From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 23:20:59 +0100 Archived: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 08:07:37 -0400 Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found >From: Kentaro Mori <kentaro.mori.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:33:33 -0300 >Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found >>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> >>To: <post.nul> >>Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:45:41 +0100 >>Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found <snip> >>A 1958 Brazilian Navy intelligence evalutaion stating not only >>that there _were_ Navy witnesses, but that it had indeed been >>they in the bow and stern of the ship who raised the initial >>alarm on deck, was never considered by you as bearing on the >>answer to that question, because after all everyone is fallible, >>even Navy intelligence captains and their Navy sources (in >>particular the Navy's designated cognizant technical >>investigator on the spot, Capt Bacellar), and there's always >>room for doubt, right? >This is the intelligence evaluation that failed to evaluate that >Barauna was very well-known in his home-town (a few miles from >where the Navy Intelligence was located) for being a hoaxer... <snip> Dear Kentaro Sorry for not responding right away. It was a busy time and several long replies in this thread are merited. We amicably disagree on how to interpret the standing and significance of the Navy intelligence investigation (at the moment), but I don't wish - dare? ;-) - to get into that in this email because it is such a large can of worms and would be better discussed when you are finally able to undertake publication of all the background and reasonings about which we have had virile private disputes in recent years (see below). >>Similarly the fact that the Captain of the Almirante Saldanha >>told the US Assistant Naval Attache in 1958 that his own >>Executive Assistant, a Navy Commander, had himself seen it (the >>officer in question did not deny it when questioned), was I >>suspect considered by you a wholly negligible fact, presumably >>for similar reasons. >This is the Captain that later on published a book where he >mentions the Bermuda Triangle as a great mystery. He believed >in the sighting. This is interesting, Kentaro. When will you be free to post details of any source(s) you have discovered about Capt Saldanha da Gama's beliefs re the sighting? In correspondence with you in the past I commented on the discretion, after the fact, of da Gama (apologies if that's the wrong way to use his name) and other ship's officers, none of whom appears to have said (or been recorded saying) anything publicly or officially, either in denial or endorsement. In fact the only known comments of Da Gama are those made in what might justifiably have been assumed by him to be closed, confidential exchanges with foreign officials that would never see the light of day. Thus in 1958 Capt da Gama was carefully "noncommital", during two different visits by US Navy Officers to his ship (the US Assistant Naval Attache and the Captain of USCG Westwind).He did not endorse or deny the sighting. But he did "freely discuss" the incident, and in doing so he and at least two other ship's Officers - the Capt's assistant and the Exec - gave their US Navy interviewers no cause to doubt that there had been an actual incident on deck which caused a stir and came immediately to their attention. None of these sources on the spot seems to have told these interviewers anything like "The Navy has nothing to do with it, this was just a lark by a few civilians" (I offered this as an indication that something, a sighting event of whatever cause, had indeed happened, despite there being no mention of it in the ship's log [For those not au fait, this is a working log and records only day-to-day ships operations concerning engineering, navigation, personnel and cargo etc - it is not a discursive narrative of the voyage or a "diary of events".] I think recent disclosures are in the direction of tending to confirm that there was indeed a sighting event on deck involving members of the crew as officially recorded at the time.) In reply you characterised da Gama as a "a gullible believer" and he and his officers as "not rational, skeptical people that would question and expose, or endorse, based on a critical evaluation of the evidence." Your presumptions could be correct, but I see no evidence of Da Gama behaving irrationally in respect of the Trindade sighting. In fact the evidence is that beyond affirming that an incident occurred, and reporting Commander X's claimed involvement, he didn't endorse anything, gullibly or otherwise, either confidentially in 1958 or publicly, not even long afterwards when he wrote what his publishers entitled 'Brazilians in the Deadly Bermuda Triangle' in 1984. As far as I know this is the only one of DaGama's books to concern itself with weird mysteries at sea (he wrote others about Naval history). And in it he didn't refer to the Trindade mystery at all. I think it's interesting and even a little surprising that this "gullible believer" didn't take the opportunity to at least mention having a role in Brazil's pre- eminent saucer sea mystery. If the fact that Da Gama wrote a Bermuda Triangle book in 1984 is your evidence for characterising Da Gama in 1958 as a "believer" - and this is again the only evidence you cite - then I invite you to consider cause and effect. Our characters and beliefs are generally the result of what happened to us in our pasts. That book was written by a different Saldhana da Gama - a man 26 years older living in a different world (at least I'm confident that in Europe and in the US the millieu of 1984 was dramatically different from that of 1958, and the 1970s had seen a huge change in the permissions that society gave its members to think and talk about weird anomalies and in the wealth of ideas and images that it made available for the purpose via a welter of books and films about UFOs, ESP the Triangle and much else. Some of us know - perhaps to our own shame - just how pervasive the effects of that culture were on our beliefs as younger men <g>. I guess that a similar cultural curve may have happened in Brazil, possibly just a little later. So a man who also had behind him the sanction of an impressive saucer sighting on his own ship back in 1958 might well be more than averagely disposed to buy into the "mysteries" culture of the time. Reasoning backwards from 1984 to his state of mind in January 1958 is a very dodgy business IMO. These are the relevant contemporaneous facts I am aware of: In 1958 Capt Sunderland, a witness whom I assume you would regard as "a rational, skeptical person", reported a picture not of over-excitement but of what you might call frank reserve from the ship's Officers. Far from enthusing or endorsing anything da Gama was "noncommital" with the Assistant Attache in Santos on Feb 24 and simply reported what he knew. To the CO of the Westwind at a later unspecified time he "freely discussed" the affair and showed his visitor "original proofs" (presumably meaning prints) but "again did not commit himself". Likewise da Gama's assitant Lt Com X simply "avoided discussing" his own sighting, and if the Executive Officer felt any temptation to inflate his role by claiming he'd also seen it he resisted, saying that he arrived just too late and was only able to say that those on deck had in his opinion really seen an object. BTW da Gama also wrote two authoritative books on the history of Brazilian naval warfare. According to the US Library of Congress: "In the case of the individual armed forces, the history of the navy is better documented than that of the army and air force, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of the navy's own Historical Section. Apart from the navy's publications, Arthur Oscar Saldanha da Gama's two books on the Brazilian Navy in the two world wars provide excellent coverage not only of this aspect of the subject but also of the period immediately preceding each conflict." http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:.nul(DOCID+br0136) I suspect that these books are no more relevant to the question of what happened on the deck of the Almirante Saldanha on Jan 16 1958 than the Bermuda Triangle one he wrote 26 years afterwards. The point is that a noteworthy incident of whatever cause clearly did happen, peripherally involving these ship's Officers, despite the fact that it is not recorded in the ship's log. >If his Executive Assistant did not actually see >anything, one assumes he would feel embarassed to contradict >his superior. . Yes, one could assume that he saw nothing, that Da Gama was mistaken or deluded, or even lying, or that it hadbeen a misjudged joke by Commander X, or various possibilities. Or one could say that the Commander X was reticent because he had relied on his Captain's confidence and didn't want to risk getting involved officially in what was rapidly becoming a military-political furore. The subsequent discretion of all parties could be consistent with either scenario. >Furthermore, the same Intelligence Report you trust Trust? I'd rather say "the report which I still await persuasive evidence to _dis_trust". (This is not a matter of wanting to claim that the Report covers every angle so as to remove the need for questions and interpretations - it clearly doesn't. My disagreement with your approach to it is about its function and context, again an argument too subtle and many-faceted to sound- bite here) >states no officer saw anything Yes, it does - or at least no officer reported seeing anything - but of course if the officer concerned did not officially report anything this would merely be consistent with the reluctance and discretion implied in Sunderland's memo. >>1958 statements by another officer on the ship, Capt Paulo de >>Castro Moreira da Silva, attested to at least five Navy >>witnesses in addition to the three civilians. I expect you can >>articulate good reasons why this has never seemed to have any >>weight. >Those who understand Portuguese know that "umas oito", an >indefinite article in the plural form, means there's much >uncertainty as to the given number. Assuming "at least eight" >is not very appropriate. It could have been even less, it could >have been more. But it was not "three", was it? Let us say "perhaps eight", then. Perhaps eight implies perhaps five more than the number of three civilians. Like everybody else, Jansen didn't know how many people constituted the "everyone" whom he saw apparently witnessing the object that he couldn't see, but guessed that it would have been the "around 13 or 15 people that strolls around the deck". Again this is significantly more than 3, and he specifed that they were mostly "sailors". In fact I would suggest to you that at this time near noon on the day of departure from the island, when all parties were back on board and when the ship's boat was just in the process of being winched up preparatory to the trip home, there might have been more crew on deck than Jansen's typical "13 or 15 strolling around". I imagine it would have been somewhat busy with activity and not just the few usual suspects casually "strolling around" as Jansen's evidently vague recollection seems to imply Howsoever, Jansen's statement IMO invites more focus on press reports from Feb 1954 stating that crew witnesses - positive witnessess - were interviewed by reporters. According to Fontes: "On February 24, 1958, the NE Almirante Saldanha arrived at Santos, S. P. Members of the crew were permitted to visit the town and there, for the first time, were contacted by the press. [This was the same docking during which the ship's officers were visited aboard ship by US Navy officers] Their declarations were printed in two Sao Paulo's newspapers (FOLHA DA TARDE and 0 ESTADO DE SAO PAULO, of February 25). All of them confirmed the passage of the UAO over the Island, watched by all members of the crew on the ship's deck at the time. Several of them had been eye-witnesses of the event." As you know I have been hoping for years to see the originals of these stories. It is my impression that in other cases Fontes' representations of press stories are on the whole rather accurate and reliable. I understood from our correspondence a couple of years ago that you may have located these sources, and I think I understood you to say in guarded tones that it "might" indeed be the case that these stories contain what Fontes said they contained. Was that a correct understanding? I suppose we must still wait a while longer until you are ready to publish things in a form satisfactory to you, but it would undeniably be helpful to have these texts in front of us now... As you know a Navy press statement said that witnesses included members of the crew. Com. Moreira told the press that they included members of the crew. Capt Bacellar told Capt Brandao, Intelligence, after making his inquiries on board (under a standing instruction by the Navy High Command) that witnesses included members of the crew on deck. Brandao's report recorded that these members of the crew included sailors in the bow and stern of the ship who had issued the original alarm alerting the ship to the presence of the object. Barauna's sceptical nephew, Ribeiro, recently assured us that an object was genuinely sighted by members of the crew as well as the civilians. Now Jansen also reports that "everyone" on deck except himself - including Navy crew - genuinely believed they sighted an object (even though _he_ believes there was not really anything to see). Perhaps it is time for us to be less averse to accepting that the witnesses on deck (witnesses to whatever) genuinely included some members of the crew, for all that we do not have their names, and that (as stated by Jansen) the photo incident - whatever its status, real or opportunistic later hoax - was prompted by a genuine incident that had nothing to do with Barauna or the other divers on board and surprised them as much as anyone else? >But certainly one would not refer to "umas oito" >if there were something like 48 witnesses. True, but I did not claim that Moreira da Silva's statement specifed or implied 48 witnesses. >>One of those civilians, govt banker Amilar Vieira, was from the >>start a reluctant witness who, AFAICS, earned the somewhat >>baffled respect of sceptics who interviewed him recently before >>his death by insisting clearly and firmly that he saw an object, >>that this was the simple fact and that he would never deny it, >>whatever may be said about Barauna and his photos. I don't >>recall that discussion of these interviews on this list excited >>you to comment. >I respect his testimony just as much as I respect Jansen's >testimony. Both may be correct, both may not be. Certainly none >of them can be taken as the Revelated Message of Truth. Indeed so. Both ought to be taken in some form. Both require careful interpretation in the proper context. >The only person we know for sure has lied in this story is >Almiro Barauna. This is not what "we know for sure",it is what "you assert with surety". But it is too large and hydra-headed a nest of claims, and covers too many areas of debate, to be addressed in the run of this text. Suffice to say, I still regard most of the small sub-claims which consitute the force of your large claim as being very debateable (when interpreted in what I would argue is the proper context). >>Even the recent "hoax" claimant, Barauna's nephew Marcelo >>Ribeiro who said (unintelligibly as it happens) that his uncle >>opportunistically faked the photos using Carioca bus tokens >>(bluntly, impossible), said Barauna privately assured him that >>"in reality, people saw something", but he dismissed it as a >>strange "cloud phenomenon" or something else. >I don't think it's unintelligible. I think it is. But noting your satisfaction with Ribeiro, and having just seen your post concerning a "second negative witness" (not really a negaive witness at all, of course) who claims it was obviously all a planned hoax and mere hysterical suggestion, I feel bound to point out that Ribeiro explicitly contradicts this claim. Let's first reprise Ribeiro's story, the "true" story that he says Barauna told only to he and his aunt, because I'm not convinced that some who have commented on it really appreciate what he was saying in the first place. Firstly, Ribeiro is emphatic that there was no planned hoax, no conspiracy whatever between Barauna and his friends/mates/cronies [delete as appropriate]. Barauna faked the photos later, but Viegas, Amilar, Andrade - the other Icarai diving club members - had nothing to do with it and no knowledge of his imposture. He could never tell them, said Ribeiro, because his reputation would have been ruined ("demoralized") and perhaps more importantly because "there was also the issue of the Navy. The fact that the Navy was involved could even result in a jail sentence, especially under an authoritarian regime which was even worse at that time. The military were preparing for the 1964 coup after the one in 1955." So apart from Barauna's mere pretence of photographing the real "UFO" (necessitating his later imposture) everything happened innocently, much as advertised. Ribeiro's story is that there really was a sighting and an object, something that excited people - maybe it was a balloon, or a strange cloud, something else, some freak of nature, who knows - and there was a real commotion about it. People believed it was a UFO and they believed Barauna was really photographing it - just as Jansen also says. "Everyone" saw it, agrees Ribeiro, "some of the military" (even the Captain, he adds). Barauna looked where they were pointing, and he saw it too, whatever it was, as did Viegas. And Amilar, coming on deck in the middle of things as he recently recalled in interviews before his death, really did see what he thought was a fast- moving greyish oval thing flying off over the sea, "he did see it, he really did". Ribeiro does not tell us that Barauna knew what it was or that he was a cynical charlatan about UFOs, He tells us that Barauna was an opportunistic joker, and used the situation to his advantage, but that he took ufology "seriously" and really did see this thing, he did not know what it was, and he did try to get real photographs of it. But it would have been something ordinary, says Ribeiro, misinterpreted. Everyone "saw what they wanted to see". This object, whatever it may have been, doesn't appear on the photos - what we see on the photos is a fake done at home later. Why did the photos not show whatever was really causing the excitement at the time? The reason, says Ribeiro, is that Barauna had no film in his camera because he had just climbed out of the sea where he had used up his film on underwater shots. So he first pretended (with impressive forethought) to take a few photos in case he never did get any real ones, and then "ran to his cabin" where he had more film, reloaded his camera and ran back to the deck hoping to be in time, but by then, says Ribeiro, the real object had gone so Barauna didn't get to photograph it. Simple... Now this almost makes sense. We can easily believe the real object, whatever it was, had gone. The witness descriptions and circumstances indicate an event that was probably over from start to finish in some tens of seconds. We would certainly expect it to have long been over by the time Barauna had been alerted, realised the situation, pretended to take some photos, then run below decks to his cabin, found a new 12-shot film roll, opened and reloaded his Rolleiflex (in 1958 not a proceedure as simple as clicking in a cassette or a digital data card), and run back up to the deck... to find the object gone, no doubt relieved that he'd had the presence of mind to convincingly simulate photographing it before by "running and shooting" with his empty camera. At this point Barauna presumably took the series of six photographs onto four of which he would later add the fake UFO. It needn't attract notice as it would be natural for him to scan the view with his camera as if hunting for the vanished UFO or waiting for it to return. Taken only a matter of minutes after the "real" event, they would then show the correct conditions and the correct near-vertical sun angle for the time of day and could not be faulted. But this film roll could not contain photographs of activities on deck earlier that morning. So we run immediately into a new problem, one that magnifies the already insurmountable problem that Capt Bacellar examined the film taken still-wet from Barauna's hand. Note that Bacellar was sceptical and cautious about this. "I stayed at his side all the time, in order to watch him", he said, for about an hour while Barauna calmed down and a darkroom was "prepared", then he stationed himself outside the darkroom door and took possession of the intact negative strip, which he subjected to a "careful examination". This examination, he famously said, enabled him to determine the following: "(a) that the pictures preceding the sequence connected with the object's passage corresponded with scenes taken aboard a few minutes before the incident; "(b) that, in the pictures connected with the sighting, was visible, in different positions, an image looking like the object seen later on the copies-with details which only the enlargements made afterward showed more clearly; "(c) and that the two photos lost by Barauna because he was too nervous, or because he was pushed by other excited people around him-showed the sea and part of the Island's mountains" Notice that Bacellar (no callow ingenue, but an experienced and technically-qualified hydrographer and meteorologist as well as a Superior Navy Corps officer who was specifically tasked by the Navy High Command to investigate UFO sightings at Trindade and then summoned to the NHC Intelligence Department to report on this) observed not only the "UFO" image on four negatives (and significantly noted its _absence_ on two) but saw the photographs of morning activities on deck in the correct sequence before the UFO photographs. Ribeiro insists there absolutely was not anythiong photograpehd on that film roll, and shoves this whole issue off the table into the waste bin with the cavalier assertion that "people see what they want to see". This is contemptuous and contemptible, and just not good enough So, no, I don't believe that this story - as allegedly told by Barauna according to a hearsay witness - is intelligible as it stands. >Also, I disagree tokens would >be impossible. I suspect we will never be able to determine what >was the original image used for the hoax, but there's no reason >why the "Carioca fleet chips" couldn't have been the original >source. There is nothing about the geometry or textures of the Trindade images that suggests the use of these Carioca tokens. The rough similarity between the square-humped disc made of Carioca tokens for the Mundo Illustrado photos and the oblate "Saturn" of Trindade could mean that the former suggested the shape he used for the latter, but the construction would have to be different. It is, I insist, impossible that the images in the Trindade photos could be obtained by photographing the Carioca chips as described: "There are a chips used to ride by bus in Rio de Janeiro back that time. I saw him doing it once in his house. He hung the chip in the window against the night sky. He did these things many times...He knew he could do that with the tokens. So he just repeated the trick? Yes... It was a double exposure. He took the picture of the UFO against the night sky. It was in his home at Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. After that he printed it altogether with the island's sky. He photographed the token, which is the UFO, then combined it with the island's picture. He added both together". In fact it wouldn't matter what he used, because the overpainting (or whatever) that would have been necessary to transform a Carioca-chip model to what we see in the photos would erase the connection to any arbitrary range of original shapes. You could as well say that he used a dog's bowl or a top hat. No, I think it more likely that Ribeiro confused memories of Barauna showing how he had used Carioca chips in the Mundo Illustrado article with memories of what Barauna told him about Trindade. >That the same image was reused in at least two of the >four photos in the series is quite evident, No, it is not evident. It is a theory that does not survive more than casual inspection. Photos #1 and #2 are simply _not_ inversions of the same photographic image, This is very easy for anyone to verify by close inspection. It will never become true no matter how many times people say it is so. >and it was since the original ATIC evaluation. >Again, already in 1958 vital pieces >of information were already there, but were ignored by >Ufologists, and ignored to this day. I disagree that it has been ignored. I think Sunderland's 1958 inversion claim has been very widely and deeply discussed by those of us (few enough, I grant you ;-)) who give a damn one way or the other, and continues to be. <snip> >There may be more people, outside Barauna's circle of friends, >who may claim to have seen something. This would be very >important. Jansen himself states that several other people >pointed to the sky claiming to see something, as our interviews >portrait. But, as Jansen's testimony doesn't prove there was >nothing, it wouldn't prove there was actually something in the >sky. It certainly would not. The way these small issues fall out is something that operates not directly on the primary "truth claims" but on the consistency and usefulness of our own thought processes. They work as tests of the networks of inferences that we put together in support of those overall truth claims. Unfortunately this is - as you say - a highly complex process that is very difficult to objectively keep track of, owing to the sheer quantity of information and the interactivity of a great many small, often inconclusive logical battles fought inside the overall strategic theatre, where a shifting front line is hard even to discern, never mind reading the direction in which it is trending. >The most relevant point here is: there were only a few people >who believed they saw something, and at least one who didn't. >Barauna lied when he claimed everyone saw it, or most >importantly when he mentioned dozens of people saw something. >Even Amilar was dismissive when I asked him if there were >dozens of people who also saw something. ><snip> >I agree. No single piece of evidence, isolated, allows us to >draw any conclusions. But together, they point to a very clear >direction. I am less convinced that the direction is so clear - or perhaps I should say, the direction of your thinking is clear, but I am less compelled by it.. >There's much to discuss, and I have to publish what I have to >publish. I think the case has so many details, and people revert >so often to the same old points, that it's better to publish an >analysis online and then have them reviewed by peers - as you >know, Martin - instead of discussing it back and forth. But I >thought these points should be made here for the time being. I couldn't agree more heartily - as you know, Kentaro. I continue to wait eagerly for the day when you will be able to lay out all of your wares (I know you've already published a great deal, of course, but you know the material I mean) and put your interpretive case in the full daylight where we can all see and critique it openly. Kind regards Martin Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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