UFO Conjectures

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Heflin Photos: Pro or Con

Dominick, a regular here, was irked by my mention that the Heflin UFO photos were hoaxed.

Here are two of the photos:



Dominick wrote this comment in my CIA/UFO posting, previous to this one:

"Rich, you can't just say that you are "in the hoax camp" without dealing with the photo-analysis that was done in JSE 2000 article. Deal with the finding of particulate matter in the photos. Deal with the difficulty of shooting a toy train wheel without confederates. Deal with the hazing and blueing which suggests strongly that the object filmed was a considerable distance from the camera. Deal with the smoke-ring photo...why fake it at all? No one, including Tony, has effectively dealt with any of this. Now unless we actually deal with these issues, we can't in good debate just simply say (and be taken seriously) that we are "in the hoax camp."

BTW, there is one "serious analyist" who does think that the Heflin photos are of some real craft in the sky. Me. I did not start that way. But an editor at the Orange County Register who knew of my interest in UFOs(and where I had previously written an economic policy piece) asked me do an OP/Ed on the Heflin photos back in 2009. And when I dug into the case, and especially into the photoanalysis, I became reasonably convinced that the photos were of some distant craft of the dimensions estimated by Heflin. (That Op/Ed appeared in the OCR on November 8, 2009). Was it ET? Probably not. But I'm reasonably convinced that it was a real flying object and that Heflin did not and, indeed, could not have faked it. And I'll stand by that until someone, anyone, deals effectively with the issues raised above." 

The Heflin photos have been discussed many times in the UFO community and on the internet.

One popular analysis is this one by Ann Druffel:


This is Richard Hall's exquisite take:


And here is Anthony Bragalia's observation about Heflin's photos (and a few other "famous" UFO images):


Again, from the copies of the photos, one can make analyses. The original Polaroid's are not needed to create a judicious, sensible analysis.

Of course, having the originals in hand would allow for additional information, but enough is provided by the copies for an adequate evaluation.

The toy-train wheel explanation makes sense to me, but Dominick isn't so moved by that determination.

And the smoke-ring photo baffles. Why was it created as a contrivance or what did it represent if it was an authentic image of the craft departing?

I see the apparent dust-raising below the craft in Image One above, but it isn't exactly below the object.

And like the Lee Harvey Oswald plaint about how many shots could he get off in the few seconds during which JFK was shot, how was Mr. Heflin able to get so many shots (four), using a Polaroid camera, before the UFO departed?

(This is the same question that presents itself about the famous Trent/McMinnville photos.)

The Heflin photos, like almost everything else UFO-related, creates controversy, and open-ended interpretations.