Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

UFO photos: Mexican "flotilla"

Location: Periférico-Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
Date: December 1, 2003


This video was promoted on a website, now offline, called ufosshop.com, which publicized UFO “investigations”. It was also publicized on international ufology discussion lists with the following description:
This sighting is of interest because the presence of two UFO fleets was reported (the first fleet is the one which caused other UFO research groups in the area to mobilize) and it allowed the witnesses sufficient time to record the extraordinary succession of events. This video shows only three of the phases: The second flotilla of spheres, a sphere and an elongated object.

Comment: We analyzed the video, but it didn’t take much to realize that what one can see above, supposedly a fleet of “elongated objects”, are actually office lights reflected on a window.


ufoshop3Not unlike the ones at right, or even the ones that may be lighting you at this moment.

Those are fluorescent lights with light diffusors. 

People usually don’t mistake reflections on a window with huge alien spaceships over one of the most populated cities in the world. Which suggests that either those responsible for the video maliciously promoted it as alleged UFOs, and/or at some point someone didn’t check anything at all.

The video also showed a second fleet of “spheres” in the sky. Those could also be reflections on a window, but another video showed them on the open air.

ufoshop4We assembled a crude panorama from the video, which allowed us to pinpoint the cinamatographer’s original position.

Mexican researcher Luis Ruiz Noguez, used to solve the many “mysteries” promoted on his country, located and visited the place:

I located the building. It’s on the corssing between Periférico and Las Palmas avenue. It’s a heavy traffic area. The shot was taken form the Polanco zone, pointing to Las Lomas (close to, but not on Defensa Nacional, as originally claimed). One of the buildings that can be seen is, effectively, the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. As there are no other reports for these objects from other areas on Mexico city, the only option is that the UFOs flew away: they were balloons, and that’s why nobody paid them any attention (only the ufologists). If theu were alien ships, they would have stopped the city, it would have been worldwide news“, he told us.

Reflections on a window and balloons. No UFOs here.

See: Mexico City UFO

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UFO photos: Lago de Cote

Location: Lago de Cote, Costa Rica
Date: September 4th, 1971


The unusual photography was taken by an official mapping aircraft of the Costa Rican government, flying at 10.000 feet over Lago de Cote, Arenal region. The mapping photos were automaticlly taken, and the four crewmen, including an aerial photography specialist, a geographer, a topographer and the pilot, didn’t notice anything unusual at the time. The apparent discoidal object over the lake was noticed only after developing. The filme, black and white, special for those tasks, is very big, measuring 23 cm x 23 cm, which resulted in an extraordinary clarity. According to Jacques Valleé, who analyzed the case, “one can see the cows on the field“.

Comment: This is an unexplained photographic case to this day. It involves a real UFO. Or not.

The photo came to light on the 1980s, thanks to one of the crewmen, who contacted costa-rican ufologist Ricardo Vilchez. In 1985, a second generation negative got to the hands of Jacques Valleé, who along with Richard Haines, conducted an analysis published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The ufologists also had access to the negatives taken just before and just after the negative with the UFO — as those were all taken by an automated system. On those adjacent images, taken 20 seconds before and after, there is nothing unusual.

This photographic case is close to perfect. The possibility of a hoax is very small, given the official source. Precise date and location are known, furthermore, the negative is of an exceptional quality. Vallé and Haines analyzed the scenario geometry and estimated that the maximum value for the disk size, assuming a real object at ground level, would have been 210 meters. Their analysis also involved computerized image processing, something rare at the time. Their conclusion:

In summary, our analyses have suggested that an unidentified, opaque, aerial object was captured on film at a maximum distance of 10,000 feet. There are no visible means of lift or propulsion and no surface markings other than darker regions that appear to be nonrandom. This case must remain “open” until further information becomes available.”

The analysis was published along with a critical review by Marilyn E. Bruner, scientist from Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory. Peer review is a common scientific practice that one seldom see on ufology, so that adds to the validity of the studies on this case. Bruner wrote that:

“While I agree that the image is very suggestive, my impression is that it probably does not represent a physical object”.

Noting several inconsistencies of the image, she noted that

“the oval image is more likely to be an artifact such as a pressure mark than a photographic image of a physical object. Such a mark could have been caused by a foreign particle trapped between two layers of the film on the supply spool.”

costarica2On February 1990, Valeé and Haines finally obtained the original negative, and conducted a new analysis. They managed to confirm their previous evaluations, no signs of hoax were detected on the film. Equally important, they evaluated Bruner’s suggestion that the disk could have been the result of some defect on the film. According to them, as the original negative had no protrusion nor depression, her hypothesis failed to be verified.

The new analysis concludes:

“In summary, our good fortune in obtaining the original negative … has resulted in confirmation of our earlier speculation that the aerial disc is certainly anomalous. While it may not be inexplicable, it is at least unidentified.”

Indeed, it remains unidentified. Could it have been a real disk more than 200 meters in diameter coming from inside Lago de Cote’s waters?  It would have been something extremely anomalous, for various reasons.

The shots taken second before and seconds later show nothing unusual. Assuming the disc was not photographed on those other images because it quickly moved away from the camera field of view, one can estimate its minimum speed if it did indeed come from the lake. Valleé and Haines themselves made the calculations, and suggested the disc in this case must have moved at a minimum speed of 2,300 km/h.

Coming from the lake and shooting at such speed, one would expect a sonic boom, and also some perturbation on the water, which would have been visible on the images taken seconds later. No such things were reported or seen.

Of course, one could always assume that such an anomalous object would have such anomalous characteristics as absence of a sonic boom or significant perturbation of the water. But those characteristics suggest the object was not material — or at least, it didn’t behave like a common material object.

It could also be that the object was actually much smaller and closer to the camera, in which case one would assume it was not that fast and didn’t touch the water. But it’s appearance in this case, with a significant part seemingly vanishing in the clear sky, is also puzzling.

See: Photo Analyses of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica
And also: Photo Analysis of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica: New Evidence

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UFO photos: Black point in the sky

Location: Brazil
Date: September, 2004


The above image is a reproduction made by our reader Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves of a series of photographs published on section “Cosmic Encounters” of the Brazilian UFO magazine #98. The magazine reproduced the story told by the photographer, E.O. (name redacted by us), 25 years old, from Arujá, São Paulo, under the title “Static point in the sky”:
I was distracted when I observed a static point in the sky. The weather was good, but viewing the object was hard as I was against the Sun. What intrigued me was that, for around 15 minutes, it didn’t move. And as it suddenly appeared, from nowhere, it disappeared. I have no witnesses for the fact, as I was alone at the moment“.

Comment: How did Diogo Gonçalves reproduce the image of such an intriguing “static point in the sky”? He explains it in one phrase: “You just have to photograph the Sun, the bright area tunrs up black, it’s that simple!”. He used a digital camera, and the electronic sensor cannot cope with the glaring, direct light from our star. The result is, ironically, a black spot.

We suspect that the reader who sent the images and the report to the Brazilian UFO magazine was playing a (nice) joke, that endedup being published without any analysis. In his story, he actually mentions that he was against the Sun — the “UFO” — and how the Sun didn’t seem to move for 15 minutes. It’s indeed wonderful how the Sun comes up every day, and some hours later vanish much the same way he appeared. The time he gives for his “sighting” also seems to match the elevation of the Sun on his images.

We just think that half the world was probably witnessing the same “UFO” at the time.

[With thanks to Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves]

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UFO photos: Vancouver "frisbee"

Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Date: October 8, 1981


Around eleven in the morning, Hannah McRoberts is with her husband and daughter in the area near Kelsey Bay, east coast of Vancouver Island. During a pause, they notice a cloud over the mountain that creates a scene that looks like a volcano eruption with a huge vapor cloud. Several days later, when the photographs were developed, they realize that in one of the photos there is a discoidal object in the sky. It is a big surprise, since they didn’t notice anything at the sky at the moment.

Comment: This photograph remains one of a UFO, an unidentied flying object. The image, including its original negative, was analyzed by several people, among them Richard Haines, former NASA scientist and current member of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP).

vancouver2The fact the witnesses didn’t notice the object suggest it could have been a problem with the negative, but the analysis on it failed to show that. Additionally, the illumination of the object is apparently coherent with the scence, so we may have a real UFO here.

Haines analyzed the possibility that it was just a small frisbee near the camera, and argued that a frisbee wouldn’t fly well if it had a dome over its top — as the Vancouver object apparently has — nor would it show up so sharp in the image due to its quick movement.

In summary, this investigation has shown that a mature adult with high credibility and little or no interest in UFO phenomena obtained a single, colored, sharp imaged photograph of an unidentified aerial disc-like object. Her subsequent reactions to seeing the disc’s image on her photograph produced surprise and dismay as well as the normal array of “answer-seeking” behavior. She has not capitalized on having such a photo7 and still acts somewhat embarrassed at having taken it without seeing the disc. The disc’s identity has not been identified to date.” — Haines concluded.

See: Analysis of a UFO Photograph – Richard F. Haines

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UFO photos: Adamski footage

Location: Silver Springs, Maryland, USA
Date: February 26, 1965

Rodeffer, Adamski footage

George Adamski was a guest of Madeleine Rodeffer and her husband. On a Friday evening, they were taking a walk when Madeleine saw something behind the trees. A car sped up and three men said: “Take your cameras — they are here!”, and was soon gone. Adamski got Rodeffer’s 8mm camera and made a color movie of a scout ship. The ship’s image gets distorted in the footage, due to the effects of its eletromagnetic propulsion.

Comment: The movie is often attributed to Madeleine Rodeffer, but even sources related to Adamski admit that the well known contactee is the culprit. Mrs Rodeffer herself admitted that. This detail is important because, as we can see, the footage shows the classic scout ship photographed (and drawn) over ten years before. That’s not a surprise since the cameraman was the same.

But the ship is slightly different, and watching the movie, we can realize that its shape does indeed change, contrary to the first impression that it may have been just a flat paper cut-out hanging in front of the camera. So, how did Adamski create this footage?

Adamski footage comparison

Japanese researcher Junichi Takanashi successfully reproduced the Adamski-Rodeffer footage. At left, frames from the original movie, and at right, the images produced by Takanashi.

The model used by Adamski was three-dimencional, and didn’t hang like something suspended by a wire. And even though his scout ship had three outer spheres around a central one, in his footage we can only see two outer spheres around the central one.

All can be explained if we assume Adamski used half of a three-dimensional model glued to a sheet of glass. That explains the curious movements of the object as well as the “distortion” in its shape.

It was “half of a flying saucer”. In a way, and ingenious idea.


George Adamski passed away shortly after this last feat. His legacy was continued by the George Adamski Foundation (GAF).

See: Intiki UFO Shyashin (Japanese)

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