UFO: Top 10 UFO Photos (and masses of others)

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posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 07:46 AM
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Masses of UFO photographs can be found on the Internet. In this article I unveil (for the first time on a public forum) the “Top 10” photographic cases based on the frequency of their discussion within 963 UFO/SETI books.

If ufologists wrote books solely with the objective of presenting the best available evidence, then the most frequently discussed cases would be the ones that the most authors regarded as the best cases.


ATS Premium Article By Isaac Koi.


Masses of UFO photographs can be found on the Internet, including on:


Which UFO photographs should be focused upon?

Ufologists regularly complain that skeptics fail to address the best UFO cases.

On the other hand, skeptics frequently complain that “believers” refuse to nominate the best cases.

If UFO proponents wish to persuade scientists to examine the evidence for the alleged objective reality of UFOs, then it is not unreasonable to expect those UFO proponents to make serious efforts to identify the material which the scientists should focus upon.

Unparticularised suggestions to read the “UFO literature” or “witness reports” are simply poor advocacy, given the relevant mass of material and the variability of its quality. Scientists and skeptics are only human. They will keep going as long as the initial material gains their interest. If (as many UFO-proponents claim) they wish to encourage serious study of UFO reports by scientists, why not refer them to the best material to get their attention?

One online debate about UFOs and aliens began with one individual asserting that it is “obviously true they are out there". When challenged to state the facts in support of his statement he responded in the following way: "try googling UFO reports and sightings etc....and any decent site that comes up on google or any other search engine for that matter will be my facts" (see Footnote 1).

Unsurprisingly, the skeptics involved in that discussion did not find this suggestion very helpful or persuasive.

It is not merely those new to ufology that make such statements to skeptics. When asked to provide evidence for UFOs, the astronomer and famous ufologist J Allen Hynek would respond sarcastically “Where do you want the truck to stop” (see Footnote 2).

Various ufologists have produced lists of their best cases. There are also several lists which represent (or at least have been said to represent) a consensus of leading ufologists on this issue. I’ll consider several of those lists in a separate series of articles. As an alternative approach, however, I thought that it might be interesting to find out which UFO cases are most frequently discussed in books about ufos and SETI. Over four years later, and having been through 963 UFO and SETI books noting each discussion of various UFO cases, I have drawn up a list of the “Top 100” cases based on the frequency of discussion within this (relatively large) sample of books.

If ufologists wrote books solely with the objective of presenting the best available evidence, then the most frequently discussed cases would be the ones that the most authors regarded as the best cases.

Given the interest displayed by ATS in photographic cases, I thought I would unveil (for the first time on a public forum) the “Top 10” photographic cases as found in this survey of 963 books.

Since including summaries and references for each of these “Top 10” photographic cases would make this a rather long post, I have instead included links to relevant entries on Tinwiki. (For those that don’t know, ATS has a wiki. It’s called Tinwiki. Tinwiki has the potential to become a useful (free) resource available to members of ATS and the wider ufological community. I think it is a bit of a shame that so few ATS members appear to be aware of Tinwiki or contribute to it. Tinwiki will only fulfill its potential if more members of ATS (or non-members for that matter...) create new entries and/or edit the existing entries. I’m not sure why more members of ATS don’t contribute to Tinwiki. I’ve sought to address some of the potential reasons on the Tinwiki page I created here, which also gives some links to some help for beginners.)

The “Top 10” UFO photographic cases are …

[Drum roll please…]


1. 90 references : McMinnville photographs (11 May 1950)
UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer has written that “Many UFOlogists rate this case as the strongest photo case on record”.
These photographs have also featured in:

  • a list of the “Top 10” UFO cases produced by James Carrion (in 2006),
  • a list of five noteworthy cases produced by Richard Dolan (in his book “UFOs and the National Security State: Volume 1”)
  • a list of the “Top 10” UFO cases produced by Stanton Friedman for the Fortean Times in 2007.
  • a list of UFO seven cases produced by Brad Sparks (in 1999)
  • a list of UFO twenty cases produced by Bruce Maccabee
  • a list of the best four photographic UFO cases produced by Ronald Story


2. 76 references : Gulf Breeze encounter (11 November 1987 and onwards)

Bruce Maccabee included several of the Gulf Breeze sightings in a list of twenty UFO cases produced by Bruce Maccabee in 1999.



3. 72 references : Trindade Island photographs (16 January 1958)
The Trindade Island photographs have been referred to as “the most famous of all purported photographs of a UFO” (by Donald Menzel and Lyle Boyd in their book “The World of Flying Saucers”, 1963).

This incident came third in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the best UFO cases.

This incident has been included within various lists of the best UFO cases produced by various researchers. For example:

  • a list by APRO of the 5 best cases.
  • a list by Bruce Maccabee of 20 cases which give “the best evidence for an extraterrestrial origin for the UFO phenomenon”.
  • a list by Ronald Story of the 4 best photographic cases.

The Trindade Island photographs were the only photos to get their own chapter in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document)” endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.


4. 64 references : Tremonton, Utah film (2 July 1952)

The Tremonton film was one of two motion pictures of UFO sightings considered by the Robertson Panel, organized by the CIA, in January 1953.



5. 58 references : Great Falls, Montana film (August 1950)

In his book “UFOs Explained” (1974), Philip J Klass referred to the Great Falls footage as “the most impressive and famous UFO movie”.

In his book “Scientific Ufology” (1999), Kevin D Randle wrote that the Great Falls footage “would become one of the best, and, therefore most controversial pieces of physical evidence available”.

The Great Falls film was one of two motion pictures of UFO sightings considered by the Robertson Panel, organized by the CIA, in January 1953.



6. 46 references : Rex Heflin photographs (3 August 1965)

Robert Sheaffer has referred to Heflin’s photographs as “one of the most highly regarded series of ‘classic’ UFO photos of all time”.

The Condon Report states that the case regarding these photos “must remain inconclusive” and comments that the case is “of exceptional interest because it is so well documented”.


7. 38 references : Salem, Massachusetts photograph (12 August 1883)

J Allen Hynek has referred to this photograph as a “widely publicized case”, a “classic” that “has made the rounds in just about every magazine and book on the subject”.

This photograph was listed by Project Blue Book as “unidentified”.


8. 32 references : Jose A y Bonilla photographs (12 August 1883)

Several researchers have referred to these photographs as “the first UFO photographs”.


9. 32 references : Ummo photographs (1 June 1967 and other dates)
Ufologist Scott Corrales has commented that the Ummo affair is “without any doubt, the longest-running hoax in ufology”.
Jacques Vallee has suggested that “UMMO is certainly one of the best examples of the systematic application of confusion techniques in the paranormal field”.



10. 31 references : Stephen Darbishire photographs (15 February 1954)

This photograph has been referred to as “the first UFO photograph ever taken in Britain” (Westmoreland Gazette, 8 October 2004).

As a result of the press coverage of this photograph, Stephen Darbishire and his father were invited to Buckingham Palace to meet one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s private secretaries (the Royal Equerry, RAF Squadron Leader Sir Peter Horsley).

It should be noted that I am not suggesting that UFO books are in fact written solely with the objective of presenting the best available evidence.

The objectives of authors of ufologists are not in fact limited to presenting the best case in support of an argument. Entertaining stories are included in book after book, almost regardless of their evidential value. Furthermore, some authors appear to be lazy and others are ignorant of the range of cases - thus, discussions of cases in the few books some of them have read (particularly Ruppelt, Keyhoe and Condon) get recycled endlessly – sometimes almost verbatim.

The list above of the “Top 10” photographic cases therefore has about as much connection to a list of the “Best 10” cases as the weekly “Top 10” popular music charts have to a list of the “best music”. The weekly “Top 10” music charts are lists of the music with the most sales. This is arguably not the same as the best music. Music charts frequently include items that would cause a music connoisseur to shudder (e.g. “The Birdie Song” by The Tweets , Black Lace's “Agadoo”, the Macarena, and anything by Iron Maiden and similar noise-makers.

So, what cases would appear on a list of the “Best 10” photographic cases? That is probably worth a separate article, but I think it is worth noting the following few points.

Firstly, it is commonly accepted by UFO researchers that a large percentage of UFO photographs are not worth serious investigation. For example J Allen Hynek has commented that “The majority of the photographs in the Blue Book files are indeed obvious hoaxes or misidentifications” (see Footnote 3).

Secondly, as Hynek has commented, “a photograph, of course, is just a UFO report, but in a different form, and like a written report depends entirely of the credibility of the person offering it” (see Footnote 4). In a similar comment, Richard Hall has suggested that “in-depth analysis and discussion of photos is an utter waste of time unless and until the witnesses (photographers) come forth and testify so that their stories and their credibility can be evaluated. Disinformation or not (and I don't totally rule that out) the principle should be no identified witness testimony, no credibility, no wasted time debating what cannot be resolved without the witness testimony” (see Footnote 5).

Thirdly, Hynek has given the following criteria, suggesting that a purported photograph of a UFO (particularly a Daylight Disc, because they are quite simple to fake) should not be taken seriously unless the following conditions are satisfied:

“(1) there are reputable witnesses to the actual taking of the picture, and those witnesses also sighted the object visually at the same time;”

“(2) the original negative(s) is available for study, since no adequate analysis can be made from prints alone;”

“(3) the camera is available for study; and”

“(4) the owner of the photograph is willing to testify under oath that the photograph is, to the best of his knowledge, genuine, that is, that the photograph shows what it purports to – a UFO. (The last condition need not apply if the photograph in question is accompanied by several independently taken photographs, preferably from significantly different locations.)”

“It is important to remember that in the case of UFO photographs, the photograph is no more reliable than the photographer. Thus, even when all of the above conditions have been met, the most positive statement that one can make about such photographs is that while the probability is quite high that they are genuine, the physical reality of the UFO(s) photographed cannot be established with absolute certainty.”


Despite Hynek having a generally positive view of the merits of various forms of UFO evidence, it is interesting to note that his view as to photographic cases : “There are no cases in the Blue Book files which meet the above stringent conditions. What we do find in the files are several cases that meet nearly all of the conditions.”



[Footnote 1] Exchange on the Bad Astronomy internet forum at the link below:
www.bautforum.com...

[Footnote 2] Terry Hansen in his “The Missing Times : News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-Up” (2000) at page 44 (in Chapter 1) of the Xlibris softcover edition.

[Footnote 3] J Allen Hynek in his “The Hynek UFO Report” (1977) at page 220 (in Chapter 10) of the Barnes & Noble hardback reprint (1997) at page 230 of the Dell paperback edition (with the same page numbering in the Sphere paperback edition).

[Footnote 4] J Allen Hynek in his “The Hynek UFO Report” (1977) at page 220 (in Chapter 10) of the Barnes & Noble hardback reprint (1997) at page 230 of the Dell paperback edition (with the same page numbering in the Sphere paperback edition).

[Footnote 5] For Richard Hall’s comments, see:
www.virtuallystrange.net...

[Footnote 6] J Allen Hynek in his “The Hynek UFO Report” (1977) at pages 224-225 (in Chapter 10) of the Barnes & Noble hardback reprint (1997), at page 234 of the Dell paperback edition (with the same page numbering in the Sphere paperback edition).




posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 09:53 AM
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The Trindade Island photos look like the B2 Bomber, although the time frame doesn't match up even close. An early prototype for the "flying wing" design maybe?

The Ummo one looks like a paper plate.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:17 AM
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I think the videos of the mass sightings are more impressive.


Linkage

Some people will explain this as balloons though, but thats the thing... there is no way to proof what a white dot in the sky is. You will have to use your own judgment.


[edit on 28-9-2007 by Copernicus]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 11:33 AM
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Thanks for taking your time to put this thread together, I appreciate it very much and very much enjoyed the older sightings, they seem to have more substance to me than all the new sightings. I chuckled to myself how project blue book just dismissed them "HOAX" I think it's obvious that there is substance to some of these incidents. I've only had a interest In ufology for 12 months and I was only familiar with a couple of the top 10 so I thank you for bringing them to my attention. A hour well spent in my view. I thought the Gulf Breeze incident was very interesting and it seems to me there was effort to discredit the man. Also the incident in England was interesting. In my opinion the theories given by the skeptics don't stand up for me and it's pretty obvious there working as part of the cover up. This is why in my opinion disclosure will never come through by means of evidence from the public. It's to easy to debunk and it's to easy to cover up and if you put that in conjunction that most of the population don't give a crap then in my view disclosure will only ever come if the people or ET'S operating these UFO's decide to take it on themselves on landing there machines at half time between Man United V Chelsea on the football pitch.
Then I'm quite sure the people would still think it was part of the half time entertainment and carry on eating there Balti pies and sipping OxO drink!!







[edit on 28uFriday07/27/20 by paul76]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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Very interesting, haven't seen some of those before. Thanks for your time and effort. I find it rather elucidating that the Navy photo analysts came to the conclusion that -"the UFOs were intelligently controlled vehicles and that they weren't airplanes or birds." I wonder if they would stand by that analysis today?



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 12:01 PM
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Awesome list,

Obviously this is all based off the frequency of discussion (not the strength of evidence for the case of the sighting) but it's still pretty powerful. I find these old pictures to be extremely fun to look at, but, not exactly compelling. It's also interesting to note that sightings today look nothing like they did back in the early 1900's (mid 1900's) and late 1800's. They all seem to have the classic -- shape or the extremely common disk shape. Now, obviously, at the time everybody who knew anything about sightings also knew the average case being reported. It was also rampant in Sci-Fi that Martians would be invading in such craft. While the pictures today (Isaac/Drone) reflect our imagination of Sci-Fi. That's why I personally believe that whatever comes out can easily be identified as a hoax or not by the actual sighting and object in the sighting. That's not to say that one of our hoaxers can't be extremely innovative.

Only really one of them looks different and that's the The Gulf Breeze Sighting. But for some reason when I saw it I instantly thought of E.T, even though the bottom of the "craft" doesn't look like the one from E.T.

Then there are pictures like the Salem M.A one that look like a bunch of spotlights beaming up to the bottom of clouds. I don't understand how one can identify that as "unidentified" but I guess I'll have to respect the Air Force's decision.

Hopefully 20 years from now we'll be able to produce a new list where the most discussed photographs/videos wont be ones that smell rotten. I know there are images and videos out there that produce a powerful (and intellectual) discussion for the case of U.F.O's (namely all the NASA sightings that have been leaked - STS) and hopefully those will catch on en masse.

Carry on,

Thanks again.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by mattifikation
The Trindade Island photos look like the B2 Bomber, although the time frame doesn't match up even close. An early prototype for the "flying wing" design maybe?


A better version (from 2nd generation prints, enlarged) of Trindade UFO photo #3, when it's closest to the photographer can be found at

www.hyper.net...

(it's at the bottom-right of the page). That particular photo was the best shot of the "saturn"-shaped UFO.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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So I guess this one is a manual, huh?


Great thread though, I had never seen a few of those. Like someone else above, I also believe the mass sightings, especially those over Mexico, are most incredible out of all the sightings.

[edit on 28-9-2007 by Impreza]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 04:38 PM
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Your Salem photo date.. does not match your link...not by a longshot...unless they had cars and factories back then.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 04:46 PM
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Salem Coast Guard UFO photo was taken on 16-Jul-1952, during the height of the 1952 UFO wave over USA (when also the famous Washington DC flyovers happened, causing considerable concern).

For more on this case and the 1952 wave in general, again in the same link I posted above.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by dhatz
 


Thank you for the link and correction.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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Sorry to kind of hijack the thread, but here's a good website that supoosedly gives some accounts of alien encounters.

ufoinfo.com...



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 06:29 PM
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wow, this is a heaps good thread. Good work IsaacKoi.

-fm



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 06:45 PM
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Thanks for doing the research to put this thread together.

None of them look exactly like the craft I saw. Alot of these look cheesy or like pie plates stuck together.

I hate to doubt these people, especially when they have a photograph, but as someone who has seen an actual craft I think some of these photos are not very good and only give fuel to the skeptics.

The craft I saw was relatively close to me when I observed it. It was an inch long and not a dot or speck of light in the sky. I could make out details as to what it was and it only moved in two ways: Parked (3-4 seconds) and out of sight. There was no drifting or any other type of movement. The streak of red light indicated the direction the craft departed in but the craft was gone from a standstill.

What unit of measurement do you calculate the speed of an object that goes 0 to ??? in the snap of your fingers?



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 07:10 PM
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WOW! What a thread!!!!!!!!! Thanks fo putting this together. 4 years working on this? The longest I worked on a thread was 20 minutes!!



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 07:33 PM
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IsaacKoi
The list above of the “Top 10” photographic cases therefore has about as much connection to a list of the “Best 10” cases as the weekly “Top 10” popular music charts have to a list of the “best music”. The weekly “Top 10” music charts are lists of the music with the most sales. This is arguably not the same as the best music. Music charts frequently include items that would cause a music connoisseur to shudder (e.g. “The Birdie Song” by The Tweets , Black Lace's “Agadoo”, the Macarena, and anything by Iron Maiden and similar noise-makers.

I applaud your effort to compile your post and your attempt to remain almost entirely neutral with the facts. It was a very entertaining read about the top UFO picture cases. Thanks!!!

However, you show your personal bias in the above paragraph, which is very dismissive of an individual's point of view, when you define what music a 'music connoisseur' should shudder to, upon hearing it.

May I inform you that:
*Iron Maiden formed in time to record their first studio album in 1980.
*They have 14 studio albums with total sales of around 50 million records.
*They have had multiple world tours, including the massive 1985 World Slavery Tour and the upcoming Somewhere Back In Time tour scheduled for 2008.
*At 9am Melbourne, Australia, Thursday 27th September, 2007 the public ticket sale began for the 2008 Australian concerts. Within the first hour, they sold 40,000 tickets. At 10am (same day) a second Melbourne concert was announced, due to the first concert selling out. At 11am (same day) a second Sydney concert was announced, due to the first concert selling out.
*With minimal mainstream radio airplay and limited advertising, Iron Maiden has championed the genre for nearly 30 years due to their range, quality and versatility as musicians.
*'Music connoisseurs' must be a very select minority of the population, if none of them are amongst the millions of people who enjoy Iron Maiden's music around the world.

Have you listed to every Iron Maiden song to decide that a 'music connoisseur' should shudder when they hear them, or did you just make that statement based upon a very limited experience of their music?

Everyone, we must be wary of personal bias in everything that we read, especially when we are told or informed of what should make us shudder. This is true, whether we are discussing UFOs or music.

I apologise for the off-topic post, however, it does have relevance to show that it can be difficult to avoid bias in writing, resulting in possible dangerous (or insulting) statements. Especially when the biased opinion makes a generalised assumption about how people would react, without considering different, individual responses. I personally know some 'music connoisseurs' who enjoy Iron Maiden and will be seeing them live in concert, February 2008, when they tour Australia.

Thanks.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 09:06 PM
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Well done, IsaacKoi
I have read your material in the past on your website and like your approach to the subject. Evidence is everything.



[edit on 9/28/2007 by TheAvenger]



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 09:21 PM
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This is a really cool thread, thanks for posting. I love the extra links to videos and other photos, makes for good research.



posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi I’m not sure why more members of ATS don’t contribute to Tinwiki.


TIME

I can barely keep up with posting on my own website that I use to support my posts at ATS (unlimited storage
)

But great collection... There are a few good ones





posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 04:01 AM
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IsaacKoi you should be very happy with your self, that is a great post alot of good infomation that youve introducted me too, thank you.

ProTo





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