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Howard Menger: From Outer Space to You

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#1    scowl

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

If you don't want to pay $1.50 at a used book store to get a classic contactee book from the fifties, I just found that Howard Menger's classic "From Outer Space to You" is available online for free.

Some fans may think compared to George Adamski that Menger and other late 1950's contactees were Johnny-Come-Latelys. Yeah, I'll admit that Menger's story is suspiciously similar to Adamski's in almost every detail (blond aliens from Venus who communicated via telepathy and warned us of nuclear war) but as far as I know, Adamski's aliens never taught him how to play music so he could cut his own record to bring higher consciousness to the world. Thanks to the guidance of a musician from Saturn, Menger released, "Music From Another Planet". I guess something was lost when the tunes were played on terrestrial pianos and accordions.

What's in "From Outer Space to You"? Better to ask what isn't in it. That would be Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

Like other contactees Menger describes a solar system quite unlike the one we know today. Every planet from Saturn to Venus is covered with life and pleasant conditions similar to Earth. Is an alien from Mars or Venus? Simple. Venusians are blond and Martians have dark hair. Telepathy is just the beginning. Menger discovers he has the ability to teleport and even project mental images to befuddle the police. That only paves the way for Menger to discover he is a reincarnated Saturnian. Countless yet nameless people witness the aliens landing their spaceships and talking with Menger so you know he's not making this stuff up.

Like other contactees, Menger gets to take trips on these amazing ships. The aliens haven't yet mastered graphical user interfaces yet so the spaceship controls are the usual blinking lights and push buttons (they claim to have never in their history used wheels so who am I to judge?). His trips to the Moon are strangely similar to H.G. Wells's "The First Men in the Moon" -- there's atmosphere and clouds and warm deserts and domed cities and magnificent highways that for some reason our blind astronomers had been unable to see with their puny 200 inch telescopes.

All this could have been brushed off as pure fantasy but Menger had proof: photos. He tried taking pictures with negative film cameras but he was so disappointed at the blurry and overexposed results that he accused the lab of replacing his incredible photographs with cheap fabrications! He later apologized but remained too paranoid to let his photos of extraterrestrial voyages be processed by people he didn't know. Instead of improving his photographic techniques and learning how to develop black and white film himself which anyone with a watch and a thermometer could do, he bought the camera favored by all contactees: a second hand Polaroid. Cynics would say that the Polaroid is an ideal camera to hoax photographs because the failures won't be on the same strip of film as the successes -- you just throw them in the garbage. Menger only had a handful of photos from all his many incredible experiences so that's a little suspicious, but a little proof is still proof!

At the link you'll get to see Menger's successes. They're not very good and Adamski's photos were a hundred times clearer. You can see a disc that looks something like a model against a black background and absolutely nothing else. One better photo shows a Venusian in sharp silhouette in front of one of the spaceships. The blurriness of the spacecraft is explained away as electromagnetic interference.

His photos of trips to the Moon are even stranger. One photo shows a spaceship flying over the Moon but it looks upside down: the surface is on the top and the black sky is on the bottom. Not at all. It turns out that the sky on the Moon is a bright "saffron" color making the unreflective moonscape look dark -- I guess our measurement of the albedo of the Moon is way off. Another brighter photo of the moon's surface looks like someone forgot to make their bed that morning. A "close up" photo the Moon's surface showing clouds looks like a print of a telescopic photo of the Moon with streaks of paint applied (Menger was a sign painter!). The photo of the Moon as Menger allegedly approached it looks more like an artist's depiction of the Moon. Any 35mm camera from that era would have made a much better photo here on Earth. Sadly the aliens didn't allow him to take what would have been astonishing pictures of the cities, highways and inhabitants of the Moon during his ten day tour.

The book also describes other unscientific nonsense. One good example: how to record thought patterns using a "six tube radio" and a tape recorder. Yes, it's just that simple! He also invents an antigravity device that is so successful that it blasts through the ceiling into the attic (another tale similar to one to "The First Men in the Moon"). Sadly he wasn't able to reproduce the effect, but he also invented the perpetual motor which I guess was more successful (invest now!) since we now have endless free energy.

After all this exciting stuff, the book ends with a painfully long lecture on agriculture and nutrition that someone named G. H. Earp-Thomas wrote twenty years earlier. If I had spent ten days with an alien civilization I'm sure I would have enough material to fill a book but Menger didn't for some reason. In any case, Menger thinks this reprint is relevant because the aliens on Venus have cabbages and potatoes and wheat just like we do here but due to their superior agricultural techniques, their land is much more productive and the food they produce is much healthier. Mr. Earp-Thomas's ideas from decades earlier coincidentally explain why.


#2    psyche101

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:12 AM

What a fascinating trip down memory lane!

That is an awesome link Scowl, thanks, I intend to look a great deal more closely at it. It very much illustrates that in our infancy, we offered many speculations, indeed I look forward to reading what a heavenly paradise Jupiter is perceived to be!

This is pure woo woo, and nothing worse than we see today. The same level of ignorance and fantasy allow some to conclude that Aliens are required to help us stack rocks, communicate via crop circles and defy all physics to cross the vast expanses in impossible times in impossibly small craft.

The final paragraph of the preface illustrates how much effort is going into making a story sell, and I do feel, was not meant to be taken seriously. Much like any stage show where an actor purports to be a real character in the flesh. The unbelievable nature of the claim makes people listen, they either are credulous enough to accept what they hear at face value, or it catches the attention of a thinker, who knows what he is hearing is just not right. Either way, it makes an impact, and that is something people remember. A very effective sales tactic.



And now, as you fasten your seat belts, our word of warning: this trip is dangerous. You will travel into areas of great intellectual peril, especially if you have made up your mind beforehand not to believe the author's story. Many of you will accept it as it is told; some of you may escape total belief and preserve many of your former opinions by believing that Howard Menger has presented only an allegory, as a framework for the metaphysical principles he wishes you to under­stand. Unfortunately there will be casualties, and for those we express deep sympathy. Some of you will read, and somehow, in an effort to disbelieve, will not give the author the benefit of even your good-humored laugh; instead the book will engender in you great anger and a desire to shout your disbelief to the world. Those readers we pro­foundly pity. For there are ideas here which will add a little something—a little inspiration, a few cogent thoughts, or even only a few thought­ful chuckles—to the life of the firmest skeptic.

I came back from the trip still a skeptic, and you may, too; but when you again touch Earth I believe there will be, as was on mine, a trace of a glow on your face.

And to those wonderful souls whom God, The Universe, or who­ever He is, has blest above all: those who can believe without reser­vation, I give you a trip the likes of which you have never before dreamed possible, and a magic steed that will put a Pegasus to shame. You will enjoy the trip—ah how you will!

Finally, we add. . . .

What?

Oops! We've talked too long. It's too late to get out now! Fasten seat belts and get ready for——

TAKEOFF






LOL :D That is a fine read, even I have to admit. Once upon a time we would have heard the argument, well have you been to Mars? Or Saturn? How do you know? You are just closed minded! Now that anyone can indeed gaze upon either of these planets takes some steam out of that argument  but the premise remins a staple in UFOlogy. Funny isn't it. It seems to be getting worse when as a species, we should be a achieving the opposite.

Top link mate, thanks.


Cheers.

Edited by psyche101, 31 January 2013 - 03:13 AM.

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#3    scowl

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Since I've been reading about UFOs for decades, I've been disappointed that the nonsense from Von Danikin's "Chariots of the Gods" which had been completely debunked twenty years ago has been revived and new characters are making money off of it. One thing I don't think will get revived however is the Contactee Phenomenon of the fifties. This was also ridiculous yet these people were treated as what they said they were on the Steve Allen show and in other legitimate media (I don't count Long John's show since he was the precursor to Coast to Coast). They became celebrities in their crowds and made lots of cash with books and lectures. People were gobbling everything they said and were either ignorant of or ignoring everything we had already learned about the solar system.

These people were telling the public that everything we were being told about the Moon and the planets is totally wrong! Extreme temperatures and pressures? Unbreathable atmospheres? Wrong! They're wonderful places full of wonderful beings with wonderful technology. And they love us!

I loved how Menger decided to start photographing his adventures (parts of them anyway) with a Polaroid. For some reason Polaroid photos got the reputation of being impossible to hoax, I guess because so many hoaxed photos had been done with darkroom and double exposure trickery. Polaroids were actually the ideal media for amateurs who wanted to hoax photographs without learning any advanced techniques. As Ed Walters showed, it's easy to double-expose them and they give the hoaxer as many shots as they need to get one convincing shot without worrying about the bad shots ending up on the same strip of film (note how many classic UFO photos from the time are only available as prints?). Menger's Polaroids are clearly photos of pages out of books (much like Billy Meier's photo of dinosaurs), paintings and models. I think his photo of a landed spacecraft is either a photo from another UFO book or a simple painting (he was a sign painter). That explains why they were blurry. It was easy to put doll figure in front of the camera to get that spooky (and sharp) silhouette.

These contactees' books why books like The Mothman Prophecies were written. FIrst person accounts of the paranormal were really fun to read.


#4    ufoscan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

If you don't want to pay $1.50 at a used book store to get a classic contactee book from the fifties, I just found that Howard Menger's classic "From Outer Space to You" is available online for free.

I found this a few weeks ago and downloaded it.  Mind you, I do have all of Adamski's major books as well as Menger's in its original hardcover edition as well as a signed copy of "the High Bridge Incident".  But I thought it would be neat to also have a digital version.

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

Some fans may think compared to George Adamski that Menger and other late 1950's contactees were Johnny-Come-Latelys. Yeah, I'll admit that Menger's story is suspiciously similar to Adamski's in almost every detail (blond aliens from Venus who communicated via telepathy and warned us of nuclear war)

I knew Madeleine Roddeffer quite well.  Madeleine was the person who claimed she was a witness to Adamski filming an alien "scout ship" in front of her house.  She was invited to lecture in Montreal in 1968 by our local UFO group and that is when I first met her.  We stayed in touch for many years afterwards and I saw her again in 1970 and then in 1988.

I first read Menger's "From Outer Space"  in October 1967 and at the time was very interested in contactee stories.  I was intrigued that the "craft" Menger had photographed looked very much like the ones in Adamski's photos.  However, when I brought up his name to Madeleine, she immediately retorted "Oh George said he is a fake.  Apparently (according to her) during the fifties, before his story was published, Menger visited Adamski and stayed several days, asking him countless questions.  Then he published his own account - very similar to Adamski's and with pictures of the same type of "craft".

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

but as far as I know, Adamski's aliens never taught him how to play music so he could cut his own record to bring higher consciousness to the world. Thanks to the guidance of a musician from Saturn, Menger released, "Music From Another Planet". I guess something was lost when the tunes were played on terrestrial pianos and accordions.

I always found Menger's story much more colourful than Adamski's !

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

Countless yet nameless people witness the aliens landing their spaceships and talking with Menger so you know he's not making this stuff up.

Menger actually recanted in the early sixties on the Long John Nebel radio show where he had originally revealed his contact experiences in 1956.

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

Menger only had a handful of photos from all his many incredible experiences so that's a little suspicious, but a little proof is still proof!

Same goes for Adamski.  He only had about three or four close-ups that mainly showed parts of the "craft".  That was it !

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 12:09 AM, said:

In any case, Menger thinks this reprint is relevant because the aliens on Venus have cabbages and potatoes and wheat just like we do here but due to their superior agricultural techniques, their land is much more productive and the food they produce is much healthier. Mr. Earp-Thomas's ideas from decades earlier coincidentally explain why.

The way things look, anything produced elsewhere is likely to be healthier than what we produce here on Earth ! :-(


#5    ufoscan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:44 AM

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 08:53 PM, said:

One thing I don't think will get revived however is the Contactee Phenomenon of the fifties.

Actually, new contactee stories have appeared in recent years.  Of course, the Billy Meier case from 1975 still has a large following but there are several other more recent contactees in Italy (Antonio Urzi, Maurizio Cavallo) in Mexico (Carlos Diaz) and in South America (Sixto Paz)

Contactee Antonio Urzi


Contactee Maurizio Cavallo


 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 08:53 PM, said:

I loved how Menger decided to start photographing his adventures (parts of them anyway) with a Polaroid.

He also shot some 8mm footage.  One was of some bizarre space creature floating next to a tree (I have an 8mm copy of it sold to me by Gray Barker) and the other one apparently showed the landing of a Venusian Scout Ship.  Two caps from that footage appear in his book, but the actual footage was never shown publicly.  Back in the nineties, when I asked Menger what had happened to that footage, he replied that "government agents had confiscated it" !

 scowl, on 31 January 2013 - 08:53 PM, said:

I think his photo of a landed spacecraft is either a photo from another UFO book or a simple painting (he was a sign painter).

I don't believe so.  I think they simply were intentionally blurry pictures of models.  One interesting fact is that the French edition of "From Outer Space to You" contains several pictures of a landed craft in a field that did not appear in the original American edition and were in fact never reproduced by American media.


#6    scowl

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

 ufoscan, on 01 February 2013 - 09:11 AM, said:

I first read Menger's "From Outer Space"  in October 1967 and at the time was very interested in contactee stories.  I was intrigued that the "craft" Menger had photographed looked very much like the ones in Adamski's photos.  However, when I brought up his name to Madeleine, she immediately retorted "Oh George said he is a fake.  Apparently (according to her) during the fifties, before his story was published, Menger visited Adamski and stayed several days, asking him countless questions.  Then he published his own account - very similar to Adamski's and with pictures of the same type of "craft".

I think I read "From Outer Space to You" back in the 70's but I didn't make the "blond Venusian" connection to Adamski's aliens until I found it online. You could call it plagiarism or... confirmation that they were the very same aliens whom Adamski was hanging out with. Menger says that his alien buddies told him that they were in contact with many other humans so that story fits together. Menger was simply confirming that he was in contact with the same aliens, right? Right? Of course he was...

Menger was a contactee who actively seeked other contactees. He apparently was good friends with George Van Tassel ("I Rode a Flying Saucer") and says many nice things about him. You could accuse Menger of plagiarizing other contactee's experiences or you could say he was simply confirming his own experiences with others who have had them. Both stories make sense.

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Menger actually recanted in the early sixties on the Long John Nebel radio show where he had originally revealed his contact experiences in 1956.

His Wikipedia entry says that he later recanted his recantation claiming he had been pressured by the CIA or something similar.

Quote

Same goes for Adamski.  He only had about three or four close-ups that mainly showed parts of the "craft".  That was it !

Back then, I guess that's all you needed. Although Ed Walters was a liar and a fraud, I give him credit for working very hard on keeping a steady flow of fraudulent photographs out to the media.


#7    scowl

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM

 ufoscan, on 01 February 2013 - 09:44 AM, said:

Actually, new contactee stories have appeared in recent years.  Of course, the Billy Meier case from 1975 still has a large following but there are several other more recent contactees in Italy (Antonio Urzi, Maurizio Cavallo) in Mexico (Carlos Diaz) and in South America (Sixto Paz)

But they don't get the legitimate media coverage that they once did. I don't recall seeing any contactees on 1970's shows like That's Incredible and Real People, or daytime talk shows like Mike Douglas (I could have forgotten since I probably would have ignored them). These shows often featured people who had had close encounters if not abducted.

The 50's and 60's featured loving and often sexy aliens living on nearby planets who wanted to stop humanity from destroying itself by sending vague telepathic messages to chosen prophets in a very Biblical fashion and flying them around the solar system so they can see how civilized societies looked. By the 70's and 80's the scary Barney Hill case had become so influential that people only wanted to hear about ugly aliens from distant stars who abducted people from their cars and bedrooms and performed horrific medical experiments on them. The contactees had become a joke.

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He also shot some 8mm footage.  One was of some bizarre space creature floating next to a tree (I have an 8mm copy of it sold to me by Gray Barker) and the other one apparently showed the landing of a Venusian Scout Ship.

These of course were the much smaller and featureless craft which would have been easier to simulate.

Quote

Two caps from that footage appear in his book, but the actual footage was never shown publicly.  Back in the nineties, when I asked Menger what had happened to that footage, he replied that "government agents had confiscated it" !

That sounds like the later Menger. I wonder what happened to his "free energy motor" and whether that was some sort of money making scam.

Quote

I don't believe so.  I think they simply were intentionally blurry pictures of models.

If they were Polaroids, it would have taken some work to get them looking like that with an "energy field" surrounding them -- shooting them through cellophane or dirty glass is one way. The images of the crafts have a rough texture to them that is unlike the smooth shiny UFOs of that era. They may just be prints of prints but I'd like to think they were Menger's paintings instead of just models -- he was a sign painter after all. Also they have some nice architectural touches like the top dome forming a cornice above the portholes which would have been easier to paint than model. Take a look at "portholes" under the dome of the California state capitol building for a comparison (even the ribs of the standing-seam roof are similar). Also the photo of the "clouds" above the Moon really looks like a retouched telescopic photo of the Moon to me unless he found a Moon photo with bright strata that looked something like clouds.

Hey, I really like that cellophane idea. With an additional light, the slight reflectiveness might look like the tremendous deadly energy Menger said the craft emitted. Who needs Photoshop?

I really like the photo of the oddly blurry "landed spacecraft" in the background with the silhouette of the "alien" in the foreground. Odd that his long blond hair wasn't backlit by the bright craft behind him.


#8    ufoscan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:55 AM

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

You could call it plagiarism or... confirmation that they were the very same aliens whom Adamski was hanging out with.

Well, that is what has kept all these contactee stories alive for so long - especially Adamski's and Menger's.  Believers argue that the same "scout craft" have been observed repeatedly by many people around the world over many decades after they were first reported and photographed by Adamski.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

Menger says that his alien buddies told him that they were in contact with many other humans so that story fits together. Menger was simply confirming that he was in contact with the same aliens, right? Right? Of course he was...

That's the way it appeared to me back then even though even at 13 years of age, I had serious doubts regarding Adamski's pictures.  When I saw Menger's I wondered if there could be something to it after all.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

Menger was a contactee who actively seeked other contactees. He apparently was good friends with George Van Tassel ("I Rode a Flying Saucer") and says many nice things about him. You could accuse Menger of plagiarizing other contactee's experiences or you could say he was simply confirming his own experiences with others who have had them. Both stories make sense.

Actually, many of the contactees were on friendly terms as most of them lectured at Giant Rock and seemed to enjoy each other's tales (not only Menger and Van Tassel, but Orfeo Angellucci and Truman Betherum).  However, Adamski kept to himself.  I think he pretty well figured that all the others were copying him - especially those like Menger and Van Tassel that claimed to have witnessed the same craft !

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

His Wikipedia entry says that he later recanted his recantation claiming he had been pressured by the CIA or something similar.

Yes.  He recanted in the early sixties and then took care of raising his family.  Once his children were all grown up and that he had retired in the early nineties, he suddenly got back to his early vocation.  It was all true again !   I contacted Menger in the early nineties after Timothy Good told me that Menger had started talking about his contact experiences again - after remaining silent for so many years.  Sure enough, Menger answered me and told me about the new book he was about to release.  I ordered it from him and that's when I asked him further questions.  I mentioned to him about the space creature film he had made and he said he no longer had a copy of it and asked if I could make a copy for him.  I did not.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

Although Ed Walters was a liar and a fraud, I give him credit for working very hard on keeping a steady flow of fraudulent photographs out to the media.

The problem was the Ed Walters pictures were obvious double exposures from the start.  I am amazed that the media went for it, but I think they knew the story would draw in viewers so went along with it.  I was in fact one of the first people to call out the fraud in an early write-up I did for UFO magazine - comparing the picture to an earlier double exposure of a UFO that had been widely published in sixties UFO magazines and where I suspect Walters got his idea.


#9    ufoscan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:57 AM

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

But they don't get the legitimate media coverage that they once did. I don't recall seeing any contactees on 1970's shows like That's Incredible and Real People, or daytime talk shows like Mike Douglas (I could have forgotten since I probably would have ignored them). These shows often featured people who had had close encounters if not abducted.

That's true, but that's mainly because none of these modern contactees live in the USA !  They have had massive coverage in their own countries.  Although Meier is pretty well forgotten in Switzerland, people like Cavallo routinely end up on Italian talk shows.  Many clips of these can be found on YT - such as the one I linked.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

By the 70's and 80's the scary Barney Hill case had become so influential that people only wanted to hear about ugly aliens from distant stars who abducted people from their cars and bedrooms and performed horrific medical experiments on them. The contactees had become a joke.

I heard about Barney and Betty Hill when I was a teen and did not find that story scary at all.  It's really when people like Strieber (a horror writer) and Bud Hopkins (with the accompanying claims of bio-genetic manipulation) showed up that things got extra weird.  Ironically, the very first abduction case was not Betty and Barney Hill but Antonio Villa Boas and his account was very much about "biogenetic manipulation" (if we can call it that...).  I think the public has a taste for horror and this is why they'd rather hear about monstrous aliens than friendly ones !

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

These of course were the much smaller and featureless craft which would have been easier to simulate.

No.  The scout ships as in "Venusian Scout Ships".  These were the very recognizable and elaborate craft in Adamski's 1952 pictures.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

If they were Polaroids, it would have taken some work to get them looking like that with an "energy field" surrounding them

Not really.  He was using flashlights and fluorescent paint.  Cavallo also has used "the blur" to similuate a craft landing in daylight.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

The images of the crafts have a rough texture to them that is unlike the smooth shiny UFOs of that era.

Some of that probably has to do with what he used he made his models.

 scowl, on 01 February 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

They may just be prints of prints but I'd like to think they were Menger's paintings instead of just models

I have seen Menger's paintings and they could hardly pass as pictures.  Mind you, it's possible in a few instances that he may have made models that were nothing other than painted cut-outs.  It's also possible that some of the backgrounds were painted backdrops.  The landed craft in the French edition of his book look somewhat like that.  But the thing to keep in mind when looking at a hoax is that the hoaxer never makes anything elaborate.  He just picks up common everyday items and puts them together rapidly and takes pictures.  There is not a single case of a hoax UFO picture where the perpetrator actually designed and built a sophisiticated model from scratch.  That was one of the arguments the supporters of the Meier case kept bringing up:  That Meier would have had to have expert skills to make such elaborate models from scratch.  But no.  Phil Langdon demonstrated that Meier just picked up low-cost parts from discount and hardware stores and put them together...  And so, when looking at hoax pictures, keep in mind that the object you see is most likely something ready-made that was lying around that person's house.  I doubt he would have sat down and proceeded to spend countless hours to make a photo realistic painting, but maybe a blurry backdrop or a blurry cut-out in some pictures.    Anyhow, in the end, the pictures weren't very convincing...


#10    scowl

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

 ufoscan, on 02 February 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

That's true, but that's mainly because none of these modern contactees live in the USA !  They have had massive coverage in their own countries.  Although Meier is pretty well forgotten in Switzerland, people like Cavallo routinely end up on Italian talk shows.  Many clips of these can be found on YT - such as the one I linked.

Of course I can only speak for my country. The concept of telepathic communication with aliens is now generally considered ridiculous. Certainly any claim of Venus or Mars or the Moon having Earth-like atmospheres and being covered with cities and inhabitants would be laughed at now.

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I heard about Barney and Betty Hill when I was a teen and did not find that story scary at all.

You don't think it would be scary to be driving late at night and suddenly seeing a UFO overhead and then having creepy aliens walk out, hypnotize you into their spaceship, jam a long needle into your abdomen, then having the entire episode erased from your memory? This sounds like a nightmare to me. Give me Menger's sexy female aliens wearing tight spandex any day!

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No.  The scout ships as in "Venusian Scout Ships".  These were the very recognizable and elaborate craft in Adamski's 1952 pictures.

Menger's Venusians had smaller "scout ships". They glowed a certain color depending on the mental state of the people observing them. If they glowed white, the observers were in the proper state for the mother ship to arrive. If the observers were afraid or carried weapons, they glowed green (I think) and the mother ship was signaled to back off.

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Not really.  He was using flashlights and fluorescent paint.  Cavallo also has used "the blur" to similuate a craft landing in daylight.

I would consider that "some work".

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Some of that probably has to do with what he used he made his models.

Like I said, these were unusually elaborate. Look at the "landed craft" with the alien silhouette. The first thing I notice is that the portholes are not symmetric -- they look like they were carved instead of drilled or cut (or someone was sloppy with the paint brush!). The second thing I notice is the section of the craft that these portholes are in curves inward. It looks like the dome above the portholes is wider and is connected to the rest of the craft with a nice cornice. The third thing I notice is what appear to be ribs on the top dome that aren't like the smooth surfaces we see on UFO's of that era.

What this looks like to me is a domed building with a standing-seam roof. Nearly every capitol building has a dome with small windows just like it. I believe Menger's "spaceship" is either a degraded image of the top of a building or he used a building as a guide for his model.

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I have seen Menger's paintings and they could hardly pass as pictures.

Part of his day job as a sign painter was to copy photographs onto large signs. I think he was capable of painting a photo of a building as a starting point for his UFO.

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Mind you, it's possible in a few instances that he may have made models that were nothing other than painted cut-outs.

That's the impression that I'm getting from the ones in this book. They have the texture of a magnified photographic print and the flatness of one too. This texture doesn't match the relatively smooth (though blurry) outline of the alien silhouette. It feels like the spacecraft is just an image painted or printed on a rough flat surface.

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It's also possible that some of the backgrounds were painted backdrops.

Then why not the craft itself?

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The landed craft in the French edition of his book look somewhat like that.

I'd love to see it!

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But the thing to keep in mind when looking at a hoax is that the hoaxer never makes anything elaborate.  He just picks up common everyday items and puts them together rapidly and takes pictures.  There is not a single case of a hoax UFO picture where the perpetrator actually designed and built a sophisiticated model from scratch.

Ed Walters. I guess it depends on what you consider sophisticated, but I think the model found in Walter's former attic is a fine piece of work. The dome even has those ribs I like (although they're just painted on). And this model was one that Ed threw away!

Although they weren't physical models, the California drones were the most elaborately hoaxed spacecraft in UFO history. It took someone a lot of time on a computer to design just the first one, and they got more complicated as the hoax progressed.

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I doubt he would have sat down and proceeded to spend countless hours to make a photo realistic painting, but maybe a blurry backdrop or a blurry cut-out in some pictures. Anyhow, in the end, the pictures weren't very convincing...

That's why I think most likely he was taking photographs of altered photographs or paintings of photographs, at least in the "alien silhouette" photo. He could have painted that spaceship thing in an afternoon as he had done similar paintings dozens of times before in his day job.

There's also his photograph of the Moon's "clouds". That had to have been an alteration of a real Moon photo.


#11    scowl

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:38 PM

 ufoscan, on 02 February 2013 - 02:55 AM, said:

The problem was the Ed Walters pictures were obvious double exposures from the start.  I am amazed that the media went for it, but I think they knew the story would draw in viewers so went along with it.

There was a simple explanation: it's completely impossible to double-expose a Polaroid. They simply couldn't have been double exposures. Once again the belief that Polaroids were impossible to alter was the basis for another hoax. No one at the time was suspicious that when Walters was getting famous, he passed on buying film cameras that would have produced far better images and instead stocked up on more Polaroid cameras!

Of course you can double-expose a Polaroid if you know the trick. Before the media learned the trick they covered the story on this false belief. When the media did learn the trick, a local television station quickly reproduced Walters' photos with their own model and the jig was up.

Even if they couldn't have been double exposures, I don't see how anyone could have seen the deep blue dusk sky passing through this supposed solid craft and not wonder why it didn't appear as a silhouette against the sky.


#12    ufoscan

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:54 AM

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

The concept of telepathic communication with aliens is now generally considered ridiculous.

Not sure about that.  Quite a number of people believe today that's the only way they communicate with humans...

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Menger's Venusians had smaller "scout ships". They glowed a certain color depending on the mental state of the people observing them. If they glowed white, the observers were in the proper state for the mother ship to arrive. If the observers were afraid or carried weapons, they glowed green (I think) and the mother ship was signaled to back off.

What I meant is that, when I mentioned "scoup ships", I was refering to what Adamski called the "Venusian Scout Ships" - which is that specific design that appeared in his 1952 pictures and which Menger reproduced.

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Like I said, these were unusually elaborate. Look at the "landed craft" with the alien silhouette. The first thing I notice is that the portholes are not symmetric -- they look like they were carved instead of drilled or cut (or someone was sloppy with the paint brush!).

To me it looks like a crude model - just like the ones Gray Barker made for his own "Lost Creek" and "Benedum airport" clips.

http://www.csicop.or.../Sherwood-4.jpg

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

What this looks like to me is a domed building with a standing-seam roof. Nearly every capitol building has a dome with small windows just like it. I believe Menger's "spaceship" is either a degraded image of the top of a building or he used a building as a guide for his model.

I am not sure why you are comparing Menger's picture to a building when the obvious source of inspiration was Adamski's pictures taken in 1952 - that were even copies only a few years later by Cedric Allingham...

Adamski 1952
http://www.zamandayo...lyingSaucer.jpg

Allingham 1955
http://squib.homeste...m/allingham.jpg

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

It feels like the spacecraft is just an image painted or printed on a rough flat surface.

It could be either a textured image or a model.  Hard to say.

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Ed Walters. I guess it depends on what you consider sophisticated, but I think the model found in Walter's former attic is a fine piece of work. The dome even has those ribs I like (although they're just painted on). And this model was one that Ed threw away!

I don't.  It's made up of four disposable cardboard dinner plates and a sheet of paper with rough pen-drawn designs.  It can easily be reproduced with items found at a discount store.

http://home.comcast....y/UFO/model.gif

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Although they weren't physical models, the California drones were the most elaborately hoaxed spacecraft in UFO history. It took someone a lot of time on a computer to design just the first one, and they got more complicated as the hoax progressed.

That's a different thing.  It was probably done as a special project by CGI students.  I was refering to real physical models.


#13    ufoscan

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

(Walters) There was a simple explanation: it's completely impossible to double-expose a Polaroid. They simply couldn't have been double exposures. Once again the belief that Polaroids were impossible to alter was the basis for another hoax.

Not exactly.  Polaroid cameras using peel-apart film were known to be the easiest to use for double-exposures and that is exactly what Ed was using for all his original pictures.  That was well-known to the media.  In fact one reporter set out to demonstrate that he could reproduce all of Walter's shots using the same model camera.  You mention this yourself but my point is that it happened right at the start.  Even in the original broadcast about Walters on Unsolved Mysteries, the use of double exposure methods was suggested.  This was the type of camera he was using:

http://candidcamera....d_3000_grey.jpg

It's only later that Walters used another type of camera, but then he was just shooting the models directly in the scene.  On one picture one can see a shadow cast by the camera flash right on the model.

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

No one at the time was suspicious that when Walters was getting famous, he passed on buying film cameras that would have produced far better images and instead stocked up on more Polaroid cameras!

Check out the original broadcasts on Unsolved Mysteries as well as other programs like Hard Copy and Sightings.  I have all of them on tape and I can assure you there was a lot of suspicion that the pictures were faked because of the translucent look of his UFOs and the Polaroid camera he was using.  At the time I contacted Bruce Maccabee and I suggested they hand Walters a stereo camera.  When they did, the object he photographed turned out being only a few feet away from him.  This was then dimissed by the believers (including Maccabee himself) as a small observation UFO !

 scowl, on 02 February 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

Before the media learned the trick they covered the story on this false belief. When the media did learn the trick, a local television station quickly reproduced Walters' photos with their own model and the jig was up.

That's not quite how it went.  The media knew from the start that the Polaroid Walters was using could do double-exposures easily.  This is not something that came much later.  It was suggested in the original reports and I wrote about it in 1988 even before the Unsolved Mysteries segment aired.


#14    scowl

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

 ufoscan, on 05 February 2013 - 06:54 AM, said:

Not sure about that.  Quite a number of people believe today that's the only way they communicate with humans...

I don't know the people you hang out with! Compared to the 1970's when there were telepaths (actually magicians) on all the daytime talk shows, the telepathy fad has died down considerably.

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I am not sure why you are comparing Menger's picture to a building when the obvious source of inspiration was Adamski's pictures taken in 1952 - that were even copies only a few years later by Cedric Allingham...

Adamski 1952
http://www.zamandayo...lyingSaucer.jpg

Allingham 1955
http://squib.homeste...m/allingham.jpg

Look at the details. The domes on Adamski's UFOs are smooth, there is no cornice over the portholes, and they look like cheap models. Menger's UFO's look just like the domes in capitol buildings with ribbed standing-seam roofs, a cornice over the windows/portholes, and have a texture that looks like a magnified print of a photo.

If you wanted your fake UFO to appear large, why not start with a photo of something that is large? That's a lot easier than building a model. I believe that's why Menger's photos of landed UFO's have a more realistic quality to them but also look more two-dimensional than Adamski's.

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I don't.  It's made up of four disposable cardboard dinner plates and a sheet of paper with rough pen-drawn designs.  It can easily be reproduced with items found at a discount store.

http://home.comcast....y/UFO/model.gif

Yes, those are the materials. Now how long would it take you to put it together? Ed also made several different models.

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That's a different thing.  It was probably done as a special project by CGI students.  I was refering to real physical models.

Why is it a different thing? When it comes to how much effort someone is willing to put into a hoax, the California Drones raised the bar. This wasn't some guy spending an afternoon on a little model. The entire hoax took dozens of man-hours creating four faked reports and an entire elaborate (through ridiculous) backstory. And as far as we know, no one earned a dime from the whole thing. The days of someone throwing a plate in air and taking a shot of it are gone.

Menger was planning on dedicating his life to his hoax. He wrote books, was hired for lectures, and even recorded an awful album. I'm willing to believe that he was willing to use all of his talents to hoaxing his photos.


#15    scowl

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

 ufoscan, on 05 February 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

Not exactly.  Polaroid cameras using peel-apart film were known to be the easiest to use for double-exposures and that is exactly what Ed was using for all his original pictures.  That was well-known to the media.  In fact one reporter set out to demonstrate that he could reproduce all of Walter's shots using the same model camera.

If you're talking about Mark Curtis, he did this many many months after Ed had become famous.

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You mention this yourself but my point is that it happened right at the start.  Even in the original broadcast about Walters on Unsolved Mysteries, the use of double exposure methods was suggested.

Yes, after it had been reproduced.

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Check out the original broadcasts on Unsolved Mysteries as well as other programs like Hard Copy and Sightings.  I have all of them on tape and I can assure you there was a lot of suspicion that the pictures were faked because of the translucent look of his UFOs and the Polaroid camera he was using.  

The reports I read when the sightings were first reported in late 1987 said that it wasn't possible to double expose a Polaroid thus the photos were genuine. That was the line for several months. The local newspaper (the Sentinel) published his photos and story (he was claiming it was someone else at that point) and there is no questioning the authenticity of the photos in the article.

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That's not quite how it went.  The media knew from the start that the Polaroid Walters was using could do double-exposures easily.  This is not something that came much later.  It was suggested in the original reports and I wrote about it in 1988 even before the Unsolved Mysteries segment aired.

If they knew about double exposures, I guess they were too busy publishing the testimony of others who had seen Ed's flyer saucers to tell us about it. In early 1988, local station WEAR did a story on Ed's sightings and photos. There was no suggestion of double exposures in this story. The local media had found dozens of other people who were claiming to have seen Ed's UFO's so the possibility that they were faked didn't even come up. With this many witnesses it just wasn't possible. He passed two polygraphs. The guy was totally on the level said the newspapers and local television. The Pensacola News Journal wrote in March that the story was past the point of being a possible hoax. The only question was what were people seeing? The story contained the testimony of several reliable eyewitnesses from around the area who were completely reliable. Double exposures can't create reliable witness testimony so it never came up.

In February of 1988, Bruce Maccabee showed Ed how double exposures could be done with his older Polaroid but Ed feigned ignorance of this practice of course. Maccabee told the media that he saw no evidence in Ed's photos that he was doing double exposures in this manner and that's what they reported. MUFON pointed out that if they were double exposures, the bright areas behind the UFO should be brighter specifically one photo that had a bright skyline in the background. They weren't hence no double exposures. This was reported by the media.

Since the double-exposure issue had been raised, Ed chucked the older Polaroid camera you mentioned and got a Sun 600 Polaroid. Since it ejects the photos immediately after exposure he said that it was impossible to double-expose them so any claims of that were unfounded. Of course you can just hold the photo so it doesn't eject. With the area awash in over 200 UFO reports and everyone watching the skies every night, no one in the media reported this fact if they had known it.

It wasn't until the model was found in 1990 that the media (and MUFON) finally reversed its opinion of the case. That's when Mark Curtis at WEAR tried the double exposure trick and got nearly identical results.





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