by Bruce Maccabee July, 2003

NOTE:  although the following was written as a response to criticism by Jerry Black, it can be read 
as a defense of Ed Walters and his sightings.

	In 2002 or 2003 Mr. Jerry Black was interviewed by Kenny Young about his opinion of
the Gulf Breeze sightings of Ed Walters (and others) which occurred in the time period between 
November, 1987 and July, 1988. During the interview Mr. Black claimed that the UFO 
sightings reported by Ed Walters and his family are hoaxes.  He accused me and the MUFON 
investigators of incompetence, of carrying out a "one sided investigation" and claimed 
that I overlooked evidence of a hoax in return for a "mystery payment" from Ed.  He also 
made a number of other accusations against the Walters case such as claiming that photo 19 has 
been proven to be a fake, with the implication that the other photos are also fakes.
(Note:  this interview is no longer posted on the net.  Mr. Black is deceased.)

	The reader should be aware that these claims were not new.  They had been expressed 
privately to me and publicly several times over the last twelve years (the first time in 
November, 1991), eliciting each time a response from me that Mr. Black didn't understand many 
of the technical details of the photography and that he is wrong in accusing me of accepting a 
payment for my investigation.  My previous responses have been similar to what is presented 


Mr. Black has accused me of accepting money for the investigative and analysis work that I did for Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) during the spring and early summer of 1988. He evidently has been very worried about the possibility that this supposed "unethical" action on my part prevented me from calling the sightings a hoax. However, he needn't have worried. I have told him repeatedly, as he acknowledged in his interview (but for some reason doesn't believe it), that the only payments I received from Ed were made months after my research that was carried out for MUFON and FUFOR. These payments occurred at the end of December 1988 and in early January of 1989, each being $9,000, and were the payment for writing a chapter in Ed's first book, "The Gulf Breeze Sightings" (TGBS) (by Ed and Frances Walters, Wm. Morrow Pub., 1990), which was published in March, 1990. However, Mr. Black evidently did not believe my statement that those were the only payments. Instead, he claimed in the interview that I accepted a payment, a "professional fee," in July, 1988. He speculated that the fee "may well have been in the 10 to 20 thousand dollar range" for work I did "up until the time of July, 1988." In other words, Black accused me of accepting a fee, possibly a large fee, for the investigative work, analysis and writing that I did leading up to the presentation at the MUFON Symposium in July, 1988. Then Black says, quite correctly, "I'm sure Maccabee would deny this." (At least he's correct on that one point!) Black presents as proof that I received a fee in July, 1988, a postcard which Ed wrote to him in November, 1991. In part that reads: "Dr. Maccabee received a professional fee in 1989 Dec for the work he had finished almost 2 years before the book was published (July '88)." (Note: when writing the postcard several years after the payment, Ed mistakenly wrote "in 1989 Dec" when he should have written "in 1988 Dec.") Mr. Black has argued that the "(July, '88)" which Ed placed in parentheses at the end of the sentence indicates that Ed paid me a professional fee in July, 1988. However, I know for a fact that there was no such payment. The "July, 1988" in this context refers not to the phrase, "a professional fee," but to the phrase, "work he had finished almost 2 years before the book was published." The "professional fee" refers to what I was paid in December, 1988 and January, 1989 to write the chapter in Ed's book, a payment that occurred about half a year after I had finished the MUFON investigation. The bottom line is that I had completed the investigation and arrived at my conclusion LONG BEFORE there was any agreement about writing a book chapter and long before there was any payment. The following discussion will clarify this matter of when and why I arrived at a conclusion about Ed Walters' sightings.


My first formal comments on the Gulf Breeze sightings were made at the MUFON symposium in July, 1988. The Proceedings of that symposium contains the large (89 pages!) paper I wrote, at my own expense in time and money. (Note: FUFOR payed for my airplane ticket to Gulf Breeze in February, 1988, when I began my investigation at the request of Walter Andrus and Budd Hopkins.) At the symposium I supplemented this paper with an 11 page analysis of the stereo photos taken by Ed using the Nimslo (four-lens) camera and the "SRS" camera ("self-Referencing Stereo" camera, which consisted of two, model 600 Polaroid cameras, separated by 2 feet to get a large parallax effect, described in detail below). I made this analysis available at the symposium where I also gave a lecture on the sightings. The lecture was based on information presented in 26 viewgraphs. In these viewgraphs I discussed about two dozen criticisms that had been raised by skeptics (including me!) against the sightings and photos, I illustrated the photo faking techniques that had been suggested (including double exposure), I discussed the pros and cons of the Ed's sightings and I also pointed out that there were many other sightings besides Ed's during the time period from November, 1987 through May, 1988. That is, I pointed out that the existence of many other sightings indicated that "something strange was really flying around" and so it was not impossible for Ed to photograph it. After the symposium all of this material, with some corrections, added notes and clarifications were made available to the general public by FUFOR. Hence, by the summer of 1988 anyone who was sincerely interested in understanding the Gulf Breeze sightings had the opportunity to obtain the most complete history and analysis that was available until the publication of TGBS in 1990. Here is the importance of that first, long paper to the present discussion: the paper plus the added material (stereo photo analysis, MUFON Symposium viewgraph presentation) provided my opinion on the case in July, 1988, many months before there was an agreement on a book. There had been so much controversy over the sightings, controversy that was presented in my paper, that I wrote: "I have emphasized the positive aspects of Ed's sightings so that he won't be written off prematurely (if he is written off at all). As of the time of this writing there is no proof that Ed's sightings are a hoax." In other words, I was slanting toward "real." The main reason for this was the stereo photos (more on that later).


My opinion that the sightings were real was further enhanced later on in summer of 1988 when I was told of the results of the investigation undertaken by Dr. Dan Overlade, a clinical psychologist specializing in forensic psychology, who had spent many hours interviewing Ed, who had given Ed a many-hour long battery of psychological tests and then had hypnotically regressed him during eight, one hour sessions. I learned that Charles Flannigan, one of the MUFON investigators of the Gulf Breeze sightings, had contacted Dr. Overlade in May of 1988 and asked if Overlade would regress Ed. Overlade, who had been a President of the Florida Psychological Association and was a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Psychology, wrote his conclusions and these were presented several years later in the book "Abductions in Gulf Breeze" ("AIGB" by Ed and Frances Walters, Avon, 1994; Chapter 3). He wrote:

"I told Charles that hypnotic regressions were part of my clinical practice and that I had conducted hundreds of such regressions to identify memories repressed as a result of traumatic emotional experiences, although until now, no regressions pertaining to possible UFO experiences...I told Charles I would be willing to proceed if (Ed) would be willing to subject himself to an extensive battery of psychological tests. My reasoning was simple: the man was either psychologically and emotionally stable or he was not; and his condition would need to be known before I could proceed with a hypnotic regression."

Overlade administered about 8 hours of standard tests (Rorschach "inkblot" test, Thematic Apperception test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and "Draw a Person" test) and concluded as follows (from Chapter 3 of AIGB):

"I developed the opinion that Ed was emotionally and mentally stable and a somewhat conventional and non-assertive man...There were no indications of any bizarre ideation, hysteria, or other neurotic pattern nor any sociopathic personality. In short, no psychological condition was identified which would suggest that his report represented an aberration of thought or deliberate deceit..."

Beside writing several of the chapters in AIGB, Overlade also wrote the foreword and included the following sentence:

"I have concluded that the regressive hypnosis episodes presented in this book are not shams or hoaxes and that they represent the truth and accuracy to the best of Edward Walters' knowledge and belief."

In other words, after spending at about a dozen-and-a-half hours with Ed, discussing Ed's life, discussing the sightings, discussing Ed's memories, administering tests and conducting regressive hypnosis, Overlade, who was accustomed to working with all sorts of people (including criminals), concluded that Ed was telling the truth as Ed knew it. (Note: Overlade was sufficiently convinced by the experience of working with Ed that he made himself available, through MUFON, to other local abductees and, if I recall correctly, was working with about eight people when he died several years later.)


As I mentioned above, by the late summer of 1988 I was aware that Overlade had examined Ed and had found no reason to believe Ed was faking the the sightings. In September, 1988, my opinion that the sightings were real was further enhanced when I interviewed Harvey McLaughlin, the expert polygraphist, who had administered two polygraph tests to Ed in February, 1988. (McLaughlin told me that he had tested a large number of people over the years, perhaps as many as 15,000.) Ed expected the first test and had paid for it in advance. The second was a "surprise test" (Ed didn't expect it) to verify the first. The results of McLaughlin's tests were that Ed had told the truth as Ed knew it. Mr. Black has claimed that the polygraph test results should be ignored because Ed hired the polygrapher. Mr. Black asks the question, "Why didn't rookie investigator Charles Flannigan, who set up the test, force Ed Walters to take the test again another day since he didn't show up for the original test?" (Note: as discussed above, it was "rookie investigator" Charles Flannigan who had the presence of mind to ask Dr. Overlade to carry out a regression of Ed.) The formulation of this question shows that Mr. Black does not understand the actual history of the events in early 1988, several years before he became involved. The MUFON investigators realized that Ed probably wouldn't be believed unless he took a polygraph "lie detector" test. Therefore, in February, 1988, investigator Flannigan asked Ed if he would be willing to take one. Ed was offended by the implication that he was lying but said he would think about it. A day or so later he decided it would be a good idea and looked up a nearby polygrapher who turned out to be Harvey McLaughlin. (To me, this shows initiative on Ed's part. After all, he didn't have to take any test. Of course, the skeptic might argue that Ed was sufficiently sociopathic that he couldn't tell truth from fiction and believed that he would be able to pass a polygraph test, i.e., that he was "psychologically sick" enough to pass the test. But, as shown above from the tests done by Overlade, Ed did not have a sociopathic personality.) Since Flannigan had not yet gotten back to Ed regarding a test, Ed took the test from McLaughlin. Ed paid for the test in advance so that there would be no question of McLaughlin biasing the test results in order to get paid. Ed told me it was the most humiliating experience of his life. McLaughlin asked about all sorts of things relative to Ed's life, whether he had lied about anything in his life, not just the UFO sightings and, of course, Ed had to admit to his problems with the law when he was a teenager. Ed passed the test but McLaughlin was not convinced. He told me, when I interviewed him six months later, that after the first test he did some independent checking on the sightings and then asked Ed to return to his office, ostensibly to receive the results of the test. Instead, McLaughlin asked him to sit in "the chair" a second time while McLaughlin did a re- examination. Several days later Ed received the results in the mail: he had passed both tests. So Ed did take two examinations, both from a skeptical polygraphist. By the time Flannigan had set up a test with another polygraphist Ed had the results from McLaughlin. Ed told me he felt humiliated by having to discuss in depth his life story with McLaughlin. Evidently he didn't want to go through that again with another polygrapher, so he didn't take a test from Flannigan's contact. McLaughlin told me that during the weeks and months after the tests he paid attention to the stories about Ed and even arranged to occasionally "bump into" Ed at stores and talk to him. He wanted to find out if there was any indication that his tests might have given the wrong answer or Ed's personality had changed. McLaughlin told me that he never detected any such indication and no change in Ed's personality. Mr. Black believes that the results of the lie detector tests are "invalid" because Ed paid for them (even though he paid before he took the first test). Mr. Black has not presented any opinion on the investigation undertaken by Overlade (done pro bono; no one paid Overlade for his work), but it seems to me that the polygraph tests by Harvey McLaughlin and the investigation by Dr. Dan Overlade complement one another and indicate that Ed was telling the truth.


Returning to the interview with Mr. Black, he says that I and the other investigators were incompetent or even "stupid" for being "taken in" by Ed. Black says, (Ed was) "a very wealthy man. I think they were taken in by his story and never tried to look at what the evidence showed. They were mesmerized by Ed Walters and his flamboyance, the way he came across and bringing in different pictures, they never actually investigated Ed Walters himself. They just took whatever he said verbatim and just ran with that." Mr. Black is correct on one count: Ed was a reasonably wealthy man. (Therefore he had no economic incentive to create UFO hoaxes.) However, if Mr. Black had been present when Ed was questioned for about 14 hours straight (half hour break for lunch) on Saturday, Feb. 20, 1988, and again for several hours the next day, he might have thought differently about the quality and intensity of the investigation. (Also interviewed at that time were Ed's wife and Hank Boland, the only non-family member who claims to have seen the UFO while at Ed's house in December, 1987.) I know that Ed was under the gun because I was there and operating under the assumption that I could prove the sightings were all fakes. This was not the first intense interview of Ed. The local MUFON investigators had interviewed him several times previously, beginning in January, 1988. They had asked him lots of questions, not only about the UFO sightings, but about his life, past history, etc. They did "investigate Ed Walters himself." However, the February 20 interview was, by far, the longest and most intense. It lasted from about 9 AM to about 11 PM (with a half hour off for lunch!). Everything Ed said about his sightings and photos was recorded, questioned and scrutinized. It was during this interview that I realized that Ed's camera could create double exposures. During the next day Ed loaned his camera to "incompetent" me and "rookie" Charles Flannigan so we could experiment with it at the site of the "road shot" (photo 19). We wanted to find out exactly where the truck had been parked to see if it agreed with Ed's story. Ed spent several hours with us at the road site as we attempted to determine exactly where the truck was when he took the picture. It was my impression that he was surprisingly cooperative as he provided information that, if wrong, could prove his photos and sightings were fake. We found that the location indicated by Ed was consistent with the background scenery in the photo. Later, at night, Charles and I carried out road reflection tests using Ed's camera and a bright spotlight. Again, Ed cooperated with us. During the following weeks and months I spoke to Ed quite often while analyzing his photos and the stories that went with each. I asked Ed to do numerous photo experiments or tests, many of which could have "blown his sightings out of the water." Ed didn't have to do these experiments, but he did them anyway with little protest. I also contacted other photo analysts and studied the claims by the skeptics. I studied the other reports from the area and compared them with Ed's. In some cases the reported object was very similar or virtually identical to what Ed photographed. This was interesting because that meant that "Ed was not alone." But the most important thing I did was affect the nature of the photographic data collected during Ed's sightings by suggesting that he make a large stereo camera. I did this as part of my search for proof that the photos were hoaxes or proof that they were true. At the time he built the first SRS camera he knew that it could measure the distance to objects and would, therefore, sink any hoax involving a nearby model. When I found from his test photos that it was not very accurate I told him how to improve it and he did so. Later he made a second version of the camera. This was more accurate than the first and was the camera which which he got the important May 1 photos. More on this later.


Mr. Black says his initial impression of this UFO case was that Ed had taken "too many photos" and that this was a cause for suspicion. I had the same reaction when I started looking at the case several years before Mr. Black. For that reason I was continually suspicious of Ed. It was for this reason that I had Ed do lots of experiments, experiments which could have proven his photos to be fakes. One of the things that convinced me that Ed was on the level was his willingness to carry out these experiments. He didn't have to do these experiments. He didn't have to build the SRS. I couldn't force him. He didn't have to buy a new Model 600 camera (which automatically ejects the film) to counter the critics (and me) who pointed out that his old camera could take double exposures. He didn't have to build a stereo camera that would measure distances. He could easily "gotten away with" simply saying he was too busy. Yet, he did all the experiments I asked for in spite of time and outright expense (mostly for film). And I carefully monitored these experiments to determine whether or not Ed was faking the experiments. He wasn't. More on this later. Mr. Black has based his criticism of the photos on the analysis done by Mr. William Hyzer, one of many expert photoanalysts who studied copies of many of Ed's photos. Mr. Hyzer's study was done in secret during the spring of 1991. I was not aware of it until I received a copy of Hyzer's draft report in July, 1991. In this first version of his report Mr. Hyzer was not confident that he had discovered a hoax. Instead he pointed out that, in his opinion, the pictures he examined could be real, in which case the UFO had "chameleon- like" properties. On the other hand, they could have been created by simple double exposure techniques, except for photo 1 which required a special technique that Mr. Hyzer invented. (Of course, Ed couldn't have used that special technique because it wasn't invented by Mr. Hyzer until 3 years after Ed took the photo.) However, he admitted that he couldn't prove they were double exposures because it could be that the UFOs had unusual optical properties. I presume that Mr. Hyzer realized that to accuse anyone of perpetrating a hoax is a serious matter and to do it without positive proof is unscientific, at the very least. After reading Hyzer's preliminary report I sent him a letter in which I provided some further information and a copy of my MUFON/FUFOR report (described above) and asked some questions. I never got a response from him. I sent Hyzer another letter in February, 1992, for which there was no response. However, some of the information I provided was repeated in Hyzer's final report that was published in the MUFON Journal in July 1992. It was in that journal article that Hyzer made his most conclusive statement: photo 19 is a hoax. He arrived at that conclusion because the photo does not show light of the UFO reflected in the engine hood of the truck that Ed was in when he took the picture. He cites, in his article, my discovery of an unusual optical effect caused by a bend in the hood: a light at a distance in front of the hood will not reflect from the hood into the camera provided that (a) the light is below a particular angular elevation relative to the hood (the "cutoff angle") and (b) the camera is inside the cab just above the level of the back of the hood, i.e., where Ed held it when he took the picture. (Note: the hood of Ed's truck was bent when a backhoe operator accidently backed into the front of the truck in 1987.) The magnitude of the "cutoff angle" relative to horizontal, below which there is no reflection, depends upon where the camera is held and upon the tilt angle of the truck. The actual elevation would depend upon the distance of the light from the hood. Specifically, the actual elevation above the ground level would be the sum of the height of the hood plus the angular elevation in radians multiplied by the distance to the light. The optical "bent mirror" effect is recorded in photo 19 itself. The bent mirror effect causes there to be two reflections of the sky in the hood of the truck whereas in a normal hood there would be only a single reflection. In the photo the lowest nearly horizontal faint, light blue band at the bottom of the picture is the normal sky reflection. Slightly above that in the photo is a second faint, light blue band which represents the reflection of the sky in the front of the hood. This reflection would not normally be present. Between the two sky reflections is a dark region. This is the distorted reflection of the tops of the trees that form the distant tree line above the UFO. Between these two sky reflections is where the reflection of the top light of the UFO would appear if it were high enough. However, my experiments with Ed's truck, experiments cited by Mr. Hyzer (so apparently he accepted my experimental results), showed that there was the cutoff angle mentioned above. The cutoff angle (relative to horizontal) was determined by the location of the camera relative to the hood and by the tilt of the truck. Mr. Hyzer, in forming his conclusion that at least the top light should have been reflected in the hood, made the tacit assumption (apparently without realizing that he had done so) that the truck was horizontal, as it was when I did the reflection experiments. He did not take into account the fact that the truck was tilted at the time of the photo by both the unevenness of the shoulder of the road (where Ed stopped the truck) and by the load of cement blocks Ed was carrying at the very back of the truck. The effect of this tilt on the bent-mirror-like reflection in the hood was to raise the cutoff angle above the value assumed by Mr. Hyzer. When the tilt caused by the blocks (and possible road surface unevenness) is included in the analysis, the optical reflection principle (angle of reflection equals angle of incidence) shows that the "cutoff angle" apparently was above the angular elevation of the top UFO light. That is, the lack of a reflection means that the top UFO light was below the "cutoff angle." Hence the lack of a reflection did not prove that photo 19 was a fake. In the final report, Hyzer's comments on Ed's other photos were basically the same as in his initial draft report, namely that they could have been double exposures but he couldn't prove it. Mr. Black, nevertheless, cites Hyzer's analysis as providing conclusive proof that photo 19 is a hoax with the implication that all the other photos are also simple double exposure hoaxes. (Note: Jeffrey Sainio, MUFON photoanalyst, independently examined Ed's original photos and has concluded otherwise. He reported his analysis at the MUFON Symposium in 1992 [see the Proceedings of the MUFON Symposium, 1992, pgs 143-165]. Sainio has published a computer processed version of photo 19 in which he has shown brightness contours that indicate increased brightness of the road in the vicinity of the UFO. This would be impossible if the photo were a double exposed fake. Mr. Black was informed of Mr. Sainio's analysis many years ago.)


Whereas Mr. Black has claimed that all the photos are double exposed hoaxes, I offer a counter argument: there are several photos that could not be simple double exposure (SDE) hoaxes. But, before discussing them I must define the SDE method of creating hoax photos since this is the method that most likely would have been used. In fact, I used it myself on the second day of my investigation (Feb. 21, 1988). After Charles Flannigan and I had carried out some experiments at the site of the road shot we returned to Ed's house. Before knocking on the door I created two "UFO" photos using the SDE technique. For each photo the first exposure was of a driveway light on a post a hundred or so feet from Ed's house and the second exposure was taken from Ed's doorstep. Then I knocked and when Ed opened the door I said that Charles and I had seen the UFO in front of Ed's house and had even photographed it. I showed him the pictures which showed the scene as it appeared from Ed's doorstep and also a bright yellow light "up in the sky." Ed acted as if he thought I had actually photographed a UFO, although the "UFO" image in my photo did not have the same color or shape as the images in his photos. Ed, upon seeing my photos, started slowly walking around while looking in all directions into the sky. He said he had mixed feelings about the "fact" that I had photographed the UFO: he was glad that someone else had seen it but he was unhappy about its return. (Ed repeatedly said during the interviews that he wished the UFOs would go away and leave him alone.) This experiment is described in my MUFON paper and also in TGBS. So, how does one create an SDE comparable to Ed's photos? With Ed's old Polaroid (that used Type 108 film packs) it was simple since the film development did not start until the operator pulled the film out of the camera. First, the photographer takes a picture of the "UFO" (the first exposure of the film). Generally this would be done in a dark room with an illuminated model silhouetted against a black background. Now there is a "latent image" (undeveloped image) of the UFO at some location of the film. Typically the photographer would have the UFO model image be at the top center of the picture. Then, without pulling the film out, the photographer would go outdoors and take a picture of a moderately lit daylight scene (the second exposure of the film). When taking this second picture the photographer must point the camera in such a way as to place the latent image against the sky background. After the second picture (second exposure) the photographer pulls the film from the camera so that development can occur. The developed picture will have the image of the "UFO" appear to be in the sky. So the simple double exposure is...simple. But that doesn't mean that Ed knew anything about it. (Camera instructions say that the operator should pull the film out after taking each picture. It does not say to take two or more pictures before pulling the film out.) I paid special attention to Ed's comments about taking pictures with the Polaroid and I watched carefully as he did experiments with the camera. I never got any impression that Ed knew anything about the SDE method until AFTER I showed him what I had done. (I had hoaxed Ed.) Mr. Black says he was told by TV newsman Peter Newman that Ed had told him (Newman) about creating double exposure pictures. Mr. Newman told me the same thing when I interviewed him in the spring of 1988 about his involvement in the March 17 stereo photo event (see below). (Newman opened the film packs and installed them into the Model 600 cameras; unfortunately he left the area before the sighting occurred.) Mr. Newman based his statement to me on what he recalled of a conversation with Ed that had taken place many months earlier, a conversation that had taken place, he said (if I recall correctly) in the fall of 1987, before there were any UFO photos. According to Newman, Ed said he took double exposure photos at parties for the neighborhood children. I questioned the accuracy of Mr. Newman's recollection because by the time he made this statement the suggestion that Ed knew how to do double exposures had been circulating widely through the local grapevine and the press. Perhaps Mr. Newmen inadvertently combined this information "floating around" with his recollection of what Ed said. When asked about this Ed said he did not make double exposed pictures at parties; he didn't know how to make double exposures. What he said he had done at parties for his children and their friends was defocus the camera before taking a picture. Defocus made the children look funny. At any rate, I never found evidence that Ed knew anything special about photography such as double exposure techniques. His only camera at the time (1987-88) was the old Polaroid that he used to take documentary pictures of his construction job sites and to take pictures at parties, around the house, etc. No one ever saw him with other cameras or books about photography or photography magazines, etc. He certainly was far from being a "shutterbug." Photo 1 is not a SDE hoax (and for that reason Mr. Hyzer invented a new, very technically oriented, method of double exposure to explain it). Neither is photo 11, which shows the "blue beam" coming down from the UFO toward the ground. The brightness level of the blue beam image does not change where the image of the beam crosses the image of the horizon line from the faint blue sky above to complete darkness below. If this were an SDE the brightness of the blue beam image would be greater above the horizon than below because the light from the sky during the second exposure would add to the exposure of the latent blue beam image above the horizon, but nothing would add to the latent blue beam image below the horizon. (Here I assume that, if a SDE hoax, then the blue beam would be an illuminated blue ribbon or something like that below a UFO model. The brightness of the image of the ribbon would be constant along the ribbon.) This is more fully described and is presented along with a graph of the brightness of the blue beam image in "UFOS Are Real, Here's The Proof" ("UARHTP," Avon, 1997), page 69. Photo 11 is one of the photos that Mr. Hyzer discussed briefly in his report. He pointed out that, if the photo were real, the color could be a result of ionized nitrogen in the air or, if a hoax, it could be a result of blue light illuminating a column of smoke. Apparently he did not notice the constancy of the image brightness of the blue beam where it crosses the horizon image, or if he did notice then he didn't realize the full implications of that fact. Ed's other photo of a blue beam, photo 24, shows Frances running into the kitchen through the back door. Careful analysis of this photo by me and Jeffrey Sainio has shown that there was an odd brightness effect which is evidence against a double exposure: there is excessive brightness of the blue color of the light blue sweater suit that Frances was wearing where her right arm was near the blue beam. The excessive brightness of the right cuff of the sweater and some of the folds near her elbow are particularly noticeable. Numerous experiments, taking several hours, were done in my presence by Ed and Frances in an attempt to duplicate the brightness distribution on the sweater suit. For these experiments Frances put on the suit. I could see that it was a uniform color, with the cuffs being the same color as the rest of the sweater material. My first thought was that the excessive brightness was a result of reflection of light from the camera flash. However, numerous attempts to create the excessive brightness with the camera flash failed. The only remaining explanation is that the blue beam, which did not actually contact Frances' arm, somehow made portions of the sweater glow. The photo is presented in TGBS and and Jeff Sainio's analysis is presented in 1992 MUFON Symposium Proceedings, pg 156. While making some generally disparaging comments about the Gulf Breeze investigators Mr. Black refers to the double exposure hypothesis and asks the following question: "Why did Maccabee's report never make mention of the double exposure potential or imply that they were double exposures?" Here Mr. Black demonstrates his own failures when it comes to investigation. As I have already pointed out, I carried out a double exposure hoax using Ed's camera on the second day of my investigation in order to see how Ed would react to the photos I produced. I wrote about this in my MUFON paper where I also I pointed out (page 120 of the Proceedings) that multiple exposures could be taken with Ed's camera before developing a picture. I described the SDE method just as described above. I discussed the SDE and other hoaxing methods, such as reflection on glass and photo montage, during the MUFON Symposium. The double exposure hypothesis is also discussed in TGBS, on pg 278, for example. Ed reacted to the skeptical criticism that his photos could be simple double exposures. In an act uncharacteristic of a hoaxer, on March 7, 1988 he bought another camera, a Polaroid Model 600. He said be bought the new camera because it immediately ejected the film after the picture was taken so there was no way to double expose it. Of course, Ed didn't have to buy another camera. The investigators had not told him to buy another camera. Furthermore, assuming that he had known how to make double exposures with his old camera he would have realized it was very risky for him to switch cameras "in the middle of the stream" as it were. It was especially risky for him to start using a Polaroid camera that immediately ejected the film after the picture was taken. Some weeks after Ed bought the Model 600 (I bought one too, for experimentation) I learned (from Bob Oechsler) how it was possible to double expose a Model 600 picture by stopping the ejection motor using a special technique discovered by the Polaroid Corporation. In other words, we investigators did not figure out how to double expose a Model 600 picture; we had to be told by Polaroid. Yet Ed's first UFO picture with the Model 600 was taken on March 8, the day after he bought it! Hence, if it was a hoax, Ed must have figured out on his own, in one day, what the investigators only learned much later by querying Polaroid. My own opinion (and that of other investigators) is that Ed did not learn in one day how to do a double exposure with the Model 600. (After I was told about the Polaroid method I tried it myself and found that it was more difficult to create a convincing SDE picture with the Model 600 than with Ed's old camera, and the double exposures that made with the new camera didn't look as good as those created using the old camera.)


On February 10, 1988, the MUFON investigators gave Ed a sealed 35 mm camera which they asked him to use when he took his next picture. (Mr. Black claims, erroneously, in his interview that this was done "right in front of the press." Where he got this idea I do not know.) This was the "Nimslo" 4 lens camera. On February 26 Ed and Frances had a sighting at Shoreline Park during which Ed took 10 pictures, the maximum number possible with that camera. Mr. Black discusses this sighting and photos to show how "stupid" the investigators were. Evidently Mr. Black approved of the fact that Ed was given a sealed camera, already loaded with film, and asked by the ("incompetent") MUFON investigators to take a UFO picture with it. At least this would prevent double exposure hoaxing. Where the stupidity entered, according to Mr. Black, is in the failure of the investigators to realize that Ed and Frances covered up their inability to determine the size of the object by having Ed say it was large while Frances said it was small. In recounting the episode he states that "ten days" (actually it was 16 days) after Ed was given the camera, "Ed comes back with his wife and hands the camera, in front of the media, to Bruce Maccabee and the MUFON organization." (I don't know where he got the idea that the camera was handed to me since I was in Maryland at the time. Also, the media were not present when Ed handed the camera to the MUFON investigators. The media were present 6 days later when the camera was opened and the film developed.) On the day after he took the photos, i.e., several days before the film was developed, Ed drew a picture that illustrated his impression of the object and he told the MUFON investigators that the object had passed on the far side of some trees and appeared to him to be far away and very large. On the other hand, Frances, who was standing in another location at the time of the sighting, said that she had the impression that it was not very far away and therefore small. Mr. Black's says that this disagreement in size was very convenient, if it were a hoax, because Ed would not know how big it would appear in the Nimslo photos so he would want to "cover the bases" by having Frances contradict him. My opinion is that if Ed and Frances had hoaxed the photos they would have correlated their stories. Only if they knew *beforehand* that the Nimslo photo camera could measure distance and size might they make up a story that would cover all possible sizes (small to large). But Ed didn't know the camera could measure distance. (See below.) Several months later, in May, I finally had enough camera information to calculate the distance to the object using the parallax created by the spacing of the outer lenses of the four-lens camera. (This was not immediately after the photos were developed, with the "press and everybody else ...eagerly waiting," as implied by Mr. Black's interview statement.) Optical and mechanical limitations in the camera prevented me from being able to obtain precise distances, but I was able to calculate a range of probable distances. I found that the object had been more than 40 but less than 70 ft away. The length of the image at these distances corresponded to a range of about 2 1/2 to 4 ft. In other words, this was a small object which Ed said he had seen passing by beyond some tree tops, but silhouetted against the dark sky. (Note: a subsequent measurement of the distance from where Ed said he was standing to the tops of the trees gave 38 ft, consistent with the minimum distance to the object. It was impossible for Ed to have known that the calculated distance would turn out to be 40 ft or more before I calculated the distance range. Even if one stretched the imagination to the limit and assumed that Ed knew how to calculate distance from the parallax in the Nimslo camera photos, which is something that only a professional stereo photogrammetrist would know, I was the only person with the photos themselves. No one else had the photo data that I used to make that calculation.) Mr. Black asks, "How can a man take a picture of an object that close to the camera and say 'It must have been a mother ship..'?" (That is, how could Ed suggest that it "must have been" very big?) Apparently Mr. Black is not aware of something that skeptics have known for years, namely the fact that it is virtually impossible to estimate the distance to an object or lights seen against against a dark sky if you don't know how big it is. (Conversely, if you don't know its distance you can't offer a reliable estimate of its size.) Therefore it is not surprising that Ed thought the object was far away and therefore large since it passed on the far side of some treetops. In his interview Mr. Black discusses this "disparity" in size in the following way: "And what was Maccabee's response to those like myself who questioned Ed Walters mistaking the small object for a UFO mothership? ....He said: 'There were some trees in the way and he mistakenly thought it was much larger.' Have you ever heard such an idiotic answer to a question?" One wonders who is the idiot here. Am I the idiot for correctly pointing out that one can't be certain of the size of or distance to an unknown object that is seen silhouetted against the dark sky just by looking at it? Or is Mr. Black the idiot for suggesting, erroneously, that one can determine the distance to an object of unknown size seen against a black sky background just by looking at it? It should be noted that the Nimslo photos show, unequivocally, that whatever was photographed was in the range 40 to 70 ft from the camera and in the range 2 1/2 to 4 ft long. It definitely was not 1/2 to 1 ft in width and 10-15 ft away, which was the probable size and distance range for the hypothetical model(s) that appeared in Ed's previous photos, assuming they were hoaxed. Obviously, if this was a hoax, Ed had deviated considerably from his previous "prescription for success." If this was a hoax, then he was taking a great chance that he could successfully create a series of convincing photos by photographing a totally new type of model (a larger model that consisted of a light array only; no body of the craft appears in the photos) placed at a much larger distance from the camera (it had to have been done outdoors somewhere) and using a totally different type of camera over which he had no control. Furthermore, if this was a hoax, he obviously knew how big the model was and how far away. But, if he didn't know the camera could measure distance, he would tell the investigators that it was at some large distance that would be consistent with a large object, say, like a thousand feet or so. And to strengthen his case he would tell Frances to agree that it was distant. On the other hand, if it were a hoax *and* Ed knew the camera could measure distance he would know that he had no choice but to tell the investigators that it appeared to be several feet long and not very far away. It would make no sense at all for him to say it appeared large and far away if he knew the camera would contradict his story. Hence, from this discussion one may conclude that, because Ed said it was far away, he didn't know the camera could measure distance. Now consider this: Ed *was not told*, when he was given the Nimslo camera, that it could be used to measure distance. What he was told was that the four lenses would create four negatives and that the investigators could therefore keep one negative "safe" while sending the three others to photoanalysts for study (and possible damage). Mr. Black seems to think that Ed did know the camera would measure distances, but he did not know what distance would come out of the calculations after the photos were developed and analyzed. Hence, according to Mr. Black, Ed decided to "cover all bases" by having Frances say it was small and nearby while he said it was distant and large, even though he knew it was, in fact, small and nearby. But, we already know from the above discussion that Ed did not know the camera measured distance. (If he had known he would have said it was small and nearby; it would have been stupid of him to say otherwise and Mr. Black believes that Ed isn't stupid.) So it would have made no sense for him to tell Frances to disagree with him. After all, if all his previous pictures were hoaxes that used small models nearby ( 1/2 ft at 10 ft away, for example), and the investigators had thought these were large, distant objects (tens of feet at hundreds of feet), wouldn't the investigators think this object was also large and far away if Ed and Frances both said it was large and far away? This also brings up another question: why would Ed invent a new model object to photograph with the new camera if the previous ones had worked so well? Since he didn't know of the distance measuring capability his thinking might have been something like this: "All I have to do is take a (previous) model and place it close to the camera so it would seem large and light it appropriately and take the picture." Following this reasonable (from a hoax point of view) line of thinking, he would have created the ten Nimslo photos by using a model, probably a previous model, that was within 20 ft of the camera in a manner similar to his previous photos. The only difference would have been that there was no second exposure of a daylight background scene. The actual array of light images in the 10 photos differ somewhat from photo to photo, consistent with Ed's claim that the object was traveling on the other side of some treetops that temporarily blocked various lights as he took the photos. If it were a hoax, then Ed had to have planned in advance to say it passed behind trees (and was therefore far away) and so he would have blocked various lights of the model as he took the ten photos. But, in this case, it would only be logical from the hoax point of view to have Ed and Frances correlate their stories so that she, too, would say it was large and far away. One may conclude from this discussion that Mr. Black's criticism (one saying far, one saying near) makes no sense *if it was a hoax.* On the other hand the divergence of opinion on the distance does make sense if it was a real event witnessed by two people viewing the object from different locations. Mr. Black said in the interview that the Nimslo-type object was "...the first and only probe that Ed Walters ever photographed." Wrong. One of the most important events in this series of sightings, and probably the most important photographic coincidence is that this object/"probe" turned up in a second photo. Specifically, it appeared in the May 1 stereo photos. More on this later.


Mr. Black ends his interview with some comments about the model that was found at Ed's house by the new tenant, Robert Menzer, more than a year after Ed moved out. Mr. Black's theory to explain the model is that Ed made "numerous models... so he stuck that particular model under three inches of insulation to hide it and perhaps forgot about it." Mr. Menzer discovered the model while looking for the shutoff valve for a water pipe. Mr. Black points out that Menzer wouldn't have gone into the attic if he had known that the only shutoff was in a box in the front yard. This is true, but Menzer didn't learn that until after he found the model. The reason that Menzer went into the attic (there was no basement) to look for a shutoff valve is that he wanted to connect the small water pipe, which protruded from the kitchen wall, to the icemaker in his refrigerator. Ordinarily there would be a valve at the end of the pipe which could be used to shut off the water when the refrigerator was being connected or disconnected. There was a valve when Ed disconnected his refrigerator and moved out, taking the refrigerator with him, nearly a year before Menzer moved in. But Menzer told me that when he moved in there was no valve, only a crimped end of the pipe. Someone had cut off the valve and sealed the pipe by bending it. Menzer realized he would have to turn off the water pressure before cutting off the crimped end and coupling it to the icemaker pipe from the refrigerator. Not realizing that there was only a single water shutoff for the whole house, he assumed that the shutoff valve for that water pipe must be in the attic so he climbed up the fold-down stairs that were in the garage part of the house (a part that had been left open or unlocked many times during the year that the house was up for sale). Several feet from the top of the stairs he began his search, finally finding the small pipe where it came upward from the wall behind the refrigerator. Then he began running his hands along the pipe looking for the shutoff. The pipe was buried in loose insulation, and this is when he found the model. So, if it hadn't been for the fact that someone cut the valve off the little water pipe and crimped the remaining end of the pipe, Menzer would not have searched under the insulation in that portion of the attic. One may now ask, was it a mere coincidence that, of all the places in the attic where a model could have been hidden, the place chosen by the "hider" was right where it could be found by someone searching for a water shutoff? If one assumes Ed hid the model, one must ask why he would set up a situation where it could be found by the next occupant of the house? In fact, one must ask why Ed would hide a model; why not just destroy any model he didn't need any more. This model resembled what was in his photos, but comparison of the detailed shape and features of the model with the shape and features of the images proves that none of the photos shows this model. Yet, it was a "perfectly good" model, so why did Ed hide it without photographing it first? My opinion is that the model was, itself, a hoax.


During the spring of 1988 I was spending many hours per day studying the Gulf Breeze sightings, mostly those by Ed, but also those by other witnesses. (The same could be said of the "on-the-scene" investigators. The details of the history are found in my MUFON paper and, with more elaboration, in TGBS.) In February and March I was looking for positive evidence of a hoax in all of Ed's photos up to that time. I knew that the Florida investigators were keeping track of Ed on a daily basis and that he had had some sightings in the presence of his family and one non-family witness. Walter Andrus asked me, in early March, if I could report on my investigation at the MUFON Symposium to be held in late June. I said OK (not knowing what I was getting into!) and so I was trying to compile a complete history of the events in order to find loopholes and inconsistencies in Ed's testimony about the various sightings. Then something new happened. It is rare, to say the least, when investigators have a chance to impact on the sightings. Usually one hears about sightings a day, a week, month, year, decade, etc. afterward and the investigation is based, therefore, on memories, perhaps long forgotten memories, of the witnesses. There is no opportunity to do experiments or make measurements during the sightings. But in Gulf Breeze just exactly that opportunity occurred, not once but several times during the spring of 1988 (and again in the time period 1990 through 1992, but that's another story). I refer to the stereo camera photos. I first learned that Ed had been given a sealed camera during the monster interview session on February 20, 1988, as I have described above. I realized that because there was a separation of several inches between the outer lenses of the 4 lens camera there was the possibility for measuring the distance to an object or model by using the parallax (the view from two separated locations). The investigators told me that they had not told Ed about the distance measuring capability of the camera. Instead, they had justified to Ed the use of the 4 lens camera by saying that it would take 4 pictures and therefore they could send three for analysis while keeping one safe. I realized that they were trying to fool Ed into taking pictures with a camera that would discover the nearby model hoax, if that was what Ed was doing. My thought at the time was something like this": "Well, that's interesting, but the camera is so different from his Polaroid he'll probably never take any pictures with it." So, if you get the idea that I wasn't holding my breath, you are correct. Ed had been given this camera ten days before I arrived and he had taken no pictures with it. When Ed discussed this with me, Charles and Bob Reid during the monster interview session he was clearly nervous about the "failure" to take pictures. He had been taking pictures every several weeks and in some cases every week, so this was already an unusually long "dry spell." As Ed phrased it during the interview, whereas before he had been "guilty" of taking too many photos ("guilty of too much photography"), now he was guilty for not having taken photos ("guilty of non-photography"). We all laughed over his turn of phrase, "guilty of non- photography." Ha, Ha, Ha. A nervous laugh by all because we all wondered whether or not there was an undercurrent of truth here: could it be that hoaxer Ed had met his match? Ed had still not taken a picture with the Nimslo camera by the time I arrived home in Maryland several days later. It wasn't until February 27 that I learned that he had finally taken, not one picture, but ten with the camera. Ed also provided a report of what he had seen and a drawing. However, no one knew what sort of images the camera had recorded until 6 days later when the camera was opened during a press conference at a film processing laboratory. Ed and Frances were not present when the film was developed. When the film was developed there were 10 shots consisting of four images per shot, one from each lens. The images were tiny and showed only an array of lights. Because the images were tiny, as compared to Ed's previous photos, the people who first saw them assumed that the object must have been distant and, based on Ed's previous claim that it was large, they began using the term "mothership," which stuck until, *months later*, I discovered just how far and how big the object was (see discussion above). My initial impression of these photos was that, if Ed had faked this, he was taking a big chance because, if he used a small model nearby (as it was presumed he had done, if faking the previous Polaroid photos) then the Nimslo camera might have "caught him in the act." On the other hand, I did not know whether or not the camera was precise enough, considering the small separation between the outer lenses (2.5 inches) to accurately determine the distance to a model (I subsequently found that it was precise enough; see below.).


Although in the interview Mr. Black has portrayed the analysis of the Nimslo photos as occurring immediately after the photos were developed, the fact is that it was not until May that I had enough information about the camera to complete my distance and size calculations. (There was a delay because it took many weeks for Tom Dueley, who had provided the loaded, sealed camera to MUFON to give to Walters, to provide me with a series of photos of objects of known distance so I could calibrate the camera. After I had the comparison photos I had to learn how to make parallax measurements on the film and calculate the distance.) In the meantime other things were happening. As I have pointed out above, Ed bought a new camera, a Polaroid Model 600, on March 7. I did not know this until the night of March 8, when he called me up to say that he had taken another photo but this time with a new type of camera. Naturally I was doubly surprised: that he had taken another photo and that he had done so with a camera that ejects the film immediately after the picture is taken. I wrote about this in my chapter of TGBS: "...I realized that my demonstration of how to fake a UFO by doing a double exposure with his old Polaroid had made an impression on him. He said the UFO was the first thing he had photographed with his new camera." This was the second example of the investigators having an impact on the nature of the photographs (the first being his use of the Nimslo camera). During the conversation that night we discussed several aspects of his sightings and their impact on him (see TGBS, pg 282) and then a thought occurred to me: Ed could make a bigger stereo camera using his two Polaroid cameras (the old one and the new one). Half jokingly I proposed this to him, not knowing whether he would laugh at the idea or simply reject it as too time consuming. Trying to make this as simple as possible, I suggested mounting the cameras at opposite ends of a 1 foot board. I pointed out that the greater the camera separation the better, but 1 foot was probably enough. I suggested that he fasten a rod with a nail, mounted horizontally, so it would protrude from the center of the board outward, parallel to the direction the cameras were pointing. The rod would be about 3 feet long and the nail at the end would provide a reference point for both cameras. This I subsequently called the "Self-Referencing Stereo" (SRS) camera. I told him that a large stereo camera would measure distances of several hundred feet. Knowing the distance I could calculate the size of the object (from the size of the image). As I spoke I thought to myself, if he is a hoaxer, he now knows that this camera could expose his nearby small model/double exposure technique. On the other hand, if he is not a hoaxer, he now knows that the larger stereo camera could provide proof that the objects were large and distant. Which would he choose, I wondered. Ed sounded mildly interested in being able to calculate the size, but he definitely did not sound as if he was overjoyed at the idea of building the SRS camera. I wondered what he would do, if anything. (It is to be noted that at this time neither I nor anyone else knew what distance or size the "Nimslo-type" UFO was. I did know that the Nimslo camera could not measure great distances so the suggestion to make a larger camera was partially based on an attempt to do better than the Nimslo camera, assuming that the objects were actually far away, like hundreds of feet.) On March 12 I got another call from Ed and a surprise: he had built the SRS camera as per my instructions and had made it "one (foot) better" than I suggested by having a 2 ft separation between the cameras. Ed told me that he had used his new camera and an identical one that he borrowed from Duane Cook. That meant he still had his old camera available for photos. I asked him to send me a picture of the SRS camera. (When I received it I could see that it looked just as I had asked him to build it.) But, as would happen many times in the following weeks, months and even years, Ed's initiative required further work by me and also by Ed in order to analyze and understand the photographic evidence. I asked him to take some stereo pictures so I could calibrate the camera. On the 15th of March I received test pictures of objects (trees, etc.) near his house. He had measured the distances to the objects, so I could check the camera accuracy. It took me several weeks of work to thoroughly understand the idiosyncrasies, successes and, yes, failures, of the SRS camera. But, in the meantime, Ed got his first SRS camera UFO photos!

THE MARCH 17 and 20, 1988 SRS PHOTOS

During the afternoon and evening Ed got the "hum" in his head several times. He decided not to ignore it. He called several friends and acquaintances (see TGBS, pg 234) and invited them to see if something would appear at Shoreline Park. He and Frances took the SRS camera and set it up in an area surrounded on three sides by bushes just beyond the parking lot. Later that night he took his first SRS photos of a UFO. The other people were nearby, but did not see the brief appearance of the UFO (their view was blocked by trees and bushes). However, they did see the initial setup of the camera, they saw Peter Newman open two new packs of film for Ed to insert into the Model 600 cameras and they saw Ed take some test shots to demonstrate how the SRS camera worked. Subsequently, at a time when they were at some distance from Ed and the camera, they saw a single flash from the camera (Ed always used the camera flash to illuminate nearby objects as references and, in this case, the nail at the end of the rod between the cameras). They saw Ed run to his truck and turn on the lights. They joined him and watched with Ed as the two pictures (one from each camera) developed in front of their very eyes. In the photos were the bush near the camera and the rod with the nail...and the UFO, similar to what he had photographed many times before with his old camera, but the image was much smaller than in previous cases. I spent a lot of time over the subsequent weeks and months studying these photos and the complete history of how they were taken, based on interviews with the people who were present. I calculated the distance to the object based on the parallax and determined that it was probably between about 200 and 3000 ft away. I couldn't determine the exact distance because of inaccuracies in this first version of the SRS camera. However, the size of the object would have been 5 ft if at 200 ft and double that if at 400 ft, etc. Weeks later I discovered how it was possible to fake the parallax with the SRS camera. In order to carry out the faking one would place the UFO model at one location and take one picture and then move the model or turn the camera and take the second picture. There would be many seconds to minutes between flashes. I realized that the fact that the witnesses saw what appeared to be only a single flash (both cameras flashed at the same time), as opposed to two distinct flashes with many seconds between (first one camera and then the other), proved that Ed did not fake the parallax in this photo! Therefore there had been a rather large object several hundred feet away. Could it be that Ed had mounted a large "full size" UFO model over the water some hundreds of feet away and then somehow had it turned on briefly for his picture? This didn't seem likely, but, in March, 1988, I reserved judgement. Then, three nights later, he got another stereo photo (March 20). This time Ed was in the back yard of his house and the object was a considerable distance away over the field (a high school athletic field) behind his house. The picture from the right hand camera showed the top and bottom "power ring" lights of the UFO. The picture from the left hand camera showed a dim, distorted view of the "power ring" lights, as if the view of the light had been partially blocked by something. By comparing a daylight stereo pair of pictures with the nighttime pictures I determined that the sighting line from the left camera had passed through the branches of a pine tree 60 feet away. Ed, at my request, carried out a photo experiment with a long fluorescent light tube. When the tube was behind the branches of the tree the image was distorted in the same way as the image of the "power ring" in the left hand UFO photo. Therefore the object was over sixty feet away, although I could not determine how far beyond that it was because of the lack of parallax (the sighting lines diverged,either because the cameras were not aligned properly or because Ed did not take the pictures simultaneously and the object moved slightly to the left between pictures).


During April, Ed rebuilt the SRS camera, using a much more rigid support for the cameras. He provided calibrating test shots, and then we waited. During early April there was a flap of sightings in Gulf Breeze (over two dozen in the first couple of weeks), but Ed didn't see anything. The sighting flap ended about the middle of April and it seemed that the flap was over. Then Ed and Frances, on April 21, saw the "Nimslo type" again. Apparently the UFOs were still around. Therefore, since Ed wanted to use his new SRS camera to get the best possible stereo photos (he said), he decided to be "pro-active" and set up the camera at Shoreline Park where he had had "luck" before. He did this several times during the last week of April. Some days or weeks before he had asked me what would provide the most convincing evidence and I had recommended that he take, not only the SRS, but also the videocamera and a radio. I said that the photographic evidence would be enhanced if Frances could videotape the sighting and him taking an SRS picture while a radio was playing music from some station. I knew that the video camera would audio record the radio so we could determine later the exact time of the sighting (by contacting the radio station to find out at what time a particular song or whatever was broadcast). I also suggested that he take along 6 foot white plastic pipes, each coded near the top with strips of black tape. He could stick them into the ground at the cardinal points of the compass, i.e., the north, south, east and west locations, relative to the camera (at the center of this "circle" of pipes) for direction reference. During the nights of Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 Ed and Frances went to Shoreline Park, prepared as I had suggested. Each night Ed set up the camera and the pipes and then he and Frances waited. Nothing happened. Frances had to leave for an over-the-weekend high school trip with the high school band (as a chaperon) early (4 AM) Friday morning, so they did not go out Thursday night. Frances asked Ed to promise that he wouldn't go out by himself. But he did anyway on Friday night. On Saturday, April 30, Ed and I had our first conversation in a while. He told me of his sighting on the 21st, that it had prompted him to begin these nighttime vigils again and that he and Frances had followed my suggestions to bring a radio and videocamera and set up the coded pipes. He also told me that Frances had gone away on a high school trip and that he had gone out alone Friday night and intended to do the same Saturday night. As he told me this my immediate reaction was that it wasn't a good idea to do this alone. At the very least the needed documentation wouldn't be there without the video camera and furthermore, if "something happened" there might be danger involved. But I didn't say anything. The next day, shortly after noon, I was working on my MUFON presentation about the Gulf Breeze sightings. The phone rang. I picked it up and heard a sound like someone panting, or groaning. I wondered, who could this be? Could it be a crank call? Then I heard, in a low, strained voice, "This is Ed." He then, with a halting voice, numerous pauses and repeats, told me what had happened the night before. (I recorded the conversation with his permission, as I had done many times before). I have provided a summarized version in TGBS, pg. 297. Briefly, what he told me is as follows: Ed had set up the SRS camera and and pipes at Shoreline Park about midnight and then had sat in his truck listening to music. At about 1:10 AM he got a hum in his head, a sign of the presence of the UFO. He got out of the truck and walked to the location where he had set up the camera about 20 ft from the waters edge in an area more or less surrounded on three sides by bushes (where he had taken the March 17 SRS photos). He began to scan the sky west, south and east of him, i.e., over the Santa Rosa Sound. Suddenly he saw the top and "power ring" lights of the large UFO over the water. He turned the SRS structure and sighted through the right hand Polaroid camera while placing his left and right hands to push the shutter buttons on the left and right cameras. Pushing the buttons simultaneously while sighting through the right hand camera was an operation he had practiced several times and had used on March 17 (described above). He told me that immediately after taking the picture he looked over the camera and noticed that there were now two UFOs over the water, the second being the "Nimslo type." He placed his eye to the viewfinder of the right hand camera and prepared to take another photo when he suddenly realized he couldn't see either UFO. Again he looked over the camera to see where they had gone. He placed his left hand on the SRS direction control handle and prepared to turn the camera as soon as he saw where the UFOs had gone. Suddenly he became aware of a light over his head; the large UFO had moved from a position at some distance over the water to a location right over his head in a couple of seconds. Then everything went white and he fell down. Ed told me that the next thing he recalled was lying at the water's edge, about 20 ft from where he had been standing. He got up and walked to a nearby park bench where he tried to figure out what had happened. His head hurt and his hands had a horrible odor. There was no UFO in the sky. After a couple of minutes he looked at his watch and was shocked to see that it read 2:25 AM. What had happened between 1:10 and 2:25? Suddenly the thought occurred to him that his daughter, at home in bed, was in danger. He walked quickly to the SRS camera where he found a picture hanging from the ejection port of each of the Polaroids. There was also a picture on the ground below the right hand camera. He picked up the pictures and the camera and the pipes and raced home. He checked on his daughter (still sleeping) and spent the rest of the night sitting outside her door on guard against...he didn't know what. At daybreak he went to bed for a while and got up about noon. He tried to wash the odor from his hands and couldn't do so. While shaving he noticed a red spot on his forehead. He also could see red spots on his temples. (Note: the spot and the bruises were photographed by Charles Flannigan the next day.) While combing his hair he noticed a lump at the back. (The reason for these bruises and the reason for his fear that something would happen to his daughter were revealed during a regression by Dr. Overlade, as reported in "Abductions in Gulf Breeze.) Ed told me all this information in a very halting voice and then described the pictures he had taken. There were three. Two were obviously a stereo pair, but the third, evidently from the right hand camera, showed only the background images and a single small white oval image. Apparently he had taken a picture of something with the right hand camera even as he was falling during the "white out." As I listened to Ed I wondered if this was all an act or an actual event. Could it have been an abduction or was Ed making this all up? His voice was so emotion-laden that it sounded as if this had really happened. Ed said he would mail the pictures to me the next day. He did so and I received them several days later. As I examined the photos for the first time I was stunned to see how symmetric was the lighting of the Nimslo-type UFO. It was a better picture than he had obtained on Feb. 26. And then began the analysis.


The UFO images appear in a direction southward from the beach where Ed was standing. The exact direction was determined by using as reference points the distant lights which are on the Bob Sikes bridge that crosses the Santa Rosa Sound, running from Gulf Breeze to Pensacola Beach. The known distance of these lights from the SRS camera, about 7,000 ft, allowed me to calibrate the stereo effect. Using the calibration I calculated that the large UFO was at a distance of about 475 ft and about 150 ft above the water. I calculated its height (the spacing between the top light and the bottom ring) as about 15 ft and the width of the bottom ring as about 15 ft, consistent with the estimated sizes of previously photographed UFOs. The Nimslo-type was about 132 ft away and about 120 ft above the water and its length calculated to be about 2.5 ft. I was struck by the fact that the distance was different for the two objects because, from the point of view of the hoax hypothesis based on photographing small, nearby models, it was difficult enough to convincingly hoax the parallax effect corresponding to a single distance. To get two different and reasonable distances in the same picture by hoaxing two parallax effects would be even more difficult. (Note: the methods of parallax synthesis which I discovered *after* Ed took his first SRS photos are described in the MUFON symposium paper.) Having finished these calculations I returned to the analysis of the February 26 Nimslo photos. The reader should understand that, although the pictures were taken in February, it was not until May that I had enough photographic information to actually calibrate the Nimslo camera. Having received that information in early May I spent several days analyzing the Nimslo photos to determine the distance and size of the object. Up until that point no one...and I emphasize no one...(unless it was a fake and Ed knew how big the model was) knew what size the Nimslo object was. Anything published in the press or in private correspondence was pure speculation. Therefore, having just discovered from analysis of the May 1 SRS camera photos that the Nimslo object was about 2.5 ft long, you can imagine my surprise when I calculated that the object in the Nimslo photos was somewhere between 40 - 70 ft away therefore was between 2.5 - 4 ft long. In other words there was agreement between these two very different cameras that the object was about 2.5 ft long. (Note: this length actually refers to the maximum spacing between the lights which form the image. There is no image of a "solid body" which could have been longer than 2 1/2 ft.) This "coincidence" made a great impression on me because I realized, after some thought, the difficulty in creating two hoax stereo photos using cameras of different focal lengths (the Polaroid camera has an effective focal length about 110 mm and that of the Nimslo camera is 31 mm). This meant that, if he used a single 2.5 ft model, he had to calculate in advance the exact amount of parallax synthesis he would need to create with the SRS camera (i.e., a specific distance to move the object sideways between exposures) to make the distance and image size as calculated from the SRS photos to agree with the size calculated from the Nimslo photos. I knew that this sort of calculation would strain the expert photographer, most of whom wouldn't have a clue as to how to do this (and you can't read about it in books!...well, except for the MUFON Symposium Proceedings). I was certain that a calculation like this could not have been carried out by Ed.


So, for me this was the last straw, from the point of view of photo analysis. Ed was the first UFO witness in history to take stereo pictures and he did it with a camera that would easily have provided proof of fakery using a nearby model. He didn't have to do this, but he did. Unless someone can come up with a counter-example, I think Ed holds the record for carrying out more experiments to help with the analysis of photographs than any other witness in history. Moreover, many of these experiments would have turned up inconsistencies in his story and photos had they been fakes. For all of the nighttime pictures he took he provided daylight comparisons. He also made distance measurements when needed. In the summer of 1988 he carried out experiments that explained the presence of the two reflections of the sky in the truck hood (photo 19; discussed above). He provided comparison photos and test photos using the old Polaroid, the Model 600 and the SRS camera. He didn't have to do any of these experiments and he didn't have to provide comparison photos, etc., but he did. He also didn't have to take a lie detector test and, having been given one test he didn't have to allow McLaughlin to test him a second time. He didn't have to sit through hours of examinations by Dr. Overlade or hours of interviews with investigators. Of course, the diehard skeptic will say that Ed went to all these troubles in order to convince everyone that his faked sightings and photos were real. But this response begs the question of proof. If he were a hoaxer and everything he did was no threat to his case then he might gladly do the bidding of the investigators. But how would he know in advance which things would bolster his hoax and which would destroy it? It turns out that many things he did could well have sunk his case. First and foremost was allowing himself to be interviewed and tape recorded at length many times. Of course he knew that if he slipped up in his stories someone could find out by comparing tape recorded interviews. Taking any "lie detector" test was a potential threat to his (presumed) hoax. Suppose he thought he could pass a single lie detector test (perhaps with some mental preparation). So, he takes the first test and, when he goes to the office of the polygrapher to get the results of the test he is surprised when the polygrapher requests him to repeat the test. But he was not mentally prepared for a second test. Would he dare to take the test again, with the possibility of failure, or would he just tell the polygrapher "goodbye?" Of course, he knew that if he failed the test he could simply not tell anyone and refuse to take another such test. But the polygrapher would know, and he might leak some information to someone else. Even more threatening to a hoaxer was the intensive investigation by Dr. Overlade. Would a hoaxer know in advance that he could maintain all the details of his stories, etc. through intensive interviewing, followed by a battery of psychological tests followed by hours of hypnotic regression? What if Overlade suspected something and gave him a post-hypnotic suggestion that he should "tell the truth" to the MUFON investigators or the newspaper or radio? And then there are the stereo photos. As I have mentioned above, you can't find instructions on how to fake parallax using a camera such as the Nimslo or SRS. So, even if Ed were a "secret genius" photographer, creating double exposures left and right, he could not guarantee for himself that he could figure out how to hoax stereo photos. Would he then agree to build one anyway? And, having built it, would he agree to follow my instructions on how to improve it and how to calibrate it? And here's the beef: would he dare take even one UFO photo with the camera, and to do it with witnesses around who could catch him hoaxing the photos (March 17)? And would he dare go on and take more SRS photos, including one which shows the same sort of object as appears in the Nimslo photos? As I have written and said in lectures many times in the past, virtually any photo can be faked, given enough technical ability, time, equipment and motivation. Clearly Ed had the time and equipment to create simple double exposure fakes to back up his stories. However, the results of Overlade's investigation and the polygraph tests suggest that he did not have the motivation. The other important question is, did he have the technical ability to create these stereo photos? My answer is no. As I mentioned above, you can't read about this in books and most professional photographers know very little about stereo photography. But even when you know how to do the faking, so that it appears conceptually simple, it is still complicated, mechanically as well as mathematically, to actually carry out a fake using the same model with two cameras of different focal lengths (i.e., the Nimslo-type appearing in the Nimslo photos and in the SRS photos). Could Ed have faked the May 1 photos? Yes, by using full scale fake UFOs, one 15 ft high, 15 ft wide, 475 ft away and 150 ft above the water and a second 132 ft away, 120 ft above the water and 2.5 ft long. Do I think that Ed actually made full size fake UFOs and somehow suspended them over the water hundreds of feet away? No, and I doubt that any reasonable person would think that either.


Before closing I should mention, as I have numerous times in the past in responding to Mr. Black and others, that Ed was not alone. If it was a hoax, his family and a friend are also involved. One would think that when Ed and Frances were divorced several years later that information about UFO hoaxing would have "leaked out" as a result of the stresses of divorce. However, Ed and Frances both stated that the UFO events did happen. Furthermore, there were numerous witnesses in the Gulf Breeze area, such as the county coroner and his wife, who said they saw something similar or identical to what Ed photographed. There have been arguments over whether the witnesses actually saw something "identical" or not, but this argument of identicallity diverts attention from the fact that other witnesses saw strange objects, resembling what Ed photographed, flying around between November 11, 1987 and July 1988. Several of these witnesses saw a blue beam associated with the object. Anyone who doubts my claim of "other witnesses" should read "Gulf Breeze Without Ed" which is published in the Proceedings of the 1991 MUFON Symposium (see also TGBS, AIGB and "UFOs Are Real, Here's the Proof," by Ed Walters and Bruce Maccabee, Avon, 1997). Of course, Ed's sightings have to be analyzed on their own to determine their veracity, but the point about bringing up other witnesses is that their testimony indicates that some strange objects were flying around the Gulf Breeze area at the time, so it is certainly possible that someone (Ed) could have photographed them. So why did Ed get so many photos whereas other witnesses only produced a few? Because, as Ed has stated, he was alerted to the presence of the UFO by a strange sort of sound or feeling in his head which he referred to as a "hum" like sound. When he heard/felt this "sound" he would get his camera. Sound too simple, too coincidental, too much like a "set up?" Yes. The claim of a "hum" seems a too convenient way to explain how Ed managed to get so many photos. It would be much "easier" to simply argue that, even though other people were seeing the same sort of UFO, Ed was simply creating photo hoaxes. The problem with this simple solution to Ed's sightings, namely that they were all hoaxes including the SRS photos, is to attribute to him a photographic (and storytelling) capability that strains credibility as much as does the reality of UFOs flying around Gulf Breeze.


In the interview Mr. Black spent a considerable amount of time worrying about the ethical implications of me receiving a payment from Ed Walters during the UFO investigation under the assumption that I received a payment in July, 1988. He argues that receiving such a payment would be unethical. I would agree. However, Mr. Black need not have worried: I did not receive any payment in July, 1988. Nor did I receive one in the previous months nor for about 6 months afterward (when I was paid for writing the book chapter; see above). As I have pointed out above, by the time I gave my MUFON presentation I had concluded that creation of the SRS photos was beyond Ed's capability. This was the "physics argument" against the hoax hypothesis. I then learned the result of Overlade's investigation and discussed the polygraph tests with McLaughlin. These gentlemen provided me with evidence that Ed was not the type to be making up weird UFO stories. This was the "psychologists argument" against the hoax hypothesis. I was, of course, aware that his family members were involved as witnesses and that there were numerous other witnesses in Gulf Breeze. So, by the time I actually agreed to write a book chapter I was convinced it was "all real" and I have maintained that position, despite the slings and arrows of cruel fate (and numerous skeptics) ever since then. Note: for a multiple witness sighting with multiple photos involving Ed and others see NOT JUST ANOTHER EVENING STROLL. There are several other Gulf Breeze sightings also presented at the same web site,