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The Metepec Creature: author confess hoax

macacomexico[1]

A “Veterinary Assistant” featured in the whole Metepec Creature brouhaha, “Ángel Palacios Núñez”, is, according to Alejandro Franz, in fact Urso Moreno Ruíz, nephew of Mario Moreno, and a taxidermist.

Angel Nunez Palacios 01

More importantly, Urso Ruíz apparently confessed in an Internet forum he indeed hoaxed the creature, which is indeed just a squirrel-monkey:

It’s just the corpse of a skinned squirrel-monkey. I took its ears out and involved it with all the hair and fluids of all animals I could find, then I dried it. All samples they take of it will come out as being of different animals.”

Of course, we already knew it was a skinned squirrel-monkey:

He goes on:

“Mr Mario quickly sold it to Maussán for 300.000 pesos [U$23,000], as you can see after four years they still can’t realize it’s a hoax.”

And tries to defend himself:

“I must say I didn’t claim it was real. That was Maussán who claimed it was real. He believed it. All the show was a hoax that got out of control, but after four years I’m happy to see one of my creations going around the world and through many scientists and tests and they still haven’t figured out what it is. I may have fooled science! LOL”

Nauseating, isn’t it?

Franz warns that, contrary to what Urso Ruíz claims, he did claim in video that the creature was “a strange animal”. Lies. Franz further accuses Maussán, Mario Moreno and Marco Salazar of creating this whole fraud from the beginning. It’s indeed interesting they should go with DNA testing right away, which is not their usual practice with such “finds” at all. It’s as if they knew the results would be inconclusive.

Of course, from the beginning people noticed it looked exactly like a skinned monkey. People also know very well Maussán is part of Ufology’s Hall of Shame.

0maussan_man-baby-2

So people had every reason not to believe the story. Reason, apparently, is something the History Channel’s MonsterQuest team lacks.

But then, reason is something that may be relative. Money and ratings can make everything relative, one would guess. How much money did all those involved, knowingly or not, make from this hoax?

This really makes me sick. It should make you too. And the skinned, dried monkey is not the culprit. [via Alcione]

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The AMOCO Alien

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It’s an impressive image. With an unimpressive source: even hardcore believers will tell you this came from an ad published in the late 1980s:

“In November of 1989 AMOCO placed a full-page advertisement in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine headlined "Technology so advanced it will help you answer some big questions." On the back was a full-page color photo of an alien head and shoulders with his four-fingered hand raised in a gesture of friendship.” [Donald M. Ware]

The photo of the alien was on page 51 (got it?). As we have seen, the fact an image has a very prosaic origin is no obstacle for it to enter UFO lore. Even when some UFO buffs know from the beginning what it was and where it came from. So this was no different: it wasn’t simply an ad. That would be too boring.

AUFORN quotes three stories related to the photo. The first one is the most widely known:

“Explanation 1. In a video of a UFO conference the speaker, the late William Cooper states “ the official explanation was that this is a photo of a BRONZE statue. How can it be BRONZE…if you look closely you can see pores in the skin, fine hairs coming out of the side of the neck, and moisture in the eyes and nostrils. Linda (Moulton) Howe says she saw the statue, but she couldn’t be sure it was the thing in this picture”.”

It’s no surprise this is the explanation that Mexican UFO buff Jaime Maussán promotes, almost verbatim. In the clip below details of the image are highlighted and the bronze statue story is questioned:

Bob Dean (whom you may recall) gives a slightly different story:

“Explanation 2. In another video, this time from a UFO conference in Brisbane in 1996, Robert Dean shows the same picture but has a different story. He tells how the image is “supposed” to be one of a CLAY MODEL. And the artist, this time a woman…was asked if she would sell the model for $100,000 US. She never produced the ‘bust’ for sale. Dean then goes on to say he does not think the picture is one of a model, and then he shows a photo of an ancient skull, which resembles the shape of the alien picture…especially the top rear area of the head.”

And finally, for the most plausible explanation:

“Explanation 3. When this picture was recently posted on the AUFORN list, I received many emails from interested list members. One was from an American who works in the film industry, in special effects. He claimed that it was a model…this time by yet another artist…named William Bosco. He said he could prove it without a doubt…that his daughter has photos of the Alien model in the artist’s studio and that he will send me copies of the pictures . Nothing has ever arrived …and that surprises me because this guy was so definite in his manner when explaining what he “knew” about it.”

This is a no-brainer. Some people claim, or speculate, that an image published in an ad looks too real to be fake. And that’s it. They claim that an actual alien would pose for such a photo, and that the image would be published in an ad for AMOCO. Of course, those that suggest it are Cooper, who doesn’t need introductions; Bob Dean, who also promoted an alien from the Intruders movie as the real thing; and Jaime Maussán, who recently promoted a skinned monkey as an alien (and that’s just the most recent of his adventures). Suspension of disbelief, quite simply.

I don’t think the sculpture was made of bronze, as Cooper claimed was the “official explanation”. Bronze could have been used in the creation process, but it’s probably not a bronze bust. It could be made of clay, which could also be part of the sculpting stages, but my bet is that that’s a latex alien bust.

It’s highly detailed, with what seems to be pores and even veins. But then, even E.T. had those.

etpores

The best thing about the AMOCO alien is the lighting, which leaves much to our own imagination.

Reportedly, the ad didn’t boost AMOCO sales, but they got a lot of calls asking about the alien. That was viral marketing two decades too early, and not capitalized on. In any event, we are now calling it the AMOCO alien, so in the end it may have been worth it. [via ATS, with thanks to internos and Luis Noguez!]

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The Screamin’ Demon of Mexico: Monkey Business

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“Sometime around May 11, 2007, a wealthy Mexican rancher named Marao Lopez found this creature, less than one foot tall, in a steel trap. The property was in Metepec, … Mexico. … The creature was alive, shrieking and scared. … the ranchers decided to kill and preserve it the morning of the third day … They dunked it in water … for many hours, and it finally drowned. It’s ability to survive so long underwater has made many feel it was amphibious.
Within days, word about the strange creature had gotten to Jaime [Maussán]. … Jaime considered Marao Lopez an honorable man. Since Lopez was wealthy, and money was never mentioned as a variable in this situation, Jaime sees no motivation for a hoax. Jaime requested access to the body, now mummified, for tests at various universities. Around this period of time, Marao Lopez died mysteriously.”
The Screamin’ Demon Of Mexico By Joshua P. Warren

A very cheesy mystery thriller, full of plot holes and told by Jaime Maussán, illustrious member of Ufology’s Hall of Shame. So it’s really no surprise twist that the “Screamin’ Demon of Metepec” is just another hoax. Keep reading for the video and some ordinary investigations.

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Kumburgaz, Turkey UFO video reproduction

Talking about beating a dead horse… above you can watch the amazing video of a metallic dinner tray:

kumburgaztraydnhj

In the video I covered the yellow support with a black T-shirt. The end result is quite similar to the significant and undeniable UFO” from Istanbul (click to watch the original).

My reproduction is not perfect, as I didn’t quite got the lightning right (in the first half it’s too dark, in the second too bright), and the tray I used was not very reflective (ideally, it should be as reflective as a mirror).

If those conditions were met, and I had spent more than three minutes to assemble the setup and film it, I’m quite sure I could get results identical do the original video. Including moving images “inside the UFO”, which are interpreted as aliens but could in fact be reflections of anything moving.

This video reproduction follows the original suggestion by Toni Inajar, author of the photo below. His tray is more reflective and should produce a better reproduction:

toniturskeyufo32hkj 

Ufologists over at UfoUpdates are quite skeptical of the Istanbul video anyway, except for… one from Mexico who also supports Jaime Maussán. So please excuse this repeated violence against a deceased equine, and enjoy the videos of dinner trays.

[Thanks and credits to Toni Inajar]

Popularity: 2% [?]

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Beating a Dead Horse (and mea culpa)

Back on May I mentioned a video footage from Alvin, Texas, by Mauricio Ruíz, which was being heavily promoted by the infamous Mexican UFO-seller Jaime Maussán. I did mention my initial guess that it was:

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 a fellow had received an image which suggested it was actually a computer generated hoax. I initially held my first opinion, until I “realized the time stamp and footage on [the received image were] are nowhere to be seen in the publicized video”. I then concluded it was therefore “a screenshot of the creation of the footage” indeed.

It turns out I was wrong about that. Mauricio Ruíz had publicized several different videos, and the person who created that screencap suggesting it was CGI simply used one of these other versions. This anonymous hoaxer of a hoax never identified himself. He did fool me and fellow skeptics, I have to say, and there is mea culpa before you.

Which doesn’t make the original Alvin “UFO” video any more credible, of course. In fact, I was probably right at the beginning, and following a suggestion on ATS, this “UFO” has all the appearance of a modified solar lamp post:

alvinsolarlampufo

That would have saved Ruiz of the trouble of creating the circuitry for the lamps and everything else. He may have simply removed the middle, transparent section of the post, as well as its base. Even the holes we see below the “UFO” may be simply the original holes used to fix the lamp to the base.

In the illustrative image above, the proportions of the solar lamp post I found don’t seem to match exactly the purported UFO, but there are countless similar variations being sold.

This is surely beating a dead horse, as it seems very few people believed the video was real, and Maussán’s relentless efforts to discredit ufology (and himself) have worked somehow. But besides the mea culpa (which I had already done as an update in the original post), I decided to write about this again because Maussán is promoting claims that the video shows conclusive physical evidence of “magnetic interference” from the UFO.

Which would still be a dead horse, except for the fact he managed to get that endorsed by an academic from UNAM, the largest Latin American University. It was Miguel Ángel Canseco, who tellingly is a chemist specialized in polymers, and apparently not someone quite familiarized with how electromagnetism works.

In an interview and a report about which only quotes have been publicized, Canseco says that analysis of “damaged” and “non-damaged” parts of the video tape show evidence that it was subjected to a “quick” magnetic flux density of 8~10.000 Gauss. That’s ten times more intense than the field in common MRIs, and you can see what that makes to nearby ferrous objects. A “quick” variation would be even worse, as that would induce electric currents. Mauricio Ruiz claims his cell phone was damaged, but the real damage of an estimated “200.000 Gauss” field “quick” variation would be much more evident than that.

And as Alejandro Franz and a few fellow skeptics point out, the “electromagnetic interference” in question is completely bogus. Ruiz and Maussán are so careless that they initially publicized the original video… with no interference!

alvininterferencebogus32k

Not only that, Franz also notes that though the time stamp in the video shows a 15 second lapse, the actual section shown with interference has only 5 seconds.

This all suggests that the “magnetic interference from the UFO”, claimed by Maussán and his “experts”, validated by an academic from UNAM, is simply the result of a crude video edition done directly on tape (either with the video camera itself or a video recorder). We have all seen that on VHS tapes, as one recording goes to the another and the video tracking goes out of sync.

So, there it is, a severely beaten dead horse. But if you read everything to this point, I hope it may have been somewhat interesting, as this case shows how I do make my mistakes – as any ordinary investigator (read the motto at the header) would – and how hoaxers may eventually get some sort of academic validation for their crude hoaxes, as scientists also make their mistakes. Hoaxers thrive on this.

The saga of a solar lawn lamp. The End.

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