May 2007 - Wave Of Californian UFO Photographs
May 2007 has certainly been an interesting time for anybody who watches for reports of UFO sightings and related phenomena. So far there has been four different sets of photographs released from four different (allegedly) individuals in a matter of five weeks (I don't say, “Allegedly different” meaning that there is a general consensus that it's the same person. I merely say alleged because of the witness's failure to come forward means that this cannot be dismissed at this point.)
The, “Chad UFO”
First of we had, “Chad” who was based vaguely somewhere in Central California. It was originally sent to the Coast 2 Coast Website with the following explanation.
“Last month (April 2007), my wife and I were on a walk when we noticed a very large, very strange "craft" in the sky. My wife took a picture with her cell phone camera (first photo below). A few days later a friend (and neighbor) lent me his camera and came with me to take photos of this "craft". We found it and took a number of very clear photos. Picture #4 is taken from right below this thing and I must give my friend credit as I was not brave enough to get close enough to take this picture myself! The craft is almost completely silent and moves very smoothly. It usually moves slowly until it decides to take off. Then it moves VERY quickly and is out of sight in the blink of an eye. MORE THAN ANYTHING I simply want to understand what this is and why it is here? We found your show with Google and I have listened for a few nights now. I have decided that if anyone can help me understand what this thing is, it is you and your audience. I must admit I am deeply unsettled by this thing. I have never seen anything like this in my life... Location: I would prefer not to say for now. “
Chad wrote back with additional info:
“Thank you so much for posting my photos! I hope someone can help identify this... First of all, I see this thing VERY often. Since it first appeared, I have probably seen this thing maybe 8 different times since the first appearance. My friend and I went out the next day after I first saw it to get the photos, but it was not there. Then we tried again the next day, and we found it within like 30 minutes and followed it for a while. Most of the time I see it out of windows in my house, in the distance. but I would say almost half of the hikes I have gone on in my area, I have seen it very close. It is very easy to photograph and...many neighbors aside from my friend have also seen it. It is almost totally silent but not quite. It makes kind of "crackling" noises. It's hard to describe them but they are only intermittent and not very loud, but you can notice them. Sometimes there is a very slight hum that sounds kind of mechanical, almost like when you are near very large power lines. But it is nothing loud like a jet engine, it is very quiet for the most part. It moves almost like an insect. If you have ever seen a bug on a pond, it is kind of like that. It is VERY smooth and slow most of the time, but then every now and then it will rotate very quickly and go VERY fast into another direction, then stop, and repeat the process all over again. There is just something very unnatural about the way it moves. Also, I have had maybe 4 headaches in the last week, and I am normally not the kind of person who really ever gets them. Also my wife has been tired and fatigued lately. She is about a month pregnant, and the doctor said fatigue is normal around this time, but I worry that it is a lot. Basically what I'm worried is that this "craft" has got some kind of radiation or something. Like I said, it sounds like power lines if you get close enough to it. Obviously I am worried for our health, especially with a baby on the way. I don’t know if they are related, but again, this is why I really hope someone can answer these questions! “
The photographs were either taken in the late April or on May 6th, this is still being investigated.
There were 6 photos in all and they were submitted via a scan. A lot of people claimed it as a hoax straight away due to the meta tags pointing to the use of the photo editing/manipulation software made famous by Adobe. But it quickly transpired that these were generated when Coast 2 Coast resized the pictures for use on their website.
Source/References : Chad (coasttocoastam.com)
The, “Lake Tahoe UFO”
This was the second sighting and was reported to MUFON by, “MUFON Submitter 7013”. There were two photos taken with a camera phone and were posted to MUFON on, May 5, 2007. There were again from California and the statement was as follows.
"My husband and I were in Lake Tahoe over the weekend. We left on Friday afternoon and came back Monday morning. On Saturday at about 7 PM, I was walking out to my car to get a sweater when I saw this thing in the sky. It was pretty close I think, but still above the trees. It was moving and spinning slowly, heading towards my right.
"I was startled and confused at first and wanted to take a picture, but our camera was still inside so I took two pictures with my camera phone before it passed behind the roof of the house."
"I ran around to the other side and was yelling to my husband to come out. We came around the other side and saw it just as it was going down behind some trees. He didn't get a good look at it, but he saw enough to convince him that it was something really strange.
"We decided to take a drive around the area to see if we could see it again, but we never did. We didn't see it the next day either. Since we were renting the cabin for the weekend we didn't know any nearby residents but I would bet at least a few other people saw it. It was very visible and very strange looking. I was definitely a little freaked out but my husband didn't seem very bothered by it. He was more interested in it than scared.
He wanted to drive around a lot longer trying to find it than I did! It didn't make any noise except for a very, very faint sound that is hard to describe but sounded like something vibrating. We both heard the sound although just barely. It moved in a very straight line when it went over the house but when we saw it on the other side of the house, when it was going down behind the trees, it made a very sharp turn. It didn't move like a helicopter or airplane, it was very "exact".
We did see one person on our drive who was a few blocks away taking a walk and asked him if he saw it, and he said no. Then we asked him if he heard any weird noise and tried to describe it as best we could, and he said he might have but he wasn't sure. By this time it was at least 20 minutes since we first saw the thing so who knows?”
Source/References: MUFON Submitter 7013 (http://www.mufon.com/)
The, “Capitola UFO”
Capitola, California, photographed May16th 2007 and this time instead of a mainstream UFO website, the six photographs were instead posted to a newly formed Flikr account. The account name was, “Rajman1977.” Allegedly the posters real name was, “Rajinder Satyanarayana.”
Open Minds forum invited Rajman1977 to their forums and he accepted but disappeared after only a couple of posts. And after his Flikr account was upgraded to the pro version by one of the Forum members it was quickly hacked and several porn images and links were uploaded. The account was subsequently closed and no one has heard from him since. His accompanying report was as follows.
"This week I was visting my fiance's parents in Capitola (we were actually there to tell them about our engagement, in fact). We were eating dinner on the back porch when we noticed this "object" sort of hovering in the sky. The camera was still out from earlier so I grabbed it and tried to get some clear shots of it. It took off over the roof shortly after, so I ran into the street in front of the house to follow, trying to get more shots without wobbling around too much (which was harder than it sounds). It then came in lower over a telephone pole, where I was able to get a few more pictures, before it finally took off into the distance pretty fast. I thought it was gone but noticed it was still visible, so I grabbed a few more pictures.
At one point a car stopped to look as well. No one had any idea what this thing was, but everyone in the car was visibly freaked out by it. Once it was gone they told me to call the news and drove off. :) I'm not sure who else saw it in the neighborhood since I don't live down there, but I'm sure at least a few others must have noticed it. It was way too werid and way too close to go unnoticed. Once it was gone and I caught my breath I could barely stop my hands from shaking for the next hour or so. Needless to say, this is all we talked about for the rest of the night. None of us can figure out what it was (and that's saying something, because my fiance's dad is a mechanical engineer).
We sent a copy of the photos to their newspaper but haven't heard back yet. I dunno how long that kind of thing takes. There's also some writing on this thing, which I didn't recognize (and I read both English and Hindi). You can see it in a few of the pictures. Anyway, I created this Flickr account for the best of these pictures. I have no clue what this thing is so I'm putting it out there to see if anyone else saw it."
The Open Minds Forum also questioned him about which media company or outlet he contacted but Rajman1977 never offered an answer.
The, “Big Basin UFO”
This time June 5th 2007 and the craft is photographed again, this time it has evolved massively!! It was originally posted to a private bulletin board and one of the admin contacted UfoCasebook.com with this email,
(I found a number of email addresses and was not sure which you checked most, so I just played it safe and sent to all of them. I hope this is okay.
My name is Jenna and I participate in a listserv for photographers in Saratoga, CA. Today a member named Stephen posted some pictures he took yesterday (the 5th) for a class assignment in the area around Big Basin. The pictures very clearly depict some kind of large object in the sky, and he was able to get two clear shots and one out-of-focus shot before it apparently disappeared. I recognized certain details on this object immediately because a friend had sent me your About.com article on different UFOs that have appeared recently with a similar appearance.
Now, I should mention that this is a private listserv for a very close-knit group. I have met almost everyone that participates in person and I have met Stephen in particular many times, so I take his word seriously.
We have been discussing it for the last couple of hours and I suggested we start by sending pictures to your web site since you clearly have some familiarity with this situation so far. Unfortunately I'm not a moderator of this listserv and can't give you access, but I can send you copies of the discussion as it develops if you would like to stay abreast. Let me know.
Stephen has given me permission to contact you with his photos and information and you may email him directly if you wish. We don't have any special need for anonymity on this matter and if you would like to post this email along with the photos you may do so. I would be interested in hearing from the other photographers of this kind of craft in particular and seeing what this is all about! The following is his first listserv email which was sent earlier this afternoon:
'Stephen 06/06/2007 14:42:31 PST
okay, where to begin -- yesterday I was up around big basin for my assignment like I've been mentioning for the last couple weeks -- the theme for those that don't remember was photographing something at a small scale against a large scale backdrop to contrast scales and to play with depth of field etc -- I chose to photograph a couple of flower/weed things growing right on the edge of a drop off with the valley in the background -- I'm still using the rebel xt I bought off mark which is slr so I'm looking at everything through a viewfinder when I notice something _appear_ in the distance, like just pop out of nowhere --
I look up and there is this _huge_ who-knows-what-the-xxx _floating_ in the distance and rotating very slowly and jerkily (is that a word lol) -- almost by reflex I take another shot which is focused in on it this time and go to stand up but practically fall over because I cant even think straight --
I was able to get one more shot which came out kind of blurred and then the thing _vanished_ -- like, as in, now you see it now you don't -- I attached the pictures so you guys can check them out before I really decide to do something with them -- are these going to the 6 o'clock news or what -- any feedback would be great before i make a major decision here -- also btw I attached three pictures the first is when it _first_ appeared right as I was taking a shot of the flowers but I wanted you guys to see everything i saw -- sorry I only got 3 pix but this thing was seriously gone in like a matter of secs
also btw -- I am planning to return to the area this weekend with the camera and anyone else who wants to join me -- I'm seriously going to spend all day hiking around to see if it shows up again if it does I am going to get a million shots of this thing if it does -- you seriously have to see it to even believe it so _anyone_ who wants to come me let me know -- the more people that see this the better because I don't even need to tell you that so far this is a pretty crazy situation and I want some witnesses to back me up”
Source/References : Jenna.L. (ufocasebook.com)
For all the vast majority of people are screaming hoax there is a little bit of history attached to these objects, first of all way back in 1999 a photograph was submitted to UfOEvidence.org. The original photo is on the left but I’ve rotated it and blew it up a little so that you can see it has indeed some similarities to the recent wave of UFO sightings in California.
And secondly we have a more recent one which again is remarkably similar the recent sightings except it has a lot fewer appendages. This was photographed in Birmingham, Alabama in 2006.
Source : EarthFiles.com
It's certainly intriguing!!
I personally believe they are man-made, the fact that the craft has text on them that is obviously a bastardized foreign language or a morphed sci-fi one is testament in itself. It still doesn't stop me being intrigued by the motivations of the original posters.
I have a great deal of difficulty believing that it is just a viral marketing campaign as has been suggested. And I must admit to being amazed at what people with a knowledge of 3D software packages have been able to create within a couple of days or so. Here's one of the better ones from YouTube,
(DON'T GET CONFUSED THIS IS 100% CGI!!)
You can see the kind of interest this has generated on the internet, so it's very strange that nobody from the media has picked up on it or more likely the media are just ignoring it. Is this because they are well aware of what can be created with, “Off the shelf software” or is there another agenda? Puzzling as they all jumped on board with the, “O'Hare Airport UFO sighting – Nov 7 th 2006” and again with, “Guernsey Pilot Spots UFO – April 23 rd 2007.”
For all this is widely perceived as a hoax I'm still looking forward to the truth coming out and I think the full experience will still prove to be something a landmark case in the field of UFO research, even if it is for all of the wrong reasons. You can't help but feel as though it's all some sort of test, with each witness and sighting offering a little more information and detail, or is it just offering enough rope to hang themselves with?
There are many unanswered questions and many investigations currently underway, so hopefully some sort of truth should be imminent. But until the true identities of Chad & co. is finally revealed I believe that their sightings, reasoning and motivations will provide much speculation & discussion on the UFO subject and the more people that get interested and start asking questions as a result of these craft then the more chance we may have of getting some concrete answers.
To view forum topic on the, "Big Basin/Chad/Rajman1977/Lake Tahoes UFO", to comment or to discuss this UFO sighting further, visit here.