I'm sure every investigator in the UFO forum is at least a little tired of the collections of Shrek-like craft and every day stuff that keeps showing
up in the threads; especially when they take longer to explain than they do to post or investigate.
Equally, I'm sure (at least some) posters would like a check list to prevent people from flipping furniture every time a blurry object is posted out
of curiosity. It may also help when people post a picture or video and wonder where everyone is ... (Normally we're in another thread discussing a
lens flare) The more quality images are posted the more enjoyable investigations we will have, so let's work together to eliminate the bad ones
before they get to the boards.
This isn't intended to be a journey of epic awesome through image forensics, it really isn't the forum for that type of content and I doubt anyone
here really has the patience for it. This is just some entry level stuff that would make me happy if people considered before posting an image.
Some of this will apply in other areas, too but it's easier to focus on one thing for now.
Note, for the purposes of this thread, 'image' will refer to video and still photography simultaneously most of the time. The term 'hardware' will
refer to any hardware used to acquire an image. It is assumed all imagery is digital.
The goal is to provide open source easy ways to present a case; not to find the best way to find conclusions.
The guidelines / requests below should be able to be completed by most people prior to posting a UFO.
Make a copy of the image that you don't touch. Don't open it with anything. Don't do anything to it. Do this
especially when it's not an image or video that can be reacquired in its current state. If you can store it in a central secure location so much the
If you are going to perform alterations to the image, document this step by step. If you can't be bothered doing that then try the following:
• Save each iterative change as a new image, collate and post them together
• Use your program's history or logging (most good programs have it) and get a dump of it for those interested
• State clearly what you're attempting to do with your image alterations before performing them
The photoshop history panel, believe it or not, can actually be used to provided iterative chain of control in many courtrooms. It's pretty handy.
Ensure the version you present to ATS is the 'least touched' version, and links are provided where possible to the original. Actual alterations to
an image are out of scope for this, but it is suggested that changes are (at most) only a few steps and assist in seeing what you're attempting to
Adobe History Panel
Reverse Image Search
Assuming you have already searched Above Top Secret and basic googles ...
Use a basic free reverse image search. If your image is a photograph, this is easy to do - just upload and check the results. Videos can be a little
bit more complex.
If it's a youtube or other web video, try searching for the first frame or the youtube display frame of the video. This will often lead you to a
better source, or simply end the whole investigation.
If you have acquired the video through some other method, or are not getting good results, there are a number of other ways to approach the issue.
Top down: This is for those with the savvy and time to do so. Slice up the image into frames using some automated process (there are many) and script
it to upload; enjoy results. I wouldn't suggest this if you do not know how to automate the upload / image processes.
Inside out: This is for those who believe they're onto something. Sometimes there will be a specific part of a video that jumps out at you. Use those
frames to run a reverse image search. This is especially effective when certain types of elements have been used such as stock footage.
When searching for an image it is important to do so at the correct resolution, though reverse searches can be quite forgiving. For people without any
video expertise who just want to grab quick screenshots of video I would recommend greenshot. More comfy persons can use things like Firefox video
download helper or similar to get started.
How to reverse image search in google
Tineye Reverse Image Search
Greenshot Screenshot App
Macro and scripting software: There are an awful lot of options here and I don't want to be tech support for them.
If you're doing this then you
know what you're doing.
Attribute the Image
In many cases, the image should have a story behind it, and that story should match the results from the
hardware used to acquire it. Ensure you have the story, including information of the hardware claimed to have been used at the very least. Combine
this with your reverse image search results to see how things look.
Download or make an investigating reminder sheet if it helps you think of things you can quickly find out if given the oppurtunity. This isn't meant
to be a full investigation, just things you can grab easily. Things like:
• Location (GPS / Google Earth if possible)
• Date and Time
• Reported Weather
• Witness activities / Information / statements
• Names of any attached organizations or items of interest
• Camera or hardware model / acquisition method claimed
• Nearby Measurements
These things will all be very important in authenticating an image as well as investigating it. Consider this your alleged image origin