Friday, January 12, 2007

Where is the O'Hare UFO Photo?

When I was in Rendlesham Forest back in June, 2006, filming for Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases, my DOP Findlay Muir and I were suddenly buzzed by an RAF helicopter (I presume it was RAF) - we heard it coming a few seconds in advance, but because it was so loud, and because things echo a lot in the forest, even today (it is actually a pretty spooky place, even in the daylight), we had no idea which direction it was coming from.

Nonetheless, I had my old (six years) digital camera out - it's hardly cutting edge technology, and there is a pause of a second or so when it takes a photo. Still, as the helicopter flew overhead, literally appearing from the treeline, I managed to get a shot before it flew off (it eventually came around again and again - they were seemingly conducting landing exercises on the nearby airstrip).

Findlay, who had his very large, unwieldy and heavy Beta Camera on his shoulder, also managed to get some footage of the quick-moving chopper.

Now, if we could manage this, where are all of the photos from the O'Hare UFO sighting back on November 7, 2006? Remember, unlike our helicopter, which was moving fast (we only has a few seconds to react), the O'Hare UFO apparently hovered for a while, in plain sight, in front of witnesses, at one of the world's busiest airports.

The story is all over the news. And yet not one photo has surfaced.

Perhaps one will - but until it does, I'll go with the official explanation, because if Findlay and I can get a good photo and footage of a fast moving object in the middle of a forest, I find it impossible to accept that no-one got a good, clear photo or footage of a hovering UFO at O'Hare International Airport.

Paul Kimball

36 comments:

chuck said...

HERE are the O'Hare UFO photos:

www.ufoart.net

Paul Kimball said...

Chuck:

The sad part is that these are exactly what we should be seeing (well, real ones), if there had really been a structured craft in the sky that night, but so far - nada, rien, zip.

Paul

Anonymous said...

The wittnesses at O'Hare were all employees who were on shift, how can you expect anyone to be at the ready with a camera. You are free to believe the "Swamp Gas" explanation if you must.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there post-9/11 anti-terrorist federal laws restricting the taking of photos of airports?

whatl said...

Very few airline employees work the ramp or pilot planes while carrying a camera. It's probably grounds for dismissal.

Alan said...

From several news reports, including NPR of all folks, there seems to have been attempted a 'clampdown' of sorts, both on the part of United Air Line and the Govt. The people were debriefed by the airline and told not to speak of the incident. The govt. denied any knowledge of the incident until pushed (rather aggresively) by the Chicago Tribune through a 'Freedom of Information' request. Therefore, it wouldn't surprise me that any cell phone, digital camera photos would have been collected. If the airline were trying to hush up the possible safety issues raised by this, that would have been a logical thing for them to do. I do agree, however, that, had I been one of the individuals, I would have tried to conceal any photos that I might have taken....
but, that may be easier said than done when you are under pressure of losing your livelyhood.
Perhaps, some will yet turn up.....

UFO Media Matters said...

I couldn't stop laughing at your article please read my responce at

http://ufomedia.blogspot.com/

Joe capp

Curtis said...

Paul:
Assuming, the O'Hare sighting was REAL, there are 3 reasons for why there have been no pictures or video yet : A)the witnesses have been tampered with by implied or express threats of job loss or careers or worse (by "FAA" investigator types or simply by United Airlines management fearing any negative publicity from the incident)...or B)the witnesses are secretly negotiating with the media for top dollar media rights...or C)both reasons above.
Sidenote : It was rumored on TV a few nights ago that one of the pilots had actually filmed it on a video camera...if we could so lucky.
From : Curt (a believer)

Anonymous said...

Paul-

I heard on MSNBC, I believe, that at least one of the airline workers had indeed snapped some pictures, but was "afraid for their jobs"-should the pictures become public. They would be interesting to see, to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Two recent articles of interest on this topic:

Ten-year anniversary of ‘The Phoenix Lights’ UFO encounter approaches

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
January 10, 2007

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=18956

- - -

Disc-shaped UFO over Chicago’s O’Hare Airport triggers national, international news coverage

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
January 4, 2007

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=18655

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying there was or wasn't a UFO. However, how many airline employees/jumbo jet pilots carry cameras at work? These are the people that saw the UFO. Actually, due to security these days, I doubt employees are even allowed to bring cameras to the areas they have access to in airports. Areas the public do not have access to. But, even if they did have photos, people would say they were photoshopped anyway.

The fact that bothers me the most about this case/sighting, is that the FAA denied anyone reported a sighting until threatened with a Freedom of Information Act request. Only then did they admit that the sighting had been reported, without the request being filed. Why? Did their files have a memory lapse?

Paul Kimball said...

About the employees being at work - I agree that it would seem odd (although certainly not impossible) for a ground-worker to have a camera with him (although far less odd to have a cell phone with a camera in it). But pilots and aircrew are a different story. Further, the "object" was supposedly hovering for up to twenty minutes - that's plenty of time for others to see it, including civilians who would surely have had cameras, or for the initial witnesses to notify colleagues inside ("hey, Frank, get a camera quick!). But I suppose it's easier for some folks to believe that no, when confronted with what was apparently a "UFO", they all just stood around and watched it. I don't know of any human beings in this mulitmedia age who behave that way, especially in an urban area.

Talk about swamp gas!

Best regards,
Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball said...

I couldn't stop laughing at your article please read my responce at

http://ufomedia.blogspot.com/

Joe capp


And I couldn't stop laughing at yours (people should wander over for a really good chuckle).

The assertion you make that people can't take photos at airports is absurd. I've been to LAX, O'Hare, Dulles, Logan, and others over the past two years - I took lots of photos inside the airport, including looking out to the runway, and of planes landing - no problem. I saw lots of other people doing the same thing. I would advise people to not take pictures of the security check in area, but that's a different story (unless the UFO was trying to get through the X-ray machine).

Do you just make stuff up to fit your belief system, Joe?

Best regards,
Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball said...

The fact that bothers me the most about this case/sighting, is that the FAA denied anyone reported a sighting until threatened with a Freedom of Information Act request. Only then did they admit that the sighting had been reported, without the request being filed. Why? Did their files have a memory lapse?

This is not on the face of it an unreasonable question, until you realize a couple of things (that Peter Davenport et al won't tell you).

First, the FAA is a large organization. To expect everyone within it to know everything that has gone on everywhere is silly.

I speak from experience, having worked for government in the past. I recall once where a phone call was referred to me, and a question asked, and I said, "nope, we don't have that information." Sure enough, we did - the person in the office next to me had it. That sort of thing happens all the time.

Further, look at the FAA reporting guidelines. They state specifically that UFO reports are not taken, and are to be directed to civilian groups or scientific bodies that study this sort of thing. It is not unreasonable, therefore, for an FAA employee to mistakenly assume that there was no call to them about a UFO.

Finally, if there really was this deep, dark cover up to which Davenport and others have begun to allude, do you really think a simple FOIA request by a reporter would be enough to shake the tree? Some cover-up.

The simple answer is almost always the right one in cases like this - the FAA employee who answered the initial inquiry made a mistake, and then, when forced to do some more thorough internal checking, the FAA rectified that mistake.

Best regards,
Paul Kimball

rdbrock said...

Billy Booth at http://ufos.about.com/b/a/256839.htm wwrote on Jan. 3:

...it is now confirmed that at least one photograph was taken of the object. There may be more. Researchers, including yours truly, are trying to get the individual who took the photo to come forward. There are job considerations and privacy issues at stake, but there is still a chance we may yet see a photo of the UFO.

No use saying much about this until it surfaces, if it surfaces. Someone will probably fake one if it doesn't surface within the next few weeks, ala "the eyes of comet Hale-Bopp." Either way, after it surfaces we'll have the proclamations of umpteen different self-proclaimed photogrammetric analysts (and Bruce Macabee, of course), and they will hash and rehash it until Kingdom Cum, and it will fill up endless threads at UpDates and elsewhere, some of which will doubtless catch fire and burn for weeks or months, and be periodically revived for another go around over the next couple decades at so, barring pandemic or nuclear war. It will also provide fine fodder for shows and articles at Rense and Coast to Coast and Virtually Strange...and the skeptics will assert that no photograph can serve as indisputable proof of ET spacecraft, and the "true believers" will call them "debunkers" and "pelicanists" and will rant about it at their blogs and on the lists, blah-blah-blah, ad infinitum, ad nauseum...

Otherwise, I see that we have lots of "experts" weighing in here on the matter, expressing their outrage and offering their learned commentary, even as they betray their ignorance.

In other words, this all par for the course. This is what always happens. Been going on for years.

I had a look at Andy Capp's rebuttal. I'm accumulating a small compendium of "well-fermented" comments about O'Hare from various sources around the web to share at AAMB, and http://ufomedia.blogspot.com/ is quite ripe for the picking.

Best,
RDB

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's strange that this "UFO" or "UAP" was allegedly in the air for 20 minutes a NO ONE took a pic of it!!?!?!

And you can bring a camera to the airport since that's one of the main items people bring while traveling! Also a LOT of people have camera phones these days.

But I also find it intriguing that these are reputable witness who make a living by flying and they know what is weather and what isn't. So I think there could be some credibility to this report but I still find it strange there are no pics and it doesn't necessarily mean it's a UFO.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I will jump in here, but I am no expert on anything, simply an oberver and seeker. When I first read about the encounter at O'Hare I though the same thing...surely someone whipped out their camera phone a took a shot. However, I was also thinking unless they had the very best equipment, how much would really show on a camera phone? I don't have one, but the ones I have seen are like 1 or 2 megapixels at best. If someone in the terminal were taking a photo, I wonder about the quality of the image. If I took a photo of something really strange, but it wasn't very clear I don't think I would bother submitting it to anyone to have it critiqued and basically ripped apart, but that is just me. At this point so far after the sighting I would of course view any image submitted with a bit of suspicion because hoaxes are easy enough apparently for people to pull off. Another hoax is not what the field of ufology needs right now. What we need is a good investigation to be done. As for the employees at the airports I bet they are not supposed to be guiding an aircraft into positon, talking on the radio and taking photographs at the same time. I would think they were supposed to be focused on what their respective tasks were at that time. That doesn't mean some curious employee wouldn't think to whip out their cell phone to snap a photo. I guess for me it comes down to witness credibility being important and hopefully someone checking out their stories. If anything that doesn't belong at an airport was able to get that close, then there is certainly reason for concern. Just my own thoughts, I am very interested in what comes of this.

Paul Kimball said...

Anonymous:

You wrote:

Well, I guess I will jump in here, but I am no expert on anything, simply an oberver and seeker.

As we all are.

When I first read about the encounter at O'Hare I though the same thing...surely someone whipped out their camera phone a took a shot. However, I was also thinking unless they had the very best equipment, how much would really show on a camera phone?

You would be surprised. Still, that's not exactly the point. Whether it showed anything or not, I would expect them to do so.

If I took a photo of something really strange, but it wasn't very clear I don't think I would bother submitting it to anyone to have it critiqued and basically ripped apart, but that is just me.

So you would come forward and tell your story, but not offer hard evidence that could corroborate it, for fear of getting critiqued and ripped apart? I find it hard to believe that people would behave that way.

At this point so far after the sighting I would of course view any image submitted with a bit of suspicion because hoaxes are easy enough apparently for people to pull off.

Why not show the same suspicion of the witness accounts then? People can, and do, lie, for all sorts of reasons. Photos, while they can be hoaxed, can also be checked for authenticity, much better than witness testimony. Even if the witnesses weren't lying (and I don't think they were), there is the probability that they misperceived some normal, mundane event. But a photo would help determine that.

Another hoax is not what the field of ufology needs right now. What we need is a good investigation to be done.

No, what is needed is hard evidence. There are literally thousands of eyewitness cases over the years, of varying quality and credibility. So what? Even assuming O'Hare is a good case, where the witnesses are sincere and credible, what does that prove? Nothing. Just another case on the pile, and then people will draw wild, unsubstantiated conclusions from it (aha - aliens from outer space), or ignore it, depending on their preconceived notions.

And without photos, or some other hard evidence that can be double-checked, that's the problem - it's just more of the same, and will only reinforce pre-existing positions on both sides. It proves nothing, however, one way or another, to the majority of people who might be interested, but are unwilling to draw any conclusions on just eyewitness testimony, which is the weakest form of evidence.

The sad thing is that there are much better cases than O'Hare out there (unless some photo surfaces, which could change everything), with evidence other than just witness testimony, but we don't see those being pushed by ufologists.

And that's the real problem.

Thanks for popping by.

Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball said...

Curt:

It was rumored on TV a few nights ago that one of the pilots had actually filmed it on a video camera...if we could so lucky.

Indeed - my whole point is that without something like this, all that we have is another witness case, with all of the flaws that come with such cases (some have more flaws than others). Without some hard evidence, we'll never be able to determine one way or another what was seen, or not seen, on November 7th - which won't, of course, stop people from jumping to wild conclusions, on both sides of the aisle.

Best regards,
Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Anonymous:

I heard on MSNBC, I believe, that at least one of the airline workers had indeed snapped some pictures, but was "afraid for their jobs"-should the pictures become public. They would be interesting to see, to be sure.

This is an absurd "fear" in my opinion (and here I'm not referring to you, but to those who spread the "he / she is afraid for her job" meme). First, no-one is going to get fired because of a UFO photo they took, especially if they've already gone far enough to make a report. If they did, they would almost certainly have legal grounds for an unjust dismissal lawsuit, especially if they are unionized. Second, the money they would stand to make from an authentic UFO photo would tide them over quite nicely until the found another job.

Best regards,
Paul

rdbrock said...

I heard on MSNBC, I believe, that at least one of the airline workers had indeed snapped some pictures, but was "afraid for their jobs"-should the pictures become public.

This who airline pilot thing is "template" stuff--

"Air East 31, do you wish to report a UFO? over--"

"Air East 31, do you wish to report a UFO? over--"

"Negative...we don't want to report..."

"Allegheny 359, do you wish to report a UFO? over--"

"Naw, we don't wanna report one of those, either.

"Air East 31, do you wish to file a report of any kind?"

I wouldn't know what kind of report to file, Center...

Perhaps there was a time when it was problematic for pilots to report UFOs, perhaps it was perceived as negative publicity. That's the portrait that's been painted for us, anyway in countless books -- although there's a surplus of assumptions and speculation mixed in with all that...

BUT, as you point out, the report is already made. This bit about people fearing for their jobs, blah, blah, is just the eager beavers clutching at straws with the "silence the witnesses" conspiracy angle. Never mind that 12 people came forward, and the story is plastered all over the web, from here to Timbuktu. There's a conspiracy afoot, my dear Watson...the irony of the conspiracy angle seems lost on some. Actually, make that "many."

Best,
RDB

Skeptic, Lynn said...

Everyone talks about a photo taken of the UFO from the airport, anyone think that if the UFO was that obvious, a photo could have been taken from just about anywhere else; the parking lot, highways....etc etc.

With high alert for terrorists, my thinking is that anything over a major airport that is not suppose to be there is of HIGH CONCERN, and that should have been a mandatory reason for taking photo's by all authorized security people working at the airport.

Did not read that all people in the radius of the airport was buttoned down and all their cell phones, digital cameras, etc taken and confiscated for possible pictures of this event.

To many loose ends in my mind.

Highly skeptical, Lynn said...

With terrorist threat high, I would think it would be mandatory by all security to gather as much intelligence and photos as necessary, especially over a major airport.

Another thought, if the UFO was that visible, people in the radius of visibility could have taken pictures, not just within the airport perimeters. To think that everyone within the airport grounds would have had their camera’s, cell phones, etc had their property confiscated for possible pictures sounds highly improbable..........didn’t hear anything that said this happened.

Anonymous said...

With terrorist threat high, I would think it would be mandatory by all security to gather as much intelligence and photos as necessary, especially over a major airport.

Another thought, if the UFO was that visible, people in the radius of visibility could have taken pictures, not just within the airport perimeters. To think that everyone within the airport grounds would have had their camera’s, cell phones, etc had their property confiscated for possible pictures sounds highly improbable..........didn’t hear anything that said this happened.

Anonymous said...

Well, lets see. . .the Chicago sighting was on a cloudy night and airport employees are said to have at least one photo, but haven't released it because they do not want to get fired. Think about it. . .

Anonymous said...

"I agree that it's strange that this "UFO" or "UAP" was allegedly in the air for 20 minutes a NO ONE took a pic of it!!?!?! "

It was apparently OVER a gate, would need to check a map of ORD and see what other terminals or gate windows/seating areas would have a view of the sky 1500 feet above gate C17. It is possible no one inside the terminal would be able to see 1500 feet up that close given window placement, etc.

Paul Kimball said...

Anonymous:

I considered that point early on, took a look at the map of O'Hare, and recollected my own trips through there, and I have no doubt that people on other councourses should have been able to see it, as well as people on the ground all the way down the line.

I hear, actually, that there may be dozens of witnesses. Given that, there should be a photo or video.

Paul

Rich said...

The reason that the FAA denied the story, then recanted was because after denying anything happened, they realized that at least a dozen of their employees had ALREADY filed reports with NUFORC and other online sites on the day of the event and knew that they could no longer credibly deny it.
As far as the lack of a picture popping up yet, I agree that this is odd, but according to the witness (the employee that taxis the aircraft at O'Hare) who came forward on the Rense radio show (http://rense.gsradio.net:80
80/rense/special/rense_d
avenport_121206.mp3), the individual that took the picture was an airline PILOT, and we have many, MANY retired airline and military pilots that have officially come forth stating over and over that they are at the least discouraged from reporting this phenomena publicly and at the most threatened with prosecution, physical harm and in a few cases "disappearing" especially where the military pilots are concerned.
I don't know about everyone else, but I don't think that they are ALL crackpots.
The witness also said that the object was the size of a quarter at arms length and that he and his partner themselves had no idea it was there UNTIL they heard someone talking about it on the radio system and even then thought it was a joke until they happened to look outside to where it was said to be.
I say this only to emphasize that we are a nation of "people with a purpose" meaning we don't tend to look up for no reason that much.
I recall a study done that showed that we would miss the word "of" put in a random spot of a paragraph almost 90% of the time. I was actually embarrassed when I failed this test and laughed at my wife when I watched her do the same thing after I knew it was there.lol
I am only trying to show how it is possible that the majority of the people that seen the object were probably only the ones that were notified by the few that "looked up".
I could go on but let me end by just saying that yes, it is unfortunate that we haven't seen any pics of the "whatever it was" (yet) but the question I would be asking is,"why is it that what I believe is the most important question in mankind's history, that being are we alone, seems to be trumped daily by shit like Brittany's happy shots in this nations "Big Media" and why did it take EVERY major news company 2+ months to run with something that could help us answer this question?
Hmmmmm?
Have a good one,
Richard Purcell(chivhonval@hotline.com)

Anonymous said...

I got the picture. If I show it to you would you believe it? Would you Paul?? Would that solve the UFO mystery once and for all??

Anonymous said...

I work at O'Hare, and there is definetly a lot of information that has yet to be posted in the media. Everyone in our office knew about the "sighting" before the end of the work day. I personally don't have pictures , but I did see a hole in the overcast (which might very well have been a weather phenomenon). It caught my attention, and I thought that was really strange. I'll be very suprised if pictures don't start surfacing very soon. I mean, If you had a photo/video of a UFO, would'nt you try to earn top dollar before releasing it to the media? Patience.

Anonymous said...

The photo was finally release today 25th Jan see http://realufos.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I've seen in reported in many media that all the O'Hare UFO witnesses worked for the same airline, United Airlines. Assuming this is true, I find it odd that no one seems to be calculating the odds that, out of what must have been thousands and thousands of potential witnesses in and around O'Hare airport on a Tuesday afternoon, some there to work, others as travelers, and yet others merely nearby, all the witnesses work for the same airline company. If true, this screams "hoax" to me.

The 'no photo/video' aspect is odd, too. Naysayers seem to think that only airport employees are capable of taking film. With a twenty minute evdent duration, there was time to punch out sick, go to the car and get your camera, come back and take the photo. Hell, twenty minutes is long enough to have made an ice sculpture of the thing.

I was Fox Mulder's next door neighbor when we were both kids. When the Aliens took his sister, they also took the $5 she owed me. So, I've got a certain interest in all this. I'm no bedunker -I want to see these aliens.

auntiegrav said...

"I've seen in reported in many media that all the O'Hare UFO witnesses worked for the same airline, United Airlines. "

Airports are arranged that way: The terminals in any one area are all leased to a single airline, so if someone calls attention to an object, it's a pretty good bet that any airline employees in the area will all work for the same company.

I hope you get your five bucks someday...

Anonymous said...

Several photos have been posted at abovetopsecret

one has not been debunked yet

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread236709/pg1

Anonymous said...

Well sure, but that's not the way it's worked with other sightings. This reported UFO was seen 4:30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon at 1900 feet or so over one of the busiest airports in the world, with what must have been several thousands of potential witnesses, among which are dozens and dozens of personnel whose job it is to know what might be 1900 feet or so over the airport.

Alas, only twelve people see it and all work at the same airline. Furthermore, one witness is purported to be a pilot inside a taxi-ing aircraft. Were all twelve airline witnesses inside that same plane? Did the pilot radio to the hangar or whatever?

Curiouser and curiouser.

So far, and with the usual minimal data, the only hypothesis that fits all data is hoax, and it takes increasingly unlikely excuses and/or apologetics to make it all work as a 'real' UFO sighting.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I may have witnessed the "O'Hare UFO" without realizing what it was.

I was driving past O'Hare talking to my brother on my cell. I saw a 'plane' landing just under thick, low cloud cover.

I told my brother that probably because of a combination of the direction and speed I was traveling and the direction and speed that the plane was flying it looked like the plane was hovering.

As I got closer it was still hovering. I started getting very agitated and amazed as I came along side it. To see something as large as a plane hovering in mid-air ... well, you can read about it or see videos but to see something like that in person boggles the mind. I kept yelling, "You should see this thing! I'm going to get into an accident. I can't believe eveyone isn't pulling over to look at it. They must just think they're seeing a plane land."

I told my family about it later but never even thought to use the term 'ufo'. I thought it was a plane doing something I couldn't explain and I just shared the experience with my family. Whatever the phnomenom was, it was cool.

That was the end of it for me, forgot all about it and never even thought to relate the story to anyone else. That is until a couple of says ago when my son told me that a similar story was all over the Internet. Now I'm doing research and I see the story, the controversy, the conspiracy theories, etc.

I just came across your blog and found the debate interesting. This is the first public mention I've made of my experience.

As for the reason I personally didn't take a photo:

A) I was on an expressway and on a tight timeframe (I wish now that I'd pulled over to the shoulder to get a closer look)

B) My brother suggested that I take a shot with my cell phone. My response was, "For what? I'm traveling at 60 mph, the picture will look like crap anyway and all it'd look like is a plane landing! Anyone can take a still photo of a plane in mid-air and say that it's hovering, who would believe that?"

In my opinion a photo is far from credible evidence of anything. Looking at a photo of a plane landing would look exactly like a photo of a plane hovering. Also, practically everyone has Photoshop and you can doctor up a photo to look like anything you want.

So, for what it's worth, that's what I saw. It was really something to see, but I really don't know what the hell I actually did see.

I wouldn't be prepared to say that I saw a UFO but I certainly did see something strange and it was during the day which made it all the more surreal.