Chris, Pplz, I have two questions on this photo..
1) How come the UFO is in focus (relatively, compared
to the guys cigarette or ear) and
----- Original Message -----
From: James Neff
Take a gander at this. This is from the larger scale (300 dpi) image we received (the one online is 72 and compressed a lot). I ran an auto-curves filter on it and then equalized under RGB. What I find is that anything in the sky area appears to have over-saturation of color, probably to compensate for the brightness compared to foreground objects like the two men. Notice the extreme color distortion and warm color to the right of the man with the hat.
The element which now disturbs me the most is the UFO and the pixels around it which appear to be extremely "hot" and very sharp -- possible evidence of retouching. But then again, it's very, very hard to evaluate from JPG images because of the compression scheme.
Not sure what to think.
From: "Stephen Peterson"
Yes, I think there are enough oddities/inconsistencies about this photo to warrant heightened skepticism, if not outright rejection. I noticed the apparent sharpness of the "UFO" also. The rest of the photo is soft, but the object seems too sharp, especially given its apparent distance from the men, which admittedly could be misleading.
In addition, in your attached image, I see what appear to be trails and other possible virtual cut-marks around the object which further raise doubts in my mind. They might be cracks in the emulsion, discolorations, or something else. In particular, the slightly magenta tinted feature surrounding the object in your processed image seems very suspicious. Maybe it's a force field?
It is conceivable that some of those odd artifacts and warm areas you've isolated are due to discoloration or foreign objects on the backside of the photo, scanner glass, or cover, perhaps from adhesive, stains, or something of that nature. In addition, scanners themselves vary tremendously in quality of output, especially the cheaper, consumer grade models which are so common. As you know, there are any number of potential areas for glitches to creep into the whole process, and I suppose it's best to give the benefit of the doubt --- up to a point.
I wonder if you could get an uncompressed scan from the source?
//// we will check into this ///
In the final analysis, pending a look at an uncompressed version(s) of this photo, I remain highly skeptical of the authenticity of this image based on my earlier comments, and your additional input here.