UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, October 03, 2011

UFOs: Why Science Isn't Interested

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Scientific methodology is thwarted when it comes to the UFO phenomenon.

What can science study when it comes to UFOs?

There is nothing tangible for scientists to study. There is no evidence that can be tested or any behavior that can be replicated or pinned down in any way.

Photos of aircraft or even of evanescent phenomena (lightning for instance) can be examined, but UFO photos offer nothing specific for science to look at.

The photos of Adamski, Villa, and Billy Meier, to name a few, would offer elements for science or intelligence agencies to scrutinize, if they were authentic photos.

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Photos, less detailed, and maybe real, of amorphous UFOs don’t offer worthy elements that can be studied either. Does no one take a telephoto picture of a UFO? Where are the professional snapshots?

As for trace elements in supposed UFO landings (Socorro) or debris elements (Roswell), those are so indefinite or imaginary that science really has nothing to examine. (Anthony Bragalia has discovered that Battelle has studied malleable metal, allegedly from the Roswell incident, but Bragalia’s findings are beclouded by Battelle’s “secrecy” in what they’re doing or have done.)

Scientists need specimens to study, or hypotheses based upon observation(s). Witness testimony, regardless of the support of such by some UFO buffs, is useless, for scientific purposes. Sure, a credible witness might provide a clue that helps a scientist see an avenue for study, but witness testimony, all by itself, is generally useless.

UFO sightings nowadays are even more transitory that flying saucer reports of the past, those that supposedly left indentations (Socorro again) or radiation traces (the Desvergers, Florida tale), so science is even less inclined to get involved with sightings.

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Some UFO mavens keep indicating that the O’Hare sighting of a few years back is a prominent UFO sighting, but others (Lance Moody for one) ask for something tangible: where are the photos? After all, almost everyone has a camera-enabled cell phone, and so many persons relate that they saw something strange over the Chicago airport, one wonders (along with Mr. Moody) why none of them had the presence of mind to snap a photo of the alleged O’Hare UFO?

Scientists might have trouble with a photo, as noted, but at least they’d have something to scrutinize. (Of course, some UFO hobbyists insist upon the negatives or original photos for study but today’s photos are captured electronically, so there are no negatives to offer. That argument, from UFO tyros, even when applied to older photos, is just stupid, non-scientific.)

The point here, by me, is that science has nothing with which to grapple when it comes to UFOs. The phenomenon is primarily witness-induced today, or hoaxed, just as it was in the past. However, those past UFO or flying saucer incidents had a few ingredients (radar blips, movie-film captures, trace elements) that today’s sightings do not have.

Moreover, the topic is so tainted by the goofiness and circus-like atmosphere, even by those who once had some credibility and cachet when it came to UFOs, that science won’t touch the phenomenon at all, often acknowledging it as not a legitimate area for scientific scrutiny.

So, science is out. And ufology is a sham. That leaves us with what? A curiosity that is not going to be explained or understood as it stands right now.

To pursue the matter further takes a mind and/or personality that is in a state of denial about reality, and what is purposeful for life.

RR

55 Comments:

  • How right you are. No hardware means no scientific acceptance - ever.

    And no, all you ET proponents, the hardware is not, repeat not, secretly held in the hands of those at the top of the USAF or other USAF agencies.

    So get to it, all you ET guys. Get your hands on some REAL evidence. And fast!

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • I'm gonna get pedantic for a moment.

    'Science' is a pretty loose term in this context. What manner of 'science?' Hard or soft?

    Are we to consider capital S-style Science in a broad context? If so, perhaps you're right and Science isn't interested. Then again, 'Science' is a cacophony of differing views and is far from being a singular entity.

    In that light, 'Science' might not care, but some scientists have cared and continue to. Sadly, there's no escaping the fact that they are very, very few in number.

    I think we all come to a point where we either dismiss it all as a waste of time and energy or resign ourselves to the fact that we'll never go to our graves without knowing. I bet most of us have done both at one time or other.

    In honour of those who have carried on exploring, it's somewhat like the sentiment in Frost's 'The Road Not Taken.'

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Ah, Kandinsky...

    A poetic stance?

    Nice.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Well, you started it by citing Keats recently!

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Yah, I know....

    (Just trying to flush out the intellectuals and smarties.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Multiple daylight photos of an object like the one described in Chicago from unrelated witnesses and different locations would be a new breakthrough for UFO evidence.

    Indeed, where are the multiple camera shots of a structured UFO from anywhere. As more and more cameras dot the landscape, it is a damning statement that no such photos have yet appeared.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • I'm intellectually surprised, Lance, by how many UFO buffs think the O'Hare incident is a significant UFO sighting.

    It's a non-event, in my book.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • I think, but am not sure, that so long as the original photo remains on the original disc, that can be effectively verified as not having been tampered with.

    Essentially you've got the right idea here. One in the hand is always worth two in the bush and most scientists have got that figured out. The Linus Pauling UFO study outline is still very interesting and always worth a look.

    We can't be sure who has what in terms of radar recordings. Anything hot isn't going to see the light of day, at least not anytime soon. They did drag a curious radar hit out through a FOIA request, I think, in Stephenville.

    I certainly don't regret any of the spare time I've spent poking around in the UFO stuff. I've taken a more holistic approach and have looked at the entire history of my favorite period and have learned a lot about those years and I think that approach did help me turn a couple things I never would have just reading what UFO researchers have turned up.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Frank:

    I've often found that peripheral material or footnotes in what I'm reading are as interesting or more useful than the material at hand itself.

    Reading about UFOs can lead to information that isn't a total waste of time, I agree.

    But setting aside one's life, as some famous ufologists have, seems tragic in a way.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Hey Rich,

    Well there have been some genuine tragedies, if that's what you mean, but you see that in every field. Pro hockey had a very tough summer in that regard.

    As for the life itself? Getting on the conference circuit and hawking your product after the show? It's not something I'd do as I'm OK where I'm at, but hey, it's their life.

    There's one coming up down the street from me in a couple weeks. Not a bad lineup but I doubt I'll go.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Those who eschew negatives and originals don't understand due dilegence. They appear to be fearful of discovery. Nothing says "fantasist" better than such an attitude.

    Having "originals" has nothing to do with proving a photo is real, but it can find fakes -- and negatives can be faked though it takes some skil, and raw digital files easily, even if it is a raw file still on the card. Some cameras now have the tools built-in.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • Again, Don,

    There are other elements in a photograph that can be assessed, without the original negative or photo as with older film and photography.

    Of course, an original negative or photo (from a bygone era) will help tremendously in discovering fakery or authenticity, but one shouldn't throw up their analytic hands in despair if the original materials have gone missing.

    (For today's photography, the matter is totally different.)

    Now let's not go off on a binge about photography and the discernment of hoaxed photos; we've been over that a number of times, and we are not in essential disagreement.

    I'm trying to make a point, that goes by the board with you and others, and it's this (again):

    A photo (or video) has elements in it that can be studied, to determine if something is real or not.

    For instance, a look at the Challenger disaster, close up, in a photo or video can tell a professional what went wrong, even if they don't have an original picture or image.

    Or a look at an aircraft can tell an engineer or pilot if the craft is a real one, even if they only have access to a pictire of the plane, and not a negative or original photo of the plane.

    Technical aspects in the structure tells a pro what they're actually dealing with.

    A look at the photo of Adamski's "ship" by an aircraft engineer can determine if the craft is viable as an airborne construct.

    If the engineering elements are hidden or diffuse, then one would have to look at the craft itself, in actuality.

    Even a negative wouldn't help.

    If the negative or original photo shows a string attached to the object, or there are other anomalies that don't belong, then the matter is resolved.

    But often those elements can be discerned without an original artifact.

    That's my point....as discursive as it may be.

    Now if a rejoinder comes in that dosen't address my obtuse points, it won't appear here.

    Science doesn't need orginal negatives to tell them if a galaxy is imploding or exploding.

    They just need the image.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • US government and military agencies have access to extensive networks of instrumentation, including in-orbit. If proof exists, "science" already has it. They won't share. Even if someone here could snag the data, we have no way to process or interpret it. This is not anything a billion dollars will buy you.

    Individuals may have proof from personal experience, but if you aren't one of those individuals?

    We're "little people", to quote Bladerunner, and for us proof won't come by way of cell phone photos or a scatter of witnesses. It won't come at all -- at least not through the methods employed the past half-century by ufology.

    Think of something else they haven't thought of.

    Regards.

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Monday, October 03, 2011  

  • The "negative" for a digital image would likely be the file's EXIF data, which shows not only a wealth of information on shooting conditions, camera settings, and other technical tidbits from the image creation process, it would also show whether the file had then been manipulated in another software and what had been done to it to a limited extent. So, if you saw EXIF data that showed the file had been manipulated in Photoshop, it might give one pause as to the authenticity. Also, a photo lacking EXIF is like saying the negatives went mysteriously missing after a sinister cabal of secret government agents raided the....blah blah blah blah.

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Thanks, Cullan...

    Digital images are, as you note, a whole other "animal."

    But, again, one has a wealth of imformation in an image or photo itself, without having to resort to EXIF or original negatives.

    Yet the photography buffs here want to get entangled in a debate that misses that point.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Yes to the above comments.

    Digital images by themselves mean nothing at all. EXIF data can be manipulated at will.

    What I was referring to was different entirely:

    A collection of clear images (more than two or three-- ten would be great) from various unrelated people at different locations of the same structured object (not a light or indistinct blob).

    For some cases, the Chicago one in particular where the claim is that the object hung around for 10-30 minutes, this SHOULD be easy and it should exist.

    It is possible that such evidence could transcend the impotency of current evidence to convince.

    To believe UFO zealots, these kinds of events happen all the time. And yet there is no evidence of this type for ANY UFO event.

    That the evidence never coalesces, that it never gets better is a strong prima facie argument that the things we are being sold don't happen as described.

    And as cameras continue to blanket the world more and more densely, this situation makes the whole idea of UFOs, as popularly presented, more and absurd.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • How accurate is the Wikipedia article on the airport sighting?

    I agree with Lance about digital captures and EXIF data, but not about whether one should have good photos because there are lots of cellphone and pocketable digials out there.

    Next time you are out and about taking care of daily life, whenever there's a plane in the sky, start snapping away and see what you get.

    And, no, carrying around better kit, like telephoto lenses, won't make it any better.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • "The "negative" for a digital image would likely be the file's EXIF data..."

    As noted by Lance, EXIF can be rewritten. Also, there is nothing comparable to a film negative in digital imaging. Adobe uses the language about digital raw files, but that's their marketing department speaking.

    Also, digital camera firmware is regularly hacked, usually to enable features that are disabled in cheaper models.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Okay, Don...

    We get it. You know photography.

    Let's move on...to the gist of my post.

    Thanks.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Rich: "We get it. You know photography."

    I'm responding directly to posts here. I'm not 'showing off' or whatever it is you want to imply.

    "Let's move on...to the gist of my post."

    Which, I assume, is the lead of your article:

    "Scientific methodology is thwarted when it comes to the UFO phenomenon.

    What can science study when it comes to UFOs?"

    Not the photographs.

    Are there other disciplines or sciences you consider off-topic besides photography -- even if they are the examples in your "grist"?

    Are there other kinds of expertise you consider off-topic? Astronomy? Computer reconstructions? Materials testing?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Don:

    You're a brilliant guy, so I get irked when you allow a tangent by someone else to take you and the comments here to the hinterlands of nonsense.

    Photographs are such a small part of the UFO panoply, that I should be chastised for offering them as often as I do in my posts.

    But I mean them to be supplemental, not the sine qua non of my postings or arguments.

    Those with some photography acumen get caught up in the photography angle, unfortunately, and we are off and running, away from the points I'm trying to make, ineffectively it seems.

    That's all.

    (And I do see a tinge of show-off by you and others, and me too. We need to be less ego-oriented I think.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Rich,

    I'll post this, and cut and paste it into discussions here when photos and ufos are the subject. It is all I have to say on the subject put in a nutshell:

    Photos cannot prove the ufo in it is real, but an examination of the "original" might prove it a fake.

    That's all, really.

    I don't characterize people as fakers or hoaxers of photos, not even Adamski, unless I have the evidence, and that is not forthcoming without the original photos. I can't come to the 'fake' conclusion based on jpegs or reproduction in paper publications.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Thanks, Don...

    My position is that, sometimes, a photo, by itself, and not the original, can determine if the thing photographed is real or not, by other elements in the picture.

    An example can be found via Google of the Paul Villa photos, said to be concocted, and demonstrated to be so by analysis of the images and what was depicted in the photos; not the originals either.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • UFO study is a sidelight for me. Why? There are so many more opportunities to use my expertise that will yield more concrete results more readily. And those opportunities have funding support available. You can do the math.

    It's not unusual for science to find itself thwarted. Think about cancer for example. The disease has been long known, but as physicians and scientists have lifted the veil to reveal its nature - now down to the molecular genetic level - we can do more against it and even avoid it sometimes. A blanket cure - still a dream, but we keep peeling the onion.

    But your question as to what science can study productively with regard to UFOs is sage - the opportunities to advance understanding are quite limited. And the prospect that will change soon seems remote. So there we are.

    It is discouraging, but I will contribute what I can. Even the people who delivered the death blow to Project Blue Book noted that literally tomorrow everything could be different.

    Fully cognizant of harsh reality, I await the day when someone brings me something good...

    Best wishes.

    Tyler Kokjohn

    By Blogger calliebuddy, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Tyler:

    Your contributions, online, which I come across sporadically, show an avid, objective interest in the UFO phenomenon -- an interest that intersects with your academic milieu without subverting that milieu.

    You're right....something might happen that opens the UFO mystery to new avenues of study or even a serious hint of an explanation.

    Keeping the phenomenon in perspective is what a sensible person should do, as you are doing and have done.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Rich: "My position is that, sometimes, a photo, by itself, and not the original, can determine if the thing photographed is real or not, by other elements in the picture."

    Some images are so obviously fake that that is true. The Zanesville photos are examples, but I would not want to call Ditter a faker until he admitted it.

    Some images have characteristics that incline me to think they are fakes, but it's not enough for me to go 'on record' calling them that.

    I build websites, and this morning was looking for stock images for a lawyer's site. He does lots of DUI defense, so I thought a photo of cop car headlights through a car's rear window would be good.
    I realized if I cropped one just so, I could probably get a few million people online to accept those lights as ufos.

    Jpegs and reproductions in publications are not necessarily the full frame (which is why I first measure the aspect ratio of the image). It might be something as simple as what is cropped out and what is left in that convinces it might be real or fake.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Although, Don, you and I are stuck on the photographs, I think the accompanying information that Klass provided in his critique of the Trent and Heflin photos, online here (a few postings ago) shows other things, besides the photos themselves, help in determining if the picture-taking was actually as indicated.

    There are accoutrements to UFO events (and photos, if any) that need to be considered and evaluated.

    Science eschews UFOs because those accoutrements are often beclouded by irrational elements and details, complicating the study of the matter; besmirching the topic so significantly that going forward isn't an effort that a sane scientist would undertake.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Rich: "There are accoutrements to UFO events (and photos, if any) that need to be considered and evaluated."

    Not sure what you mean by "accoutrements". I think I agree. Often, I find information related to an incident to be lacking. In terms of the usual it was/was not ET, they seem trifles and not fodder for the debate. There are some little facts related to Socorro I cannot find in BB or the Lorenzens (I haven't read Stanford), and they are not things in Tony Bragalia's 'viewshed' and may not be of interest.

    So, this winter I may do a computer reconstruction of it, to see what I can see, at least approximately.

    Science -- let's say 'earth science'... academic scientists can be useless about matters of fact if they haven't extensive field experience. Hynek, no matter what one thinks of him, learned a lot from being the BB goto guy, and this experience translated into good advice about evaluating sightings.

    I believe firmly in the value of amateurs. Although they may not have the funding, the do have the enthusiasm and are willing to head out into the field, no matter how tedious and grubby it might be. In fact they enjoy it.

    They have the freedom to do something else, rather than re-invent the same old wheel.

    Regarding the Trent photos, have any of the people vetting them ever opined that they are not photos of the same object? Just sayin'.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Don:

    Your Trent aside is interesting; I don't know that anyone determined if the object(s) photographed were one and the same.

    ET-believers would say yes.

    Lance Moody, who accepts the truck mirror interpretation might enlighten us with what he knows about that judgement/opinion.

    Those "little facts" you note about Socorro may be important, as Conan Doyle told us.

    If the Trent photos are fake, and Heflin's too, or Socorro is a prank, we've all spent a lot of time chasing our tales [sic].

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Just a quick note to say that I find the truck mirror explanation interteresting(I can't find it on the web anymore, anyone know a good link for it?) but I can't say the Trent photos are definitely a truck mirror...or that Heflin's are a toy train wheel. I just haven't seen the kind of conformation needed in order to say such a thing.

    I do know that the supposed particulate matter that the Heflin enthusiasts go on about, looks like simple dirt on the old photos....they are spectacularly dirty.

    I also know that the stories of the Trents and Heflin have real problems.

    Someone else asked about the 4th Heflin photo, why Heflin would have submitted this one, if it was a hoax.
    This strikes me as a rather dumb question. If the guy was hoaxing the photos and expecting folks to believe that a toy wheel was a spaceship, it does nor stretch credulity to think he might also submit a dubious photo of smoke (with suspiciously different clouds than in the other photos).

    I wonder if Hefin had taken the smoke rings on another occasion...perhaps at an air show and only remembered it later? My understanding is that the photos have no numbering of any kind that tie the four together. This would also explain why the fourth photo only appeared later.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Lance, Joel Carpenter suggested the Trent object was a vehicle side mirror.

    Sheaffer's analysis:

    http://www.debunker.com/trent.html

    Carpenter's:

    http://www.nicap.org/trentphoto.htm

    Maccabee's:

    http://brumac.8k.com/trent1.html

    In the 1980s I used a Polaroid camera for a few months. Looking at those prints, some packs had sequence numbers on the back of the prints, but some packs didn't.

    Assuming one could access the originals, there may be sequence numbers on the backs.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 04, 2011  

  • Thanks Don,

    I have seen the link for the Murrow work but only that page opens. All the other links (including the mirror discussion) are dead, at least for me.

    I think it has been established that the Helflin photos do not contain numbering. As I recall, this is because the highway department bought the film in bulk, which does make sense.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • In my above message the word "Murrow" appears.

    I have no idea where this word came from. I thought I was typing "Carpenter" but I was typing on the iPad without my now much needed reading glasses and it somehow got corrected to "Murrow"!

    I choose to see this as paranormal.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • "I choose to see this as paranormal."

    It might be the computer. I think they have paranormal experiences, especially on WiFi...they pick up the mind control rays. A few days ago one of mine's virtual filesystem thought it was a archive program and backed up a disk. Still don't know how it happened. Didn't even know it could happen.

    My questions about the Heflin photos (the three from the vehicle) concern whether it is possible to get those shots in 15-25 seconds, considering the mechanics of operating the camera. I assume he was familiar with the camera, so maybe, if it is possible, he did. Also, why not just step outside?

    That leads to the second issue. A sign of a possible fake is if the objects are near the edge of the image-frame. Heflin's at first don't appear to be so, but they have the internal frame of the van windows and the object is up at the top of that frame. Compare the Ditter photos. No matter the location or perspective of the shots, the objects are at the top of the frame. Anyone taking a photo of a specific object tends to place it in the center of the frame. So, sign of possible faking.

    You inspired me to review the Trent photos, Lance, when you referred in several comments to the aesthetics. I saw why I hesitate to think 'possible fake'. It's the atmospherics of photo 2 (the object at a distance). Sheaffer has the best jpgs of the scans. I'd suggest looking at them rather than smaller jpgs that have been massaged in photoshop. You can see that the phone or power lines are well forward of the object based on atmospherics. Photo 1 is less so. This has to be accounted for by anyone claiming the object is suspended from the strung lines.

    I'm beginning to doubt the two photos depict the same object. Our eyes 'normalize' what we see (cameras can't normalize, at least not yet) and people expecting to see a disk with a dome on top, resolve a murky object that's supposed to be a saucer that way. Looking cross eyed so to speak at Trent #1, I don't see such a saucer.

    I think everyone here knows the Rouen photo that many think is taken from Trent #1, but there are at least a half-dozen others that look like Trent #2. The Trent's photos sure got around.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    I do love talking about these kinds of topics so I hope Rich will indulge us. These are more or less random thoughts and not intended as a refutation of what you are saying necessarily so let's not start out talking past each other.

    First let me say that your mention of "atmospherics" doesn't take in the whole picture. Of course if skeptics are correct and these beautiful photos are fake, the most likely scenario is a small model (truck mirror?) close to the camera so there would be no atmospherics of consequence. One thing that I think simulates the haze of atmospherics is poor focus.

    Indeed I see the power lines (and really the whole photo as we have it in this scan) as being slightly out of focus. I think this contributes to the hazy look of the object and perhaps constitutes the whole of that idea.

    The darkness of the underside of the object matches (and is perhaps slightly darker) than the power lines.

    It is apparent to me that Trent moved slightly closer in one of the photos (I am not sure if this already a well known fact, I just saw it while fooling around in Photoshop).

    Using the distinctive kinks in the power lines, I lined up the two photos (as best as possible as the angle changes) and it appears to me that the object is almost in the same place below the lines. The think must have been moving exceedingly slowly. I further suggest that if the object was on a string and swinging, then its angular position matches what might be expected during such a swing if tethered from the same place on the power line.

    I would love to know more about why you are starting to think there are two objects. I can't see this at the moment.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Lance: "One thing that I think simulates the haze of atmospherics is poor focus."

    I'm looking at the biggest jpgs on Sheaffer's site. These are the least processed and the largest I have found online.

    I don't think there is a focus issue beyond the less than capable lens. But there was some change between the two photos, perhaps to the shutter speed or aperture. In terms of clarity, Trent-1 has better accutance or detail. Look along the fence line in both and the hills in the distance. I'd have to gather up the technical details of the camera to go further than to point to the issue. Compare the tank on the left side. Trent-1 has better edge to edge sharpness. I think this is due to changing shutter/aperture rather than off-the-mark-focusing.

    So, I believe the haze is not due to a focusing error, nor for that matter the exposure time, but it is actually there. It looks like early morning light. I have a similar photo taken in 1969 (b&w TriX, a much faster film than Trent's) of such a fence line and hills shot early morning. It has that kind of haziness to it. Had a much better lens though.

    "I would love to know more about why you are starting to think there are two objects. I can't see this at the moment."

    I think we fill in detail we can't see and assume it is there because of what the object is supposed to be. In Trent-1 (the closer object) we may see a disk with a dome. Maybe that's what it is. but that shape really isn't in the photo. In Trent-2, I think viewers are filling in detail that is not there, seeing a shallow brim and a wide but not tall crown. But it really looks more like a parallelogram than anything else.

    I just worked up this from Sheaffer's Trent-2 just to try to clear out the haze. Magnified 8x. Not gospel or anything.

    http//www.foreshadower.net/ufophotos/trent-1.png

    I haven't been able to do anything with Trent-1 so far, though.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Don's link in his comment (above) needs a colon, like this:

    http://www.foreshadower.net/ufophotos/trent-1.png

    Now readers can access his manipulation.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Thanks, Rich. One thing is obvious, the various workups of the Rouen photo do not show the same object or if they do, they are from different angles.

    What to make of that?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Don:

    There is a comparative analysis of the Trent object and the Rouen object online.

    (I did a post on it a while back here.)

    By Googling Rouen UFO or Trent UFO you might come across the analysis, which showed that the upper parts of the two objects differed -- the part above the rim.

    Nonetheless, the two objects are strikingly similar.

    An early brouhaha was generated when we first re-started our UFO blogs -- this one in particular -- in which we titled a posting "The Missing Trent (or McMinnville) UFO Photo."

    The object was from a 1970s German photo, and was identical to the Trent object in the first photo.

    If the photo was real, and the Trent photo real too, along with the Rouen photo, we'd have a UFO archetype.

    If they are all fakes, we'd have a hoaxing archetype.

    Either way, we have something to chew on.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    We do not agree on the issue of focus.

    I grade photographic info as part of my job as a film editor for 30+ years and I can easily see that the power lines are out of focus (in the scan that we have here discussed).

    That this translates as a haze in the image of the object seems reasonable to me as something more than a layperson opinion.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Lance: "I can easily see that the power lines are out of focus (in the scan that we have here discussed)."

    Have you taken into consideration the vibration of such wires in a breeze? You may be seeing a slight motion-blur.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    Ok.

    Therefore might an object suspended from those wires also be out of focus due to the same motion blur?

    I will also reinterate that the entire photo is slightly blurry. Whether this is due to the lens, motion blur, or even the scan itself, I don't know but I think the blurriness might contribute to the illusion that a small, close up object was further away, what you are calling atmospherics.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Lance: "I can easily see that the power lines are out of focus (in the scan that we have here discussed)."

    Just to be clear about this, you are referring to Trent-2, the 'Rouen' looking one, and not Trent-1, the one with the blackish underside?

    Do you think Trent-1 has good focus?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    I think both images are blurry and might say 1 was slightly more so.

    These are not particularly good scans (I believe they are quite old in computer years) but as you said, I think they are the best available on the web.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Lance, I found the specs for Trent's camera.

    There is no shutter speed setting other than "instantaneous" and bulb.

    It is too unlikely he shot with bulb. The other setting's actual speed would probably be around 1/50th or less. Aperture settings f/11, 16, 22, 32. Lens was anachromat and coated. He was probably shooting Verichrome, which would be less than 100iso, but with wide "latitude".

    Trent-1 has more contrast. Something changed between the two photographs, but I don't know when and therefore how. Maybe Trent changed the aperture and unintentionally tapped the focus ring.

    I agree. The scanner is an antique today. Negatives need to be cleaned by a pro restorer and new scans made.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 05, 2011  

  • Lance: "Therefore might an object suspended from those wires also be out of focus due to the same motion blur?"

    and

    "I think both images are blurry and might say 1 was slightly more so."

    I'm guessing taking pictures with 'Toy Cameras' is not one of your hobbies. Of course they're blurry. Unless you've got one on a tripod and even then you may have to figure out how to release the shutter without jarring the camera, you will get relatively blurry pictures. They will not be sharp.

    I think the two images are sufficiently different to question whether they were taken within 30 seconds of each other unless Paul Trent changed the aperture (which is all the control he had) and then may have accidentally tapped the focus ring.

    I've cropped near the center of the fence line from both with no processing.

    http://www.foreshadower.net/ufophotos/trent1-cntr.png

    http://www.foreshadower.net/ufophotos/trent2-cntr.png

    The analysis based on the side-mirror idea can not produce "hard evidence" because we can never know whether the mirror was still part of the mechanism.

    Lance and I have been discussing why people report seeing 'discs' or disc-shaped objects since Arnold. Looking at the Trent photos, we subconsciously configure them as being domed discs (or a disc-like side-mirror), yet I don't think the shapes in the images we have support that assumption. Certainly, the first image supports a disc, but the second is ambiguous and neither actually show a dome. There's something there, but it is not evident it is a dome.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    Since we agree that the images are blurry, I once again suggest that this blurriness could be responsible for the apparent atmosphere you note and that the object may still be a small model close to camera.

    In reference to your comments about the claimed 30 or so seconds between shots, what do you think about the fact that in that period of time the object only moved a very small distance? I find it suspicious that the object is still essentially hanging in the same place below those wires.

    Don, will you clarify what you are demonstrating in those two images you just posted. I'm sorry but I lost the train of the conversation on those.

    On the two seperate shapes idea: I don't see it but I suppose it is possible. To me, I imagine that I see the distinctive slight offset of the "superstructure" in both images (I think the very thin top portion of it is lost to overexposure in number two). I would lean towards them being the same thing, possibly spinning in the wind.

    Best,

    Lance

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Okay, Don and Lance...

    I've let you go far afield from the point of this posting, about Science eschewing UFO study.

    There are analyses of the Trent or Heflin pics all over the place; most much better than the simplistic approach you two are taking and have taken.

    I'll provide the analyses from magazines and books I have, and links to those analyses online, at our UFO Photo blog.

    You boys can use that blog for your incessant but non-productive comments.

    Thanks,

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Thanks Rich,

    Sorry for the digression. I thought a few interesting points might have been made but maybe we were just spinning our wheels.

    By the way, that link for the photo blog above doesn't seem to work for me,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Lance and Don:

    I mentioned the imbroglio we caused by posting a thing about the "lost" Trent photo at our blogs -- The RRRGroup blog I think.

    I've placed an evaluation of the photo, by Denver Page for us, of that photo at our UFO Photo blog:

    http://ufophoto.blogspot.com

    You might like to see how Mr. Page went about "analysing" the German photo which we thought emulated the Trent/McMinnville object.

    I'll be adding, at the UFO Photo blog (upcoming) analyses of the Trent and Heflin pictures from sources that are a little better than the ones you fellows are dealing with.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Don (and Lance):

    The blog is http://ufophoto.blogspot.com

    I was so upset about Steve Jobs death, I didn't know what I was typing.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • IMO, an appropriate number (considering the nature of the quandary) of very real global scientists are presently studying the UFO phenomenon. Just because we don't hear about it in the MSM is meaningless apart from political demographics.

    What about the Cometa Report? Was that not scientific enough? We can't seem to "catch" and study UFOs, at least our military cannot, and they seem to have some pretty killer science to back up their means.

    Lots of scientific action in China, lots of scientific action in France, tons of action in South America and Russia. Even the Vatican. (oh boy!)

    The problem is empirical science HERE and abroad, but in reality, just who aren't empirical science a problem for with respect for progress? Themselves and their wallets, that's who. They ARE the biggest arrogant and hypocritical hurdle with respect for real scientific discovery and progress. They are bought and paid for daily. Kind of has a way of deadpanning the delivery of genuine scientific interest and subsequent discovery based information.

    The level of sincerity when you realize just how much a pseudo commodity EMPIRICAL science has become, is an absolute joke no better than the average political arena.

    There's a TON of scientific pursuit with deep respect for the UFO phenomenon. Just don't expect the high profile empirical clique to hop on board anytime soon.

    Empirical science is based within, and on, the concept of control. Good luck controlling those UFOs boys. Who knows, maybe they'll (UFOs) need a parking structure or something. At least then, within the minds of the empirical, there will exist reason to hope for a kick back.

    By Blogger Jeff Davis, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • Jeff...

    You cynical bastard!

    We luv ya.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 06, 2011  

  • try picking up Confrontations by Vallee.

    I know it just hit the markets, what - 20 years ago? so it's understandable you haven't had time to read it yet.

    steph

    By Blogger tinyjunco, at Thursday, October 13, 2011  

  • Very funny, Steph...

    We have Confrontations. It doesn't really address our concerns.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 13, 2011  

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