Ed makes friends with Dr. Bruce Maccabee and assures his place in UFO history (From Jerry Black's UFO update clip)
Ed gains powerful allies: February 1988
Ó Tim Printy October 2008
After the night of the 7th, the UFOs shifted tactics. Perhaps it was Ed being under watch and the publicity but the UFOs decided no longer to get too close. The next day, Budd Hopkins began to discuss abduction scenarios with Ed and Frances. Ed now recalled three events in his past history that could have been possible abduction events. Meanwhile, the UFOs stayed away from Ed and Frances as other events occurred.
On the 10th, Bob Reid came by with a camera he wanted Ed to use. It was a Nimslo 3D camera that had been sealed. Ed had to read a statement that if he did not provide a picture with the Nimslo of his UFOs, he would face credibility problems because of his lack of being able to capture the UFO on film with a controlled camera. Ed became concerned about this but stated he would use it on the next encounter. Days began to pass and, because the UFOs stayed away, Ed was not able to use the camera.
As Ed pondered the camera, other tests of his credibility began to surface. The first was by Charles Flannigan, who asked Ed to take a polygraph exam. Ed agreed but then missed his appointment because he simply forgot about it or just was not aware of it. Instead, Ed went to Havey McLaughlin Jr., a polygrapher from outside the area, to take a self-sponsored lie detector test. After two interviews/tests, Ed got a clean bill of health from the man he paid to give him a lie detector test. The report read, in part:
Following two separate multiple chart specific issue examinations there were no specific physiological reactions of a deceptive nature noted to any of the reviewed test questions. General areas of questioning followed as: "Did you lie or falsify the information you have furnished me concerning the UFOs you have seen?" "Did you in any way falsify or lie about the photographs you have presented concerning these UFOs?" "Did you in any way falsify or lie about the humanoid beings that you saw or any other physical evidence that you have presented?" With the information that is present at this time, furnished by the examinee, no consistent deceptive responses are seen.
With the information that is available to this examiner at this time it is felt that Mr. Walters truly believes that the photographs and personal sightings he has described are true and factual to the best of his ability. (Walters 191-2)
This lie detector test would be one of the cornerstones of validating Ed's sightings.
Another key event in validating Ed's case occurred in the month of February when Doctor Bruce Maccabee, an optical physicist, arrived to examine Ed's images and conduct his own investigation. Maccabee was a very prominent UFOlogist and very knowledgeable in photography. According to Skeptic Phil Klass, "Maccabee, in my opinion, is one of the nation's most technically competent and hard-working pro-UFO investigators--but, regrettably, one of the most credulous" (Klass 6). After spending one night with Ed and the pictures, he began to feel that this was a good case. Despite what Phil Klass had written, Maccabee stated later that he had doubts. A few days later, Bruce and Charles Flannigan showed up at Ed's door with photographs of the UFO. Ed appeared both excited and confused. The pictures were not of the same UFO and Ed recognized this. Bruce then confessed that he had taken double exposures of a light and the sky using the camera that Ed had lent him. Dr. Maccabee's interpretation of Ed's bewilderment of how the images were taken was that Ed had no idea how to take double exposures and was not very proficient with his camera. In this moment, Ed had convinced Bruce that he was just "too dumb" to actually concoct a hoax and therefore must be telling the truth. Ed and Dr. Bruce Maccabee had begun to cement a close relationship that would continue to the present.
Ed still had his Nimslo camera to get photographs of a UFO for MUFON. The clock was running and it had been over two weeks since he received the camera. On the night of the 26th of February, Ed and Frances went to the park to see if the UFO would come to them. As they sat on the bench, they noticed a small group of lights appear. Ed felt they were very distant, making the object large, but Frances disagreed, suggesting they were close by, making it small. Ed also noted that it was not like any of the UFOs he had seen before. It was cigar-shaped, had rows of lights, and appeared to glow at one end. Ed reported that the air around it seemed to be distorted like there was heat rising off of it. He quickly shot off ten photographs and then it disappeared. MUFON would be satisfied now that Ed had produced the photographs. The pressure was off. A few days later the images were developed and the UFO was there. Everyone was so excited. It was not the same type of UFO that Ed had captured on film so many times before but it was a still a UFO. On March 5, the media was presented with the news that Ed's new images were "Taken under scientific, controlled conditions where there is no opportunity whatsoever to hoax, fake it, produce double exposures or anything of this nature ..." (Walters 214). While this seemed to sound impressive, the conditions were far from scientific. Again, nobody saw Ed photograph the UFO besides Frances. Additionally, while the sealed camera did not allow tampering with the film or double exposure, it did not prevent Ed from shooting a picture of a model suspended in the air from a distance. Computations later put the size of the UFO at roughly 2.5 feet, which is model size. With the photographs from the Nimslo camera showing a UFO, MUFON began to move towards confirming this case as authentic.
Evans, Jeremy and Martin Belderson (Directors).(1996) UFO: Down to Earth - Reason to believe (Film). Discovery Channel.
Klass, Philip, "The Gulf Breeze Sightings." Skeptic's UFO Newsletter, December 1989.
Walters, Ed and Frances. The Gulf Breeze Sightings. New York: William Morrow and Company, inc. 1990.
Sightings wane, doubts rise: March to May 1988
The Ed Walters case directory
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