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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 4

Maccabee on Becker - 2

From: Jean van Gemert <jeanvg@dds.nl>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 1997 13:51:22 +0200 (MET DST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 04 Oct 1997 08:30:13 -0400
Subject: Maccabee on Becker - 2

[The quoted text that was once at this location was deleted by the webmaster on 10/9/97 in response to the threat of lawsuit by Barbara Becker, who claims copyright infringment. See Here for more information.]

      All these references to rain are a result of misinformation
contained in the MUFON Journal report and in my MUFON
Symposium report.  The assumption that it had been raining was not
based on Ed's testimony, but on the observations that (a) there were
clouds in the sky and, (b) there are the several bright "dots" in the
photo which were erroneously interpreted as bright reflections from
water drops on the windshield.  However, a careful inspection of the
original photos which I was given to study in late May, 1988 (too late
to be included in the Symposium paper as published; but this is
mentioned in the revised version), showed that the white spots were
actually tiny holes in the film emulsion.   Such holes are common in
Type 108 Polaroid film  and occurred in many of Ed's photos, both
UFO and non-UFO.  For further information on the state of the
weather at the time I got a copy of the weather records and found
that there had been no recorded precipitation on January 12 or the
previous day.  (There was 0.16" rain on January 13).  The same
weather report showed 80% sky cover on that day, consistent with
the sky cover in Ed's photo.  Obviously even with 80% cloud cover it
is possible for the sun to shine through, or for there to be a very
bright area in the clouds "near" the sun, which could create
shadows. Hence all arguments based on the assumed presence of
wet roads etc., are moot.

[The quoted text that was once at this location was deleted by the webmaster on 10/9/97 in response to the threat of lawsuit by Barbara Becker, who claims copyright infringment. See Here for more information.]

COMMENT: I did not say it would be impossible to fake.  More generally,
I have repeatedly said that it would be possible to fake, perhaps, any
single photo, given sufficient time, money, desire, technical ability
and equipment.  Ed had enough money and time to fake this one photo,
but neither (so far as I could determine) the desire, the technical
ability (knowledge of double exposure techniques) or equipment (models).
  Nevertheless, she is correct that this photo could be a cleverly
composed SDE.   Placement of the image of the model would be more than
a little tricky, however,  since it has to appear roughly over the road.
It might take several shots to get it right.  (Note: Jeff Sainio
discovered some evidence in the photo that the road itself was
illuminated by the UFO at a distance from the very bright area below
the UFO image.   If this is true, then the photo was not a double

[The quoted text that was once at this location was deleted by the webmaster on 10/9/97 in response to the threat of lawsuit by Barbara Becker, who claims copyright infringment. See Here for more information.]

     ERROR:  she is here referring to the ten photos obtained with
the "Nimslo" 4 lens/stereo camera.  This camera was given to Ed
preloaded and sealed with wax.  He subsequently obtained 10
pictures of an object 40 or more feet away that, according to him,
passed by on the far side of some pine trees in Shoreline Park. (The
rather unique arrangement or structure of the UFO lights, which is all
one sees in these photos, does, in fact, give indications of partial
blockage by some opaque object.) Using a parallax calculation I
estimated the object to be 40-70 away and 2.5-4 ft in size.  The
range estimate was not precise because the outer lens spacing was
only 2.5 inches and so there was only a small parallax.
    By way of comparison, the "SRS" camera she referred to had
lenses (cameras) separated by 2 feet, which provided a much
greater parallax and hence much greater accuracy for measuring
     Becker does not mention it, but the SRS photos of May 1, 1988
were of great importance to me in determining that Ed was not
faking.  This is described fully in TGBS (hardcover edition, pg. 300),
but evidently she did not understand what I wrote.  In those photos
(from left and right side Model 600 Polaroid cameras) Ed got
images of two UFOS:  one UFO was the type (shape) he had
obtained in photos 1 - 5 and similar photos, and the other UFO
image was of the type obtained with the Nimslo camera.  The UFO
of the first type was calculated by parallax to be about 475 ft away
SOUND.  (Specifically it was about 455 ft from the shoreline!)  There
was no question of this since the photos from the left and right
cameras showed distant lights on a bridge about 7,000 ft away.
These distant light images were used to calibrate the parallax of the
camera.  I calculated that the Nimslo type UFO that appears in these
SRS photos was about 130 ft away and about 120 ft ABOVE THE
WATER of the Santa Rosa Sound (about 110 ft from the shoreline)
Ed took these pictures at the same time from the beach at a location
about 20 ft from the water's edge.
      While analyzing these photos I was struck by the coincidence in
calculated length of the Nimslo type UFO.   This coincidence was
very interesting because the cameras were entirely different.  Using
the Nimslo camera (2.5 inch lens spacing) I had found a parallax
distance of at least 40 ft, consistent with Ed's description of his
distance to the trees. (Note: Ed had said immediately after the
sighting that he thought the UFO was far away and large, but it was
at least farther than the treetops.   Frances, who saw it too, had said
she thought the UO was relatively close.)  Using this distance plus
the image length and the focal length (30 mm) I calculated a size of
2.5 ft at 40 ft.  Using the SRS camera (24 inch lens spacing) I
calculated the distance from parallax (130 ft) and then used the focal
length (110 mm) and image length to calculate the size and again I
got 2.5 ft.   I tried to imagine how Ed could have used a 2.5 ft model
to fake the Nimslo pictures and then some smaller, more convenient
model to fake the SRS photos.   I concluded that to fake the SRS
photos would have required that Ed calculate beforehand the
distance he would have to move the model between shots (first the
left camera and then the right, moving the model sideways between
shots).   He would have to move the model a precise amount so that
the faked parallax would yield the calculated distance (130 ft) even
though the model was less than 20 ft from the camera (to be on the
shore and not over water).  He would also have to precalculate the
size of the model to be used so that the model size, at whatever
distance (less than 20 ft, though) would produce the same size
image as a 2.5 ft model at 130 ft.   In other words, he would have to
understand everything about stereo photography and FAKING
stereo photography which I discovered weeks after Ed took the
photos by asking myself what I would have to do to fake this
coincidence in size.  Could it be done?  Yes, by someone sufficiently
knowledgeable and CREATIVE enough to even think of such a
thing.  (Note that Ed is the first UFO witness EVER to use a stereo
camera to take UFO photos, and he took not just one but four stereo
photos during 1988.   In Feb. 1991 he took yet another stereo photo
with the SRS camera, but this is "another story."  See UARHTP.)
You can't buy a book that tells you how to fake the parallax of a
stereo photo.  (See also discussion below where some of this is
repeated in another context.)
     So, you ask, given that fakery is possible, what is the likelihood
that Ed Walters figured it out on his own?
     My opinion:  NOT A CHANCE!

[The quoted text that was once at this location was deleted by the webmaster on 10/9/97 in response to the threat of lawsuit by Barbara Becker, who claims copyright infringment. See Here for more information.]

COMMENT: there was also the Nimslo type which appeared in two
sets of stereo photos and during one non-photo sighting in late April,

[The quoted text that was once at this location was deleted by the webmaster on 10/9/97 in response to the threat of lawsuit by Barbara Becker, who claims copyright infringment. See Here for more information.]

COMMENT:  The model story is an interesting study in fakery, all right.
It turns out that the model is a fake!
    What follows is the story of the model.  The story can be broken
into three parts, the first two of which are "the setup" and the third is
"the sting."

      The model is made of styrofoam plates glued to the top and
bottom of a central cylindrical section made of blueprint paper.
      When the model was first shown to Ed in early June, 1990, he
immediately recognized his printing on the blueprint paper.  The
paper was a 2" wide diagonal cut through a blueprint (diagonal so
the piece would be long enough to go around the circumference of
the 9" plates).   The blueprint showed parts of a house design and
also numbers which represent the "living area" (LA) and "slab area"
(SA) of the house.  These two numbers vary from house to house, so
the pair of them form a design "fingerprint."
     The discovery of the LA and SA and Ed's admission that he had
made the blueprint (there was no name on it so he could have
denied ever seeing it!) initiated a search by Ed and others, including
the Mayor of Gulf Breeze, of city records to discover which of the
houses Ed had built corresponded to that blueprint.  If they could
discover which house they could determine when the blueprint had
been made (obviously before the house was built) and then they
would know if the blueprint paper was available to be used in the
model.  After a review of all house plans on file everyone agreed
that there was NO blueprint for a house with the same LA and SA.
The question then became, why did Ed make this blueprint. (Note:
the debunker/skeptics claimed that Ed sneaked into the City Hall
where the housing records are kept and changed the LA and SA on
one of the house plans so that it wouldn't have the numbers found on
the model.  This makes little sense.  You can't change a blueprint.
Ed would have to substitute a new one for an old one.  But the old
one had a date stamp when it was received by City Hall.  Hence he
couln't affact a substitution without somehow faking the stamp. There
is, however, NO evidence of this, nor was Ed ever accused of
having changed a house plan.)
     Ed racked his brain for several days before recalling that in
September 1989 he had been visited by the Thomas family.   They
were thinking of moving to Gulf Breeze and buying a house that Ed
would build for them on one of the several lots that Ed owned in the
city.   While they were at the office in Ed's house, Ed drew a simple,
dimensioned sketch of a house as it might appear on the parcel of
land.    They were very interested and asked directions to the land
so they could see for themselves where the house would be.   Ed
made a copy of the house plan for them and gave it to them to take.
After they left his office he decided to make a blueprint from the
sketch he had drawn.  Usually he wouldn't make a blueprint
immediately after making the basic sketch, but he thought there was
a good chance that they would buy the house and so he made the
blueprint and threw away the original sketch.
     The next day the Thomases stopped at Ed's house briefly to say
thanks but no thanks, they couldn't afford it, and then they traveled to
their home far from Gulf Breeze.  Ed was left with the blueprint.
They had the copy of the sketch. Ed kept the bluprint for a couple of
weeks and then threw it away in late September or early October
since he hadn't heard from them again.
     It was at about this time, in the early fall of 1989, that Ed noticed
that a panel truck was often parked near his house before trash
collection and he actually saw someone getting his trash can (not
the trash man).  He thought that was strange, but he really didn't care
if someone wanted to steal his trash.
     After Ed was confronted with the model and blueprint it took him
several days to recall the name of the family for whom he had made
the blueprint.  However, he did recall the name and managed to
contact them by phone.   They still had the sketch!  Ed asked them to
make him a copy of their copy and send him their original copy.
The original copy had Mrs. Thomas' handwriting on the back.   Their
house plan on their sketch had the same LA and SA, confirming that
this was, indeed, the house plan which appeared on the blueprint
paper in the UFO model.  (Note: I don't now recall the details, but I
know that Phil Klass contacted the Thomas'and tried to get them to
change their story somewhat to make it agree more with his opinion
that Ed had changed the numbers in a blueprint.  The Thomases
stuck to their story.)
  Thus the blueprint paper was identified: it was from a plan made
in September, 1989, NEARLY TWO YEARS AFTER THE 1987 and
1988 photos in Ed's book.

     Bob Menzer and family moved into Ed's old house in November,
1989.   He brought with him an ice making refrigerator.   Ed had had
such a refrigerator as well.  These refrigerators require a small
copper water pipe to provide the water for the ice maker.   Ed had
such a pipe sticking out of the wall behind his refrigerator with a
SHUTOFF VALVE on it.   When Ed moved out of his house in late
1988 he turned the valve and disconnected the refrigerator.
Presumably the next owner would simply reconnect a refrigerator
and turn the valve on.
     Mr. Menzer did not rush to connect his refrigerator.   It wasn't
until March, 1990, that he decided it was time.   He looked at the pipe
coming out of the wall and saw that it was CRIMPED, that is bent and
crushed.   He knew he would have to saw off the end of the pipe in
order to attach his refrigerator.  Before sawing off the crimp he
would have to shut off the water to the little pipe.  He knew that
there was no cellar and that the water pipes were not imbedded in the
cement slab upon which the house rested.   The only other place for
the shutoff valves was in the attic.
     Inside the two car garage, near the main house wall, was a pull
down ladder up into the attic.  Mr. Menzer climbed the ladder and
then crawled over the rafters to a point where he thought he was
above the refigerator.  Feeling down through the blown-in insulation
(loose fiber) he found the small water pipe.   His intent was to follow
this pipe moving away from the refrigerator until he found the valve
that he thought must be there.   At this time he was several feet from
the top of the ladder in a portion of the attic where a person would
not be likely to go.
     As he moved his hands along the pipe he suddenly noticed a
paper plate model of a UFO buried in the insulation.  It was RIGHT
NEXT to the pipe.   He pulled it out and looked at it.  He was aware
of Ed's stories of sightings and photos, so he immediately
recognized it as resembling some of Ed's UFO images.  Bob
continued the search for a valve but never found one because there
wasn't one.  Later he called Ed to find out how to turn off the water.
He did not say why he wanted to turn the water off and Ed didn't ask.
Ed told him there was a main valve in a little underground box in the
front yard.  Mr. Menzer turned off the water, attached his refrigerator
and went on with the rest of his life.
     As for the model, Mr. Menzer thought that perhaps Ed had made it
to illustrate what he had seen.   He did not throw it away.   He put it
on a  shelf in the garage and forgot about it....until....
3)  "THE STING"!!!!!!!
   ....until early June, 1990.   One fine day in June there was a knock
on Mr. Menzer's door.   A reporter for the Pensacola News Journal
(the only large newspaper in the area), Craig Myers, wanted to ask
him some questions.
     Myers had already done two stories on the Gulf Breeze UFOs
and Ed's book. The first article, in early March, was timed to
coincide with the publication of THE GULF BREEZE SIGHTINGS.  It
mentioned some of Ed's sightings, of course, but gave about equal
weight to sightings of others including Fenner and Shirley
McConnell (who saw the same object; McConnell, a  doctor/pathologist
was the county coronor).  It was moderately supportive of the UFO
sightings.  The second article, published in late April, concentrated
on the controversy over Ed's photos, ignoring the sightings by others.
It discussed the "ghost photo" and other "evidence" for a hoax.  It
provoked a heated response by several of the other witnesses who
criticized Myers for biased reporting.  One letter, referring to
Myer's apparent attitude, began, "My mind's made up...don't confuse
me with the facts."  Apparently this criticism made an impression on
the editors of the New-Journal becuase one of the editors wrote an
editorial in which she admitted that something strange was flying
around.  Although she hadn't seen anything herself, she was impressed
by the sightings by people whom she knew and respected:  Arthur
Hufford, Brenda Pollak and Fenner McConnell.  "Oddly" enough, these
were three of the respected people in the area who had gone on record
as seeing THE SAME OBJECT THAT ED PHOTOGRAPHED!!!  (Skeptics  have
tried, unsuccessfully, to explain these sightings way.) Because of
the newspaper's reaction to the criticism of Myer's article one
may imagine that he was "under the gun" to prove he was right in
publishing the criticism of Ed's sightings.
    It is now early June and Mr. Menzer opens his door to the
reporter.  According to Mr. Menzer the questions went like this:
  "Hello, I'm Craig Myers from the New Journal.  I would like to ask
some questions.
     answer: no
     answer: no
     3) have you seen any models lying around?

    At this point Craig Myers asked to see and then to borrow the
model.  He took it to the newspaper office.  Then, a day later the
editor asked Ed to come to his the office at the newspaper building.
He had something to talk to him about.   The editor, the reporter and
others were present when they surprised Ed with the model.  They
ask if he had made it or ever seen it, to which he answered no, but
he did recognize the printing on the blueprint paper.   Then the
newspaper published a front page story "MODEL FOUND" which
described the discovery of the model and how it could be used,
along with Ed's old camera, which he loaned to the newspaper, to
create hoax photos.  (Ed is such a nice, accomodating guy, loaning
an "enemy" the "knife" with which to stab him...in the back!  This was
not the first time that he had allowed skeptics to use his camera to
try to duplicate his photos.   They produced some moderately
convincing similar photos but they never did produce a replica of
photo 1!!)

                    Science, Logic, and the UFO Debate:

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