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Rex Heflin talks about his famous 1965 UFO photos


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Rex describes what he saw, how he took the photos and what happened to them.

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.552.6587&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Our team’s reanalysis of the set of four Heflin UFO photos lead us to draw the following conclusions: (a) The clouds in all four photos are consistent; (b) we have detected a wake, never before reported to our knowledge, impressively suggesting a real object moving through the atmosphere; (c) the mid-1970s GSW analysis that showed a “string” was a stunning error, certainly not based on legitimate copies, and possibly hoaxed itself, by persons unknown, on the copies Spaulding and GSW used; (d) the notations on the back of the first three photos suggest they were part of a covert analysis; (e) James E. McDonald, erroneously led to believe that the fourth photo was taken at a different time and place from the first three Heflin photos, missed a golden opportunity to identify the finest photo evidence available at the time; (f ) the trail of particulates detected behind the craft in Photo 4 clearly demonstrates that the smoke ring in that photo is apparently the same as the black band of particulates detected in Photos 1 and 3; and (g) all of the photographic evidence remains totally consistent with the statements of the photographer, Rex Heflin. Our reanalysis of the August 3, 1965, Heflin photos confirms that Heflin’s account of the sighting is entirely consistent with his pictures and reconfirms that the witness/photographer was not involved in a hoax. This analysis represents a general study that specifically addressed the historical issues behind these photographs.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting UFO case. Thank you for sharing it.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 
Edited by jethrofloyd
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The Rex Heflin photos have been completely debunked. Two photos prove that it was a small fixed object just outside of his truck. He attempted to make it look like the object had moved by taking a photo from a different perspective from inside the truck but that mistake revealed that it was just a small model hanging from a string.

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2 hours ago, astrobeing said:

The Rex Heflin photos have been completely debunked. Two photos prove that it was a small fixed object just outside of his truck. He attempted to make it look like the object had moved by taking a photo from a different perspective from inside the truck but that mistake revealed that it was just a small model hanging from a string.

So you reject the results of the study linked then?

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If a hoax it has to be one of the better ones. 

To be able to tie a smoke ring to a wire with string is probably something even Penn and Teller would have to think about. :P 

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36 minutes ago, Guyver said:

So you reject the results of the study linked then?

It's the JSE.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, astrobeing said:

The Rex Heflin photos have been completely debunked. Two photos prove that it was a small fixed object just outside of his truck. He attempted to make it look like the object had moved by taking a photo from a different perspective from inside the truck but that mistake revealed that it was just a small model hanging from a string.

No it hasn't.  That claim has been debunked.  See report in OP.

Edited by Vaz
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11 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

If a hoax it has to be one of the better ones. 

To be able to tie a smoke ring to a wire with string is probably something even Penn and Teller would have to think about. :P 

See OP. Those claims have been debunked.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, stereologist said:

It's the JSE.

Read it again. It describes how the original doubt came about.

Edited by Vaz
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6 hours ago, Vaz said:

See OP. Those claims have been debunked.

Is the debunking that the use of a wire to create the effect was not a watertight explanation or that wires were used to produce a hoax?

The report seems to indicate that the idea that wires were visible in the image could also be scratches on the print, but the idea that a wire is seen was not withdrawn by those making that claim?

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2 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

Is the debunking that the use of a wire to create the effect was not a watertight explanation or that wires were used to produce a hoax?

The report seems to indicate that the idea that wires were visible in the image could also be scratches on the print, but the idea that a wire is seen was not withdrawn by those making that claim?

It also implies fake or altered originals.  All quite possible if there was an attempt by someone to bury the case.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Vaz said:

Read it again. It describes how the original doubt came about.

I did and there was no debunking of the claims that this is a small nearby object.

Face it. This is in the JSE.

Edited by stereologist
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10 hours ago, Vaz said:

No it hasn't.  That claim has been debunked.  See report in OP.

The report doesn't address this because it was released six years before someone noticed the strange shift in the backgrounds of the photos. Two photos Heflin took prove that he had moved his position inside the truck slightly to give the illusion that the object had moved. A 3D model created by these two photos proved that the object couldn't have been more than three feet away from the window.

Here's some information on that: https://badufos.blogspot.com/2012/01/rex-heflin-1965-classic-ufo-photo-now.html

 

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I stated this was the JSE and let me give you an example of questionable work.

Look at page 618 and the so-called smoke trail. How this was "revealed" is described on page 619.

Quote

In the raw data from the third Heflin photograph, the intensity values
for the trail and background sky are close enough to each other so that the cor-
responding shades of gray are difficult to distinguish. The trail readily ap-
peared, however, when a computer program reassigned the output intensity
range such that the darkest sky pixel became black and the brightest sky pixel
became white. In the processed image, the new shades of gray were easily dis-
tinguishable and the trail was clear.

This method is a type of histogram analysis. It is used in some program to provide color correction.

What this paper does not tell us or show us is the histogram of the sky. Notice how dark the object is, it's not black. Was there a sky pixel darker than the shaded side of the object? It would seem to be the case. The "smoke trail" appears to be in the same brightness range as the rest of the sky in the image on page 619. The difference is the size of the blobs in part of the image. I suspect this is nothing but enhanced noise. There is nothing in the article that allows someone to determine why this is something other than noise.

There is also mention of nonlinear scale-stretch transforms on the image. Sounds tricky but it is not. The images were scanned at 300dpi but the article mentions that the grain of the film was detectable at 150dpi The images were digitized with 16 bits per pixel. That is better than what the eye can see.

Black is typically 0 and white is 65535, or 2 to the 16th power minus 1. Suppose that the darkest is 20000 and the brightest is 60000. A linear mapping would be:

1. Subtract 20000 from the pixel value.

2. Multiply that by 65535/(60000-20000)

If the pixel is 20000, then the result is 0.

If the pixel is 60000, then the result is 65535.

That is a linear mapping that stretches the pixels out to the full range of the possible grays.

The formula connects a straight line from (20000, 0) to (60000, 65535).

If the connection is not a straight line then it is a nonlinear scale-stretch.

No which one of the infinite possibilities did these people use? They don't tell us.

That's why this is a JSE article. It lacks those items that would allow others to replicate and test their work.

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14 hours ago, stereologist said:

I stated this was the JSE and let me give you an example of questionable work.

Look at page 618 and the so-called smoke trail. How this was "revealed" is described on page 619.

This method is a type of histogram analysis. It is used in some program to provide color correction.

I don't understand what all this so-called enhancement of a Polaroid is supposed to prove anyway.

An unintentionally funny statement is in that section: "Continued computer enhancement should help us determine the size and distance of the object." Apparently they never bothered to do that before someone else discovered a technique that solidly proved the size (small) and distance (very near) of the object. As is typical of the JSE, the tone of the paper shows the authors have already accepted the authenticity of the photos and have cast suspicion and sinister motives to anyone who dares deny their authenticity.

This is the problem with using Polaroids as evidence. As Ed Walters won't tell you, they're the perfect way to hoax photos. There are no negatives to examine. There are no previous or subsequent photos to reveal other attempts at hoaxing. You can keep on shooting attempts until you get one that looks good. The resolution is terrible (especially with the high speed Polaroids that Heflin used) so "enhancements" can reveal details that are just flaws in the prints.

I mean this is what passes for an "enhancement" in that paper.

Screenshot 2022-08-02 at 09-43-18 Reanalysis of the 1965 Heflin UFO Photos - download.png

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In fairness to the witness and investigating team the stereo pair created by a third party using 2 of the images only works to determine size and distance when all objects in the field of view, in both images, are stationary. Only the camera should move. 

If the object under scrutiny moves then its apparent size and distance will not fit with all the other stationary objects in the frame. 

The witness claimed the object was moving.

The objects movement could have matched the amount needed to create the effect of a nearby, and smaller, object in a stereo pair. 

Without knowing how far something might have moved, or if it moved, the size or range of an object would be effectively impossible to calculate.

Its fine to make an assumption that the object could be close and small as one answer provided by the images but its not the only one.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

In fairness to the witness and investigating team the stereo pair created by a third party using 2 of the images only works to determine size and distance when all objects in the field of view, in both images, are stationary. Only the camera should move. 

If the object under scrutiny moves then its apparent size and distance will not fit with all the other stationary objects in the frame.

The objects movement could have matched the amount needed to create the effect of a nearby, and smaller, object in a stereo pair. 

Yes, it just so happened that the spacecraft's and Heflin's movement were in exactly the same alignment as an unmoving small object three feet away from the camera. So if you believe in UFOs, then you choose to believe this was just an unfortunate coincidence signifying nothing. But skeptical people would say that a tiny object hanging from a string is more likely than a featureless windowless spacecraft flying around defying the laws of physics and Heflin just happened to be the only man on Earth to witness it as it was never seen again.

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19 hours ago, astrobeing said:

Yes, it just so happened that the spacecraft's and Heflin's movement were in exactly the same alignment as an unmoving small object three feet away from the camera. So if you believe in UFOs, then you choose to believe this was just an unfortunate coincidence signifying nothing. But skeptical people would say that a tiny object hanging from a string is more likely than a featureless windowless spacecraft flying around defying the laws of physics and Heflin just happened to be the only man on Earth to witness it as it was never seen again.

I think its just a question of applying the same standards to both sides of the debate. I don't see why a skeptic would want to ignore the fact that an objects movement would make a stereo image appear to show one thing when movement between frames scrambles that evaluation.

Even if a string is more likely and supports the obvious take on the image.

This looks like the use of more likely is considered a more robust method of evaluation than excepting there is a loop hole in the 3d method. Which is a technical possibility.

It should just make the 3d assessment unreliable and then the image treated with an understanding of its ambiguity.

But discussing more likely, what if an assistant was throwing an object and Heflin sitting in the truck taking photos'. if we assume that there was no movement and string was used then dismissing the movement option also rules out finding that the object was thrown, something as easy as using string and poles to produce a hoax.

The object could have been bigger and further away and still fake.

There is a reduced chance of reaching a factual conclusion if more likely is used as a decider on what's reasonable and considered a superior explanation.

 

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This was a fun case that true believers hold dear, and im envious of that Polaroids we had from the 70s into the 80s looked like hell after just a few years where these took in 65 were in great shape decades later when found by "anonymous" sources.

The integrity and crediblity of folks who wont come forward aside back when i discussed this one with my dad a navy photograph analyzer he laughed and had nick named it the "toy train wheel".

I recall one believer claim that it was effecting the ground under it so here are those shots,

UFO-04.jpg&ehk=Y51aj4F068VH69vceCviUvq%2

R.775600b8d33fdc112e395b5dc836e483?rik=z

 

Perhaps someone can clear up my issues with these pix,

That doesnt look like disrupted ground to me.

The guy claimed the ufo was flying around yet in 2 different shots it doesnt seem to move that much, almost none, and this guy was a Polaroid master to use a 65 camera and get the shots that quickly when modern claims make excuses for not being able to grab pics like this with a phone cam.

il_570xN.995612493_gpzw.jpg

It would appear at least one of these shots was "enhanced" the claim the ufo is disrupting the ground is odd to me, perhaps just my brain my eyes but the ufo and ground its over should be the distance in same clarity and focus but they are not and the ufo really appears far closer to the camera than the alleged disrupted ground under it, and for a moved camera and moving ufo its very crisp, a photo master.

I cant say for sure how he faked it but i have no doubts its faked.

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8 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

I think its just a question of applying the same standards to both sides of the debate. I don't see why a skeptic would want to ignore the fact that an objects movement would make a stereo image appear to show one thing when movement between frames scrambles that evaluation.

When that theory requires two unconnected things (the object and the photographer) to move in a very precise manner to create the result, that is far less likely than requiring one unconnected thing (the photographer) to move to create the result. Do you want to believe a complicated explanation because it supports your conclusion and the simple explanation doesn't?

8 hours ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

But discussing more likely, what if an assistant was throwing an object and Heflin sitting in the truck taking photos'. if we assume that there was no movement and string was used then dismissing the movement option also rules out finding that the object was thrown, something as easy as using string and poles to produce a hoax

I can't make any sense of this sentence. No one suggested that anyone threw an object.

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What I find interesting about the photos is that the edge of the window in the truck is not out of focus. It's not fuzzy. Everything seems to be in focus. That suggests a wide angle lens and a large f stop.

The first photo posted by @the13bats is darker. That indicates a larger f stop as well and the objects are sharper than in the second shot.

I wonder how long it takes to change the f stop on this camera. The front of the camera can be rotated to darken or lighten a photo.

Due to the good focus at all distances it is possible that this object is small and close.

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Of course i cant try to dupe these pictures as Polaroid is out of my reach but if i was going to try i would use fine fishing pole line old kind like they had in the 60s, and dangle some little thing out there, it would be hard to force my phone to take such a crappy shot but i believe it wouldnt be hard to copy if a person wanted to waste the time.

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Posted (edited)

Here we go,

hoaxes

I had no idea dad was likely just repeating stuff he had read calling this a toy train wheel but i see no reason to doubt that is what the guy used.

Edit to add: his tales of MIB were hooey he had the 1st 3 pics all along, pic 4 doesnt match the first 3 and has nothing to prove it was shot at that time in fact the clouds give it away it was taken later.

Edited by the13bats
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I was wondering if quite a bit of time happened between the two photos. Was the first photo shot and then seen to be too dark followed by the next shot with a better exposure?

It would be a little over a minute between shots. About 60 seconds for the photo to develop. Even if the develop time is 15 seconds there is little movement to be observed.

Of course  it is also possible that the photos were taken in quick succession with a quick change of the exposure.

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