Friday, June 21, 2013

UFO Hoaxes? There's an App for That!

Anyone who follows news stories about UFOs knows that there are a heck of a lot of them these days, and  that many if not most of them involve alleged photographs of UFOs.

Frank Warren of the UFO Chronicles has just written an eye-opening article, UFO Hoaxes with the Touch of a Finger. Warren is well-known as a UFO proponent, but he is no friend to hoaxers. I knew that it was possible to create all manner of digital UFOs in photographs. What I did not realize was how easy it has become.
Warren provides this screen clip: The fourth UFO down in the first column is my famous Cottage Cheese Container UFO
My Cottage Cheese Container UFO. J. Allen Hynek used to use this one in his lectures (with my permission)

Warren notes that there are many Iphone and/or Android apps for inserting UFOs into photos:
  • UFO Camera gold
  • UFO Photo Prank (also called UFO Revelator)
  • UFO Camera
  • UFO Photo Bomb
  • Camera 360
He gives two examples of credulous UFO news stories that have been written about fakes made with Apps just like these.

Here is a UFO I added to a photo I took of a lake, created using UFO Revelator on my Android phone. Why it is out of focus, I don't know.

Here is another photo showing a UFO flying over my yard. It looks quite similar to the "drone UFO" photos that were all the rage a few years back.

These are not great-quality fakes. As Warren says, "For most seasoned Ufologists the hoaxed photos are blatantly obvious; unfortunately, that minority won’t stop the MSM [MainStream Media] from paying heed to the latest hokum produced." Unfortunately, he is quite correct: it seems that some of the most credulous people around are reporters, who are supposed to be skeptical by their profession. I suspect that the cynical pursuit of sensationalism and ratings is really what is behind that.

What all this means is that it is now trivially easy for just about anyone to produce a semi-convincing UFO photo hoax. And since "progress" in software is inevitable, we can expect to see better and better UFO hoax photos with each passing year. Which means: unless you can absolutely confirm a photo's origin, and confirm that it was not simply added using hoaxing software, you can't believe anything that you see in a supposed UFO photo any longer. 

While we're on the subject of UFO-related Apps, we need to mention UFO celebrity Steven Greer's  "ET Contact Tool" App, available on itunes. For just $7 (a real bargain since Greer's "ET Ambassador training" costs $2,500), this amazing software uses the magnetometer in your Iphone to detect the presence of ET craft. Its features include:
* Official training materials authored by Steven M. Greer, M.D.
* Well-organized instructional manual with over two hours of audio tutorials and guided meditations by Dr. Greer.
* Working scientific instruments including a magnetometer and compass for detecting anomalous activity.
* Includes Images, sounds, and written descriptions of prior contact events.
* Magnetometer and Compass require iPhone 3gs, iPhone 4 or iPad


  1. When it comes to hoaxing UFO photo, kids it have too easy. In mere seconds a UFO photo can be created using a smartphone.

    In my day, to make UFO hoax photo wasn't easy. For starters, I needed a UFO so I would pry off a hubcap from my Dad's car, get my camera, then my best friend Howie and I would ride our bikes to Rocky Falls' junior high school playing field. Howie would toss the hubcap (UFO) up in the air and I would take the pictures. We be out there all afternoon trying to get the right UFO picture. I would have to wait a week to get the photos back from the developer and I would be lucky if one UFO photo was decent. With the UFO photo in hand, I would the ride my bike to the Rocky Falls' local newspaper office and show the editor my spectacular photo. He looked at me skeptically, "This isn't fake, right?" With an angelical 12 year old face, "No sir, Mr. Bullwinkle, honest! My friend Howie saw it too, he's an eyewitness! We threw rocks at the thing."
    I would wait anxiously for the morning edition of the Rocky Times newspaper: "UFO Invade Rocky Falls Skies!"

    I've been an UFO Believer ever since.

  2. We are now in the position that, with all the computer software/hardware available nowadays, nobody will dare produce a photo or film of a UFO for fear that it will immediately be denounced as a fake.

    The consequence of this is that should a genuine ET craft appear in our skies, or on earth (or in space), we would not bother to take photos of it. The required ET evidence will thus never be produced because nobody will ever accept it.

    It looks as if we can say farewell to UFO photographs!

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  4. In all honesty, hoaxing UFOs has always been rather easy, strictly speaking. Even what some would call highly elaborate fakes are often easily carried out with a day or so of preparation and a LOT of people have a day or two free to spend on that sort of thing.
    This actually reminds me of something that transpired a little while ago. I discovered that a YouTube hoaxer had been so utterly lazy that he/she used still images with rudimentary "UFOs" animated over them and sound stolen from other videos, finally claiming that the new mashup was shot by tourists or from aircraft cabins and the like. One particular case last year that I debunked by finding the source material did end up in the MSM and was even declared "genuine" by some "intelligence people" in a lengthy article at Veterans Today if I recall corectly. Hell, they even went as far as to publish a heap of alleged "spectrometric data" and claimed that "initiated people" had tied this particular observation to secret government saucer drones and what not.

    ...And all this over a white dot that some lazy hoaxer animated across a still photo grabbed from the Wikimedia Commons gallery.

    This made me think about all the hoaxers that must be out there paying _more_ attention to detail. In this particular case doing that wouldn't be hard... Catch my drift? Even altering the source photo a bit (a 30 minute Photoshop job) would have made it SIGNIFICANTLY harder to track it down for somebody like me. Not to mention if you shot it yourself rather than simply stealing it from the web, ha! What about a "real" saucer, like a bucket lid? Oh my. Avoiding the usual giveaways is not all that difficult, you know. In other words, if something THAT ridiculous generates that sort of response in the media and by self-proclaimed experts that people listen to (God knows why), then just how fantastic would people regard something more elaborate? Even something a tiny, tiny bit more elaborate could have easily gone down as an "unexplained" case, not to mention something that was actually properly done from start to finish. I think there are many of these out there, yet to be discovered. Actually logic would have it that the bulk of them never will be revealed as hoaxes and will thus remain "unexplained" regardless. It's truly an eye-opener. Unfortunately, the way UFOlogy works these days people have a tendency to defend potential hoaxers instead of welcoming proper scrutiny. Well, I guess it's not so much "these days" after all, it's been the case for over half a century... That goes for general misidentifications too, the forces that are at work here cannot be taken lightly. From professional UFO-lorists to mindless followers, they all spend a great deal of time mystifying things out there, rehashing things that have already been explained/debunked and promoting everything UFO indiscriminately.

    1. People want to believe. They want the unexplained to remain unexplained, as though some of the wonder of life will vanish otherwise.

  5. Good Day Robert, All,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Photographs of UFOs, particularly of the nuts 'n' bolts variety, yesterday, today or tomorrow–on their own merits, that is to say without any ancillary evidence will remain, and are, just that–PHOTOGRAPHS.

    The presumed value of said evidence (by itself) is erroneous.


    1. And what about a photograph that never even was a "UFO" photo until some self-styled ufoolergist forced it into a phony "UFO" context fifty years after the fact, Frank?

  6. This must mean that all reporters photos & videos must be "hokum". 9/11 could have been faked. The security video of plane hitting the pentagon, looks more like a missile, changed to look like a plane. The only way a UFO cant be faked now is if their is multiple camera angles shot with multiple cameras. Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, was a recent example. However, somebody quickly planted a fake video, casting doubt on the rest. The light doesnt look,move, or flash the same & one voice in audio background( we get those in Mississipi all the time) ridicules by "redneck" association. The fake is constructed over a night time still shot & the cars in foreground dont move. The other five, co-relate to each other & one is even taken by a fixed govt "weather surveillance camera". Reflective light & shadows, cars moving in foreground, & exclamatioins of camera holders appear to be genuine. My question is who quickly made the fake? Why put american voices in it? Why was this the main video shown on mainstream news? Why if real or fake appear over the religous centre of world- jewish/christian/muslim ? Pilgrim tourists dont take holiday snaps at 1a.m. But young jews out partying would. Another example of a mass sighting is the Pheonix Lights. First came ignorance & denial. Then governor tried to ridicule with his aide in Alien costume. Then airforce said it was flares. Now that governor isnt employed by govt, he has backflipped & said he saw UFO as well(guilty conscience). If you believe they are flares, get medical help quick. Your brain is fooling you & you shouldnt be behind the wheel of a car. Flares do not stay at same altitude, & do not randomly turn on & off in non-sequential order. Air Force stating they are flares is the real HOKUM. Yes photo stills are now irrelevant. But multi cameras at multi angles will become the best irrifutable evidence of all.

    1. The best irrefutable evidence would be a ship or alien.

      Plane wreckage was found amidst the tons of very real evidence in 9/11. Video and eye-witness testimony didn't need to stand alone, as UFO "evidence" always has.

      The religious center of the world? Say what?

      The wall of text idea isn't a good one. Try paragraphs.

  7. Sorry jozzcooper, but adults read books with full pages of print. Dome of the Rock is topped by a crescent moon-muslim. Jews worship there because it was once Solomons Temple site until destroyed by pagan Romans. Christians pray there because it is where Jesus died- reason for Crusades. Sorry but skeptics need spoonfeeding from mainstream.
    OK plane wreckage was found in 9/11. Where were black boxes?
    Witnesses heard multiple explosions & thermite/thermate was found in abundance too > very real evidence of explosive demolition.
    Where is the evidence from 86 cameras at Pentagon?
    Only one camera shot & second before impact is deleted? Say what?
    Dome of the Rock UFO on surveillance camera. Say what?
    1000s of eyewitness reports to PHeonix Lights. Say what?
    Multiple videos of lights from various angles. Say what?
    Airforce denied activity then said it was flares. Say what?
    At Roswell base said it had downed saucer then changed to weather balloon, then changed to Project Mogul balloon? 1st airbase to have atomic weapons but cant identify balloon? say what?
    All airforces saw "Foofighters" in ww2. Say what?

    And in paragraphically correct, punctuated closing

    Just read "The Roswell Report; Case Closed" > The official govt report on what really happened at Roswell, by United States Air Force.
    June 1947 date of crash.
    Alien bodies can be explained as either "Anthropomorphic Test Dummies" introduced 1953 to 1959. Human weight & height.
    Or remains of KC-97 aircrew date of accident 6/26/56.

    3-4ft height is explained by missing legs. 4 digit spindly hands are explained to losses of digits by impact.

    Can someone tell me why child coffins are ordered for either
    a)Airforce personnel of dead aircrews
    b)Crash test dummies
    c)9 yrs before above happened

    I guess the officer must have been dillusional from swamp gas, emitted from a weather balloon, no , a special Project Mogul balloon with radar train & blinded by flares, no Venus reflection or was grossly incompetant yet trusted with atomic weapons information.
    I think Jim O better respond to this, Cooper & other test pilots are prone to lying-what about USAAF public relations?

  8. Thank you for your reply, Deano.

    I'm glad you read my responses. It looks like you may have read them too quickly, or simply missed the intent.

    The "wall of text" refers to a solid block of writing that is extremely difficult to read due to lack of paragraph breaks, run-on sentences, poor spelling, stream-of-consciousness style, etc. Most end up skimming through it for important points.

    The mention of plane wreckage found in the 9/11 debris was meant as an example of corroboration between witness testimony and physical findings. Contrast these with UFO reports and their utter lack of anything substantial. We're always left with vague claims, several of which you helpfully provided.

    The Dome of the Rock is important to a couple of faiths, but I doubt any site could ever appeal to the huge variety of religious traditions. You can take an informal poll at places of worship in your area and see what kinds of answers you get.

    I did enjoy the "adults read books" line. Unfortunately, it comes with certain expectations about one's writing skills. I guess it's one of those things that doesn't always translate. I would be grossly incompetent if I didn't call into question the remark about lying. One would have to be delusional to make a statement like that. Still, I firmly believe Deano can rise again, like the Phoenix.

  9. Sorry jozzcooper, it seems you are an intelligent person afterall. Isnt a "tall tale teller" a nice way of calling somebody a liar. I dont trust USAF public relations, even Hynek said their aim is to ridicule & debunk which he did under their employment. He coined the term swamp gas.
    For corroboration of witness testimony & physical findings, 2 immediately spring to mind- cropcircles & cattle mutilations.These leave highly documented physical traces which authoritys put down to hoax/pranksters, & satanic cults or predators. Even if you cant possibly accept an un-earthly explanation, both phenomenon attract the attention of military helicopters. WHY?
    As recently as April 2013, a mutilation occured in Missouri. The rancher, a local deputy, was told by his sherrif & the FBI to drop the subject, after he enquired about the helicopter presence. WHY? Being such a ridculed subject,what gain would he have in coming forward about it?
    I realize a lot of images on youtube are faked, but a lot certainly make me look a few times, especially airplane & shots that show images going in & out of clouds in radical manouvers. A lot from less developed countries just wouldnt have the knowledge or equipment to make elaborate fakes.
    No. I am not an authoriy on religion but do know the Dome of the Rock is very important to some. The point I was trying to make was how quickly a "hoax" video was made(Mainstream media usually showed this) to discredit the other multi-angle views.There is now more web pages debunking this episode than actually saying wow!
    My belief in UFOs has only been strengthened, because USAF & others, are going to extreme lengths to provide alternatives or ridicule, yet the presence of helicopters at such events surely suggests they are far more interested than they publicly claim.
    Writing an in depth book to claim Rowell:Case Closed, the USAF, is trying to get this problem to go away. If nothing happened why bother? A weather balloon is not an interest of National Security. Its all the statements that people are coming out with now that has them scared.People on deathbeds dont care about life threats. But the two questions they tried to circumnavigate are
    1. Why the saucer press release,to change the next day?
    2. Why order child caskets/coffins from the town mortuary?
    These are the Conspiracy, & the public just aint buyin their reasons.


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