- Jeff Rense,
- I submitted this article a month ago
and did not receive an acknowlegement that you received it. I also didn't
see it on the web page. It doesn't bother me if you decided not to put
it up or whatever, but I just wanted to re-submit it in case it was somehow
lost. Please reply and indicate that you received this just so I know.
- Mitch Randall
- Mexican UFO Video: A Broader Perspective
- The controversy of the Mexican UFO Video
will continue and, like all of ufology, will not be resolved until aliens
land on the Whitehouse lawn. Until then, we each have to make our own decisions
based on any information we can get. Video evidence provides a plethora
of quantifiable information such as approximate size, shape, velocity,
acceleration, etc., but there is also much more, less easily quantifiable,
information that can be gleaned that we should also consider. By looking
closely at what is involved in the making of such a video, we can gather
quite a bit of the "unquantifiable" information which shouldn't
be overlooked. Although this information may not lead to a definitive conclusion
(which is also true of the quantitative information), it could certainly
help you and I form an opinion which gets closer to the truth.
- For the moment, let's assume the video
is a hoax, and look closely at what would be involved in creating it:
- Any motion picture which attempts to
create realism requires several production functions. A few of these are,
Front man, Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Storyboard artist, Special
Effects Technician, Actors, Cameraman, etc. Any moviegoer knows from watching
movie credits that it takes hundreds of people to make a feature film.
But it's not so obvious that ANY realistic movie requires these functions.
Even though all these skills may be rolled up into one person, nevertheless,
they must all be applied in order to create a realistic movie. Let's explore
how several of these pieces would have come together to create the "Mexican
- First, the Frontman: Someone had to back
the making of this video. As stated in another post, $5000 could create
such a video. This Frontman, then, is the one who found the money and/or
time and/or energy it took to create this video. The Frontman needs to
be convinced that the idea is profitable in some way before he will invest
in the making of the video. It could be that the fun of tricking everyone
is the "profit" that will be made. The important thing to remember
is that someone felt that all the time, effort, and expense (we'll discuss
later) would pay off.
- The Producer is the one who works out
the details of how to get all of the necessary talent together to achieve
the final goal. In this case the Producer would have organized not only
the video, but the hiring and training of several bogus eyewitnesses. He
would have had to hire a large number so that the researchers going door
to door would have a good chance of finding at least a few. They would
have been instructed not to come forward with their story unless they were
seeked out by researchers so as not to rouse any suspicion. He would have
had to find these bogus eyewitnesses very discretely so that no snitch
would blow the whistle on his scheme.
- The Director is the one with a critical
eye for realism. He sees that the pieces that actually appear on the video
are exactly as they "should" be. He would reject scenes that
don't appear real yelling "cut", and call for another "take".
The Director would be the one to add details such as the realistic sound
track. Or another nice touch which was the cameraman's anticipation that
the UFO would appear on the other side of the last building. The skills
of the Director are very different from that of a special effects technician
in that he is concerned with the "feel" of the movie, not just
the technical accuracy. Good Directors usually start out making promising
movies and year after year go on to create more and more realistic movies.
An important thing to remember is that the first one is never perfect.
- The Screenwriter and Storyboard Artist
create and depict the concept of each scene. This gives a unified goal
for the cameraman, special effects technician, actors, etc., to work toward.
You can't just go out and randomly shoot at some buildings and hope that
it can be made into a good hoax. The important thing to remember is that
you have to plan ahead in order to get the "feel" of the movie
to be right.
- The Special Effect Technician's job is
well known. Most all of the discussions about hoaxes center around the
technical aspects of special effects. But think of it from another angle.
The Special Effects Technician is usually at odds with the Director. The
Director wants ultimate realism and will ask for effects that are not yet
technically feasible. Or he may ask for details that don't make much difference
in the movie but make a huge difference in the difficulty of the special
effect. There are several details in the video that fall in this category.
It would have been easier to make a UFO that did not wobble. It would have
been easier yet if it did not rotate. Still easier if it did not pass behind
a building. Even easier if the camera did not shake. Even easier if the
camera did not zoom. Still easier if the UFO did not white-out in the smog.
Still easier if it did not have the fuzzy boundary. Even easier if it did
not grow bigger and smaller as it travels. The important thing to keep
in mind is that realism and simple special effects are opposing requirements,
not likely to be well balanced by an individual.
- Actors: I have not heard the soundtrack
to the video so I can only say a limited amount about it. But it is reported
that it sounds very real. I have seen enough locally produced car and furniture
dealer commercials and daytime TV to know that acting very natural is not
easy. The realistic soundtrack would not only require the skill of the
Director's eye (ear), but would have also taken some acting skill as well.
- The Cameraman's job was not so as easy
in this video as one might first think. Although the final image needs
to look only as good as that taken by an amateur videographer, this cameraman
had to carefully follow the storyboard including the nuances requested
by the director (such as mentioned above). The important thing to remember
is that this cameraman had to do something specific yet make it appear
as if it were natural. The skill of the cameraman should not be understated.
- After going through this exercise it
seems apparent that the actual special effects that were involved in this
video represent only a fraction of the total effort. I've read many arguments
which state that this video would be easily hoaxed based on the current
state-of-the-art of computer graphics and video manipulation software.
Many have claimed that THEY could do as good or better. However, this argument
and these claims are focused only on the special effects aspect of the
video. They overlook the many other skills that must have come into play
in order to achieve a video with this much realism. For fun, lets look
closely at these types of claims, but use our new broader perspective.
Assume someone hoaxes a new video to show us all how easily it can be done:
- 1) Until someone actually comes forth
with their version, they have not performed the function of the Frontman.
Remember he is the one who actually comes up with the time and/or energy
and/or money to get the job done.
- 2) If the new hoaxed video is just a
copy of the original video (same scenario but with their version of the
special effects), then they have not performed the function of the Screenwriter,
Storyboard Artist, etc. In order for the new fake to make a good point,
it must be different, yet just as convincing.
- 3) Given the conclusion from item #2,
Imagine how a computer graphics hot shot would coordinate a hoaxed video
with 11 eyewitness stories.
- 4) The new video must also have a convincing
soundtrack. That requires Actors, not just special effects software.
- 5) What nuances would be in the camera
work. Would the video be shot in Mexico? Would it shake too wildly or not
wildly enough? Would it behave as if there were a UFO in the viewfinder
even though there was not? Does this have anything to do with the state-of-the-art
in computer software? (No.)
- The technical aspects of the special
effects may be the most obvious and most quantifiable information in the
video, but represents only a fraction of the total information we can look
at. If we broaden our view to include all the other aspects of the production,
we find a great deal of other information available to help us form an
opinion which brings us closer to the truth. When I look at this information,
I can't help but conclude that it would have been tremendously difficult
to hoax this video. I would have to say that, until a saucer lands on the
Whitehouse lawn, this video will remain one of the most enigmatic in history.