Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2016
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Trindade Case: Claims of Fraud Can Be just as Fraudulent as the Fraud Claimed
To: nicapresearch 

I find these claims of fraud against Trindade photographer Almiro Baraúna to be totally baseless and opportunistic being made after Baraúna was conveniently dead and unable to defend himself against scurrilous attack.  The photos may still be fraudulent (I will describe one method) but these belated claims themselves are blatant, ignorant lies, ignorant because they contradict the facts of the case and because they betray profound ignorance of the basics of photography.  

My God how utterly wrong can you get to confuse montages with double-exposures, or to hallucinate such pseudoscience as to claim that film grains are grains of the camera !  I kid you not.  Read the nephew's account.  This will go down in debunker history as one of the greatest debunker frauds of all time, a fraud of claiming fraud.  

The two main accusers, the publicist and the nephew, do not even agree with each other on how the alleged hoax was carried out using which ordinary objects.  The publicist claims Baraúna joined two kitchen spoons together to photograph against a photo of Trindade Island, but the nephew vehemently denies they were spoons.  He claims Baraúna used two bus tokens (coin-like flat discs often with holes in the center).  

Both suggestions are baseless (pun intended) because obviously the UFO consists of 3 main parts not 2 (upper dome, middle ring base, lower dome) or at best 2 wide-lipped inverted bowls but not spoons or bus tokens.  How off-base can you get??!!  Just look at a blowup of Trindade Photo 3:

Barauna -
                        Photo 3 Close cropped rotated.jpg

Now look at two discs (I'm sure others can come up with better photos or designs):

Disc Coin +

No resemblance!  Not even close.  LOL it's closer to the Heflin pics actually.  :)

I have not seen anything this bad since the days of the one-man "GSW" a.k.a. Wild Bill Spaulding and his bizarre meanderings about his "computer" analysis, which he claimed did his thinking for him and somehow articulated conclusions about a photo case so that you cannot criticize him because you would be criticizing his almighty computer.  See how Hendry recounts Spaulding's flagrantly and embarrassingly contradictory conclusions about the Calgary photos taken at the same time on the same roll of film -- one photo was "genuine" the other "the crudest ... hoax ... ever seen" Spaulding claimed (Hendry 1979 p. 210). 

Spaulding claimed that the computer was able to tell the physical thickness of an object (in feet or inches!), imaged in the photo, from its brightness or darkness -- like it was some kind of x-ray photo!  If it was inches thick, it was a "crude hoax," if it was many feet thick, it was obviously "genuine"!  This was because Spaulding's job was to inspect metal parts with computer-enhanced x-rays so he thought you could do the same with UFO photos!  He thought the "profiling cursor" cut through the physical object and told you how thick or deep the object was, so a hoax model a few inches thick could be distinguished from a real UFO ten or a hundred feet thick. 

Spaulding forgot the part about how you first have to get an x-ray machine and bombard the object with the x-rays (he apparently did not ever do did that job).  Nor did he know any physics about the difference between visible light and x-rays, and the difference between cameras and x-ray radiograph machines, etc. 

One of the characteristic flaws of fraudulent fraud accusers, despite one of them in this case reportedly being an expert "award winning photographer" himself (Baraúna's nephew), is that they cannot correctly describe how the alleged hoax was actually carried out, mainly because they do not care to learn the facts as they do not care about the truth.  

They both claim that Baraúna faked the UFO photos in his own lab at home AFTER returning from the trip to Trindade Island.  This was an unsourced false rumor that had been circulated at the time, claiming that the fakery was done 8 days later, but was officially refuted by the Brazilian Navy as a bold-faced lie at that time (see official statement quoted below).  These two belated accusers must have missed that part, the official Brazilian Navy refutation. 

This tardy accusation flagrantly contradicts the facts stated contemporaneously by the Brazilian Navy at the time in 1958, not 50 or so years later, that the UFO images were seen on the photos immediately after the UFO was sighted on the ship at Trindade Island and matched what was seen:

Brazilian Navy General Staff Intelligence statement Feb. 3, 1958:

VII - That, after having taken the above-mentioned photographs, the photographer [Baraúna] in the presence of CC [Captain-of-Corvette Carlos Alberto] Bacellar [Commandant of Trindade Island station] and other persons, took the roll of film from the camera; later, in company of this official [Capt. Bacellar] he [Barauna] went to the dark room of the ship (improvised in the lavatory of the infirmary), dressed as he was in shirt and shorts, and where he remained only ten minutes, presenting at once the negative of the film to CC Bacellar, who affirms having seen the above-mentioned UFO represented on the negative, although with much less clarity because the film was somewhat dark; [Emphasis apparently in Brazilian Navy original]

VIII - That, afterwards, when the above-mentioned photographs were shown to persons on the ship who witnessed the [UFO] phenomenon, they recognized the image represented in the photograph as identical to that which they saw in the air....  [Emphasis added.]

Trindade station commander Capt. Bacellar's statement to the Brazilian Navy gives further details of how he saw the UFO image on the just-developed "still wet" negatives, corresponding to what the witnesses said they had just observed and what he saw in the enlargements made later (emphasis added):

"6—I saw the film immediately after it was developed, still wet, and—making a careful examination—I was able to determine:

"(a) that the pictures preceding the sequence connected with the object’s passage corresponded with scenes taken aboard a few minutes before the [UFO] incident;

"(b) that, in the pictures connected with the [UFO] sighting, was visible, in different positions, an image looking like the object [UFO] seen later on the copies—with details which only the enlargements made afterward showed more clearly;

"(c) and that the two photos [Nos. 4 and 5] lost by Barauna because he was too nervous, or because he was pushed by other excited people around him—showed the sea and part of the Island’s mountains;

"(d) the negatives referred to were seen by many people aboard."

Likewise, the ship's captain, Commander Paulo Moreira da Silva, of the Brazilian Navy’s Hydrography and Navigation Service, told reporters on Feb. 22 and 26, 1958, the following (emphasis added):

"The object sighted in the skies of Trindade was not a weather balloon, neither an American guided missile. I cannot give yet my conclusions, for the data are being analyzed in a secret evaluation at the Navy Ministry.  I can tell, however, that the object was not a meteorological balloon—for the one which we had launched that day was released at 9:00 a.m., two hours before the appearance of the object in the sky. This balloon was tracked until it burst at the proper altitude.  Besides, while the object was encircled by a greenish glow, our balloon was of red color.  Also it was not a guided missile from the U.S., because the Island of Trindade is off the route of those rockets; they are launched from Florida in the direction of Ascension Island."

"I do not wish to discuss the personality of the photographer who shot the pictures of the unknown object sighted by many people of recognized responsibility.  I state, however, that the photos are authentic, and that the film was developed on the same occasion, aboard the NE ‘Almirante Saldanha’—and also that the image of the object [UFO] on the negatives was verified, at that same opportunity, by several officers, not eight [8] days later as it has been said—thus entirely discarding any possibility of photographic trick.

"I do not wish to advance my opinion, stating categorically that I saw a flying saucer.  Yet, I can say that the UFO seen at the Island of Trindade was not a weather balloon, neither an American or Russian guided missile, nor a plane or a sea-gull...."

Ranking Brazilian Navy officers aboard the ship thus testified in 1958 that they saw the UFO images in the Baraúna negatives they handled and viewed immediately after Baraúna developed them.  Thus, Baraúna could not have manufactured the UFO images on the negatives after he returned to Rio from the trip to Trindade Island, 8 or whatever number of days later, as the belated accusers claim.  The UFO images were already on the negatives and recognizable. 

I have heard debunker nonsense over the years claiming that the images would have been too small on the negatives to see with the naked eye or that the reversed negative image would have been too confusing and unnatural (the nephew alludes to this).  Well look for yourself at a negative image of the Trindade UFO (Photo 1) about the same size on your computer screen as you would see on the original negative:

Barauna - Photo 1 COPY
                            NEGATIVE REVERSAL.jpg

Can you really not see the UFO out over the ocean?  Can't you in fact see the flattened-Saturn SHAPE quite easily too???  Now imagine just holding the negative up close to your eyes, like a naval officer on board the Brazilian ship in 1958.

By the way, montages are not double exposures, they are not the same things, not the same techniques.  It is rather sloppy for hoax accusers to not know the difference, especially a supposed "expert."  A double exposure uses the same film in the camera, which is exposed once with one scene (say, a fake UFO) then without winding the film, the same frame of film is exposed a second time with another scene (say, a terrain or island scene).  A montage or photomontage is a physical mounting of photos with other photos glued or placed over each other or spliced together and/or with objects (even painted scenes) such as a small UFO model for example here, placed over photo(s), perhaps set up on a desk or artist's easel, which is then rephotographed.  

But the nephew claims Baraúna did a "montage" in his photo lab at home after the Trindade voyage, then at another point he claims it was a "double exposure":

He [Baraúna] photographed the sky [at Trindade]. Then he set up a montage in the laboratory [in Rio]....  There were chips used to ride by bus in Rio de Janeiro back at that time.... 

[Q] So what might he have used in order to make a flying saucer? [A] He used bus chips from the old Rio de Janeiro [bus] fleet....

It was a double exposure.  He took the picture of the [bus token / chip] UFO against the night sky.  It was in his home at Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro.  After that he printed it together with the [Trindade] island’s sky.  He photographed the chip, which is the UFO, then combined it with the island’s picture.... 

There was a little hole in the middle [of a bus token / chip] through which he passed a black thread over a black sky background.  You can not see the black thread.  You will think the chip is hanging in space, because the background is black.  He also put some light against it and polished the chip to make it shine. 

What the nephew describes is a montage, not a "double exposure."  He combined two pictures, the island picture and the bus token picture, superimposing the latter over the other, then rephotographing it, says the nephew.  Presumably doing that with differing views and island shots for each of the 4 photos that came out. 

The nephew explains his bizarre misunderstanding of "camera" grains (?) in describing a photo contest someone entered:

The picture was so well done that the grain of a Pentax [camera] would not show because it was a paper reproduction, and a very good one.  You will only have the grain structure of the camera used.

There is no such thing as the "grain" or "grain structure" of a camera.  The grain is in the film.  This is just so bizarre. 

The only hoaxing method that might explain the photos is Martin Shough's "internal mask."  This requires that, contrary to the nephew who claims Baraúna did not plan the hoax until he heard people on the ship excitedly sighting something (a UFO) in the sky, that in fact Baraúna preplanned and set it all up before he boarded the ship.  

In this more viable scenario, back at his lab in Rio before the trip, Baraúna would film a fake UFO model against a black background (so on a negative it is transparent and only the object appears) then unroll an unexposed film cartridge and place the nearly-transparent UFO "internal mask" over the unexposed film, then roll it back up.  (I question whether that is possible:  I think that doubling the film thicknesses in this fashion would be too tight to roll the two films back into the cartridge, but this is something that could be tested today in 2016.) 

Then, at Trindade, Baraúna could photograph the island and each shot would be exposed through the "internal mask" fake "UFO" film onto the underlying, unused film negative, which would now be exposed with both the overlaid fake UFO image and the genuine Trindade Island scenery.  Baraúna would have to get rid of the "internal mask" as it would be incriminating evidence of fraud.  And Baraúna would have to hope that no one saw any discrepancy in shape or appearance with any actual UFO sighting.  

Lots of potential disasters with this tricky plot, but as I have said I want to see detailed UFO sighting reports from a number of Navy officers and crew that could at least strongly verify a real UFO visual sighting, and these are not available or maybe do not exist.  That makes the case very shaky and disqualifies it as BEST Evidence. 

Baraúna did not fake UFO photos in 1954 but showed how to debunk false UFO photos.  No good deed goes unpunished.