft that he could somehow see and describe. And after it was revealed that the photo was not a real photo but a concoction of paint and retouching (something I warned Frank Warren about a year before, which he sanctimoniously dismissed as possibility), Maccabee STILL thought he could see a UFO in there.

These kinds of people will ALWAYS see a UFO. Regardless.

I am happy to give further examples if you desire but I will close for now.

From my viewpoint the foundation of UFO belief does rest on a foundation partly consisting of crazy unsupported ideas promoted by unscrupulous, stupid or crazy people. It isn't the whole foundation but the more interesting the case is, the more likely that, when you dig deep into it, that's what you will find.

YMMV as well!

Lance

David Rudiak said...

(Part 1 of 2) Looks like we're going off-topic again. Lance, unable to ever restrain himself from hurling insults at people wrote:

Another example is the Trent case, that looks interesting until the true circumstances are known and the UFO-nut factor

So the Trents were now "UFO-nuts?" I guess that makes Lance a "Skeptic-nut."

begins to enter picture (the Trent's were repeaters,

No, Mrs. Trent said she had seen similar objects before but nobody would believe her. That apparently included Mr. Trent who NEVER claimed to have previously seen such objects, in fact said he was rather skeptical until he saw one for himself and photographed it. He then said he didn't report it at first fearing that it might be an Army project of some sort.

As far as I know, the Trents over decades never claimed they saw a "flying saucer" or alien spacecraft, but did stick by their story of the object being photographed being real and not some trick. They didn't know what it was they had seen.

If Paul Trent was so hell bent on supporting a hoax, then why didn't he support his wife's story by saying he too had seen such objects previously, instead of saying he didn't believe in them until he saw one for himself?

In any case, the so-called "repeater" charge doesn't prove anything one way or the other. Some people have been struck by lighting more than once. Some have seen more than one plane crash. So what? I myself have seen more than one aerial thingee that I couldn't absolutely identify. They might all have conventional explanations, but the fact that this has happened more than once doesn't somehow mean I never saw such things or made them up.

On two occasions I have seen dead bodies on the road having been struck by vehicles. So again, that makes me a "repeater" of a rare event that many may never see. Does that somehow “prove” I'm lying about this?

The "repeater" charge is really a subtle way for Klass to suggest Mrs. Trent was a liar. After all, since Klass (and Lance and other "Skeptic nuts") "know" for a "fact" that flying saucers can't possibly exist, then anybody who says they have seen one necessarily must be lying, especially somebody saying they have seen more than one--right?--a classic case of circular reasoning or begging the question so common with the "skeptical nuts."

the photos weren't taken when claimed,

Bunk! Nothing but an unsupported assertion by Robert Shaeffer (also Klass) that doesn't hold up when the pictures themselves are properly analyzed. Shaeffer's basic argument was the shadows cast by the rafters on the shed/"garage" eastern side, which he claimed could only come from direct sunlight, i.e., morning sun, not the evening sun when Trent said he took his pictures.

But it is actually quite easy to create such shadows from indirect sunlight from the west bouncing off something like a cloud to the east. I have taken photos of them in my own back yard with little more than diffuse indirect light bouncing off trees and some clouds in the sky, with direct sunlight from the west being blocked by my house.

David Rudiak said...

(Part 2 of 2 response to Lance)
I have seen many instances of double shadowing from both direct and indirect sunlight, including nothing more than sunlight bouncing off heavy atmospheric dust/haze to create secondary lighting. I often see this driving north/south along I-5 in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Coastal clouds and hills to the west (similar to the Trent's place) tend to block direct late afternoon sun, but such sunlight can pass over such obstacles and reflect off dust/clouds to the east. The result is often a single indirect shadow or double shadows of other cars driving on the road.

(It is kind of amusing to point out multiple shadows from multiple light sources, including indirect ones, since debunkers of fake moon landing arguments rightfully argue that multiple shadows being cast by photos taken on the moon are easily explained by both direct lighting by the sun and indirect light, such as light bouncing off the earth (earthlight). But, of course, if you are a "Skeptic-nut", the same argument can't possibly be applied to the Trent photos.)

There are other refutations to Shaeffer's argument. E.g., look at the power pole across the road in the pictures. If Shaeffer were right, it would be heavily illuminated on the right or eastern side, and heavily shadowed on the left or western side. But it is almost evenly illuminated, i.e., the actual lighting was very diffuse at the time, indicating both lighting from the west and east.

I have myself been to the Trent place and done careful measurements of the rafters and other structures in the photos, then recreated the scene in a computer ray tracer. It turns out if it were morning, the rafters could not possibly be casting shadows at the angles that we see (unless the date was wildly wrong). And another interesting thing to emerge is that the power lines seen in the photos (which "skeptic nuts" also claim Trent hung his alleged fake model from) would have cast sharp shadows on the oil tank lying against the "garage" if it were direct morning sun.

But such shadows cannot be seen in the actual photos. However, very diffuse indirect illumination would not create such shadows, thus matching the photos.

And Bruce Maccabee (whom Lance also attacks) did actual measurements directly off the negatives demonstrating that the shadows were not sharp, as would be expected from direct sunlight, but more diffuse, as would be expected from an indirect source.

The ACTUAL evidence from the photos points to Shaeffer being dead wrong. What we have here is the usual talking points of one "Skeptic-nut" simply repeating what some other "Skeptic-nut" has merely asserted as “fact” without proper analysis, and then claiming “case closed.”.

the story changed fundamentally with different tellings, etc.).

Another typical "Skeptic-nut" charge. If somebody doesn't tell the EXACT same story over and over again over decades of interviews, then they must be lying.

But real humans trying to recall events from memory rarely tell them exactly the same, unless they have deliberately memorized some story.

I wonder if the "skeptic nuts" also accuse their friends or family of "lying" when they recount some event and there some minor inconsistencies in the retelling? I bet even ole Lance is never perfectly consistent when he retells something. I'm even willing to cut him some slack that the inconsistencies don't mean he's making it all up, since such things are perfectly normal in real life, even the lives of the “Skeptic-nuts.”

Lance said...

Dear David,

I also listed some of Maccabee's other greatest hits. If you feel like his work takes UFOlogy into a good place, then more power to you. I forgot to mention his recent authentication of a supposed Bigfoot photo that almost everyone agrees is an owl. He is a gem, for sure.


Your response about the repeater claim is that only Mrs. Trent was a repeater. Okay. I guess you got me.

The errors that the Trent's made in retelling their story may well be innocent. Who can say? This is a judgement that can be made in good faith wither way. For me (along with the other circumstances) they have the ring of imposture.

Best,

Lance

David Rudiak said...

I also listed some of Maccabee's other greatest hits. If you feel like his work takes UFOlogy into a good place, then more power to you. I forgot to mention his recent authentication of a supposed Bigfoot photo that almost everyone agrees is an owl. He is a gem, for sure.

Maccabee NEVER “authenticated” this as a genuine “Bigfoot photo”. Sheesh! Talk about flagrant lying! All Maccabee said about the photo was that the object photographed cast a small border shadow (from the camera light), indicating it was close to the ground, not something flying in the air, which would have cast a much larger shadow. He didn't attempt any interpretation of what the object was or wasn't. Thus if it was indeed an owl, the shadows indicated it wasn't a flying owl. That's all. He also said the indistinctness was the result of motion blur. He was giving nothing more than a basic analysis of what could be determined from the photo's physical properties.

Your deliberate misrepresentation of what Maccabee REALLY said in order to obviously smear him makes you a real gem yourself Lance.

Instead of your usual diversionary character assassination because you have nothing else to argue, can you point to any specific errors Maccabee made in his analysis of the Trent photos?

Of course you can't, because you are simply aping Schaeffer, who made assertions but no careful study of the photos like Maccabee or myself.

At least I notice you are no longer arguing Shaeffer's bogus "wrong time of day" debunkery against the Trents, which can be easily disproved by again analyzing objective physical details in the photos, such as the evenly illuminated power pole proving diffuse ambient illumination, not strong direct sunlight as Shaeffer claimed.

Your response about the repeater claim is that only Mrs. Trent was a repeater. Okay. I guess you got me.

And please explain Obi Wan why being a "repeater" has any real evidentiary value one way or another, except to a debunker grasping at straws?

E.g., astronomers Lincoln La Paz, Clyde Tombaugh, and Frank Halstead were all UFO "repeaters" as well. Tombaugh alone confessed to six. So they were "hoaxers" or "UFO-nuts" too Lance because they were "repeaters"?

The errors that the Trent's made in retelling their story may well be innocent. Who can say? This is a judgement that can be made in good faith wither way. For me (along with the other circumstances) they have the ring of imposture.

For you, everything UFO has the ring of imposture, even if it doesn't.

Tell us Lance, do you repeat stories exactly the same, even decades later? If you don't, does this mean your stories must "have the ring of imposture"?

My long-time experience with a multitude of debunkers is any rationale, no matter how flimsy, is used to flippantly dismiss UFO cases.

You obviously consider these arguments to be show-stoppers, when they merely reflect your deep personal biases, which you wear on your sleeve.

The centerpiece of the Trent case is the photos themselves. Nothing has ever turned up to disprove their authenticity. This doesn't 100% prove they are authentic, but it is a damn good starting place.

David Rudiak said...

Lance wrote:
I also listed some of Maccabee's other greatest hits. If you feel like his work takes UFOlogy into a good place, then more power to you. I forgot to mention his recent authentication of a supposed Bigfoot photo that almost everyone agrees is an owl. He is a gem, for sure.

I responded:
"Maccabee NEVER “authenticated” this as a genuine “Bigfoot photo”. Sheesh! Talk about flagrant lying! All Maccabee said about the photo was that the object photographed cast a small border shadow (from the camera light), indicating it was close to the ground, not something flying in the air, which would have cast a much larger shadow. He didn't attempt any interpretation of what the object was or wasn't. Thus if it was indeed an owl, the shadows indicated it wasn't a flying owl. That's all. He also said the indistinctness was the result of motion blur. He was giving nothing more than a basic analysis of what could be determined from the photo's physical properties."

Just so anyone interested can verify for themselves that I'm not misrepresenting Maccabee (while Lance clearly is), here is a link to what Maccabee REALLY wrote about this particular photo:

http://squatchdetective.com/VtTrailCam.htm

Does anyone see anywhere that Maccabee ever said this was an authentic Bigfoot photo, as Lance claimed?

All Maccabee says is that the shadows show that whatever was photographed was not up in the air but close to the ground. It was also moving because there is motion blur. That's it! Nothing about this being a jen-yoo-wine Sasquatch photo.

Where does Lance get such screwball ideas? Probably got it from some fellow Skep-dick's blog and is just repeating the lie.

Whatever, Lance owes Maccabee an apology.

cda said...

Although I concede we are way off the original topic, I will state that Maccabee did make an ass of himself in one respect - the Gulf Breeze photos.

And surely NOBODY, even possibly Bruce himself, still believes those photos are of a genuine UFO.

Nobody even talks about Gulf Breeze any more. Just as well!

Lance said...

Macabee's "analysis" worked to support the SQUATCH DETECTIVE's assertion that this wasn't what it plainly was--an owl! But who are you gonna believe? Your lying eyes or folks like Maccabee and his esteemed colleague, the SQUATCH DETECTIVE?

Maccabee's work was easily shown to be wrong and dumb. The position of the light emitter made the owl's shadow fall in a way that may look like the ground shadows but isn't. It just happened to be positioned that way. Notice how these geniuses never bothered to place something in their imaginary tests that might prove or disprove this hypothesis--a hypothesis that is almost universally agreed upon by both skeptics and Bigfoot enthusiasts (with the exception of those at the esteemed SQUATCH DETECTIVE, a source that David cites as authoritative?) I encourage anyone to read just a bit of the near-illiterate works of the SQUATCH DETECTIVE there at the site.

What these faux "investigators" want people to believe is that this was a Bigfoot. That they use pretend measurements and pedantic language means nothing.

How bout Gulf Breeze?
How bout the heavily retouched Battle of L.A. photo?

Lance

Steve Sawyer said...

I always find it sort of curiously fascinating to see debunkers, when confronted with facts by those who've researched certain cases personally, like David above in the Trent case, to then resort to a funny kind of puerile bait and switch, like, well what about this other case? Or that one? Or any other than the one I just dismissed out of hand before someone knowledgeable essentially pointed out some data that contradicts my just proffered assumptions.

Yeah, so what about it, Lance? Are you going to resort to listing other incidents and cases that you want Dr. Rudiak to respond to?

Jeez, that could take all week... or longer.

I'll be putting my 3 cents in later today in reply to you, btw, also.

Hey,and my first draft comment for here was so devastatingly factual and wonderous it would have made you want to join MUFON and wear a tin-foil top hat! Alas, I will now have to recompose it in light of your further denialist commentary.

8^}

Steve Sawyer said...

Be seeing you. M. C. Escher -- Eye

David Rudiak said...

(1 of 3) Continuing, way off Kevin's topic. Lance in spin mode after lying about what Bruce Maccabee REALLY said about a "bigfoot" photo wrote:

Macabee's "analysis" worked to support the SQUATCH DETECTIVE's assertion that this wasn't what it plainly was--an owl!

But that's NOT what Lance originally said. He claimed Maccabee "authenticated" this as a true "bigfoot photo", which is a BIG FAT LIE. Maccabee said nothing about what he thought was in the photo, only that the border shadow was narrow, thus the object casting it was further from the camera and close to the ground.

But who are you gonna believe? Your lying eyes or folks like Maccabee and his esteemed colleague, the SQUATCH DETECTIVE?

So now Maccabee is the guy's "colleague"? Notice Lance again trying to hang the kook label on Maccabee, this time using guilt by association.

In REALITY, people send Maccabee photos all the time for comment and all Maccabee said about it is it showed motion blur and the narrow border shadow was consistent with the object being close to the ground. That's it! Nothing about it being an authentic bigfoot photo, which is Lance's flagrant LIE.

Elsewhere in an interview, Maccabee commented about being sent a bigfoot photo and compared it to a Rorschach test, i.e., in REALITY, he was highly skeptical of the bigfoot claim.

As to the "owl" and Lance's claim that just about everybody agrees, I have seen others on the Cryptomundo discussion contest this. One guy who says he knows his owls well asserts this definitely was NOT an owl. All sorts of suggestions have been offered: a bear, a large wolf, two coyotes tangling with one another, which would indeed be conventional critters down on the ground. One self-described skeptic ("alanrb") contested Lance's “owl” commenting: “I am a complete skeptic, and am not promoting any notion that this is BF, but skepticism runs both ways. If all owls were extinct this photo would not be good enough to prove they existed. As for the blur, the movement of this object covers only inches at best, you could easily discern feather structure if it was there.”

He also dismissed Lance's claim that test photos of a man on the ground lacked the shadows, commenting: “the photo of the man on the ground does show the shadow, it’s not as intense. There is a shadow in front of his face and below his right arm. That doesn’t make the blob a sasquatch, having said that I don’t even see one primary or secondary feather on the “owl wing” (not even a blurry one.)”

So Lance, is skeptic alanrb also a kook and a “colleague” of the Squatch Detective?

As for me, the picture is so blurry, it is hard to know what the camera captured. Unlike Lance who is so sure and full of himself, I have no opinion. For all I know it is a hoax photo of some guy in a gorilla suit crouching on the ground.

Maccabee's work was easily shown to be wrong and dumb. The position of the light emitter made the owl's shadow fall in a way that may look like the ground shadows but isn't.

If the shadow isn't on the ground where exactly is it falling genius--in mid-air? You would need something like a ground fog or dust for that to happen, which isn't evident in the photo.

It just happened to be positioned that way.

Oh, if you say so.

David Rudiak said...

(2 of 3)
Notice how these geniuses never bothered to place something in their imaginary tests that might prove or disprove this hypothesis--

Well, they did do have one test of a guy crouching on the ground. And despite what Lance says, he does have narrow border shadows, a fact that a fellow skeptic pointed out to Lance. Also if genius Lance bothered to read the full Squatch Detective web page on this photo: http://squatchdetective.com/VtTrailCam.htm
at the bottom the author says they plan to test the “owl” theory in spite of Maccabee's opinion that it wasn't a bird like an owl near the camera. They also plan to test another of a hunter in a “Ghillie” suit (a type of camouflage suit, also called a Wookie suit). They also in passing say that Maccabee wanted them to conduct further tests.

a hypothesis that is almost universally agreed upon by both skeptics and Bigfoot enthusiasts

But if you go to discussions on the Cryptomundo website, lots of people, including skeptics of bigfoot (which seemed to be just about everyone), disagree with the owl hypothesis.

(with the exception of those at the esteemed SQUATCH DETECTIVE, a source that David cites as authoritative?)

And now Lance is again trying to change the subject from his deliberate misrepresentation of Maccabee's remarks and use guilt by association to smear me in the same way he tried to smear Maccabee. Notice how Lance is now insinuating that I too support this as “authoritative.” All I did was point out that Lance was outright lying about what Maccabee REALLY said.

I encourage anyone to read just a bit of the near-illiterate works of the SQUATCH DETECTIVE there at the site.

Yes, by all means do and you'll see Lance is lying about Maccabee. Also what does the opinion and writing ability of the Squatch Detective have to do either Maccabee or myself? I didn't even know about the damn incident or the website until Lance tried to make such a stink about it to smear Maccabee, falsely claiming Maccabee supported this as an "authentic" "bigfoot photo". That sounded ridiculous on the face of it, like another of Lance's usual gross "exaggerations" (a kinder word for lying) in order to belittle yet another UFO researcher.

When I did a little Googling, sure enough it was apparent Lance made it all up. Maccabee never said any such thing. And neither have I.

I then called out Lance on it here and now Lance is trying to get the heat off himself.

What these faux "investigators" want people to believe is that this was a Bigfoot.

Notice Lance just keeps on telling the Big Lie here. Maybe he can point the reader to somewhere where Maccabee or myself ever said any such thing. No, of course not, because Lance is LYING and accusing us things we NEVER said. Notice the propaganda word “faux”.

That they use pretend measurements and pedantic language means nothing.

More propaganda words used to suggest there can be nothing to Maccabee's scientific argument that whatever the object is, it is close to the ground because the border shadow is narrow. That's just the basic geometry of the situation—the angle between the object and shadow gets narrower the further away the object is from the camera lens and light source.

Here's another example taken with a similar camera by the same company, this time the legs of an obvious elephant: http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/5920304

First, I think we can all agree the elephant isn't flying but on the ground. Notice the narrow band of border shadow cast on the ground to the right of the front leg and left of the rear, and shadow cast on the rear legs left of the front leg. Also notice how the shadow widens toward the top as the ground slopes away from the camera (get's more distant) That's what Maccabee is talking about. But in LanceLand, this is a “pretend” “pedantic” argument.

David Rudiak said...

(3 of 3)
How bout Gulf Breeze?
How bout the heavily retouched Battle of L.A. photo?


Gulf Breeze: Much too complicated for any short answer here. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other since I haven't studied it that much.

BOLA photo: The original and retouched photo BOTH show the searchlight beams clearly being blocked by something they are converged on, whatever that might be, which was the key point Maccabee was commenting on.

Lance's use of “heavily retouched” FALSELY insinuates that the retouching fundamentally altered the original in some way as to cause a false conclusion by Maccabee. But don't take my word for it. Here is a link to a skeptical blog with a looped animation of the original and retouched versions showing the beams clearly being blocked by something:

http://forgetomori.com/2011/ufos/ufo-photos/famous-battle-of-la-photo-was-retouched-version/

What I object to here is not that Lance has a skeptical viewpoint to these incidents. But instead of arguing actual points, he instead uses propaganda techniques, such as his above Big Lie technique, guilt by association, straw men, gross exaggeration, character assassination and ridicule to make his "case", then has the audacity to set himself up as a "scientific" skeptic. Hah!

cda said...

Steve Sawyer:

Re: Changing, or extending, the subject. This can apply in reverse.

If I ask someone to list their five best unexplained UFO cases, and they decide to list them, I can usually point out that all have been adequately explained, or at least have considerable doubts attached to them, and can give references. This person replies that it hardly matters since he has a whole host of other unexplained cases to present.

Hence an impasse. He has presented his 'cream of the crop'. If these fail the test, he then offers his layer below the cream. And so on. When does it stop?

Kevin's original story was about getting hold of some useful source material on Roswell, something that might (just) confirm that something important really happened. This has now fizzled out. But with luck (a hell of a lot of!) something else may turn up to fill the gap, raising people's hopes again. Chances are that it too will bite the dust.

Just think what would happen to the whole Roswell saga if that 'Ramey memo' suddenly turned up in the USAF archives. An awful lot of people would have VERY red faces if the memo contents confirmed what David Rudiak insists it says.
The skeptics would be sunk forever!

Even as a skeptic I still await that all-important breakthrough. So, I am positive, do all of the 'dream team'.

Lance said...

Hi Steve,

Is there a case that I didn't respond to above?I was the one who initially mentioned the dubious work of Maccabee and I listed several of his greatest hits.

I didn't change the topic as you suggest.

Best,

Lance

Lance said...

I am starting to believe David that we are off-topic.

This notion of the beams being blocked is wrong and indicative of the kind of pretend science done by certain UFO zealots.

Tim Printy published several photos of search beams (unrelated to UFO stuff)converging that also end at the convergence thus demolishing this dumb argument.

Unless....

There are UFOs at every convergence?

The damn things are everywhere (for some people).

Best,

Lance

David Rudiak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Rudiak said...

(part 1 of 2) Lance continuing on his ad hominem rampage against “UFO zealots” and the “Battle of LA” case:

This notion of the beams being blocked is wrong and indicative of the kind of pretend science done by certain UFO zealots.

Tim Printy published several photos of search beams (unrelated to UFO stuff)converging that also end at the convergence thus demolishing this dumb argument.


First of all, Lance is again changing the subject. He was originally claiming the published LA Times "heavily retouched" Battle of LA photo that Bruce Maccabee originally analyzed was so fundamentally different from the later found original negative that this somehow made Maccabee's analysis invalid, Maccabee was a total incompetent, idiot, or whatever.

But the REALITY is BOTH original and retouched photos show the multiple searchlight beams being almost totally blocked . There is very little continuation of the beams beyond the convergence point.

Second, what Printy showed in his Sunlite mag attacking the BOLA photo certainly did NOT demolish the argument:

http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite3_1.pdf

...in one example, he shows another BOLA time-lapse photo from LIFE mag:

http://tinyurl.com/d4xzbln

... taken from a completely different location showing beams converging to multiple spots. Printy claims this reproduces the seemingly very bright convergence spot of the LA Times photo while claiming the only reason we see the beams continuing beyond the convergence is because it is time-lapse. This is a self-contradictory argument, since time-lapse should also make the convergence spots much brighter than the Time's photo, which they clearly are NOT. Compare for yourself. The Time's photo has a much more discrete and brighter convergence area.

In another photo, Printy shows a single searchlight being blocked by a cloud, thus no searchlight beam extending beyond. Yes, but--duhhh--something is blocking the beam, in this case a cloud. Maybe Lance believes with his “non-pretend science” that light beams can suddenly stop merely by converging on one another. But in the REAL world, something needs to get in the way.

In another photo, Printy shows an old LIFE mag photo of searchlight beams in Panama converging on a spot with no continuation beyond:
http://images.google.com/hosted/life/a8a29aa1c1445720.html

OK, but Printy doesn't show you an accompanying Panama photo by the same photographer where the converging beams clearly do NOT stop:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/bb92be4acb44423a.html

What's missing in the first Panama photo is context. Again, in the REAL world, light beams do not stop by colliding with one another. Something must be blocking the light in the first photo, again perhaps a cloud, maybe a practice balloon, who knows, while nothing is stopping them in the second.

David Rudiak said...

(part 2 of 2)
Printy suggests in the LA Times BOLA photo, smoke from the antiaircraft shells was blocking the beams or that they deliberately overexposed the photo to make the convergence spot look brighter, but this would make everything look brighter, including the dimmer beams they later retouched or any continuation of the beams beyond the convergence. But these are almost completely absent, even in the original.
It also contradicts a quote Printy found by famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle who witnessed the searchlights and barrage:

“They all converged onto a big blue spot in the heavens. And that spot moved very slowly but very definitely across the sky, with never a falter. Of all the many straight blue lines shooting upward to that one spot, not one ever wavered, or got lost, or had to fish or 'feel' around for the target. They held it and moved with it across the sky, like a leech that would not let go. I could not see anything in that spot, for it was some 20 miles away. But, I could see the anti-aircraft shells bursting around it. Now and then one seemed to burst right in the spot.”

Point is the “big blue spot” was easily visible by eye even from 20 miles, constant, moved across the sky, lasted for some time, and was being easily tracked by searchlight operators. It was not the result of overexposure or retouching of a photo and unlikely to be the result of light reflecting off AA smoke, which would not be constant nor form such a discrete spot nor lead to such careful deliberate tracking. Also, if only AA smoke was the culprit, we should be seeing a much fuzzier convergence spot and light also being diffusely scattered off the smoke of surrounding AA shell bursts.

So the last point is that something was blocking the searchlight beams almost dead in their tracks in the LA Times BOLA photo. I can't say what. They did not stop by themselves, which was the main point Maccabee was making and not changed by the later finding the original negative and comparing it to the retouched published photo, which Lance was making such a stink about in order to slime Maccabee again.

Lance said...

David, you list a whole series of photos that are immaterial to the argument and then FINALLY admit that the photo I referenced was there all along.

Do you get paid by the word?

The stupidity of the work done on the Battle of L.A. Is caused by the armchair assertions about photographs that people who actually develop and use photographs know are laughably wrong.

The real point is that the exact conditions of the creation of these images can cause huge variations in what ends up before your eyes.

David Rudiak speaking about what we should see etc. etc is particularly out of place considering what we know about the Battle of L.A. Photo now.

UFO people pontificated endlessly about the photo, which ended up being a concoction of retouching paint.

Maccabee drew out the supposed shape of the "craft" in the photo. Much of that shape vanishished in the real negative. Additionally the bright convergence of the beams means that the imaginary shape that saucer thinkers see in the photo can change drastically with just slight variations on exposure. This is something that I am intimately familiar with in my work and it can be easily shown to a normal person.

Best,

Lance

David Rudiak said...

(1 of 2) Lance wrote:
David, you list a whole series of photos that are immaterial to the argument and then FINALLY admit that the photo I referenced was there all along.

I have no idea what Lance is talking about here, such as the "photo I referenced". Which photo among many was that?

Among the photos I referenced were both the original and retouched LA Times Battle LA photos, since Lance brought it up to attack Bruce Maccabee as some sort of incompetent.

Also Lance brought up Tim Printy's supposed refutation photos in his Sunlite magazine, all of which I again referenced, plus one which Printy obviously deliberately omitted which contradicted another one. Rather than being the absolute proof Lance claims that Maccabee is wrong, they actually support him and just plain good old physics and common sense: if light beams converge on an area and don't penetrate beyond, something is blocking them--duhhh!

And that is what we see in BOTH the original and retouched LA Times BOLA photos.

Do you get paid by the word?

Unfortunately, skeptobunkers like Lance and Printy assert things as being incontestably true and often it takes a lot of words to refute them in detail as mostly if not totally nonsense.

Another example was Lance attacking Maccabee's Trent photo analysis citing debunker Robert Shaeffer's "wrong time of day" argument, which turned out to be totally bogus. That took a lot of words too. It's easy to make baseless accusations or cite talking points of others, a lot harder to prove these accusations dead wrong.

The stupidity of the work done on the Battle of L.A. Is caused by the armchair assertions about photographs that people who actually develop and use photographs know are laughably wrong.

Yeah, Maccabee is a PhD in optical physics and no doubt has developed a few photos of his own in the course of his 40+ year career. But we must accept Lance's assessment of him being "stupid", because Lance thinks he always knows better.

The real point is that the exact conditions of the creation of these images can cause huge variations in what ends up before your eyes.

And only Lance knows the "real" conditions of their creation.

The best we have in the case of the BOLA photo is the original photo, which shows the searchlight beams being mostly blocked by something, and that something being somewhat discrete and optically dense.

I don't know exactly what Lance is saying here. Maybe he is saying the photo MUST have been jiggered with during development to only make it appear that the beams are blocked and the convergence area only appears to be discrete and dense. But how can he possibly know any such thing unless he is using the usual skeptical all-knowing psychic powers.

David Rudiak said...

(2 of 2) Lance wrote:
David Rudiak speaking about what we should see etc. etc is particularly out of place considering what we know about the Battle of L.A. Photo now. UFO people pontificated endlessly about the photo, which ended up being a concoction of retouching paint.

This is Lance changing the subject again instead of addressing the main point. The FACT that the searchlight beams don't continue beyond the convergence area is also in the ORIGINAL photo and has nothing to do with "retouching paint."

To compare original against retouched, good copies can be had here:

http://framework.latimes.com/2011/03/10/the-battle-of-l-a-1942/#/1

What was retouched was the land profile at the bottom was enhanced with black, which has nothing to do with the “object” above. The dimmer searchlight beams leading to the convergence area were made brighter and wider. It appears the convergence area itself was made more discrete. But there is no retouching beyond that area, such as blacking out beams that extended beyond, since there were none in the original to begin with.

Maccabee drew out the supposed shape of the "craft" in the photo. Much of that shape vanishished in the real negative.

See above comparison photos of original vs. retouched and judge for yourself whether “much of the shape has vanishished [sic]”.

Additionally the bright convergence of the beams means that the imaginary shape that saucer thinkers see in the photo can change drastically with just slight variations on exposure. This is something that I am intimately familiar with in my work and it can be easily shown to a normal person.

The most important conclusion, which hasn't changed at all between original and retouched photo: something is blocking the beams. I notice Lance keeps avoiding this and is trying to shift the discussion to the “shape”.

As for the rough shape and density, people can judge for themselves whether this is purely “imaginary” by looking at the original photo plus various light and dark enhancements at Maccabee's website:

http://brumac.8k.com/BATTLEOFLA/BOLA1.html

Maccabee notes that the area of convergence in the print he is working from is very likely saturated, perhaps by overexposure to bring out dimmer details. This would conceal any true shape of an “object” (if a solid object is indeed there) since variations in brightness would be washed out. A scan of the negative itself instead of a print would be needed to see if any true shape information could be pulled out. Lance is claiming that “much of the shape vanished in the real negative”, but I have not seen anybody's analysis of this. Lance?

As for Maccabee's original work based on the retouched photo, you work with the best you have on hand at the time, and then maybe alter your analysis if better data comes along, which he did. But the fundamental point that the beams are blocked hasn't changed.

David Rudiak said...

Off Kevin's main topic again (what else is new?) but interesting nonetheless in relation to the 1950 Trent case:

Lance wrote:
"Your response about the repeater claim is that only Mrs. Trent was a repeater. Okay. I guess you got me."

I responded:
"...E.g., astronomers Lincoln La Paz, Clyde Tombaugh, and Frank Halstead were all UFO "repeaters" as well. Tombaugh alone confessed to six. So they were "hoaxers" or "UFO-nuts" too Lance because they were "repeaters"?"

To this list of astronomers add debunker Donald Menzel himself, who had at least two reported sightings, making him a "repeater" as well.

Obviously being a "repeater" doesn't tell you one way or another whether somebody was lying or involved in a hoax.

Lance said...

In one of the photos linked above, searchlight beams end at their convergence.

Dr. Rudiak posits that this is because something is blocking them. I say poppycock. He doesn't know this.

I suggest that then beams may well end (as far as appearing in the photograph) only because of the exposure of the photos itself. Again this is something that anyone with any knowledge of photography would recognize.

I suggest the same is possible for the Battle of L.A.photo.

Am I saying that for sure nothing was blocking the beams in the photos? No. I am not a blind zealot.

All I can say is that the apparent ending of the beams does not PROVE that something was blocking them. It is just that their apparent brightness in the glare of the convergence might be so low that the continued beam doesn't show up...depending upon the exposure of the negative and the print.

Best,

Lance

Lance said...

Notice the beams just left of center in this photo:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m09p0u4fHC1qzx4bjo1_500.jpg

See how the leftmost one crosses over one beam but ends precisely at the edge of the second beam?

I know some folks might suggest that the diagonal edge of a spaceship is blocking that first beam.

Instead I suggest that this is one of vagaries of photography.

Best,

Lance

David Rudiak said...

Lance wrote:
In one of the photos linked above, searchlight beams end at their convergence.

I'm guessing this Panama one from LIFE magazine used by Printy to try to debunk the BOLA photo:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/a8a29aa1c1445720.html

But this one from Panama by the same photographer (curiously omitted by Printy--didn't support his or Lance's hypothesis) shows 8 beams crossing multiple times, and in not one instance does one suddenly stop.

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/bb92be4acb44423a.html

In the first photo, there are two particularly bright beams. So it is rather hard to conceive of why there is absolutely no extension beyond the convergence, unless they converged on something material blocking the light.

You can also see some evidence of clouds in the sky, so my first guess is they are converging on a cloud. It isn't some "exposure" skeptical snakeoil that Lance is trying to sell here.

Dr. Rudiak posits that this is because something is blocking them. I say poppycock. He doesn't know this.

And Lance doesn't know otherwise. The most LIKELY explanation is they don't extend beyond because something is blocking them, like a cloud, balloon, Vorgon battlecruiser, etc.

Skeptics love to invoke Occam's razor: the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions that fully explains whatever is most likely to be correct. I invoke it here. Not exact a law of the universe, but a useful rule of thumb.

I suggest that the beams may well end (as far as appearing in the photograph) only because of the exposure of the photos itself.

See my above comments about those bright beams. "Exposure" has nothing to do with it. Something is blocking them.

Again this is something that anyone with any knowledge of photography would recognize.

But this assumes some very special treatment of the negative in both the Panama and Battle of LA photo, such as deliberately underexposing the top part beyond the beam convergence in both cases for no obvious reason . This sounds like Lance grasping at straws, thus Occam's razor at play again (requires a dubious assumption to be true).

Maccabee notes another anomaly in the Battle LA photo when he draws straight lines through the beams to see where they should extend beyond the convergence:

http://brumac.8k.com/BATTLEOFLA/BattleofLAFig3.jpg

One faint beam at the upper right (dotted line) has no obvious source. It is so high up it is unlikely to be some searchlight behind and to the right of the photographer.

If that's the case, then this is either a reflection or deflection of one of the other searchlights. But no "exposure" explanation can produce that. (Yes, I'm sure one can come up with some stand-on-one's head unlikely scenario where this could happen, but again Occam's razor comes into play.) So what is causing this particular beam?

I suggest the same is possible for the Battle of L.A.photo.

"Possible" does not mean very likely. Occams razor.


Am I saying that for sure nothing was blocking the beams in the photos? No. I am not a blind zealot.

All I can say is that the apparent ending of the beams does not PROVE that something was blocking them. It is just that their apparent brightness in the glare of the convergence might be so low that the continued beam doesn't show up...depending upon the exposure of the negative and the print.


Sounds like a bunch of hand-waving gobbledegook to try to explain away the absence of extension beams. Like the Panama photo, there is one very large, bright beam slanting up from the right which shows only a hint of some extension beyond convergence. Unless the developer deliberately suppressed these extensions during exposure, for no obvious reason, why isn't that bright beam seen to emerge beyond the convergence area?

Something is blocking it.

Where did I say alien spaceship?

David Rudiak said...

Lance wrote:
Notice the beams just left of center in this photo:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m09p0u4fHC1qzx4bjo1_500.jpg

See how the leftmost one crosses over one beam but ends precisely at the edge of the second beam?


Congratulations Lance. You found one example that very weakly supports your position, while ignoring the other 15 or 16 beams in the photo which do not.

First of all, I don't know how many generations removed from the original this low-resolution photo is. And you complain about Maccabee originally using the (retouched) print of the BOLA.

Also, obviously, the beams fade out as they spread out, get further away, and dust scatters out more and more light. We're getting up towards the upper part of the beam where it seems to stop, maybe because it is dimmer and this is a low-res, multi-generational reproduction, thus not necessarily an exposure problem.

Here is another example from a skeptical website of the BOLA photo who disagrees with you:

http://airminded.org/2011/04/20/new-light-on-the-battle-of-los-angeles/

First he notes another 1942 searchlight photo from Bremerton, WA with something like 17 crossing searchlights. None of the crossovers shows the type of discrete area or stoppage seen in the BOLA photo. He comments:

"Firstly, there must be an actual, physical object being illuminated here. Crossed searchlight beams alone wouldn't produce the effect seen here, at least with contemporary photographic technology. ...The photographic film (or plate) is already saturated due to the brighter beams; and you can't get whiter than white."

Then he produces an example of multiple searchlights shining on a cloud layer to produce a diffuse oval white. He comments: "You can tell it's a cloud deck (or at least a big cloud) because of the way the beams just stop going vertically and diffuse away horizontally a little. All of their light has been absorbed and scattered by the cloud. In the Battle photo, the beams do continue through the object, though much diminished; the object's edges are a bit better defined than in the above photo. Both of these would be consistent with a small cloud."

I know some folks might suggest that the diagonal edge of a spaceship is blocking that first beam.

Instead I suggest that this is one of vagaries of photography.


You've lost Lance. "Vagaries of photography" cannot explain the BOLA photo. Other skeptics, even Printy, acknowledge something blocking the beams, but instead suggest something like clouds or smoke. Others suggest a weather balloon that triggered the whole thing.

Problem is it was clear that night (doesn't mean there couldn't have been an occasional cloud here or there), and according to eyewitness accounts (such as war correspondent Ernie Pyle who had seen his share of searchlights already in London) the multiple searchlights locked on to "something" and tracked "it" for some time as "it" seemed to move slowly and deliberately on a course. It's hard to image so many searchlight operators being fooled for long by a cloud.

This also rules out something like a balloon, which wouldn't have lasted for more than a few seconds under such a shellacking.

Still don't know what it was, just that it remains a head-scratcher. No less than Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall stood behind the aerial bombardment saying they were shooting at something real. Real what I don't know.

Lance said...

Jesus, this is pointless. When you argue with someone who only speaks in absolutes and knows everything with certainty, you only waste your time.

I'll just sit back David, and read your stuff in the various peer-reviewed journals...you have proved that your saucers exist in your own mind. It can't be that hard to convince the rest of the peons.

Any evidence that is counter to your point is dismissed with a fey hand wave. How valiant!

Excelsior you crazy diamond,

Lance

cda said...

"Jesus this is pointless".

Indeed it is.

Why would ANYONE ever offer this old photo as evidence that a UFO was in the sky over LA that night?

General Marshall writes a secret memo, uses the phrase "unidentified airplanes" in the memo, and lo and behold the UFO brigade eventually dig out this memo and make a great fuss about it.

A bit like the 'foo fighters' over Europe. There are memos on these too, and every one leads nowhere. Nowhere at all. Just oddly behaving lights at night. Big deal.

David Rudiak said...

Lance wrote:
Jesus, this is pointless. When you argue with someone who only speaks in absolutes and knows everything with certainty, you only waste your time.

Psychological projection?

I'll just sit back David, and read your stuff in the various peer-reviewed journals...you have proved that your saucers exist in your own mind. It can't be that hard to convince the rest of the peons.

Again, did I ever say the Battle of LA photo showed "saucers"?

Let's remember where this began. Lance was attacking the the photo analysis competency of optical physicist Dr. Bruce Maccabee, no doubt because Maccabee is something Lance hates--a scientifically competent Ufologists. Among the many nasty and inaccurate things Lance said was that Maccabee had "authenticated" a "bigfoot photo", which turned out to be a big fat lie.

And another part of his attack was Maccabee's comments on the Battle of LA photo. All I said is that Maccabee's main point was that the searchlight beams did not continue beyond their convergence area, i.e., to ordinary mortals, something was blocking the light. This turned out to be the case in BOTH the original photo later found and the one retouched for newspaper publication. But Lance was claiming everything Maccabee initially wrote about the photo was false because of retouching--not true.

Even some skeptics agree that something appears to be blocking the lights, but argue something like clouds or smoke.

But Lance knows better. No, it MUST be a photo exposure anomaly. But I have yet to hear him explain exactly how multiple beams would disappear because of an "exposure" problem.

He did the same thing with a photo used by Tim Printy taken in Panama 1939 of the light beams suddenly stopping--HAD to be exposure. Far more likely reason was something like a cloud or maybe target practice balloon.

Any evidence that is counter to your point is dismissed with a fey hand wave. How valiant!

Again, sounds more like a description of Lance. His sole piece of evidence was a low-res image of around 17 searchlights crossing each other, where the tip of ONE after several crossings seemed to disappear--photo anomaly. OK, maybe (or maybe just the result of a multi-generational jpeg image at low resolution posted on the Net). But what about the other 16 beams where this wasn't evident? Or what about other example photos discussed with many crossed searchlights and no evidence of this happening--beams cross and continue on?

And in the BOLA photo, again we have many crossed searchlights. We're not talking about one beam here suddenly disappearing. They ALL disappear (or only slightly continue on). What sort of "photo anomaly" would account for that?

Lance, if you could be much more specific about how a photo anomaly could cause this, I'm all ears. Really, I'm not wedded to any sort of ET explanation here. But so far, it isn't me but you doing all the handwaving, speaking in absolutes, and claiming to know everything with certainty.

And you didn't exactly cover yourself with glory grossly misrepresenting Maccabee's REAL comments on the so-called "big foot" photo.

David Rudiak said...

Why would ANYONE ever offer this old photo as evidence that a UFO was in the sky over LA that night?

General Marshall...


General George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the War Department, a key figure in winning the war, a tower of competency and integrity and one of the truly great men in American history according to Harry Truman, not some minor general nobody remembers anymore--THAT Gen. Marshall.

...writes a secret memo,

A secret memo to no less than President Roosevelt.

Point: Roosevelt wanted to know what the hell happened and Marshall was not the sort of person to lie to the President just to cover his ass or the asses of his underlings.

uses the phrase "unidentified airplanes" in the memo,

...saying that real aircraft were being fired upon, it WASN'T a false alarm, or so Marshall obviously believed at the time he wrote this, based largely on the report from California HQ he received and quoted in the memo.

and lo and behold the UFO brigade eventually dig out this memo and make a great fuss about it.

Can't imagine why. The Chief of Staff tells the President that real aircraft were being fired upon but nothing was shot down despite 1430 rounds of ammunition being fired at them over a major American city.

You can go back to sleep now.

A bit like the 'foo fighters' over Europe. There are memos on these too, and every one leads nowhere. Nowhere at all. Just oddly behaving lights at night. Big deal.

Yeah, "big deal" like some other oddly behaving lights that turned out to be V1 and V2 rockets headed for London.

There was definitely concern that the "foo fighters" were another Nazi secret weapon. But the Germans were reporting them too and thinking they were an Allied weapon.

Then in 1946 there were all those other "big deal" "ghost rockets" over Scandinavia and elsewhere, appearing on radar, maneuvering, appearing to explode and crash but leaving no debris behind. There seemed to be no doubt they were real, but where were they coming from--maybe the Russians firing them from Peenemunde? That turned out not to be true.

The USAF Europe later made an inquiry with Swedish military intelligence, who told them in a top secret memo many of their experts and analysts didn't think they were from planet Earth (same for the "flying saucers") since the technology appeared to be far beyond the capability of any nation.

Big deal.