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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 @ 10:48 AM

Gulf Breeze UFO Flap (Part I)


Beginning on November 11, 1987, there was a UFO flap that was the beginning of a long strange trip into some dark corners of the UFOlogical world (and let's face it, most of this world is a dark and murky place, a snake pit with plenty of lies, disinformation, and half truths). Interestingly, there only appear to be fragmentary threads on this somewhat fascinating event, which I feel deserves a revisit. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to split this topic into 2 separate thread, one dealing with the Ed Walters contact story, and another looking at the Gulf Breeze 6, a disparate, but linked topic I believe.

Ed Walters, UFO contactee

Ed Walters, a local building contractor claimed contact with aliens and UFOs, and produced photos of what appeared to be ‘Flying Saucers’ of a fairly classic style, with unusual clarity and detail.

Walters claimed that his first sighting of a UFO occurred on November 11, 1987. He was working in his living room late at night when he noticed a light shining through the window. He immediately went outside to find the source of the light. He saw a glowing object which was only partially visible because of a large pine tree in his yard. He moved to get a better look at the object-now he noticed that the object was shaped like a top.

According to the tale told by Walters, he went into his house and grabbed a polaroid camera and took several photos of the UFO, before he was hit by a 'beam of light' from the UFO. Like many other contactees, Waters claimed to hear voices from the UFO.

Walters was almost directly underneath the UFO when the beam lifted him off of the ground. This is eerily similar to the case of Travis Walton. Walters then heard a voice saying, "Don't worry, we will not harm you." He then began to receive images in his mind. He stated that they were revealed to him "as if they were turning the pages of a book." His next conscious memory was waking up.

Again, like other contactees, this was the first visit of many. Waters claimed many returns of the UFO. His second encounter happened just over a week later on the 20th of November. Claiming to feel a 'hum' in his head, Waters decided to go and see if his friendly neighborhood UFO was about. Again of December the 3rd, there was another visit, and plenty more.

Photos of unusual clarity

Starting on the 17th of November, Ed Walters took his photos, and his story to the local Gulf Breeze Sentinel newspaper. Initially he claimed the photos were taken by a 'Mr X', but as he claimed more visitations and produced more photos, his anonymity was no longer secure.

Of interest is the fact that other images began to surface, not produced by Ed Walters.

The following day, a UFO photograph, not taken by Ed, appeared in the Sentinel. The photograph was reported to have been taken in June 1986 and was sent anonymously. This person later became identified as "Jane". The true identity of the photographer was never revealed but she would eventually contact Ed at a later date. The release of the photograph from another source demonstrated there were more witnesses to these events and UFO groups began to catalog these reports to indicate something extraordinary was happening in Gulf Breeze.

Ever since the paper published his photographs, the Gulf Breeze Sentinel became inundated with UFO reports/sightings. This is not surprising since many used a phrase something like "...just like the pictures in the sentinel." It seems that any light in the sky was being considered a UFO shaped likes Ed's pictures. For the most part, many of these sightings were never seriously investigated and they were merely listed as confirmation of Ed's story. Unfortunately for Ed, none of these sightings actually confirmed one of Ed's events, as we will later see.


Somehow MUFON heard of Ed Walter's sightings, and they began a full investigation. At the conclusion of their investigation their consensus was that the sightings were genuine, and Walters was not hoaxing.

MUFON's statement:

Walter Andrus, state director of MUFON studied the case for three years. His conclusions were: "The overwhelming evidence is in. Gulf Breeze is indeed one of the most incredible cases in modern UFO history." This was a rare declaration of this magnitude for any UFO case.

According to many, Ed Walters was seen as an honest and credible person. However, the plethora of UFO photos he was bringing forth caused his credibility to come under fire. Claims of abductions were also forthcoming from Walters, and Budd Hopkins appeared on the scene. Walters underwent a polygraph test on two occasions, and he was assessed as telling the truth on both occasions.

Dr Bruce Maccabee, an American Optical Physicist was sent in to examine the photos, and he also came to the conclusion the photos were genuine. Not only did he substantiate the claims of Walters, on his website at he has this to say.

Between November 1990 and July 1992 there were recorded over 150 sightings of a red light that would flash bright white as it moved through the sky. There were also sightings of rings of light. I saw one of these myself.

What is of further interest is that MUFON supplied Ed Walters with a special supposed 'tamper-proof camera'

Despite the support of Maccabee, and MUFON, there were plenty of others dubious as to the veracity of the case. What is strange that there were continued UFO sightings by others

The reports of UFOs continued to grow, with the numbers reaching into the hundreds. Despite this fact, a large contingency of disbelievers expressed their contempt, stating that the whole affair was a hoax and a money scam. The first crack in Walters' reputation came with the compliments of Zan Overall, who had discovered that Walters did possess knowledge of double exposure techniques, which could account for the sensational photographs.

MUFON stuck to their guns and provided Walters with special photographic equipment in the hope of ruling out any type of camera trickery. One of the items was a camera with four lenses, which was sealed with wax to eliminate film tampering. Also a stereo Polaroid was provided which would provide investigators with a distance of the object from the camera. He was also given a video camera. The equipment would soon bring results as Walters brought forth even more dramatic images.

Walters ended up becoming something of a celebrity, and he did exploit this to some degree. UFO casebook tell us that Ed Walters ended up getting sick of all the attention of curious seekers, as well as those of debunkers, and here's where the story takes a strange turn.

edit on 13-8-2014 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-8-2014 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 10:48 AM

HOAXED....... or not?

So the story has Walters and family moving to a new home to escape the attentions of the many, fascinated by Ed Walters tale, now a minor celebrity.

Summary: On June 10, 1990, the Pensacola News Journal ran a story announcing that a UFO model had been found in the attic of Ed Walters' former residence. One week later, the newspaper announced that a Gulf Breeze teenager, later identified as Tommy Smith, had helped Walters hoax the UFO photos. On June 19, Charles Flannigan, MUFON State Director for Florida, announced MUFON was reopening the Walters' case to investigate these new allegations.

Apparently busted....., or not?

MUFON were not happy, and sent in the investigators to look at the situation. The final report came to some unexpected conclusions. Investigator Gary Watson completed and submitted a 29 pages long report with 27 attachments on May 23, 1991;

Watson's investigation concluded the model was not constructed before September 1989, at least 8.5 months AFTER Walters had moved out of the home. Furthermore, close examination of the model and Walters' photographs did not show any exact match of markings, height/width ratios, etc. Watson's final conclusion: The Model was built and planted by persons unknown in an attempt to discredit Ed Walters.

So, what's the deal?

This thread is but a brief summary of the events that took place in Gulf Breeze surrounding Ed Walters. There are a number of unanswered questions. There are a couple of other threads on ATS looking at this tale, and plenty of other information on the greater web.

Gulf Breeze/Ed Walters discussion

Gulf Breeze UFO: Fairly damaging evidence against Ed Walters

A lot of evidence seems to point toward Ed Walters being a hoaxer. It appears that he was able to generate some income from his 'experiences'. Despite what Maccabee and MUFON say, some have made the point that Walter's photos appeared to get better as time went on, perhaps as he became better at his artistic deception. The 'found' model seems the nail in the coffin of Walter's credibility.

But not so fast. Psy-ops or Not

Firstly, should the observations of Maccabee be discarded so quickly, especially seeing as he has had his own sighting? Secondly, if the camera MUFON gave Walters was tamper proof, how did he create his double exposures? Finally for now, what was it that the other residents of Gulf Breeze were seeing and taking photographs of?

What you are about to read is a series of sightings of strangely behaving lights and rings of light that traveled through the skies of Gulf Breeze, Florida, in the early 1990's. Although anomalous red lights have been occasionally reported throughout the world as UFOs in years past, they have usually been one-time events involving one or a few witnesses who had no means of recording the event. Hence these occasional sightings scattered throughout UFO history cannot compare to the unprecedented series of sightings between November, 1990 and July, 1992 in Gulf Breeze. During that time the "Gulf Breeze Research Team" (GBRT) logged about 170 sightings, most of which involved multiple witnesses and most of which included still photography with telephoto lenses and/or recording by videocameras.

Was perhaps Walters cashing in on the sightings of others, or is there perhaps a more terrestrial explanation for what was witnessed?
Walters believed himself to be set up, but there is plenty of seemingly damning evidence against him. What is not explained are the mass sightings of others.

It is my own personal belief that there may be a more terrestrial reason for the Gulf Breeze sightings and perhaps Ed Walters is a hoaxer, and perhaps an unwitting stooge in shenanigans put into place by the military. There's an air force base named 'Eglin Air Force Base' very close to Gulf Breeze, and it's not outside the realm of possibility that experimental aircraft were being tested. Just as has been seen in the case of Paul Bennewitz, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the military are more than willing to try to convince the populace that they have seen a UFO. Certainly preferable to admitting anything classified.

In part II of this thread I will look at the Gulf Breeze 6, and incident perhaps not directly related to this one (and perhaps so), but a deeply weird one that may give credence to the theory I am putting forth.
edit on 13-8-2014 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 11:06 AM
I'm glad to see this case revisited. It's very interesting just for the media coverage this case recieived, and it had a big impact on how the press would cover UFOs later.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 11:49 AM
I have seen this picture, but immediately assumed it was a more modern hoax. Reading the whole story makes it very chilling. I did a small amount of enhancement to the first image...

We can clearly see it is perfectly behind the tree. As far as I know, this is extremely difficult to achieve with double exposures. Also the light from the sun appears to be at the right angle/right coverage. It is definitely a massive object in the sky. I tried to enhance the markings. It is obvious this is not the same as the 'model'...

A much harder image to work with, I doubt this even helped at all. While editing I did notice that the bottom of the craft is reddish, and the reflection off of the road is bluish. Also, the reflection off of the road and the overlaying red colors could be evidence of a double exposure. The thing here is, it is taken through a car window and also it is film. The film could have been improperly exposed in the darkroom (especially if the shot was really dark to begin with). This image isnt as useful, but we can at least see the shape and dots.
edit on 13-8-2014 by Attentionwandered because: added second pic

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:00 PM
Nice job, cuckooold! the dark side of ufology indeed and a strange brew to boot: Bruce Maccabee & MUFON always send chills up my spine. Well, not chills, but my BS detector certainly starts bleeping madly. Maybe you could dig into Maccabee a bit more in this thread? And MUFON for that matter. CardDown has some interesting info on the latter.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:02 PM
One of the more baffling UFO cases around. I always got a feeling that the supposed model was a bit too small and had a couple details off compared to what is in the photos. The ring of light at the bottom is an interesting detail. There seems to be perhaps a lamp at the bottom of the model but I don't think it'd quite look like that. Different parts of the craft appear to be lit up in the photos. Sure Walters could have switched lights on and off but it's a kind of a small but important detail. If Walter's hoaxed he sure did take a lot of things into consideration.

It would have been nice to see some comparison shots where they would have tried to recreate the photos with the model.

The whole case is really strange and feels pretty psy-opish. I think it's entirely possible that Walters got played since other people were also seeing things and even taking pictures of them.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:09 PM

originally posted by: Attentionwandered
I have seen this picture, but immediately assumed it was a more modern hoax. Reading the whole story makes it very chilling. I did a small amount of enhancement to the first image...

We can clearly see it is perfectly behind the tree. As far as I know, this is extremely difficult to achieve with double exposures. Also the light from the sun appears to be at the right angle/right coverage. It is definitely a massive object in the sky. I tried to enhance the markings. It is obvious this is not the same as the 'model'... Working on the second image

That could be a model 5 feet behind the branches SO you can't claim it's a massive object in the sky it not a very hires image to start with!
edit on 13-8-2014 by wmd_2008 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:11 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

First off OP, I'd like to thank you for the time and effort that you put forth in constructing this thread. It's a breathe of fresh air to see a well thought out, well researched thread in this forum. So kudos to you, good sir, and SnF for that!

I like to consider myself a rational thinker. Yes, I do believe there are ET's out there, but I'm not sold on the notion that they have bothered to visit us, yet. I'm more drawn to the possibility of this actually being disinformation to cover up Black Projects that may have been happening during this time frame. I'm going to follow this thread to see where it goes and look over any other information that other readers may contribute.

Have you by chance poked around to see if there were any other sighting in this area by other people during this time frame that could corroborate with his photos? I know you mentioned that other people had seen similar, so I'd imagine there's got to be photos out there somewhere. I wonder if there's whisperings of possible Black projects rumored to have been going on in the nearby bases?

When can we expect part II?

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:26 PM
a reply to: The GUT

Cheers Gut.

I know little about Bruce Maccabee, and should time permit I'm certainly willing to peek down that rabbit hole, but I'd be more than happy for anyone else with relevant info to add to this thread as they see fit.

As for MUFON, I think they've no doubt been infiltrated by every alphabet agency, snake oil UFO salesman, starry eyed believer, private industry with black project ties (Bigelow), and perhaps a few well meaning others with good intentions, forever trying to find their feet on the soiled and worn UFOlogy floor.

a reply to: parad0x122

Cheers, thanks for your compliments.

Yes, there were other sightings, touched upon in the second part of the thread. Of interest is this site which goes into some detail of other sightings;

As for Part II, soon I hope, but life is busy. The area I intend to look at is equally weird, if not weirder, and really starts to reek of psy-ops, contactee cults, and millennial madness.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:26 PM

Also a stereo Polaroid was provided which would provide investigators with a distance of the object from the camera. He was also given a video camera.

Did he ever use the stereo camera and the video camera? if so are those stereo pictures and the videos available?

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 12:28 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

One of the theories about that model that was found, was that he made it in an attempt to discredit himself so people would leave him alone. (this wouldn't have been the first time a UFO witness had done something like that)

All in all this was one of the cases that I thought should be pawed over instead of the Roswell case. The witnesses are still for the most part alive, it took place in a publicly accessible area, and most importantly is still resent enough where evidence can still be found.

Alass, Roswell gets all the attention that it doesn't deserve.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 01:08 PM

originally posted by: Tardacus

Also a stereo Polaroid was provided which would provide investigators with a distance of the object from the camera. He was also given a video camera.

Did he ever use the stereo camera and the video camera? if so are those stereo pictures and the videos available?

There's a reference to this in another thread on ATS.

originally posted by: Skeptical Ed

Ed Walters was given a 3-D camera which he did not handle and was set up by either Bruce Maccabee or someone associated with MUFON. The reason I'm not clear on everything is because it's been a long time although I still have the videotapes from the '90s.

The resultant 3-D photos are found in Ed's book and if you have free vision as I have you don't need a special viewer to see the photos in 3-D. You can hoax all you want with single photos but not so easy to do with 2 photos taken at slightly different angles to represent the separation of the eyes. The "UFOs" in the photos are way in the distance and the shrubery in front of the camera is in great 3-D.

Ed Walters was shown on the beach with his camcorder and the videographer showed a UFO in the distance with Ed in the foreground.

Look at this case with a grain of salt but not with an empty salt shaker!

[edit on 22-9-2009 by Skeptical Ed]

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 01:09 PM
The two rings of plasma and color remind me of WEAV (joint NASA U. of Florida project) plasma propulsor actuators using Neon gas or something similar. I believe they were experimenting with gasses like neon and then moved over to O2 or xenon which gives a powder blue color instead. Wouldn't be surprise if the military was working on something similar on a larger scale during the late 80's.

I think there was a lot of psi ops going on with that case and that a good deal of it wasn't hoaxed. A lot of strange stuff seen by many people other the ed walters and lots of military bases around too.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 01:57 PM
a reply to: wmd_2008

Yeah true you are right. Actually this makes a lot of sense. The tree in the foreground is out of focus, indicating a smaller depth of field. The second tree is only slightly out of focus, and the UFO is surprisingly well focused. These objects are closer than I thought.

I am guessing from the focus alone, if it is a model it is at least 3 feet big. The reflection of the sun and the general gradient in the sky led me to believe it was level with the sun, higher in air. It just seems like from that angle you would need something pretty high up to hang the object from.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 02:10 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

Top post cuckooold. I will always applaud (and S&F) any post that catches my eye and where a member has made an effort to present their information and some real content to view rather than a couple of lines and links elsewhere or a video.

Keep up the good work mate this is what ATS should be all about.

I do have some files on "Gulf Breeze" that I compiled from around the web a while back. I'll have to refresh my memory by reading them again before I comment further. But I'll be back

edit on 13/8/14 by mirageman because: corrections

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 02:20 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

I am inclined to believe it was real, remember the close encounters movie with the fellow making a model of the devil's tower out of mash potato?.
He may have made it because of a psychological fixation or Maybe it is half a dozen of one and six of the other in that as he was able to sell the image's the pressure to make some more when the possible alian or secret craft were no longer playing ball may have made him try to see if he could fake it, so perhaps some where hoaxed and some real, if so he did make a blood good copy of the craft, but more intriguing look at the possible propulsion used by the craft, it is light exploded plasma atmospheric gas and then have another look at his with that in mind.

They look a little more than similar to my mind, perhaps they were even inspired by the gulf breeze sighting's, and let's not forget my walters was not the only person to see these thing's.

edit on 13-8-2014 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 03:08 PM
a reply to: cuckooold

In part II of this thread I will look at the Gulf Breeze 6, and incident perhaps not directly related to this one (and perhaps so), but a deeply weird one that may give credence to the theory I am putting forth.

Great stuff

The GB6 story is like an easter egg for those with an interest in all this weird stuff - wheels within wheels. I'll say no more and let you tell it your own way.

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 03:24 PM
i apologize for this is completely off topic.

are there any topics on " victor " under this sector ?

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 03:29 PM
a reply to: Kandinsky

Very weird just realised that I do also have notes on the Gulf Breeze 6 stored alongside other notes on this case. A story I'd long forgotten about and never quite grasped enough to form a clear opinion on.

I am really looking forward to the next episode now from you Cuckooold.

Glad to see a few of these vintage UFO cases (and NOT Roswell or Rendlesham) are enjoying a bit of renaissance here on ATS with some thoughtful posts (and posters).

edit on 13/8/14 by mirageman because: typo

posted on Aug, 13 2014 @ 03:40 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Yeah, there's been a few good topics lately and some members are raising the bar again. It's not so much scraping the barrel as digging up some overlooked nuggets.

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