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Archive for the 'Aliens' Category

The FBI/KGB/SS Alien Photo: Found

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“Above, one of the most impressive photos of an alleged extraterrestrial creature recovered from crashed UFOs. For many years it was thought the photo originated from a crash in the USA, but recently it was found it was captured in Germany, shortly before the Second World War. The officers who hold the being are high-ranking members of the SS” [Brazilian UFO mag, n.18, p.18, Dec 1991]

001This has long been a favorite, and since we first wrote about it, we found out, through Isaac Koi, that as early as 1982 Loren Gross had already published in his series “UFOs: A History” the correct full source for the montage: the 1950 April Fools’ edition of the German photo magazine “Neue Illustrierte”, and in 2003 Achim Martin had sent him copies of the original article. Unfortunately, Gross publications have very limited circulation and the reproductions are of poor quality.

I therefore obtained the original issue of “Neue Illustrierte”, published in Cologne, Germany, dated March 29, 1950. It was a weekly magazine, and as stated in a big red headline in the cover, it covered April 1st. I share the relevant material here openly, and if you do appreciate it please help cover the expenses – instructions at the end of this post.

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Erich von Daniken: Fraud, Lies and Bananas

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To me this is the most incredible, fantastic story of the century”, wrote Swiss author Erich von Daniken in his 1973 book, The Gold of the Gods.. “It could easily have come straight from the realms of Science Fiction if I had not seen and photographed the incredible truth in person. What I saw was not the product of dreams or imagination, it was real and tangible”, he emphasized.

Daniken gave an excited first person account of this expedition guided by fellow Juan Moricz, and the incredible wonders he saw for himself. Only thing is, shortly after the book was published, Moricz disauthorized the Charioteer and told German newspapers Däniken had never been to the caves “unless it was in a flying saucer. If he claims to have seen the [golden] library and the other things himself then that’s a lie”.

And in the NOVA/Horizon documentary above, The Case of the Ancient Astronauts (1977), around 40 minutes on, you can see Däniken himself admitting these things described in his book didn’t actually happen. It’s wonderful seeing how he express some discomfort, but does not seem terribly disturbed confessing he simply made up the “incredible real and tangible truth”;.

According to him, those were simple literary “effects” and “small details” that an author was allowed to use. Not only did he invent his visit to the caves, despite the persevering search for what is yet another version of El Dorado, all suggests Moricz himself also invented everything. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but when those who claim to have seen those wonders come up with excuses like “they were too heavy to take out”, “the world is not yet prepared to know it” or that even simple photos “wouldn’t prove anything anyway”, one can reasonably disregard the subject until something solid comes up.

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That was not actually the first time Däniken somewhat candidly confessed making things up. Previously, in a wonderful interview by Timothy Ferris published on Playboy, August 1974, after being presented as a three times convicted criminal – one for stealing and twice for fraud –confronted with someone who contrary to him, had done his homework, Däniken concedes again and again how little he knew of the subjects he wrote about.

You can read a full scan of the interview here. And in the end, Däniken actually admits he was not entirely serious on what he wrote:

Ferris: A last question comes to mind because of our favorite of your theories – the one in Gold of the Gods in which you suggest that the banana was brought to Earth from space.

Ferris is referring to this excerpt, from the same book with the imaginary expedition to the non-existent golden caves:

“The banana, a delicious item of food, has been known in every tropical and subtropical region of the earth for many thousands of years. The Indian saga tells of the "wonderful Kandali" (= banana bush) which the "Manu," the loftiest spirits and protectors of mankind, brought to our planet from another star which was much further along the path of evolution than our earth. But a banana bush or banana tree simply does not exist! The banana is an annual plant which does not multiply by seeds, which it does not possess, but by suckers. Looked at in this light, the banana is a problem. It is found on even the most remote South Sea islands. How did this plant, which is so vital for the nourishment of mankind, originate? How did it make its way round the world, seeing that it has no seeds? Did the "Manu," of whom the Indian saga tells, bring it with them from another star-as an all-round foodstuff?”

And Ferris straightly asks: “Were you serious?” Von Däniken answers:

Von Daniken: No, and not many people realize that.”

The best part ends the brilliant interview:

Ferris: That leads us to ask if all your writing is a put-on. Are you, as one writer suggested, ‘the most brilliant satirist in German literature for a century’?

Von Daniken: The answer is yes and no. We have a wonderful term in German: jein. It’s a combination of ja and nein, yes and no. In some part, absolutely not; I mean what I say seriously. In other ways, I mean to make people laugh.

Ferris: Well, you’ve succeeded in both aims.”

ha ha! [with thanks to Carlos Bella for suggesting the 1977 documentary online]

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Koi’s Aliens

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Back in 2009, I attempted to publish skeptical notes on one alleged Alien photo a day for the whole month of November. In the end, however, the work was too much and I only managed to publish 21 of them (in retrospect I’m actually surprised I went that far):

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Now, Isaac Koi, a superb researcher, has online no less than 50 of them in Koi Alien Photos, from where we get the image that starts this post. Unfortunately he has not published all his notes yet, but you may have recognized the little alien held by his arms on the right page. It’s Koi Alien Photo 01.

And it’s also his first appearance ever: on a German article, “Der Mars-Mensch!” published on Neue Illustrierte, from Cologne. On April, 1, 1950. There’s also another photomontage of the Alien coming out of his silver disc, and the accompanying story makes reference to an American sergeant named “D. Ussel (13th Airborn Division)”. Koi remarks that “dussel” is German for sucker, or perhaps fool.

If there was any doubt this was an April Fool’s joke, Achim Martin, who provided the copy of the original article we are seeing (via Loren Gross), noted the following issued of Neue Illustrierte on April 5th clarified it was indeed an April Fool’s – and that the “silverman” alien was an artist from the ice-skater group “The Lidstones”. Koi however suspects neither of the pair Joan and James Lidstone were the face of the alien, but rather that they were in another image of the joke showing a multiple exposure image.

Martin Kottmeyer had already identified one source of the series of images on the Neue Illustrierte prank, “one of which is a retouched picture of Dr. E.W. Kay’s model saucer that appeared in the press on January 11, 1950”. I produced this comparison to confirm the identification:

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This also illustrates how the images were created by combining original photos with a lot of airbrushing.

On the note I wrote about it, “Die Fälscher Alien”, I quoted Koi himself, through the kind collaboration of “Internos”, from the ATS forum, who pointed me to the many valuable snippets Koi had been sharing there. As it turns out, already in 1982 Loren Gross had named Neue Illustrierte as the source, and had published copies of the article in 2003 sent by Martin. The Neue Illustrierte prank had even reached an AP news wire on April 1950 – and also the Talk of the Times, from where it echoed in the US too.

If any German reader is able to search for Cologne newspapers, particularly around April 1, 1950, they may finally put to a much due rest to this photo”, I wrote in 2009, unaware that years before a German reader had already done that. The photo has been put to rest.

But this explanation, as all good explanations should, does raise some interesting points. At the exact same April Fool’s, another German newspaper published another very similar April Fool’s prank. Coincidence? No. Conspiracy? Probably not.

In fact both pranks were inspired by the hoaxed story of a crashed saucer and its occupants known as the Aztec Crashed Saucer hoax. That very same hoax is actually also where most of the details of what is better known as the Roswell Crashed Saucer story originally appeared. They would only be associated with Roswell decades later.

I’ll be updating and correcting the information on some of the posts I made back in 2009 given the most excellent reference Koi has published.

Unfortunately, to this day, over a century from the invention of photography, and six decades after the initial flying saucer craze, there’s not one single photograph of an alleged Alien that is even remotely intriguing. Sure we still have lots of unexplained ones, mainly because of their unknown origins, but even them are always within the limits of even a shoestring hoaxing budget.

Of course, if you happen to know or have one, you can always e-mail me the scoop of the millennium.

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Stick-Figure Alien in Argentina was CGI

Last year, a “stick-figure” alien made an apparition during an interview in Caleta Olivia, Argentina. The video has since had more than 20 million views, but as it turns out, shortly after it was published on Youtube, the authors also published this:

Where you can see the original hoaxed video in higher definition (starting at 00:14). And the original alien in some other poses. They also made the Alien model dance in one of Caleta Olivia’s landmarks.

And they also confessed the hoax on Fact or Faked:

One more stick-figure alien video  solved, but let’s review the plenty of other ones from the beggining.

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The Amazing Story of the Salyut-6 Close Encounter

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“On June 18, 1981, Gosplan called for an extraordinary conference, with the presence of UFO experts, cosmonauts and Soviet authorities, including military officers. Its moderator was the chief of the Soviet Space Program, General Georgi Timofeevict Beregovoy. Beside him was Vladimir Kovalyonok [Kovalenok], the cosmonaut who, along with Viktor Savinikh [Savinykh], stayed 77 days in space, aboard the Salyut-6 station. …  The revelation they made was to shock the world. It’s quite simply the story of a close encounter of the second kind – which didn’t go the third kind because mission control ordered: NYET. Salyut-6 made contact with an alien spaceship for fou4 days (with interruptions) and together they orbited Earth. The event involved five astronauts: Kovalyonok, Savinikh and three aliens aboard an unknown vehicle that had the shape of a sphere.” [Brazilian Manchete magazine, September 24, 1984]

It’s an Amazing Story. The tale describe how the cosmonauts managed to contact the extraterrestrial intelligences, first by a failed attempt flashing a light in Morse code, but eventually succeeding with an alleged mathematical message. There is also the physical description of the aliens, essentially human beings, or “similar to human beings”:

“They used light helmets, such as tight hoods. … They had thick and long eyebrows and straight noses, like those of Greek statues. What most impressed the cosmonauts were the eyes – large and blue, twice as large as ours – fixed on them, without a trace of emotion. Their traces were handsome, very dark. They reminded of solemn Hindu men. But no muscle moved on their faces. They looked like robots.”

It’s even more amazing because, according to the story, the contact was fully recorded in many photographs and a long film footage, which was shown in the Gosplan conference and even today must be kept highly secret in some Russian vault.

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The bad news is that this amazing story is almost as fictional as those found on early pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories. It’s literally pulp fiction.

Russian researcher Boris Shurinov is especially critical of the promotion of this legend in the west. Quoting none other then Georgi Beregovoy – who was never chief of the Soviet Space Program – the source states quite clearly:

“Once I tried to investigate the subject myself. I read in a small Ukrainian paper about my  contacts with representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations and a film I allegedly showed members of the Politburo. I wanted to know where all that had come from, and found out it was a reproduction of an article published on Central Asia which in turn used an article from abroad. This is the degree of authenticity of this information.”

I also asked researcher Mikhail Gershtein, who kindly informed that another primary source in the story denies it all:

“In the documentary "V poiskah prisheltzev" ("In search of the extraterrestrials", 1988, in Russian) the producer showed this news clipping from the ‘National Enquirer’ to the astronaut Viktor Savinyh and translated some parts from it. Savinyh stated that it is pure lie: "They make us, the readers, fools as they want…"

Pure lies. But then, absence of confirmation, and even presence of denial can be taken by some as evidence of something to hide. The interesting thing is that the final source in the story confirms part of the story.

I saw this object and then something happened I could not explain”, repeatedly claimed Kovalenok.

“The object was the size of a finger. I was surprised to see it was an orbiting object … "It was hard to determine the size and the speed of an object in space. That is why I can not say exactly, which size it actually was. Savinykh prepared to take a picture of it, but the UFO suddenly exploded. Only clouds of smoke were left. The object split into two interconnected pieces. It was reminiscent of a dumb-bell. I reported about it to the Mission Control immediately.”

Kovalenok even made a drawing of the object.

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“The Soviet press headlined the event widely. Soviet newspapers and magazines published a lot of articles and messages about it, but they were mostly critical articles. Journalists excluded the existence of the extraterrestrial reason. It was probably a UFO, but it was definitely not mysticism – two people watched it at the same time.”

Now, this is confirmation of a UFO, but there’s no mention of the Gosplan conference, nor of Hindu aliens, and not even a single picture. Where did those details came from?

Yes, it was invented on the West by some ‘yellow press’ writer – maybe Henry Gris”, Gershtein answered me. “In Russia this wild story was known only from the ‘National Enquirer’ article”. Indeed, the single source for all those amazing details is an article by Henry Gris on that pulp tabloid, the National Enquirer.

At the time the Enquirer was deeply involved with the UFOria, and wild tales “from behind the Iron Curtain”, where the stories could not be checked, were a carte blanche to embellish things. If the Amazing Story of Salyut-6 sounded extraordinary, what about the “Space Alien Baby Found Alive”?

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The MUFON bulletin reprinted in 1983 a critical article by Anders Liljegren which exposed items from the Enquirer such as “Soviet Ships Buzzed by UFOs from Under the Sea” and “Space Alien Blasts Forest Rangers With a Bizarre Ray”, which Liljegren noted was copied almost verbatim from the details of a Finnish case that happened ten years before. “UFO researchers should put their NE issues into the depths of their waste-paper baskets where they rightly belong”, he recommended.

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But even the purple space alien baby kept alive for a couple of months was taken seriously by some believers, and has been quoted as a real story that was covered up. The Salyut-6 legend is very prominent in Latin America, and the Brazilian UFO magazine promoted it as a real event in  no less than two cover articles, one published in 1985 – when the story was fresh, and from where these wonderful illustrations came from – and the other in 2002, where they actually quoted Kovalenok latest statements, but still had not figured the legend out. This is the magazine that announced Jesus would come in a flying saucer. In April 2007.

In this review of the legend, I trusted the work of Shurinov and Gershtein, and could not find a fac-simile of Gris original item – the best I worked on was a full Italian translation. If you didn’t throw your Enquirer issue on the waste bin, I would really like to see the source for this tale I first heard when I was a kid!

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To sum it up: a UFO was sighted by Kovalenok and Savinikh aboard the Salyut-6 on May 5, 1981. But they couldn’t determine its distance and size, nor record it as the whole event lasted for only a few moments. The not exactly extraordinary sighting transpired in the Russian press, where intrepid Enquirer journalists such as Henry Gris picked it up and embellished it with the Hindu aliens. One has to concede it’s an interesting, if kitsch, tale. From the Enquirer the story circulated to the world, and made full circle back and past the Iron Curtain.

But what did the cosmonauts saw? In early 1978 there was another UFO sighting aboard the Salyut-6 space station, and this is yet another long story. But like the Amazing Enquirer Story, no record was captured and James Oberg suggests they could have seen a jettisoned trash bag.

If it had some Enquirer UFO issues inside it, as Liljegren recommended, it would make for a funny story.

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