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That Italian Air Force UFO video

 

Shortly before those amazing Haitian/Dominican videos, one of the biggest Youtube UFO sensations of 2007 was this one, allegedly from a source within the Italian Air Force. That was quickly dismissed by the actual publicizer, Paola Harris, on UfoUpdates:

This old Film Footage I have been showing for 3 years and It was given to Us Italian Researchers… not By the Air force. It is our Technology.

I had a cassette examined in Hollywood by my friends Rob and Rebecca Gordon who had the connections and money to do it. It was a 7th generation – copied 7 times – cassette. It was given to us with no explanation. It is a real object in the film. It has been shown in my MUFON and Laughlin Presentations and someone put it on U-TUBE [sic] and Google!

This all takes place in the Veneto region of Italy at a place called Ponte di Giulio. Near Aviano NATO Base. It is a dry river bed where the military does maneuvers and the photographer was on a tripod waiting for the object to come out of the woods. I doubt aliens appeared there!

Though the claims about it being real and “our technology” couldn’t be verified to this day, the ones about its origin could. Italians Antonio Pischiutti and Stefano Saccavino visited the location, near Ponte de Giulio, in Pordenone, and took this photo from roughly the same spot:

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Many Italian ufologists received the video from the anonymous source some years ago (more on this below), but apparently only Harris started to promote and sell it abroad on a DVD. Somehow, that resulted in two versions of the video (one converted directly from the DVD, at the beggining of the post, and the other filmed from a projection/screening of it) being recently uploaded to Youtube, and the rest is history. That we will tell here.

Given the anonymous source and the poor quality of the Youtube versions, it was expected that no definite proof of “authenticity” or of the probable hoax would be found, but people worked on it anyway and endless debate ensued. One of the most interesting evidence of hoaxing was pointed out by “onthefence” on the OpenMindsForum:

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The alleged UFO has a very different blur from the background. Though it has been reasonably suggested that that was the result of poor rendering of the 3D model on a computer, I think it has more to do with the simple difference in contrast between the flying saucer and the background in the original footage. Because the video versions initially on Youtube have such poor quality, I don’t think this “pulsed” blur artifact from a quick rendering of the 3D model would show up. One can barely discern details in the craft. Either way, it’s clear evidence that the flying saucer and the background are two very different things. One is real, the other is not.

Further evidence of hoax include the so convenient and extremely lucky cameraman (who according to Harris was using a tripod (!!!)). He had the saucer hovering near that chimney that turns out to be from the nearby power plant and which makes a nice detail. But do not make much sense because in the real geography of the place, the saucer at that point was actually hundreds of meters away from it. Only the cameraman at that point had the illusion that the saucer was near the power plant — and only if he had no depth perception.

But if things remained at this point, only skeptics would be satisfied to consider such soft evidence on such bad quality, anonymous video, a case closed for hoax. Fortunately, another Italian ufologist who received the original footage years ago decided to step up.

 

Antonio Chiumento, contrary to Paola Harris, allegedly chose not to publicize the video he received because of the anonymous, unknown origin. Wise decision. It remained archived for years, but after the international Youtube sensation and subsequent echoes in his very own country about it, he finally spoke about it. And we are glad that he did.

In the videoclip above you can watch the best version of the infamous video yet available on the internet. That’s probably because they are showing the original video that Chiumento received directly from the anonymous source. You can see clearly that the flying saucer is fake, as it clearly stands out against the background many times. As it was made three or four years ago, the CGI is not near as good as the Haitian/Dominican videos — in which, we must note, the UFOs blended well with the scenery because everything was computer generated.

Not only that, but the local TV station received a phone call from the alleged authors of the video, who confessed it was created with Adobe’s After Effects post production software. Though this confession cannot be confirmed (as the original source was anonymous), we don’t have so many reasons to doubt it since there’s such clear evidence already that allows us to conclude this one is indeed a hoax.

[This post is heavily based on the original dossier at ufofu]

UPDATE: I became aware that in the interview, Italian researcher Chiumiento actually tells much more than what I described above, at times incorrectly. He received the video from an anonymous source and after seeing it immediately considered it a hoax, given the evident difference in sharpness between the UFO and the background. He then received an email confession from the author, at the time, who made the video as part of a Computer Graphics class. He repeatedly emphasizes that no video, photographic evidence, no matter how good, is valid without a good supporting testimonial evidence. In this case it was also anonymous, so that’s another reason that he ignored the video.

This was all allegedly clarified long before the video became famous on Youtube recently, and Paola Harris claimed it was declared authentic by Hollywood experts.

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The Brit Balloo-FOs invasion

French blog ufofu wrote about the recent mass “UFO” sightings in the UK, which turn out to be just small hot-air ballons, chinese lanterns. They made a nice compilation of the incidents to go along the nice image seen above:

Did you notice almost all sightings happened in or near the weekend? Ufofu did. That’s when those Earthlings are used to party, for whatever reason. And it just happens that recently, chinese lanterns are easily available in the UK.

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They quote BUFORA’s Robert Rosamond, who confirmed they are aware of that.

“Our volume of incoming reports continues to expand of late with a particular surge in sightings that more or less exhibit the known behaviour patterns of our old friend the Chinese lantern. We have also recently received a series of requests for information on various sightings from numerous radio stations dotted around the country, most of which curiously enough contain brief descriptions of sightings that suspiciously exhibit the same known behaviour patterns of, take a guess,…. Chinese lanterns. Islington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Watford and Bangor Co. Down, to name but a few, are some of the culprits”, he writes on BUFORA’s homepage.

Of the many website selling chinese lanterns, one pointed by ufofu is particularly interesting: UFO balloons. Check their “Sightings” section.

While thse Balloo-Fos are being quickly solved and not being seriously considered by serious ufologists, ufnortunately the same cannot be said about the other invasion of Identified Flying Objects: the terrible “Flotillas” (Fleets, in Spanish) of Jaime Maussán.

Those obvious helium balloons, originally promoted in Mexico by the world-famous hoax promoter, were originally filmed by one of his collaborators notorious for photographing a cheap toy and claiming it was a flying saucer. Most English speaking ufologists do not take the Flotillas seriously, but unfortunately in Latin America, including Brazil, and also in Spain some UFO promoters claim these Balloo-FOs are mysterious.

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Poltergeist?

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Seen above, a very famous photograph of Janet Harper related to the alleged Poltergeist phenomena in Enfield, UK. It’s the Enfield Poltergeist.

Below, a very similar photo of a child jumping in the air, from Mighty Optical Illusions.

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