The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

THE UFOS THAT NEVER WERE: CLASSIC PHOTOS NOW EXPOSED AS FAKES! by Anthony Bragalia

Copyright 2010, InterAmerica, Inc.

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If researchers are genuine in their quest to find truth in the UFO phenomena, they must be prepared to accept when cherished UFO "evidence" turns out to be the result of fraud. Such is the case with some very famous flying saucer photos from the early years that are forever emblazoned in many of our memories. They have appeared in countless books and magazines and today on numerous websites. They have continued to keep our minds in wonder over the decades. But we need not wonder any more about four pieces of such "photographic evidence."

It can now be revealed that the world-famous Rex Heflin Photos; the Cumberland "Spaceman" Photo; the Zanesville, OH Barber's photos and the William Rhodes 1947 photos were all hoaxes.

THE COMPULSION TO PRANK: THEN AND TODAY

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Frame from 2007 "Haiti UFO" CGI Hoax Video

Just as many "Youtube" UFO videos today are made by pranksters, the compulsion to prank in a similar way was evident in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Now such hoaxes utilize cutting-edge digital technologies such as Paintbox, various CGI programs and other interactive drawing and special effects tools that create highly realistic videos and photos. In earlier days such things as double exposures, overlays, forced perspective -and simply tossing or suspending objects in the air- were used to create equally highly realistic UFO photo effects. Though the technologies are more advanced today, the ingenuity and creativity of earlier UFO picture hoaxers was just as great -and perhaps even greater- than those of today's hoaxers.

RECONCILING BELIEF IN ET AND THE EXPOSURE OF FRAUD

Just as many readers will soon feel, I do not like this story. I do not like to report it. I am not driven to "debunk." I am driven to truth. Just as my Socorro UFO hoax expose' was not something that I enjoyed relating in my article series, it pains me to reveal other fraud when found. But we must do so. As readers know, I support the ET nature of many UFOs, including the ET nature of the Roswell crash event. The phenomena are real.

But we must be mature enough to recognize that where there is truth, there are often lies. We must vet. We must not be rabid skeptics, but rather we must be "critical thinkers" in the truest sense. We must "discern the spirits" and evaluate individually all photographic UFO claims. It strengthens our case when we "separate the wheat from the chaff." We are obligated to do so. So many outstanding and credible sightings and other evidence exists supporting ET, that we can "take it" when some treasured UFO stories are proven false or put into serious question. We can then concentrate on the more credible cases, which are infinitely more interesting. The study of UFOs should reflect a process of "continuous improvement." As we learn more about some of the older cases, we must apply newly acquired information and technologies to re-evaluate them. It is our duty to history. Truth must triumph, even when it hurts.

THE ZANESEVILLE, OH BARBER'S PHOTOS

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As I opened the pages of Ideal's UFO Magazine as a very young child in the 1970s my heart stopped when I saw the series of photos above. Astonished, I thought to myself that here at last was clear proof that we were being visited by others. What else could it be?

On November 13, 1966 barber Ralph Ditter photographed a UFO at different angles that appeared outside his house in Roseville, OH, a suburb of Zanesville. Ditter exhibited his photos in his barber shop. Some time later the photos were featured in a local paper. Since then, the photos have been carries in books and magazines worldwide. They are most always presented as authentic, or at least as "unresolved." Initially cooperative with official investigators, Ditter later failed to respond to requests for "clarification" of the differences between his account of the sighting and the apparent facts.

But the very little known fact is that Ralph Ditter did indeed confess to a hoax a long time later. Ditter had told MUFON researchers Warren B. Nicholson and Ronald Fisher the truth about the matter on the morning of October 23, 1971, a full five years after the photos were taken. This author has recently located and interviewed Warren Nicholson. It was learned that:

Nicholson had arrived with Fisher at Ditter's barbershop unannounced and proceeded to get a haircut. After the cut, Nicholson then handed Ditter a technical report that had conclusively determined through a scientific photo analysis that Ditter's photos were faked. The numbers on the backs of the photos were out of sequence to Ditter's story. The object was really 3-4 inches in diameter and it was only 3-4 feet from the camera lens. The photos were not taken in rapid succession as Ditter had reported, as surrounding scenery had changed (see if you can spot the differences in the photos.)

Ditter read the report that had analyzed his photos. Nicholson then asked of Ditter, "Well, what do you think of it?" Ditter replied, "Well, I am the one who faked them. What do you think?" Ditter then made a full confession to the researchers: About a year prior to the photos being made, his young daughter had asked him about the subject of UFOs. In her naive sweetness, the child wanted to know if Ditter could ever find a UFO and take a picture of it for her saying, "Daddy, will you take a UFO picture for me?" Ditter told the researchers he made a promise to her and had said to her, "Yes, someday I will."

A few months later Ditter was cleaning up and repairing his daughter's toy wagon. He had noticed how much the wagon hubcaps were so similar in appearance to the UFO photos that he had seen in men's magazines at the shop like Saga and Argosy. He removed the hubcaps and wire brushed them. He faked the photos for her and put them up in his barbershop. Some months later a customer contacted the media, and the event spiraled out of control. The love for a daughter had inspired Ditter- and we loved Ditter for doing it. The photos enchanted. But it is now time to recognize that they were "pretend." Nicholson explained to me that he and Ronald Fisher had reported this Ditter confession in 1971 and that the article was thought to have been later published in the MUFON Ohio Journal. For some reason, it never made a "blip."

But even this episode of fraud can yield some previously unknown truth. Nicholson explained that the "technical report" on the Ditter photos that Nicholson had presented to the barber had been completed by none other than the the government think-tank the RAND Corporation. Readers will remember my prior investigation revealing that RAND's involvement in UFO investigation is far deeper than has ever been realized. The RAND-UFO story is related in the article Deep Secrets of a UFO Think Tank Exposed (archived on this site.) RAND has been secretly involved in official UFO analysis on behalf of the US government for a very long time.

THE CUMBERLAND "SPACEMAN"/SOLWAY FIRTH PHOTO

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On the spring day of May 23, 1964 a firefighter named Jim Templeton took his daughter to bucolic Burgh Marsh overlooking Solway Firth in Cumberland, eight miles west of their home in Carlisle in Northern England. John was an amateur photographer. He wanted to take photos of his daughter Elizabeth on that splendid day, and he posed her sitting in an open grass hill area. Some days later Jim went to get his photos back from the photo developer at the local "chemist" shop. Appearing in the photo (but unseen at the time) was a startling figure that seemed for all the world to be that of a strange and small Spaceman! What we would now call an ethereal "Buzz LightYear" space ranger was perched upon the girl's shoulder!

In the earliest retellings of the event though, Templeton had said something in passing that in later years has somehow been forgotten or gone unnoticed by researchers: The man who developed the photo had remarked to Templeton that "it was a shame that some idiot had walked into one of your pictures of Elizabeth." The photo developer did not realize how perceptive his comment. Had its significance been realized, the Cumberland "Spaceman" Photo would not be so famous. Sometimes off-hand comments and first-impressions that are blurted out turn out to be the most telling.

The Cumberland solution is simple when we step back. A person had quickly passed through the scene as Templeton took the shot. It is forced perspective. Such perspective can create an illusion that can make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. Here is the graphic answer:

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The photo is a classic optical effect. It is a misinterpretation of perspective by the brain that is caused by the angle of the subjects appearing in the photo. The figure is likely to be less than 5'10" and is jogging away from the camera at a 45 degree angle were the ground is sloping on an incline. Notice the angle of the right elbow in the original photo. It is angled in a way that is identical to the way that someone holds their arms when they are running away from you. The "Spaceman" is not facing the camera, it is actually backside to the camera!

The off-balance posture is explained by the quick forward motion of the figure maneuvering up a hill. The light white-colored jacket or blouse that the figure is wearing is "inflated" by the breeze of forward motion. The Templeton girl's hair wisps are moving the same direction that the wind is blowing unto the jogger. The image captured of the "spaceman" is indistinct because the jogger is moving with speed and is in full motion.

Templeton was very focused on taking a nice picture of his beloved daughter, and his gaze was only through the camera's viewfinder. The figure passed by his field of view rapidly and thus the figure was never even seen by Templeton. Daughter Elizabeth had her back towards the back of the figure, and never saw the passerby either. This is because Elizabeth was herself concentrating on making a nice pose for the picture. Recognizing that the father and daughter were taking a photo, the jogger never engaged them or acknowledged them, and tried quickly to run away from the framing of the shot. Think about it. We have all tried to dash and dodge to avoid appearing in someone's private picture. Or it could be that the runner is entirely unaware that Mr. Templeton was just about to take a picture of his daughter.

What appears to be the rear-view of a helmet may actually be a headscarf, very popular in the early 1960s. If it is a woman, she may also be sporting a French pleat hairdo which was also very popular at that time, where the hair is worn in an extreme blunt squared-off back (like a helmet).

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If the figure is that of a male (as pictured in overlay above) the helmet-like back view may be of a middle-aged man's blunt "helmet hair" haircut. This overlay also illustrates well the role that perspective played in the Templeton photo.

The backside "helmet" distortion as seen in the original photo may also be further compounded by an "artifact" in the photo that is known by professional photo-analysts as a "bokeh" - a lens aberration that causes back figure blurring. It is exacerbated by forward or side-to-side motion (as found in jogging.)

Whether or not this can be classified as a purposeful "hoax" is open to debate. Perhaps, like the barber Ralph Ditter, Templeton wanted to please his daughter with a mystery. It may also be a situation where Templeton just let things get "out of hand." The interest in the photos escalated. Templeton may have chosen to "ignore" the instructive solution that had been provided to him early on by the very man who had developed the photo for him, that "some idiot" had gotten in the way of a nice photo.

THE REX HEFLIN PHOTOS

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At noon on August 3, 1965, highway maintenance inspector Rex Heflin was driving near the Santa Ana, CA freeway when he saw a UFO. He stopped his vehicle and from the window shot a series of four photos using the Polaroid camera he had in his car and used for work. He believed that the craft was a little over 200 feet away at an altitude of about 150 feet and that it was approximately 30 feet in diameter. The craft appears fairly well-defined, clearly-structured and dull metal in color.

On September 20, 1965, the Santa Ana Register published the photos. Later a Project Blue Book investigator interviewed Heflin. Heflin told the officer that just the previous day he had handed his original Polaroids over to a supposed representative from the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD.) Heflin did not obtain the NORAD Colonel's name and apparently just gave the man his original evidence with only a promise of return and without getting anything in writing confirming its receipt.

The Heflin photos are one of Ufology's "sacred cows" and the images are believed by some to be definitive. Many believe that they show a strange aerial craft of some sort, perhaps ET or perhaps an experimental vehicle. The facts however are far more down-to-earth: Rex Heflin was a Hoaxer.

Heflin photos have been notably researched by Ann Druffel. Druffel has to some measurable degree made her research "claim to fame" on the Heflin saga. He maintained a very close relationship with Druffel for many years, including up until his death (a point she emphasized on her own website.) She single-handedly kept up interest in Rex over the years- and may have been one of the few females with a continuing presence in Rex's life.

The Heflin photos have been subjected to countless official investigations - and to both amateur and expert analysis- over many years. We can go back and forth on such fine points as to whether or not a line or string can be detected or not detected in the photos. We can argue if under the vehicle there is some sort of disruption of ground or if there is some sort of emission. But the simple facts remain:

- The Heflin photos were Polaroids, meaning that there were no negatives.

- Even the original Polaroids went "missing" for decades

- The pictures are "fuzzy gray" and of poor quality and resolution.

- Early 1960s-era Polaroid instant cameras were themselves very low-grade systems.

The disappointing result is that any technical analysis is going to suffer these very major disadvantages. But I am not going to concentrate so much on the technical dynamics of the case. I am going to "step back" and review the human dynamics and "deeper background" of the case:

A basic yet critical question appears to never have been asked by investigators about the Heflin photos:

Did people in the area know about the photos before they were published in the local newspaper?

Yes they did. And one such person is Mr. Edward Riddle. Ed Riddle was a professional that was employed as a senior-level technical writer, including for a leading Menlo Park, California electronics technologies company. But in the summer of 1965 Riddle was a young man that was employed by the local telephone company. In the lunch-room, Riddle remembers, a fellow that Riddle described as being "in a jolly mood" had come into the company lunch room and had brought with him what Riddle would soon later clearly and instantly recognize as the "Heflin UFO photos."

Riddle recounts that the man had told him that "his neighbor he knew had rigged up a toy train wheel and some monofilament fishing line, hung them out of his truck window, shot them and would maybe just take them to the paper for some fun."

Riddle explained that he did not want to be a "spoil sport" but "jeez, a joke's a joke." He agreed it was time to come clean about what he knew. Given his professional station and that Riddle avoided coming forward on this for decades- and that he never sought nor received any compensation or notoriety for this- it is highly likely that he is telling the truth as he remembers it.

Riddle continued with his story: Some time after he had seen the UFO "toy train wheel" photos at work, he saw them in the newspapers, just like he heard they might be. The story had soon become huge, it had become very big news. It was then that Riddle became conflicted and genuinely concerned. He thought that Heflin was affable enough, but Riddle said that he knew what he knew, now what to do? He went home and asked his family what they felt should be his next step. They disapproved of his telling anything. No need to get involved. It will die down and no one is getting hurt or anything. Why spoil on nice guy's fun? The other folks at the office felt they should say nothing. So Riddle held his tongue too.

Today his family supports Riddle coming forward with his revelation and they confirm that it happened just as he said it did at the time. And Riddle has actually confirmed to reporter Amy Wilson of The Orange County Register this story for the record. He is 100% certain that the Heflin photos were shown to him prior to their publication- and that they were explained by Heflin's neighbor as a hoax using toy train wheels. He also detailed to her that he was still wrestling with "talking or not talking" about what he knew to be the truth about the Heflin incident.

Other old-timers have been a bit less forthcoming on Rex Heflin than Edward Riddle, but are still instructive. Using old and new telephone directories and other research resources, this author located a now-retired former Heflin neighbor who could also speak to all of this. The former neighbor - though providing hints about Heflin - did not want his name publicized. But the old OC'er related that he knew that: "Rex was a good man, fun-loving. Now he liked toys and trains and such. You look at those photos real close and you'll see what I mean." The man would not engage further in the discussion. But what little he said tends to uncannily confirm Ed Riddle's recollection.

This "fun loving" aspect to Heflin was even pointed out by Heflin-supporter and researcher Ann Druffel. According to Druffel, Kelson & Wood (JSE 2000 p. 593) Heflin "had an offbeat sense of humor and joked at times in a deadpan fashion, particularly when irritated."

And many years ago researcher Stephen Black film-interviewed Heflin about the incident. Heflin may have given Black a "metaphorical clue" when Heflin admitted to Black that he enjoyed model making. Heflin even had a model railway in his modest home (which Black filmed).

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Rex Heflin, In the Spotlight

Heflin also made some "unusual" statements early on to Black. Heflin indicated that he was a Christian Scientist and explained to Black that "my religion doesn't let me recognize the laws of state." When asked if he was married, wifeless Heflin would only say, "More than once, but I don't want to refer to it on camera lest my five wives find out where I am." A strange man with a strange sense of humor.

Heflin's oddness and the persistent theme of trains and "toy wheels" resonated with me. And apparently it has with other researchers. In 2006, researcher John Scheldroup reported in the UFO Updates forum that his photo enhancement and diagramming found that "a wheel of a model steam locomotive" had accounted for the Heflin "spaceship." He noted that "you can just make out the wheel hub protruding of the face of the wheel." UFO enthusiast Kyle King had done a similar match-up using various older toy train wheels and superimposing them onto the Heflin UFO image, producing highly suggestive matches.

Still others have come to similar conclusions. Another researcher indicated that he had conducted a graphic analysis of the Heflin photos. He had secured a "O" Gauge model toy train wheel from a set of 3-Rail Andrews Trucks (Item #6033) by manufacturer Atlas O. He then digitally compared this toy train wheel with the Heflin "UFO" image using a Photoshop ImageReady animated gif program. He created a digital overlay comparison of the wheel unto the UFO image. It is not claimed that this is the very wheel Heflin had used, but it is highly persuasive that a toy wheel was just what the "UFO" was. The analyst adjusted the brightness and contrast and then applied a film grain filter for matching the two images. He indicates that he did not stretch or shrink the relative proportions of the "UFO" image to the train wheel image. Here are the striking results:

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Blow-Up of Heflin UFO

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Screen Capture of Toy Train Wheel -- Digitally Overlayed with Heflin UFO

And even though the Heflin photos at first seem somewhat impressive- they also seem damn terrestrial. The craft is so "plain" in its features that some had speculated it was not ET at all, but rather a secret Air Force experimental vehicle. But it is frankly not even as "interesting" as such a secret vehicle would appear.

And even less "spectacular" is Heflin's fourth and less-shown photo. It is less-shown probably because it is simply a smoke ring, likely from an air show:

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Heflin's "UFO" Smoke Ring Photo

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Air Show Smoke Ring at Base

Very telling is that Heflin's community of Orange County has been home to such air shows for decades. In fact, an Annual Air Show is performed at the El Toro Marine Base Air Station every year. And El Toro is the very base that is located just one-half mile from where Heflin claimed his UFO sighting! Other nearby air shows are held regularly at Miramar Air Show, the Orange County Air Show and many others throughout Southern California.

In 1993, Heflin, by then a footnote, reinvigorated interest in his case. Heflin claimed that -after more than a quarter century had passed- the original Polaroid prints of his UFO had been mysteriously returned to him! Yes, the very photos that were confiscated by the MIBs from NORAD decades prior had finally given them back. Heflin said that he had received a phone call from an unidentified female caller instructing him to go to his mailbox. She then hung up. Heflin did as they mystery lady to him to do. He found the photos in a manila envelope that had been placed in his mailbox without postage or identifying information. NORAD has consistently stated that they have never identified anyone who was ever sent to Heflin's home. It is rare when I believe that the US government is telling some UFO truth.

It will be recalled that barber Ralph Ditter had hoaxed his famous Zanesville, OH photos in 1966- just a year after Heflin's photos had appeared nationwide. Ditter had used "wheels from a toy" to accomplish his fabrication. It is now apparent that Heflin did too.

Heflin led a lonely and quirky life. For over three decades he traveled thanklessly down the same hot California county highways, inspecting for proper road signage and for potholes. He wanted something more and he got it. Rex Heflin's toy train wheel will forever roll on and on...

THE WILLIAM RHODES 1947 PHOTOS

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On July 7, 1947, William A. Rhodes took two photos of what he believed to be a "flying saucer" outside his home in Phoenix, AZ. The photos were published in a local Phoenix newspaper with an accompanying story. Since then, the photos have been touted as an example of one of the earliest photos of the modern UFO era. But as with all cases, the "source" means everything. We must thoroughly examine the character of those making the claims. And when we apply this to William A. Rhodes, we learn that he was indeed a "character" not to be believed.

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William A. Rhodes, Posing Like a Professor

- Rhodes was a self-taught scientist and self-important man who lied about his education and credentials. He told investigators that he had possessed degrees from the esteemed institutions George Washington University and Columbia University. Later inquiries determined that he was never awarded any such degrees.

- When asked he said that he had the diplomas but could not immediately produce them. Though Rhodes referred to himself in later years as a "problem-solving research physicist" in his papers, there has never been any evidence whatsoever that Rhodes had ever possessed any accredited degree of any type from anywhere ever.

- He had no steady job, but was employed as a piano player some nights a week at a night-club.

- Background checks with neighbors (conducted by OSI on behalf of AMC) indicated that Rhodes was pleasant- but an emotionally high-strung loner and highly egotistical.

- He had business cards printed up that read "Panoramic Research Laboratory" and he listed himself on the card as "Chief of Staff." But when government UFO investigators entered Rhodes' house to discuss his sighting, they realized that "Panoramic Research Laboratory" was in fact just a home-basement lab with very modest "equipment." The lab, they learned, had never conducted any "business" of any type with anyone. It turned out to be a place where Rhodes did "research experiments" to support his private hobby and avocation of acquiring as many US Patents as he could in a number of wide-ranging areas. Rhodes acquired 30 such patents. But on closer examination we find that his patents are in such widely divergent areas that it becomes clear: Rhodes was barely a "jack of all trades" and most certainly he was a "master of none." One might say he was "scattered" in both work and in life.

- The letterhead of his "lab" listed "Photography" as one of his specialties. But the photos taken of the "object" were taken by a cheap Brownie box camera, the negative was carelessly cut and cropped, faultily developed by Rhodes, and covered in streaks due to improper handling and storage. In the same way that Rex Heflin could not access his original Polaroids of the craft, Rhodes told investigators that he "could not find" the negative to the second photo of the heeled object. The result were barely recognizable photos that reproduced poorly with no frame of reference. In fact, in reproducing them, they are often placed traveling in different directions or even upside down! There is obviously a huge disconnect. A "scientist" who had as one of his "specialties" providing photographic services, who then captured a shot of an ET craft would not handle such evidence so cavalierly.

Researcher Tom Carey believes that a likely candidate for this heel-shaped "UFO" was in fact a real heel. The heel of a shoe! The "Cat's Paw" heel and heel repair products were very popular in the late 1940s. One of the products touted a "plug" in the heel for added comfort. It may appear in the Rhodes photo as the "white spot" or "canopy" of the "UFO." Rhodes, as a piano player, probably had well-worn heels:

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WHY THE HOAXES?

Why do people hoax UFO photos? Of course the answer to that is manifold. There are as many reasons for taking such pictures as there are people who take them. But when we eliminate the obviously-made-for-money hoaxes, we find some common denominators:

A desire to please is one. Barber Ralph Ditter wanted to impress his daughter with a promised UFO photo. Amateur photographer and fireman Jim Templeton was proud of his daughter too. If they could spread some wonder by allowing a little magic in a photo, so be it.

A desire to impress is another. William Rhodes was brilliant but non-credentialed. Like Rex Heflin, he was a lonely man. Patents and UFO photos would gain Rhodes the recognition that he felt that he deserved.

A desire to just have some plain-old fun is often at the heart of it. We all know a practical joker. Perhaps you are one. Some enjoy a mischievous trick or joke that is played on others. Its appeals to some persons’ sense of entertainment - and some will go pretty far for the "thrill." Ultimately such "punking" and fakery appeals to those that crave an activity that will divert, amuse or stimulate them on some level that they can't get in other ways. Its also "secret" and remains their secret. In some way this "empowers" them over others in ways that are known only to themselves.

Usually of course the intention is harmless. The intent is not to deceive the public in a grand way. Sometimes it just gets out of hand. Sometimes it just goes too far. Too many people get too involved and the ball keeps rolling and you just can't stop it. So you go with it….until you are stopped by the Truth.

Monday, October 11, 2010

RENOWNED U.S. NAVY COMMANDER REVEALS STUNNING ROSWELL CRASH SECRET by Anthony Bragalia

Copyright 2010, InterAmerica, Inc.

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One of the most acclaimed Naval scientists in U.S. military history has stated unequivocally that the Roswell crash of 1947 was not of a balloon nor was it a hoax. Based on evidence he had seen in an official capacity, the Commander was instead convinced that the crash represents an event with deep implications for all of mankind. Universally acknowledged as the "grandfather" of satellite technology - and a close associate of Dr. Werner von Braun - Commander George W. Hoover has revealed that the truth about Roswell is far stranger that we have ever dared to think.

THE GENIUS COMMANDER

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COMMANDER GEORGE W. HOOVER, SEATED (LEFT) WITH FRED DURANT (ROBERTSON PANEL ON UFOS) AND WERNER von BRAUN (SEATED ACROSS)

Commander George W. Hoover was long associated with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR). He was also a space program pioneer and innovator of numerous avionic and astronautical devices. Hoover was highly awarded for his technical achievements including the Aviation Week Laureate Award, the American Astronautical Society's Space Flight Award, the Legion of Merit and the British Interplanetary Society's Bronze Medal.

Hoover made enormous contributions to atmospheric balloon research leading to Project Skyhook; the X-15 Jet Aircraft (in developing the D-558-1) and to Werner von Braun's Project Orbiter (resulting in the launch of Explorer I, the first American satellite.) When retired from service, Hoover was a leading consultant to organizations including NASA (providing human standards development for Apollo) General Dynamics, McDonnell Douglas and Curtis Wright. Hoover was also instrumental in the development of the first advanced flight instrumentation and of the first flight simulators. A highly decorated pilot as well, he personally logged over 5,000 flight hours in over 100 types of aircraft.

Dr. Werner von Braun said of Hoover in the early 1950s, "Everybody talks about satellites, then nobody does anything. George Hoover's contribution should never be forgotten." Vice Chief of the Navy, Admiral Harry D. Felt said of Hoover that he offered "the driving spirit, organizing genius, imagination and foresight which set in motion the mighty effort toward the first man-made earth satellite, man's first step toward space flight."

HOOVER THE VISIONARY

Hoover was not only a technical genius, but also a scientist with far-ranging interest, including studies in cosmology and philosophy. Hoover also had developed theories on the technical feasibility of lunar and Mars bases with the likes of Harvard astronomer Fred Whipple, Arthur C. Clarke and German scientist Krafft A. Ehricke. Hoover's interest extended to the subject of UFOs.

Developing evidence shows that Hoover may well have been assisting Fred Durant of the early UFO government study group "The Robertson Panel" as well as on other official UFO studies with others.

His private interest in such things though is demonstrated in a strange "side" episode in his career: In 1957, Admiral N. Furth (who helped lead the Office of Naval Research) had received in the mail in a manilla envelope a copy of the book "The Case for the UFO" by astronomer Morris K. Jessup. The copy made its way to Major Darrell L. Ritter of ONR. Ritter presented George Hoover and Captain Sidney Sherby with a copy of the book. The version of the book sent to ONR, however, had handwritten comments on the top, bottom and margins of the pages. Now known to have been the scrawls of a dubious character named Carlos Allende, the annotations were nonetheless "interesting." Though clearly amateur, they did in fact speak coincidentally to some of the very areas of technical and theoretical development that George Hoover himself was then engaged. This included notes by Allende about "magnetic fields" "gravity fields" "cosmic rays" and "cloaking technologies." Because of this, Hoover reviewed the material (in a strictly personal capacity) to see if anything of any value could be culled. Of course there was not, but the strange episode demonstrates that Hoover was one of the Navy's foremost "outside of the box" thinkers. Hoover reported back that Allende's wild ideas of naval ship "invisibility" likely found their impetus in routine ship degaussing exercises made at the time.

THE COMMANDER'S NAMESAKE SON: "WHAT HE TOLD ME ABOUT ROSWELL"

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GEORGE HOOVER JR.

George W. Hoover Jr. is the namesake son of Commander George Hoover. Hoover Jr. is himself highly accomplished. He is Berkeley-educated and degreed in Engineering Physics with an MBA from UCLA and a JD from Loyola Law. Hoover Jr. is today a Partner with one of the most prestigious and successful patent law firms in the nation. Hoover Jr. holds US Patents in technologies as far ranging as Energy Storage and 3-D Mapping. Prior to this, Hoover Jr. was a Senior Manager in Advanced Control Systems for Hughes Aircraft.

In extended email correspondence with a research associate of mine named Aurimas Svitojus, George W. Hoover Jr. recently revealed some remarkable things about his father, Commander George Hoover:

· Hoover was -in an official capacity - made privy to Roswell crash information in the 1950s or earlier

· Hoover related some of this information to Hoover Jr. as early as the 1960s!

· Hoover told his son "on a number of occasions" the he had personally "seen the evidence about the Roswell crash event that convinced him that it was neither a balloon nor a hoax"

· Hoover Sr. either would not, could not or did not wish to elaborate any further on this with his son, even after several conversations

· Hoover Sr. had "both a personal and a professional interest in UFOs"

George Hoover Jr. confirms that his father spoke of the Roswell crash - by name - as early as the 1960s. This is yet another powerful example of people privately speaking of the Roswell crash well before "all of the hoopla" of media attention in beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.

Hoover Jr. also confirms that his father was "professionally" involved in the study of UFOs while at the Navy. He further confirms that his father knew positively - by personal examination of evidence that he deemed conclusive - that the Roswell crash was not resultant from the crash of a balloon and that it was not a hoax. Just what exactly it was though, Hoover Sr. did not seem to want to tell his namesake son.

CIA'S FRED DURANT ON ROSWELL AND HOOVER

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This author reached out to Fred Durant to see if any more information could be obtained on this. Durant is the former Secretary of the CIA's UFO study group "The Roberston Panel" of 1952, resulting in what is sometimes called the "Durant Report." Fred Durant and George Hoover were very close for a very long time, including when both were at the ONR.

Durant is now 94 years old and living in North Carolina. He is still well-spoken and sharp, but very guarded. He was extraordinarily evasive with me in both emails (sent through his assistant, as Durant is now nearly blind) as well as in phone conversation. Durant still speaks like a spook. The former CIA Agent qualified his responses to me several times and prefaced his answers with seemingly well-rehearsed phrases common to those in Intelligence: "I have no reason to believe" and "To my knowledge."

When asked about what Durant felt about the true nature of the Roswell crash, Durant replied, "To my knowledge, all investigations of Roswell were concluded years ago." Later he stated "to my knowledge, the story of the Roswell crash was one of misidentification of a Mogul balloon." Finally on the matter he said, "I do not believe that any evidence of unknown phenomena was obtained."

Durant spoke fondly of Hoover and confirmed to me that he worked with him and had known him well. He also agreed that Durant was trustworthy and he added that Hoover "sold his concepts well" at the Navy. He also lauded Hoover as playing a role in the development of early space flight and satellite technology.

However, when I asked Durant why Hoover would say that Roswell was not a balloon and not a hoax, he replied, "I have no reason to believe the posthumous claim that George Hoover was aware of any factual information about the Roswell incident." When I told Durant that Hoover's own namesake son said differently, Durant wanted to know "where Hoover's papers are kept." He simply did not want to hear what Hoover's own family and others were saying about this, and seemed more concerned about locating any extant professional or personal papers of Hoover's. Durant, even at 94, proves rather clearly that some of these men take the Oath of Intelligence to their graves.

HOOVER REVEALS THE ROSWELL SECRET

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In 1995 George W. Hoover Sr. left his testament for history with an associate of the History Channel. Some of Hoover's hints about Roswell that he had made to his own son were later corroborated in private, off-the-record conversations that Commander Hoover had with researcher William J. Birnes PhD, JD.

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This included a visit by Birnes and others to Hoover's home in Pacific Palisades, CA. Birnes had sought out Hoover for information on a design issue for a technical "cockpit display project" that Birnes was working on at the time. The talk at some point turned to UFOs. In correspondence with this author, Birnes detailed his experience with Hoover to me and indicated that Hoover was lucid, articulate and serious.

Commander George Hoover had finally revealed what he really knew about Roswell. He explained the truth as he had learned it all those decades ago:

· UFOs are not the "biggest secret" - it is the entities behind them that was of most concern

· Roswell was in fact a crash event of "visitors from somewhere else"

· The entities were "not so much interplanetary as much as they were literally also time travelers." They are extra-temporal.

· The visitors are clearly "from the future." There is reason to believe that they may even be "us" from a future Earth.· These "future humans" have the ability to "manipulate reality around us."

· The government feared the intentions and abilities of the "visitors"

· These visitors are able to use the power of consciousness in extraordinary ways to morph reality

· We human beings are far more powerful in potential than we ever dreamed that we are. We don't yet comprehend our extraordinary future capabilities.

· The visitors remain at essence though "corporeal" and "physical" - and secret attempts at reverse-engineering the visitor's crash material were made

· Incredibly, Hoover admitted that he himself was engaged in such technology transfer as a Naval Intelligence Officer with Top Secret clearances

Hoover appears to have been fairly sparse in his comments to Birnes (just as Hoover was with his namesake son) but his insight still speaks volumes. We learn that the truth about UFOs is held in secret. Roswell really happened. The visitors manipulate time and matter, perhaps as future humans. The role that can be played by fields of consciousness upon technology -and upon reality itself- is difficult to comprehend. And there have been efforts at replication of the crash debris by the U.S. Navy. When Birnes' interview of Hoover was related to his son Hoover Jr., the son replied that he was unaware that his father had said this, but neither did he discount it.

Readers will know of this author's previous work linking Battelle Memorial Institute with the US Navy and the development of "shape-recovery" alloys inspired by the Roswell debris. Readers will also remember that this author reported on the US Navy's bizarre Mind-Over-Matter experiments on the "memory metal" Nitinol conducted by Nitinol's co-inventor, Dr. Frederick Wang of the Office of Naval Research (ONR.)

The connection is rather astounding and it now comes full circle:

ONR's Commander George Hoover confirmed that the US Navy was engaged in the reverse-engineering and technology transfer of the Roswell material. He also said that the "mind" matters. Battelle's metallurgist (and secret government UFO researcher) Dr. Howard Cross worked closely with the US Navy, including in providing valuable information on Titanium and Titanium-Nickel alloys (the basis for memory metal.)

ONR's Fred Wang was inspired by Battelle's earlier work to create the Roswell-like morphing metal called Nitinol. Wang was also confirmed to have been involved in Mind-Over-Matter experiments to morph Nitinol with psychic influence. (See Roswell -Battelle article series archived on this site.)

HOOVER'S MESSAGE TO MANKIND

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Hoover died at age 83 in 1998. In his decades of service to our country, the Commander helped to provide to mankind the vision to go beyond our planet Earth. He aimed to take us high and far to the stars. This is because Hoover knew that we can be so much more. We have the potential to be at once an Interstellar and a Hyper-Dimensional race. We will one day manipulate and morph the very fabric of space-time and matter itself. We too will traverse the vast cosmos in an instant. When that day comes, the Navy Man tells us, we will no longer fear the Alien. We will realize that we are the Alien.