General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

Is the following analysis of Ed Walter photos of the Gulf Breeze sightings accurate?

Asked by luigirovatti (2592points) February 18th, 2021

(The Gulf Breeze sightings are one of the best-documented cases in the history of ufology. Llinks of the photos and other figures will follow. I MUST premise that the analysis shown after the brackets is NOT mine. It comes from “Not of This World” by a respectable aerospace engineer, Mark J. Carlotto, which deduces, by the way, that the photos are likely real. I just modified some words for readability purposes.)

The first photo to analyze is this:

Then, compare it to THIS Histogram equalized image:

This photo by Ed Walters (Ed and Frances Walter. 1990. The Gulf Breeze Sightings, Avon Books.) occurring years before photorealistic CGI technology existed, and is a clear example of how difficult it would have been to fake a UFO photo by double exposure using a Polaroid Instamatic camera. Normally an Instamatic camera automatically ejects a photo after it is taken. It is possible, however, to manipulate the camera so that it does not. In this way, one could add a second exposure to the first. Notice how the cedar tree obscures the right edge of the UFO in the photo. A model of a UFO would have to be precisely cut to match the silhouette of the tree, photographed, and the camera positioned so that the image of the previously exposed UFO, which is inside the camera and not visible to the photographer, would match the tree.

But even if one could accomplish all of this, there would be another problem for the hoaxer to overcome. Double exposure adds the light intensities of the two photographed scenes: the model of the UFO photographed on a black background and the outdoor scene. In a double exposure, the darkest pixel value within the UFO cannot be darker (lower in value) than the scene background. As shown in this link (multiple photos, the intended order is from top to bottom);

As I was saying, as shown there, cross-sectional plots indicate pixel values within the window of the UFO are lower in value than the surrounding scene suggesting it is not a double exposure.

(N.B. FROM ME: Although this analysis does not prove that this is a real physical object in the sky, it does suggest that it is the most likely explanation.)

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10 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

You could also easily fake this by shooting the photo through a window, and having the UFO model visible as a reflection.
Which would fit in this case, because the sky and some stars are visible through the “UFO”.

ragingloli's avatar

They also found a model of the thing in his attic after he moved:
A cheap piece of shit glued together from styrofoam dinner plates.

Darth_Algar's avatar

UFO =/= extraterrestrial.

And just because someone’s a respected such-and-such doesn’t mean they can’t be wrong in their conclusions. This is why peer review is important.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Darth_Algar: I beg your pardon, but don’t you agree THAT’s what I did by posting the analysis by Carlotto here on this website? For peer review? Noting that there’s evidence too taken by @ragingloli that Carlotto could be wrong?

ragingloli's avatar

I mean, a photo can be “real”, as in not manipulated after it was taken, but still be fraudulent.
There was this scene in 2001, where a pen was “floating” in zero gravity.
That was done by sticking the pen to a perfectly transparent pane of glass, invisible to the camera, with a couple of guys moving the glass around, to make it appear as if the pen was moving.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Not sure that you’re quite understand what “peer” means in the context of “peer-reviewed”.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Darth_Algar: I merely wanted to say that, apart from posting the analysis here, I don’t know where I could find a forum of engineers, physicists, astronomers, in other words, scientists, who are willing to discuss UFOs too.

luigirovatti's avatar

@gorillapaws: Thank you! That could really help. :)

gorillapaws's avatar

@luigirovatti Happy to help. I used to believe in paranormal stuff in my younger days, until I learned about skepticism. I mostly blame it on “documentaries” from Discovery, History Channel, etc. Eventually I learned about James Randi’s prize. I then realized the whole supernatural thing was bogus. At first I was sad because it meant the world was a less “magical” place than I had previously believed. And then I realized that my interpretation was all wrong—it wasn’t that the world lacked wonder and mystery, it was that these mysteries actually exist and science is solving them! Believing in something that is actually solving mysteries about our universe every day was a game-changer for me. I also became interested in how so many (good, sincere) people have gotten things so wrong about supernatural phenomena, and that’s when I really spent a lot of time learning about skepticism. It’s pretty fascinating stuff.

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