Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for May, 2008

A MIB Story

EBE 2: Bob explains the procedure to wash the body before placement on a sealed coffin for transportation“.

It’s the fifth installment of “Relato de um MIB” (A MIB Story), the fictional series by Brazilian artist Philipe Kling David. Click for more images, including their alien egg-shaped vehicle. All examined in Brazil! Yes, we have our Area 51 too.

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Non-Abductees Anonymous

“Everyone needs a little support now and then… even those who aren’t “chosen.” Catch a special insider’s glimpse of the support group for people who have NEVER been abducted by aliens.”

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Giant! Space! Vegetables!

Giant space vegetables ‘could feed the world’“, says the Telegraph, according to which “it is thought the near zero gravity conditions in space result in super-sized fruit and vegetables with a higher vitamin content. … Struggling for space in giant hothouses at the Guandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences are 21lb (9.5kg) tomatoes and enormous watermelons.”

That’s interesting, but some skepticism may be appropriated. They do mention a more down-to-earth value of “harvests which are ten to 20 per cent higher than normal”, a big difference from the “ten times their normal size and weighing more than an average man” vegetables claimed in the same news item. What’s actually going on here? Are giant space vegetables really our salvation?

Well, actually giant vegetables are nothing alien, though this is a perfect excuse to tell the story of a famous Mexican case of the 1970s. It all happened in Valle de Santiago, where a simple peasant, José Carmen García Martínez, managed to harvest giant vegetables, from lettuce to onions, of a truly gigantic size.

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A nicely hoaxed crude hoax

This video is not impressive at all (the previous balloon was far more interesting), but try to guess what it is. A digital hoax? Or simply a suspended lamp?I vouched for the suspended lamp, as the wires could have been obliterated by the background sky, and the match of focus and general appearance seemed very nice and real. For a lamp, that is. The fact the “UFO” almost doesn’t move was also a factor.

But then, I’m not an expert, and neither had I dedicated much time to it. Because I was wrong, and this was a digital hoax after all. Even when I was told so, I had my doubts. Even after seeing these screenshots:

I still had some doubts. Perhaps they created this to fool the skeptics, when it was a suspended lamp! It had to be!

Until I spent some more minutes staring at it and realized the time stamp and footage on it are nowhere to be seen in the publicized video. This is indeed a screenshot of the creation of the footage. I was wrong.

So, this is a quite nice digital hoax which at first sight may look like a crude lamp hoax. These are confusing times.

This case is actually developing as Mexican ufologists Jaime Maussán and Ana Luisa Cid are arguing over it. The screenshots were publicized by Tachi.


UPDATE: The author of the videos not only denies he hoaxed them, he actually claims those screenshots were hoaxed. And he may be telling the truth, at least for the last part.

One usually assumes the person who created the video is the one to post it first on Youtube. And Mauricio Ruiz was the one to post it first. Yet, he denies he hoaxed them. He claims that was a real event. Then, we have someone who sent, anonymously, those screen captures. But no more details from this presumed other person.

Things do not fit.

As I wrote above, I initially suspected this video was of a simple lamp, or some other real object. It’s a VERY good footage, if you ignore the fact the alleged UFO almost doesn’t move. The focus, movements, flares, all is very fine. That can very well be a real object, if not a real UFO.

Alejandro Franz also thinks so, and he even points to some poles that can be seen on other footage from Ruiz. One of Ruiz’s previous “UFO” footages involved simply filming clouds. Capturing a lamp (or something) suspended would fit that. A sophisticated 3d hoax wouldn’t.

What made me accept those screenshots was the time stamp. As I wrote, “the time stamp [on the] footage [is] nowhere to be seen in the publicized video“. But then, in retrospect, I realize that Ruiz seems to have uploaded and then removed a lot of videos to Youtube. Someone may have downloaded one of his other videos and created those screen shots.

So, he may be telling the truth when he says those screen captures were hoaxed.

And if they were hoaxed, then we don’t have smoking gun evidence that the video is a hoax. You would have to consider that it just have all the signs of a common lamp suspended with a string. Probably so, but no definite proof, as the author claims it was a real event, and the original video haven’t been analyzed.

As soon as I discover any additional evidence, or otherwise, if no new conclusive evidence comes from this case, I will make a new post clearly admitting that I was initially right, but was wrong on accepting those screenshots. In short, that I was wrong.

For now, I hope this update keeps people… updated. What made me update it was this discussion on ATS (a forum from which it seems I was banned, I don’t know why).

I was waiting for more definite evidence to come from the case to post a correction, but even if I’m not sure if I was right, wrong, or right and then wrong, one thing I can assure you: I try to be right. I’m no mad evil debunker.

Of course, that’s what a mad evil debunker would tell you. But I’m not one.

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“Only” a weather balloon

“A very intriguing UFO filmed on July 1st 2001 in Moscow. The incredible morphing or fading of the craft, as well as the sudden appearance, intensification and color change in the dual lights is quite unique. Although the beginning of the film looks to be a weather balloon. The latter parts of the video do not necessarily display characteristics common to such man-made devices.”

But it is indeed a “weather” balloon. As fellow Luis Eduardo Pacheco, from Stratocat, points out:

It’s clearly a stratospheric balloon without its payload, which explains why it has a variable center of gravity. Even then, one can notice it’s under considerable stress that deforms it after releasing its payload and going over its maximum flying altitude, with lower pressures… If it had been filmed at noon instead of at sunset it wouldn’t have taken much time to blow up because of the heating of helium or hydrogen. Given the time of the year, it was probably launched from Kamchatka“.

Now, that’s to show that “weather” balloons sightings need not be boring at all. [via Marcianitos]

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