AND THE AIR FORCE KNOWS IT
The F15/UFO photos of Ed Walters
copyright 1994, 2002 by B. Maccabee
(Note: this is a slightly revised version of the original report published in the MUFON Journal, June 1994.) On January 13, 1994 Ed Walters called me to say that during the previous day he had photographed a UFO and a military jet at the same time. Naturally I was astonished and asked for a complete description of what happened. Even though I took Ed seriously (I didn't immediately assume it was a hoax after many years of working on his sightings) I wanted to check everything. As President Reagan said to Gorbachev, "Trust... but verify!" Ed recalled the incident as follows. On January 12, at about 10:20 AM CST, he was working at his desk in his office in his (then) home on the north shore of the Pensacola Beach peninsula. There is a large window facing north northwestward through which he can see the southern shore of Gulf Breeze a bit over a mile away across the Santa Rosa Sound. As he happened to glance out the window he noticed a shiny object stationary in the sky west northwest of him. After looking at it for several seconds he realized what it wasn't an ordinary aircraft. The center appeared to be a somewhat spherical or oval shape or like a short vertical cylinder with spherical caps at the top and bottom which had, at the left and right, a collection of much smaller, similarly shaped, shiny cylinders or "tanks." It looked like a UFO he had seen once before in November, 1993. He had, on two occasions that November, seen and videotaped a UFO that he saw through the window. On another occasion he videotaped one which he saw at Pensacola Beach. The videos were not very clear. This time he decided to get a good photograph. His Canon camera with a Soligor Autozoom 70-220 mm (f/3.5) lens was in his office and loaded with Konica XG100 film. He grabbed the camera and walked quickly onto his deck where he pointed it toward the UFO. He twisted the barrel of the lens to the infinity focus position and zoomed in on the UFO. Then he decided he should take a wide field of view photo first, so he slid the barrel back toward a shorter focal length. He always operates his camera on automatic exposure so he didn't have to make any shutter speed or f/stop settings. (The film exposure adjustment on the camera - the ISO or "ASA" setting - assures that the camera will automatically select a combination of shutter time and f/stop which will produce a good picture under the lighting conditions of a particular scene.) As he was viewing the UFO through the lens and preparing to take the first photo he heard the noise of a jet. He looked to the north and saw a jet that appeared to be approaching the UFO from his right (the northeast). He waited until the jet entered the field of view of the lens and then took the first photo. After the first picture he quickly "zoomed" to the maximum focal length setting on the lens while holding the focus at infinity. At first he couldn't see the UFO in the field of view because he inadvertently moved the camera as he zoomed. It took several seconds, perhaps four or five, for him to relocate the UFO within the narrower field of view of the lens and steady the camera. Just before he pushed the shutter button he noticed the jet was coming into the field of view and approaching the UFO. He took the second picture. Then the jet appeared to bank somewhat and head west or southwest, thus flying past the UFO. Ed then noticed that there were two other jets flying in the same direction but higher up in the clouds. They passed the UFO and continued in their southwestward track and then made a large turn to the west and north and swung around until again they were heading toward the UFO. The planes were not traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. Rather, said Ed, they seemed to be traveling quite slowly. Ed said he stood in awe, expecting to see the real Star Wars begin any second if the jets attacked the UFO. The UFO wasn't moving and so Ed delayed taking more pictures until a plane and the UFO were again within the field of view of the camera. But this didn't happen. Instead, the UFO zipped off at such a high speed Ed could not be sure of where it went, although it seemed to him to travel to the east. (A high speed departure has been reported numerous times by witnesses over the years. Sometimes the disappearance would be so fast as to make it seem that the UFO had "disintegrated." High speed departure has been documented by "Martin Allen" in a video made in March, 1993, and again by Ed Walters on November 28, 1993. See my "Acceleration" paper on the NIDS web site.) It appeared to Ed that the UFO did not move during the whole period of time that he saw it until it's sudden disappearance. The total sighting lasted several (2 - 3) minutes. The jets continued southeastward and passed over Pensacola Beach perhaps several hundred feet to the west of Ed's location. Then they turned again toward the north or northeast and departed, flying in a loose echelon. Ed said that they had what appeared to be numerous rockets under the wings and that the lead jet, which appears in the pictures, had red tipped wings. The bodies of the jets were dark grey. (I wondered whether or not someone else might have at least noticed the jets. Ed pointed out that jets fly around a lot and people tend to ignore them.)
Soon afterward Ed took some more pictures to use up the roll and then had them developed at a "one hour" photoshop. He saw that he had the plane to the right of the UFO in the first picture and, to his great surprise, in the second photo the plane blocked from view the right side of the UFO. He then called Don Ware, a retired Air Force officer, to find out about the jets. Don told him that Eglin AFB might send up several jets if they detected a "bogey" on radar. Don then suggested that the airplanes could be F-15's, based on Ed's description of aircraft with swept-back wings and double vertical stabilizer fins at the rear. Photos and drawings in Jane's All The World's Aircraft (1992 edition) suggest that that the airplane in the photos could be an F-15 Eagle "air superiority" fighter jet (built by McDonnell Douglass; overall length, 64 ft) or an F-18 Hornet (built by McDonnell Dougles; overall length, 56 ft). Experiments were carried out with plastic models to determine whether or not the shapes of the various types of aircraft, as seen in perspective, would match the shape in the photo. These experiments showed that the F-15 made the best match.
AFTER THE SIGHTING (Note: other aircraft that have been suggested include the F-4 and the F-16. However, these do not have the double vertical stabilizer fins at the rear. All the fighter aircraft that have been suggested as appearing in the photos have lengths in the rather narrow range of 55 - 65 ft and hence calculations of distance to the airplane, which play an important role in the following analysis, can be based on any one of them. This analysis assumes the plane was an F- 15.) Don Ware said he was told by some Eglin personnel that when F-15's carry camera pods on the tips of the wings, the tips look orange colored. This was confirmed by Bob Reid, also a retired air force officer, in a conversation with other Eglin AFB personnel. The second photo does not show the wingtips well enough to either prove or disprove that they are orange tipped, although there does seem to be a spot on the leading edge of the wingtip that is a bit brighter than the rest of the image of the wing. Ed reported seeing white objects under the wings which he assumed were missiles. Missiles are not obvious under the wing of the airplane in the second photo, perhaps because of shadowing by the wing and because of the distance to the aircraft. However there are two faint, whitish "blob" images under the wing that might be missiles or some other devices. During the afternoon of January 13, 1994, Ed called to tell me about the sighting and the photos. I tried to estimate the distance to the jet and hence to the UFO, since the jet appears in front of the UFO in the second photo. Without actually seeing photo I initially assumed about 60 ft as the effective length in perspective. I also assumed a 220 mm Effective Focal Length (EFL) for the lens, even though I knew that the actual EFL was a bit smaller. From Ed's measurement of the image size on the photo I estimated the distance at about 2 mi. Ed was surprised at the result of the calculation and stated repeatedly that he thought the UFO was closer, possibly only a about a mile away over the Santa Rosa Sound. Subsequent analysis, reported here, caused me to revise my initial distance estimate downward to about 1 1/2 miles. Based on the sighting direction recorded in the photo and the distance estimate it appears that the UFO was nearly over the southwestern shore of Gulf Breeze.
(NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CALCULATIONS HAVE BEEN DONE WITH 1% ACCURACY OR BETTER. HOWEVER, THEY ARE BASED ON LENGTHS AND ANGLES THAT ARE NOT KNOWN PRECISELY. CONSEQUENTLY AZIMUTH ANGLES ARE GIVEN TO THE CLOSEST DEGREE, LENGTHS TO THE NEAREST FOOT AND DISTANCES TO THE NEAREST 100 FT. THE CALCULATIONS ARE PRESENTED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THIS EVENT REALLY HAPPENED. A DISCUSSION OF THE HOAX HYPOTHESIS, WHICH WAS REJECTED AFTER DUE CONSIDERATION, FOLLOWS THE TECHNICAL DISCUSSION.)
PHOTOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS THE FIRST PHOTO
Photo 1 shows the UFO with the jet approaching from the right and heading to the left. The angular size of the jet was calculated from the ratio of length of the image on the negative (0.49 mm) to the measured lens focal length for photo 1 (about 91 mm): (0.49 mm/ 91 mm = ) 0.0054 rad (rad = "radians") or about 0.310 (.0174 rad = 1 degree). The actual length of an F-15 from the front (nose) to the rear edge of the vertical fins is about 60 ft (18.3 m). If the "projected length" of the jet (the size as it appears in the perspective view) were known, then one could use this length with the angular size to calculate the actual distance from the camera. Unfortunately the exact direction that the jet was flying relative to the sighting line is not known so an exact projected length cannot be determined. However, it is possible to make a reasonable guess based on information provided by the second photo and an assumption about the direction that the jet would have been flying. The second photo (see the magnified image at the beginning of this report) shows that the jet got very close to the UFO. The analysis, presented below, of of the aircraft image in Photo 2 suggests that the aircraft was about 8,300 ft (2.5 km) from the camera at that time. (NOTE: the following calculations are based on a distance of 8,300 ft to the jet in photo 2. The reason for this estimate of distance will be described. If the actual distance were greater or less than this, then the calculated sizes, etc. in the following discussion will scale proportionally with the assumed distance, e.g., if twice as far, then twice as large, etc.) In order to carry out useful calculations I have assumed that the UFO was only a few hundred feet farther away than the jet (from the camera) in photo 2. I have further assumed that the pilot did not fly exactly toward the UFO, but rather in a straight line from the location in photo 1 to the location shown in photo 2, which is slightly south of the UFO. Finally, I have assumed that the UFO did not move during the time between the photos. (This assumption is consistent with Ed's statement that it didn't seem to move at all until the very end of the sighting.) I have used the second and third assumptions along with the 9 degree angle between the direction to the UFO (300 degree azimuth) and the jet (309 degree azimuth) and along with the estimated distance of the jet in the second photo (8,300 ft) to calculate the distance of the jet in photo 1. Entering these quantities into trigonometric relationship between sides and angles of the triangle made by the camera, the jet and the UFO, I find that the jet was traveling almost due south toward the UFO and was about 9,000 ft (1.7 mi, 2.7 km) from the camera. At that point it was also about 1,500 ft high and about 1,600 ft (490 m) from the (stationary) UFO. The UFO image in photo 1 looks somewhat like a fat plus sign. However, there are obvious "bumps" in the outline of the horizontal "bar" of the plus sign which could be consistent with the shapes which I refer to as "outboard fuel tanks" that are seen more clearly in the second photo. The top and bottom of the vertically oriented center portion may have a circular shape, similar to that shown in photo 2. If so, this would be consistent with Ed's description. Unfortunately, the edges of the image are not sharp enough for me to be certain of the shape. The angular length of the horizontal section is about 0.0034 rad (0.2 degrees), the angular height of the vertical center section is about 0.0022 rad (0.13 degrees) and the angular height of the side bumps or "tanks" is about 0.0011 rad (0.063 degrees). Unfortunately there is no way of determining how far away the UFO was in photo 1 from the evidence in that photo alone. However, we know from photo 2 that it was farther away than the jet which (see analysis below) is estimated to have been about 8,300 ft away. How closely would the jet have approached to the object? I do not know this. However, the assumption used previously, that the jet flew toward the UFO suggests that the jet approached to within a few hundred feet. In other words, using the jet distance as 8,300 ft from the camera in photo 2, the UFO distance may well have been about 8,500 ft away in both photos. At this distance the angular sizes measured from the film and camera correspond to a length of about (0.0034 rad x 8,500 ft =) 29 ft (9 m) and a height at the center of about (0.0022 rad x 8,500 ft =) 19 ft (6 m). The height of the horizontal sections at either side of the central section are estimated at about half the height of the central section. For other assumed distances (any reasonable distance greater than 8,400 ft) the calculated size of the UFO will be larger or smaller in proportion to the distance. The angular elevation of the jet is slightly greater than that of the UFO: 0.165 rad (about 9.5 degrees) vs 0.152 rad (about 8.7 degrees). At the above estimated distance of 9,000 ft the plane was about (9,000 sin(9.5 degrees) =) 1,500 ft (450 m) high. The UFO altitude, assuming it was 8,500 ft away, was about 1,300 ft (390 m) high. Again, if the distances were different then the heights were proportionally different. At the bottom of the first photo is the Santa Rosa Sound and the shoreline at the southwest end of the Gulf Breeze Peninsula. The photo shows a rather dense morning haze which diminishes in concentration with increasing elevation. The UFO seems to have glints from the upper portions of the curved surfaces, consistent with illumination from the sun which was about 35 degrees above the horizon and not quite due south (behind an to the left of Ed). (The shadow on the distant house proves that it was morning and that the sun was shining brightly. However, the tilt angle of the edge of the shadow is steeper than 35 degrees because the surface on which the shadow appears is not perpendicular to the line of sight.)
THE SECOND PHOTOThe second photo was taken with the lens set at full zoom. The photo shows the blue sky background with weak haze at the bottom of the picture which decreases with increasing elevation in a manner that is consistent with the haze shown in the first photo. The second photo also shows a most amazing coincidence: the plane image overlaps the UFO image.
(Recall that Ed saw the plane entering the field of view just before he took the second photo. He did not know where the plane would appear in the photo until after it was developed.) The oblique view of the plane shows that it was turned somewhat toward the camera. In other words, the 60 ft (18 m) long centerline of the jet was not perpendicular to the sighting direction. By comparison of the image of the F-15 with a scale drawing in Jane's, I determined that the (acute) angle between the centerline of the plane and the line of sight was about 40 degrees which means that the apparent length along the center of the fuselage, as seen in perspective of the photo, was only about 60 sin 40 = 38 ft (11.5 m). The length of the image of the fuselage (centerline of the jet) on the negative is 0.98 mm. During experiments in 1990 (related to the analysis of UFO photos taken on Jan. 8, 1990 - described elsewhere on this web site) I determined that the Effective Focal Length of Ed's zoom lens was about 214 mm. Combining the image size with the EFL yields the angular size, (0.98 mm/214 mm =) 0.0046 rad (0.26 degrees). Dividing the projected length of the aircraft by this angle gives a distance of about 38 ft/0.0046 = 8,260 ft or about 8,300 ft (2.5 km) or about 1.6 miles. A consquence of the previous assumption that the UFO didn't move between photos is that the angular elevation of the jet in the second photo is the same as the elevation of the UFO in the first photo, 0.152 rad (8.7 degrees). Thus the altitude of the jet was about (8,300 sin(8.7) =) 1,300 ft (400 m). Obviously the UFO was farther away than the airplane, although I do not know the actual distance. Therefore, I have arbitrarily assumed a distance of 200 ft which makes the UFO distance about 8,500 ft. The approximate vertical angular size of the visible portion of the central part of the UFO, as seen below the front of the airplane fuselage, is about 0.0018 radians. At a distance of 8,500 ft this angle corresponds to a height of about 15 ft (4.7 m). This is smaller than the total height of the central portion calculated from the image in photo 1 for the same distance, about 19 ft, because the airplane blocked the view of the top part of the central portion of the UFO in photo 2. The jet blocked the view of part of the right half of the UFO, leaving a little more than half of it visible. The part which is visible appears to have a horizontal row of shiny features which I have called "outboard fuel tanks" ("OFT") for lack of a better term. The length of the visible part this row of OFT is 0.002 rad which corresponds to about 17 ft (5 m) at that distance. This is a bit more than half of the 29 ft estimated total length as calculated from photo 1. The angular height of the "OFT" is about 0.001 rad, or about 8.5 ft at the assumed distance. This is smaller than the height of the horizontal sections at the left and right of the center part as calculated from photo 1 (about 9.5 ft). The difference is probably a result of the diffuseness of the edges of the images and their small size (especially in photo 1) which makes it difficult to decide just where the edge of an image really is. The width of an OFT would be about 4 to 5 ft. These calculations establish that the UFO size estimates from the two photos are consistent and support the assumption that the UFO did not move between photos. The OFT appear to have bright oval sun glints on their upper surfaces. They also have lesser glints below the main glints indicating that they have "non-simple" shapes (not simply spheres, cylinders, ellipsoids, etc.) The upper and lower portions of the sphere surface also seems to have faint glints indicative of complex surfaces not resolved by the photography. The upper glint, which is almost completely blocked by the airplane, seems to be whiter and brighter than the lower glint.
SPEED OF THE JETPart of the fuzziness of the outline of the jet could be attributed to jet motion. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing exactly how fast the jet was going. However, a rough estimate can be made by combining the estimated distance that the jet moved between photos with the estimated time between the photos. The angular distance between the sighting line to the nose of the jet (309 degrees) and sighting line to the center of the UFO (300 degrees) is 9 degrees or about 0.154 radians. Using the trigonometric method referred to before along with the distance to the jet in photo 2, 8,300 ft, I have estimated that the jet was about 1,600 ft from the UFO in photo 1. Thus it traveled this far during the time between the photos. If the time between the photos were 5 seconds then the speed was about 320 ft/sec (220 mph); if the time were 4 seconds, the speed was about 400 ft/sec (270 mph); if the time were 3 seconds the speed was about 533 ft/sec (360 mph). Ed said that he lost the UFO in the field of view of the lens immediately after he "zoomed" and then had to reacquire it. This suggests that 3 seconds is probably a lower bound to the time, which means that means that actual speed was probably not greater than about 360 mph. These low estimated speeds are consistent with Ed's claim that the jet was traveling quite slowly compared to the speeds of military jets that he often sees in the area. Clearly the plane was not breaking the "sound barrier" (about 1,100 ft/sec at sea level). Could this speed account for some image fuzziness? In order to determine this it is necessary to know the shutter speed. At my suggestion, on January 13 Ed went outside, pointed his camera at the sky and looked at the "light meter" in his camera. He mentioned that the sky was considerably clearer on the 13th than at the time of the UFO photos the previous day when the sky near the horizon appeared almost white. He determined that for both of the focal length settings that he used, the camera operated at f/8 or f/6.7 at 1/250 sec when looking at the blue sky. Subsequent tests in April showed that the camera adjusts both the shutter time and the f/stop as the light level changes. Furthermore, it is sensitive to haze. A hazy white sky with little or no overcast, similar to the conditions on January 12, is brighter than a clear blue sky. Tests done on days when the sky was very hazy near the horizon, as it was on January 12, yielded camera settings ranging from 1/350 at f/9.5 to 1/500 at f/11 and 1/750 at f/13, depending upon the direction the camera was pointing. (These exposure settings are all for ISO 100 film, they type he used.) Based on these measurements I expect that the shutter time when the UFO photos were taken was 1/350 or 1/500 of a second. If the camera shutter closed in 1/350 sec and the plane traveled at, say, 400 ft/sec (270 mph), then the plane would have moved about 1.1 ft about 1.9% of its length while the shutter was open. If the camera operated at 1/500 sec or less and the plane traveled at 500 ft/sec it would move only about 1 ft or about 1.7% of its length. (The distance the plane moved would be foreshortened by the perspective view to about (sin 40 =) 0.64 of the actual distance, just as the length of the airplane itself was foreshortened.) These percentages are so small as to be barely distinguishible from ordinary edge blur. However a photoanalysis technique known as "two dimensional Fast Fourier Transform" (2D FFT), utilized by photoanalyst Jeff Sainio, has found a small but noticeable difference between the spatial frequency spectrum of the edge of the fuselage (parallel to the direction of motion and hence not smeared by motion) and the spectrum of the trailing edge of the rear wing edges (perpendicular to the motion direction and hence smeared by motion). The spectrum of the fuselage has more high frequencies than in the spectrum of the edge of the wing. Hence I conclude that the aircraft was moving (as opposed to the "hang a model hoax" hypothesis; see below) but not traveling at a high rate of speed and, in fact, was probably moving at a speed less than 400 mph, which is consistent with the previous estimate of several hundred miles per hour if there were several seconds between photos. The same 2D FFT applied to the UFO image shows a uniform edge frequency spectrum indicating that any motion was too slow to have been detected in this way. Certainly the UFO does not look like a natural object or an usual sort of man-made object in the sky. Hence one might suggest that if it is not a TRue UFO (TRUFO - an unnatural, non- manmade; possibly a spaceship), then it was either an unusual man-made object or that the sighting is an outright hoax. The unusual man made object that most nearly resembles the UFO is a cluster of balloons or "cluster balloon." A cluster balloon consists of a large cylindrical balloon with a spherical top and bottom surrounded by some number (perhaps as many as a dozen?) considerably smaller round balloons that are tied by numerous cords to a central cord hanging below the central balloon. These smaller balloons would, presumably, account for the presence of the "OFT" around the large central portion of the UFO. However, this identification contradicts the Ed's description of how the UFO departed ("instantaneously"). Even if a collection of large balloons were to explode all at the same time (unlikely), they would not fall so quickly as to seem to just disappear. Ed would have seen them falling downward. Furthermore, balloons have buoyancy and they are driven by the wind. They do not remain stationary unless they are perfectly counterbalanced against ascension or are tethered. For a balloon to hover at a fixed location in the presence of even a gentle breeze would require a tether, in this case a tether more than 1,000 ft long. No indications of tethers or of filling apertures (usually on the bottom of a balloon) or of ropes, etc. to tie the balloons together are seen in either photo. Clusters of large balloons, such as this would be, typically are used to carry instruments to high altitudes. They do not remain at an altitude lower than 2,000 ft. Finally, comparison with photos of balloon clusters shows that this object does not resemble a cluster of balloons. Therefore I reject the cluster balloon hypothesis. The UFO resembles neither a blimp nor a helicopter, and neither of these can depart instantaneously, so I reject them as well. The UFO does not resemble any fixed wing aircraft nor does it resemble a hovercraft. Therefore the "unusual large, manmade object" hypothesis must be rejected. A typical hoax hypothesis assumes that a couple of models were hung from a suspending frame using thin thread and these were photographed against the background scene. An alternate suggestion which requires more sophsticated photographic techniques is that these are double exposure photos or photos of reflections of models in plate glass. These latter suggestions must be rejected since portions of the images, and especially of the bottom of the jet in photo 2, are darker than the background sky. In a double exposure or reflection on glass each point on the image must be at least as bright as the background. Still more complicated photographic methods such as the masked double exposure (use a mask to block the background in the area of the UFO model image) or compound image rephotography (make two complete photos, one of the background and one of a model; cut out the model image and paste it on the background photo and photograph the combination) are rejected for reasons of difficulty and for the lack of any evidence in the photos that these techniques were used (methods such as these leave photographic artifacts that tend to be obvious). Similarly, "high-tech" methods using computer image creation/combining is ruled out by the difficulty as compared with the minimal skills of the photographer and the fact that the photos are on film. (Note: the last three are Hollywood level techniques which require experts.) The first hoax method, hanging models from strings, is the only one that is compatible with the equipment and technical capability of Mr. Walters. I discuss this method in the following paragraphs although I should point out that the discovery that the image of the jet was smeared slightly by motion makes it difficult to imagine how Mr. Walters could have hung a stationary model UFO next to a moving model jet. I should also mention that in order to obtain satisfactory photographs usng this technique the typical hoaxer would take a series of pictures and select the best ones. However these two photos of Ed's were sandwiched in a role between other non- UFO photos. There are no "model UFO test photos" on the roll of film. If these are small models they must obey the angular size "rule" that the angular size of the jet in photo 1 is about 0.0054 rad which means that the size of the hypothetical model airplane must be 0.054 ft = 0.64" for each 10 ft of distance, e.g., 0.64" if 10 ft away; 1.28" if 20 ft away, etc. Hence at a reasonable hoax distance, say 30 ft, the actual size of the model airplane (and of the UFO) must be about 2". As the assumed distance to the models increases the sizes of the models increases. The models could be suspended by a horizontal bar attached to a vertical bar that is stuck into the ground, for example. In order to decrease the liklihood that a suspending thread would be visible in the photos the hoaxer would want to have the models as far from the camera as possible. However, as the distance to the models is increased the height and length of the horizontal bar must increase since it must stay out of the picture (photo 1) which has a field of view of about 14 degrees from the horizon (at the shoreline across Santa Rosa Sound, which appears near the bottom of the photo) to the top of the picture and about 11 degrees from the center of the photo to either the left or right side. Thus at 30 ft the horizontal suspending bar would have to be more than 7.5 ft above the camera altitude, which itself was about 13 ft above the ground level. The vertical bar (or bars) supporting the horizontal bar would have to be more than 6 ft to the left or right of the center of the field of view for the suspension system to be out of the picture. This makes it difficult to imagine that large distances and models were used. Also, 140 or so feet beyond the location where Ed was standing is the shore of the Santa Rosa Sound. A distance of 150 ft, for example, would put the models over the water. At my request Ed carried out two experiments to determine what typical objects would look like if suspended from a framework. He used a variety of small objects suspended from a horizontal bar that was attached to a vertical pole that was about 30 ft away. In one experiment he used clear monofilament fishline to suspend the objects (2" long pipe fittings!). The monofilament was easily detected as a faint dark line against the pale blue sky even when the focal length was 91 mm (not "zoomed in"). In the second experiment he supported the objects from a framework 30 ft away using pale blue thread in an attempt to match the sky color background. This thread appeared as obvious white lines above the suspended objects in the 91 mm and 214 mm focal length photos. One problem with using a suspending thread became immediately obvious: unless the thread color and brightness matches the sky color and brightness at each point along its length it will be detected. This would not be a problem if the sky color and brightness were exactly the same at all points alongside the suspension. However, the fact is that the sky brightness and color change with altitude, i.e., there is a vertical color/brightness gradient (i.e., the amount of change per change in height). Hence, to remain undetected, any vertical suspension must match not only the color and brightness at any point but also the color and brightness gradient. Another problem with the "hiding the suspension" is that the sunlight on the suspension can create a sort of glint or variation in brightness (reflected sunlight) along its length. This problem would appear if a horizontal thread were used to overcome the problem created by the vertical color/brightness gradient of the background sky. In this case one could pick a thread to match the color/brightness of the sky at one angular elevation and stretch this thread across the field of view of the camera at that chosen elevation. (The thread would have to be more than 12 ft long if the models were 30 ft away, and proportionally longer or shorter as the distance is changed, e.g. 24 ft at 60 ft distance.) For this clever hypothetical method to work it would also be necessary that the sky color and brightness remain uniform across the whole field of view and that the apparent brightness of the thread be constant across the whole field of view (i.e., that the brightness and color of the thread match the sky across the whole field of view). Unfortunately that isn't likely. In Ed's photo 1 the sky brightness varies considerably in the vertical direction and also somewhat in the horizontal direction. Ed's experimental photos were taken from the same location as the UFO photos and in the same direction. Hence they showed the nearby framework and the hanging models as well as the distant beach and houses that appear in his first UFO photos. These photos were all analyzed by Mr. Sainio who made an important discovery: the quality of the focus of the edges of the objects hanging at 30 ft was different from the quality of focus of the distant beach. In particular, using a 2-D FFT technique discussed above he determined that he could tell whether objects were nearby (tens of feet) or far away (hundreds to thousands of feet) by the distribution of "spatial frequencies" in the edges of the images. Hence Mr. Sainio found that he could determine whether or not Eds first photo was created by photographing nearby models. He discovered that the degree of focus of the UFO and F15 is similar to that of the beach, indicating that the UFO and F15 were distant objects. Hence for this reason and the other reasons I have listed I reject the suspended model hypothesis. Since the double exposure and glass reflection hypotheses have already been rejected, and since the UFO cannot be a cluster of balloons, I conclude that the UFO is unexplainable as conventional phenomena.
IDENTIFICATION? TRUE UFO? HOAX?
From these photos one can conclude that UFOs are real and the Air Force knows it!