Saturday, April 14, 2012

Leslie Kean Update: the Fly is Still Flying High!

And still they fly!
On the afternoon of April 13, Leslie Kean finally posted to the Huffington Post her promised update on the highly-controversal video from El Bosque Arifield in Chile, exactly one month after her initial story about it. The video supposedly shows an unknown craft maneuvering, but is widely believed to be just a fly buzzing around. (My March 21 Blog posting explains the fly-analysis in detail.)

Strangely, unlike Kean's initial story ("Is this the case UFO skeptics have been dreading?"), there does not seem to be any link to the update on the Huffington Post home page. However, the update appears prominently on Kean's Facebook page. It almost seems that she does not want to bring any new readers into this controversy, and is writing only to maintain credibility with those already involved. (I suspect at this point Kean wishes she had never heard of the Chilean Air Force UFO group CEFAA, but having embraced this Tar Baby, she is unwilling to admit that her new dress is covered with tar.)

Her new piece is titled "Update on Chilean UFO Videos: Getting the Bugs Out." Surprisingly, this update changes almost nothing: we don't really learn anything that we didn't know before. She quotes Alberto Vergara, "an expert in digital imaging," who stated that "When we examine the whole scene frame by frame, we have been able to realize that [the object] has, apparently, moved at a speed far superior to any flying object of known manufacture." Neither Kean nor Vergara explain how he could possibly know the speed of the object without knowing how far it is from the camera. But Vergara is an "expert," so Kean doesn't question this obvious absurdity.

A strange metallic flying object - Lucilia Sericata, the common  Green Bottle fly
Kean complains that "Skeptics caused quite a stir by taking it upon themselves to do their own "analysis" of the video clips and then to declare, with bravado, that the object of concern was simply a bug. Often this involved misquoting or misrepresenting me and the CEFAA in accompanying text." [Kean does not specify what supposed "misquotes" or "misrepresentations" she is referring to]. "The question of qualifications aside [we skeptics, you see,  are not "qualified" to analyze these videos, but somebody like Vergara is], these individuals were handicapped by one even more overwhelming problem: They were working without the necessary data required to make a proper analysis, and, most importantly, they were looking at video clips pulled from only one of the multiple cameras."

This is a very strange complaint: if people are "working without the necessary data," it is because the CEFAA refuses to release any more data (although in reality, the clips from the single video already released contain plenty of information to conclude the "UFO" is an insect). So she blames investigators for looking into this case prematurely (a case she suggested was "the case UFO skeptics have been dreading"), rather than blaming the CEFAA for being secretive. And people "were looking at video clips pulled from only one of the multiple cameras" for a very good reason: the CEFAA has only released video clips from one camera, and people cannot analyze what they're not allowed to see.

"In accordance with the wishes of the scientific team in Chile and these new analysts, General Bermúdez will not be releasing any more videos now, so that the public can be fully informed and maximum understanding achieved when the full package is released. Those involved agree that the new studies should be completed first." In other words, the message to those who want to investigate this high-profile case is: sit still, shut up, and we'll let you know when our "experts" have all of the answers for you.

Then Leslie Kean gets into a discussion of beetles, largely, I suspect, to deflect attention from flies. She presents some pretty good arguments to suggest that the object in the video probably isn't a beetle. Beetles fly more clumsily than the object we see. That's why I think that the insect in the video is probably a fly.

General Bermudez has been stating  that UFO photo analyst Dr. Bruce Maccabee has examined the video, and has concluded that it represents an unknown object. However, there is nothing about this on Maccabee's website, or anywhere else I could find. I asked Maccabee about it. He replied, "As for the CEFAA video, I have been studying it or them, but things are not straightened out yet as to how many independent videos there are, what they show and when they show it.  No conclusion yet." In other words, he hasn't had any more success getting the full data from the CEFAA than anyone else has!

Interestingly, the UFOlogist A. Gevaert in Brazil reports "the two major and oldest official UFO research organizations in South American, one from Uruguay (founded in 1979) and other from Chile ([CEFAA] founded in 1997), have decided to establish a cooperation agreement to work together to both investigate new cases, to evaluate new and old cases and to promote Ufology in general among the scientific community of all South America, but, of course, concentrated in both countries." So it appears that, in Chile and Uruguay at least, the government-sponsored UFO investigative organizations are trying to strongly promote UFO belief. That gives us a little bit of perspective into what is going on with the Fly Saucer story.


  1. This is a repost from the other entry on this controversy:

    I think some questions have to be asked about her interviews.
    1. The evidence she presented seems to be selective as she only presented the presentations by CEFAA and NOT the presentations that have been conducted by various others who have examined the videos.
    2. How many entomologists did she ask and how many comments did she receive?
    3. If all the information were presented to entomologists (including hoaxkillers video, the video of the bees and the toy helicopter, the raw clips posted on line), would they conclude that it could not be bugs?

    She is trying to falsify the bug hypothesis. The only valid method to do so is to PROVE they are not bugs. To do that she needs to show triangulation of the objects in the seven videos to PROVE the objects are far away from the camera and large.

    This latest effort is a case of her presenting her cherry picked discussions. However, what did these experts tell her?

    Jason J. Dombroskie - Did not say "It could not be a bug"
    Brett C. Ratcliffe - Did not say "It could not be a bug"
    Elizabeth Arias - Initially said it could not be a bug but then addded an associate stated it might be a bug that was close.

    From this Kean concludes that it is probably not a bug. Considering the limited evidence she presented to them (would they have reached the same conclusion if she presented what the individuals at ATS and Hoaxkiller discovered?) and that they are NOT experts on digital imagery (only experts on insects), I am not surprised by what they stated. However, as noted, only one stated that it could not be a bug but then changed their opinion after discussing it with another person.

  2. When working overnights I listen to "Coast2Coast AM" with George Noory. I'm a skeptic, I just listen as a comedy mostly. Plus, it helps me keep up-to-date on what the other side is up to.

    Anywho, they had a guest last week explaining that UFO's were using robotic probes that looked exactly like flies. I don't think he speculated on what they were for, but he insisted they looked like flies except that there maneuvers would be impossible for a fly to replicate. I laughed, but then thought of the Kean story. I'm wondering if these two have a connection. I don't think the guest mentioned that during his talk, but perhaps it's something he's building up to.

    He also threw in "Rods" and "Orbs" as part of the talk. They were also being used by UFO's robotically. Those damn aliens are just too clever.

  3. Thanks for posting the photo of the beetles. SEXY. More, please.

  4. Tim,

    You said "The evidence she presented seems to be selective as she only presented the presentations by CEFAA and NOT the presentations that have been conducted by various others who have examined the videos." Exactly. That has always been Kean's Modus Operandi. Just like the title of my review of her book, "‘Unexplained’ Cases—Only If You Ignore All Explanations" ( She simply ignores any and all facts that don't fit in with her view. Dr. George Michael calls this "academic rigor."

    Clearly, the matter of the Fly Saucer has now gone into the mode of 'wait forever and hope people forget about it.' When asked about it, Kean will probably say, "We're still Waiting for Godot to finish his analysis. Until then, we can't reach any conclusions at all!"


    Kean has two beetle-panels in her Fly Saucer update. I only used one. You need to look at hers.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I'm on my way. Coleoptera, coleoptera, coleoptera...

  5. Tim,

    You say "The evidence she presented seems to be selective." That's the whole point, and that's Kean's Modus Operandi. Just tell them what you want them to hear, and ignore everything else.

    Michael Naisbitt has just posted a devastating response to Kean's 'Fly Update' on his . He pointed out numerous self-contradictions between Kean's first HuffPost piece on the Fly Saucer, and her second. There are also direct contradictions between Gen. Bermudez, and Kean.
    Read it at

  6. Leslie Kean just announced on her Facebook page that she is header to Chile to meet with the CEFAA:

    "Exciting News! I'm going to Santiago, Chile on June 7th on an "official visit" with the CEFAA. The staff are arranging interviews for me with high level military and aviation officials, scientists and police who work with them to investigate UAP. General Ricardo Bermudez (photo) is the head of the CEFAA."

    Maybe she will bring back more videos of flies buzzing around?


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