A red UFO ejects an object and then becomes bright white before fading out (Frame grabs from the Morrison video)
BUBBA returns to Gulf Breeze: November 1990 - June 1991
©Tim Printy October 2008
Thanks to a lot of inside assistance, Ed survived the inquisitions by MUFON's finest. Just as things looked their worst, a new red UFO wave struck Gulf Breeze. Unlike Ed's earliest encounters, the UFOs seemed more interested in putting on a display. As before, lights in the night sky would be visible for short periods of time and then disappear. It seemed that these sightings were made to order to divert attention away from Ed's latest dilemma.
The event that kicked off the new wave was not an ordinary red light type UFO. Instead, this was a rare daylight sighting of a UFO by none other than Ed himself. In late October, Ed had been asked by Dr. Maccabee to take some new photographs of the road where photo #19 had been taken. According to Ed,
It was a clear day, not a cloud in the sky with the exception of a single, small, curious-looking circular cloud moving from south to north. It appeared to be low, maybe only five or six hundred feet high ... That's when I noticed I could feel no wind, yet the "cloud" had been moving ... It slowed, became stationary, and soon began to swirl, opening in the middle, like a donut ... suddenly small puffs shot out from around its outside. From its now-open center, a silver disk-shaped UFO streaked into view and hovered to the side and below the "cloud." I saw this happen through the viewfinder and quickly hit the shutter button (see Photo 41) before I turned and dashed for the cover of my truck. I drove away as fast as I could because I didn't want a repeat of the January 12, 1988 event ...(Walters and Maccabee 23-4)
This is an extraordinary tale for an extraordinary person, who always manages to have his camera handy when he needs it. Again, despite being near a major highway, nobody else seemed to notice such an odd event. This event really can not be associated with the wave that was about to hit, but it did indicate something was up.
On November 23, a group of MUFON observers and Ed Walters met at Bay Bridge Park in Gulf Breeze and discussed the previous sightings seen some time back. At 8:40 PM, a white light suddenly "turned on" in the skies over the city of Gulf Breeze and quickly shifted to red. It lasted for five minutes before shifting back to white and then disappearing. The UFO did not appear to move even though the winds at the time were moving at 6mph according to UFOs are real and here' the proof. However, Ed wrote in UFO Abductions in Gulf Breeze that the wind was from the north at 15 mph and that they observed the UFO to the south. If a balloon borne flare were moving away from the observer, the apparent motion would have been zero. Nobody seems to have considered or mentioned the possibility of this being the case. However, to those wanting it to be a UFO, it was enough. The UFO, which eventually took on the affectionate name of "bubba", had returned to Gulf Breeze.
Sightings began to pick up and on the 25th, when another red UFO was sighted from the same location. This one lasted about a minute and a half, hovered to the north, and then disappeared again. The winds again were moving at 6mph. Ed managed to obtain a few photographs of this UFO. Amazing that in January 1990, he was only able to get a few pictures of a UFO when it was visible for over 20 minutes yet now he was able to get a similar number for an event that lasted less than one tenth the time period! Of course, Dr. Maccabee was glad to analyze these photographs,
The fourth photo is more surprising. There are six bright lumpy yellow lines within a red halo ... There are distinct spacings between the lumpy lines ... Hence this photo shows that there might have been as many as six light sources which created the lumpy lines by pulsating in brightness about four times as the camera moved vertically and horizontally, or three light sources that pulsated about eight times, or six groups of lights arranged in lines of about four each, etc. Regardless of how the image is interpreted, the clear separation between the line images means the UFO was not simply a point of light but had structure ... (Walters and Maccabee 173-4)
Maccabee's calculation for the spacing of these structured lines was a distance of 1.2 feet if the UFO were at 1000 feet (with corresponding doubling of size with doubling of distance). No accurate size determination could be made without a known distance. It seems that this UFO could have been as small as a loaf of bread or as big as a house. The lack of conclusive data in this sighting prompted a change in tactics for local observers. They decided to look for more UFOs and became known as the "Gulf Breeze Research Team" (GBRT).
In February, Ed managed to get his wires crossed with the GBRT and showed up at the wrong location to watch for "Bubba". Fortunately, he brought his old SRS camera with him because, amazingly, the UFO appeared for ED so he could capture it on film! Again, Ed seemed to have problems with the arrangement and the test photographs showed that the cameras were still moving a bit. The photographs showed a ring of green lights surrounding a red light, which appeared to be at a slightly lower altitude. Dr. Maccabee analysis showed that,
The parallax shows the UFO to be between 240 and 350 feet away. At this range, the size of the center red light (image is 0.62mm wide; the camera focal length is 110 mm; angular size = 0.0056 radian) was about 1.3 to 2 feet in diameter. Similarly, the major (horizontal) axis of the green ellipse (image width is 2.88mm) was about 6.3 to 9.4 feet in diameter ... (Walters and Maccabee 176).
In each case of the red UFO, the values for the red light always seemed to be about the same size. The ring of green lights also implies something relatively small was used to create the image. Ed continued to be able to get his best photographs when he was alone and away from witnesses.
Another milestone event for the GBRT was when Ed used infared film to photograph "Bubba" on March 12, 1991. When the light was red and bright, the infared image was small and weak. When it turned to a weak white light, the infared image was very large and strong. Dr. Maccabee drew the following conclusions:
The increase in image size can be explained by assuming that when the light turned white and appeared dimmer to the naked eye, it was actually emitting far more infared radiation than it was when it appeared red to the eye. This is the opposite of what would happen with an incandescent light source which glows because of its high temperature. (Walters and Maccabee 178-9)
Of course, Dr. Maccabee is talking about a light as the source but what would happen if the source of the light were something else such as an open flame? The red part of a flame is the one that is the coolest and the blue portion of the flame is where it is the hottest. This is essentially what was recorded on film. Although the intensity of the red light was greater, its temperature was cooler and did not emit as much infared light. When it shifted to white (towards the blue end of the spectrum), the temperature had increased. Although the visual intensity was less, the infared signature now increased. This image had a logical explanation but it is not even addressed by Maccabee's writings.
In April, the research team continued its observations of "Bubba". They began to record "Unidentified Ejected Objects" (UEOs as Dr. Maccabee called them). These UEOs occurred just prior to the UFO disappearing. The team also began to finally develop methods to help identify the actual locations of the UFO. On April 9th, two sighting scopes, designed and built by Ed Walters were setup in the park in two different locations. Ed was the first to see this UFO and the scopes were used to gather data on the UFOs location. This UFO was determined to be five to nine miles away and about a mile high. More importantly were witnesses who were closer to the UFO reported a distinct angular size of the UFO. From this size, Dr. Maccabee determined it to be ten feet in diameter. Because of this, Bruce stated that the UFO could not have been a balloon born device. However, he can not make such a claim so positively. It is based on the observations of a witness who is making a rough angular size estimate of an object that was 2-3 miles away. The angular diameter necessary to produce a size of ten feet (roughly 3 minutes of arc for two miles) is very small and makes a precise measurement difficult. It could easily have been even smaller. Dr. Maccabee trumpets such calculations as being highly indicative of the UFO's size but close examination reveals that these values are highly subjective in nature and could have been in error by a significant amount. Again, "Bubba" continued to evade confirmation that it was something extraordinary.
Things continued to "spark" in the skies above Gulf Breeze. The next major event occurred only eight days later on the 17th. In this event, the red light did something a bit different. The red light rapidly began to oscillate and flash white. Suddenly, an UEO was emitted and the light shifted back to red. Dr. Maccabee states that this is something a flare could not do. His calculations show the red light UFO to be five miles away and a mile high. Bruce stated,
I don't know of any light source that could be suspended in the air in some reasonably simple way (e.g., bay a balloon, kite, blimp, helicopter) which could create such a great brilliance at a distance of five miles and also oscillate in intensity at the rate that is recorded on the video. (Walters and Maccabee 186)
Recall that Overall's researcher managed to get his flares to oscillate by simply adding chemicals from sparklers. This event could have been such an incendiary device.
With all the activity in the sky, the media began to show up to film the events. A Japanese television camera crew showed up one evening in May but was unable to see any red UFOs. Later that night, they luckily received a call from UFOlogist Bob Oechsler telling them a red UFO had been sighted nearby. The crew went out but saw nothing. However, about 15-20 minutes later, a red UFO did materialize. The red light lasted a few minutes and changed to white just before disappearing. Despite using a high power zoom lens, the television crew was unable to resolve much other than a bright red light. Oechsler's alert was timely and it was lucky that the camera crew had such excellent inside information. With such a dramatic piece of video, other media organizations began to appear in Gulf Breeze. There would be more opportunities for the media to capture "Bubba" on tape.
While the Red UFO wave continued into the summer, Gary Watson had finally finished his investigation on the matter of Tommy Smith and the model. Not surprisingly, Gary concluded the model was a plant and that Tommy Smith was lying. The report went up to Andrus through Art Hufford, who prior to his own personal Gulf Breeze sighting less than four years before, had never been involved in any UFO investigations. According to Jerry Black, Hufford attached a memo to the report, which stated, "I trust this article meets your expectations" (Black). Additionally, this memo was copied to Ed Walters. It seems that no report could be completed without Walters being able to review the materials or without Andrus playing a determining factor in the outcome. Watson's report was what Andrus wanted in the reinvestigation of the case but his other hope of saving the case did not pan out the way he expected.
Black, Jerry. "Looking Back: A Review Of Gulf Breeze". On line posting. Available WWW: http://www.skiesare.demon.co.uk/looking.html
Walters, Ed and Bruce Maccabee UFOs are real: Here's the proof. New York: Avon Books 1997.
Hyzer stirs the pot: July 1991
The Ed Walters case directory
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