UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The U.S. Air Force: Adamski/Heflin photos are fake!

Ray Palmer’s Flying Saucers magazine [February 1969, Issue 62] has some interesting copies of correspondence tied to Palmer’s “editorial” about William D. Clendenon’s attempt to interest the Air Force and Hughes Aircraft in his flying saucer prototype, which he, Clendenon, hoped to patent also.

Those thrusts by Clendenon led to missives from the Air Force to members of The United States Congress, in which Adamski’s (in)famous flying saucer photograph is mentioned along with the photographs of Rex Heflin.

Click HERE to see the Adamski reference.

And click HERE to see the Adamski and Heflin references. (Another click HERE provides the signatory of this letter.)

Also, as I implicate Hughes Aircraft in the Zamora/Socorro sighting of 1964, I’m including two missives from Palmer’s publication [Ibid] that indicate Hughes Aircraft was not immune from the flying saucer phenomenon, in practical, constructive ways:

HUGHES-1

HUGHES-2

(Note that, in the Heflin letter to Congressman Meeds, the Air Force writes that it never had possession of Adamski’s photograph nor Rex Heflin’s, which may be disputative to some Heflin supporters.)

RR

17 Comments:

  • This humidor thing is very interesting. I have not heard that explanation. I am researching (googling!) them now.

    No match yet but I see some vague similarities in:

    http://www.foundvalue.com/photo/vintage-rumidor-humidor-1920s-30s-8308

    I love this old stuff, Rich.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Me, too, Lance....that's why you and I are buds.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • To throw some balance on all of the Heflin bashing let me note that it was Marine Corps Intelligence officers that first visited Heflin about his polaroids. (Remember,Heflin said that he thought that he had photographed an experimental aircraft from a local Marine base). They interviewed him and borrowed his polaroids to make copies. The originals were returned. Next, a Col. Reichmuth from the USAF interviewed Heflin later on that month; he also had the polaroids copied (for analysis, but the Blue Book "analysis" simply involved tossing a tray into the air and taking pictures...a "comparison" shot as they are called) and returned the originals. Finally, on September 22, 1965(the pictures were snapped Aug.3rd) Heflin said that he lent the 3 polaroids to two men allegedly from NORAD who flashed similar looking credentials to the previous investigators from the military. In this case, however, the originals were not returned. Heflin even contacted Congressman James Utt (his district)and was assured that NORAD had not sent any investigators and had no Heflin polaroids.

    Two other points. One, Heflin reported that his radio would not work well when the UFO was in the area. Herm Kimmel, Heflin's supervisor, confirmed that strong radio interference occured between Heflin's radio and the base station at the alleged time the UFO was photographed.

    Second, there was a multiple witness UFO sighting the first week of August in Orange County...the so-called Ralph Joseph case. Dr. James McDonald at one point told Heflin that the Joseph case "tended to corroborate" Heflin's sighting.

    Finally,it is conventional wisdom to attack Heflin's character. Yet the official USAF report on Heflin's character (apart from the photos) by Col. Reichmuth is generally favorable. He checked with Heflin's supervisors and co-workers and found no reason to dispute their judgment that Heflin was mature, alert, and trustworthy.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Hi Dominick,

    Generally speaking, I don't think I have heard a lot of attack on Heflin's character. Usually the questions are raised about his suspicious behavior after taking the photos, particularly how he essentially hid the 4th photo at first.

    Bringing up his interest in model building and photography is not an attack on his character.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Thanks, Dominick:

    Heflin's photos are, as I point out elsewhere here, interesting but iffy, for some persons and researchers.

    The Air Force didn't consider the photos to be authentic, but they may have had reasons for that stance.

    However, Anthony Bragalia critiques the photos in a previous blog posting here, which you might find via Google.

    He uses the toy train wheel evaluation that makes a good case for the photos being fake.

    And a few posts earlier here, I've added the Klass interpretation which may be a clincher for those who think Heflin created his UFO pictures....to what end, I have no idea. (He didn't try to capitalize on the photos, as far as I know.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Hi Lance,
    Aside from the 4th photo, what suspicious behaviour are you refering to?

    This is only speculation but I assume that Heflin did not offer up the 4th photo because, of course, there was no UFO in the photo! But actually the 4th photo may turn out out to be the most important of all since, as I have noted here before, later digitization appears to show black particulate matter in it and in at least one other polaroid. Heflin, of course, could not have known any of this back in 1965 (unless someone, anyone, can explain how this stuff appears in two different pictures of a hoaxed ufo).

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Hi Dominick,

    There are lots of things to be skeptical about.

    I think Helfin's story about the "disappearance" of the photos and their miraculous return (32 years later) tied into the bogus name Helfin supplied for his NORAD contact lead us down the well-worn trail of imposture. The story doesn't ring true for me but this is not evidence, of course.

    The absolutely perfect match between a model train wheel and the object is very interesting.

    These are just a couple of factors that put me in the mind of hoaxing. There's a lot of other stuff on the web that speaks to this. Tim Printy's excellent short write up talks about some other factors.

    I don't think anyone has "proven" this to be a hoax but on the other hand, the naive and fawning "analysis" put out by Duffel (and the infamous Wood--someone who just loves hoaxes) is just a silly example of how believers work overtime to hold onto their religion.

    The black particulate matter is just dreaming in tea leaves--it means nothing. The clouds in the 4th photo (none in any of the others) are a real problem that apologists try mightily to explain away.

    By the way, you do yourself no service by speaking about unrelated cases as though they somehow support to this one. Why not mention the other thousands of UFO reports as also supportive?

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, September 22, 2011  

  • Dominick, It has been eleven years since the forensic team in the JSE said they would present the results of their technical analysis of the Heflin photos.

    The manual for the camera can be found online. Read the instructions for taking photos.

    Ask yourself whether, if you had such a sighting, you would take photos of it from inside the cab of your van rather than simply stepping outside to take them.

    Now, take a look at the three photos shot from within the van.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, September 23, 2011  

  • Lance,
    The Joseph case is not necessarily unrelated. It is a multiple witness case IN orange county the very SAME week as the Heflin incident. Proof? Absolutely not. Interesting coincidence? Perhaps.

    How, exactly, did Heflin do a "train wheel" hoax? How suspended? How did he get the different tilts? Why no blurring..it never moved or swayed? Why has no serious examination of the photos found a string or support? Why was there radio interference? Why take a 4th photo of a smoke ring? Why did Dr. Nathan of JPL also see a "wedge shaped portion of light" on the underside of the UFO"? Why did he also see the black particulate matter which you assert are tea leaves?! Was he in on the conspiracy, also?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Friday, September 23, 2011  

  • How suspended? Monofilament?

    How did he get the different tilts? By reattaching wire?

    Why no blurring..it never moved or swayed? No wind/van blocked wind/shutter speed fast enough to make this a non issue?


    Why has no serious examination of the photos found a string or support? Because it was too washed out/thin to resolve?

    Why was there radio interference? Maybe there was maybe there wasn't. Is radio interference in remote locales unheard of?


    Why take a 4th photo of a smoke ring?
    To lend credibility?

    Why did Dr. Nathan of JPL also see a "wedge shaped portion of light" on the underside of the UFO"? What does this mean? Anything?


    Why did he also see the black particulate matter which you assert are tea leaves?!
    These could just be dirt, you know and appear to be just that


    Was he in on the conspiracy, also? What conspiracy?


    None of the above seems very interesting or means much to me.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, September 23, 2011  

  • If none of this is "interesting or means much", Lance, then why are we doing this? I would assert, instead, that the debate about these photos is very interesting and does, in fact, imply much. And the reason is that the Heflin photos are, perhaps, the most interesting daylight UFO photos ever taken. They are clear and pre-Photoshop. Now I certainly can understand why critics want them dismissed (with casual speculations about monofiliment and toy wheels)since the photos really offer only two possibilities: either they are clever fakes or they are real. You say they are fakes but you don't account for important information such as black matter and radio interference: you simly dismiss information you can't account for. And you don't account for the context of where they were taken and when they were shown to co-workers. I think they are real because the bulk of the photo analysis substantiates Heflin's original story and because he showed them to co-workers that same day. When did he fake them?!On a highway during work hours with a supervisor in another county van less than one-quater mile away?!! Common sense says: I don't think so. Now whether he photographed a space ship from another galaxy is an entirely different matter.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Friday, September 23, 2011  

  • Rich: "Note that, in the Heflin letter to Congressman Meeds, the Air Force writes that it never had possession of Adamski’s photograph nor Rex Heflin’s, which may be disputative to some Heflin supporters."

    Regarding the issue of whether the Rhodes incident shed light on the UFO dilemma -- from another discussion.

    I don't know if this is responsive to your question about it: the Rhodes incident is, perhaps, the best documented account of what can happen to UFO-related objects -- such as photos -- handed over to the authorities.

    Not knowing the history of the Heflin and Adamski objects, I don't know whether there are sufficient parallels for any light to be shed on them by Rhodes.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

  • Heflin did not photo a spaceship from another galaxy. Neither did he photo a spaceship from this galaxy, or even from this solar system.

    The reason for this is that no such things are known to science.

    He may have photographed a genuine UFO. The trouble is that nobody can ever prove this, can they? The most anyone can ever show (and there will always be doubts) is that close examination of the said photos shows no sign of faking. Which is exactly what has been said about countless other photos, and which others strongly dispute.

    In other words, we once again get nowhere.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

  • CDA: "The reason for this is that no such things are known to science."

    You do realize that not everything is known to "science"?

    I used to have a web page called The Surprised Scientist, riffing on the journalism trope 'scientists were surprised..." and posting up clippings from the week.

    Just type with quotes "scientists were surprised" in google news.

    "The most anyone can ever show (and there will always be doubts) is that close examination of the said photos shows no sign of faking. Which is exactly what has been said about countless other photos, and which others strongly dispute."

    You mean 'science' doesn't know how to prove a photo?

    I've not been impressed by analyses of such photos, no matter who is doing them -- from AMC in 1947 to whoever today.

    I recommend not looking at the UFOs in the photos, but the photos themselves. The first question to ask is 'how could this photo have been taken?'

    According to the BB investigating officer:

    "f. Observer estimated total period of observation to be about 15 seconds. Based on test of observer's ability to estimate time, it is believed the duration of sighting would be closer to 25 seconds".

    Now, get a Polaroid 101 Automatic, some film, and an old van, and take three pictures through the windows.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

  • The history of UFO photos is one long stream of claims and counterclaims. On the one hand you get the 'experts' who say there is no sign of faking. On the other you have those who say "look again", use computer enhancement, and lo and behold something odd turns up.

    Then someone else chips in with 'the xxx photo lab at such-and-such university' says something else. Then the USAF (up to 1969) has their say. Then finally another expert chips in, saying "it could be genuine but it could be a clever fake, done by such-and-such method".

    Notice the repeated 'could be'.

    The arguments are endless and boring.

    Unless the photo(s) can be proven false or the photographer confesses, the most likely conclusion is that there is no real conclusion. Why do the Trent's photos go on and on for 60 years? Why do the Trindade and Heflin pics still cause dispute?
    To say nothing of countless others of every description.

    The sad truth is that no UFO photos so far submitted can EVER establish anything regarding ETs visiting earth. As I have said, all that can be claimed is that so far they have withstood the test of time (except that none really has, since they are disputed over and over again).

    Therefore there are no photos of spaceships from another planet, star or galaxy. There are never going to be, unless and until, such spaceships are proven to exist to science in general. Such proof will NOT come in the way of earth-taken photographs. It may come by other means, but certainly not by photos taken by UFO sighters.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

  • CDA, your UFOitis is so entrenched that it is impossible, I believe, to discuss anything with you on the subject.

    I'll stop with this: a photograph of a UFO is no different than a photo you might have taken of your grandaughter playing with Puppy in the backyard...material light delineating material objects.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

  • CDA

    Photos taken from earth will "never" prove the existence of space ships from beyond earth? I think it depends, doesn't it, on the particular photos and your standards of proof? How about 13 simultaneous daylight videos (including CBS and NBC) of a Heflin like object that darts silently, hovers, lands briefly leaving traces, and then disappears in 2 seconds? Even mainstream "science" would have serious trouble finding another reasonable explanation for THAT one. CDA, you always seem to be asking for absolute proof when discussing UFO photos and yet the notion of "absolute" proof is actually foreign to good science and the scientific method. All good science can do is attempt to draw "reasonable" conclusions from the evidence presented and these conclusions are always tentative until additional facts force a reconsideration. (Witness the faster-than-light debate ongoing.)So in the example above, it would be proper and even scientific to draw the conclusion that no manmade or natural phenomenon was photographed. And after all reasonalbe explanations have been explored what remains, Watson, is....

    So despite your pessimism about the methodology of dealing with UFO photos,(and I share it when I'm in a bad mood)we are all still doing "science" and can still draw tentative conclusions (that may be refuted or confirmed later on). Not all "proof" is necessarily empirical.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Saturday, September 24, 2011  

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