Mr.William Hyzer (R) became involved in the Gulf Breeze case to determine if the photographs were authentic (Davdihazy)

Hyzer stirs the pot: July 1991

©Tim Printy October 2008

William G. Hyzer is one of the nation's top photogrammetrist. Writing for the professional photography magazine, PhotoElectronic Imaging (in 1991 this was called PhotoMethods), Hyzer has earned the nickname "Mr. Photoinstrumentation". He has had an extremely colorful career and his experience in photo analysis is extensive. Hyzer's biography at Biospace on the web is highly informative. Some selections:

Mr. William Hyzer (prefers Mr. Hyzer) has conducted research, published papers, and served as an expert witness on issues involving the ability of human observers to see and react to visual stimuli. Most of his current work is devoted to visibility issues relating to what a human observer can see under existing lighting conditions. In addition, he has extensively studied the ability of other imaging methods (i.e. photography, videography, etc.) ... Mr. Hyzer's forensic work has also been devoted to photointerpretation and photogrammetric analysis of photographic and video evidence. It has been devoted to the analysis of photographs that may have been fraudulently produced. Finally, it has been devoted to the development of specialized photographic techniques for recording evidence ... in 1981, the Professional Photographers of America conferred upon him the honorary degree Master of Photography for his important contributions to the photographic sciences...Mr. Hyzer is the author of two scientific books, over 500 published technical articles, and has several patents relating primarily to the fields of electro-mechanics, electro-optics, and the photo sciences. He is the author of the column "Scientific Instrumentation" in the monthly publication PhotoElectronic Imaging. (Biospace)

Unlike Dr. Maccabee, who seemed to think if he could not find evidence of fakery, the photographs must be authentic, Mr. Hyzer represented a different opinion and approach:

... physicist Bruce Maccabee, chairman of The Fund for UFO Research, doesn't think he has been duped yet by a UFO hoaxer, although he won't reveal the secret of his self-proclaimed success. My question is this: who is to say if the analyst has been duped or not in dealing with unnatural phenomena as controversial as UFOs? In my opinion, fakery is virtually impossible to prove in a well-contrived image. If certain anomalies are detected, the best that any photographic analyst can do is to point them out as possible or probable artifacts of photographic fakery. (Hyzer 13)

Hyzer's professional opinion would carry a lot of weight in the analysis of Ed's photographs.

After some time, Mr. Hyzer and his son, had completed their initial analysis of the images they had been sent. They were not the best quality because they were nth generation prints. He did not have access to any originals and was not given copies of all the images. What Hyzer analyzed did not convince him of their authenticity. Although he did not proclaim any images hoaxes, Hyzer did find indications of hoax photography. He was quite disturbed by the fact that the UFO images seemed to take on the color of the background sky. While Walters never photographed objects in daylight, he did photograph objects in the dark and in twilight. In all the images that he analyzed, Hyzer noticed how the UFOs took on the color of the background sky. He called these "chameleon-like characteristics" (Klass 6). Hyzer also noted that photo#9 had the UFO sharply photographed but the nearby streetlight was blurred due to motion. Hyzer figured one of two possibilities. The first was that the image was a double exposure and the second being that Ed Walters was able to precisely track a moving UFO with a simple Polaroid camera viewfinder. Hyzer concluded, "the images which depict all of these strange and unnatural phenomena are uniquely characteristic of multiple-exposure photography and could have been easily produced by the simple application of this technique" (Klass 6). Hyzer had reached the preliminary conclusion that the images may have been hoaxed.

Obviously, Andrus was taken aback. Hyzer had added appreciation for Rex Salisberry's assistance during his investigation. Andrus, bitter about what happened with Salisberry back in October, seemed to think that Salisberry had influence on Hyzer's opinion. This was not the case but Andrus was trying to figure out why Hyzer could reach a different conclusion than the respected Bruce Maccabee. Andrus did offer to publish his report in the MUFON journal. However, Hyzer declined and preferred to write an article for PhotoMethods magazine or some other scientific journal. Meanwhile, the "inner circle" became active in trying to downplay Hyzer's conclusions. After the preliminary report was published, Charles Flannigan wrote Hyzer a letter that confused him. According to UFOlogist Jerry Black, Hyzer told him,

"What does Mr. Flannigan mean, when he says that I don't understand the whole story?" He asked me, "Jerry, what am I supposed to understand here? I'm just doing some photographic analysis work. What does Mr. Flannigan mean when he says to me that I don't understand the whole story?" (Black)

Apparently Mr. Flannigan, as well as other members of the "inner circle", were not interested in an impartial analysis and wanted to try and sway Mr. Hyzer to alter his conclusions to something less negative.

Dr. Maccabee considered Hyzer's analysis inadequate but did not seem to go out of his way to provide Hyzer with better quality images. Instead of publishing his concerns in a professional photographic magazine such as PhotoMethods, Maccabee continued his sniping from the less demanding MUFON Journal and International UFO Reporter, where he could preach to the faithful. Hyzer would eventually publish an article for the MUFON journal but only after new information was presented that allowed him to make a arrive at a more definite conclusion about the images of Ed Walters.

Works Cited

BioSpace. "Mr. William G. Hyzer". Available WWW: http://biospace.intota.com/viewbio.asp?bioFile=/xml/biofull/615395data.xml&bioID=615395&strQuery=forensic+science&show=Full

Black, Jerry. "Looking Back: A Review Of Gulf Breeze". On line posting. Available WWW: http://www.skiesare.demon.co.uk/looking.html

Davidhazy, Andrew. In appreciation of W. G. Hyzer. Photomethods. February 1991 10

Hyzer, William G. "More Deceptive Imagery". Photomethods. September 1991 12-13

Klass, Philip. "New analysis of Walters' UFO photos reveals suspicious anomalies." Skeptic's UFO Newsletter, November 1991. 

 

BUBBA does not go away: August 1991-1992

The Ed Walters case directory

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