Wendelle Stevens and Genesis III -- who it seems fair to call both investigators and publicists of the Meier case -- have their own answers to some of these questions. In an interview with ufologist Timothy Green Beckley, Wendelle Stevens rather disarmingly remarked:
"First of all, photographs are poor evidence because there are so many things that we can do technically to produce images. However, there are also so many ways we can detect a hoax. We can tell if we are dealing with superimposed overlays, reflected images, double exposures. We can tell by looking through special microscopes and searching for grain density and grain patterns. We can pretty much tell if an object has been thrown into the air or suspended by something in the air."
And in keeping with that skepticism, the book published by Genesis III, "UFO...contact from the Pleiades", shows computer-processed versions of the photographs that appear to validate their authenticity. It is when Wendelle Stevens starts to explain some of the computer enhancements that credulity is stretched. Says the colonel:
"We can [analyse photographs] with a computer by studying the edges around any given object. In high magnification an edge is seen as a series of shock waves. There is a special formula for the spacing of these shock waves that make up the edge. How strong they are, how apart they are, will tell you how far apart that edge of the object is from the camera. If the body is in motion, the shock waves are compressed on the leading edge, and expand on the trailing edge."
In fact, nothing of the kind happens. What this particular computer process does is enhance the picture contrast in areas where the image brightness varies -- especially at the edges of features, making it possible to make judgements about how far the object photographed is from the camera. In some cases, it is possible to intensify otherwise hard-to-detect strings or supports attached to the object. This has nothing whatever to do with shock waves, though Stevens has repeated the idea more than once.
In Genesis III's book, the 12 or so pictures purporting to show analytic enhancements of Meier's pictures are accompanied by details of the various tests to which the photographs were subjected. It is claimed that the computer enhancements showed how the light values of the land-scape are consistent with those on the bottom of the craft. Supposedly, the test eliminates double exposures or 'paste-ups', splicing images from two different transparencies together. So far, perhaps, so good. The name of a reputable computer company, De Anza Systems, appears on the edge of one frame.
Kal Korff took the simple step of asking Mr Wayne Heppler, manager of De Anza Systems if an analysis had been performed for Genesis III. Replied Mr Heppler:
"What these guys did was to come down to De Anza Systems claiming that they wanted to BUY a computer from us. So we took one of their pictures, one showing the UFO, and enhanced it to make certain parts of the picture stand out. Then they took pictures of it, left, and stated they would get back in touch with us. And we haven't heard from them since."
Korff then asked if De Anza had the technical capability to analyse the pictures. The answer: "No. We are in no position to do an analysis."
At a lecture at the UFO '80 Symposium held in Oakland, California, in August 1980, Jim Diletosso of Genesis III said that 'Z-Scale contouring' and 'edge identification' tests were run on the pictures. The only drawback to this is that these are simply color contouring techniques (and can be used to analyse the 'density' at each point of an image -- its lightness or darkness). They are NOT light distortion tests, such as edge enhancement, which might reveal the information Genesis III claim to have gained by the techniques.
Diletosso also (perhaps rather rashly) took exception to a Ground Saucer Watch (GSW) color contouring of one of the Meier pictures. This shows a similar level of light reflectivity on both the ground and the Pleiadean spacecraft -- indicating that SOMETHING is wrong with the photograph, since the materials, at the claimed distance, should reflect (and so color contour) differently. Diletosso's objection was unfortunate, since even Genesis III's computer-generated picture shows both the craft and its background in the same color contour.
End of part 4
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