2004/06/30 (EN)

A preliminary report of the project progress can be read in the following links: http://www.webcitation.org/6mx6rOv6V and http://www.webcitation.org/6mx6KmDqM

Last Tally

The present number of cases of FOTOCAT is 4,770. On average, 3 new cases are added every day, one current and two old.

Donations And Assistance Received From Several Countries

A number of researchers have provided follow-up information on some photographic cases from the remarkable wave of 1954. We thank Eric Maillot, from France, Eddie Bullard from Indiana University, USA, and author Björn Borg from Finland.

For leads and material, our gratitude also goes to Tom Tulien (United States).

Long-time ufologists are well aware of Civilian Saucer Intelligence, the old-time UFO organization based in New York under the leadership of Alex Mebane, Ted Bloecher and other pioneers. Thanks to the concourse of Richard Hall, their case cards reporting photographic events are being communicated to us via email.

Richard Heiden, the Milwaukee ufologist and avid book collector specializing in Spanish and Latin America UFO literature has sent to FOTOCAT Project photocopy of all UFO photographic reports released in the The APRO Bulletin during all its publishing history. A most welcome addition.

Where To Submit Photographic Material

We invite researchers to donate originals or copies of materials relative to UFO photographic cases (photo, film or video). The Anomaly Foundation will recognize in public your cooperation. Items can be posted to:

Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
Apartado de Correos 12140
46080 Valencia

You can reach us electronic mail also in: ballesterolmos@yahoo.es

21St Century Ufo Photography. Preliminary Information.

I thought some initial comments on the UFO photographic reports collected during 2000 to 2004 could be interesting. Indeed they are, yet not by what most readers may imagine. My impression is that every day one new photo appears in some place of the world. In fact, the number of photographic cases detected by FOTOCAT follows:

YearNumber of cases
(to mid June)

Digital cameras and video camcorders are almost as popular as mobile phones today, many people own one and every curious sight in the sky is quickly recorded for the posterity. But especially with digital cameras, a technology alien to dilettante photographers, there is a relevant proportion of images that were not seen by the photographers at the time the picture was obtained. That “invisibility” makes me think of prosaic solutions linked to a variety of forms of lens flares or reflections, as well as bugs or birds.

A partial view of the FOTOCAT archives, V.J. Ballester Olmos posing.

The proportion of so-called UFO images not directly associated to any non-mundane observation increase year over year. Figures are so explicit. In 2002, 5% of cases were of this “unseen-by-observer” class. In 2003 the percentage was 12%. Last count for 2004 shows a rate of 27%! The amount of reporting garbage increases rapidly.

On the other hand, it has reappeared an effect that it seemed to have vanished from the UFO scene: the greatly-lucky-observer, i.e., those persons who every now and then come out of their houses, find a UFO over them and just snap a photo or film it. Those “repeaters” (as Hynek defined them, if I am not wrong) do not seem to me to be specially gifted for UFO photography, because in most cases the level of strangeness of the images they capture is nil, their cameras being focused to every kind of flying birds or insects, balloons of many types and shapes, and all sorts of moving or lighted bodies in the skies, including astronomical.

But what really worries me is the natural blind acceptance of ufologists to the apparent extreme luck of those individuals. Their photos are disseminated in web sites and in a number of internet weekly reports devoted to UFO phenomena without the slightest signal of reasonable doubt or critical reasoning! The level of credulity is rampant and this is very dangerous to the intent that the study of UFOs can be considered legitimate by the society. Those who are the source of these “reproductive” images are the freak part of ufology and the more attention they deserve, the more production is expected. In consequence, as far a UFO photography is concerned, the signal-to-noise ratio is hardly over zero.