[UPDATE Aug 2008] A couple of weeks ago the web-hosts Fortunecity received a takedown notice threatening legal action if this text remained, of course a brief exchange of emails ensued so the specifics of the claim could be learned. It quickly transpired that the claim was regarding actions that occurred prior to the article being posted and actually wasn’t a direct consequence of what was actually contained in the article itself.

That’s not really the interesting part; the more interesting part was what was contained in one of the emails that were sent by Fortunecity regarding the takedown, which read as follows:

“We did not see what could be considered defamatory either, but we were threatened with legal action if we did [not] remove the content.

The FortuneCity Team

P.S. it is *definitely* a hoax, and Linda Moulton Howe has made a fool of herself again.”

It appears that people with no real interest in the Drone Hoax are still well aware of the finer details along with the implications and the main, “Players.” And of course more importantly that the entire debacle was nothing but an orchestrated hoax, one which is STILL being perpetuated by people who SHOULD know better.

Psychology of a Hoax
Chapter I : Counting Witnesses.
Reproduced with permission of author, Horst Wilden.
(Original text available here).

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."

Lewis Carroll: The hunting of the Snark



Psychology of a Hoax
The IsaacCaret Phenomenon


Chapter #
Chapter Title

Counting Witnesses

The Isaac Document
All Those Other Witnesses...
Errors And Confusion
Experts, Freeloaders, Artists and Whistleblowers
The Madness Grows
The Heirs Of Isaac
The Eco-effect
Critical Voices
Contact The Author
Original Text
Visit The Original Webpage/s at FortuneCity

Part I - Counting witnesses

Just these days one of the most bizarre hoaxes celebrated it's first birthday. Within that year there was a lot of discussion, pseudo-scientific work, but mainly confusion. Obviously a big joke with a lot's of hints, still people try to proof this story to be true. Even two private investigators are searching for none existing witnesses and drones

Case No. 1: The Chad sighting

In early May 2007 an "anonymous witness" calling himself Chad send some pictures of a funny looking flying object to Coast 2 Coast. His story was, that he was on a walk with his wife, when they saw it the first time. His wife made a photo with her cell phone. He and a neighbor tried to get better pictures the next days, running around with his neighbor's digital camera on the hunt for the drone. And they were the luckiest guys in the world, getting some real clear shots and even a close up, revealing some "alien" writing.

Shortly after this another two photos appeared, which were submitted to MUFON, not as clear as Chad's photo, but obviously showing a very similar object in bad quality. Investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe took over this story and since then is the leading researcher of this case. She will give the world following information:

"Bakersfield, California, general region, May 6, 2007: Chad took several clear, digital camera images of a dragonfly-shaped "drone" version more complicated than the Lake Tahoe images."

Later there also will be some confusion, on what day these photos were submitted to C2C. In march 2008 Linda Moulton Howe published a kind of review, complaining about the misinformation in the media. Here she write:

"Then a week later on May 11, 2007, Coast to Coast AM webmaster, Lex, received an email with six close-up images of an odd, dragonfly-shaped, aerial craft photographed in the Bakersfield, California, region. The emailer called himself “Chad” and asked for anonymity to protect his family. His photographs were dated May 6, 2007."

So we know, the Chad photos were taken on May 6th and received by C2C on May 11th. The so called Drone Research Team (DRT) publishes on their website the following information in their "history": "Coast to CoastAM Either late April, or May 6th, 2007"

Remember, these are the people who call themselves investigative researchers. When finally James Carrion of MUFON decided, to write a report about this, which was published in April, he wrote:

"On May 10th, 2007, a person only known by the name Chad, emailed to Coast to Coast AM Radio photos of a strange airborne craft over Bakersfield, California."

So now we had two different dates for the email to C2C. It even comes better! In Germany the story was published at Grenzwissenschaft.de on May 9th, and I also found people writing about it on May 8th. What kind of discrepancies are these?

I wrote this to DrDil, who had put up his own chronology, who also had the May 10th date in it. He did not hesitate, to ask Lex from C2C about this and got the answer, that he received Chad's first email on May 4th! Following correspondence was on May 7th, 8th and 15th. So May 6th was not the date of the sighting, but probably the day, when Lex resized the photos. How is it possible that investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe, who has good contacts to C2C, not even put the date of the Chad emails a week later, but she also put it on a date, when the news were already known for at least three days!

But there is another thing, why an investigative researcher should have realized, that the dates can't be right. In his first email, Chad told C2C:

"Last month (April 2007), my wife and I were on a walk when we noticed a very large, very strange "craft" in the sky. My wife took a picture with her cell phone camera (first photo below). A few days later a friend (and neighbor) lent me his camera and came with me to take photos of this 'craft'."

In his first follow up he wrote:

"My friend and I went out the next day after I first saw it to get the photos, but it was not there. Then we tried again the next day, and we found it within like 30 minutes and followed it for a while."

So now we have the information "first photo - last month" & "clear photos - two days later". This would give us a time frame between April 29 and May 2. So on May 4th Chad writes to Lex, that the first sighting was last month and the others a few days later. He is talking about some experiences he had between 6 and 2 days ago...

Linda Moulton Howe wrote about her contacts to Chad:

"I have corresponded several times with Chad, know his full name and might be talking with him in person in the future."

We can assume that "corresponded" is used synonymously for "emailed". As we know, there was never a personal contact. Instead it was said, that Chad disappeared into silence.

Obviously Chad had decided to tell Linda Moulton Howe, where the photos had been taken. At one point she started to put the Chad sighting to Bakersfield, one more red point in her beautiful map.

Rather early a few people realized that the cellphone photo showed a kind of mirror-drone of the others. This was not only easily done away by the believers, but also demonstrated to be an optical illusion by one member at UfoCaseBook. Ironically the private investigators, hired by the drone research team somehow managed to find the place, where these photos were taken. It was proved, they were not taken in Bakersfield, but far away from there and very close to the ones taken by Stephen (which also were not taken, where it was told, it were).

Also the P.I.s showed, that the mirror-picture was indeed flipped.

Nothing of all this can change a strong believer's mind. Linda Moulton Howe seems to just leave it as it is and the members of the DRT don't see anything suspicious. To them it is clear, that Chad only wanted to protect his family and thus gave a wrong location. The flipped photo could be for the same reason or somebody just pressed the flip button by accident. They did not explain away the question about the wrong dates yet, but I guess, they will explain it with human memory. Investigators forget so quickly these days.

These facts don't prove this to be a hoax, but it tells us a lot about the seriousness of the researchers, who try to tell us, this is real. They still tell the world, we have three witnesses here. The truth is, there was only 1 (in words: one) person, who emailed.....


Case No. 2: The Lake Tahoe sighting

Linda Moulton Howe:

"California Lake Tahoe, May 5, 2007: MUFON Submitter 7013, two photographs of simpler version of the dragonfly-shaped 'drone.' Have had no independent communication with alleged photographer."

"No independent communication" means "no communication at all" in this case. Remarkable use of language, as always. James Carrion could tell us more in his report:

"On May 12th, 2007, a person going by the name of Deborah McKinley of San Jose, California, submitted a report to MUFON's website with two cell phone photos allegedly taken in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on May 5th, 2007, of a similar airborne craft. "

Further James Carrion tells in his report, that they tried to contact Deborah via her email address at hotmail, but she never responded at all.

Again we only have one anonymous email writer, nevertheless the DRT counts two more witnesses, making five now, where there are only two - it even could be one - person, who just sent some emails


Case No. 3: Rajman's Capitola sighting

There is also some confusion about when Rajman published his photos and who mentioned them when first. Linda Moulton Howe used the date May 21st, when she mentioned him. She wrote:

"I know his full name and have corresponded with him in email several times and hope to talk with him in the future on the record, whether he allows his real name to be used. This eyewitness, like most of the others, are angered by or scared of potential ridicule in the wake of all the CGI/Photoshop hoax attacks."

Who followed the story knows, that Linda Moulton Howe presented us some other witnesses, who had no photos, but thought they recognized the "drones", how the "strange craft" were called meanwhile. One of them was Shirley P., who said, she had seen such an object in the Sequoia National Park in May 2005. When she later corresponded with a member of the drone research team in December 2007, she seemed to have some knowledge of Linda's experiences with the first witnesses. Reading that Rajman had posted at the OpenMindsForum, she was astounded, because he never contacted Linda. This does not necessarily mean, that one of both is lying, but probably that Rajman contacted Linda after Shirley was in contact with her. But it is another example, how false information is mingled with facts easily.

Since the high resolution Version of the pictures could not be viewed at flickr.com, a member of OMF payed for an update (June 4th). A few hours after this, the pictures disappeared and instead there was a pornographic picture and a lot's of confessions of a hacker. But since news had spread very quickly, many people had downloaded the hi res pictures before.

Rajman, who identified himself as Rajinder Satyanarayana, appeared at Open Minds to answer questions, but disappeared after the second post, writing to the admin that he could not stand all those question and mistrust anymore and that he received odd phone calls.

The DRT counts 6 witnesses here. Rajman told, that his fiancée, her father and her mother were present. He also wrote, that his fiancée's brother had sent the photos to a local paper. This makes five to me. He also mentions some people in a car, who had seen the same. Fact is, we also have only one person, who sent emails and posted. This makes three photo witnesses - and it is still possible that this one done by one and the same person.

In this case the police of Capitola was asked for reports on the sighting. There was not one report at all. The search for the location did not succeed until yet. A member of the DRT wrote at OMF, that it could be possible, that the location is somewhere around Capitola.


Case No. 4: Stephen's sighting

On June 6th 2007 a woman calling herself Jenna sends three photos of a rare flying object to UfoCaseBook. It looks much more complicated, but still is a clear development of the "drones". The story is, that a photographer, called Stephen, had made these on June 5th by accident, when he was taking photos in the Big Basin area. He send them to a private mailing list and gave Jenna permission to send them to UCB.

Again Linda writes: "I have not had independent communication with either."

As we know, this means "I never had any contact with anybody".

Although Stephen and Jenna said, they had no need for anonymity they never appeared again. They also did not react to the DRT's request, to contact them and they never could be identified, also their full names appeared to be known.

As far back as September 2007 a poster at Paracast had identified the place already and could deliver a photo of exactly that place. It was not really done in Big Basin, but a good distance away from that. He had sent this to Linda Moulton Howe, but never got any reaction from her. In March 2008 a member of the DRT published this very same photo, sent him by "Tom" and two days later they presented a photo, showing that the P.I.s had found that place.

Again the explanations for this came quickly, remarking that Stephen did not say, it was shot in Big Basin, but only in that area, and that it was done near Big Basin road, so he could have mixed up the names.

Linda Moulton Howe seems to be a little more careful with that one now. Although she numbers all those witnesses she only mentions Stephen as a side note in her review of March:

"Then in early June 2007, UFOcasebook.com received a photograph of a more complicated and more sinister-looking version of the dragonfly-shaped drone allegedly photographed in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park of California, northwest of Santa Cruz, on June 5, 2007, by a person calling himself Stephen."

The DRT counts one more witness. Still we only have one or more email writers.

The 2007 Dragonfly Drone UFO Hoax

Case No. 5: Ty' s sighting

On the very same day, June 5th, a group of cyclists is said to have seen the same drone. Ty B. wrote Linda on June 11th, that he and seven friends saw the drone appear and disappear for three times and he send her photo prints by hard mail. One of the guys was working for a newspaper and was said, he had seen that before and is would be useless to try to get this into the media, because he had been warned back than.

This one looks totally identical to Stephen's "drone" and is said to be seen on the same day. So if something is wrong with one, it also is with the other. Still it is said to be seen in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Of course, this thing can move, but coincidentally it moves exactly to the place, where Stephen said he had seen it and it is known, he has not.


"Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, June 5, 2007: Another eyewitness bicycling in a group, Ty B., emailed me on June 11, about his June 5th encounter three times with the same dragonfly-shaped "drone" as in the "Stephen" images. Ty B. hard mailed to me 12 photograph prints of the object he said kept turning slowly in the air not too far above where he and his cycling buddies stopped to watch and he photographed. He is willing to be interviewed and is currently trying to get some of his colleagues to join him in an interview."

As we know, he never was interviewed and none of his friends ever supported this story. Still the DRT speaks of 8 more witnesses, where again there is only one person, who writes emails and letters.

Although the P.I.s have brought the drones into the media, still nobody dares to come out.

The PR work in all of these five cases could have been done by one and the same person, indeed. Nevertheless Linda Moulton Howe and also the DRT count multiple witnesses and mix them with others, who even not close to the stories above.

Interestingly though, that the latest witness only relates to these five cases.

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