Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for the 'UFO photos' Category

UFO terrorizes fishermen in Spain: Viral Invasion

“A fisherman from Galicia, Span, decided to make public what he claims to have lived through when he was in his boat. Some military fighter jets scrambling a ‘strange object’ that dives into the sea, and a helicopter of unknown provenance that flies over the boat and demand they leave the location. ‘Leave the area immediately, get in contact with the seaport, there you will receive instructions…’ are the words towards the fisher boat.”
[source: Terra Spain, “El terror de un pescador gallego ante un ‘objeto extraño’”]

And that’s not all! As Terra Spain informs, “A ‘strange object’ was found in Asturias beach after the Galicia UFO case”, and impressive images record how four men in white hazmat suits remove a metallic capsule. Click on the image for the video:

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There is another video from a different viewpoint:

But that’s not all! Terra Spain also reveals yet another video of what looks like a black helicopter with an unidentified capsule:

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And that’s not all! Days before the ongoing commotion with the videos, we already had news reports of ‘strange lights’ over Galícia, and on September 16, there was already a video showing what looks like a metallic shiny flying object that suddenly flies away.

Is that all? Probably not! We bet more is coming from Galicia!!! But setting the excitement apart for a moment, let’s get to some ordinary investigation.

Even Terra promptly tells that:

“The video was sent to us in a message directed to the Terra Noticias team.”

Which means, those are all anonymous videos. It’s not clear, but the censoring of faces and even names of the fishing boat and all other details, in all three videos, which would allow the identification of specific witnesses were apparently made by the anonymous senders themselves. And it’s some quite professional censoring at that. Even Terra Espanha, despite promoting and milking the videos, also compares them to “Rec” and the “Blair Witch” pseudo-documentaries.

Let’s remember the #1 rule of extraordinary claims investigation: anonymous source screams fishy evidence. That was true decades ago, but now more than ever, after the Haitian UFOs, the Italian UFO and so many others, it must be clear that any kind of imagery, no matter how impressive, can be faked, sometimes without much effort. No source, no witness, no smoking-gun proof of anything. An Internet video is just an Internet video.

Then let’s agree how bizarre it is to have four strangely dressed guys in a black truck taking what we would presume is a secret device… in the back of their truck. Or a secret device being carried by a black helicopter for everyone to see. Those things don’t make sense, except for making some very interesting videos. Anonymous ones.

Everything suggests a viral marketing campaign. The two videos of the guys taking the capsule indicates several people are involved with it. The original video at a fisher boat must have involved more production. I don’t know if the black helicopter seen is real or digital: if it was real, which it may well be, then the production involved some thousands of dollars at the very least. It could also be completely digital, including the sea wave disturbances.

A lot of speculation, granted, but fact is, the “UFO” can be easily faked, and perhaps no one would be better to demonstrate it than the creator of the Haitian UFOs.

French CGI artist David Nicolas, created a couple of months ago a small clip of a UFO diving into the waters of Rio de Janeiro for a local TV show (it’s a little after one minute on):

The UFO, the water splash, all digital. Curiously, Nicolas also had a helicopter there, which I also assume was digital. Interesting coincidences with our recent Spanish video. Could Nicolas be involved? Perhaps, but the same computer graphic tools were used indeed.

The only detail that doesn’t quite fit here are the reports from non-anonymous witnesses of ‘strange lights’ in the sky over the area on September 25, as publicized in the local newspaper, La Voz de Galicia. Those could be just a coincidence, that is, non-related sightings of UFOs. Or they could be the result of another action of the viral campaign. Would the marketing people go beyond the virtual videos, and create fake UFOs in the sky?

If this is indeed a viral campaign, we will soon be hearing more about it, and I will update this post as news come. Cloverfield, some local independent production, who knows what is the product being promoted. Those censured face people probably know.

And in the end, we could be wrong and the invasion… has already begun. In that event, we will blog about it.

[UPDATE Oct 4, 2009]

As predicted, another “too good to be true” video comes allegedly from the same region in Spain:

Once again, no witness can be identified. Visitors of Terra Spain speculate that the viral campaign is for the movie “Planet 51”, scheduled for release on November 20 and produced by Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios.

It looks like a good bet, although the story of the movie is about an Earth astronaut that ends on an alien planet, not the other way. And viral marketing campaigns often don’t make much sense, so this could be for another product or production altogether. It’s certainly generating a lot of buzz.

We expect yet more videos, and the revelation of what’s being sold soon.

[UPDATE Oct 5, 2009]

Confirmed: it was viral campaign from Terra Spain itself as a homage to Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds”. More on it, including the making of:

Viral Invasion Confirmed: Spanish UFOs came from Terra.

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Debunking roundup

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I try not to post too many debunking posts in a row as it starts to get boring, but a bunch of images and claims have been circulating these past few weeks and I didn’t comment on them at the time. So I joined all of them into one quick debunking roundup, if you are still not bored by those.

I promise I will try to make the next post about something truly mysterious and wonderful, contrary to exposing some dubious, lame hoaxes.

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Weekly World News online!

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The Weekly World News is not in print anymore, but almost all of its issues are available on Google Books! For it’s sheer entertainment, it’s great fun, but it’s also valuable to the ordinary investigator of extraordinary claims because not so few of those claims originated directly from those pages.

Yes, Virginia, many people took those stories very seriously. From the sounds from hell to some images of Nessie, to their Internet hit of Andrew Carlssin, at some point the tabloid source was forgotten and the story lived on.

As an interesting example, browsing the archive, I was surprised to find this front cover:

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It was a surprise because I recognized the image, having seen it before, quite degraded, in this version:

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Which is allegedly a photo from a soviet crashed saucer in the 1930s-40s (page in Japanese, but the story circulates in many languages).

Of course, as it must be clear now, the photo is actually an original WWN hoax. Check the story below:

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In this particular case, the photo survived while the original story vanished. But it’s WWN infiltrating the extraordinary claims world, being taken very seriously by some, due to not so serious “researchers”.

Obviously, true believers will say the WWN was a disinformation vehicle and that the original 1940s photo was discredited in that 1992 story. Believe it… or not.

Can you find other interesting stories in the WWN online archive? I couldn’t find the sounds from hell story… do share your finds in the comments!

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Vortex UFO over King’s Dominion

“This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. It was a circular formation in the sky that stayed over King’s Dominion [Amusement Park in Eastern Virginia] today for about 10 minutes. We looked away for a minute or two and then looked back and it was no longer there.”

The poster himself explains that

“There really was a smoke ring in the sky, and if you look through the comments or watch the attached news video, you will see that many other people saw the same thing in the sky (and even had religious experiences due to it). I am convinced now that this smoke ring did come from the volcano ride. There was not much wind that day, so the smoke ring somehow stayed intact . . . I’m not sure how, but it did. I have spoken with others from my work who were there and they have said they witnessed the same smoke ring actually come from the Volcano ride. I hope this clears up some of the questions out there.”

This is the same phenomenon more widely known in the Viborg “Jellyfish” UFO, and which happens all around the world, including Brazil, of which an image follows below.

Smoke rings can be that surprising. In Portuguese, see “Os OVNIs de Vórtice” for more photos and cases.

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Recommended reading: Heflin, UMMO, Adamski…

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Above, Ufofu reproduces the famous Rex Heflin photos: Reconstitution des photos de Rex Heflin (in French). Can you see the string? Also from Ufofu, below, an analysis of the too-good-to-be-true Maslin Beach photos: Les OVNIs de Maslin Beach.

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And if that wasn’t enough, ufofu also takes a look at Marian Apparitions. But back to classic cases, you can’t get more classic than Kenneth Arnold’s sighting. Eric Maillot suggests an explanation in L’ESCADRILLE D’OVNIS DE KENNETH ARNOLD ET L’HYPOTHESE OUBLIEE (PDF). And Marc Hallet has George Adamski. Biographie critique. All in French.

But you can also enjoy some Spanish in this adorable comic about the UMMO myth. Click on the image for the whole lot, even if you don’t understand the language, you may get an idea of the myth promoted in this fascinating piece of the UFO controversy (the symbol has even made an appearance in LOST):

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If you really enjoy that English language though, you cannot miss “Xenology – An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization”, by Robert A. Freitas Jr. It’s a lot to read, Freitas has just made the whole book available online.

XenologyCover

“Topics include the history of the idea of extraterrestrial life; comparative planetology, stars, and galaxies; xenobiology (definition/origin of life, exotic biochemistries, and possible alien bioenergetics, biomechanics, sensations, reproduction, and intelligence); extraterrestrial civilizations (energy sources, biotechnology, interstellar travel, alien weapons, planetary and stellar engineering, xenosociology, and extraterrestrial governments and culture); interstellar communication techniques; and the sociology, legal issues, and appropriate interaction protocols pertaining to first contact.”

When you see all these words together, you may have a bad feeling from all the dubious stuff that is usually presented about these topics. One more reason to read Xenology: it’s a serious, sober approach that separates fact from speculation, but which also doesn’t fear to speculate.

Good reading! [hat tip to Manuel Borraz and José Juan Montejo Aguilera]

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