Tag Archives: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Sea of Marmara UFO Case and the problem of authenticity

It is easy to conclude that YouTube clips of the Turkey Sea of Marmara UFO case are fantastical and staged (as in Project Blue Beam or other disinfo) – particularly the after-the-fact “cockpit” close-ups, showing clearly what looks to be a combination Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet and alien “Grey” face!

The majority of the higher-trafficked YouTube clips feature Dr. Roger Leir narrating (via the 2010 Ventura County UFO Festival, Ventura, CA). The photographer is heard throughout, and the awe in his voice is palpable. Leir claims that the original digital video was shot using an European ISO, with a 200mm lens and electronic “doubler.” Leir also states that he and his team sent the video to the Turkish government and University for further analyses and on agreement that they would issue a report. It is unclear whether either have issued such a report(s).

According to Leir and others, there were witnesses to similar sightings leading up to the “Leir” footage, beginning as early as 2008 and continuing into ’09.

Here is one valid question: why does the closest, best footage came when Roger Leir happens to be there? And what is Roger Leir doing in Kumburgaz, Turkey? If he was following up on earlier sightings then he really hit the gold-mine!

In the YouTube clip, Leir seems to perk up when he mentions a later analysis done by independent Chilean researcher Mario Valdes that focuses on the “cockpit.” (See also Dr. Leir’s web site Alien Scalpel/A & S Research, Inc.) The cockpit footage shows what Leir describes in the Ventura lecture as “a textbook Grey alien.” One would agree, though the “heads” look curiously helmet-like. At the end of the slow-motion close-up one notices what appear to be either ears (antennae?) flummoxing backward as if the entities just realized they’d been caught on film! Many count this “cockpit” footage among the most intimate of UFO sightings in history.

Valdes did photo-analyses and geographic/spatial measurements to pinpoint the position of the craft relative to the coast and sea-level. By his analysis, the case seems conclusive, though again, barring tangible physical evidence, or a statement from the Turkish government or University (to whom Dr. Leir says sent the video on agreement that they would analyze it and issue their findings), the case lingers inconclusive. (As for sending UFO footage to Governments – that’s a bit like asking a tank to do an arabesque…or like asking a brick wall for a psychoanalysis!)

This much is certain – UFO sightings are fast on the uptick worldwide, and the bizarre but steadily reported abductee phenomenon as well. More people wield professional grade digital camera equipment with the ability to instantly share footage on the Web. Indeed, there is no doubt that the World-Wide Web is leading to an increase of both interest in, and acceptance of, the UFO phenomenon.

But again, in our era of Government disinformation, agents provocateur, and high-technology black-budget military projects, we just cannot claim to know for sure. And high-tech digital graphics software are more accessible – along with the potential for manipulation of images, where only a decade or two ago the situation was different. If the Sea of Marmara footage had been shot in motion-picture film, say, in the 1980s, we would not have seen a fraction of the imaging detail. And we’d know to count out Photoshop or ProTools!

Sadly, as titillating as it is, the Turkey Sea of Marmara UFO case (like so many others), lingers inconclusive without physical evidence or “the authorities'” stamp of authenticity. But here again, if a government were to give such certification, would we believe it? Would that be enough?



Enter Richard Hoagland

In the past, photo/video capture of a UFO was rare, but if there was a “hit,” analysis of analog 35mm or 16mm film was simpler because in those days film was produced using a known chemical process. Corrections, scratches, or other anomalies were easier to account for. Exceptions are photos taken in interstellar space: NASA’s on-board photographic equipment for orbiters and satellites is varied and often at the mercy of whichever company wins the contract for this or that particular mission.

NASA and its contractors (famously the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Malin Space Science Systems, long cited by Richard C. Hoagland) have a long, steady history of putting out disinformation concerning evidence that could be used by Ufologists and in the search for alien intelligence.

One case illustrates the complexities involved in confirming even official photographic evidence of UFOs from the pre-digital era – in this case lunar ground anomalies – 2008’s New York Times bestseller Dark Mission. involves former NASA consultant to the Goddard Spaceflight Center and Science Advisor to Walter Cronkite, Richard C. Hoagland, who reported for CBS News live from the Jet-Propulsion Laboratory during the ‘69 televised Apollo moon landing. NASA’s Apollo 10 catalog of Hasselblad images taken in orbit (NASA publication SP-232) shows “blacked out and dramatically darkened images” (fig. 4-14, p. 232). Hoagland was first alerted to possible artificial lunar artifacts by the fantastical, “Stranger-than-fiction” type 1980s book, We Found Alien Bases on the Moon, by one Fred Steckling.

By happenstance, comparisons of images in this book with later evidence and maps of the moon led Hoagland on in his quest to uncover the truth about Lunar and Mars artifacts. Around the same time, an unnamed “inventor and industrialist who had founded a company based on his perfection of a unique military optical technology,” and “with extensive NASA and military contacts” (Hoagland and Bara 188) also convinced Hoagland that there may be something to this.

Through a NASA contact, Hoagland ordered what he thought were corresponding images of the regions in question from Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. When the prints arrived in the mail, discrepancies between the catalog and prints alerted Hoagland to, one, the importance of the Apollo 10 images in terms of “ruins on the moon,” and two, a “pattern” of dishonesty and disinformation emanating directly and un-apologetically from NASA (and notably the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (Or the “Jack Parsons Laboratory” as Dark Mission would have it. (See pp. 298-306: “The Caltech Rocket Programs of the 1930s.”)

Hoagland had obtained a “historic lunar atlas” (p. 185) compiled by the Space Sciences Laboratory of now defunct North American Aviation, Inc. Between the atlas and the NASA catalog, Hoagland determined that those photographic negatives containing possible evidence of “ruins” on the moon had been curiously misnamed, double-named, darkened, or even “blacked-out,” and that conspicuously, these largely fell in the ‘AS10-32-’ batch of negatives. The supposed ruins included “the Shard; “the Tower”; “the Cube”; and “the Blair Cuspids”. During the mid-‘90s and later, developments in imaging technology made it possible to re-analyze the Apollo negatives. Hoagland’s “ancient lunar dome” hypothesis emerged. (For more see Dark Mission pp. 183-268 et seq. Endnotes p. 615). While NASA representatives have claimed “accidents of light and shadow,” NASA itself kept an entire database and commissioned (at least) one official study on “transient lunar phenomena.”

The film negatives are what they are and it was only through a roundabout and largely happenstance set of circumstances that the lunar “ruins” were discovered.

The difference between the Apollo and Viking “analog” era and ours is indeed drastic – digital photography means that down to the pixel an image may be altered and any metadata erased. The 1998 Mars Global Surveyor/Malin Space Science Systems debacle is the prime example (pp.355-378; pp. 379-400.) But Hoagland’s cavernous journey through the years with NASA reminds us that even so, it is still not easy to analyze even a standard photograph and come to a firm conclusion about what it depicts!

– d.g.w.

July 2011


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