New 3-D Analysis of 1965 Heflin UFO Photos Shows Small Model

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posted on May, 19 2006 @ 12:49 PM
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I've had an interest in 3-D, or "stereo," photography for quite a few years, and lately I've been interested in what I guess you could call "found" 3-D, created accidentally when someone takes two consecutive photos of the same scene but slightly separated horizontally. The resulting stereo pair instantly provides you with depth information you would not have with a single photo, and gives you a way to estimate approximate sizes and distances without having to guess at focal depths or atmospheric haze. This works particularly well with old UFO photos if you can get good copies.

I recently came across an analysis of the 1965 "Top Hat" UFO photos taken by Rex Heflin in Santa Ana, California. These photos have been the subject of 40 years of debate and analysis, since the photos themselves are of relatively high quality and there's a sequence of them. Heflin took 4 photos, 3 out the window of his pick-up truck, showing a flying saucer, and one that shows a dark, irregular ring in the clouds that supposedly appeared when the saucer vanished.

It turns out that 2 of the 4 four photos are taken out of the side window of the truck, relatively close together, and (by chance) slightly horizontally offset. BINGO!

So I've taken the 2 photos and placed them together in such a way that they can be "free viewed" as a 3-D stereo pair by crossing your eyes and bringing the image back into focus. I've even provided a little caption guide to help with this little visual trick. Here are the results. Click on the image for the larger version.



Other than crop, rearrange, and slightly adjust the brightness of the images, they're pretty much as Heflin took them.

Once your eyes get used to viewing the center image in 3-D, you should be able to see how the depth changes from the close-up window frame, to the mirror, to the bushes in the ditch at the side of the road, and finally all the way across the field to the hazy trees in the distance. So we're getting some good visual depth cues here, even though the distance between the 2 photos might not have exactly been the average 5 or so inches between most people's eyes.

Now, by getting used to how you have to focus to see at various depths, you can get a rough approximation of about how far away things are in your field of vision. The mirror is only a couple feet away. The ditch is maybe 20-30 feet. I suppose by knowing exactly how wide the mirror post is, you can figure out exact distances, sizes, and how far apart the photos were taken. But that's not necessary here.

What you need to look at is the saucer. This is a little tricky, since they're not exactly the same in both photos. One has more of a tilt. But try to ignore that, and only concentrate on where the saucer is located distance-wise in the picture. That is, when you focus on the far-away trees, do you have to do the same thing when you look at the saucer? Or is the saucer maybe a little closer than that?

If it's relatively big and far away, then you'd have to focus your eyes on it in the same way you would when you look out past the bushes and into the center of the field. So pick a spot you'd think might be 75 yards out or so and focus on it. Does that make the saucer line up? No, it doesn't.

If you play with the image, after a while, you'll probably notice, as I did, that the saucer is actually more aligned and in focus when you're focusing on the truck mirror, which is obviously pretty close to the truck. What does that mean? Well, it means that the saucer is also probably pretty close to the truck, and not floating in the sky halfway across the field. And if that's the case, then it probably isn't very big, either.

My very, very rough estimation is that the saucer is maybe 2 or 3 feet away from the roof of the truck, and only a couple of inches across (in diameter). An exact measurement can be determined by somebody who is a better photo analyst than me.

Of course, I could be wrong about the size and the distance. Because if the saucer moved in the sky relative to when the photos were taken, it's possible that it will appear closer than it really is. Does that make sense? If, for instance, the first photo taken was the left one, and the saucer moved to the right a little before the right one was taken, the depth won't be accurate.

But here's the deal. See how well the two saucer images line up with each other in the different photos? In order for them to do that, it would have to have made a nearly perfect lateral motion from one photo to the next, in line with the camera. If it moved farther away, the width of the saucer would be different in the two pictures. It can't have gone up or down in altitude, or it wouldn't match up at all. The chances of the saucer making an absolutely lateral move between the two photos is very, very unlikely.

So that leads us (or me, anyway) to a relatively simple conclusion. That the UFO in these pictures is probably a small model, a few inches across, maybe suspended from a string by a pole extending from the cab of the truck.

Play with the images a little. See if you don't see the same thing I do. I'll also try to create a blue-and-red analglyphic 3-D photo from the pair, so you folks with 3-D glasses might be able to see it better. I've read that nearly 30% of the population can't see in 3-D at all, and free-viewing is a bit tricky. I'll see what I can come up with to make it easier.

And if you can analyze the photos better than I can, let me know what you come up with. I'd rather have the thing be "real," and not a hoax, but the proof is in the pictures. At least a little more with 3-D, anyway.



[edit on 19-5-2006 by Enkidu]



d1k

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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Great, now we are crossing our eyes to debunk UFO pictures.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:09 PM
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Hehehhehe.

This is a lil bit tricky.

I think I'm with the 30%.

I don't know if I did it correclty but when I crossed my eyes I was able to create one image (the 2 pictures overlapping w/ each other). Correct? But still it's hard to focus on the object.

Tell me again...what are we supposed to look for here?



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by bigmakoy
Tell me again...what are we supposed to look for here?


What you're looking for is where in the 3-D image you have to look to get the saucer to line up (as much as possible, considering they're slightly different). Try lining up the top of the window, or the mirror if you have trouble with the text.

Get used to how you have to focus to see the various parts of the scene. The mirror is up close. The trees are far away. The bushes are at a mid-distance. Now where is the saucer? Is it more lined up when you're focusing on the distant trees? Or is it more lined up when you're looking at the mirror? For me, it's a lot more together when the mirror is together and in focus. Not the trees in the distance. That means the UFO is probably close to the truck, just a little farther away than the mirror, actually. Which would also mean it's not very big, either.

It is tricky to see, I admit. But I don't think I'm wrong about it.

I'll work on it to make it easier to see. Too bad more people don't have 3-D viewing glasses like you can find here:

LINK



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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THis sounds like a really smart analysis. I'll study your results and then append to this message with my conclusion.

Good thinking, Enkidu.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by d1k
Great, now we are crossing our eyes to debunk UFO pictures.

Hey, whatever works. I just arranged the photos cross-eyed because of the large size. I find it's easier to see larger stereo pairs by eye-crossing, rather than de-focusing.

But, yeah, I'm one of those people who prefers less bunk.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 02:46 PM
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Ok. Now this is harder than I thought.
I will try again and be back. I still have a life to attend to.


Anyway, I must say, good job on this Enkidu!



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 04:36 PM
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Try buying the new album by TOOL, they include stereo viewer lenses within the album design.

Although I can really appriciate the hard work it took to put this together, I dont know if it really holds it's wieght in terms of actual data.

Stereo shots usually have to be accurately measured and secured to fixed mounts to really be "testable" worthy. Otherwise I dont think they really do much more then make for interesting optical illusions. Everyone's depth illusion apex isnt the same, so youre going to get vastly different impressions of depth and perspective.

But still, great stuff, and ya gotta admit it does make you feel a bit more "there" then a flat shot.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by jritzmann
Try buying the new album by TOOL, they include stereo viewer lenses within the album design.

Although I can really appriciate the hard work it took to put this together, I dont know if it really holds it's wieght in terms of actual data.

Stereo shots usually have to be accurately measured and secured to fixed mounts to really be "testable" worthy. Otherwise I dont think they really do much more then make for interesting optical illusions.


I personally don't have the technical background in optics to be able to pin things down to the foot or inch. However, as I said, if someone knew specifics about the size of the mirror or its mount, or the window support, the rest of the information can be figured out mathematically. The specifics about relative positions of the camera can be determined that way, too.


Everyone's depth illusion apex isnt the same, so youre going to get vastly different impressions of depth and perspective.


Quite true, because people's eyes are not all exactly the same distance apart or at the same level. But it doesn't change the relative effect. A satellite taking a 3-D picture of Olympus Mons on Mars is like a giant, with eyes miles and miles apart, but you still get a relative 3-D effect. Same thing if you have two photos only a few millimeters apart and take a close-up picture of a bug. The bug will look huge in 3-D.

So determining approximately how far away the saucer is in the Heflin UFO photos is going to be a matter of estimating the relative distance, compared to other objects in the image. It doesn't matter if we know precicely that the bushes are 14.65 feet away, or whatever. All we need to know is if the UFO is closer or farther away than the bushes. And it looks like it's closer.

When I first put the shots together, I expected (maybe even hoped) the saucer would show up farther away. It took me a while to see that the saucers "joined up" much better when I was focusing closer on the mirror than on a point out in the field. At first I thought that maybe the saucer had moved, and that was why it was showing up so close. But it's about the same length and height in each separate photo. It actually lines up TOO well, which indicated to me that between the first and second shot (no matter what order they were taken in) it hadn't moved, just tilted a little. That doesn't say a whole lot for the authenticity.


But still, great stuff, and ya gotta admit it does make you feel a bit more "there" then a flat shot.

That's one of the reasons I've always liked 3-D photos. That extra dimension really brings you into the scene and gives it more immediacy and life.

You get a lot of folks trying to determine distance and size of a UFO from a single photo, using focal length and diffusion and focus and atmospheric haze, and so on, but it's really hard that way and you do need very exact measurements of the camera. And you still aren't necessarily going to be accurate. But a stereo pair makes it relatively easy and surprisingly accurate without having to know the exact specifics of the binocular parallax.




posted on May, 20 2006 @ 02:19 AM
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I dunno if I really agree with ya on the accuracy, as I explained. Youre looking at an optical illusion of depth, but is it truly based in real depth...or depth perception.

"Looks" like it's closer, also is relative, and highly variable.

I dont disagree with ya that it doesnt seem very far away, and it's small. But we also have to keep in mind that some of those old cameras were infinite/fixed focused. Thats going to drastically effect DOF and the perception of distance to relative objects.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 03:47 AM
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Why not make it easier for us by manually moving one image over the other? Basically, make the 2nd image transparent, and move it over the 1st, then post that image. Would make things much easier to see, or at least I think it would.

ThBorg



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 03:55 AM
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Originally posted by jritzmann
"Looks" like it's closer, also is relative, and highly variable.


Well, here. Maybe this will help clarify it. This is an red-blue analglyphic 3-D view of the scene I created. (No trickery. Just filtering and adjustments to create the analglyph.)

It's MUCH more easy to view, if you have an old pair of 3-D glasses lying around the house (and who doesn't?). You can really get a good feel for the whole layout.

Blue will be on the right and left will be red. You may have to make some adjustments to your monitor color profile to see it correctly. The image is also pretty large, and I recommend adjusting the zoom to the largest, most comfortable size for viewing on your monitor.



What do I think? Well, I still think it's a small model, dangling out from the top of the cab about 3 feet or so. About as long as a fishing pole.

However, I still could be completely wrong. Optics, after all, is an inexact science.


P.S. - Check out the depth information I was able to get out of the side view mirror! Ha!

[edit on 20-5-2006 by Enkidu]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 04:06 AM
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I'm not particularly fond of these photos, but I don't see how you could get a correct stereoscopic image from them. Looking at the mirror on the vehicle, you can see that both pictures were taken at very different angles. Far wider than any human eyes would be. So I would imagine you would get a very incorrect 3D view as a result.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 04:14 AM
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What is it about people that makes the need to debunk so pressing?

If you look at the foreground you will see that the thorn bushes are very different. It's impossible to know how far away they are, but they are in different positions. Likewise, the object appears differently-sized in each picture.

No meaningful triangulation data can come out of this. It's a pointless exercise, from which you might get literally seconds of fun.

I'm as loath to be hoaxed as the next person. But I'd prefer my debunking with a little more rigour, thanks.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 04:46 AM
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Interesting way of doing things. I cant get my eyes crossed no matter how hard I try so I cant really make this work for me.

My wife kept giving me weird looks so I had to give up



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 12:16 PM
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I tried viewing this in stereo, but I couldn't get the two images to cross. Got close, but no luck. Also, there is a little bit of vertical offset to the nearer objects in the images that makes it a little more difficult for me.

I still think this is a good idea. The more frames taken at nearly the same time, but at slightly different perspectives, the more precise information about the relative positions of the objects is gained. I know this is used in reconnaisance work, and that the mathematicians who figured out how many pictures were needed to rereate a 3d scene got to tour quite a bit based on that paper result.

I wonder if we couldn't apply the same kind of analysis to any UFO footage where the camera moves relative to the UFO.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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WOW!

That is weird! I didn't know how this helps the UFO case, but now I wanna do this to a bunch of pictures, hahah. I never heard of this stereo pictures before. weird. it works cool, makes a nice depth of field



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Sorry but I think the whole concept of using two different pictures to produce a stereoscopic picture is flawed, therefore any conclusions are flawed.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by Strodyn
Sorry but I think the whole concept of using two different pictures to produce a stereoscopic picture is flawed, therefore any conclusions are flawed.


I thought that's how they worked?

www.rootsweb.com...
nzphoto.tripod.com...
rozzo.tripod.com...

they're all taken from different angles (or put in different angles)...so how is this one flawed?



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 07:06 PM
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Because the pictures are far too different......even a few centimetres difference in camera position, or a few degrees in rotation will have a major distortion on the steroscopic image......the pictures you showed were taken from one camera with two lenses about the same difference apart as your eyes, so this will recombine to show an accurate 3d image.

The images that were posted first tho are from two different positions at two different times.

just look at any red/green pics to see how little difference there is between a distant object and a close one......compare where the red and green parts are without the glasses...........there are millimeters difference

hopefully that explains why I dont think this is acceptable science.



[edit on 20/5/06 by Strodyn]





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