[CNI News has previously reported on the controversial "Oliver's Castle Video" (OCV), which purports to show the anomalous formation of a snowflake-shaped glyph in an English crop field, recorded on August 11, 1996. In our October 1, 1996 edition, we reported the opinion of noted crop circle researcher Colin Andrews, who first showed the controversial video to American audiences, that that footage was "probably" a hoax. He based this opinion not on a detailed technical analysis of the video, but on the suspicious and contradictory story told by the young cameraman. In our November 1, 1996 edition, we carried a lengthy report by Daniel Drasin, who had carefully examined the footage and found it to be "probably" authentic. Drasin's analysis noted, among other things, that the "camera shake" visible throughout the footage was consistent with genuine filming in the field, and not consistent with a computer-generated fake. Now, we present a series of expert opinions compiled by Ilyes, the National Coordinator for the Centre for CropCircle Studies/US Network. If the OCV should prove genuine, it is certainly one of the most remarkable videotapes ever made. CNI News will report further developments as they become available.]
To date, we've compiled the following summary of analyses performed by professional video labs that have examined this highly controversial footage. All but one have confirmed that the footage is 'clean', agreeing that it appears quite unlikely that the tape was created or enhanced by computer. However at this point, without being able to examine the original tape, none is willing to commit their findings to writing.
All US evaluators listed below, except the last, are professionals who work regularly with computers, advanced image processing, and/or special effects production for film.
In the US, the following analysts found no 'contamination' of the tape:
-- Jim Dilettoso, president of a state-of-the-art lab and supercomputer network designer with 20 years' experience in his field, confirmed on the Sightings television program and in several phone calls I had with him that he is confident a computer was not used. See my article on The CropCircle Connector for Jim's credentials and details of his findings. http://www.marque.demon.co.uk/connector/connector.html
-- Laurel Click, special effects 'expert', said on the "Strange Universe" television program that she found nothing to suggest fraud. If it's a hoax, she said, it would have taken very sophisticated equipment, much money, and a large team of professionals a long time to produce.
-- Ralph McCarron, who creates special effects for a major California lab, stated on a "Strange Universe" update that after his freeze-frame studies and enhanced image analyses, he's convinced that it's actual footage. He noted that there was consistent camera-shake throughout the sequence, and that clinched it for him.
-- Jim Stevenson is employed by Jim Henson (of Muppets fame) workshops, Hollywood special effects producers. They were impressed by the 'authentic feel' of the footage. Jim, too, said that if it's hoaxed, it took a lot of sophisticated equipment, money, and time to create.
-- Patrick Wilson is a musician, and amateur computer/video operator. He enlarged the frames and carefully examined the Balls of Light (BOLs). He made a fascinating discovery [about the unusual shape of the BOLs under magnification], and shares his findings on his website: http://www.mistral.co.uk/patrickwilson/closeups.html
In the United Kingdom, the following people also found that the tape is 'clean':
-- Professor of Electronics Philip Gurr & P. Head, of Exeter University's video and television department, went 'on the record' and stated that they would be unable to fake the sequence even with their advanced equipment. They found no evidence to suggest that the tape had been tampered with. In their opinion, only the 'Avid' digital editing suites would be capable of such a product.
-- Victoria Real is a video editing company in Brighton. They were impressed with the tape. They cautioned, however, that if it were analyzed on an Avid suite, a frame-by-frame breakdown would only reveal the first field. They maintain that it's not possible to comparatively evaluate the second field unless the original tape is examined.
In the US, there is a single analyst "leaning toward computer-generation":
Center City Video (Pennsylvania) -- A gentleman "with 25 years' experience" who received the tape from researcher Linda Moulton Howe told her that from the first time he saw it he "believed" it was computerized. I do not know what he was looking for, and Linda had no specifics as to what analyses he performed, if any, to lead him to his conclusion. I will follow up with this studio.
In the UK, there are two analysts who are "disquieted" by the footage:
Lee Winterston and John Huckvale have doubts regarding single- and double-field intensity. They think there is a discrepency when the BOLs appear, but Andy Thomas (see below) notes in his report that "what the telltale signs for this are, and how they discovered them, have not been released." I know Lee, who is an amateur videoproducer, UFO-phile, and visitor to The Barge pub (the local CropCircle folks' watering hole). Lee believes that in general, most Formations are man-made. Andy adds that no one else who has technically analyzed the tape has mentioned such a discrepency.
Thanks to Linda Howe for the Center City information, and to Andy Thomas, editor of "SC," the CCCS/Sussex Branch's outstanding little newsletter, for the UK information. Andy dedicated the entire December issue to a comprehensive summary of what they've gathered to date regarding this Enigma-within-an-Enigma. Contact me for their address.
More on this investigation, as well as a reconstruction of events as they occurred that fateful morning of August 11 as relayed by the videographer to Peter Sorensen, is included in an article posted on my HomePage on The CropCircle Connector, http://www.marque.demon.co.uk/connector/connector.html
If anyone has any additional information, or has done his/her own technical analysis, I'd appreciate hearing from you.
[Ilyes can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Original file name: CNI - OCV update.ilyes
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