Sunday, 28 March 2010

Photographs of Black Triangle UFO - Greenville, South Carolina - March 2010

Black Triangle UFO - (March 2010) Greenville, South Carolina [Original Report]

PLEASE NOTE: This is the first of two Blog posts with the second part to follow shortly, this is due to several factors with the main one being the space constraints when posting information such as this to a Blog, however I am alsocurrently waiting for replies to emails I sent out a couple of days ago, and whilst the replies are not really essential to posting further research they would be a great help in being able to state definitively the correlations between these recent images and much, much earlier ones which were alleged to be of a suspect nature.



A little over a week ago back on the 18th March (2010) UFOCasebook (as well as apparently a couple of other websites) published two images of a black triangle captured with an unusually high quality and claimed to have been photographed two days earlier on the 16th March.

It would seem that the ‘witness' emailed several UFO-related websites (I am still awaiting a definite confirmation for this) but it first came to my attention when UFOCasebook published the witness account & images in their entirety:



Compelling Photographs of Triangle Taken over Greenville, South Carolina

Published: 8:55 AM 3/18/2010

Greenville, SC - 03-16-10

On March 16, 2010... I saw a bright red light coming from a distance. I thought that maybe an airline plane was on fire, and grabbed my camera. Instead, it was a large triangle plane with a very bright, red strobe in the center of it, (almost like it was on fire). It seemed to be climbing in altitude. By the time I went to the backyard, it already entered the clouds and was gone!

This happened in Greenville, South Carolina at 8:03 PM.

Thank you,

Mr. H

Source: UFOCasebook.com



Here are the two images greatly reduced in size so click on the respective mage to see the original size photographs as posted by UFOCasebook.com:


Click image to enlarge


Click image to enlarge

Image/s source: UFOCasebook.com



Upon request the images were quickly supplied as received by B.J. Booth at UFOCasebook complete with metadata intact, and as you can see from the EXIF data there was a time lapse of 13 seconds in between capturing them:




In the following images I've left the pole just in shot so you can differentiate between the two images (i.e. one on the right and one on the left side of the pole/support which is centred in the image) and I tried to clean them up a little and here they are lightly filtered and enlarged:

Greenville - Black Triangle UFO zoom



Greenville - Black Triangle UFO zoom



And a couple of quick animations to give an idea of the distance the object travelled (as stated by the witness) which are unfortunately too large to post so:



And finally after a cursory check with a more powerful EXIF tool (snoop) it would appear that the image if tampered with (post-processing) was then subsequently edited to remove any trace of this as there doesn't seem to be any (obvious) digital remnants which would indeed suggest the image had been modified:

Greenville - Black Triangle UFO EXIF



Greenville - Black Triangle UFO EXIF

ASSESSMENT: Class 3 - Image has high probability of being original



However and for all there was no conflicting evidence contained within the embedded data when I looked at the original images they screamed fake to me, but I fear I am not really proficient enough when it comes to CG to say definitively or specifically if or why that's what they are. This is partly why I resorted to analysing the data that accompanied the image (although this is usually first on my ‘to do' list anyway) a task which I pursued to see if there were any discrepancies between this image and other known images from the same camera/settings, be that in the actual image or the hidden data that accompanies it. I do appreciate and understand that it is possible (although more difficult than people may realise) to manually edit the EXIF and then remove all traces of the process. By this I mean edit the image in such a fashion that when finished the jpeg compression tables as well as chrominance and several other tables all of which are embedded in the image by default (when first digitized) appear exactly as they do in images known not to have been altered.

I have come across the data being removed to further a deception prior to this but not in the same way as those images were suspected of being hoaxes because the embedded was stripped of a couple of fields that would have betrayed any manipulation, but to date and after having checked several images from the same camera model there have been no discrepancies at all contained within the embedded metadata.

So, back to the images and when I looked at them the circular flame section just looks unreal, artificial, almost as if superimposed onto the triangular objects:

Greenville - Black Triangle UFO

Actually it instantly reminded me of the devil/hell scenes in SouthPark where they (intentionally!!) have a similar kind of cheap-looking computer generated flame effect:

UFO - South-Park flame effect

So in short while the actual photographs while decent are not really exceptional and don't have *that* much realism about them, a prime example of which being the synthetic-looking flame effect, but also just how the object/s appear against the sky or more specifically it doesn't appear to sit right in neither the sky or the photograph.

So this is what really got me interested in the first place, i.e. that there seems to be an inconsistency between what the evidence shows and what the embedded data in the image tells us and it piqued my interest enough to research the background of the images a little further.

And after researching the images/witness account or more importantly contrasting and comparing with several earlier reports (from a couple of years ago) some interesting and arguably quite damning similarities regarding certain aspects of this report (& witness) turned up.



However, as explained at the top of this post due to waiting for more information (via email) and because of the inevitable space constraints when posting information such as this to a Blog, I will post the second part of any relevant research and/or information within the next couple of days…..

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Friday, 19 February 2010

UFOCasebook.com Website Suspended/Offline (TEMPORARILY!!)

The massively popular UFO website UFOCasebook.com is currently showing a, “Website Suspended" message:

This is NOT due to anything other than administrational difficulties which have come about by the owner (Mr BJ Booth) trying to provide a higher quality service to his readership by way of posting (and making available for download) high quality videos which directly relate to articles published on his website.



(BJ Booth had the following to say:)

I received no warning from my serving company on this matter.

Here is what happened:

As you know the main site gets a ton of page views, often as many as 1 million per day. I had recently redone our entire video section to high quality files that you can stream or download.

As a result of the enormous traffic the new section received, it was putting a lag on the entire bluedomino site world wide. I spent an hour dealing with them on this issue. I pay them well, for unlimited bandwidth, but they would not budge.

So, to get back online, I had to delete 459 files in my new video directory.

I will put a message on the main site page about what happened as soon as they put me back on.



The above hasn't been publicly posted (in full) but I assure you this is in fact exactly what happened and the problems are currently being ironed out.

Of course one would hope that no-one would be naïve enough to believe there is anything untoward or clandestine regarding this temporary suspension before checking the facts. (Although admittedly stranger conspiracies abound!!)

But just in case this Blog post is purely to quell any possible conspiracy theories before they arise, a pre-emptive strike if you like…..

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Sunday, 3 January 2010

Father Gill - Papua New Guinea UFO (CE3)

The following is from, "Defining A Close Encounter".

Close Encounter Of The Third Kind:

The Third kind is when you not only encounter a UFO, but when you can also see the entities inside the UFO.

Hynek was very careful to label this encounter as one which observed, “Animate beings,” within the UFO, note how he doesn't reference aliens or extraterrestrial, this was in conjunction with his own beliefs, and he further states that they are included because Hynek felt a scientific obligation to include them, due solely to the amount of reports of this type of UFO encounter rather than because of a personal belief.

Close Encounter Of The Third Kind - The Bloecher Subtypes:

UFO researcher Ted Bloecher, proposed a further seven subtypes for the Close Encounters of the Third kind in direct relation to/and for inclusion in the Hynek's scale.

  • A: An entity is observed only inside the UFO
  • B: An entity is observed inside and outside the UFO
  • C: An entity is observed near to a UFO, but not going in or out.
  • D: An entity is observed. No UFOs are seen by the observer, but UFO activity has been reported in the area at about the same time
  • E: An entity is observed. But no UFOs are seen and no UFO activity has been reported in the area at that time
  • F: No entity or UFOs are observed, but the subject experiences some kind of “intelligent communication”
  • G: Abduction (same as close encounter of fourth kind)

Subtypes D, E, and F may be unrelated with the UFO phenomenon.

Source: UFO-Blog (07)






No simple flight of fancy

IT is now 50 years since a 31-year-old Australian Anglican missionary in Papua New Guinea, William Gill, and 37 parishioners and staff made the best attested and least explained sighting of unidentified flying objects in the long, otherwise kooky history of the genre.

The day before the celebrated encounter of a mystifying kind, Gill had written a letter to David Durie, acting principal of St Aidan's College, which trained teacher-evangelists at Dogura, then the headquarters of the church in PNG. Gill, who was priest in charge at Boianai, a large village on the mountainous north coast of Milne Bay province, about 25km west of Dogura, told Durie of a UFO sighting by Stephen Moi, then an assistant teacher.

He said: "There have been quite a number of reports over the months from reliable witnesses.....The peculiar thing about these most recent reports is that the UFOs seem to be stationary at Boanai or to travel from Boianai."

A beautiful location brilliantly captured by pioneer Australian photographer Frank Hurley in 1921:

"I myself saw a stationary white light twice on the same night on April 9 . . . the assistant district officer, Bob Smith, and Mr Glover have seen it. I do not doubt the existence of these things, but my simple mind still requires scientific evidence before I can accept the from-outer-space theory. I am inclined to believe that probably many UFOs are more likely some form of electric phenomena or perhaps something brought about by the atom bomb explosions etc.....That Stephen should actually make out a saucer could be the work of the unconscious mind, as it is very likely that at some time he has seen illustrations of some kind in a magazine.....It is all too difficult to understand for me; I prefer to wait for some bright boy to catch one to be exhibited in Martin Place.

Yours, Doubting William.


The following day, he wrote again:

"Dear David, life is strange, isn't it? Yesterday I wrote you a letter, expressing opinions re the UFOs. Now, less than 24 hours later I have changed my views somewhat..... Last night we at Boianai experienced about four hours of UFO activity, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are handled by beings of some kind. At times it was absolutely breathtaking. Here is the report.

Cheers, Convinced Bill.

P.S. Do you think P. Moresby should know about this? If people think it worthwhile, I will stand the cost of a radio conversation if you care to make out a comprehensive report from the material on my behalf!!"


What had Gill and his parishioners seen?
The notes he made following his encounter describe a bright white light appearing in the northwestern sky, approaching the mission station, then hovering about 100m in the air. Gill, Moi, another teacher, Ananias Rarata, and 35 other people who all later signed a confirming document, watched what they described as a large, disc-shaped, solidly constructed object, with a wide base tapering up to a higher deck, and with what appeared to be four legs beneath, and four brightly lit panels in the side. It occasionally emitted a shaft of blue light at a 45 degree angle.

Then what they described as men emerged on to a deck on the top, four at most, but in various configurations. Clouds, which were at about 600m, then eventually obscured the vessel as it drifted higher. It had been stationary through most of the 25 minutes of this encounter. Gill then wrote his letter to Durie. That evening, the visitation returned in an extraordinary manner. He first saw it at 6.02pm, as the sun was setting.


Gill's account states:

"We watched figures appear on top - four of them - no doubt that they are human.....Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary. One above the hills west, another overhead.....On the large one, two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the centre of the deck . . . were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or setting up something (not visible).....One figure seemed to be standing looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same.....Ananias waved both arms over his head then the two outside figures did the same.....Ananias and self began waving our arms and all four now seemed to wave back. There seemed to be no doubt that our movements were answered. All mission boys made audible gasps (of either joy or surprise, perhaps both).....As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric Kodawara for a torch and directed a series of long dashes towards the UFO. After a minute or two of this, the UFO apparently acknowledged by making several wavering motions back and forth.

Waving by us was repeated and this followed by more flashes of torch, then the UFO began slowly to become bigger, apparently coming in our direction. It ceased after perhaps half a minute and came no further..... After a further two or three minutes the figures apparently lost interest in us for they disappeared below deck. At 6.25pm two figures reappeared to carry on with whatever they were doing before the interruption. The blue spotlight came on for a few seconds twice in succession."


The situation remained unchanged, so Gill returned to his regular routine and went to have his dinner at 6.30. By 7pm, the main object had moved slightly away and the observers went into the village church for evensong, as usual. By the time they emerged, at 7.45pm, visibility had become very limited with the sky covered in cloud. At 10.40 pm, Gill wrote, an "earsplitting" explosion woke up the mission-station inhabitants. Gill said it did not feel like a thunderclap. Later, Gill said, he was always asked why he had reverted to his usual routine when there was a flying saucer apparently hovering overhead. This was partly because, he said, "there was nothing eerie or other-worldly about any of this. It was all so ordinary, as ordinary as a Ford car.

"It looked a perfectly normal sort of object, an Earth-made object. I realised, of course, that some people might think of this as a flying saucer, but I took it to be some kind of hovercraft the Americans or even the Australians had built. The figures inside looked perfectly human."

Gill's report caused quite a sensation at the time, when PNG was an Australian colony. A Liberal federal MP from Western Australia, E. D. Cash, asked the then air minister questions in parliament, without receiving a substantive answer. The Defence Ministry deployed two RAAF officers to investigate. Although they found Gill "a reliable observer", they attributed the sightings to "natural phenomena", the result of cloudy, thunder-prone weather and light refraction from Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Gill was educated at Trinity Grammar School in Melbourne, then studied theology at St Francis College, Brisbane, and education at the University of Queensland. He was ordained as a priest in 1950, then worked in PNG in parish work and as a teacher and education administrator. In Port Moresby, he also did some radio broadcasting.

After returning from PNG, he taught at Essendon Grammar, Camberwell Grammar and St Michael's Grammar, all in Melbourne, and undertook sociological research at La Trobe University. He died at age 79 in 2007. Gill appears an exceptionally unlikely figure to have been readily caught up in the flying saucer craze, at its most intense in the 1950s. Few phenomena would have appeared more remote to high-church Anglican missionaries in PNG, many with considerable educational attainments. Among those most intensely interested in the sightings was Englishman Norman Cruttwell, an outstanding exemplar of the long tradition of priest-botanists, who discovered and named - after his mother Christian - a rhododendron in PNG and had an orchid named after him in tribute.

Gill wrote to Cruttwell, who was also running a parish in northern Milne Bay: "Here is a lot of material the kind you have been waiting for, no doubt; but I am in some ways sorry that it has to be me who supplies it. Attitudes at Dogura in respect of my sanity vary greatly, and like all mad men, I myself think my grey cells are OK."

Among the hypotheses later considered to explain Gill's sightings was that he was pulling Cruttwell's leg. But, if so, when Cruttwell became excited, and helped inform the world about the events, Gill might then have been expected to stay quiet and wait for the embarrassment to pass. Instead, Gill accepted invitations to speak widely about what he had seen, with no apparent reluctance. Australian author Randolph Stow, who worked at an Anglican mission station for Aborigines in northwestern Australia, then as assistant to the government anthropologist in PNG, where he was based in Milne Bay, framed an acclaimed novel in 1979, Visitants, around the Boianai sightings.

"Be not afeard," Stow cites from Shakespeare's The Tempest:
"The isle is full of noises."

The writer knew both Cruttwell and Moi - by then a priest - when he worked in PNG. Cruttwell famously missed out on a sighting of bright lights over his own mission station because he was ensconced in the "smallhaus". The following day, he had the roof replaced with a clear glass panel, just in case .

Source: The Australian


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Sunday, 4 October 2009

UFO Disclosure - Brazil Release More UFO Files

Last week many sites covered the recently posted of the Brazilian disclosure courtesy of A. J. Gevaerd and was as follows:



This is to inform that Brazilian Government has just declassified a new set of significant previously secret UFO documents, now covering the 80s. We already had disclosures covering the 50s, 60s and 70s, all with very important documents and information. So far over 4,000 pages have been disclosed.

The recent disclosure is particularly powerful because it contains dozens of reports of UFOs on May 19, 1986, considered the “Official UFO Night in Brazil”, when 21 spherical objects, estimated 100 meters in diameter – according to military sources – were detected by radars and spotted by civilian pilots, and literally jammed air traffic over the major Brazilian Airports, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Then, several Mirage and F5 jets were scrambled to pursue them.

As a result of that “invasion”, the Air Force minister brigadier Octavio Moreira Lima went public about it the other morning on the national TV network, declaring all facts openly. The pilots who took part in the pursue and their commanders also spoke freely about the pursuits, which occurred over several hours.

We've had several other disclosures since 2007, all as a direct result of the campaign UFOs: Freedom Of Information Now , promoted since 2004 by the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers . The latest disclosure comprises over 2,200 new pages of formerly secret UFO documents that were given to the Committee and also sent to the Brazilian National Archives.

In late July, hundreds of papers from the Brazilian Air Force's official System for the Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (SIOANI) have demonstrated how the nation's military authorities dealt with the UFO Phenomena in the 60s and 70s.

Considering that SIOANI wasn't a top secret agency and that even civilian researchers took part in its procedures, the structure and functionality of which proves that Brazil is the first country in the world to officially and publicly admit the reality of the UFO Phenomena, and the first to investigate it openly.

For instance, where have you ever seen color drawings of flying saucers reported by witnesses and investigated by military personnel , such as these ones?

Caso_SIOANI_007_Croqui_Colorido.jpg
Caso_SIOANI_034_Croqui_Colorido.jpg
Caso_SIOANI_035_Croqui_Colorido.jpg
Caso_SIOANI_063_Croqui_Colorido.jpg
Caso_SIOANI_064_Croqui_Colorido.jpg

These are only a few links to recently discovered colored drawings of UFOs seen in Brazil and investigated in the 60s and 70s by the Brazilian Air Force's official System for the Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (SIOANI). Much more is about to be disclosed.

The Brazilian UFO Magazine website – http://www.ufo.com.br/– already has thousands of pages for download, such as over 1,200 pages of documents, 200 photos of SIOANI's activities and Operation Saucer, carried out in the Amazonian region in 1977. Along with documents received by the Committee from other military sources.

Included in the recently revealed documents are the detailed research proceedings carried out in dozens of UFO-related incidents which had not been made public previously. Some of the colored sketches of UFO incidents investigated by SIOANI are here:

http://www.ufo.com.br/documentos/sioani/Novos_documentos

Other documents can be found here:

www.ufo.com.br/documentos/sioani/
www.ufo.com.br/documentos/prato/
www.ufo.com.br/documentos/extra/
www.ufo.com.br/documentos/geral/

A. J. Gevaerd,

Editor, Brazilian UFO Magazine
Coordinator,
Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU)
National Director, Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)

http://www.ufo.com.br/
gevaerd@ufo.com.br
aj@gevaerd.com



There are a couple of links to images in the article and poses the question, “Where have you ever seen color drawings of flying saucers reported by witnesses and investigated by military personnel , such as these ones?

I visited the URL's as well as a few others and above is a selection of the images which I completely agree are more aesthetically pleasing than the normal scribblings proffered, perhaps because due to being somewhat culturally conformant they are best described as the ‘classic' flying saucer shape. (Art imitating life or…..)

But I hasten to add I'm not being dismissive, in fact the complete opposite as it seems as if the “Disclosure Bandwagon” is well and truly rolling and gathering speed, but of course while there's evidently no, “Proof of contact” (as it were) these are undoubtedly exciting times that we're living in as more and more previously classified UFO-related information becomes readily available than ever has before.

I guess the dilemma faced now is whether the broader UFO community will accept that the slew of documents released (& to be released) from several countries do indeed represent disclosure, because sadly it seems unless the documents tout definitive proof of the ETH then there will always be a large faction that doubts this is the case and so subsequently –albeit inadvertently- somewhat undermining the oft unreferenced efforts of the many UFOlogists actively involved in securing, and in some cases policing, the respective release of information.

Well this was what happened in the UK recently and I do sort of understand their gripes because if EVERY country were indeed to declassify their UFO files then this would surely lead to the unemployment of the many UFO ‘celebrities' and more importantly their revenue currently earned from the lecture/conference circuit and of course book sales. (Not to mention Greer et al).

I suspect that they'd still survive though because lets face it, and from what I've seen, the majority of them are peddling belief and rarely bother themselves with mundane things such as independently verifiable fact…..

“Yep, son, we have met the enemy….and he is us”

(Img source)

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Sunday, 27 September 2009

Justice For Gary McKinnon?

Well, yesterday (26th September, 2009) saw UK based “Tribune magazine” who describe themselves as, “A thorn in the side of all governments, constructively to Labour, unforgiving to Conservatives” posted about the plight of Mckinnon in an article called, “Securing Labour's future.”

The opening paragraph stated:



Ann Black identifies the priorities for Labour in the time remaining before the general election.

"As Labour gathers for its conference in Brighton, penned behind the ring of steel, the omens are mixed. The recession is easing, but the summer saw errors over Gurkhas' settlement rights, compensation for wounded soldiers and the lingering MPs' expenses scandal. Blaming the SNP for freeing Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, will not wash. Instead Labour hits out at soft targets in agreeing to deport Gary McKinnon, the hacker with Asperger's syndrome, to face rough justice in the United States for accessing military computers in search of evidence of UFOs.”

Source: Tribune Magazine



It seems as if the general consensus has gradually swung in favour of McKinnon, ComputerWeekly.com posted under their, “Legislation and Regulation” section on 14th July, 2009 that:


US allegations against UFO hacker Gary McKinnon were 'over baked'

US allegations about the severity of Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon's crimes were trumped up, a court heard today.

Edward Fitzgerald QC, McKinnon's barrister, argued that the Director of Public Prosecutions decided wrongly in February not to prosecute the hacker in the UK and so allow his extradition to face charges in the US instead. Fitzgerald told the court that US allegations that McKinnon was guilty of "the worst crimes of the century" were over baked. He submitted a file said to contain DPP evidence that demonstrated how the US did not have evidence to support these allegations. The actual US indictments - as apposed to allegations - were for computer fraud and damages. These charges were comparable with those listed under the British Computer Misuse act, the court heard.

McKinnon, who is accused of causing £475,000 worth of damage to computers by hacking into computer systems belonging to the Pentagon, Nasa and the US military from his home in North London, claims that under human rights law he has a right to be tried in the UK. McKinnon hacked military systems in the search for suppressed evidence of UFOs. He found little evidence of other-world natives or technology, except for a spreadsheet that listed "non-terrestrial officers, ships' names and goods movements", and a picture of what he said was a UFO with a perfectly smooth surface.

Source: ComputerWeekly



Back on the 10th September we were told that the presentation made on behalf of McKinnon by several MPs was apparently dismissed:



McKinnon plea falls on deaf ears

LABOUR, CONSERVATIVE and Lib Dem MPs who argued the case for protecting Palmers Green hacker Gary McKinnon from extradition in the US have drawn a blank. Michael Meacher, for Labour, former shadow Home Secretary David Davis and Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne had a 30-minute audience with Home Secretary Alan Johnson yesterday, but were disappointed by his response. The senior cross-party trio relayed arguments made by leading human rights lawyers concerned for the welfare of the 43-year-old Asperger's sufferer if the planned extradition took place.

Mr McKinnon admits cracking NASA codes, but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs, while the US says he is guilty of the biggest military computer hack and could send him to prison for up to 60 years if he is found guilty. The MPs will now take their case to the new US ambassador Louis Susman, who recently backed a sponsored walk for an autism charity.

Mr Meacher, who has criticised the UK's Extradition Act as being unfairly weighted in favour of the US, said:

“Alan Johnson made clear that in his view, after a string of court decisions at all levels over the last seven years, it would be very difficult for him to [intervene]…..It was also quite clear that Alan Johnson was concerned about the precedent that would be set in regard to other current cases, notably that of the alleged terrorist Abu Hamza…..We pointed out that this showed how poorly drafted the Extradition Act 2003 had been when not only was it gave rights to the US that were denied to the UK, but it bizarrely applied the same rules to a misguided but innocuous young man as to a serious alleged terrorist. A more common-sense and proportional approach was needed.”

Mr McKinnon is now waiting to hear if his legal battle will be taken on by the new Supreme Court, which replaces the House of Lords as the highest appeal court in the UK and starts to hear cases from October 1.

Source: Enfield Independent



Putting political agendas aside and again with ComputerWeekly.com who posted the following on September 22nd (2009) in their, “Risk Management” section:



Expert challenges UFO hacker's $700k bill

The US inflated the $700,000 bill for damages it slapped on UFO hacker Gary McKinnon by stuffing it with costs incurred for patching the gaping holes the hacker had exposed in its computer security, according to a document filed with the Supreme Court. The US had not taken reasonable steps to protect its security and now expects McKinnon to pick up the bill, said an expert witness statement made in McKinnon's ongoing appeal against a US extradition order.

Peter Sommer, professor of security at the London School of Economics, said damage assessments of computer security breaches should consider, "whether the victims have taken reasonable steps to limit the damage."

McKinnon had used Remotely Anywhere, a software tool, to hack US military computers in search of UFO secrets. The 42-year-old faces extradition after being accused of hacking into 97 US government computers causing $700,000 of damage.

But Sommer said, "Every intrusion detection system I have come across would flag up the installation of a remote control program like Remotely Anywhere……Any firewall also ought to block the 'ports' [internet access points on a computer] used by Remotely Anywhere. On this basis, the costs claimed for are features that should have been there in the first place."

Sommer, who once advised insurers underwriting the risks of computer damage, said hackers could not be held accountable for the, "consequential loss" resulting from their intrusion into systems unprotected by "preventative measures for reasonably foreseeable hazards ….. Insurers will not insure computers or computer-dependent businesses in the absence of reasonable levels of protection and means of recovery.”

But security experts in the US said McKinnon should be liable for the full $700,000 of security checks performed in his wake.

Professor Eugene Spafford, founder of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Indiana's Purdue University, said the victim of a cybercrime should not take the blame. If someone broke a door to rob a store, he said, it was usual to charge them the cost of the door. Anthony Reyes, a former cybercrime detective who helped develop the US Cyber Counter Terrorism Investigations Program, said, " Just because security is weak, it doesn't give you a red flag to go into a computer system and start browsing around ."

Source: Computer Weekly



Apart from the discrepancies between the dollar amounts stated to date regarding the alleged damage McKinnon caused (apparently depending entirely on which webpage the information was posted) this is the first time I've seen the allegation that the, “Damages” were nothing of the sort but instead are down to the cost of plugging the holes in the amateurish system setup that McKinnon exposed. While I agree that just because the security is weak it doesn't give you free licence to breech the network at will, but when someone exposes the system weaknesses to then try and also pass the cost of fixing these flaws onto them (which are there due to your own incompetence) doesn't seem right, does it?

And if the damages being pursued are just for locating and correcting his edits then it's still ridiculously overpriced at $700,000. Plus, if McKinnon is to be believed and this security flaw was indeed directly due to no more than the machines not having been assigned a password and so were still operating on the default settings, then I would tend to agree with McKinnon in that this estimate is massively inflated for the sole reason of obtaining extradition to the US, which in turn means I also share McKinnon's apprehension in that this is quite a risk to take if the US are just planning to extradite him for a lenient sentence.

I appreciate that the only reason I'm even mentioning McKinnon is due to what he claimed he found while browsing through the -less than- secure system and for what it's worth I don't believe McKinnon saw what he thinks he did, I wouldn't go as far as to say McKinnon is lying but I feel he is at best mistaken. However, that doesn't and shouldn't in any way affect the bigger picture which is surely that extradition while always accepted as a possibility is one I feel was never really expected to go as far as it has and especially so when several high-profile UK hackers have been tried for similar offences here in the UK (i.e. where the people were located when the cyber-crimes were committed).

I should also point out that I believe, “Team McKinnon” should have long since dropped the UFO angle, if absolutely necessary then perhaps play on McKinnon's (alleged) naivety in searching for answers to one of the most profound questions we as a species have ever asked, but to continue pushing the fact that McKinnon actually found evidence of this at the exact some moment being ‘caught in the act' is a very difficult coincidence to accept. Basically they are saying that after at least 96 fruitless attempts at discovering ANY information and many, many hours spent searching for it, Mckinnon finally stumbles upon the evidence he has been relentlessly questing for at the exact same moment that someone happens to notice he is online and has unauthorised access, the EXACT same time after so long undetected (in the act)?

And in what appears to be something of a contradiction McKinnon when appearing on the Hackers' Panel at the Infosecurity Europe 2006 conference (April 27th, London) and upon being asked how his exploits were first discovered, answered that he had miscalculated the timezone. He further claimed that this led to him actually using remote desktop software to operate a Windows computer while its user was sitting in front of it.

But yet also in 2006 when specifically asked, “What did you find inside Nasa?” McKinnon told the BBC's, “Click” programme:



“I got one picture out of the folder, and bearing in mind this is a 56k dial-up, so a very slow internet connection, in dial-up days, using the remote control programme I turned the colour down to 4bit colour and the screen resolution really, really low, and even then the picture was still juddering as it came onto the screen…..But what came on to the screen was amazing. It was a culmination of all my efforts. It was a picture of something that definitely wasn't man-made…..It was above the Earth's hemisphere. It kind of looked like a satellite. It was cigar-shaped and had geodesic domes above, below, to the left, the right and both ends of it, and although it was a low-resolution picture it was very close up…..This thing was hanging in space, the earth's hemisphere visible below it, and no rivets, no seams, none of the stuff associated with normal man-made manufacturing.”

Source: Click (BBC)



So from what information is available something doesn't seem to jibe as how was McKinnon able to locate and commence the download of an image on a PC on which a user was logged in and actually using at the time? Of course this is purely my unlearned opinion and either way I suppose this is something of a minor discrepancy and pales into insignificance when compared to the charges and the possible repercussions faced should extradition go ahead and McKinnon faces trial in the US.

And let's not forget that searching for UFOs/free energy etc. may be what Gary is claiming as the reason behind his foray into cybercrime it would be negligent to omit the statement he left on the system while hacking under the guise of, “Solo”:


“U.S. foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days ... It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand-down on September 11 last year... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.”


Remember this is post 9/11 and personally speaking this is not only in very bad taste but for all intents and purposes it certainly sounds like the words of a terrorist, cyber or otherwise.

Anyway that's more than enough rambling from me so I‘ll wind up by saying:

Support Gary McKinnon!!

But perhaps just not for the reasons you might have thought.....





A few earlier Blog posts:

(29 Aug 2008) Gary McKinnon Loses European Appeal
(31 Aug 2008) Protest For Gary McKinnon , Home Office (London) Tuesday
(31 Jan 2009) Boris Johnson criticised for defending UFO Hacker
(06 Apr 2007) Gary McKinnon Faces US Extradition On Hacking Charges, (+ Video)

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

The UFO Files - The inside story of real-life sightings

David Clarke, who has helped The National Archives during the UFO file releases of the UK UFO related documents has recently published a book which extensively details certain reports collected over the years as well as the nature and trends of their content.

The official blurb from The National Archives is as follows:



The UFO Files by David Clarke
The inside story of real-life sightings

The UFO Files reveals extraordinary reports by ordinary people along with details of official interest and investigations stretching back to before the First World War – for although the terms UFO and Flying Saucer were not coined until the middle of the twentieth century, people have long seen things in the sky that they could not explain.

David Clarke uncovers an array of startling stories from possible UFO reports hidden among Met Office investigations of aerial phenomena in the 1920s to the conclusions of Project Condign, the hush-hush British Intelligence UFO study completed in 2000. As well as covering Roswell and Britain’s own Rendlesham Forest mystery, Clarke raids the records for dramatic stories of abductions and close encounters, ghost aircraft and crop circles, and UFO reports by civilian aircrew and military personnel. Dramatic witness statements and interviews – many undertaken by the author himself – combine with rarely seen photographs, drawings and newly available documents to offer a unique guide to one of our most intriguing mysteries.

Contents: Introduction; 1. Strange Lights in the Skies; 2. The Flying Saucer Age; 3. Cold War UFOs; 4. Close Encounters; 5. Crop Circles and Alien Abductions; 6. Turn of the Century UFOs; Afterword.



And to herald this release The National Archives currently has an edited extract from Chapter 2 of The UFO Files by David Clarke (published September 2009) available for free download as a PDF document from the main UFO page.



The following is an excerpt from Dave's Blog last month just after the most recent (4th) release of documents:

“News of the latest UFO files released by The National Archives has travelled around the world.

I spent most of yesterday dealing with calls from the national and international media and shuttling between BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Sky News studios in London to comment on the significance of the new files. Public interest in the contents has been unprecedented and once again, most of the UK media have treated the topic in a serious and mature way. Yesterday morning I was able to explain the historical importance of the files to Evan Davies on BBC Radio 4's prestigious Today programme, which in itself is a measure of the impact the release has had.

The Rendlesham forest incident was discussed and a short interview with one of the key witnesses, John Burroughs, was used. This in itself was significant because Burroughs said he was unconvinced the incident was of an extraterrestrial nature - he suspects it was some kind of military experiment.

For once it was good to hear an alternative viewpoint expressed coherently and lucidly, rather than the usual tired debates about whether you "believe" or "don't believe" (who cares?). Coverage was extensive in the national and regional press, with leading articles in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent and Scotsman. BBC News Online ran a lead article and a more in-depth look at the connection between UFO sightings and science fiction in popular culture.”



Details of how to obtain Dave's new book is available at The National Archives online book store (here).

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(UK) RAF suspected aliens of "tourist" visits to Earth

Britain's X Files: RAF suspected aliens of "tourist" visits to Earth

A new book reveals details about UFO sightings over British skies after author David Clarke studied declassified Ministry of Defence records. The book gives new insights into an incident known as "Britain's Roswell" as well as the belief in UFOs by high ranking defence officials.

Project Condign

Little green men are all in the mind - Documents in the files reveal that there were high level defence officials in the 1990s who believed UFOs could be spacecraft piloted by extraterrestrials who could even be conducting "tourist" visits to earth.

In 1993, an RAF Wing Commander lobbied MoD officials about the need for a properly funded study, he told them: "The national security implications (of UFOs) are considerable. We have many reports of strange objects in the skies and have never investigated them….If the sightings are of devices not of earth then their purpose needs to be established as a matter of priority. There has been no apparently hostile intent and other possibilities are: (1) military reconnaissance, (2) scientific, (3) tourism…..If the reports are taken at face value then devices exist that do not use conventional reaction propulsion systems, they have a very wide range of speeds and are stealthy. I suggest we could use the technology, if it exists."

The internal debate in the MoD came to a head in 1995, when documents were made public revealing that UFO reports were routinely copied to specialist "Defence Intelligence" branches.

An exasperated intelligence office wrote to the UFO Desk: "I see no reason for continuing to deny that (Defence Intelligence) has an interest in UFOs…..However, if the association is formally made public, then the MoD will no doubt be pressurised to state what the intelligence role/interest is….This could lead to disbelief and embarrassment since few people are likely to believe the truth that lack of funds and higher priorities have prevented any study of the thousands of reports received."

Dr Clarke said: "Some of these officials, like the Wing Commander, obviously believed in some pretty weird stuff. He doesn't seem to have any evidence for his theories, but seems to have just been watching the X Files, like everyone else at the time….These are senior officials and yet they believe some pretty bizarre things."

An inquiry, Project Condign, was eventually launched in 1996, apparently without the knowledge of then defence secretary Michael Portillo. It was completed in 2000 under Geoff Hoon. The report found: "That (UFOs) exist is indisputable. Credited with the ability to hover, land, take-off, accelerate to exceptional velocities and vanish, they can reportedly alter their direction of flight suddenly and clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft of missile – either manned or unmanned."

It went on that, although they existed, UFOs presented no threat to defence. It found that many sightings of UFOs were in fact "plasmas" of gas caused by charges of electricity in the atmosphere. The author even suggested that exposure to plasmas could cause responses in parts of the brain that lead to elaborate hallucinations that might be interpreted as supernatural experiences of encounters with aliens. The inquiry examined seven "near misses" involving RAF aircraft and "unexplained aerial phenomenon".

The unnamed author concluded that "the possibility exists that a fatal accident might have occurred in the past" as a result of aircrew avoiding a UFO. The study recommended that pilots should make "no attempt to out manoeuvre a UAP during interception".

"Britain's Roswell"

This occurred in the early hours of December 26, 1980, in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, near two military bases used by the US Air Force: RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters.

US security personnel from the bases ventured into the forest after they spotted unusual lights that they feared could be a crashed aircraft. They reported seeing a strange glowing object which moved off through the forest. Dr Clarke said the files from the National Archives, at Kew, showed the authorities had missed the opportunity to fully investigate the incident. "There was clearly a missed opportunity to investigate properly here" he added.

Earlier this month, Peter Turtill, 66, from Ipswich, claimed that he had caused the scare by burning a lorry full of fertiliser. However, his claim has been met with scorn by some ufologists. Dr Clarke added: "There have been other people claiming responsibility for whatever happened in Rendlesham Forest. There is so much ambiguity about the incident and that is because there was not enough done at the time to look into it."

Source: Telegraph.co.uk


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Monday, 17 August 2009

MoD Fourth Release of UFO Files (Rendlesham Documents)

The fourth release of the formerly classified MoD's UFO files is upon us and yet again the media-embargo has been ignored and this time it was the UK's “Morning Star” which initially broke the embargo but untrustworthy media aside then this could prove to be one of the more interesting releases:



An excerpt from The Morning Star article follows:

Attempted abductions, scrambled fighter jets and flying saucers over Glastonbury are among hundreds of dramatic reports of extraterrestrial encounters released by the Ministry of Defence. Some 800 sightings dating from 1981 to 1996 have been released by the MoD and the National Archives, including reports of aliens with lemon-shaped heads and laser beams being shot to earth. They were released as part of a three-year joint project aimed at opening up the records to a worldwide audience.

This fourth instalment consists of 14 files of sightings, letters and parliamentary questions, amounting to 4,000 pages in total. The records feature papers relating to the Rendlesham Forest sightings of December 1980, when a number of people claimed to have seen a UFO in Suffolk.”

Source: The Morning Star



Several other articles have been posted about the imminent release with perhaps the most revealing being by Associated Press who details several points of note which I assume accompanied the ‘press package' which in the past has been wrote by Dr. David Clarke (whom I also suspect prepared the briefing for this, the fourth release):



British government posts 4,000 pages documenting 800 UFO encounters

LONDON (AP) - The deputy commander of a U.S. Air Force base in England was baffled by what he'd seen: bright, pulsing lights in the night sky…..Britain's defense ministry couldn't explain it either, but concluded that the unidentified flying object posed no threat.

The National Archives on Monday released the government's complete file on the "Rendlesham Forest Incident" of December 1980, one of Britain's most famous UFO sightings…..It was among more than 4,000 pages posted online Monday documenting 800 alleged encounters during the 1980s and 1990s. Over the past three years the Ministry of Defense has been gradually releasing previously secret UFO papers after facing Freedom of Information demands. The Rendlesham file contains U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Halt's first-hand account of the event, which has been public knowledge for many years. The file includes the conclusions of a British government investigation and a letter from a former defense chief urging officials to take UFOs more seriously. Halt reported that two servicemen had noticed "unusual lights" about 3 a.m. in the woods outside the gates of RAF Woodbridge, a U.S. base in eastern England. He wrote that patrolmen sent to investigate saw "a strange glowing object" in the forest.

The metallic, triangular object "illuminated the entire forest with a white light," he wrote.

The next day, investigators found depressions in the ground and unusual radiation readings. That night many personnel - including Halt himself - saw a pulsing "red sun-like light" in the trees that broke into five white objects and disappeared. The Ministry of Defense could offer no definitive explanation for what the Air Force officers had reported seeing, but also found no evidence of "any threat to the defense of the United Kingdom." Nothing had registered on radar, and "there was no evidence of anything having intruded into U.K. airspace and landed near RAF Woodbridge." A 1983 letter in the file proposes a possible explanation involving a combination of the nearby Orford Ness lighthouse, a fireball and bright stars.

Case closed, as far as the ministry was concerned.

But not everyone was convinced.

A 1985 letter from Lord Hill-Norton, former head of Britain's armed forces, to then-Defense Secretary Michael Heseltine, complained that the "puzzling and disquieting" episode had never been explained properly. Hill-Norton said if the sighting was genuine, "British airspace and territory are vulnerable to unwarranted intrusion to a disturbing degree." The alternative explanation was that "a sizable number of USAF personnel at an important base in British territory are capable of serious misperception, the consequences of which might be grave in military terms."

Britain's defense ministry has charted UFO sightings since the 1950s, when a Flying Saucer Working Party was established. More files are due to be released by the archives through 2010.

Some of the newly released events came with easy explanations…..In 1993 and 1994, the ministry received numerous reports of a "brightly illuminated oval object" over London. It turned out to be an airship advertising a new car.

More mysterious was a UFO "attack" on a cemetery in Widnes, northwest England, in July 1996. A police report said a young man - "a sensible sort of lad and genuine" - reported seeing a UFO firing beams of light into the ground. A police officer sent to the scene found a smoldering railway sleeper. "It does look rather odd," reported the officer, whose name was blacked out in the document.

The files include a little grist for conspiracy theorists.

The head of the ministry's UFO desk wrote briefing notes in 1993 reporting a spate of sightings in southwest England and speculating whether they might be connected to Aurora, a secret U.S. spy plane whose existence has never been officially admitted….. Atop one of his letters, someone scrawled: "Thank you. I suggest you now drop this subject."

The files reveal a 1996 spike in UFO sightings: 609 that year, up from 117 the year before. David Clarke, a UFO historian and consultant to the National Archives, said it was probably no coincidence that the supernatural TV show "The X Files" was popular in Britain at the time, and that alien-invasion movie "Independence Day" came out the same year.

"It's evident there is some connection between newspaper stories, TV programs and films about alien visitors, and the numbers of UFO sightings…..Aside from 1996, one of the busiest years for UFO sightings reported to the MoD (Ministry of Defense) over the past half century was 1978 - the year 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' was released."

Source: Associated Press



The timing of the release of all of the Rendlesham-related documents coincides nicely with the 30th anniversary of the event which is next year (2010) and while mentioning the Rendlesham Forest UFO case then I feel obliged to also highlight the plight of one of original witnesses as he attempts to finally sort the wheat from the chaff, and (hopefully!!) present the facts of the event before they become forever obfuscated by the passage of time.

I'm talking about TSgt. John Burroughs and he has a new Blog called, “Back To Bentwaters” and here's an excerpt from his first post which was only made on the 23 rd June (2009):



My name is TSgt. John Burroughs. In December 1980 I was a first hand witness to the strange events that took place in Rendlesham forest out side the Bentwaters RAF base where I was stationed. It is my intention to put together a 30 year reunion next year at RAF Bentwaters for all of the witnesses involved in the incident.

I am looking for anybody involved in the incident who would like to come over to England or go on tape to talk about their experience during those events…..Currently we are seeking a sponsor who would like to help put this together. We would welcome any help in getting to the bottom of this 30 year mystery.”

Source: Back To Bentwaters



Unfortunately at the time of writing it seems as if no attempts have been made by the other military personnel involved with the original event to help or even get back in touch with TSgt. John Burroughs…..

Anyway, as always, the new files as always are available at:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos/



And previous post on the earlier releases:

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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

(UK) Peterborough UFO, Appeal For Witnesses (May 2009)

(To be honest the main report sounds like Chinese Lanterns but as the article includes several other sightings I thought it warranted a mention.)



Mystery surrounds the appearance of eight eerie orange lights which lit up Peterborough's skyline on Sunday evening and left star gazers in awe. The bright circular lights, which were spotted around the city by Evening Telegraph readers on Sunday (3 May), have re-ignited the great Peterborough UFO mystery.

Peterborough UFOLocal people have reported between eight and 10 lights seen floating around Whittlesey, Coates, the Ortons and Hampton – the latest in a long line of mysterious heavenly sightings in and around the city in recent months – only some of which have been explained. Stacie Dunn, of Belton Road, Stanground, Peterborough, was driving along Fletton Parkway with her family at about 10.10pm when she noticed the bright lights. The family pulled over to take a closer look when they noticed there were eight glowing orange lights.

Stacie (18) said: “We all got out to look but there was no noise, a clear sky and these objects seemed to be heading towards Whittlesey”.


More sightings in Peterborough

A mysterious aircraft was seen circling the city on April 8 by eagle-eyed residents in Werrington. However , it was later revealed to be a aeroplane with thermal imaging equipment, which shows up heat use, carrying out a night-time mission over Peterborough to map out the energy use of city homes.

In January The Evening Telegraph reported other unexplained lights at about midnight on New Year's Day. While some thought aliens may have landed, it was revealed a city family had lit half a dozen Chinese lanterns and released them as part of their new years celebrations.


There was another sighting above the city in October last year, when residents in Werrington reported seeing a fireball streaking across the night sky. It turned out to be an "unusually large" meteor.


Other strange lights were spotted in Wisbech in November and above Peterborough in August – the latter of which was said to have been a recently- restored Vulcan bomber in flight:

"It was amazing. They were perfect circular objects, but we have no idea what they were. They seemed to be overtaking each other and as they moved along, their glow started to fade….."I tried to take a picture with my phone, but it didn't come out. We are just baffled and amazed as to what they may have been. I searched the internet the next day but I can't see anything that looks like they did."


Another reader, Laura Saidler, from Orton Longueville, wrote in to say she also saw about 10 lights floating in the sky:

"They were quite low down and all floating together. They were an orange and yellow colour and looked like candles floating…..There was no noise coming from them…..We tried to take pictures but nothing came out on the camera and the lights floated towards Orton Hall Hotel."


However, Mike Dunne, from Castor, near Peterborough, believes the lights were a result of someone shining a very strong light on to the low cloud base:

"My daughter spotted these strange lights in the sky and phoned me…..I had a look and, although faint, a beam of light could be seen coming from the Peterborough area. It was obviously someone shining a very strong light on to the low cloud base. UFOs – rubbish."

Source: Peterborough ET


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Monday, 4 May 2009

Morristown, New Jersey UFO Hoax – Looking For Pseudoscience In All The Wrong Places?

As regular readers no doubt know I have always been interested in UFO hoaxes and the various guises in which they manifest for nearly as long as I have been interested in genuinely unexplainable UFO reports, in fact if the truth be known then the UFO hoax aspect is practically inseparable from the broader UFO phenomenon itself and I believe hoaxes and their effects are also more than worthy of study, or at the very least acknowledgement…..

Eskeptic published an admission last month (April 1st 2009) by Joe Rudy (who holds a B.S. in science and actually teaches science as well as beings a private classical music teacher) and Chris Russo (who has a degree in management and economics and is a former model & actor) that they had personally perpetrated (and documented on video) the Morristown UFO Sightings (Jan 2009).

In the Eskeptic reveal which was titled, “How We Staged the Morristown UFO Hoax” Chris Russo & Joe Rudy wrote:



“In November of 2008, we found ourselves sitting around one evening discussing pseudoscience and the large numbers of people that still believe in its various guises. We had always had a strong interest in why people were so easily fooled by such irrational superstitions as psychic ability, spiritual mediums, alien abductions, and the like. Despite the lack of evidence to support these notions, we were baffled. How could so many people in an age of science still buy into dogma that is no more or less ridiculous than the notion of an elderly obese man delivering presents to every child on Earth in one evening? And like most other people, we had always heard about the uneducated farmer spotting an alien spaceship hovering over his farm, but we wondered if that amount of gullibility could be found in our upper-middle class hometown of Hanover, NJ, and the surrounding cities. “

“…..60 years later, despite the fact that there is still no evidence of their existence, the UFO myth is as strong today as ever, fed by cable channel shows that prop up UFO “experts” who claim to be authorities on a subject that's on par with astrology and palm reading. These charlatans make a career by perpetuating the E.T. fairy tale and exploiting credulous people who want nothing more than a good conspiracy theory to believe in.”

“It is in this context that we set out on a mission to help people think rationally and question the credibility of so-called UFO “professionals.” We brainstormed the idea of producing a spaceship hoax to fool people, bring the charlatans out of the woodwork to drum up controversy, and then expose it as nothing more than a prank to show everyone how unreliable eyewitness accounts are, along with investigators of UFOs.”

Source: Eskeptic



So, puzzled as to why people still believed in pseudoscience they ‘set out on a mission' to produce a ‘spaceship hoax,' well, each to their own and that's fair enough I suppose, however it appears that far from being an experiment of any description and the entire catalogue of events was nothing more than a fishing trip of sorts, but an experiment?

Perhaps, but surely the only real conclusion that can be drawn is that ‘confirmation bias' was inherent and that the ‘experiment' was rendered useless by applying the pseudoscientific method (that they claim to abhor) with such liberal disregard.


Identifying pseudoscience” - A field, practice, or body of knowledge might reasonably be called pseudoscientific when (1) it is presented as consistent with the accepted norms of scientific research; but (2) it demonstrably fails to meet these norms, most importantly, in misuse of scientific method. (Source)

Ah yes, the scientific method…..


Scientific method”- Refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.....Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge..... Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce a biased interpretation of the results. (Source)



So one of the main identifiers of pseudoscience is ‘misuse of the scientific method' which in turn shares a universally accepted & steadfast rule that it must be ‘objective to reduce a biased interpretation of the results,' yet Russo and Rudy after launching their balloons would call the news media to report a UFO sighting and can be seen doing so on the video, saying, "There are really strange lights in Morristown…..Doesn't look like a plane or anything." Not content with that they also appeared on TV further supporting the hoax by giving interviews of their ‘UFO sightings' and by doing so completely contaminated any results and consequently any/all conclusions.

But personally speaking, it was the actual reporting on the hoax which forced that old familiar feeling of contempt to stir, contempt the kind of which is almost exclusively reserved for journalists and politicians. However I suspect I run the risk of appearing to be generalising to an extent equal to that which I so often accuse the mass-media of, so I'll specify as it's ‘Newsweek' in particular I'm referring to. Of course this is nothing that hasn't been mentioned across the Blogosphere prior to my meagre contribution, most notably by Billy Cox, who in an article titled, “Nicely Done Newsweak” wrote:



“What's actually more revealing is how, within hours, Newsweek was the first to cheerlead the caper for its novel approach to promoting critical thinking. ‘Nicely done, guys,' wrote Sharon Begley for the magazine's Web page.”

Source: HeraldTribune



The crux of the complaints (mine included) is that -tactless reporting aside- the media took a great deal more notice once the fact that it was a hoax was admitted, and positively relished the opportunity to yet again portray the UFO community in a negative light, worse still it appears as if they believed they were justified in doing so, completely ignoring the suspect methodology employed by the hoaxers and instead actually championing the flawed experiment, “Nicely done guys” indeed……

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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Nick Pope Internet Radio (Sat 25th April 2009)

I just received a message on one of my YouTube accounts from “Pair a normal guys” that said that Nick Pope had just given an interview with them on the 25th April 2009. And for a change (with Pope) I was pleasantly surprised at the sober tone of the interview, and I was shocked to find that his views on disclosure and what exactly the government knows echo my views to an extent as does the fabled 'acclimatisation' theory. Pope also discusses Rendlesham and Condign briefly as well as the usual suspects (Roswell etc.) as well as the recent XConference at which Pope was a speaker.



Here’s the less than accurate blurb (Minister?) that accompanies the interview:

UK DEFENSE MINISTER AND UFO RESEARCHER Sec(AS)2a (Secretariat of the Air Staff).NICK POPE WILL JOIN PAIR A NORMAL GUYS INC TO DISCUSS SOME MEMORABLE UFO CASES IN THE UK ALSO HOW UFO SIGHTINGS ARE REALLY HANDLED BY THE MILITARY AND GOVERNMENTS AND NEW EVENTS AND SIGHTINGS AS WELL. PLUS OTHER PARANORMAL TOPICS ALSO WILL BE COVERED. JOIN US AS WE GET A UK PERSPECTIVE ON UFOS.



And the interview can be heard here.

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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Did you see these UFOs? (Isle Of Wight April 2009)

A RYDE woman who said she saw a late night UFO ‘near miss' has appealed for other witnesses to come forward. She said at 11.10pm on Saturday the police spotter plane, circling the south of the town, was involved in a low-altitude ‘ near miss' with three other craft. Police, who confirmed their spotter plane was in the area and that three officers were on the ground searching for occupants of a stolen car, who ran off after a crash, said none of the officers reported seeing any unusual activity.

A police statement said:

“The pilot, observers and police officers on the ground did not see, hear or come into contact with any other aircraft while flying over the Island at this time…We are satisfied that Hampshire Police Air Support Unit was not involved in an air near-miss incident.”

But the woman maintained:

“I was watching from the bedroom window, which faces east, at 11.10pm…What appeared to be three jets came very fast from the west and flew even lower towards the plane…f these had collided, half the houses in Ashey Road would have been wiped out…The strange thing is, the three craft didn't make any noise…I do not want publicity, do not drink and have never taken drugs. Somebody must have a record of what these craft were up to?

“The spotter plane had lights under each wing and one on the nose. The three, that appeared as fast as the Red Arrows, had only one light…Surely someone else must have been watching at the same time?”

This report follows a Sandown woman describing a bright orange circular object making its way silently across the sky on Wednesday last week. Meanwhile, on Bank Holiday Monday, a Bonchurch resident reported seeing a luminous ball of light in the sky. Again, it made no noise.

Source: IWCP.com


(The scourge of UK UFOlogy?)

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Friday, 24 April 2009

When is a Drone Not a Drone? (Petten, Holland, 2007)

PLEASE NOTE : For reasons which will quickly become apparent I refer to the Petten, Holland object as a, “Drone” purely because this is how it is being referred to in the course of being perpetuated across the internet and will ultimately enable ease of access for SE's/reference purposes.

I personally do NOT believe this object is related to the 2007 Californian Drone Hoax in any way shape or form (and I am apparently in the minority) but for what it's worth I believe that the witness of this recent (Petten, Holland) object is sincere and has shared the circumstances surrounding the sighting to the best of his recollection.



It was first reported by BJ Booth at the UFO Casebook on 12th April (2009) with the following title and message:

Drone-Like UFO Photographed in Holland, 2007

Petten, Holland, September, 2007

I was fishing with my wife, when I noticed something in the sky. I could not see what it was, because off in the distance we saw it as a black spot.

Altitude was about 300 meters. I took my camera, Nikon D50 and had a 300 mm lens on it. I just shot some pics (about 12), so I could see it on the computer.

It stayed for about half an hour, and then it disappeared (we didn't see it flying away). Photograph was taken in Holland, near Petten, on September 8, 2007.

regards,

Source: UFOCasebook Front Page



This was then followed up on the 14th April (2009) with another two photographs then after further contact with the witness the full thirteen images were released at UFOCasebook as a zip file.

It was in this third posting that BJ Booth also wrote:

I had a phone conversation with Linda Moulton Howe this afternoon, and we are collaborating on the research and information gathering aspect of the Holland drone-like photographs... more info will be coming soon. thanks again.



To be honest my (and many others) initial thought was that it was a kite of some description, this was just from the first release which contained just the one image, this seemed to be further confirmed by the second release of two images. And when the full sequence of (13) images were all released in their entirety this further confirmed that we were indeed looking at the motion very similar to that of a kite:

Animation Of Petten UFO Sequence
Animation Of Petten UFO



Where's Waldof?!

The witness joined the UFOCasebook forum after the first image was released (April 13 th 2009) and was a willing participant in the discussion elaborating and answering more questions regarding his experience, his user name was/is *Ruud*.

Below are some of the kites located which were of a similar structure to the object that was photographed in Petten, Holland.

Here's an overlay courtesy of UFOCasebook forum member Marvin.

All of the above were posted to the Casebook thread on or before the 16th April (2009).

Most are from the following link which also describes how you can even construct your own Waldof kite!! (Source)

Also, as well as a multitude of similar kites being found a couple of kite forums were contacted in the process of trying to positively identify the object as a kite, here's the first reply to the question on the kitebuilder.com forum.


Hate to disappoint anyone but .....

I got no hesitation, that is a kite

Moves like a kite, looks like a kite..it's a kite.

I reckon you even named it. A Waldorf [*Edit: SP – Waldof] Box (or Variant)


pic courtesy of Kite plan base

Any of our guys want to own up

BTW, some of your guys saying about reported lack of wind.

Bare[sic] in mind, skies like that, on a beach, very unlikely to be zero wind.

May have been light, witness/photographer may have been in wind shadow from dunes or the like but I wouldn't belive[sic] zero wind.

Also, most non kite flyers underestimated the amount of wind needed to fly a well built and suitable kite. The Waldorf will fly in 10mph winds happily..... and stronger winds would be likely at 300m

Most people reckon 10mph is nothing, especially if they are sheltered.

It's also quite normal for wind to be selective, stronger in one place then another close by...ask any sailor or kite flyer

Source: Kitebuilder.com



DroneHoax.comI expressed my concern and disappointment at the time that this particular sighting was being associated with the Drones at all, irrespective of whether this was merely an aesthetic similarity or not. Mainly because I suspected it would (and now has) become inextricably linked to the original California Drones of 2007 which are widely recognised and accepted as an internet hoax, I also suspected that as a result of this vague marrying of rings and appendages the recent Petten image would be classified as ‘ guilty by association ' and wouldn't receive a fraction of the attention and analysis that the original Drone images had.

Well, I was also apprehensive of myself and others being too eager at drawing parallels with the Drones as I can still remember –with some clarity- the circus atmosphere that surrounded the Drone debacle once a couple of Ufology's ‘bigger' and more media-friendly players caught scent of a story. It was an atmosphere reminiscent of ‘old –school' Ufology with the one-upmanship mentality, ad-hominem attacks and refusal to co-operate. As a matter of fact Linda Moulton Howe (LMH) of the Earthfiles website still believes that she is perfectly justified in withholding vital evidence in the form of eleven high-resolution photographs (part of a set of twelve) which she was trusted to share in their entirety from one of the original five Drone witnesses, but I've wrote about this a couple of times prior so rather than rehash it again it can still be viewed online by visiting here.



Regarding the Drone association BJ Booth has since stated (April 15th 2009) that:

I never asked him [the witness] about the drones. It was I who first used the phrase, "drone-like" simply because that was the first thing that came to mind. What should I have called it?

(snip)

I do not know what it [Petten object] is, and I have never said what it is.”

Source: BJ Booth - UFOCasebook Forum



So it's clear to see that this link to the Drones was nothing more than a familiar phrase used to describe an otherwise difficult to explain shape and the heading of the UFOCasebook page in question even states that the object was “Drone- like” rather than a Drone.

Then in the early hours of the 17th April the witness (Ruud) wrote the following (please bear in mind that English is his second language and I've posted the comment exactly as it was originally posted):


Personaly I didn't made a link to a drone. I thougt drones were much bigger and much more suffisticated.

More alien so to speak. (fake or not)

I never heard about woldof kites, now I know there is a variaty of kites in al kind of shapes (impressive).

I have no benefit what so ever of posting those pics, (only that my English is updated).

I like to watch the sky, especially at night.

I don't believe in god, I have seen lots of meteorites, sattelites speeding through the space. I have seen UFO balloons. (Thai balloons). I have seen Skylab and the ISS.

I have also seen the Hayley comet (with the tail).

I am just a sober guy from Holland wich could not explain something I took pictures of.



LMH Strikes Again

And later on the 17th April and Earthfiles (after gaining access to the witness) writes a piece with the headline of:

Spider-Like “Drone” Photographed Over Petten, Holland.

Did you notice the less-than subtle difference between UFOCasebook's title?

UFOCasebook called it a “Drone-like UFO” while LMH (Earthfiles.com) removed the possibility of a UFO completely and called it a “Spider-like Drone”.

Then LMH writes:

“No other 2007 photographs of the mysterious “drones” emerged - until now…..So now, I am adding another line to the chronological list of eyewitnesses:”

This should surely raise questions about the investigative prowess of LMH in all persons, from the casual reader to the hardened ‘nuts & bolts' Ufologist.

As apart from the fact that the witness has stated prior that it in no way reminded him of a Drone LMH steamrollers over his opinion and classifies it 100% as a “Drone,” still, no real surprises there as “Drones” with a great deal worse defining criteria have qualified for LMH's –already laughable- list of “Drone-witnesses”.

When actually asked about the Drones by LMH Ruud stated that he wasn't really aware of them prior but was surprised that while his report was classed as a “Drone” people believed he was being less than truthful, this was due solely to the fact that everyone except LMH and a couple of hardcore Drone believers now accept that the 2007 California Drones were a deliberate internet hoax.




When Is A Kite Not A Kite?

In a thinly veiled attempting to justify this she states that:

“THAT WAS APPARENTLY PROVOKED BY SOME CALCULATED MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BY PEOPLE UNKNOWN IN 2007 TRYING TO PAINT THE PHOTOS THAT EMERGED AS BEING HOAXED.”

I had to re-read it a couple of times!!

Firstly, apart from the fact that LMH completely ignored the fact that 2007 Drones were analysed and found to be CGI by every single specialist who took the time, some of whom are industry recognised professionals and I hasten to add these are not ‘debunkers' by any stretch of the imagination as they are also believers and/or have first hand experience of the nuts & bolts UFO phenomenon.

Secondly the entire Petten Drone/kite are and the full article by LMH is basically turning a kite into a Drone and then it climaxes with unknown persons waging a “MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN ”!!

Still, I suppose she is the expert…..

Anyway, after the interview was published with Ruud, he wrote:



“I have no intention my pictures going around knowing as an hoax.

I hate hoaxes.

I have seen pics of that phony thing you are calling a drone all speaking about that it is an hoax.

It never had my interest because it looked so unreal.

Also there is no resemblence with the pics I took.”



And for what it's worth here was my reply (to Ruud):

Regarding the Drones I agree with you and this is why I was keen to disassociate your report from them by posting to another board and when that failed by creating a new thread in the Drone section. However your report is destined to eternally be labelled as a “Drone” due almost exclusively to the portrayal of you and your account at Earthfiles.

I'm sure you can appreciate it's now a ‘done-deal' and you're a “Drone-witness” as far as LMH is concerned and what's good enough for her is good enough for die-hard Dronies the world over, as they all seem to classify and claim LMH's word as beyond reproach. But take heart because at least after this latest debacle a few more people have had their eyes opened to the media entrepreneur that is LMH, and hopefully also to her subscriber/ratings orientated method of investigative ‘scientific' reporting…..



I am however still pleased that LMH conducted the interview in her usual manner. I say this because as this time she wasn't the first port-of-call for the witness, it meant that she wasn't reporting on a sighting, witness & images that only she had exclusive access to (which was often the case with the original Drone reports).

So in my humble opinion and albeit inadvertently she's done us all a favour by once again reminding us of why the moniker of ‘story-teller' is infinitely more applicable than that of ‘investigative reporter' or a ‘scientific consultant' (which C2C touts her as when she appears on their show).

In short I believe that the 'kite' possibility at least warranted a mention, and certainly more than the inclusion of the report in the "Original Drone Timeline" did, but hey, what do I know.....

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