Hoaxers: An Unwanted Pest

Catching that elusive photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or a U.F.O. is a sought after challenge that many are willing to take on. But throughout recent years, technology has greatly advanced so much that anything is possible with photo doctoring. With just a click of the button, a scanned bottle cap shrunk to 50% it’s size and placed in the background of mountains now becomes the latest U.F.O. sighting, making it possible to create something out of nothing. This is the stance that many disbelievers take when faced with potential proof.


Back in the days, photo mishaps and coincidences have been passed off as the real deal, as seen in the example of the infamous Loch Ness Monster photo that has been dismissed as a bird swooping down into the water. Whether or not this was intentionally passed off as the real thing on purpose or intended as a hoax, is unclear. It is a shame when hoaxes appear because it places doubt in the mind of others as to whether or not the unexplainable exists. So when the real deal photo surfaces, it is immediately dubbed as a hoax, undergoing careful and aggressive scrutiny.


We see this “doctoring” practice within the tabloid magazines when the head of a famous person is taken off of their body and placed upon another. In graphic design applications, such as Photoshop, it is quite easy to erase photo elements, replace backgrounds and subjects, as well as add anything to the forefront to make it appear as if it was part of the original photograph.


Searching the Internet, a very believable photo appears depicting “flying saucers” in the background of a vacation photo in Brazil. A man is posing in the forefront in what looks like to be in some cable car overlooking a rainforest. Beyond the acres of lush forest and in the background are two unidentifiable objects in the air. The photo catches you off-guard, but if you scroll further down the screen, you will notice that the same photo appears with the title “Original Photo.” A caption below the photo reads that a photo editing software was used to add the UFOs after the photo was taken. The proof? The dummy posted the original photo on another website that is without flying objects in the background.


What about recording sightings on a video camera? Perhaps, this presents a more believable way of proving what you saw, but in this day-in-age, there are many special effects that can trick the keenest eye. As for the latest trend to hit the masses, cell phones prove unreliable for picture taking of this kind. There have been claims that UFOs have been captured by using a cell phone camera. But users can easily take advantage of the camera phone’s low resolution and the blur effect which is caused by the sun’s heat.


But don’t lose all hope. There are certain circumstances that have produced what has been considered to be reliable UFO photos. There were a series of UFO sightings in Gulf Breeze, Florida during 1987. The most frequent sightings were recorded between November 1987 and May 1988. A couple by the name of Ed and Frances Walters took 40 pictures with different cameras during that time. A variety of scientists analyzed the photos and concluded that they were not false.


So how will we know when the real deal has been captured on film? Who is to know, but believers will have to rely on other approaches to prove the existence of unexplainable and rare creatures, aliens and UFOs.