Monday, March 09, 2009

"Stick figure" aliens on the prowl

Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country offers the following for our consideration:

Similar Videos Suggest Proof of Aliens (with video)





Because it is no longer possible to definitively conclude that any digital video is authentic, we cannot confirm the authenticity of these videos. However, the extremely bizarre nature of the figures and the way they move are so strange, and so completely unlike anything that has ever been offered before as "alien video," the suggestion is strong that these are real images of unknown bipedal creatures, whose body morphology is so radically different from what has evolved on earth that the conclusion is almost inescapable that they are aliens.


For whatever it's worth, Strieber comments further here.

I'm naturally leery of videos supposedly depicting aliens, and the footage cited by Strieber is no exception. The overwhelming likelihood is that we're looking at computer-generated effects.

But if not . . .

(Incidentally, Strieber is now using Twitter.)

15 comments:

. said...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2318/2510753155_c78632afb1.jpg

Bruce Duensing said...

This is a prime example of material that, by it's nature generates ambivalence and a wealth of abstractions from wishful anticipation in the eye of the beholder as well as those who would fulfill them. One aspect is interesting is the localized nature of what appears versus what does not.This sort of geographical bias is an interesting aspect of all this jumble of ambivalent material. I found myself listening to "Pictures of The Matchstick Men." by Camper Von Beethoven shortly thereafter..another viral meme strikes again.

Mike Clelland! said...

The one at the edge of the forest LOOKS like CGI. So I'm gunna dismiss that one.

The creepy little stick people in the yard, now that one is WEIRD!

Anonymous said...

It's sad that people can look at really poor quality videos like these examples and make this kind of statement, "the conclusion is almost inescapable that they are aliens."

I guess it bugs me that anyone would mistake that statement as having any validity and that Strieber would continue to erode serious inquiry with this nonsense.

Michael

Intense said...

One interesting point is that, considering how very poor quality the respective videos are (and their nebulous sources), whether this is intentional; to obscure clarity of overall imagery that, if clearer, would allow a better forensic analysis of the (most probably) CGI effects employed. Perhaps this is a tenet of pseudo-realism, through visual obscurity.

In the two "front yard" alleged surveillance cam vids, the shadows of each "entity" is darker than that thrown by the small palm tree, and also seems at moments to mismatch the movement of the "entity." It was also quite convenient that each of the two "entities" walked across the front yard, 5 minutes apart, and both nearly straight toward the camera. In turn, the "jungle" vid is so poorly done as to be beneath comment.

Also, without proper attribution, known sources, first gen vid copies for study, and near total lack of provenance, these vids are less than useless for investigation--they simply muddy the waters further, which might be an intended effect.

Both these videos are fakes, imho, and not very good ones, even though what intrigues is the appearance of each faked entity, as they are rather different than the standard gray stereotype. I suppose even hoaxing can follow certain protocols of co-evolving fakery in order to attempt to garner some greater credibility.

The real issue here is the fact that, as usual, Strieber presents these videos with such phrases as "Similar Videos Suggest Proof of Aliens" and "...the suggestion is strong that these are real images of unknown bipedal creatures, whose body morphology is so radically different from what has evolved on earth that the conclusion is almost inescapable that they are aliens," just goes to show both how completely deluded and ridiculously credulous he is. Or how venally devious and deceptive he is, for penurious commercial purposes. Take your choice. Likely both. Strieber is despicable.

Anonymous said...

Although I generally agree with you Intense, the argument swings both ways. You can't give a balanced "these are fakes" statement without proper forensic analysis of the original, first gen copies of the videos.

If the yard footage is CG then they at least got the movement down to something believable. This is the first time I've seen anything in this arena that has genuinely organic, naturalistic motion. Would have to be motion capture or something similar.

I don't think we should discount it though without more info.

-Denny

Mac said...

To me, the most damning factor re. the "beings in the yard" is the anonymity of the witness. The footage could very well be genuine, but without the witness' cooperation we'll simply never know and "investigation" becomes a moot point. Which is too bad, because as hokey as the footage might seem there's no reason it couldn't be a genuine recording of something quite unusual.

Intense said...

"You can't give a balanced 'these are fakes' statement without proper forensic analysis of the original, first gen copies of the videos."

If by balanced, you mean conclusive (in lieu of better quality imagery upon which to make a more thorough quantitative analysis), I would agree, and think I indicated as such, but even with the poor quality of imagery available, a fair preliminary judgement can be made, as there are significant artifacts as noted above, which are the telling discontinuity between the shadows of the "entities" and the object movement shown, in terms of related shadow-to-object movement pattern, lower separation or "detachment" of shadow at ground level, and darkness or unnatural density of shadow effect.

I blew the vid up 200% and then 400%, ran it several times, and the mismatches between objects and shadows are even more evident. Better quality or first gen vids would likely only make these mismatches more self-evident, which is also why I speculated that one way of establishing a better simulation of reality (or hoax) is to superimpose a CGI construct into a real scene, and then make a fuzzed out, Nth-gen copy with the entire visual image, real and combined synthetic insertion, sufficiently blurred to obscure both evenly and create seemingly better overall versimilitude. This reduces the intuitive "uncanny valley" effect that otherwise sharper imagery and contrasting detail would usually provide and allow, and which would more obviously indicate fabrication or hoaxing if higher resolution video were available.

Combine that process with non-standard "alien" imagery and odd motion (I really enjoyed the "walking pants" effect of the 2nd one--except for the lack of correlated bidpedal shadowing) and you can create a simulacrum with even more effective or psychologically and emotionally affective or intriguing results. You could call it the "WTF?!" effect. Or syndrome. 8^}

Add to that the "ordinary" locale, how most yard surveillance cams are known to be low-rez, "unavailability" of the original or even a decent copy of the video, the supposed initial reluctance of the homeowner to come forward, the back story, the MUFON presenters' manner, and you have some essential ingredients for a fairly sophisticated but incomplete hoax, imho. I've seen this routine, or "package deal" many times before. This is not uncommon with a lot of South American ufology and ufo "documentation"--it's even more sensationalistic and credulous than in the U.S., if you can believe that.

Try my experiment, of blowing up the vids, running them a few times each at normal, 2x, and 4x size, and watch the point between the lower "feet" area and the related shadows to see that, if these were real organisms, how the shadows would more closely tally with the objects movement. They don't.

At least I don't see an appropriate or genuine match, even given the lousy imagery quality. YMMV, and that may be the real intent or point, as I implied. Honest skepticism, objectivity, and empirical processes must be applied, given all the evidential and cultural variables as a whole involved in the field of ufology, based on my long-term experience, and that is my greater complaint about these types of videos--they provide a kind of vehicle "believers" like Strieber can use as fodder, due to their oblique nature, to further obscure and impugn rational research and motivate the inexperienced or gullible to accept their even more absurd and unsubstantiated beliefs and black propaganda to the general publicly perceived discredit of legitimate, scientific ufological enquiry into the true ufo phenomenon. They help turn it into simplistic, superficial show biz disinfotainment for public consumption, without care or concern about the impact or cultural effects.

They sell lies as truth for personal profit without considering the consequences, to either their own credibility or the importance of the actual ufo reality in relation to humanity. Toxic myth-makers, not truth-tellers, imho. Yes, I know--twas ever thus. But it's still very wrong, and should always be exposed as such.

Mac said...

@Intense

Good breakdown!

And you're entirely correct when you point out that South American ufology is even more embarrassing than its North American counterpart.

Intense said...

Also, review what Bruce D. said, more subtly and succinctly, and better than I. Eye or mind of the beholder, and all that jazz. 8^}

The Missed Call Of Cthulhu said...

Presumably it takes a lot of effort to come from a different world/dimension. It seems unlikely that if you did you'd spend two nights in the same person's yard.

Full disclosure, I take a very dim view of Ufology and cryptozoology. Though, credit where its do, crypto's are often a decent source of info on newly discovered birds, reptiles and fish as they care more than main media outlets.

Anonymous said...

The one on the edge of the yard could be a crane or heron.

Intense said...

Kentaro Mori, of the forgetomori.com website, has a brief article on these two videos at:

http://tinyurl.com/c4c67h

Apparently, in an image stabilized version of the "jungle" video, the alleged "alien" is actually a foreground image of a twig or grass frond moving in a coincidental or eerie way, which is enhanced due to the blurriness, and amounts to a bizarre case of pareidolia. Check it out.

Mac said...

@Intense

Thanks for the link! There's a related video (also hyped by Strieber) that clearly shows a stain on a train window apparently "running." This one was obviously bogus, but the forest "alien" is less so.

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