Monday, 7 May 2012

Another Dudley Dorito Hoax?

Another Dudley Dorito Hoax?


I've always commented and/or posted about the Dudley Dorito whenever it was spotted but when it hit the news again a few weeks ago I didn't bother for various reasons, not least being that this time it came courtesy of, 'The Sun' and even though the alleged video was filmed around 150 miles away from Dudley 'The Sun' still effortlessly linked the reports together. To put the distance into a little perspective it's about the same distance from Dudley to Poole on the south coast as it is to York.


This should come as no real surprise to those familiar with how the UFO phenomenon is reported by the MSM, the most notable exception being the local news website of the "Express & Star" who always treat the Dudley Dorito reports seriously but have a tendency to misrepresent the words of the witnesses by including images & videos that are not only unrelated to the reports but are usually proven fakes.

The Sun article (with video) was as follows:


Dudley Dorito UFO Spotted Again (28th Mar 2012)


Mysterious tortilla chip-shaped UFO is spotted again
(Originally Posted 28th March & Last Updated 29th March, 2012)

IS it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a...CRISP? 


The mysterious "Dudley Dorito" UFO has been spotted for the fourth time in five years flying through a cloudless sky over woodland in Yorkshire. The object, which looks like an extra-terrestrial tortilla chip, was captured by an amateur cameraman who posted the footage on YouTube. He can be heard saying "I don't know what that is" as the triangular aircraft glides silently across the frame above a forest in the north of England. The UFO was dubbed the Dudley Dorito after its first sighting over the Midlands in 2007 but it is unclear whether the YouTube footage is real or a hoax. Eye-witnesses first saw the black triangle hovering over Halesowen and they reported the close encounter to UFORM, a local group of UFO-spotters.


..Video: 'Dudley Dorito' UFO above York 
CRAFT believed to be famous Unidentified Flying Object spotted again.
Then in 2010 David Allan from Sutton Coldfield reported seeing a triangular object four or five times bigger than an aeroplane in the skies on Bonfire Night.  A few weeks after that 21-year-old quality inspector Minuesh Mistry saw the Dudley Dorito hovering above his home in Tipton in the West Midlands. But the phenomenon of "black triangle" UFOs has been dismissed as similar to the effect ball lightening has on the atmosphere. Project Condign was the name of a study undertaken by Defence Intelligence Staff between 1997 and 2000. The MOD department claimed the airborne objects were "supernormal atmospheric plasma phenomenon". The X-files were made publically available in 2005 after an FOI request.

Source: The Sun

The popularity of Dudley Dorito is mainly the work of the, "Express & Star" as they are practically single-handedly responsible for the infamy it has achieved, however they are also responsible for pushing hoax after hoax attributed to the Dudley Dorito. This coupled with the inherent inaccuracies from other media outlets, all of which are then perpetuated across the internet thus becoming inextricably linked to the Dudley Dorito makes researching the origins and genuine sighting reports almost impossible. And now that UK tabloid "The Sun" has jumped on the bandwagon it becomes increasingly so.


First things first, the above video that –regardless of distance- 'The Sun' linked to the Dudley Dorito is a CG hoax. The evidence for this is once again provided by an excellent analysis by TheHoaxKiller at the website of the same name, here's the video analysis by HoaxKiller:


Also it has recently come to my attention that the YouTube user who created the original video has since filed a copyright infringement claim for the few seconds of video that was used in the above analysis (video). That's why the above video wasn't hosted on YouTube, HoaxKiller wrote the following on 25th April (2012):
"The YouTube user "xxxdonutzxxx" filed a copyright infringement claim on my video and it was taken down. Since I strictly follow Fair Use laws, I filed a counter-claim to get the video back. So while that is processing I uploaded the video to my web host so it can be viewed on the Videos page, and here."
Source (and original video analysis): TheHoaxkiller.com

If you'll indulge me I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts about the takedown, to be honest I've long since accepted that people are going to post hoax UFO videos as well as images, sighting accounts etc. and whilst I don't condone it (and obviously wouldn't do it personally) I've also made my peace with it.

However to post a hoax UFO video that you've created yourself is one thing but to then actively pursue & file copyright infringement claims against other videos that only use a few seconds for analysis, and more importantly for an analysis which exposes the hoax is a completely different kettle of fish. This, in my opinion, elevates a prank into purposeful deception and when this is somewhere like YouTube which makes it incredibly easy to monetise video views (and when this source of revenue is activated), well then it takes on a much more sinister guise as essentially it then becomes obtaining money by deception, a deception which the hoaxer further promotes by invoking copyright infringement claims solely to cover-up his lies and ultimately to protect his source of income.

YouTube not only allows & enables this deception but judging by their eagerness to comply with such petty demands they positively encourage it. Surely examples such as the above would constitute 'fair use' anyway and so should be exempt from this apparently automated takedown procedure? Or at the very least the complainant should be required to provide further information or evidence that this is in fact a valid copyright claim and not simply to protect and perpetuate their own hoax.

I mean let's face it, it's the YouTube community who are the prime targets of such hoaxes as well of course as the advertisers, many of whom who I'm sure would take issue with their products being promoted by videos purporting to be something they are not. {/Rant}

Anyway, back to the Dudley Dorito, here's an elaboration on what we're seeing in the video from the HoaxKiller website:
"Throughout the video you can see a white / very light blue colored feathered edge around all the tree branches... that is a form of light bloom. When the hoaxers tried to chroma key out the background (the solid blue sky), they didn't do a good job of keying out the light bloomed feathered edges of the branches, and that caused the light bloomed areas of the sky to appear on top of the UFO.
Some of the small gaps between the tree branches were completely filled with light bloom, and that caused the small gaps to be a different shade of blue than the rest of the sky. When they chroma keyed out the darker blue sky, they didn't key out the small light blue gaps, and those small gaps of sky (which should have been filled in by the dark UFO when it passed behind them) were displayed on top of the UFO. 

Throughout the video there are many small gaps between the branches which you should have seen the UFO between when it passes behind them, but instead they just show the sky. Those areas didn't get keyed out."
 
Here's the HoaxKiller YouTube Channel.
And here's the HoaxKiller website.

Dudley Dorito Images


I've written about and traced the images associated with the Dudley Dorito since it first appeared and detailed it in an earlier Blog post (available here) but here is a very brief outline.

Firstly the ORIGINAL witness NEVER likened the object itself to a Dorito as he states his original statement was misrepresented, now whether this was down to a misunderstanding or a purposeful misrepresentation by a reporter who knew how to coin a phrase is not known (I personally favour the latter). The witness had the following to say via a report submitted to the BUFOG website not long after the sighting was reported by the MSM:

"I estimated the plane was flying at its cruising altitude as at arms length the plane was approximately the size of a dot against your thumb and the black triangular object which was above the plane was approximately the size of a Dorito (tortilla crisp) at arms length (This is where the headlines in the newspapers quoted I said it was like a Dorito, where in fact I only used the word Dorito as an adjective to explain the size of the triangle compared to the size of plane)."

A report posted by the BBC just one day after the original sighting contained an image of a triangular object and at the foot of the page (almost as far as it could be from the actual image) was a disclaimer stating that the image was not connected to the report.


The image was repeatedly attributed to the Dudley Dorito UFO and then Daily Mail ran a Dudley Dorito story including a cropped, stretched, heavily pixelated & resized version of the image this time stating that "A similar craft spotted above Welshpool, Mid Wales in January this year."


No links supplied, no references, no names, no sources, nothing. It's also worth noting that the Express & Star also re-posted this as well as repeatedly posting an image from the Belgium UFO flap first claiming that it was the Dudley Dorito and then later implying it.


The one alleged image of the Dudley Dorito that wasn't a recycled earlier image was posted by The Sun newspaper back on the 20th October 2008 alleging that it was, "The Best Proof Yet". It was submitted to Gary Heseltine of PRUFOS and the results were to be revealed a few days later at the UFO Data Magazine annual conference in Pontefract, West Yorks (25th Oct, 2008) pending analysis by a  former US navy physicist who specialises in photo analysis, but alas, it was never to be heard of again.

Incidentally and as an aside you may recognise the name, "Gary Heseltine" as he recently appeared for the second time alongside Chris French on popular UK daytime television, "This Morning". They debated the pros & cons of the Rendlesham incident, well, as much as time would allow. This was on the 17th April 2012 and was a follow-up to when the pair first appeared back on February 9th, 2012, the footage from both appearances may be viewed here.

Here's the image in question:


For what it's worth I personally believe that due to the colouration of the object being a mirror of the inverted background/foreground that this image was likely taken from behind glass and we're not actually looking at a physical object in the sky, although admittedly it's almost impossible to discern any real information due to the resolution at which it was released.  But it's irrelevant either way because as I say the image has since disappeared never to be seen or heard of again:

The above image is the only photograph and/or video submitted of the Dudley Dorito that isn't a misattribution or misrepresentation of an earlier one.

Apart from the recent video (at the top of this post) there was also another alleged video submitted to YouTube back on the 20th October, 2009. This was quickly picked up by the Express & Star (who due to their unwavering support of all things Dorito are almost single-handedly responsible for the notoriety & infamy that it still receives to this day) and despite being warned of the dubious origins of the video posted it anyway.


Once they did it was instantly recognised as being an earlier (CGI hoax) video that was posted to YouTube many months earlier alleging to be recorded in Paris as can be evidenced below:


Regardless of origin & relevance though this is a completely unrelated hoax that the Express & Star occasionally adds to related Dorito reports omitting this valuable snippet of information regarding its true origins.



Friday, 20 April 2012

Kean & Chile UFO Update – Early Conclusions Inconclusive!!


I've posted about the Chilean UFO's a few times and followed the story closely since it first broke but when Leslie Kean posted an update a few days ago (13th April) a month to the day after her original story I initially decided I wasn't going to comment on it, mostly because it offered nothing new.

However I've since decided to address a couple of the points it raised mainly as they appeared to be directed at people such as myself, the article by Kean was titled, "Update on Chilean UFO Videos: Getting the Bugs Out" and it opened with the following:

On March 13, Ralph Blumenthal and I published a story about a case from Chile which has since sparked considerable controversy.

[...]

Perhaps Blumenthal and I asked too many provocative rhetorical questions and did not stress enough that this investigation is continuing

I don't think 'considerable controversy' is entirely accurate as a handful of people –including myself- commented and posted information to the effect that it looked like an insect close to the camera and as for the 'provocative rhetorical questions,' as far as I could see there was only one and whilst it could be described as provocative it's not the word I would have used, I am of course referring to Kean's opening gambit of, "Is this the case UFO skeptics have been dreading?"

Regarding her claim that that she didn't, "stress enough that this investigation is continuing" the fact that the investigation is still on-going was never alluded to or even hinted at, the following is from the first article where Kean claims the fact that the investigation was still underway was allegedly stressed (emphasis mine): 

"An engineer from the adjacent Pillán aircraft factory noticed something bizarre while viewing his footage in slow motion. He turned it over to the government's well known Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, or CEFAA, for analysis.

The stunning conclusion: The Chilean jets were being stalked by a UFO. 

[…]

CEFAA officials collected seven videos of the El Bosque UFO taken from different vantage points. Bermúdez commissioned scientists from many disciplines, aeronautical experts, and air force and army photogrametric technicians to subject the videos to intense scrutiny. They all came to the same conclusions."

Just to summarise, after analysis and intense scrutiny all analysts involved arrived at an identical conclusion. I guess I wrongly assumed that the term conclusion was being used literally to mean the end, the finish, the result or outcome of an act or process etc. etc.

In her most recent article Kean also stated that:
It is clear to me why Bermúdez isn't going to prematurely toss the videos out onto the Internet to be played with by unqualified people -- especially after what happened with the first clips

Skeptics caused quite a stir by taking it upon themselves to do their own "analysis" of the video clips and then to declare, with bravado, that the object of concern was simply a bug. Often this involved misquoting or misrepresenting me and the CEFAA in accompanying text. The question of qualifications aside, these individuals were handicapped by one even more overwhelming problem: Tthey [sic] were working without the necessary data required to make a proper analysis, and, most importantly, they were looking at video clips pulled from only one of the multiple cameras.

Again with the skeptics label?

This must be the same as the term, "conclusion" because this evidently means something entirely different to Kean, the following is what it means to me:
"Skeptic - One who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in rational and dispassionate reasoning as exemplified by the scientific method, shows willingness to consider alternative explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and who seeks out evidence and carefully scrutinizes its validity."
Whereas "skeptic" in the context in which Kean uses it seems like it is nothing but a catch-all term used to label everyone who doesn't see things the exact same way as herself, also labelling all opposition with a term that –rightly or wrongly- has negative connotations appears to me to simply be an attempt to diminish the relevance of any valid points that may be raised.

I guess I just can't see the rationale behind promoting this pervasive "us & them" mentality as it is both self-defeating and wholly unnecessary.
"To be played with by unqualified people." & "Skeptics caused quite a stir by taking it upon themselves to do their own "analysis" of the video clips and then to declare, with bravado, that the object of concern was simply a bug."
Say what?!

So analysis by several people with many years of experience researching digital UFO images & video footage analysed what little footage was released and just because they didn't agree with earlier 'conclusions' they are ALL dismissed with an unsubstantiated allegation of misrepresentation and a snide comment about qualifications?

Classy…

I wonder if this dismissive attitude would be evident if they had actually agreed with the earlier conclusions. ("conclusions" being used literally here) and besides which I'm unsure what the alternatives could be as Kean doesn't say, perhaps everyone who is interested should accept everything Kean writes as beyond reproach (regardless of accuracy) and be grateful for the slow drip-feed of information?

Because judging by the most recent article those who do dare to analyse the footage will apparently find their hard-work, beliefs & qualifications (or presumed lack thereof) publicly questioned and yet Kean complains about her words being misquoted & misrepresented.

And regarding "to declare with bavado" well at least I only worked with the image data rather than second-guessing how relevant her personal beliefs & qualifications were to what she had previously wrote, and as for the claim that Kean & the CEFAA were misrepresented, I personally exchanged several emails with one of the researchers as well as with NARCAP, both of whom were named as having analysed the footage (I also tried to open a line of communication via Kean's FB page), I did this purely so that I wouldn't misrepresent anybody.

Also the astronomer/researcher in question told me that 'they had analysed the footage for over a year' and Dr Haines of NARCAP handed his COMPLETED analysis to CEFAA many, many months ago and that's not to mention the veritable plethora of other qualified analysts from many different scientific disciplines who completed their analysis and, "came to the same conclusions".

Bruce Maccabee was also cited as agreeing with the conclusions of the CEFAA analysts, Maccabee has been contacted by Robert Sheaffer regarding this claim and (Sheaffer) recently wrote that:

"General Bermúdez has been stating that UFO photo analyst Dr. Bruce Maccabee has examined the video, and has concluded that it represents an unknown object. However, there is nothing about this on Maccabee's website, or anywhere else I could find. I asked Maccabee about it. He replied, "As for the CEFAA video, I have been studying it or them, but things are not straightened out yet as to how many independent videos there are, what they show and when they show it.  No conclusion yet." In other words, he hasn't had any more success getting the full data from the CEFAA than anyone else has!" (Source)

"No conclusion yet" is the complete opposite of what we were previously told and from what General Bermúdez claimed at his presentation.

In Kean's recent article we also learn for the first time that the "Seven spectators [were] located in different places, each with his own camera," and also that the footage came from "digital cameras and cell phones."

So whilst the dreaded skeptics may have been, "working without the necessary data required to make a proper analysis, and, most importantly, they were looking at video clips pulled from only one of the multiple cameras" and regardless of the fact that this was solely because it is all that was released (labelled as 'originals' with a massively reduced frame-rate) it is worth mentioning that on her own website Kean wrote that:
"There are 7 videos of the three flybys from different vantage points. This is the best of the seven."
So if this is the best of the seven videos I think we can safely assume that it is most likely the clearest image of the object in question and so very probably the closest in proximity to the object. If so then the remaining six videos which are filmed from different locations, locations which Kean states are "too far apart to capture the same insect" well then, I assume this means that they are a considerable distance from each other and furthermore some of them are recorded on camera phones which by their very design offer an inferior image quality.

So evidently there is not a great deal more that could be learned from the missing footage, apart of course to lend weight to her earlier claims as essentially the data being withheld is the only method we have of validating Kean's claims, i.e. by confirming it's the same object, and if confirmed then triangulating & calculating size & speed would be possible, now that's a game-changer.

What possible reasons can Kean & the CEFAA have for withholding the ONLY data that can authenticate their earlier analysis & statements? Just one of the videos showing the same object from a different location would be enough to silence ALL critics yet instead she pens a vitriolic rant directed at those who apparently aren't qualified to think for themselves, who dare to do their own analysis and then have the sheer audacity to point out the glaring inconsistencies between what was being claimed and what the evidence actually shows.

Incidentally while we're discussing this aspect have a look at the following video, it's a very brief excerpt from the talk that General Bermúdez gave at the International UFO Conference in February and the presentation that kick-started the whole shebang:


As you can see he specifically states that:
"Okay, here we have ANOTHER picture.
Come from ANOTHER camera.
On ANOTHER person of course.
Where appear again."
Now compare and contrast with what Kean wrote and as you can see nobody needs to misrepresent either of them as they do a bang-up job of contradicting themselves. It is specifically stated that this is from a different camera and person yet Kean claims we've only seen one of the videos, this isn't just a slip of the tongue or even a slip of the pen as it's hardly an inconsequential point, mainly because Kean made it the onus of her article and General Bermúdez used it to bolster his case at the International UFO Conference.

As the video says, they both can't be right.

I'm not sure why but the remainder of Kean's article is dedicated to debunking beetles, three entomologists are quoted (although how many were contacted isn't disclosed) and to cut a long story short whilst they couldn't dismiss the possibility it was bugs none of them thought it likely:
  • Jason J. Dombroskie: "Could this be a bug? It's possible, but I would be very surprised."
  • Brett C. Ratcliffe: "No idea what it is but it does not seem to be an insect . . . altho very fast flying insects captured on slow shutter speeds do look like amorphous blurs or blobs."
  • Elizabeth Arias: "I talked with a friend from Chile about this photo and he says that it might be an insect only if the insect passed CLOSE to the camera [emphasis hers]."
And Kean closes with the statement:
"If they couldn't tell it was a bug, how could anyone else be so sure?"

Perhaps someone else can be so sure because the BEST footage has been released and
-regardless of what it is- it clearly shows the (alleged 5 to 10 metre) 'UFO' moving above a road. A road which is literally a few feet from the cameraman!! 

Here's an animated .gif showing the full sequence:


And here is the earlier part of the sequence broke down:




(All images courtesy of The Hoaxkiller)

I wonder if this particular analysis was shared with the eminent entomologists?

Somehow I doubt it but perhaps it wasn't shared because (as Kean claims) this is merely a bravado–driven declaration by (presumed) unqualified armchair skeptics, and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it also happens to directly refute the earlier claims?

Not forgetting of course that very similar (i.e. almost identical) anomalies were found by myself and others (Stiver) when reviewing independently recorded and otherwise unrelated footage of the air-show in question:


Anomalies which were also evident in a completely different air-show at the same location that was recorded several months earlier.



So just to recap, Kean and the CEFAA appeared to be all good to go a month back, they released a couple of the videos along with a brief analysis & conclusion as well as stating that many other qualified experts had analysed the footage, all were in agreement and all arrived independently at the exact same conclusion.

And now a mere four weeks later we are told that the earlier analysis wasn't really complete and if that is the case then what of the earlier conclusions, were they incomplete as well?

Kean, apparently happy with the fact that all the 'analysis & conclusion' talk in her first article has been explained away, writes:

"And now the search for the "scientific conclusion" has been given new life. After the story broke, photo analysts and investigators from several countries approached the CEFAA and asked if they could study the videos. A few, because of their qualifications, have already begun detailed, independent work on the case. They will remain anonymous for now. Further questions, some of which have been raised in response to our story, will be addressed by them during this process."

So now we also learn that 'new' analysis has been sanctioned and better still the new independent experts undertaking this new analysis will answer all of the questions raised by the old analysis!!

Smoke & mirrors, the way it's always been, and the beat goes on…..



What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out,
which is the exact opposite.

~ Bertrand Russell

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Disclose.tv – Confirmed Hoax(ers)


I posted about this yesterday and whilst I was purposefully vague in explaining my feelings in an unusually brief post I still would have thought the sentiment was obvious. This being due in part to the fact that the main heading posed the question, “Disclose.tv Seized? Really?!” which was then followed by the question, “Hoax or Hack?” which when coupled with the closing line of, “However if you’re a member I wouldn’t start deleting your hard drives just yet…..


Well, as I say I thought it was obvious what I thought, evidently not because a lengthy comment was since posted to my Blog (well to be entirely accurate I awoke to find the comment had actually been posted no less than 13 times to my Blog alone!!) extolling the virtues of questioning everything as well as pointing out that none of the agencies listed actually existed.

Starcaller Sinorcia has left a new comment on your post "Disclose.tv Seized? Really?":

I have been lurking and reading and gathering since I woke up this morning and saw the image on DTV. I would like to point out some very interesting facts that either people are overlooking, or too upset(freaked, ignorant, blind) to see.

[snip]

There are quite a few more reasons why I highly doubt that this is serious or REAL, but instead of just taking it at face value, why not maybe read the text contained in the images, or do your research so you can easily discern that the image from DTV has NOTHING to do with the DHS seizures. Homework, kiddies. It's useful out of school too.”

No shit Sherlock!!
 
Perhaps if ‘Starcaller Sinorcia’ spent a fraction of the time wasted posting condescending comments across the interweb on actually reading the content they were criticising then I suspect they could have saved themselves quite a few hours of pointless spamming

Regarding the opening paragraph of:
“I have been lurking and reading and gathering since I woke up this morning and saw the image on DTV. I would like to point out some very interesting facts that either people are overlooking, or too upset(freaked, ignorant, blind) to see.”
Myself -and most other people- arrived at exactly the same conclusion in about 20 seconds, which is the amount of time it took to read the alleged ‘seizure notice’.

Anyway, and as expected, Disclose.tv is back up today and after having a quick scan of their forums it seems as if the staff are patting themselves on their back for an April Fools prank that was not only a fortnight late but that several of them promoted by trolling competing forums (whilst DTV was down) to perpetuate the lie as well as being deceitful to their own members in the weeks leading up to it.

Alll so they could set the scene for their prank.

Here is an excerpt from a post earlier today by one of their moderators:

“If you haven't guessed already, all this stuff was a hoax, every drop of it. 

[...]

The old website had to be taken down off the server in order to upload the new one. Originally, this was supposed to happen on April Fools Day. We had been planning to do something for a month, and we devised a scheme to hit the forum with all the stuff everyone talks the most about; evil government agendas, smurfs, etc., and give them a load of drama right up to the crescendo: The "Seized" Splash Screen. We knew the splash screen would be figured out in no time (fake as hell agencies - easily debunked), but thought that just for a moment people would get the WTF factor. We NEVER thought it would go as viral as it did".

Source: Disclose.tv


Personally I struggle to visualise a scenario where at any point the staff thought it would be a good idea to mock the beliefs and provoke the -generally- paranoiac & already conspiracy-minded netizens who frequent their boards, but hey, what do I know…..