Date: Sun Aug 08 1993 11:11:00 To: ALL Subj: Hey! Just A Road Sign! UFO - VISITORS FROM SP

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Date: Sun Aug 08 1993 11:11:00 From: SHEPPARD GORDON To: ALL Subj: Hey! Just A Road Sign! UFO ------------------------------- VISITORS FROM SPACE? NO, JUST A ROAD SIGN 07/29/93 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 Peak. 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 propulsion. 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 moving car. 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.


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