Date: Sun Aug 08 1993 11:11:00
From: SHEPPARD GORDON
Subj: Hey! Just A Road Sign!
VISITORS FROM SPACE? NO, JUST A ROAD SIGN
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
Skeptics corner: A baffling UFO photo apparently has bitten the
dust. On a November morning in 1966, a driver on Route 58 along the
Oregon coast paused at a lookout point and took pictures of Diamond
After the photos were developed, the photographer -- a seemingly
credible witness with a respectable scientific and military
background -- found that one image included a dome-shaped object
with a series of alternating light-and-dark bands beneath, and what
appeared to be a vaporous trail under the bands. The world's most
distinguished UFO investigator, astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek,
called the photo "one of the most puzzling on record." Another
saucer researcher speculated that the dark bands shed light on UFO
Now, after years of careful study, an intrepid Bay area
physicist apparently has solved the mystery. The UFO wasn't a
spaceship from another world or another dimension. No, it was
something much more mundane: a road sign, photographed from a
Los Altos physicist Irwin Wieder, who has a Ph.D. in physics
from Stanford, began investigating the case in the early 1980s.
Initially enthusiastic about the photo, he became increasingly
skeptical as the years went by, partly because of holes in the
witness' story. In the latest issue of Journal of Scientific
Exploration, Wieder explains how he eventually determined that the
witness, in a moving car, had photographed a sign saying "Diamond
Peak" with an upward-pointing arrow. Wieder reconstructed the
incident by photographing a replica of the sign from a moving
vehicle. Result: an image of a blurred object that looks exactly
like the purported "UFO."
The car's movement blurred the image of the sign, creating the
illusion of a "dome" (the blurred top of the post holding the
sign), "light-and-dark bands" (the blurred letters reading "Diamond
Peak") and the "vapor trail" (the blurred bottom of the post).
Eventually Wieder traveled to the Diamond Peak area and found the
smoking gun -- the broken post on which the sign once sat.