UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Is this a faked UFO photo?

This photo appeared as part of the January 11th, 1966 Wanaque Reservoir, New Jersey UFO sighting.

Anthony Bragalia has been researching the sighting and his initial story appeared at The Bragalia Files, and may be read by clicking HERE

Mr. Bragalia insists the photo is of an authentic UFO. I think the photo is of a faked flying saucer/UFO, similar to others offered in the time-frame:


Mr. Bragalia's view stems from the "fact" that the photo was allegedly taken by local cops.

Is there a photographer in our midst who can determine (analyze) this photo, as we have it -- Mr. Bragalia is trying to obtain the original (photo or negative) -- and tell us if it is bogus or real?



  • It does look retouched, as in back in the day, prior to Photoshop, especially the twin beams that are cut off neatly at the bottom as if with a scissors offering no reflective effect or gradual dissipation. The blurred image of "a craft" sharply contrasts with the lack of distortion in the twin beams. I am no photo expert. However I have seen enough vintage retouched photos to make this one fall on the suspicious side.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • Bruce:

    I am in agreement with you.

    (Tony Bragalia may dissent, but he tends toward the "faith.")


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • The beam/s in the Wanaque image look identical to the post-edited version of the LA image.


    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • An astute observation Kandinsky.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • If you can get original data I can certainly go over it.

    By Blogger JR, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • Jeff:

    How about taking a stab at the computer image?

    Tony is struggling to get his hands on the original(s).

    Note that the reproduced photo here is a cropped photo.

    The whole photograph has been cut on either side it seems. Why?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • But-but-COPS took this picture!! Somebody said so. And people who tell us what cops do don't lie. As cops don't lie. "I find your lack of faith disturbing" [Tchshhhh Eeeeer--that's my DV sound]

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • For your information, there are at least two other photos allegedly taken at the Wanaque Reservoir with exactly the same strange beams of light. In addition, there are two additional photos of the "craft" with no light beams. The last four photos, reproduced in True Magazine (did they have the negatives?)also appear in UFO Photographs, Vol.1, 1986, edited by August Roberts, who claimed to have obtained the photos from a police officer.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • Dominick:

    Would you happen to know the date or issue of True in which the photos appeared?

    Or the year?

    (We have most of the True publications.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 01, 2011  

  • RR-
    Nope. No good data can come from examining a (likely multiple) compressed file, that's been passed around on the net. It's simply not any sort of data anyone can make a conclusive statement about. I would need at the very least a print from the original, or print from the original negative.

    I have to have linage in hand to know what I'm looking at. Otherwise it's worthless.

    By Blogger JR, at Tuesday, August 02, 2011  

  • Dammit Jeff...

    That's a helluva professional stance.

    (We're not used to such.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 02, 2011  

  • Don't know the date of the True Magazine issue but there is an extensive 3-part article on the Wanaque incident (names, dates, interviews with police officers, etc.) by Lloyd Mallan that MUST be read to appreciate the depth of this UFO case. My guess is that this article IS the True Magazine piece but I can't be sure. (Mallan wrote for True and Mechanics Illustrated, among others). Here is the link: http://www.andras-nagy.com/ufo02/05.htm

    By Blogger Dominick, at Tuesday, August 02, 2011  

  • Thanks, Dominick, for the link.

    Anthony Bragalia writes me that the pictures appeared in UFO Report magazine in 1967.

    I plan to add them here (for perusal) in an upcoming posting.

    Wanaque is an intriguing, not-well-known episode -- whether it is essentially a hoax or faked sighting (for some obtuse reason) or an authentic sighting.

    Either way, it has been ignored pretty much by UFO mavens.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 02, 2011  

  • Kadinsky-

    Thanks for this. I see your point…though I do not believe that this photo was retouched.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Hi Anthony,

    How can you say that you "do not believe that this photo was retouched"? Do you have any evidence.

    To all appearances, the photo is not just retouched. It is crudely retouched by an amateur.

    Frankly speaking, it's laughable.



    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Lance, until we know who took the pictures (there are at least 5)and whether there are any negatives or not, we simply cannot make a reasoned judgment that they are fake or real. To say that they look retouched or fake is really meaningless if the phenomenon described is as weird as many of the observers describe. Read the Mallan article that I reference above; clearly something very weird took place over that resevoir, and the photos match in a general way what some people observed. Still, it would be nice to have the orginal prints and negatives and be able to do some serious analysis. UFO cases, even the good ones, always seem to fall somewhat short of any real certainty.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Thanks Dominick for mentioning Mallan, the amateur astronomer. I did read his piece before writing the article. Note that when interviewing Chief John Cassazza of Wanaque Police said to Mallan:

    “ It was like a funnel. In other words it spread out as if it were focused…sort of like an upside down funnel.”

    I have reason to believe that the photo/s were taken by Sgt Ben Thompson and/or a cop from nearby Ringwood NJ…

    August Roberts, who provided the photos for publication, did not hoax them. Though Auggie was not very discerning, he did not hoax. James Moseley, who knew Roberts well, is convinced that if the photos were faked - Roberts did not do it. And I doubt the cops did…

    And yes these photos deserve professional analysis. I am following up leads to obtain the originals..


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • AJB-
    Just as a side note here, if you get access to the original data, it'll be interesting to break down the LAB and RGB modes to see what's in the individual channels.

    However, even with today's technology, do keep in mind that what is going to be visible is only as much as the original medium captured. And, 1966 film is, what it is - and may not have gotten enough "information" just due to it's makeup.

    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • I certainly think that looking at a photo that appears fake, and considering it to be a fake without further evidence is the proper response.

    Here we additionally have a lack of the negative and no clear provenance.

    Tony, simply saying without support that someone wouldn't do something has been the folly of UFO "research" since the beginning. You disconnect yourself from scientific (or even rational) methodology when you take that step.

    And you keep the field right where it has always been.


    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Lance-

    You were so nice to me when I emailed you a couple of days ago about the memory metal and Otis T. Carr. Your reply (if you are the Lance I think you are) was courtesy and professional. Today you say I “disconnect” and “keep the field right where it has always been.” Which is the real Lance? Or do you run “hot and cold”?

    This is unfair and unkind. You know that I am thorough and that I go the extra step that many researchers do not. I have done original research- where others regurgitate.

    Tell me how many other people have tried to contact every living witness to Wanaque?

    And your reply is unscientific: “It appears fake, therefore it is.” You reveal something about yourself- it’s called “knee jerk response.”

    JR and Dominick are correct- and you are woefully wrong: The picture/s deserve scientific analysis.

    I am the only one that I am aware of that is trying to track down the actual photographers and/or their surviving families. The originals do exist…I will find them…and I will pay the associated costs to have them analyzed.

    Both you and RR are being a bit harsh on me on this- I do not believe or “know” the photo to be real- I believe I need help on this because I have reason to believe that they could be real- may be real – get it?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Anthony, Jeff, CDA, Lance, Dominick, et al....

    See my updated post (above).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • Hi Tony,

    I said "when you take that step" encouraging you the see the folly of accepting something without evidence.

    I wasn't saying it to be mean, it is just a fact.

    I didn't say it looks like a fake it must be a fake. I certainly didn't mean that. What I meant was that it looks like a crude fake and there is no reason to suppose that it might be of earth-shattering importance. especially here in a field that is replete with fakers and hoaxes.

    The fact that you don't have the negatives and apparently don't even have the provenance clinches the deal that this is nothing without further evidence.

    This should be self-evident and it isn't personal.



    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, August 03, 2011  

  • But, Lance, it's simply NOT true that there is "no reason to believe that it (the photo)might be of earth shattering importance." There is at least ONE reason why it might be of such importance: It matches in a very specific (and unusual) way the description of some of the observers. I am well aware that UFo photos can be (and have been) faked but I am not aware of fake photos that come AFTER a reported multiple sighting that then match up with some of the unusual characteristics of that sighting. It's not impossible, of course, but I just don't recall any examples in the literature.

    Even if we had the original prints and even if we did some solid 2011 photo analysis, I'm not sure that everyone would be satisfied with the results. The Rex Heflin photos are still debated even though a. there is no evidence that the photos were faked and b. that the Journal of Scientific Exploration photo-analysis(Vol. 14, No.4, 2000) found black particulate matter trailing the UFO in one photo that appeared to match the smoke ring debris in another photo. (See my op/ed on this classic photo case in the Orange County Register, November 8, 2009.) But rather than provide a reasonable explanation of a hoax or a reasonable criticism of the photo-analysis, we still have UFO skeptics asserting that the Heflin photos are a fake...because, apparentlhy, they look like a fake!

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, August 04, 2011  

  • Dominick:

    I would love to see your insights appended to the newer post about this, above.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 04, 2011  

  • " I am not aware of fake photos that come AFTER a reported multiple sighting that then match up with some of the unusual characteristics of that sighting."


    Your comments seem particularly ill-timed as there has just been the revelation of a very famous photo of the supposed Belgian triangle as a hoax. Here we had "experts" solemnly proclaiming the authenticity of the photo and how it matched the witness reports.

    These photos are MUCH cruder than the Helflin photos. To someone like me who fakes images for a living these photos are laughable.

    By the way there are many other reasons to suppose the Heflin photos are fakes.


    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, August 04, 2011  

  • This site tells where the Wanaque UFO photos came from, allegedly:

    http://www.ignaciodarnaude.com/avistamientos_ovnis/Schwarz,UFOs%20and%20L ight%20Beams,FSR72V18N4.pdf


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 04, 2011  

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