1971 Lake Cote / Lago de Cote UFO Aerial Photo

The interview from Revista Dominicana answers some of my questions 2) and 3).

Luego de concluido el mapa, Loiza relata que entregaron al ICE el proyecto y ellos siguieron con su trabajo. Sin embargo, unos dos o tres años después, la institución volvió a buscar la ayuda del Instituto Geográfico Nacional, pues algunos datos estaban errados y requerían hacer un nuevo estudio.
“Por esas casualidades de la vida me correspondió a mí el trabajo de campo inicial que era la foto interpretación para marcar los puntos. Cuando estábamos estudiando las fotos en gabinete, en unas mesas grandes que usábamos para ver cuáles eran las que íbamos a necesitar, un compañero me dice muy al estilo nuestro: ‘Mirá, ¿qué es esta carajada? Parece un platillo volador’.
“Entonces fuimos al laboratorio e hicimos una ampliación y se la llevamos al director del Instituto Geográfico. De inmediato él llamó al ingeniero y jefe del Instituto Geodésico, que era la institución hermana paralela al proyecto, y nos dijo ahí mismo, en la oficina, que no podíamos hablar con nadie de la foto.


As soon as the map was finished, Loiza says that they gave ICE the project and continued their work. However, after about two or three years , the institution sought for help from the National Geographic Institute, since some data were wrong and they required a new study.
“As a coincidence of life, the initial field work that was the photo interpretation to mark the points was awarded to me. When we were studying the photos in the cabinet, on some large tables that we used to see which ones we were going to need, a partner tells me quite in our style: ‘Look, what the hell is this? It looks like a flying saucer ’.
“Then we went to the laboratory and zoomed it in and took it to the director of the Geographic Institute. He immediately called the engineer and head of the Geodesic Institute, who was the sister institution parallel to the project, and told us right there, in the office, that we could not talk to anyone in the photo.
 
Loaiza also claims he doesn't know how brothers Ricardo and Carlos Vílchez could find the picture and leak it. So he's unlikely to be aware of anything exchanged between Vílchez and authors for the articles of 1989 and 1990 in Journal of Scientific Exploration.
 
This makes me uneasy:

Sergio Loiza claims that he has had experiences with UFOs since he was five years old.

Many were surprised to see the ship in the photograph, others were scared but Don Sergio's reaction was different: he felt grateful for having had the opportunity to capture the moment, as he assures that since he was five years old he had had several experiences with UFOs and with beings from outer space.

Seeing multiple UFO's over the years is one thing. But having experiences with beings from outer space makes me suspect that he's a Contactee. That's a whole different level of woo. It seems that was born c. 1944, which means he would have been a teenager during the Golden Age of Contactees - late 40's to mid-60's. (The Silver Age was late 70's to mid 90's.)

This makes me suspect that he has a strong bias to keep this a mystery, and will resist honest enquiry. I don't think one more interview will advance our knowledge on this matter.

The only thing that may shed some light is to have him describe his experiences with beings from outer space. That should make it clear whether or not he's a Contactee.

Too bad the interview has already happened (?)
 
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The interview from Revista Dominicana answers some of my questions 2) and 3).
: ‘Look, what the hell is this? It looks like a flying saucer ’.

“Then we went to the laboratory and zoomed it in and took it to the director of the Geographic Institute. He immediately called the engineer and head of the Geodesic Institute, who was the sister institution parallel to the project, and told us right there, in the office, that we could not talk to anyone in the photo.
Content from External Source
The director was probably concerned about the reputation of the institute.

(cue long diatribe about how talking/printing/broadcasting nonsense is socially acceptable now)
 
I agree with Wolf and Mendel.

IMHO:

Only 5 people knew about the anomalous picture. The pilots and the heads of Geographic and Geodesic Institutes. It's understandable both heads wouldn't like to have their institutes connected with UFO phenomenons, risking public opinion charging them with fabrication or interest in ufology.

As a likely Contactee since an early age, Loaiza is the most probable person who informed Vílchez brothers about the picture. But he would thus have disobeyed orders from two Government officials, something he doesn't want to admit even 50 years later.

At this point, a forgery can't be ruled out until the original negatives can be thoroughly analyzed by independent sources. Access to original negatives, or to interpositive negatives or something the like, by Vílchez brothers, Sturrock and Vallee (and Carranza's uncle) until late 80's was probably somehow clandestine.

If it bothers mentioning this, Loaiza claims in 2021 to know nothing about Vílchez access to negatives. However the article by Vallee and Haines from 1989 says that "In 1980 Mr. Vilchez met in person with Sergio L. V. [Sérgio Loaiza Vargas]" and that "They to discussed the circumstances surrounding the flight and the photograph [...]". Something quite contradictory indeed.

So, Loaiza won't really help anything uncovering about the anomaly except in whatever may be biased towards crediting it.
 
The director was probably concerned about the reputation of the institute.
Not disagreeing, but this would suggest they didn't know what it was, such as an obvious pressure mark on the negative and therefore couldn't easily "debunk" that it's a flying saucer. If they did, it seems someone would have mentioned it by now.

It could also be that what was said and what Loaiza remembers, or wants to remember, is slightly different. The conversation could have been something like: "Allright guys, there's some kind of glitch in the photo that looks like a saucer. We've already had issues with this project, so don't go out there saying we photographed a UFO. Let's keep it professional". Loaiza can say he was told not to talk about it, but the context would be different.

It's also very possible that Loaiza is completely making this up, to as you say keep the mystery going. The idea insinuates that a low-to-mid-level bureaucrat at the Geographic Institute of a smallish Central American country is "in" on the "UFO cover up".

(cue long diatribe about how talking/printing/broadcasting nonsense is socially acceptable now)
Acceptable? It's desirable and expected! It's how one raises their media profile.
 
In an update it appears that getting an un-edited version of the drum scan image for analysis won't be occur, at least via UAP_CR (twitter handle).

He seems to be saying that he signed an NDA with the studio that performed the drum scan. I'm assuming he means non-disclosure agreement here, although I don't really understand why this would be necessary since he's been very public about him owning the contact negative. What is there that needs protecting from disclosure in a 50 year old land survey photograph?

He also seems to be saying that they then deleted the original file and only sent him a touched up version. When I asked him to clarify that he blocked me (temporarily), he returned to respond that I should go and get my own scan from the archives in Costa Rica. So it's not clear if he has an unedited version that he just doesn't want to share of if he never received one, both outcomes seem odd.

I paid, from my pocket, a drum scan some years ago. Of course I asked them to sign an NDA which also included that they delete any files after the product was delivered. If you want to pay for a new scan, be my guest. (Twitter user UAP_CR)

The conversation is here:

Source: https://twitter.com/UAP_CR/status/1653846850653364224?s=20
 
He seems to be saying that he signed an NDA with the studio that performed the drum scan. I'm assuming he means non-disclosure agreement here, although I don't really understand why this would be necessary since he's been very public about him owning the contact negative. What is there that needs protecting from disclosure in a 50 year old land survey photograph?
No, he says he made the studio sign one. Basically, since there's no copyright on the scan, the studio would've been able to sell it to anyone asking for it. It looks like UAP-CR wanted to retain control over how "his" scan gets published. (Note the emphasis on him paying for it.) So by requiring the studio to delete all files, he can be sure to have the only copy.
 
There may be another (or additional) reason for this odd lack of transparency in what should be a straight forward and open process.

My favored solution to this case is that the original negative has a physical flaw. Essentially a dent caused by a foreign object. If this is true, that fact must be concealed to maintain the (entertaining) mystery.
 
There may be another (or additional) reason for this odd lack of transparency in what should be a straight forward and open process.

My favored solution to this case is that the original negative has a physical flaw. Essentially a dent caused by a foreign object. If this is true, that fact must be concealed to maintain the (entertaining) mystery.
well, that sounds like conspiracy theory.
 
There may be another (or additional) reason for this odd lack of transparency in what should be a straight forward and open process.

My favored solution to this case is that the original negative has a physical flaw. Essentially a dent caused by a foreign object. If this is true, that fact must be concealed to maintain the (entertaining) mystery.
By who and for what reason?
 
What also seems odd, apart from the NDA, perhaps for the sake of exclusivity or even to conceal something indeed, as put by @Z.W. Wolf, is that studio surely knew the purpose of the scan and so it would be quite natural for them to discard the freebie dust scan. Also odd the lack of interest in having an unbiased scan as assumed before @Giddierone, something that would cost $125 and would seemingly be worth the while for someone publicizing such a picture for 50 years. Also, in May 9, 2022 they were confident studio might hold the raw file or otherwise they had a contact copy readily available (see #142).
 
I cropped and overlayed frames 299 and 300 from the photos Mick posted in #14. They don't line up perfectly, I think there is some parallax and also some barrel distortion in frame 299 due to being closer to the side of the frame. Note sure why the contrast seems so different between the frames, I didn't change the levels or anything. Doesn't help that these are pictures of other pictures which appear to have a (crinkled) protective film over them either. What is interesting to me though, is that if it were an object it could not have been in the same position for longer than 20 seconds, because it would actually be in frame in 299 as well.

 
I was analyzing the hypothesis that the object might be lens flare so added some lines in photoshop to mark the center of the image and then a line from the object crossing the center of the image and there seems to be a possible candidate for a bright reflecting object along the center crossing line from the anomalous mark. There is also another bright white spot in line with the center on the same side of the image which might also turn out to be another lens flare artifact.possible lens flare reflection source.jpg
 
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I was analyzing the hypothesis that the object might be lens flare so added some lines in photoshop to mark the center of the image and then a line from the object crossing the center of the image and there seems to be a possible candidate for a bright reflecting object along the center crossing line from the anomalous mark. There is also another bright white spot in line with the center on the same side of the image which might also turn out to be another lens flare artifact.
possible lens flare reflection source.jpg
It's a useful thought.
However, I don't see the symmetry regarding position and shape that I've come to expect from lens artifacts.
 
It's a useful thought.
However, I don't see the symmetry regarding position and shape that I've come to expect from lens artifacts.
I had the same impression as well. The alignment is also slightly off, but I'm unfamiliar with what the specific lens flare pattern would look like for the sort of wide angle lens they were using and I had never seen anyone post a geometric diagram for it.
 
Have you looked at #219 ?
Yes, I sort of got the idea from them, but the geometry I marked up was for the type of lens flare that crosses center frame.
I didn't want my first post to be calling them out, but I don't understand the logic for them thinking the hypothetical flare reflection could come from that sort of geometry they outlined, tough cameras do sometimes have funky internal parts like viewfinders and light meter prisms.
 
Yes, I sort of got the idea from them, but the geometry I marked up was for the type of lens flare that crosses center frame.
I didn't want my first post to be calling them out, but I don't understand the logic for them thinking the hypothetical flare reflection could come from that sort of geometry they outlined, tough cameras do sometimes have funky internal parts like viewfinders and light meter prisms.
There are details about the exact camera used in #166Screenshot 2023-08-01 at 21.15.16.png
If it's a ghosting lens flare I wonder if the light source for it could be a momentary glint off the white building at the very edge of the frame (seen in #219).

Otherwise, without a source, I can't see how it's a flare because there don't appear to be any other examples of anything so similarly well defined in aerial photos, and there are no other traces of it across the frame or in other frames, so other explanations like damage to the film seem more likely.
 
There are details about the exact camera used in #166Screenshot 2023-08-01 at 21.15.16.png
If it's a ghosting lens flare I wonder if the light source for it could be a momentary glint off the white building at the very edge of the frame (seen in #219).

Otherwise, without a source, I can't see how it's a flare because there don't appear to be any other examples of anything so similarly well defined in aerial photos, and there are no other traces of it across the frame or in other frames, so other explanations like damage to the film seem more likely.
I have seen the camera details before, and I've seen a lens diagram, but I don't know what pattern the flare would be as a result. It's a shame there aren't better images available of the insides of the camera or one we could experiment with to analyze it. *This sounds like a good project for someone who understands raytracing?

I combined my lines with the map from #219

Maybe seeing it in that context will make more sense.lens flare combined.jpg


This is a crop of the area around the building I suspected of being reflecting as taken from the drum scan image.
It seems to me like the building on the left is glowing because of overexposure.
Sept 1971 - Lake Cote UAP - Full Size_RGB Drum Scan.jpg
 
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It seems to me like the building on the left is glowing because of overexposure
Or it's a tin-roofed building? There is a lot of spotty white around it that suggests something like piles of gravel, lime, fertilizer, etc. An industrial facility might well be expected to have a tin roof while a dwelling might not.
 
tin-roofed building
It appears so. If you drop the brightness you can see the pitch of the roof catching the light.
Glinting_Building copy.jpg
There are also two other ground objects much closer to the "flying saucer".
A roundish looking thing they airbrushed out completely on the recent drum scan.
Do we think that's something on the print or something real on the ground?
The other building (in the red box) you can see in more detail on the drum scan and that it's a also a building with a pitched roof somewhat catching the light.
Also notice the green box. They airbrushed out the fiducial mark and the light bleed.
Lake_Cote_Ground_Objects_Gone.gif
 
I sent a message to the Zeiss corporate archives and they said while they don't have any technical documentation about the camera, they did send me the user manual.

15-23.jpg
My hypothesis is that the object is a reflection of the box between the inner lens elements and the objective lens, reflected in the center lens. I have colored in the area which looks like the shape of the anomaly on a picture from the manual in the right hand version of the following image.

Please keep in mind the angle in this illustration isn't the exact same as the angle the flaring would have occurred at, so the profile is slightly different. I'm just not sure what geometry there is to get the shape oriented the correct direction for its location, because I'm not sure what's happening in the lens stack with the reflection directions. Something similar could also happen on the ground facing direction of the lens but there isn't an illustration of the front from that sort of angle.

ufo.jpg
 

Attachments

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If it's a ghost flare there should be some other repeats of the same shape in the same image. Is the area of cloud boxed a repeat? (it looks rotated).
It appears in both the old print (I've called it "tape" because it has tape marks on the edge) and also in the recent drum scan. Is it related or just a bit of cloud? (yellow is the suns direction from right to left).
threeFramesaligned copy.gif
 
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If it's a ghost flare there should be some other repeats of the same shape in the same image. Is the area of cloud boxed a repeat? (it looks rotated).
It appears in both the old print (I've called it "tape" because it has tape marks on the edge) and also in the recent drum scan. Is it related or just a bit of cloud? (yellow is the suns direction from right to left).
threeFramesaligned copy.gif
The vast majority of in-camera reflections are center-crossing in nature, which is to say that I don't think that's a feasible direction for what you have pointed out to be another reflection. Also, it's possible for there to be only one of the internal reflections to be near focus in the image because of focal length effects per reflective plane.

I have noticed though that the cloud that you pointed out is about 45 degrees offset from a line between the anomaly and the center, and by far the brightest object in the scene by raw area. I don't know how the reflection gets offset 45 degrees as would be required for the cloud to be the ultimate source. I will draw up some diagrams later to illustrate.
 
I made up image showing various intersecting, perpendicular, and 45 degree center crossing lines for the near center reflective object I suspected, as compared to the same for a line from what I think is the center of the anomaly (might be wrong about this).
The darker version has the brightness lowered and the contrast increased to highlight the bright areas.
vectors from center.jpgvectors from center contrast.jpg
 
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2021-05-10_13-31-56.jpg

It's a classic, now over 50 years old. I was recently reminded of this by the New Yorker article:
Article:
Leslie Kean is a self-possessed woman with a sensible demeanor and a nimbus of curly graying hair. She lives alone in a light-filled corner apartment near the northern extreme of Manhattan, where, on the wall behind her desk, there is a framed black-and-white image that looks like a sonogram of a Frisbee. The photograph was given to her, along with chain-of-custody documentation, by contacts in the Costa Rican government; in her estimation, it is the finest image of a U.F.O. ever made public.


Full Frame: https://www.metabunk.org/f/Lake Cote LARGE Tape Scan From Reddit.jpg
Source: Reddit H-M-1-1

Curiously, most published versions of the photo are of a lower contrast and lower resolution scan that the one above, making the feature (I hesitate to call it an object) seem smoother. The image I posted was shared on Reddit a month ago, and seems to be a high resolution scan of a now slightly degraded negative (with added dirt and some tape around the edges). I can't find it in that resolution anywhere else. Here's a comparison of the old and new photos showing the amount of additional genuine [looking] detail. [UPDATE: It's possible this might an AI upscaled version]
2021-05-10_13-50-04.jpg

The new photo makes it look far less conical, with the apparent structure around the sides seeming almost bulbous. The dark shape in the center seems to have more definition too.
2021-05-10_13-53-21.jpg

The location is 10.577071°, -84.912665°, the attached Google Earth image can be used to visualize it in place. 2021-05-10_13-58-08.jpg

Measuring its size on the ground gives about 210 feet by 130 feet. Of course, the closer it is to the camera, the smaller it would be.
2021-05-10_13-59-23.jpg

Being 50 years old, lots of people have had a crack at it. Here's some relevant excerpts:

Article:
Photo Analysis of an Aerial Disc Over Costa Rica
RICHARD F. HAINES & JACQUES F. VALLEE
Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1 13-1 3 1, 1989


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.
...
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.


Article:
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.

One shot was taken at an altitude of 10,000 feet, frame 300, showing the mountains around Lake Cote in the province of Guanacaste, 25 miles south of Nicaragua. A disc-shaped object clearly appeared in the lower half of the lake. The photo is to be considered unique and of great scientific value. Doctors Richard Haines and Jacques Vallée listed a number of reasons in their first study of the Lake Cote case, published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 1989:



Article:
While the report [of Haines and Vallee] did look into the possibility of some type of debris on the film or its film plane back-plate was discussed and disregarded, they never looked at the camera itself.

The camera system has a very unique optic system that looks very similar to the object in the photograph.
image003.jpg
Because there were no eyewitness reports from the ground or the members of the mapping team there is not much of a chance of this being an object of approximately 683 feet in size or even something that was an actual object of any size flying in the air beneath the plane.

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


(And a rather speculative one)
Article:
Allow me to explain in the center of the disc there appears to be 2 black object on further examination and image processing it soon become obvious that the black object is in fact a large boat that for some unknown reason has suddenly slammed into reverse causing the wake around the boat just as the recon plane took the photograph the bright parts of the "UFO" are waves caused by the sudden reversal of the boat the reason they are bright is because they are reflecting sunlight.


The idea that it is 683 feet in size (about 208 meters) is possibly a units conversion error that has propagated for decades to all subsequent researchers because nobody bothered to check. It's about 210 feet, not 210 meters.

A recent discussion thread that links to the Reddit image can be found here: https://archive.is/1sb7B, with the Reddit poster H-M-1-1, saying it was "Verified by Jacques Valle" - although it's not clear if they are referring to this new image, or Vallee's 1989 study of the image.

A key issue is the lighting. The sun in the image is coming from the lower right (about due west), and yet there's no real way light from that direction makes any sense for a physical object
2021-05-10_14-29-40.jpg
And of course, there's no shadow. If it's a physical object that limits the possibilites.

Note that people raise various magical hypotheses to explain these problems, like the "UFO" being made of a light pumping metamaterial that moves light around in unexpected ways. I think we can much such explanations to the bottom of the list as they are highly speculative, and require some new physics.

I think the most likely explanation (but by no means certain) is that one suggested by the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, back in 2013:
Article:
The object in the image appears to have been created by reflections of ambient light inside the optics of the camera system caused by a unique combination of the type of camera system, angle of the plane to the light, position of the sun and possibly the angle of the light coming from the surface of the water located beneath the plane.


In 2014 this was expanded upon a little, suggesting a chip in the glass that only showed up when the sun caught it.

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

2021-05-10_14-39-13.jpg

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


Given this newer image as only just (mysteriously) surfaced, perhaps some other ideas might spring to mind? If it is a camera artifact, the ideal solution would be to find something similar. I'm not entirely convinced that "The camera system has a very unique optic system that looks very similar to the object in the photograph." Perhaps some more detailed image of the camera internals (RMK A 15/23) can be found.

Everyone has focused so much on the UFO, that I think people have missed the fact that the 'new' photo version simply isn't and cannot be an enhanced version of the original. It contains some quite glaring differences, when looking at your side by side two versions.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the top left of the two photos...

1) The rectangular section of road or path in the top left. The 'new' photo has a noticeable white trail or path going across it....that simply isn't there at all in the original. No amount of enhancing can explain this.

2) Immediately to the right of that white trail is a segment of forest. The shape of the left edge of that forest is completely different between the two photos...with the original having a sticking out bit that is missing in the 'new' version.

3) The small enclosure ( made up of lots of white dots ) in the bottom left is missing white dots that are there in the original ( notice the 3 brightest white dots in the original don't line up at all with what is in the enhanced version )

There's all sorts of odd little differences that cannot be put down simply to a 'sharper' image. The whole thing is like one of those 'spot the difference' tests.
 
iirc the scanned version was "cleaned up" by the scanning organisation and there was some back and forth about getting the "uncleaned" version.
 
I made up image showing various intersecting, perpendicular, and 45 degree center crossing lines for the near center reflective object I suspected, as compared to the same for a line from what I think is the center of the anomaly (might be wrong about this).
The darker version has the brightness lowered and the contrast increased to highlight the bright areas.
vectors from center.jpgvectors from center contrast.jpg


I also found a PDF explaining the various aspects of lens flare and ghosting for people who are unfamiliar.
https://lenspire.zeiss.com/photo/ap...eduction-of-reflections-for-camera-lenses.pdf
This is an illustration from that pdf of the center crossing behavior, and how the internal reflection characteristics change with source relationship to center lens.
View attachment 61053

This second image is a side view of how reflections happen between the lenses and why some ghosts end up in focus while others don't.View attachment 61054

I think the reason for the apparent anomaly not being directly on a reflection line has something to do with lens length and the camera not being exactly perpendicular to the scene.
I overlaid the level indicator in its original orientation on the green line crossing center from what I believe to be the light source and the skew of the ghost seems to line up well with the angle of the bubble deflection from center as seen in the image which follows.bubble direction.jpg
 
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This is useful info. fig 1.8 seems to support the idea that the point light source could be far outside of the frame. (Unless I’m misunderstanding it). Perhaps a reflection from the lake as someone suggested earlier in the thread. (I wonder if more images from the mosaic from the parallel pass to the North that the aircraft took could be retrieved from the Costa Rica land registry).

If the point source is the building you indicate wouldn’t there be more than the single ghost at the far edge of the frame?
 
Forgive me if this has already been covered, but if it is caused by a dent or dimple in the negative itself, has anyone here tried to duplicate the effect by deliberately damaging a film negative? On a negative that dark water would be white. But I'd expect a damaged place to form a "darker" spot by interrupting the direct passage of light, thus giving a light spot over dark water in the print.
 
Forgive me if this has already been covered, but if it is caused by a dent or dimple in the negative itself, has anyone here tried to duplicate the effect by deliberately damaging a film negative? On a negative that dark water would be white. But I'd expect a damaged place to form a "darker" spot by interrupting the direct passage of light, thus giving a light spot over dark water in the print.
That would be a great project for someone who has a darkroom setup.

I think the possible explanations so far fall in to two camps: some light anomaly captured during exposure (discussed directly above) or some physical defect (although no one seems to have been able to properly examine the physical film that went through the camera that day).
  • Tests of the particle idea using clear tape #132
  • Pressure plate and “film punch for marking certain lengths during flight” #166 (also mentioned in the camera documentation recently posted in #265).Screenshot 2023-08-03 at 21.55.08.png
  • During the copy negative process or film marking in “dark or bright image areas” #204
The film undergoes a lot of different mechanical processes, from being held by vacuum pressure in the camera to the plate in the camera to a similar thing during copy negative processing. Not to mention all the spooling / unspooling during processing.
 
Forgive me if this has already been covered, but if it is caused by a dent or dimple in the negative itself, has anyone here tried to duplicate the effect by deliberately damaging a film negative? On a negative that dark water would be white. But I'd expect a damaged place to form a "darker" spot by interrupting the direct passage of light, thus giving a light spot over dark water in the print.

It becomes the same problem with trying to recreate the Calvine photo, none of us has an old film camera lying around and a darkroom set up to develop it. I check Crag's List now and then and vintage stores, but I'm still surprised at how much money people want for old SLR film cameras. Then there would be the film and developing costs, which is still available.

How much money do I want to invest in attempting to debunk a UFO claim? I mentioned in another thread that, if we weren't so scattered about the world, it would be great to have a Metabunk "Lab" or workshop with old cameras and various video formats for recreating things.
 
One thing puzzles me. This photo was taken as part of a flight that was mapping Costa Rica. You'd think that on a mapping mission they'd fly east-west, and north-south. Yet the orientation of the photo is not that at all. It is actually about 60 degrees off from north-south axis ( which applies even though the 'true' photo is actually upside down ). That's a pretty odd flight orientation for mapping the surface and then compiling it all together later into what will surely be a map with a north-south orientation.
 
That's a pretty odd flight orientation for mapping the surface and then compiling it all together later into what will surely be a map with a north-south orientation.
That's unwarranted incredulity. There's no logical reason for mapping flights to be aligned north-south, same as there's no reason to mow your lawn that way.
Article:
. By the end of this section, you should be able to develop a flight plan for an aerial imagery mission.
projectmap.png

There's no mention of compass directions, it's not important at all.
 
Well that's odd...as the image you show is not itself north-south oriented when I compare it with with the same area in Google Earth.
Yes, it is. Compare the street grid in Del Mar Heights:
SmartSelect_20230806-185042_Samsung Internet.jpgSmartSelect_20230806-185015_Maps.jpg
The grid is perfectly aligned with the cardinal directions on both maps.
 
Yes, it is. Compare the street grid in Del Mar Heights:

No, I'm looking at the coast. Other features also don't quite align. But its not worth arguing over.

In any case....I did finally work out the reason for the 60 degree orientation. There is a very good one. The border with Nicaragua, just to the north, is at 58 degrees orientation.....same orientation as the photos...so the flights would have been flown to align with that, and not cross the border.
 
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