Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FACT OR FAKED: Battleship; UFO

SyFy - Original Air Date: 5/15/2012

Videos not chosen to investigate this week include: Irish Triangle which shows a delta-shaped craft (or lights) in the night sky over supposedly Ireland, but it was really part of a UFO contest held in North Carolina; the craft was a model built by Jeff Wilson and won first prize.  Basement Shadow Man shows a shape moving from right to left across a night shot camera view of a basement.  Bill and Austin think it's just investigator shadows, and I tend to agree.  The in-break fake for this week is: Solar UFO, which seems to show fast solar eruptions supposedly portending the Mayan end of the world.  But it's only a normal coronal mass ejection, with time-lapse photography making it look like its happening much faster than it really is.

Battleship Ghost starts with a photo that seems to show a spectral figure pointing (but it looks like bad photography to me), and a video with a shadow moving in the darkness (more bad video).  But the video comes from a friend of Ben's, so half the team goes to the U.S.S. North Carolina to investigate.  They start to try to replicate the video using flashlights & shadows, and immediately one of their camera falls and breaks mysteriously.  Despite this, they use a flashlight reflection off the ceiling to create the "ghostly" shadow.  (Yes, it was bad video and lack of investigation scene control, a common ghost hunting problem, IMHO.  These people want to find ghosts so badly, they're literally jumping at shadows.)  So, the team moves on  to the stiff photo.  They try photographing fog with motion blur, but that doesn't give them the "skeletal" figure.  So they try a real skeleton, but it doesn't work either.  Must be time for a ghost hunt.  But wait!  Devin realizes that when one of the ship's guns is turned the right way, it makes the shape of the "ghost" in the picture.  (I thought I saw gun turrets in that photo.) Another nice catch for Devin, who's becoming the King of Pareidolia Spotters.  Again, though, this points out the lack of scientific rigor in much of the ghost hunting community.  These are simple, bad photography practices, folks, creating false evidence of "ghosts."  Good catches for the Fact or Faked crew.  But they still do a ghost hunt anyway.  And they hear strange sounds and have more equipment knocked over and one camera mysteriously turned while filming.  Haunted, they think.  I think: More science needed.

Scouting UFO seems to show a craft hovering over a Michigan construction site, scanning the ground with searchlights.  Could it be the mythical TR3B magnetic propulsion Air Force craft?  First, they try replicating the video with a crop duster (which has 3 lights) spraying mist.  But neither the shape nor the speed or sound match.  Next, they try an aerial camera drone with a light mounted where the camera should be.  The drone looks similar, but too small and near for the video.  So, they theorize it could be a crane moving a lighted load, with the boom framed out of camera.  They create an aluminum truss with lights on either end and a spotlight in the middle and haul it up into the air, keeping the crane arm out of camera.  Very close, though not perfect.  Could it be CGI augmented?  Likely, since the witness dodged the team's "Did you create a hoax?" question -- responding, in almost the same way that "Johnathan Reed" did on the Alien Attacker show.  "Layered Voice Analysis" (which I'm still not sure I believe in) indicates deception, but my bullshit detector was already on high alert.

So, a lot of good investigating this week for the Fact or Faked crew.  (And this season, for that matter.)   But I'd rather they dropped the ghost hunts.

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