The road test used trying to determine why the UFO in photo 19 did not show up as a reflection in the truck's hood (Hyzer The Gulf Breeze 8)
Dueling analysts: 1992
©Tim Printy October 2008
In July of 1991, Mr. Hyzer had presented his preliminary report to MUFON and began to immediately take heat from the "inner circle". At that time, he had not found conclusive proof that the images were a hoax and only implied they exhibited characteristics of multiple exposures. However, he had not been aware of a concern raised by UFOlogist Ray Stanford about photo #19, the road shot. Stanford had noticed that the trees were seen reflecting in the hood of the truck but the UFO was not. Rex Salisberry picked up on this and, working with Mr. Hyzer, had conducted a series of experiments with lights and a truck to see if the UFO should have been seen in the reflection. This data, coupled with earlier analysis by Dr. Maccabee, made it possible for Mr. Hyzer to determine if any part of the UFO should appear as part of the reflection. His conclusions showed that at least the dome light would have appeared as a reflection on the truck hood. This was, to Mr. Hyzer, conclusive proof that the image was a multiple exposures. Mr. Hyzer revealed his conclusions in the July 1992 issue of the MUFON Journal.
The article titled, "The Gulf Breeze photographs: Bona fide or bogus?" was Hyzer's final analysis on Ed's photographs. It was basically the preliminary report with some amplification on his earlier findings. Mr. Hyzer pointed out that, in addition to the "chameleon-like characteristics",
... in all photographs analyzed are either slightly lighter or no darker than their proximate scenic backgrounds, indicating that the objects are either i) self luminous, ii) internally illuminated or iii) externally illuminated from the general direction of the camera position to luminance levels equal to or slightly greater than their proximate backgrounds, or iv) misrepresented through image manipulation. (Hyzer The Gulf Breeze 4)
The most obvious source for such characteristics was the use of double exposure (image manipulation as Hyzer puts it). Hyzer's biggest blow had to do with photo #19:
... There are three sources of light produced by the UFO-like object: 1) the crescent-shaped illuminated dome and dome light at the top of the object, 2) the light from the power ring on the underside of the object and 3) the light reflected from the surface of the roadway. A photometric analysis of photograph number 19 has shown that the crescent-shaped luminance pattern directly beneath the dome light on the top surface of the UFO-like object is less luminous than the dome light and slightly brighter than the overcast sky above the tree line. None of these light sources are visible as reflections in the hood of the truck in photograph number 19, although all of them are brighter than the overcast sky in the background, which is visible as a reflection ... A series of experiments were performed in cooperation with Mr. Rex Salisberry in an attempt to duplicate the conditions that appear to exist in photograph number 19; namely to place a source of light in front of a Ford 150 XLT truck in such a position that its reflection in the truck's hood can not be seen nor photographed through the windshield ... In any event, the crescent-shaped illuminated dome and dome light on the UFO-like object are sufficiently high to produce visible reflections at both camera-to-object distances of 185 feet and 370 feet ... In searching this and surrounding areas in the photograph for a reflected-light pattern that is representative of the crescent-shaped illuminated dome and dome light, consideration was given to the possibility that part of that reflected image might be obscured by one of the circular white "air bells" in photograph number 19. There was no evidence to support this theory. No reflected images associated with the UFO-like object were detected in the truck's hood in photograph number 19. It is this author's professional opinion that the results of this study are conclusive: if the UFO-like object in photograph number 19 had been real, reflections of luminous sources associated with the object, and most certainly the crescent-shaped illuminated dome and dome light at the top of the object, would have to be visible in the truck's hood; but they are not. (Hyzer The Gulf Breeze 7-8)
Mr. Hyzer made it clear where he stood in his conclusions:
The Walters' photographs of the Gulf Breeze sightings analyzed for this report: are they bona fide or bogus? What unknown forces propel these wingless craft and support them as they hover overhead? How do they achieve their amazing chameleon-like abilities to change in brightness and color and blend with the background? And the luminous blue beam that appears to terminate in mid air: what is it? Before we completed our analysis of photograph number 19 we were at a loss to answer these questions on scientific grounds. except to say that 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. The missing reflections in the hood of the truck and the abnormal road luminance in photograph number 19 provide the answers to the question of its authenticity. It is this author's professional opinion that there is only one logical explanation for all of the optical anomalies described in this report: photograph number 19 is a fake produced by multiple-exposure photography. (Hyzer The Gulf Breeze 8)
Dr. Maccabee began his defense of photo #19 by reiterating that the front of Ed's truck was dented such that the reflection would not be there. He also now added that Ed's truck had cinder blocks and shingles loaded in the back such that the truck was tilted upward a few degrees and, therefore, further moved the UFO out of the range for a reflection. While, Dr. Maccabee's block/shingle theory is interesting, he can not accurately determine how many bricks/shingles were in the truck. Even more interesting is Ed fails to mention the presence of such materials in the back of his truck shifting around during the maneuvers he conducted trying to evade the UFO. This brings back the point made by Dr. Willy Smith early on in the investigation. Every time a problem surfaced, the "inner circle" would mention it to Ed so he could alter his story to explain the problem away. This was happening again where quantities of material were suddenly added to the equation to make the reflection go away. The "bent hood" excuse was also less than convincing since there are no photographs showing the actual dent and it's impact on the reflective nature of the hood. Dr. Maccabee now proposes that the dent, which was just in the right spot, and these construction materials that suddenly materialized in the back of the truck, for which he has no specifics, can now explain why there was no reflection. Jerry Black told Mr. Hyzer of the truckload of bricks/shingles theory. According to Black:
Hyzer had stated to me on the telephone that no matter how many bricks were on the back of the truck, or however dirty or dented the hood was, there SHOULD have been a reflection of the UFO seen on the hood of the truck. (Black)
Mr. Hyzer failed to find any of Maccabee's arguments convincing to explain the lack of reflection.
As Mr. Hyzer's analysis became public knowledge, MUFON invited another analyst to look at the Walters images. This was MUFON's Jeff Sainio. Jeff, having access to the originals, wrote a paper that was very critical of Mr. Hyzer's report. He (as well as Maccabee) criticized William Hyzer's explanation for photograph #1, which showed a UFO partially obscured by a tree. Hyzer had suggested that the UFO model had been underexposed such that when the second exposure was created, the combined lighting managed to produce an image but not behind the trees dark image. Jeff explained that this would not be possible and would be easily detected. Sainio also focused on photo #37L, which Ed took showing a UFO that was obscured by tree branches. Jeff states this was not produced by double exposure and he may be right. However, recall that Maccabee could not accurately determine the distance to the UFO in this stereo shot and assumed that it was over 70 feet away. His calculations had shown at a distance of 60 feet, the UFO would only have been less than two feet across and may have been a model. Important to note is that Hyzer never specifically discussed image #37 in his article for the MUFON Journal. As for the lack of reflection, Sainio also pointed out there was a bright area at the front of the hood possibly due to the glow from the UFO. It seems that MUFON managed to find somebody to back up Maccabee's conclusions and dismiss the findings of Hyzer.
William Hyzer had apparently become rather incensed by the manner in which the UFO community had received his report. Throughout his analysis of the images, the foot dragging by Andrus to get better quality copies or access to the originals had hampered him. He was never given any better quality images and never had access to any originals. At one point, Walters/Andrus reminded Hyzer of the copyrights involved and not to publish any of the images in articles he wrote. Suddenly Sainio is given full access in order to present an opinion that would refute Hyzer's analysis. Hyzer responded in the October issue of the MUFON Journal:
He administers the coup de grace early in his "Photo Analysis:A Pictorial Primer" (MUFON 1992 Symposium Proceedings, pp.133-65), with the notion that UFO appearances might "resemble fakes or misidentifications" as a means of intentionally misleading earthly observers. After encountering this profound statement in the 8th paragraph, I wondered: "what earthly reason did Mr. Sainio have for continuing his work described on the remaining 39 pages!?" (Hyzer Hyzer 15)
Sainio had criticized Hyzer on how he had analyzed the images and it was now Hyzer's turn to highlight something that made much of Sainio's analysis suspect:
There is a certain commonality that exists between some statisticians and digital-image-processing aficionados:
'Tell me what you want them to hear and I will produce a statistic to support it."
"Explain to me what you want them to see and I will create an image to buttress that perception."
The power to alter images is a cause of great concern among forensic image examiners and by those who depend upon their images to convey impartial information regarding a scene or object. Elements within an image can be fabricated, enhanced, distorted, shifted, cloned, erased and/or transferred to another image with a precision that virtually defies detection. Those who doubt the creative potential of digital image processing should see the film Terminator II.
This is not to imply that Mr. Sainio is such an aficionado or possesses either the facilities or the expertise required to produce the spectacular special effects of Terminator II but digital image processing, even in primitive form, is a highly manipulative process capable of changing an image into something it isn't in order to highlight certain features and/or subdue others at the personal discretion of the operator. (Hyzer Hyzer 15-6)
Additionally, Hyzer took Sainio to task on the accusations that he did not have adequate equipment when he was doing his analysis.
... Mr. Sainio is dead wrong. I have access to the most advanced digital image processing instrumentation and software, but I draw upon these facilities with upmost care and discretion for reasons cited above. Photography has evolved over the past 150 years to become by far the most accurate medium known to man for recording the real world as we humans actually see it. Tampering with these images for the intended purpose of revealing things that are not visually apparent in them is an exercise that can easily lead an overzealous photo analyst out of reality and into the realm of pseudo-science. (Hyzer Hyzer 16)
Hyzer was bringing the point home that any computer analysis could be misrepresenting the data if the analyst is not careful. As for Sainio's analysis of the original images, Hyzer felt he could not comment since he did not have the privilege of access to such data. However, he did comment on this problem:
This gross inequality poses an interesting series of questions. Was it because 1 insisted from the very beginning that I had no preconceived notions regarding the authenticity of the Walters' photographs and that my analysis would be focused on seeking out the real truth whatever the consequences? Would the same restrictions on the availability of photographs have been applied to Mr. Sainio if his approach had been the same as mine? If not, why not? Was it because Mr. Sainio was willing to direct his efforts in opposition to those who challenged the authenticity of the Walters' photographs, in which case he obtained the full cooperation of Mr. Walters?
I don't know the answers to these specific questions, but now that Mr. Sainio has gained access to the original Walters' photographs, these and other questions will continue to remain unanswered, and will fester in the minds of many MUFON members and the general public (except those who subscribe to Sainio's theory that the illusion of fakery is an indigenous feature of the UFO experience) until his findings are thoroughly corroborated. These corroborative analyses should be performed by at least two other photo analysts selected for their impartiality, so the controversy that surrounds the Walters' Gulf Breeze photographs can hopefully be settled once and for all. (Hyzer Hyzer 16)
Ten years have passed and no such analysis has been done and I doubt it will ever be done. The last thing that the "inner circle" wants is submitting these photographs to close scrutiny by competent analysts who are independent of any UFO group's influence. Mr. Hyzer's parting shot, after being unfairly treated by those involved with the case, was, "Several UFO investigators have asked me if I intend to continue any further with this investigation. The answer is no; my future scientific pursuits carry me to much higher ground" (Hyzer Hyzer 16).
With Hyzer leaving the field, it would be easy for Sainio and Maccabee to create whatever analysis they wanted in order to support the Walters claims. There would be no further scientific challenges to these photographs. Many UFOlogists would not forget what Hyzer's analysis had done to the authenticity of the case and the "inner circle" would always wear the stigma of covering up any evidence that disagreed with their conclusions.
Black, Jerry. "Re: Roger Evans' Open Letter To Jerry Black." 6 September 1999. UFO Updates Mailing List. Online posting. Available WWW: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/1999/sep/m07-006.shtml
Hyzer, William G. "The Gulf Breeze Photographs: Bona Fide or Bogus". MUFON UFO Journal. July 1992 3-9.
- "William G. Hyzer responds". MUFON UFO Journal. October 1992 15-16.
Ed continues the hunt: 1993 to present
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