Costa Rica UFO analysis

Next thing to do is to get a manual (Haynes type thing) for the relevant aircraft, and see what parts possibly look like the object, that could have fallen off. :)
"While the report [of Haines and Vallee] did look into the possibility of some type of debris on the film or its film plane back-plate was discussed and disregarded, they never looked at the camera itself.

The camera system has a very unique optic system that looks very similar to the object in the photograph.

Because there were no eyewitness reports from the ground or the members of the mapping team there is not much of a chance of this being an object of approximately 683 feet in size or even something that was an actual object of any size flying in the air beneath the plane.

The problem that report had with the object not creating a shadow is easily explainable if the image was created by the optics of the camera and not a physical object below the plane.
The object in the image appears to have been created by reflections of ambient light inside the optics of the camera system caused by a unique combination of the type of camera system, angle of the plane to the light, position of the sun and possibly the angle of the light coming from the surface of the water located beneath the plane."

"But I don't want to end without contributing my grain of sand to the case. The first time I saw the photograph it seemed to me that it could be something that was on the camera glass. It has all the appearance of a chip produced by a stone during a take off or landing. Surely it has ever happened to you on the windshield of the car. I went to look for the different brands that can appear on car windows and I found this:


The resemblance to the “Partial bullseye” impact is striking. Even the little circle in the center. But then why does it appear only in one photograph and not in the rest? The answer lies in Haines' analysis. The elevation of the sun at that time was 16º, and the camera was not perpendicular to the ground when it fired, possibly due to a spin of the plane. Sunlight was able to hit the chip sideways, producing reflections."

I gotta say, the more I look into this**, the more disappointing it is.

** and I'm well over ten hours of analysis now

No one factor is a showstopper, but each little factor points subtly away from a real physical object recorded in the frame - and subtly toward an imaging artifact. And it is, ironically, the wealth of data available that steers it this way:
  • we have superb metadata about the exact geographical location, the exact time, the exact weather conditions, the exact craft flown (a good approximation of its altitude, direction and speed), the crew, the exact recording equipment used, the exact settings on the camera, and the exact film used,

  • we have superb, incontrovertible provenance of the origin of the recording,

  • we have a superb exemplar to study - a 2nd generation copy of the original neg - almost as good as the original negative recording,

  • we have superb context (the landscape) in which a shadow must fall, yet it does not seem to cast one,
  • we have superb data on the angle and strength of lighting source and existing shadow indicators, and yet it does not seem to cast one,
  • we have before and after photos (+/- 20sec) of the same location, and yet it does not appear there,
  • we have a superb hi-rez, clear apparition of it - enough to have a very clear idea of its shape and ostensible "surface markings", and yet:
    • it does not seem to be a simple disc as we might expect of a "metallic", "flying saucer" craft,
    • it has edge artifacts that are inconsistent, not only self-inconsistent (one edge to the other), but also inconsistent with the tech specs of the camera (for which we have superb metadata),
    • its orientation is all wrong for a hovering or flying object, as if it exists independent of its surroundings,
    • its light and dark markings make zero sense as shadows - whatever it might be, it is not what it appears to be at first glance - it is not a simple metallic conical disc.
I could list a half dozen other small things.

The sheer quantity and quality of data available and deducible about the context of this anomaly is astounding. Shy of "LGM"s waving out the portholes, this is kind of the Holy Grail of UFO recordings. How could you ask for better than a hi-rez geographical survey with (see first bullet point, above) and so I can see why they're calling it the best UFO ever.

And yet with all that opportunity ....

Pros: its an oval splotch on the film - really, that's it. That's the only thing in its favour as a UFO.

Cons: everything above

If anyone has any suggestions about other factors to analyze, I'll see what I can do.
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Oh dear.

Evidence of digital manipulation. Specifically cloning, in the image proximal to the artifact.


Zoomed in:

The two areas are superimposed and a subtraction filter is applied:

I've boosted the levels to bring out any subtleties in near-blacks. Those pixels are black as coal:

A black pixel means the RGB value of a pixel in one layer is identical to the RGB pixel in the other layer.
A given pixel can have any one of 16,777,216 values.


The above is a superimposition of two distinct areas of the photo. Approximately 2,500 or so pixels- all adjacent, have all exactly the same RGB value to within one part in 16 million.

Someone on a sub-forum somewhere started toying with calculating the odds of that. I don't know what he came up with, but he was tossing around terms like "a googol" and "atoms in the universe".


This in no way casts any doubt on the original (film) recording, but it suggests that, unless you do your homework very well, you might be analyzing a digital image that has been cleaned up.


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"To summarize, there are enough inconsistencies in the appearance of the image to raise doubts that it represents a physical object. The most serious of these is that the image's sharpness appears in places to exceed the resolving power of the lens."

This is what they mean:

This is a portion of the image run through a noise analyzer ("Forensically"


The edge of the anomaly is prohibitively sharp. No other part of the image is as "sharp" as this. It is sharper than it can be, given the resolving power of the camera optics and the grain of the film.

That is a strong indication that the anomaly is an artifact of the film/equipment and that it is unrelated to the image.
Did you know that the authors of this study, Haines and Vallee, are both famous ufologists in addition to being scientists?
Jacques Vallée a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and computer science along with Richard F. Haine a Ph.D. in psychology, both studied a photo of a ''ufo''.
Jacques Vallée:
Professionally, he began to conduct early artificial intelligence research and received a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and computer science from the institution in 1967.ée

Richard F. Haines:
Richard F. Haines, PhD, was an American psychologist working for NASA and various other research organizations between 1967 and 1988. Since the 1980s Haines became actively involved into the study of UFO phenomena and after retirement he dedicated most of his time to this topic.

Mick West studies photos of ''ufos'' too, but he's not a Ph.D. in psychology nor a Ph.D. in industrial engineering.
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Most of the latest images are the new hi-rez rescans. Below shows the difference.
Note that:
- they're mirror images - another gotcha to watch for when doing your research.
- even the earlier one is digital, so we're still not seeing the raw data.

OK, I'm just having some fun now.
If I screw my eyes up, it looks a bit like the light and dark areas are lumps - like what happens when you leave a vinyl LP in the sun.

OK, I'm just having some fun now.
If I screw my eyes up, it looks a bit like the light and dark areas are lumps - like what happens when you leave a
I also have been screwing my eyes up playing around with that picture.

Is there a kind of 'spill' on that picture?
The picture CR1 is from the pdf link given by MR post #23.
The photo analysis by Haines and Vallee:
* * * * *

Picture CR2 is my playing around with that image.
The yellow arrows on pic CR2 point to wiggly lines. (Thats if my eyes are not playing tricks).
Why are these 'wiggly' lines not spoken of anywhere in all the new copies of the picture out there?
Funny how the wiggly line seems to go round the 'top' of the 'disk' and come back 'down'.
Was there something called a wash or rinse in the old photo processing days?
I'm not saying this 'spill' is the cause of the anomaly 'disk'.
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If there were multiple frames, perhaps showing different angles, I'd be more apt to thinking that this was an actual unidentified flying object. It's just tough to make a solid case for it being an unknown flying saucer, based off a single frame. I've read an analysis that suggests it was a boat with waves splashing up around it, giving it a circular effect. It's possible that seen from above in an airplane, such a boat might resemble a flying saucer. It could be a flying space craft, but it could reasonably be something else entirely.

Impressed with Dave's analysis, though. That's the kind of ''genuine effort'' I was referring to earlier today, in the ''defense of space aliens'' thread.
If it's not just some doctored photo, it looks more like an underwater seamount or atoll than any "flying object". As Dave says, it's probably an optical artifact of some kind.
As Dave says, it's probably an optical artifact of some kind

Were not the producers (those who put it into public domain UFO enthusiastics?

Oh look this frame has a defect which looks UFO ish

Didn't they then enhance said defect

The ORIGINAL never been fiddled with frame not in public domain

Were not the producers (those who put it into public domain UFO enthusiastics?

Oh look this frame has a defect which looks UFO ish

Didn't they then enhance said defect

The ORIGINAL never been fiddled with frame not in public domain


Oh my what does this look like?

What it is - The Perseverance heat shield


Clean it up a little it becomes


Costa Rica UFO

Over to you DaveC426913