1971 Lake Cote / Lago de Cote UFO Aerial Photo

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
AFAIK we know its on the original print, its not photoshop.

I'm not seeing how an in focus but tiny representation of a flash lamp ends up on the negative/final print, the shape is compelling though.
If this thing really is on the camera negative and not on a copy it would be tricky but not impossible.

Thoughts:
-It's a roll film, somewhere around 200 feet long.

-The image would have to be introduced before processing.

-I would use a positive image with a mask. This positive image transparency would basically be made the same way movie film is produced from a camera negative. (Maybe even a frame of 16mm film? Or a small section of a color slide?) The mask could be as simple as a sheet of construction paper with a small window cut out with an X-ACTO knife and the positive film taped to the front surface. Then give the whole thing a bit of light. (A filtered flash?)

The mask protects the rest of the film from light. The rest of the roll would have to be protected as well.

-This technique might leave a suspicious artifact on the negative, as the film in this small spot has been exposed to more light than has the surrounding film. A dark blotchiness, perhaps.

-It could be done before or after the film was in the camera.

- A complication is that the hoaxer would have no way of knowing where the frames on unprocessed film would be, let alone what exact bit of landscape was where. (The hoaxer might therefore expose the film in several places along the roll?)


This movie from 1940 gives a general idea of what this type of film looks like. Most film in the 1970's was machine processed but the old fashioned way was still used, I'll bet. Doesn't really matter in the end. The chicanery could be accomplished in either system.

The film processing up to the point that the film was fixed in the hypo would be done in total darkness, you understand.
 
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TopBunk

Active Member
While the shadows on the "object" appear inconsistent with those on the landscape, they look more similar to those on the elements around the edge of the negative.
Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 09.40.06.png
below i've resized the "saucer" and aligned it with the elements on the edge of the negative in it's original orientation.
Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 09.51.29.png

Also there's clear evidence of digital manipulation here:

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 12.51.41.png

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 12.55.20.png

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 12.50.36.png

There seems to be a clear pattern of clone tool adjustments around the object. Indicated in red below.

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 14.00.37.png

Which matches up with the general area around the object. It all seems quite deliberate.

2.png
 

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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Esteban Carranza has a 40+ year old 8x10 negative, which is a “contact” copy of the COTE UFO original negative that resides in the National Archives of Costa Rica. He acquired this from his late uncle, who passed away last year. He obtained it back in the late 70s - early 80s from the National Geographic Institute.
On the morning of September 4, 1971, a plane from the Costa Rican Geographic Institute was taking photographs to map the area of the Arenal region. The four crew members did not remember seeing anything unusual, but then the camera was set to automatically photograph every 20 seconds or so. It was a special RMK 15/23 camera with ASA 80 bw film, with an 8x8 negative imprinted on Kodak air safety film, type 3665.
Content from External Source
http://notiziarioufologico.blogspot.com/2011/02/costa-rica-ufo-dossier.html

It's been many years since I was in the darkroom, so correct me if I'm wrong, but how does one make an 8"x10" contact negative from an original 8"x8" negative? As film, or photo paper is light sensitive, a negative will always create a positive and visa-versa, right?

The size difference isn't that big of a deal, but there would have to be an intermediary photo right? Negative to positive to negative. Unless I'm not remembering something.
 

KilliK

Member
here is a theory that the object is actually a boat breaking waves:
https://michaelianblack.wixsite.com/theblackfiles/costa-rica-ufo

personally, i like the chipped glass theory.
here is how a chipped glass looks:


which is quite similar to the UFO on the photo:


you can see the black line above the black circle, and also a smaller black circle below it, so they could be the fragments inside the glass. there is also the darker perimeter which divides the shape into its bottom and upper bodies.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
personally, i like the chipped glass theory.
here is how a chipped glass looks:


which is quite similar to the UFO on the photo:


you can see the black line above the black circle, and also a smaller black circle below it, so they could be the fragments inside the glass. there is also the darker perimeter which divides the shape into its bottom and upper bodies.

I would have liked this theory, if all the frames of that series would have this artefact on the exact same spot.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
@TopBunk

The clone indication is quite a good one. But how would this work? The artefact is on analog film, why would someone manipulate the scanned version?
 

TopBunk

Active Member
Esteban Carranza has a 40+ year old 8x10 negative, which is a “contact” copy of the COTE UFO original negative
I'm not sure I understand this sentence from the article. Can a negative be a contact copy of another negative?
He also says at the top of the article that it's a drum scan of a photograph. I thought drum scans were of transparent material i.e. negatives.

Also I see from
Source: https://twitter.com/UAP_CR/status/1377859268637036546?s=20&t=ZbjMfRLDNije2T4YRRwUSw

that the 1.7GB image is a needlessly digitally tidied up version of the image in this tweet.

So I guess @jarlrmai at [#118] is correct. We need the original negative.

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 22.47.21.png
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I've seen many errors made by reporters and other yarn-spinners who have no basic knowledge of photography. There have been many ambiguities as well, caused by translation errors. Let's clear some things up.

- The film used in the camera was a long roll on two spools, somewhere around 200 feet. Looks something like an ancient Greek scroll.

-The image on the film is 23 cm x 23 cm (9 inches). The 23 in the name of the camera - Zeiss RMK A 15/23 - is a frame size designation.

The yarn-spinner who reported that it was an 8 x10 (inch) print was obviously wrong, since the image is square.

-The individual frames may or not have been trimmed into single sheets after processing. Probably not. Which leads to long negative scratches and other damage as the roll is unwound and rewound over the years.

- The word "print" does not necessarily mean it's printed on paper. That's just something people are most familiar with. When they hear "print" they assume it's a paper print.

- The "print" that has recently surfaced is a sheet of film. It is a contact print with a positive image. A negative image printed on a negative film produces a positive image, n'est-ce pas?

-Partially a generational thing. Fans of old movies who had to go to "art house theaters" to see them were used to saying things like "this is a good print" or "this is a bad print." A bad print could be really bad since it was decades old.

We Oldsters are also very familiar with movie film because of the ubiquitous Bell & Howell film projectors in school.



A movie print is more complicated than you'd think, btw:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_print#:~:text=The post-production of many,prints are struck in the
In the traditional photochemical post-production workflow, release prints are usually copies, made using a high-speed continuous contact printer, of an internegative (sometimes referred to as a 'dupe negative'), which in turn is a copy of an interpositive (these were sometimes referred to as 'lavender prints' in the past, due to the slightly colored base of the otherwise black-and-white print), which in turn is a copy, optically printed to incorporate special effects, fades, etc., from the cut camera negative. In short, a typical release print is three generations removed from the cut camera negative.
 
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kasparovitch

Active Member
The thing or whatever it is in pic #300 wasn't found until 1979, when operators reviewed pictures, or negatives (I can't find the source now). My question is, those pics were taken in 1971 for a project in the lake, so weren't they worked before 1979? If they did, how could it be that such a large enough thing wasn't noticed before as it is well notorious and more so as it is placed right in the lake cartography was made for. I'm not claiming anything, only placing a doubt that I think reasonable.

There's a certified copy of print #300 (see pic from Twitter user @UAP_CR in Mick's post #104), so one such negative containing the thing must be in the National Archive. Which negative they used in the certificate isn't known, now that they tell there are duplicate negatives.

The operators were excited when they found the thing and zoomed it in from the negative to check. It would be reasonable they they demanded a native negative if they were using a duplicate. Or they weren't aware of so, I don't know, but it would be fine to make it clear.
 

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TopBunk

Active Member
Thanks @Z.W. Wolf Might the contact process be the point of failure here? i.e the moment a foreign body might interfere with a perfect reproduction. Don’t the materials have to physically touch?
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
No. But you're on the right track.

And SpOoKy777 was also on the right track.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/19...ote-ufo-aerial-photo.11729/page-3#post-249999

Sp0oky777 was looking at some paper prints. These prints seem to have had some sort of protective film laminated onto, or stuck to, the surface. I've never seen anything like that, so I don't know exactly what it is.

Sp0oky777 did some tests with "scotch tape" to show what a bit of crud under the tape looks like.
particleTest (1).jpg

But the protective laminate on these paper prints has nothing to do with the original negative. And the flaw in the original film would not have anything to do with a flaw within the layers of the film, as Sp0oky777 later mused.

Rather it's a flaw having to do with debris getting trapped between the layers of film in the roll. A pressure mark. Essentially a dent in the original negative. This flaw in the negative would produce an artifact on any print made from the original negative and it would easily be misperceived as a genuine image when looking at the original negative. Only a very close examination of the original negative with the proper sideways angle of illumination would reveal the truth.

Despite my musings above on how a hoax image may have been introduced onto the unprocessed film, the pressure mark explanation is the one I strongly favor.

It's best to read this article submitted to The Journal of Scientific Exploration by UFOlogists Jacques Vallee and Richard Haines.

https://www.scientificexploration.org/journal
The JSE is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the SSE.

The Society for Scientific Exploration provides a critical international forum for sharing original research on unconventional topics and furthering our understanding of human capabilities.

The society is fully donor and member-funded, with contributions providing for open access research through a peer-reviewed journal and SSE-hosted conferences where professional researchers and interested members of the public engage with one another to advance science.

Article:
https://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_03_2_haines.pdf


Beginning on page 15:
Referee's Review of "Photo Analysis of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica," by Haines and Vallee, prepared by Marilyn E. Bruner, Sr. Staff Scientist, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory


I have examined the photograph exhibited in the paper submitted by Haines and Vallee and read their discussion with considerable interest. While I agree that the image seen in Figure 1 is very suggestive, my impression is that it probably does not represent a physical object. This impression is based primarily on a visual inspection of the negative (Figure 6) under levels of magnification ranging from 3 X to 12 X. The following observations were noted:

-The grain patterns in the northern edge of the oval image appear to be of a different character than those in the remaining parts of the field. Grains are smaller and more closely packed. The photographic density is quite high, appearing to be nearly saturated at the northern boundary.

-The northern edge of the image is abnormally sharp; much sharper, for example, than any physical feature on the coastline.

-There is no evidence of light diffusion or halation that would normally be found adjacent to an image formed by a bright light source. The light areas on the negative (i.e., the "portholes" on the positive image) appear to have the same photographic density as the surrounding water.

The most troubling point is probably the very high density and unusual sharpness of the northern edge of the image. It appears to be a step function. The only other features of comparable sharpness are obvious scratches and other artifacts on the negative. If the high density were due to a bright source, at least some level of flaring, some evidence of lens aberrations, and some diffusion in the emulsion should have been seen. This is certainly the case for the trees, shrubs, and rocks seen along the coastline. I suspect that a quantitative analysis of the image would show that the steepness of the step function exceeds the resolving power of the len's, a point that could easily be tested. The strong variations in sharpness with position around the image boundary are also quite difficult to explain in terms of a photograph of a physical object.

On the basis of these observations and on the authors' discussion of the inconsistent shadow patterns, it is my opinion that the oval image is more likely to be an artifact such as a pressure mark than a photographic image of a physical object. Such a mark could have been caused by a foreign particle trapped between two layers of the film on the supply spool. The gradations in density across the image (the "shadow patterns") could easily be due to thickness variations in the particle; these, of course, would bear no relation to the direction of scene illumination. Thickness variations could also explain the sharpness variations around the perimeter of the image. The doubled appearance of the image on the southeast edge could result if the particle shifted and made a second impression while it was being spooled or being transported in the camera.

I did a simple experiment with pencil and tracing paper that suggests that the appearance is consistent with rotation of the postulated particle about a point on the northern boundary of the image. Obviously this part of the discussion is based largely on conjecture, since the original film was not available for inspection. The particle hypothesis could, in principle, be tested by examining the original negative under strong, glancing incidence illumination. If the image is a pressure mark, it may be possible to find marks or scratches on the emulsion or local deformations in the film base.

This would explain why:

-The thing doesn't really look like a physical object.

-The light patterns on the "UFO" don't match with the direction of the sunlight at the time. The highlights are actually from the light of the printer shining on the dent. Refraction? Specular reflections?

-Part of the "UFO" is in good focus and another part of it is not in good focus. The lower part of the dent is closer to the print and thus in better "focus" and the higher part is farther away and thus in worse "focus." I put the word focus inside quotation marks because it's really a matter of the shadows of the film grains being less or more spread out due to distance.

-There were no witnesses to a 633 foot flying craft(!).

And it might explain why there seems to be a smaller but similar artifact on adjacent frame 299. A smaller dent caused by the same piece of debris?

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/19...ote-ufo-aerial-photo.11729/page-2#post-248820

Is the artifact on frame 299 also near the edge of the negative?


Vallee and Haines make a rebuttal, which I don't find convincing. It's long and tedious and I don't feel like going into details.
 

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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
The thing or whatever it is in pic #300 wasn't found until 1979, when operators reviewed pictures, or negatives (I can't find the source now). My question is, those pics were taken in 1971 for a project in the lake, so weren't they worked before 1979? If they did, how could it be that such a large enough thing wasn't noticed before as it is well notorious and more so as it is placed right in the lake cartography was made for. I'm not claiming anything, only placing a doubt that I think reasonable.

There's a certified copy of print #300 (see pic from Twitter user @UAP_CR in Mick's post #104), so one such negative containing the thing must be in the National Archive. Which negative they used in the certificate isn't known, now that they tell there are duplicate negatives.

The operators were excited when they found the thing and zoomed it in from the negative to check. It would be reasonable they they demanded a native negative if they were using a duplicate. Or they weren't aware of so, I don't know, but it would be fine to make it clear.
From this article: https://www.crhoy.com/tecnologia/hace-45-anos-un-ovni-impresiono-a-costa-rica-y-al-mundo/

The copy feature doesn't work on this article for some reason...

The upshot is that the films weren't really studied for years afterward (unclear how many). This makes sense. It was a routine survey that was archived until needed. The same guy who was the photographer in the plane (it seems) saw the UFO image at that time. That was Sergio Loaiza. Loaiza got in contact with Costa Rican UFOlogist Ricardo Vílchez (seemingly in 1979) and Vílchez sent a copy to GSW.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/bl...s-ufo-disclosure-enterprise.9155/#post-213742

GSW - Ground Saucer Watch
http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ground-saucer-watch

A now-defunct organization, founded in 1957, that had a membership of scientists, engineers, professionals, and educated laymen interested in taking scientific action to resolve the controversial elements in UFO reports. Its objectives were as follows: to provide an accessible outlet for all interested persons who wish to report any aerial phenomena experiences without fear of ridicule or undue publicity; to "edify a confused media" with factual press releases, lectures, conferences, and interviews; to research and evaluate all UFO cases to which scientific criteria can be applied and analyzed with the use of specialized talents and instrumentation; to continue to pursue legal action against the federal government with lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests for release of UFO materials; and to bring forth workable hypotheses and theories of UFO origin and reasons for their continuing surveillance.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
But the protective laminate on these paper prints has nothing to do with the original negative. And the flaw in the original film would not have anything to do with a flaw within the layers of the film, as Sp0oky777 later mused.

Rather it's a flaw having to do with debris getting trapped between the layers of film in the roll. A pressure mark. Essentially a dent in the original negative. This flaw in the negative would produce an artifact on any print made from the original negative and it would easily be misperceived as a genuine image when looking at the original negative. Only a very close examination of the original negative with the proper sideways angle of illumination would reveal the truth.
Agreed.

But, we don't know if any of these positives we're seeing are direct from the original negatives right? As I and @TopBunk mused (post #123 & #128), I don't think one can make a contact negative from a negative. A negative always produces a positive as I remember my time in the darkroom.

So it could be a damaged original negative, or it's still possible that a print made from the negative was damaged and various versions of that damaged print are what we're seeing, correct?

On the one hand it seems like getting the original negative shouldn't be that hard, but it was 40+ years ago.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
But, we don't know if any of these positives we're seeing are direct from the original negatives right? As I and @TopBunk mused (post #123 & #128), I don't think one can make a contact negative from a negative. A negative always produces a positive as I remember my time in the darkroom.

This is how it works. You make a positive copy (an interpositive) from the original negative, then make a duplicate negative from the interpositive. The image gets degraded every time.

This newly released Lake Cote UFO print is reported to be a first generation contact interpositive. It certainly is high quality, so I believe the report.

Old movies - Things really go south when an internegative gets made from a used positive release print, then a new release print gets made from that internegative. What we used to say is, "This print looks dupey." Dupey meaning a duplicate. Or if the process had been repeated: "This print looks really dupey."

Still photos may go through this dupey process: A duplicate negative is made by taking a photo of an old paper print. Then paper prints are made from the duplicate negative. (Then an interpositive is made from the duplicate negative to make duplicate negatives to distribute to people who want to make their own paper prints.) Many (most?) Civil War photos have gone through that process. Maybe more than once.

Who knows how many generations some of these Lake Cote UFO photos floating around have gone through?
 
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TopBunk

Active Member
Forgive me if this detail is mentioned somewhere but do we know if any of the investigations (from Vallee, Haines or others) are of the original camera negative?
[Edit: apparently Vallee & Haines DID examine the original negative source: Source: https://twitter.com/UAP_CR/status/1522967131238850560?s=20&t=3P_JM47lCzMlsdzqS_LXVw]

While the new drum scan is impressively high-res isn't it still a scan of a duplicate negative?
So is it still possible that the artefact could have been created when the duplicate negative was created? - as I asked [#131] isn't physical contact required at this stage and couldn't this also account for a similar defect on other frames?
Is it verified that the original camera negative has the artefact on it?


FR_0vGDXEAAMXY2-2.jpeg

[Source: Source: https://twitter.com/UAP_CR/status/1522204296212799489?s=20&t=3P_JM47lCzMlsdzqS_LXVw
]
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Read the report again. The original negative was not available.

Page 2: In spite of the lack of a first-generation negative, we felt several unusual factors justified a detailed analysis...

Referee's Review of "Photo Analysis of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica," by Haines and Vallee, prepared by Marilyn E. Bruner, Sr. Staff Scientist, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory

Page 15: Obviously this part of the discussion is based largely on conjecture, since the original film was not available for inspection.

https://web.archive.org/web/2010033...icexploration.org/journal/jse_03_2_haines.pdf

And, if you're going to use that kind of argument...

Referee Marilyn E. Bruner was the only one of the three qualified by education and profession to do photo analysis. Vallee and Haines had no professional qualifications in that area and were doing an amateur analysis.
 
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DavidB66

Active Member
The 1990 paper "New Evidence" says they obtained the original negative.
I thought the original negatives were kept in the Costa Rica National Archive? In my experience of archive research it would be unusual for original documents to be allowed out of the premises, let alone to another country. Even eminent academics would usually be expected to visit the archive in person and examine the documents under supervision. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and documents may sometimes be allowed out for special exhibitions, or for technical research beyond the means of the archive itself. For example the British Library has a detailed policy on the subject of exhibitions:

https://www.bl.uk/about-us/governance/policies/borrowing-for-exhibitions#

Perhaps Vallee et al persuaded the Costa Rica Archive to release the negatives for their research. Personally I think it would be irresponsible to do so, since there would be an evident danger of loss, damage or tampering. The 1990 paper is quite vague about how they obtained the negatives, just saying at the beginning that 'through the efforts of Peter Sturrock, Jacques Vallee, and Ricardo Vilchez in San Jose, Costa Rica we received three connected frames' and at the end they refer to 'our good fortune in obtaining the original negative'. There is no direct thanks or acknowledgement to the Archive or its staff, unless 'Ricardo Vilchez' fits that description. It is more likely that he is (or rather was) the 'ufologo costarricense' mentioned in this recent obituary:

https://www.lateja.cr/deportes/fall...rdo-vilchez/JOVBVLXXAFA5DITWPOGT6IE3HQ/story/

This is all a bit iffy.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Perhaps Vallee et al persuaded the Costa Rica Archive to release the negatives for their research.
If so, then what? He looked at them and then said we should take his word for what he saw. He didn't make a print, or take a picture or scan the negative? And if he got to borrow it back then, certainly someone should be able to go to Costa Rica now and view it right? I'm no academic, but I'll go to Costa Rica and take a peek!

With Vallee's history, I wouldn't be surprised if someone just told him whatever old copy he was shown was THE original negative and he believed it.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Also there's clear evidence of digital manipulation here:
Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 12.50.36.png

OK, that's "wow" levels of coincidence. Fermi-ing the numbers, that's at least a 10x10 area, where there's at least 10 shades of grey, and every pixel is in exactly the right relation to all its neighbours. The probability of that happening in noise by chance is clearly less than 10^-100 (and in reality you could probably double or triple the number of zeroes, I was very conservative. Vaguely-related aside: to get more of a feeling for how the numbers grow, "Stand Up Mathematician" Matt Parker just did an amusing little delve into the random-seeming digits of pi, youtu.be/dET2l8l3upU ).
Great catch!

There seems to be a clear pattern of clone tool adjustments around the object. Indicated in red below.
Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 14.00.37.png

Not all of those are convincing to the eye, but most are. None attain the number of coincident features as the above example (where basically every pixel is a witness to forgery). What tool did you use to find them - were the connecting lines added by hand or by the tool automatically?

Which matches up with the general area around the object. It all seems quite deliberate.
2.png

The fact that the same size perfectly circular brush seems to have been used everywhere is particularly damning.
 

TopBunk

Active Member
The guy who released the drum scan as much as admitted that the image had been cleaned up in photoshop. It's a strange thing to do if you have the best UFO photo in history to share with the world why provoke suspicion by tidying it up?
I asked if he could release the file before the touch-ups.

Screenshot 2022-05-09 at 17.53.01.png

Also he seems to have access the to original negative, so I asked if a drum scan of that could be done & shared.

[Source: Source: https://twitter.com/UAP_CR/status/1522207434063978498?s=20&t=vn5O6X_CrsvaAw7f--YqOg
]

@FatPhil I used Forensically, but found the most similar ones by eye.

Here's some screenshots of the results using various settings.
2.png7.png5.png3.png
 

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FatPhil

Senior Member.
From this article: https://www.crhoy.com/tecnologia/hace-45-anos-un-ovni-impresiono-a-costa-rica-y-al-mundo/

The copy feature doesn't work on this article for some reason...

OT, but might be of use in the future, the page authors have put an invisible layer over the whole page so that you can't select any text below it. I use a firefox extension called "Dismiss the Overlay" to remove such layers. Web developers can use other techniques, such as just making the text non-selectable using CSS, but you can generally work around that by adding * { user-select: text !important; } to your userContent.css. There should be enough there to help you google for solutions relevant to your browser, good luck.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The guy who released the drum scan as much as admitted that the image had been cleaned up in photoshop. It's a strange thing to do if you have the best UFO photo in history to share with the world why provoke suspicion by tidying it up?
It has 100% been edited. Which is something you should NOT do to a photo if you want to analyze it.

Looking at the "trails" of photoshopping:
2022-05-09_12-35-13.jpg

This matches the lines seen on the exterior of the image.
2022-05-09_12-38-49.jpg

These four lines are interesting because:

A) They coincide with object
B) They are unique in the image
C) They were removed around the image (possibly with no intent to deceive)

Maybe coincidence, or maybe an indication of either the faking mechanism or a film flaw.
 

TopBunk

Active Member
the pressure mark explanation is the one I strongly favor.
Maybe a pressure mark from photographic tongs? Isn't it about where the negative might handled?

Also, (I don't want to get all Judas Priest here) but is there some writing here?

Screenshot 2022-05-09 at 21.25.15.pngScreenshot 2022-05-09 at 21.25.00.png
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
1652127559919.png
Not to beat a dead horse, and if I'm being monumentally dense please smack me upside the head, but how does one get a contact negative from an original negative? It's not how I remember collage photography in the '80s.

There has to be a positive in between the 2 negatives, right? What Z. W. Wolf calls an "interpositive" (post #135). If that's the case, why fool around with another negative? The "interpositive" is a direct contact print of the original negative, it's the best print there is. Is a drum scan of a 2nd gen negative from an "interpositive" really better than the "interpositive"?
 

DavidB66

Active Member
At the risk of going further down a rabbit hole, I note that the container shown at #142 above, in a Tweet by 'UAP Costa Rica', is actually a drum or cylinder, or more technically a frustum of a cone. This would be suitable for storing a long roll of film, but not for flat printouts, etc. If it is, as claimed by UAP Costa Rica, where the original negative is stored, this suggests that the film is still in a long continuous roll.

Assuming these points are correct, the problem is that Vallee et al claim to have received only three 'frames' out of the original negative. This could only be strictly true if the frames had been cut out of the roll, which is surely unthinkable. So I suspect that what they actually received was at best a first-generation copy of the frames in the negative.

This might seem a minor point, except that Vallee et al themselves make a big deal of their claim that they examined the actual original negative, and their physical description of scratches, etc, seems consistent with this.
 

kasparovitch

Active Member
I only don't agree here in that this might be a minor point. This is the crucial question, indeed. Until the native negative can be examined no meaningful conclusion can be sustained. Also, and what's not a minor point for sure, it can't be true about Haines and Vallee when they state that through the efforts of Peter Sturrock, Jacques Vallee (author indeed), and Ricardo Vilchez in San Jose, Costa Rica they received three connected frames (No. 299-301) of the original black and white negative on February 11, 1990. They, or Haines alone, must have been deceived.

https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/4/jse_04_1_haines.pdf Right in 1st paragraph

It would be quite unlikely that National Archive would release a native negative outside their premises, less so abroad, unless complex red tape and control were taken, as put again by DadidB66 #139. As a rule original pieces from a State Archive can only be checked in situ under permit.

I think it is believable that the native negative has something abnormal in it as it is claimed by many people, operators included, and there's a certified print. But it seems only a dupey at best has been analyzed so far, which is meaningless of course.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Until the native negative can be examined no meaningful conclusion can be sustained.
That feels like overstating the effect of a scan service removing some scratches.
It would be quite unlikely that National Archive would release a native negative outside their premises, less so abroad, unless complex red tape and control were taken, as put again by DadidB66 #139. As a rule original pieces from a State Archive can only be checked in situ under permit.
I have interpreted the tweets to mean that a professional scan studio in Costa Rica received the original, scanned it, presumably returned it, did some standard processing on the file (e.g. scratch removal, digitally converting it to a positive), and then sent the resulting file to their clients Vallee et al.
 

TopBunk

Active Member
Comparison of the previously released image (left) and the new photoshopped drum scan (right).
Screenshot 2022-05-09 at 22.21.40.png
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
It has 100% been edited. Which is something you should NOT do to a photo if you want to analyze it.

Looking at the "trails" of photoshopping:
2022-05-09_12-35-13.jpg

This matches the lines seen on the exterior of the image.
2022-05-09_12-38-49.jpg

These four lines are interesting because:

A) They coincide with object
B) They are unique in the image
C) They were removed around the image (possibly with no intent to deceive)

Maybe coincidence, or maybe an indication of either the faking mechanism or a film flaw.

Agreed. Given that they seem parallel, they look like scratches introduced by a single cause to me, and they also seem to have a detail size smaller than they grain of the film, in which case they would probably be post-fixing handling issues. Lots of "seems" there, please check my working. One thing that would support the hypothesis would be if the narrowing and thickening of the marks happened in lockstep in the different lines, given a non-constant speed of movement of watever's doing the scratching. The minor transverse flaws that brighten all the interesting scratches together cause something indistinguishable from the effect I'm looking for, which makes looking for the actual signal (supporting mechanical scratching) harder.
 

kasparovitch

Active Member
I have interpreted the tweets to mean that a professional scan studio in Costa Rica received the original, scanned it, presumably returned it, did some standard processing on the file (e.g. scratch removal, digitally converting it to a positive), and then sent the resulting file to their clients Vallee et al.

Well, I assume that might have happened on their first paper from 1989. Here in 1990 they claim to have had native negatives in hand, nothing else:

[...] we were concerned that some of our reviewer's suggestions might require stricter tests than we could carry out on a second generation negative.

Then:

[...] we received three connected frames (No. 299-301) of the original black and white negative [...]

So, it seems someone was deceived on the second paper, readers first of all perhaps.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
1652127559919.png
Not to beat a dead horse, and if I'm being monumentally dense please smack me upside the head, but how does one get a contact negative from an original negative? It's not how I remember collage photography in the '80s.

There has to be a positive in between the 2 negatives, right? What Z. W. Wolf calls an "interpositive" (post #135). If that's the case, why fool around with another negative? The "interpositive" is a direct contact print of the original negative, it's the best print there is. Is a drum scan of a 2nd gen negative from an "interpositive" really better than the "interpositive"?
I think this guy knows nothing about photography and is sloppily using terms without knowing what they mean. First clue is that he says it's an 8 x 10 negative. It's obviously not an 8 x 10 image, as it is square. As noted above the image size is 9 x 9 inches. I think he just belts out 8 x 10 because that was a common print size for decades. A term someone my age heard a thousand times. The classic 8 x 10 glossy. (Even in my day people would call an 8 x 10 matte finish print a "glossy" because they had no idea what it meant.)

I suspect he says "negative" because it's a sheet of film. In his mind negative = film. He's completely unmindful about whether it's an interpostive or a duplicate negative because he has no idea what those even are.

Another possibility is that it is a duplicate negative made from an interpostive, but he sloppily calls it "a contact copy taken from the original negative." Once again because he has no idea what the process really entails.
 
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NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I think this guy knows nothing about photography and is sloppily using terms without knowing what they mean.
In Mick's post (#104) he says the negative, or whatever it is, was sent to:

Last year Esteban Carranza sent the negative to a photo laboratory in Kansas, by the name of Michael Strickland Photography
Content from External Source
Post #104

I don't want to talk smack about a modern Photography business based on what I might remember about Photography 101 in the mid '80s, however, if this place came of age after the '90s, the subtilties of darkroom work may be equal to knowledge of 8-tack tapes. Something it appears we remember.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
In Mick's post (#104) he says the negative, or whatever it is, was sent to:
The full text quoted in #104 says that a 'contact copy' was taken from the original negative in the archive. I take it that a 'contact copy' is the same thing as a 'contact print', as described in this Wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_print

The article mentions several advantages and disadvantages of contact printing. It is not necessarily superior to a print or copy produced in other ways.

The 1990 article by Haines and Vallee definitely claims to be based on a negative of some kind. From the nature of the process as described in the Wiki article, one would expect a contact print from a negative to be positive, since dark areas on the negative, which represent light areas in the original 'scene', will produce light areas on the photographic paper being used to receive the print. But this assumes that standard 'negative-positive' paper is used, and there are alternative options which would produce a negative print from a negative original. (See the Wiki article on 'Photographic paper'.) So Haines and Vallee may have had a negative contact print of this kind. However, for reasons discussed earlier, it seems highly unlikely that they were examining the original physical object from the Costa Rica Archive, even if they themselves believed otherwise. This invalidates at least one point made in their article:

The entire film plane on frames 299, 300, and 301 is flat with absolutely no protrusions or depressions anywhere. The thoughtful comments by our original reviewer in this regard were shown to be unsupported.
Well, of course it was flat if it was just a copy on flat paper! Any 'protrusions or depressions' in the original would only show up on the copy to the extent that they affected the light passing through it.
 

TopBunk

Active Member
Is it possible to un-strkethrough my question in [#136]? I thought it had been answered but I think its a key unanswered question since making any kind of copy of the original negative requires handling the original camera negative - with the potential for mistakes - and that it’s not settled as to whether Haines/Vallee inspected the original camera negative despite their claims, or whether it was a negative copy or whether the original negative has an identical mark on it.
 
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