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Gulf Breeze UFO Flap (Part I): Ed Walters, Photos of Unusual Clarity and Hoaxes..,or not...?

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posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 04:07 PM
I've known Bruce Maccabee since I was 23 or 24 years old, and I'm 48 now. During the times we spent together at privately held meetings I had opportunity to hold, in my hands, some of Ed's original Polaroids and had the following observations:

They are terrible photos. By that I mean what you folks see in the end is the result of a lot of work whereby the photo is put into a machine that as I recall only Polaroid had at the time - which had the ability to look deep into emulsion of the photo in layers, and then layers could be dodged or enhanced through exposure to clarify what was there, and the images enhanced layers reassembled and enlarged. Enhanced, for the record, does not mean altered. Only level adjusted for lack of a better way to put it. That end result is what everyone has seen through the years. You have no idea how poor the originals were. In most, the UFO is a mere orange spot on black. That's it. If this were going to be hoaxed, I'd expect better - because there's no way Ed could have known the process by which these images would be examined and enhanced. Nor could one have been able to know how to hide tell tale signs of fakery with that level of examination and know it wouldn't be seen.

Double exposure is most often the answer thrown by the uninformed about the Walters shots. Bruce made a good point to me one day that the "beam" shot, where the UFO is hovering low and a bean is coming from it to the ground, the beam is key: if it were a fake beam, then a double exposure would have been evidenced by lighter beam in the sky portion of the shot - vs - the dark area. There would have been a clear differentiation is the brightness - and there isn't. The sky should have washed it out, and it didn't.

Again, keep in kind that the photo has been greatly level adjusted to bring out detail not seen in the original - which would make this even more apparent.

I also held in my hands the F-15/UFO shots, and the waterspout UFO shots from Walters - both daylight events. The UFO was smaller than the head of a pin in all the photos, and they were not especially good photos as far as composition. They do have a very candid appearance, and are what one might expect if one was caught off guard and raced for a camera to fire off as many photos as one could. If they were fakes, they are unparalleled in this field. There is also some pretty astounding video footage of spherical UFOs in Gulf Breeze during this time - they show instant acceleration like nothing you've ever seen. I am sure they exist on the net somewhere. This is long before the advent of consumer CGI programs of any kind with the ability to do flawless compositing.

But Gulf Breeze is far more than all about Ed Walters. I wrote a paper for AOL's "Parascope" probably some 15 years or more ago about Gulf Breeze's UFological history. Ed was only the tip of the iceberg.
(Continued on next post)

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posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 04:07 PM
Gulf Breeze: A Situation Report

by Jeff Ritzmann
Special Assignments Team

Gulf Breeze has been virtually synonymous with UFOs since Ed Walter's many encounters from November 11, 1987 to May 1, 1988. However, few people realize that the Florida panhandle is not new to UFO reports and sightings.

UFOs have been reported in and around Gulf Breeze since July 24, 1952, when a Warrington Navy man reported seeing three amber-red lighted objects. Just a short while later, an East Pensacola woman reported seeing disc-shaped objects flying overhead, that had an "orange glow" to them.

That same day, several residents of Eglin Air Force Base reported two orange colored discs hovering to the south-southeast for three or four minutes before vanishing. These people were very familiar with conventional aircraft and their characteristics, and they were certain these discs were not conventional aircraft.

On November 25, 1957 crewmen of a B-66 jet bomber from Eglin AFB reportedly saw three unidentified objects in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Hurlburt Field. The crew originally thought they were stars, yet they also showed up on Eglin's radar screens.

October 19, 1973, Clarence Ray Patterson reported he was "picked up" in his truck by a UFO while returning to Pensacola from Mobile, Alabama on Interstate 10. Police called by Patterson found that he was seriously upset and crying, but not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Patterson told the police that an "unidentified spaceship" hovered over his truck, then pulled him, truck and all, inside. Once inside the craft, Patterson said he was taken from his truck by six "strange looking creatures." His description of these beings was sketchy, but he could recall they were short, and had "clawlike" hands. Patterson stated that during the examination the creatures seemed able to read his mind. During this approximately 30 minute encounter, he was taken from Loxey to State Road 297 in Esambia County. After being released unharmed, he drove to Pensacola and contacted the police immediately.

Eglin Air Force Base itself has had its share of odd sightings as well. On February 2, 1976, an unidentified object was sighted at the east end of Duke Field. Air Force officials say the UFO did not show up in more than 40 photographs, or on their radar screens. Officials could not explain why this was so. Strange it wouldn't photograph, since the object being reported to be as large as a Boeing 707, or C-130 cargo plane. Half a dozen people saw this object; the first to see it was a military policeman while making his rounds about 4:35 a.m. According to Lt. Steve Phalen of the Eglin Information Office, the object was then visible till first light. When Phalen was asked why nothing appeared on any photographs, he answered, "That's a good question."

If one hearkens back to Ed Walters account of "swirled areas of grass" in Shoreline Park, and the 34-foot circle of burned grass at the public school behind his home, this next account may ring a bell. In the little panhandle town of Florida of Vernon, a resident named Joan Pflueger reluctantly reported a 26.5 foot circle in her pasture, a circle that had small burned circles around the outer edge. This was after several local residents reported seeing UFOs in the area at night. Ms. Pflueger found the suspicious mark in her field a few days later, on April 11, 1980. The area affected was described as looking "sucked up" by a giant vacuum. Pflueger hadn't a clue as to what had made the mark, but she did recall the day before her dog had acted "crazy, and trying to tear down a screen door to get outside." She stated the dog had never acted so oddly before. Ms. Pflueger was genuinely puzzled about the entire matter, saying less about the evidence in her pasture, and more about her hope that the incident wouldn't attract a lot of attention. "I guess I'll have to keep my gate locked all the time now," she said.

One can see by these reports that Ed Walters isn't the first person to have experiences with UFOs in the panhandle area of Florida, nor was this phenomenon new to Gulf Breeze in 1987. Many people make the assumption that Walters must be the key to the Gulf Breeze sightings, or that the sightings started with him. Clearly this isn't the case.

Gulf Breeze continued to be a hotbed of UFO reports in 1996. Although sightings were decidedly down in 1996, Carole Baker, a recorder and compiler of UFO reports in the area, said the sightings had "changed a bit." The familiar sightings of the bright red UFO over Shoreline Park, better known as "Bubba," had been replaced by daylight sightings of spherical chrome-colored objects, seen and recorded on video moving at unheard of speeds. The Skywatching group that gathers at Shoreline Park had a rather close encounter with a "Tinkerbell," an object about the size of a golfball that passed by very close, then stopped directly above of the group. The object exited into the woods at the park, not to be seen again that night.

All in all, the number of sighting reports was down, but were more spectacular, closer, and easier to observe. One thing is for sure, Gulf Breeze still logs more reports of UFOs within its boundaries than any other town in the United States. One has to wonder what attraction there is to this particular area. Some ufologists point out that Gulf Breeze is virtually surrounded by military installations, and suggest that UFOs seen there are the result of military testing. This may explain some of the sightings, but it doesn't square up with all of the video and photographic evidence collected thus far.

(c) Copyright 1997 ParaScope, Inc.

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posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 04:29 PM
So, in the end, Gulf Breeze is an enigma. Did Ed Walters hoax the photos? I would say no, or unlikely. Was there UFO activity in Gulf Breeze? Undoubtedly. I recorded one there in broad daylight myself Saturday, March 21, 1998. I gave the tape over to the Gulf Breeze investigators, and I never did find out what conclusions they reached. I refused to analyze my own footage.

Gulf Breeze is also a very strange place. Many people I was with in 98, and again in 2001, and again in or around 2007 - all reported (as I did as well) "pinpoint tremors". These were sensations of 6-12 inch drops of your entire body - and the person to your right might feel nothing at all - while the person to the left felt the same thing you did. This was never figured out as near as I could tell, but I mention it to people when Gulf Breeze weirdness is the topic.

As far as Ed's "abductions", I'm a staunch proponent against the use of hypnosis for recovering of memory - so I find anything coming from Hopkins, Jacobs or the like highly suspect and near worthless. (Don't get me started).

There were also far more people who saw and filmed UFOs in the area. There were also many more who reported bizarre close encounters, including a local pastor's wife.

All this said...

Is it representative of "aliens" (whatever that means) or ETs? I don't know. The bizarre alien encounters are reported (and rarely were those publicized) but is that really what happened, or were perceptions being manipulated.

I spoke to Bland Pugh, one of the key players in Ed's story and the Gulf Breeze flap not terribly long ago. I asked him if activity was still going on. He said north of the area there were spotty reports, but nothing like it was. I asked when sightings ceased at Shoreline Park. He replied, "When people stopped going down to the park to see them".

I find that very telling - I had often wondered if hotspots occurred simply because there were people there to specifically see the phenomena. That in and of itself, if correct, says we're dealing with something vastly more complex than nuts and bolts ET craft or black projects.

In the end, Gulf Breeze became a Peyton Place. I'm not surprised that due to all the liminality and antistructural behavior going on that there was paranormal activity going on. What goes hand in hand with that is infighting and accusation. Hence the stupid "found" model (truly a joke if you look into the specifics). Was it the phenomena or black projects using the UFO enigma as a cover? Who knows.

If nothing else, the case has the consistency that every UFO case has: ambiguity.


posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 04:48 PM
a reply to: jritzmann

I remember when this case began and listening to Bruce M. discuss it. From what I have heard and seen and observed with regards to the images and testimony, and even seeing evidence of counterintelligence affecting the case, they thought his phone had been tapped and house bugged, but this is just from memory back then, and now I can't find much data on that.
I'm in the camp that says this case is definitely genuine though..

By the way, I also remember when Bruce and Ed went to a place in Gulf Breeze with a special rig camera in stereo and got some images of these craft. It might have been some MUFON investigator also.. too far back to remember off hand..

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 04:48 PM
a reply to: jritzmann

Thank you for an extremely informative and excellent post.
Can the mods give this guy an applause please? We'd love more posts like that.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 05:28 PM

originally posted by: NoCorruptionAllowed
By the way, I also remember when Bruce and Ed went to a place in Gulf Breeze with a special rig camera in stereo and got some images of these craft. It might have been some MUFON investigator also.. too far back to remember off hand..

You're probably referring to when Bruce and several scientists with an interest in the phenomena set up a surveillance truck at Shoreline Park. On one night, the "tinkerbell" type small lights weaved their way through the crowd on the pier, and flew directly over the truck with some pretty sensitive equipment on board. As I remember there was data collected, but it was inconclusive as to what the lights actually were.

Nevertheless, the fact that many witnesses on the pier saw this for themselves at very close proximity (I think waist to top of head level as it bobbed and weaved through them) says pretty clearly that this was some sort of anomalous event.


posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 08:34 PM
a reply to: jritzmann

That was very interesting & useful information, thanks!

Do you know if there were attempts to calculate the size of the object? It doesn't look like it's very large but it always looked to me like it would be larger than the model supposedly used for hoaxing.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 10:08 PM
Thanks J. Ritzmann, for your own insightful additions to this thread. Plenty of food for thought in your comments.

Interestingly, I was skimming over Jacques Vallee's 'Revelations' book before, and he offers a very different take.

Revelations, page 98

This unfortunate trend toward sloppy research has left tragic casualties in the wake of a sensational UFO case in the Florida town of Gulf Breeze, where a local secret witness calling himself Mr. Ed produced a whole series of Polaroid shots of an extraordinary object. The pictures, according to the Washington-based Fund for UFO Research, were absolutely genuine. The group's director, Navy physicist Dr. Bruce Maccabee, said on several occasions that they “could not have been faked.” The whole tale was hyped up by various amateur groups, notably the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and it was published in a lavishly-illustrated volume for which Mr. Ed reportedly obtained a six- figure advance. A television mini-series was planned. In the ensuring months, unfortunately, the Gulf Breeze house of cards collapsed, taking with it much of the credibility still attached to the major UFO organizations in the United States. Mr. Ed, who turned out to be a local house builder named Ed Walters, had once hired a young man in his community to help him fake such Polaroid pictures. The young man had the courage to come forward and to confess publicly. A model of a flying saucer was found in the attic of Mr. Ed's former house. The physicist who had pronounced the photographs authentic was revealed to have received ten percent of the publisher's advance in return for his endorsement. Abduction writer Budd Hopkins studied Mr. Ed and determined that – you guessed it – the Florida contractor had been abducted by little aliens who needed to learn about human emotions! Media reaction ranged from skepticism to outright laughter. Many veteran ufologists resigned from MUFON and went back into the ranks of what Dr. Hynek had once called the invisible college.

I too am very skeptical of 'Abduction' specialists using hypnosis and the conclusions they come to. I wasn't aware that Bruce Maccabee was getting 'cash for endorsement' - is anyone able to clarify if this was the case, or if Vallee may have his facts wrong?
I did know that there was a lot of dissension in the UFO community over the 'found' model, but I wasn't fully up to speed with the resignation of many 'veteran ufologists' from MUFON. Regardless, as an organisation they continued to fully support Ed Waters, after their own investigations.

Vallee is someone I've tended to have some respect for. His conclusions leave me no closer to any idea of what really happened. Was Waters set up? Did Maccabee collude on a fraud? Was this whole episode an elaborate gambit for money?

From one direction it looks clear cut, but poking at the uncovered body that is the Gulf Breeze Episode smells funny. Ultimately, while I respect Vallee, I don't fully trust his conclusions.

The Klass curse endures.
edit on 13-8-2014 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 01:00 AM
Still reading, this is an awesome thread, I never had read any of this before.

Funny thing is I was just down at Eglin afb. I went to the airforce armament museum there and also visited a doctor who was in the air force for 37 years and had done special operations. He did say that there had been all kinds of crazy things tested in the 70s and 80 but then went on to talk about some of the first drones, and stealth bombers etc. Didn't think anything of it till I read the first posts. Good thread

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 03:39 AM
a reply to: jritzmann

Great to have your info and views here.

Did you or Bruce Maccabee have the opportunity to study the photo's that Smith brought forward ?

If not do you know who the "photo experts" were that are reported as having investigating them and determining they were not double exposures ?

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 04:38 AM
Looks like a hot air balloon to me, I have seen a hot air balloon shaped like Darth Vadar's helmet!

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 05:52 AM
Double post.
edit on 14-8-2014 by ForteanOrg because: a double post was made and so this post can be removed.

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 05:52 AM
a reply to: cuckooold


There was a mr Jack Black (now deceased) who accused Walters of taking money and labeled him a scam.

Kenny Young (deceased in 2005) who ran reported on it. Alas the site has been down for the last 2 days. This is the url of the story, just in case the site comes up again: THE BLACK ATTACK - "UFOlogical 'Mystery Payments'" and other allegations of WRONGDOING by Gulf Breeze UFO Researchers

Another copy (?) of the story could be found here: 'Ufological "Mystery Payments": An Interview With Jerry Black' - - alas that site is down too. Well, it has been almost 30 years..

A summary and the defense can still be found here:
ed it on 14-8-2014 by ForteanOrg because: it needed it.

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 05:56 AM
that's a pretty rediculous *saucer* ITT.

Space ants.

On a serious note. That craft is way to small. Just my personal oppinion having seen a saucer myself.
This craft lacks *Ancient*.

It looks like a Car lighter. Like the thing you push down and heat up.
Or a Jet turbine with neo lights.

edit on 14-8-2014 by AnuTyr because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 06:55 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Hiya Fort, you've got a good bookmark collection to remember these old sites

Here's a working" target="_blank" class="postlink">copy of the site.

Notable quotes:

JB: There are some hot ethical issues involved here. In myopinion, it's wrong. In this particular case, it is especially wrong becauseEd Walters had not even started his second book when Bruce Maccabee accepteda $20,000 fee for writing a chapter in the book. What we must rememberhere, and some people are not aware of this, that $20,000 (less $2,000for agents fee, let's be fair) that $18,000 came out of Ed Walters' pocket.That money was taken out of his advance. Once he had accepted that $18,000,he became too close to Ed Walters to objectively investigate the case anyfurther. When you get $18,000 from a person, you'll have some hesitancyto say anything bad about the photos or the person, it's human nature.Had I been in charge of MUFON at that time and learned that Bruce Maccabeehad accepted this money, I would have taken him off the case for conflictof interest reasons. As I said, I have a post-card from Ed Walters thatstates that much earlier than the book, Maccabee accepted a professionalfee in July of 1988 of an undisclosed amount of money, just before Maccabeewas to speak at the '88 MUFON symposium in support of the Ed Walters photos.

JB: [...] A lot of people had lost a lot of respectfor the entire UFO community when the Gulf Breeze case was touted by andsupported by the entire MUFON organization, even though many people couldsee the discrepancies in the case and the Hyzer case, stating from thebeginning, that there were signs of double exposure. Why did Maccabee'sreport never make mention of the double exposure potential or imply thatthey were double exposures? Yet Hyzer said that all ten photos he was givenshowed signs of double exposed. Yes, this case is an absolute embarrassmentto the UFO community. Dennis Stacey, who has since left MUFON, has clearlystated that he is not supportive of the Ed Walters case and never was.

In fairness, and as Fort has linked, Bruce Maccabee" target="_blank" class="postlink">wrote a reply to the above article. He states that any fees were received a couple of years after he drew his conclusions and, by implication, they were objective rather than bribed.

It doesn't particularly bother me one way or another. The Gulf Breeze photos don't appeal to my ability to suspend disbelief and there seems to have been a degree of stage-management behind the ensuing attention.

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 06:55 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Try quoting this post and copying and pasting this string into your browser >*/
edit on 14-8-2014 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 07:20 AM

originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Try quoting this post and copying and pasting this string into your browser >*/


Wayback Machine doesn't have that page archived.
Want to search for all archived pages under ?

edit on 14-8-2014 by ForteanOrg because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 07:26 AM
Gulf Breeze. I used to live there for flight school. Escambia county has the both one of the highest per capita number of churches AND strip clubs in the area.

With all of the "colorful characters" in the area, I'm not surprised that there were or are a lot of "ufo sightings" there. OTOH, you have both the mother of Naval Aviation, Pensacola and the USAF special operations base at Eglin AFB right there, so no wonder people are seeing odd stuff in the sky.

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 07:30 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Pain in the neck!

Try copying this >>

into the search field of the Wayback Machine.

I've used it a lot over the years and it can be glitchy. A webpage can be there one day and gone the next before popping up another time.

posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 10:01 AM
a reply to: jritzmann
That's interesting Jeff, and something that's a bot too complex for most folks to discuss. Ed Walters is tainted goods, but people just can't seem to discuss sightings in the area without him.

I think the buzz caused by the publicity did cause a lot of folks to be looking for UFOs, and many of these inexperienced people mistook aircraft for something unusual. But, that doesn't explain it all. As you discuss, there werecredible UFO report completely independent of Walters.

However, I've been unable to find a good examination of things minus Walters. Almost every major new event has some baloney or hoax attached to it at some point. It should be standard operating procedure to strain out the BS, not just close shop because things get murky.

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