Interim Report on the reopening of the Walters' UFO Case
Salisberry, Carol A. & Rex C. (Navarre Beach, Florida 32566-7235), 23 September 1990
To: Walter H. Andrus, Jr. 103 Oldtowne Road Sequin, Tx 78155-499
The investigators, Carol & Rex Salisberry had not been involved with the prior investigation of the Walter's Case and had accepted the MUFON assessment of its validity without close personal scrutiny. When Tommy Smith came forward with his allegations on 15 June 1990, the investigators doubted them and, in fact made several public statements in support of the Walter's Case. After the press conferences on 19 June 1990, wherein Mr. Charles Flannigan ( Florida MUFON State Director) announced the reopening of the Walters' Case and the commitment by MUFON to finding the truth, we were asked by Mr. Flannigan to assist him in the next phase of the investigation. During a meeting of Mr. Walter Andrus, MUFON International Director, Mr. Flannigan, and Mr. Salisberry on Thursday 5 July 1990, Mr. Andrus expressed his capacity to accept the result that the Walter's Case was a total fraud if that was proven to be the case. We deemed this to be a critical commitment on his part , because we didn't want the results of our work to " be swept under the rug" if they were contrary to the then prevailing views of many MUFON officials and others. Upon receiving this commitment from Mr. Andrus we proceeded with the investigation with an open mind and with the greatest degree of objectivity that we could muster. Our previous, personal supportive views of the case had to be subjugated so as not to influence the fact finding process.
Although there is much work remaining to be done in the investigation of this case, we have arrived at result that we deem should be brought to the attention of MUFON before it is uncovered and released to the public by outside interests. On 9 September 1990, our analysis of Photo 19 of the Walters' case indicated a very high probability that the reflection on the road could not have been made by an object hovering over the road as described by Mr. Walters and validated by Dr. Maccabee. It is a virtual physical impossibility for the reflection to occur as depicted in Photo 19. Perhaps one of the easiest methods of producing the photo is by use of a small model (photographed at close range) and double exposure techniques as demonstrated by Mr. Mark Curtis of WEAR TV. Mr. Curtis and his associate, a biologist and model maker, have been harshly criticized by their critics. We were allowed to witness their effort and know that their intent was to demonstrate that the process was feasible and their purpose was not to duplicate the Walters' photo. (It is interesting that they too introduced the fatal flaw of creating a reflection which was not possible under the circumstances.) The detailed account of our analysis of Photo 19 is shown in Attachment 1.
Mr. Flannigan and Mr. Salisberry telephoned Mr. Andrus on Sunday evening 9 September 1990 to inform him of the results of the analysis. During the conversation it was suggested that two independent experts be contacted to confirm the validity of our analysis. Those two experts were provided the details of the analysis and have orally responded with their confirmations of the validity of the results.
With Photo 19 shown to be a probable hoax, Photo 14 is likewise categorized since it is essentially identical to Photo 19 except for geographic location. With these two photos reassessed as probable hoaxes, the other photos which depict an image of the same model should be considered as highly suspect. Intellectual and scientific integrity then dictate that the suspect photos be downgraded in the overall assessment of the validity of the case.
Another aspect of the Walters' case which has come into question is whether or not he knew how to take double exposures prior to 11 November 1987. Mr. S. Peter Neumann, of WEAR TV and a resident of Gulf Breeze, has informed us that Mr. Walters had told him and his wife much earlier than 11 November 1987 that Walters sometimes used double exposure photography to amuse the young people who attended the parties in the Walters' home. Mr. Neumann has declined to provide us with a written and signed statement to this effect, but indicated that he would provide the same information to anyone calling by telephone. Additionally, the young people whom we have interviewed relate that Mr. Walters consistently "had a camera in his hand" at the various activities at which he was present. These young people also confirmed that Mr. Walters sometimes took what appeared to be trick photos and that they could not understand how it was done.
It is emphasized that the reassessment of the Walters' Case should not be cause to believe or disbelieve the hundreds of other UFO related experiences in the Pensacola area. Each reported case had been evaluated on its own merits and should stand as reported. It is even quite probable that the Walters family have had experiences with UFO related phenomena; however, this is difficult to assess at this point because of the previous preoccupation with the photos which may have distorted the data.
Recommendation: MUFON should release the results of our analysis to the public as soon as practical. We consider this important to maintain our integrity as an objective UFO investigative organization.
Preliminary Analysis of Photo 19 of the Walters' UFO Case made by Rex C. Salisberry on 9 September 1990.
- The object and the light ring at the bottom are circular (source - Mccabee, 1988 MUFON Symposium Proceedings).
- The distance from the camera to the object is 185 (+/- 5) feet (source - Maccabee, page 145 of 1988 MUFON Symposium Proceedings)
- The diameter of the light ring at the bottom is 7.5 feet (source - Maccabee, same as #2).
- The tilt of the object away from the observer is about 13 degrees (source - Dr. Willy Smith, page 14 of his " The Gulf Breeze Saga")
- The height of the object above the road is about 3 feet (source - Maccabee, same as #2).
- The height of the camera was about 5 feet.
- The reflection on the Flat and relatively level road should have a round or slightly oval shape. Regardless of the shape of the reflection, since the cross dimension of the light is roughly equal to the cross dimension of the reflection, fore-and-aft dimensions of the light and the reflection should also correspond.
It seemed to be a prudent scientific approach to determine what the reflection should appear to be under the given assumptions and then compare that result with the photograph.
- Since the three-dimensional appearance of the reflection is converted to two dimensions on film, the two dimensional presentation to the camera should be determined. The horizontal presentation is unchanged because of the geometry of the scene, however the height and depth presentations are converted to a vertical only presentation as follows:
5ft-> | |90__________> (Angle A ) 185ft Angle A = arctan 5/185 = arctan (0.027027) = 1.54815 degrees
The fore-and-aft dimension (x,) of the reflection on the road is given by
^ <-7.5ft /90 /_____________13 degrees x,
x, = (7.5 feet)/(cosine 13 degrees)= 7.6972813 feet The vertical dimension (y,) as it would appear to the camera is then given by
| 5ft | ^y, | | |90_______________7.6972813______>Angle A = 1.54815 185ft
y, = ( 7.6972813 feet)( sin 1.54815 deg.) = 0.2979574 feet = 2.49549 inches.
- Computation of the comparable vertical dimension from the photo facing page 129 of Walter's book is as follows:
The ratio of the vertical dimension to the horizontal dimension is approximately 1 to 4 as measured on the photograph.
Then by proportion
Yz / 7.6972813 feet = 1/4 Yz = (7.6972813feet)/4 = 1.9243203 feet
which is over 9 times greater than the expected value computed in (1)
- If the road surface was sloped up abruptly below the object at an angle of about 14 degrees, the presentation of the reflection as shown on Photo 19 could have been attained.
. | . |1.9243203 feet . | Angle B <________________90| 7.6972813 feet
Angle B = arctan (1.9243203) / (7.7972813) = 14 degrees (This computation is not precise but is a close enough approximation upon which to draw a conclusion.)
Since the road is known to not have a 14 degree slope at the point indicated in the photo, this possibility is ruled out. However, a similar reflection to the one shown in Photo 19 was produced by Mark Curtis for WEAR TV which indicates that the reflection could have been made by using a small model and double-exposure camera techniques. Mr. Curtis and his associate made the mistake of slanting the top of their light pipe and then covering it with thin paper to create the image for reflection. The fatal flaw produced a similar " fat " reflection as the one shown in Photo 19.
- It is possible that the camera elevation could have been higher than the 5 feet assumed, so the camera elevation needed to produce the photo image of the reflection is roughly calculated by using a proportion as follows:
| Y3 | |< 1.9243203 feet | | |_________|____________________ 7.6972813 feet |<.............185 feet.......>|
Y3/185 feet = 1.9243203 feet/7.6972813 feet
Y3 = (1.9243203) (185 feet)/7.6972813 = 46.25 feet Visual inspection of photo 19 indicates that a camera elevation of 46.25 feet was not possible.
- It could also be argued that the fore-and-aft dimension of the reflection on the road could have been greater than the approximate 7.7 feet calculated in (1) above. Therefore a calculation of the fore-and-aft dimension needed to produce the reflection of Photo 19 is as follows:
| . 5 ft | | <1.9243203 feet |90........|.....X2....... |> 185ft <| X2 = (185) ( 1.9243203feet)/5 = 71.2 feet
Again, a visual inspection of Photo 19 rules out this possibility.
- Other arguments could be offered, e.g. heat from the bottom of the UFO heated the wet road which caused steam to rise. The reflection on the water droplets in the steam would then cause the reflection to appear " fatter " than expected. Such arguments employ circular logic and hence must be discounted. Additional, the case file does not contain any evidence to indicate that the road was subjected to heat.
- Anyone can perform a simple demonstration to convince himself of the validity of the above analysis. Construct a model of the scene using a scale of 1 inch = 1 foot as follows:
- Cut a 7.5 inch diameter circle from a piece of white paper.
- Place the 7.5 inch circular piece of paper on a flat surface to represent the reflection on the road.
- Move away 185 inches to simulate the distance from the camera to the object.
- View the circle from an elevation of 5 inches above the elevation of the circle as shown below ( You can cut a peep hole 5 inches above the bottom edge of a piece of cardboard to help in setting the proper height above the circle of paper):
(Eye)>| |5 inches |____________________________()7.5inch white disc 185 inches
One can then easily see that the circle appears as a thin line and not as the "fat" reflection shown in Photo 19
Conclusions: It is virtually impossible that the object as described in Walter's book and Maccabee's analyses could have caused the reflection as shown in Photo 19. A small model and double exposure camera techniques could have been used to produce the reflection as described in (3) above.