Thursday, November 28, 2013

THE UFO BEAUTY CONTEST, part five {and last, I think}.

One last time .....

The above is how you see this case represented on the internet [if it shows up anywhere at all].

The case: Waterdown, Ontario [often called Hamilton], March 18, 1975. A young man {19} was an amateur nature photographer, who was particularly interested in photographing raptors, in flight or otherwise. He'd been totally unsuccessful this day, and was beginning to go home.

He saw an unusual object flying strange flight paths, and decided to try to pick it up in the camera. His first shot hit the target, the second missed, and he got two more hits before it was out of range. In some ways this is weirdly like the Cluj situation. He went home and called the Hamilton newspaper. They asked him to bring his camera in and the film was developed there. People at MacMasters University, a local Astronomers organization, and finally an APRO field investigator were all impressed, and the photos deemed untampered. In Bondarchuk's UFO Canada {a pretty good "unknown" UFO book, by the way}, the photo series is referred to as "one of the most respected pieces of UFO evidence". This is a bit over-the-top in my view, as few people have even heard of it.

I hadn't heard of it either until I was sent two boxes of chaotic photographs by John Timmerman. He had neglected the job of trying to organize them for so long that he couldn't remember anything about the contents and was happy to stick me with the task of attempting identification. I was a failure on the majority and still refer to them as "John's Junk" affectionately. Some I could identify, and some were actually, blessedly, labeled. One of these labeled was an envelop with the Waterdown pictures.

These pictures {I found no negatives} were allegedly sent to Hynek to analyze. Except for him finding someone to play around with the exposure and magnification, I find no evidence that he did much, nor that he published it .... could be wrong here, and anything could be back at CUFOS.

These photos turn out to be sharper and somewhat different from the typical picture of this case as seen on the internet. In fact, what they show is either absurd or high strangeness.

This thing looks to me like an opaque "ball" {most of one anyway} sitting on the surface of a transparent thin disk. I'd not object to the hypothesis that it is a whole ball which protrudes slightly under the disk. Now what the heck is THAT?

Is it a "simple hoax"? Despite other aspects of the report? Could a small constructed object of these proportions sail well enough to get any distance in the air when thrown? Weird hoax construction regardless, if so.

If no hoax, then alternative hypotheses go rapidly towards zero. And, if no hoax, odd thoughts pass through ones mind as to whether there's any reason for the disk parts of crafts at all.

As to the theme of our last four posts: credibility is worse than with Cluj, though film development right out of the camera is a winner. Still, we have just one witness. Strangeness would be higher than Cluj, as the flightpath of the object was phenomenally loop-de-loop. The transparent disk is a bit strange as well.

I'll leave you to your meditations.....

or whatever you're doing today ......

..... and I'll end with my infamous Ohgi uh Bokum, and a hearty Happy Thanksgiving!!


  1. Hi Prof,
    A few comments on the photo thread later as time permits, but for now just wishing a happy thanksgiving!

  2. Hi Mike:

    I enjoyed the UFO photo posts.

    Earlier this year I visited Hope Greenwell and copied Richard's case files from the late 60's. I have always been fascinated by the Yungay photos and was glad to see that the four prints which Arrnada provided to Mr. Ore (who subsequently gave them to Greenwell) still exist. More than happy to forward the complete file if you are interested.

    Kind regards, Tom

    1. Well, hello, old friend --- too long since we've heard from one another.

      REALLY good to hear that you've copied Richard's files. And, YES, absolutely I'd like a copy of Yungay if you can do it. As you, I, Jan, Barry all keep insisting, we need to get multiple copies of every original data collection spread around so that it has a better chance of surviving.

      .... also, if you're up for it ever, maybe you'd like to come over for a weekend when I throw one of my Kzoo get-togethers for the group.

    2. Mike:
      I would arrive at the drop of a hat and with bells on for such an opportunity!

      Have at it:

      It appears that Richard had organized a radar study group near the end of his tenure at APRO and he had a few of McDonald's radar case files that Hope was going to return to the U of A. This one from the Panama Canal Zone in 1958 is particularly interesting:

      Kind regards, Tom

  3. FYI: The viewer in Mediafire appears to distort the text, in which case you will need to fully download the document.

    1. Thanks Tom. Your advice worked perfectly. The photos look pretty sharp in this rendition, and of course interesting. I'll probably print the whole thing into hardcopy when I get the "courage". Between this and the Pope's astonishingly hip address about his vision of the Church, my printer might not survive the 400+ pages.

      I'll need to read that stuff about Hynek's alleged involvement. If he ever got the photos, then there should be something at CUFOS. Right now I'm just an ignoramus on that.

  4. Photo #4 is hard to interpret. I suppose it's not a definite indication of anything that the disc is flexible. The enlargement of #4 (directly underneath the brightened version) can be seen two ways: as showing a not-quite-spherical underneath portion of the "ball" on top, or as showing a shadowed hollow where the "disc" material is pushed up to form the "ball." It seems definitely (from the continuous form of the lighter material of the disc) a view of the underside. If it is pushed-up to form the "ball," the likelihood is of a human artifact (one could proffer a million speculative possibilities--though I don't think it's a hat). If it's a continued volumetric structure (as is just hinted by the enlargement below this one, of #1 I think), it could still be an ordinary artifact, but it could be something else. But these features are all near the limits of perception and of perception-as. Important question: what does the photographer say about its authenticity, today?

    My own teenage photo experiments (with a rubber disc that--in the 1950s--held, candle-like, a ghastly-deadly pointed wooden spike for a ring-tossing game; the spike elegantly replaced by a large marble) showed that the trick to stabile flight was simply a wrist-flick to spin the thing.

    Frank John Reid

    1. Hi Frank. I have no idea what the photographer thinks/says today.

      On the simple "wrist-flick" business: well, Duh, my friend. My concern about frisbee-ing it, is that this thing seems pretty far up in the air, and with a protrusion as relationally-large and non-aerial-slicing as the "ball" perched on top messing with the flow, it might take a mighty "wrist-flick" indeed to get it up there.

    2. Two guys. A few trial throws, to give the cameraman practice in catching the thing at the height of the throw. #2 the one where it dropped low enough the cameraman didn't follow it all the way to where it showed (whatever way) its comparative size. (Hypothesis + a nice epicycle or two.)


    3. missing my point... odd for you. My point is that the amount of bulge sticking off the disk is pretty large. This seems to me to be a big destabilizing factor in sailing this thing, unless one could impart a mighty spin to it. That amount of airflow disruption and a center-of-gravity well outside the disk should limit the flight. You should remember the Prandtl Theory of Lift business with the Estimate of the Situation guys: it said that you could fly anything, but you needed a powerful energy source. What I'm saying is: with a poorly conceived non-aerodynamic bulge like this, how strong does the energy source need to be {i.e. the strength of the throwers arm}? You seem to casually wave this off without concern, as if it's obvious.

      I'm willing to be wrong about this. I as usual need some facts rather than facile waving off of possibilities.

  5. Professor, I have been thinking about these photos you've been posting a little bit, and considering the value of photos, given all the variables you mentioned in an earlier post. The other day I went on a walk, and an airplane flew over. On a whim, I took a photo of it. When I examined the photo later, the image was unrecognizable as a normal plane (which it was), and indeed, if I'd seen the photo with no context, I could imagine it to be a bug, a balloon, drifting debris, who knows what-- but even with some enhancements, much of what would allow us to see it as a plane is just not visible. I have been, I suppose, looking at some of your posts in a similar spirit, and imagining tricks of the camera (etc) to account for some things which I wouldn't have considered before this little experiment... (the photo I took, to illustrate:

    1. interesting... nice hands-on way of demonstrating how the human eye is a fantastic sensory device and how the human camera is often not.

      people should get a little practical when they spout off about how bad UFO pictures are.



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