UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 1966 Wanaque UFO sightings [Revisited, one more time]

w21-1a.jpg

I stumbled upon an article (Seeing is Prickles...) by Joseph Goodavage in the magazine above (from 1967).

He wrote about his first-hand, on-site experience(s) at the New Jersey Wanaque Reservoir during a spate of UFO sightings there in 1966; sightings which have fallen through the ufological cracks, but evaluated by Anthony Bragalia, for us, recently, yet left unresolved, pretty much.

This is the police officer who escorted Mr. Goodavage to various areas where sightings were occurring, and there were, apparently, many sightings over several days in early 1966 and later in the year (October):

w21-2.jpg

While Anthony Bragalia is enthused by the (faked?) Wanaque photo showing a beam of light from the UFO to the ground, a fellow photographer of Goodavage provided this photo of one of the objects, no beam of light, obviously, and Goodavage writes:

w21-1.jpg

“…there was no beam of light [his italics] descending from the pulsating red disc (or discs) I observed at Wanaque Reservoir.” [Page 12]

But the 2 inch thick ice was melted at the spots where “discs” hovered over the reservoir:

w21-3.jpg

Mr. Goodavage also provides information on a Volkswagen and other cars that were stalled or incapacitated by the UFOs:

w21-4.jpg

NICAP’s Don Berliner was there when the cars were affected, and noted that no occupants were found in the Volkswagen.

Something mentioned by Goodavage also caught my eye and interest, which I’ve mentioned to Nick Redfern (for his studies of U.S. agencies involved in UFO phenomenon)....

Goodavage was intrigued by the possibility that the Wanaque UFOs may have been using teleportation (because of their behavior) and contacted a UFO afficianado [sic], Gordon Evans of the American Management Association, who told Goodavage that he (Evans) knew Allen Dulles, ex-head of the CIA, and that Dulles told him he had set up a CIA investigating unit for UFOs. [Page 10]

There are clues to a CIA unit doing just that in Ellen Schrecker’s book, Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America [Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1998]

Like a few earlier flying saucer events and sightings, the Wanaque sightings of 1966 have been ignored by UFO hobbyists, to the detriment of “ufology.”

We’ll try to bring more to the table about this raft of sightings, which also involve Nick Redfern’s Men in Black, and hoaxing: the Wanaque photo that Mr. Bragalia likes so much:

beam17.jpg

RR

51 Comments:

  • This is an outstanding find!

    The things that are learned in this old article are stunning:

    1) There is a photo of melted ice where the Wanaque UFO appeared

    2) Cars stalled in the vicinity of the UFO

    3) Dulles established a CIA unit to study UFOs (something I will follow up on)

    Though Goodavage himself did not observe a "beam" - many did. This is because the event/s took place over hours and days. Depending on when and where you were - the object appeared differently and did different things.

    I am now able to reveal the name of the individual who took the Wanaque photo series:

    Sgt. Ben Thompson of the Wanaque Police Office. He is deceased, but I have spoken with those who knew him well. And Thompson was very close to Officer Cisco, pictured in Dell UFO Reports article.

    Incidentally, note that the cover photo of the UFO above a house in the Dell magazine is of the famous Ohio Barber "flying saucer." As told in my article "UFOs That Never Were: Classic Photos Now Exposed as Fakes" some years later barber Ralph Ditter confessed he hoaxed his UFO photos to appease his daughter who had wondered about such things.

    Anthony Bragalia

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • I will say that the (apparent) starfield photo is almost certainly not what was claimed.

    Taking photos of stars (such as this) is not something that the average photographer can do. It takes specialized techniques and equipment. Stars don't register on film for the most part except in timed exposures and because they are moving, the camera must be mechanically moved as well.

    Also, this is so stylized and perfect that I would be willing to bet that it is a artist's rendering, perhaps from a motion picture and NOT a real snapshot of any UFO.

    So I call BS.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance:

    The Editor's blurb under the photo is:

    "Author who saw but failed to film the 'thing' at Wanaque was given this photo by a cameraman who had better luck." [Page 6]

    The cameraman was, as far as I can tell from the article, with the Patterson "Evening News."

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Guaranteed fake.

    Anyone who knows anything about photography will tell you this.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance:

    Sometimes you are a bit dogmatic.

    How is that photo a fake?

    I've been a photographer, personal and for newspapers, all my life, and I don't see how you make your blanket statement.

    What tells you that photo is faked?

    Star photos can be taken, just as the photo here shows.

    Another porfessional photographer, Dean Orewiler, who worked with me for some Indiana newspapers (News-Sentinel and Indianapolis Star) tells me that the photo is NOT out of the ordinary, for a skilled photographer.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Andromeda galaxy perhaps?

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Rich,

    I try not to be dogmatic but in this case I can categorically say that this is BS.

    Have Dean show you some of his star field photos or you post some of your own. Without special equipment, he is full of crap.

    You MUST have the camera mounted on servo controlled platform in order to make such a shot. This was presented as a an attempted shot of a UFO, a snapshot. These kinds of shots are not impromptu.

    "From Wikipedia:

    With only a few exceptions, almost all astronomical photography employs long exposures since both film and digital imaging devices can accumulate and sum light photons over long periods of time. The amount of light hitting the film or detector is also increased by increasing the diameter of the primary optics (the objective) being used. Urban areas produce light pollution so equipment and observatories doing astronomical imaging have to be located in remote locations to allow long exposures without the film or detectors being swamped with stray light.

    Since the Earth is constantly rotating, telescopes and equipment have to be rotated in the opposite direction to follow the apparent motion of the stars overhead (called diurnal motion). This is accomplished by using either equatorial or computer controlled altazimuth telescope mounts to keep celestial objects centered while the earth rotates. All telescope mount systems suffer from induced tracking error due to imperfect motor drives and mechanical sag of the telescope. Tracking errors are corrected by keeping a selected aiming point, usually a bright guide star, centered during the entire exposure. Sometimes (as in the case of comets) the object to be imaged is moving, so the telescope has to be kept constantly centered on that object. This guiding is done through a second co-mounted telescope called a "guide scope" or via some type of "off-axis guider", a device with a prism or optical beam splitter that allows the observer to view the same image in the telescope that is taking the picture. Guiding used to be done manually throughout the exposure with an observer standing at (or riding inside) the telescope making corrections to keep a cross hair on the guide star. Since the advent of computer controlled systems this is accomplished by an automated systems in professional and even amateur equipment."

    Now there is the possibility that the photo came from an astrophotgrapher and was unrelated to the UFO. Perhaps the caption was tongue in cheek?

    But this as an attempted UFO photo is total BS.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance:

    I've asked Dean for a clarification of your views and mine.

    I once took a few second time-exposures of the full moon, and the negatives developed a hole where the moon should have been.

    I still have the negatives.

    A good camera, a journalists camera, could take the shot in question.

    I'm asking some local newsies for help with this...

    Stand by.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • "A good camera, a journalists camera, could take the shot in question."

    Respectfully, Rich. No they can't.

    I own one of the most expensive cameras and some of the most expensive (large aperture) lenses available and I can't get anything like this.

    Not unless the exposure is quite long (talking hours here) AND the camera is rotated to follow the motion of the stars.

    I will bet you a milkshake that your moon photos show NO stars at all.

    This is a full star field which is quite different. Stars just don't show up on film without extraordinary effort.
    That's why the moon astronaut's photos (with extraordinary cameras) show no stars. That's why any starry sky you see in a motion picture or TV show is fake.

    This is something well known among photographers and I am puzzled that your friend would say differently. I'll bet another milkshake that he has never taken such a photo.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • You're right about my moonshots Lance.

    Just a hole, an actual round, blank hole where the moon should have been, no stars.

    But a wide aperture, very fast film and fast shutter speed could get that shot.

    I enjoy milkshakes but hate having to buy them.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Rich: "But a wide aperture, very fast film and fast shutter speed could get that shot."

    What about the light pollution from the object?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Gosh Rich,

    I don't know any other way to say it but you are simply and horribly wrong about this.

    Perhaps someone else who knows about such things (Tim Printy is an astro-photographer) can set you straight since I am failing to convince.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance and Don:

    I have queries out to Dean and some newspaper photogs about the photo.

    Lance, you don't need to convince me.

    You might be right, probably are right.

    But there are ways to get such a shot, without astrophotographic equipment is what I'm saying.

    If the professionals back you up, I'll buy you a DQ blizzard.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Rich: "But there are ways to get such a shot, without astrophotographic equipment is what I'm saying."

    It is possible to get a starfield photo without astrophotographic equipment. That is true. What I doubt is this particular image could be gotten that way.

    If it was, I'd like to know how and with what.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Chapter 10 of Dr. Henry Paul's book, Binoculars and All Purpose Telescopes, Revised by Greg Stone [Amphoto, NY, 1980, Pages 90 ff.] instructs photographers how to get moon and night shots with fast films, and camera techniques including imaginative use of focal lengths, and adapters for 35 mm cameras.

    (There is an enlightening series of Moon shots which I can't add to comments, but will try to use in a comeuppance for Lance's doctrinaire opinion.)

    A camara "man" worth his salt, who was out to spot UFOs, would assuredly be ready to exploit every device and technique at his or her disposal I would think.

    Goodavage, who wrote the article, and approved the final draft, was a skeptic, like Lance, and I would guess he would have challenged the photo if he thought it was fake.

    Goodavage was a photographer, himself.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • "how to get moon and night shots with fast films, and camera techniques including imaginative use of focal lengths, and adapters for 35 mm cameras"

    Moon and night shots, you say! That's sort of like a star field except totally different.

    Maybe any of the folks who say they can do this, would just post one of their shots? Just one?

    Or feel free to tell me the technique and I will try myself.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • I'll be out tonight Lance, snapping stars and UFOs, if any.

    With my Pentax ME Super and Fuji cameras, if the clouds dissipate.

    So stay tuned...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Of course, you have all seen what Lance has effectively done; what he does at Kevin Randle's blog all the time...

    That is, find a quirky detail, take off on it, and leave the essential ingredients simmer away.

    Rather than go on and on about a snapshot that is or isn't fake, why isn't Lance or Don or others obsessed with the sightings themselves or what Goodavage provides about the CIA, or why the ice was allegedly melted beneath where strange lights were seen?

    And what about those visits by "men in black"?

    Is the photo, fake or not, really what the story is all about?

    I, like those who frequent Randle's blog, have been sidetracked by a sidebar that has, essentially, nothing to do with the Wanaque UFO sightings of 1966.

    It's arguing just to argue.

    We've now become a blog about photography, at night, of stars.

    My gawd, what asses we are...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Hi Rich,

    There is some truth to what you say but skeptics face the reverse of this all the time. As soon as one point is demolished, the believer will immediately skip to another unrelated point. So I am very likely to stick to one thing, especially when I have expertise in the subject.

    And yes, a fake photo presented in a story that purports to be about photos of UFO evidence is relevant, I think.

    I found a site that explains how to take star field photos for beginners but those dumbasses also think you need special equipment to take the kind of photo we are talking about:

    http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Photograph_the_Stars

    Maybe Don can explain the technique?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • I'm just having fun with you Lance.

    I enjoyed going through my photography books this afternoon, looking to demolish your view.

    Don purports to be a photographer too so, sure, he should know how to take star photos with a regular camera.

    If Ritzmann wasn't mad at me, he could help, but I'm afraid to approach him.

    No answer yet from Dean or Ellie Bogue, a newspaper photog here who is a real pro.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Never done star photography.

    The limitation on photographing a starfield with a "regular camera" would be the apparent motion of the subject, because a regular kit will not have the means to sync camera and subject.Therefore, one has to know how long an exposure is possible before motion blur (trails) would be evident in the intended output.

    Say, a 30 second exposure is possible. How much light can you get in the film in 30 seconds? Depends on film sensitivity and aperture.

    Is it enough? I don't know. Certainly not for forensic purposes.

    Maybe shooting in a crystal clear desert sky directly overhead into the Milky Way.

    I've never done it, so really don't know. But it is nothing more than getting enough light into the film.

    Regards

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • It's just a matter of f-stop, film speed, and a few other accoutrements.

    It can be done, despite Lance's pessimism.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Hi guys,

    Looking forward to seeing your photos if you get any.

    Don, 30 seconds is generally considered the max before astronomical/earth motion ruins the shot. The photo here in question looks to be about a five hour exposure, if it is really even a real photo. Without the tracking mechanism, you can't get this kind of shot...maybe take a look on the web and see if you can find even one? You will find lots of star trail photos because that is the result without tracking.

    As I mentioned before, this may very well be a still from a movie or artiist's representation...

    I have now pointed out several references that align with what I have told you. Your response has been "Oh yes I can! "

    Believe me, I am more than happy to admit when I am wrong... Hopefully you guys will put up or shut up?

    And I say that with a lot of love.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Hopefully Rich isn't too mad at me to indulge one more comment on this subject?


    It's just a matter of f-stop, film speed, and a few other accoutrements.

    Yes, as long as the other accoutrements include a astro photography rig.

    After all going to the moon is just a matter having the desire and a few other accouterments...you know, like Saturn V rocket!

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance's link to astrophotography for beginners is about inexpensive ways to take photos of the night sky to amaze your family and friends. Later, if you want, move on to better and more expensive astrophotography.

    But, that's not the subject here, which is taking an acceptable photo of a starfield by someone who is not engaging in the hobby of astrophotography.

    So, the link article has, for example: "But if you want to photograph the moon or planets, you'll need to mount your camera to a telescope."

    No, you don't need to. I've got acceptable photos of the moon from 2006 shot with an 8mp p&s, according to the exif at f/8, 1/125, iso 80 (noisy sensor), fl 380 (35mm equiv), and a tripod. As you can see, I didn't even try. If I tried, just with the unique collection of old cameras I prefer, I think I'd get a good sharp 11x14 without a telescope.

    But the half-moon is a lot more light than a starfield. Whether the photo referred to here could be taken casually, as was my moon photo, I don't know.

    And I agree this is a needless tangent re Wanaque.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Here's my note to Ellie Bogue, the main photographer for the afternoon paper in Fort Wayne, The News-Sentinel (my old paper):

    Ellie:

    Could this photo have been taken with a regular journalists camera (circa 1966)?

    A fellow comments at one of my UFO blogs that the photo is BS, faked.

    I said such a photo could be taken with fast film, wide aperture, and
    even fast shutter speed.

    What would be your expert take?

    Thanks.

    Rich Reynolds
    Fort Wayne MediaWatch
    -----
    Her response:

    Rich,

    It was very possible for someone to take a photo like that at that time.

    Ellie
    ------
    From: "Ellie Bogue"
    To:
    Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 20:54:11 -0400
    Subject: RE: Photo
    Message-ID: <8F9DF374023D7047BB6E320C1B5668AE02B2FB@webmail.fortwayne.com>
    References: <20110921.134508.5476.4.rrrgroup@juno.com>
    Received: from mx15.vgs.untd.com (mx15.vgs.untd.com [10.181.44.45])

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance: "I have now pointed out several references that align with what I have told you. Your response has been "Oh yes I can! ""

    No. I've doubted whether the photo in question could have been taken casually.

    http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/QUICK.HTM

    You will see photos with stars, not 'astrophotography', which I consider a ploy in this discussion.

    It is easy to take photos of stars with just plain old photo kit. No, it is not "Astrophotography", the profession or hobby, but that is not the issue.

    What the image in question is will not be determined from a 320px wide jpg. But it appears to me -- to say it again -- an unlikely casual shot.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Okay, my UFO bozo friends,

    The picture produced was possible as shown, and not faked.

    No special equipment was needed but would have helped probably.

    A "cameraman" -- a professional photog -- would have been prepared to take such a shot, if he or she was in the field anticipating a possible UFO sighting.

    Lance is wrong about this.

    Ms. Bogue is a fairly renown photographer/journalist in these parts and she doesn't agree with assy opinions just to agree.

    She's a reporter, and a good one; been around for a while, with awards and encomiums from professional groups.

    I accept her view over that of Lance, Don, or anyone else who might chime in.

    My gut feeling was that a photo like that shown could be taken, and I'm less of a neophyte than either Don or Lance I think.

    I've been at photography since 1948when I got my first darkroom outfit from Johnson & Smith. I still have most of it, including some packets of unused chemicals.

    (I don't throw away anything.)

    Lance's comment was cavalier and side-tracking.

    Moreover, it doesn't pertain to the point of my posting.

    Let's move on...

    I'll collect my milkshake sooner than later.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • OMG. This is hilarious.

    Don speaks of taking photos of the moon again! The full moon is about 2.5 to the 11th power brighter than the brightest star. A smaller moon is still thousands of times brighter!

    I spoke with Tim Printy (an actual astrophotograher).

    He says this is definitely a photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. He took a beautiful photo that is almost exactly the same as the one depicted here using the kind of rig I described.

    He comfirms what I told you about needing a tracking platform to take such a photo. But I look forward to seeing anything you manage to take without one--perhaps you and Don can start a new branch of photography?

    He suggests showing the photo to anyone who actually does this kind of thing (like a photo forum) to see if I am lying about this.

    I'll ask him if I can post the photo he took and maybe your friend can send along one of her snapshot high shutter speed versions? It is easy to say, "
    yeah, I could do that." It's harder to deliver the goods.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance:

    Why don't I set up a photography blog and we photography hobbyists can debate picture-taking there?

    The photo is not the gist of my Wanaque post.

    It's become an albatross.

    It's become a distraction, a someone interesting distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

    I'd like to get into the photography angle more, as some of the older photos could use a real clarification, as if we dopes can provide any....

    I'm starting to think Maccabee isn't such a rube after all.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Just so we aren't talking past each other, I wanted be sure that I wasn't misunderstanding you guys and that you weren't misunderstanding me.

    1. This photo is presented as being an impromptu attempt to take a photo of a departing UFO.

    2. I am saying that this is a long exposure (at least several minutes--I was probably wrong about the multiple hours --Tims photo was 3 minutes).

    3. I am saying this would require a tracking setup. These pinpoint stars get blurry unless there is tracking.

    4. I am not saying that you cannot photograph stars with shorter exposures. You can. But you can't photograph a star field and galaxy like we see here that way.

    5. You are saying that a guy tried to take a photo of a departing UFO and ended up with a near perfect photo of the Andromeda galaxy instead??? Does that make sense? Virtually every UFO photo in existence is a blurry mess but this guy takes a text book worthy galaxy photo?

    Do I have the above, right as to what we arguing about?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Don't take the only fun in my life, Rich!

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, September 21, 2011  

  • Lance:

    All we have is that Editor's blurb for the photo, which you thought might be jokey.

    The blurb merely implies that a cameraman lucked-out and got a shot of a Wanaque UFO, whereas Goodavage, who went there to get one, didn't.

    An inside joke?

    If I thought that photo would bring about the crazy back-and-forth it has, I would have expurgated it, or not have placed it online at all.

    (I did it mostly to contrast it with Anthony Bragalia's favorite Wanaque UFO picture, which I really believe to be a fake. Had we spent as much time on that one as on the "galaxy" shot then our debate would have been somewhat productive, rather than the meatballs we have above.)

    Lance, you've created a "myth" out of the blurb, with your five points, which have nothing to do with the blurb's succinct reality.

    But you do that all the time.

    No wonder you like Phil Klass so much.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • No, Lance. You proved yourself wrong. You were the one claiming the photo was a fake, thinking it an artist rendering of a UFO or a still from a movie. But CDA identified it as a photo of Andromeda and you say Printy confirms it.

    What I wrote was "It is possible to get a starfield photo without astrophotographic equipment. That is true. What I doubt is this particular image could be gotten that way."

    So, I was right and you were wrong.

    But congratulations for discovering the proper method for proving the photo -- that it couldn't have been shot at the time and place claimed.

    Rich: "No wonder you [Lance] like Phil Klass so much"

    "Fort's principle goes something like this: People with a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels."

    -- Anton Wilson

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Andromeda galaxy?

    Honestly, I was merely making a joke of it (although it did resemble it vaguely). It only came into my head as a piece of fun.

    If Tim Printy confirms this then I am astounded. Has any other alleged photo of a UFO ever appeared against a full background of stars like this?

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Christopher:

    I took it as a joke, but our friend, Lance, ran with it, as a real observation and he thinks he's hit paydirt.

    Printy has accomodated Lance but they're both wrong.

    The Andromeda Galaxy doesn't lie in a field of empty space surrounded by stars.

    Google the Hubble photos of Andromeda to see what I mean.

    The conclusion of Printy and Lance is as foolish as that of a few UFO idealogues.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • I can't believe that your research is so sloppy. All you have to do is google the andromeda galaxy and look at the star fields. I am trying to understand how you can think this is not the andromeda galaxy. The companions are even visible. Next time contact an amateur astronomer before you declare it is not the Andromeda galaxy.

    Lance can put up my image but just look at this wide field image somebody else posted:

    http://www.lesbeninger.com/astronomy_images/m31jyb20080710.jpg

    Compare that image to the image in question.

    Additionally, using a tripod setup and 50mm lens, Andromeda does not come out very well. See this image I took of a comet with it using such a set up. Andromeda is a smudge on the left center:

    http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/Astronomy/F442850.jpg

    By Blogger Tim Printy, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Thanks, Tim...

    The photos are similar but...

    You're saying that the magazine editors, Goodavage being complicit, used a stock photo of Andromeda to create the illusion that a cameraman took a photo of a Wanaque UFO?

    Shocking!

    There are, as you know, a plethora of UFO photos that look like galactic structures.

    Your Andromeda pic resonates but doesn't quite duplicate the alleged Wanaque shot.

    Somehow the Wanaque photo lost the galactic fringe, which is prominent in your photo.

    Is that because your Andromeda photo was taken with a better telescope and camera?

    Note the prominent two stars beneath the galactic image, on the right side of it...

    They appear in both photos, but Andromeda has flipped up in your photo and flipped down in the Wanaque "fake" but those two stars remain in place.

    How is that possible?

    Your point is well-taken nevertheless.

    And I can, for one, accept your view and Lance's, but it is irrelevant to the point of the posting, a sidebar as I keep interating here.

    By the way, a photo of Andromeda whould have other galaxies in the frame, beside Andromeda and behind it.

    Andromeda is not as isolated an island as either photo shows.

    We'll do more on this at a new blog we've set up -- UFOPHOTO at http://ufophoto.blogspot.com (which is empty at the moment).

    Again, thanks, Tim, for taking the time to provide your correctives about some of the comments here.

    You have cachet with us, so we don't take your views lightly.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    When I called the image a fake, I meant that it wasn't what it was claimed to be (which is exactly what said in my VERY FIRST message).

    For instance, I might say that Billy Meier's infamous photo of his space girlfriend (actually taken from the Dean Martin show) is a fake.

    Would your pedantic response be that no, the photo is not a fake, people can take photos of other people, etc. etc.?

    So now it seems that everyone agrees (except perhaps you) that my very 1st post was correct.

    I reiterate (and provide support) that a starfield photo like the one seen here of a galaxy cannot be produced without special equipment--namely a means of tracking the camera. You simply STATE (without any support) that this is not so. In the UFO world this is usually enough since the standards are so low.

    And please, Guys, don't take this as an angry response, I am treating this all in good fun but it is amusing how entrenched you and Rich were at first, even as the evidence piled up.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Entrenched?

    Lance, I'm never entrenched about anything, a totally objective, open-minded person am I.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Me too, naturally :)

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • "You're saying that the magazine editors, Goodavage being complicit, used a stock photo of Andromeda to create the illusion that a cameraman took a photo of a Wanaque UFO?"

    I am saying that somebody used a picture of M31. Either the editors or somebody took a picture of an astronomy book image.

    "Your Andromeda pic resonates but doesn't quite duplicate the alleged Wanaque shot."

    The link I posted was not my pic (Sorry if I gave the impression if it was mine). The photographer is Jean-Yves Beninger. I just picked one somebody had posted on the web because I don't have a wide angle telephoto image of the galaxy on my site. THe images I do have are too narrow to include the rest of the starfield (like this one: http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/Astronomy/M31081509.jpg - I really do have to get my messier catalogue web page done, which would have all those images on it!)

    "Somehow the Wanaque photo lost the galactic fringe, which is prominent in your photo."

    I thought you knew something about photography. That is because it was underexposed and lost in the reproduction (this is probably a scan from an image in a magazine of some kind). The fainter and object is, the longer the film needs to be exposed. Stars are pinpoints of light, which makes them easier to record. However, galaxies are what is called an extended object. It requires longer exposure time. As exposure time increases, the fainter parts of the nebula/galaxy get recorded. The faint edges of galaxies are not easily recorded especially with single exposures on film (which was the way it used to be done - hours at the guiding eyepiece only to find out you did not get the focus exactly right - ugh!). Beninger probably used multiple exposures and a lot of photoshop to enhance the fringes.

    "They appear in both photos, but Andromeda has flipped up in your photo and flipped down in the Wanaque fake" but those two stars remain in place."

    Actually, the image by Beninger is only rotated about 45 degrees CCW. The stars are rotated the same amount and line up very well if you look at it correctly. Use photoshop or some other program and rotate the Beringer image 45 degrees clockwise and you will see what I am talking about. Maybe I will create an image for you showing this evening with my telephoto shot I have on my home computer (the one I sent to Lance).

    "By the way, a photo of Andromeda whould have other galaxies in the frame, beside Andromeda and behind it."

    Goodness, Do I need to conduct a course in astronomy here. Look at the image by Beninger. There are two companion galaxies in the image (one is elliptical and looks like a large star). The image you are presenting also has the same two companion galaxies (the fainter one being top center and just to the right and the elliptical being the large star like object to the lower right of M31's nucleus). There are no others that can be recorded in the field of view presented.

    "Andromeda is not as isolated an island as either photo shows."

    Again, I wish you would consult some astronomy texts before you make such a statement. It is in this confined field of view. The star map at http://astrosurf.com/jwisn/m31-map.jpg shows the area of the sky. The galaxies on the left side are out of the field of view. The star V Andromeda is at the lower left (the bright one with the two stars nearby) in the image in your article. Andromeda and its companions are "an island" in that region of the sky. In fact, unless you work in some of the galaxy clusters like Ursa Major/Canis Venatici/Como-Virgo, there are a lot of galaxies that are in relative isolated sections of the sky. M33, 83 and 104 come to mind. If there are galaxies in those fields, they are very small and too faint for the type of imaging we are discussing here.

    By Blogger Tim Printy, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Thanks, Tim...

    I might note that one of my majors in college, one of them, was astrophysics.

    I was pretty good at it too (or should I say "toot, toot"?)

    Remember the photo and article appeared in a 1967 magazine when scanners were scarce and costly and photoshop wasn't even around.

    I have a raft of astronomy books here.

    I'll scan the appropriate photos in them and put them online somewhere among our blog venues.

    Again, you (and Lance) are making too much of this.

    If your goal is to show that I and others are astronomical tyros, I get it.

    But that aside, let me stress again that the photo has little to do with the gist or intent of the article and my posting of it.

    You've made your point: that you have some astronomical and photographic acumen.

    I get that too, and accept your viewpoint(s) accordingly.

    Thanks for the correctives, once more.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Lance: "Would your pedantic response be that no, the photo is not a fake, people can take photos of other people, etc. etc.?"

    "Pendantic" means here insisting your responses be to what I wrote in my comments. I prefer you to respond to what I have written, if you do, rather than what you would like me to have written.

    Anyone interested can simply read the discussion. No need for me to repeat what is already there. I've nothing to add except I was amused by your twisting what I wrote about photographing the moon. Especially the part where you kindly enlighten me about about the moon being brigher than the stars.

    You suffer, like so many, from UFOitis, such an addiction to scoring points on ET/UFO, pro or con, that you can't comprehend comments that fall outside that dreary cone of light.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • As promised:

    http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/M31UFO.jpg

    Hopefully, this will resolve the issue about what the picture is. Just look at the star fields and you will see they match up well. The photograph is an image of the Andromeda galaxy that would have used a telephoto lens, some fast film and a motor drive of some kind. It could not be done with a camera and a tripod. It is not a UFO and somebody was conducting a hoax.

    My image of Andromeda was taken with a 200mm F2.8 lens using a Pentax K110 Digital SLR set at ISO 800. Exposure time was 132 seconds. This is the original image and no processing was done to it.

    By Blogger Tim Printy, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Thanks, Tim:

    You are a whiz....I'll give you that.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Milkshakes?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • No milkshakes for you....

    Not yet.

    The debate was about how photos of the night sky can be taken, not about the falsity of the inserted galaxy clip in the article.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • My Name is Dennis Harper. My interest in astrophotography goes back to the mid-sixties. I remember the Wanaque incident while living on the other side of the Hudson. In the 1980's I specialized in sky trackers for astrophotography. https://sites.google.com/site/distar97/

    Some of my pictures are here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjqqbJLN

    I can say with 100% certainty that the picture in question is of M31, the Andromeda galaxy. I know the star patterns very well. I can also make out NGC 205, NGC 221 and star vAndromeda. It's like a fingerprint.

    It's true the camera HAD to be tracked. At least several minutes, likely more due to film reciprocity failure. It's 'possible' it was tracked by piggy backing an ordinary camera on an amateur size telescope with a properly aligned motor drive. But many things would have to fall in place to get it right.

    I have some doubts that the person that offered up this evidence is the one that took the image. I've known hundreds of people with the proper gear and experience to make this image back in those days.

    They are very proud of their astro work and tend to share it with other amateurs. They are unlikely to use their hard earned skills for an empty ploy like this. Besides, M31 is too obvious.

    Another point to consider. A professional photographer will not be likely to go out one night and start getting astro pictures like this.

    It takes lots of experience under night skies to get the tracking as correct as this. It's not as simple as just getting or borrowing the right gear.

    The quick and easy way to do it is to simply take a picture of a picture. A trip to any mid-sixties library would get you a source image of M31.

    In fact anyone with a home encyclopedia or the right Time-Life books would have the image. This scenario IS something a person with average photo skills in the darkroom could do with new gear or night-sky experience.

    It would explain why the image has contrast problems that dimmed the spiral arms and evened out the star magnitudes. In fact he didn't want the arms to show.

    This throws doubt on any person making claims this is anything other than M31. You can't brush off doubt by saying you did this by accident or it was an innocent error. Did Sgt Thomson say he took this M31 image? Did he dabble in photography? I wonder who actually made what I believe to be the copied image.

    By Blogger Distar97, at Saturday, December 28, 2013  

  • Does anyone have real photos from that sighting on January 11, 1966 or negatives? Hard to believe that actual photographs and negatives cannot be found from such a historical event.

    By Blogger Deceased Lovedone, at Friday, January 24, 2014  

  • WANAQUE NEW JERSEY UFO REPORT OF ALIEN CONTACT
    The interview on Coast to Coast AM on 1/30/2014 was the beginning of releasing old memories.

    http://www.neowebz.com/wanaque-nj-ufo-report.php

    By Blogger Neowebz, at Thursday, November 27, 2014  

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