Photos in the broadest sense of the word (silver or digital photographs, movies,
videos) represent, in the domain of UFOs, particularly sensitive documents. To the
lay person, then can provide an apparently concrete representation of the non-identified
objects or phenomena in question, thus granting them the value of an absolute and
almost unassailable proof (« Oh, if only one could show me a good photograph of these
famous UFOs! »).
Inevitably, the photographic domain is where most hoaxes are found, for a document
of this type may sometimes represent a marketable value. Between such fakes and the
numerous types of possible mistakes or unintentional blunders, investigators have
always been confronted with a great number of dubious or inexplicable photographs.
Nothing seemed to be bound to change in the field of alleged UFO pictures. However
the scope of this problem has changed drastically over the last couple of decades,
with the massive proliferation of digital cameras and camcorders, which spread very
quickly within the public at large, in particular through their incorporation into
cellphones and smartphones.
In parallel to this expansion of a public imaging capability, the possibilities of
fakery became almost unlimited for anybody, largely through the availability on the
market and ease of use of many software tools (e.g. Photoshop) enabling the touching
up, distortion, and synthesis of digital images. Certain mobile devices incorporate
mounting tools for the superimposition of images, artificial ageing of a picture,
production of movement effects, or even inlaying false UFOs! In addition, the growing
market for digital camcorders has extended the impact of these capabilities to the
domain of video.
These expansions, of both the technological capability and of the size of the host
market, have had two major direct consequences for UFO studies:
- The probability for a witness by chance to have a ready-to-use camera at his disposal
at the time of events (which was extremely low in the past – thus explaining the
virtual absence of exploitable documents), has increased considerably, in particular
thanks to the omnipresence of cellphones.
- The ease in which image manipulation can be conducted on computers has made truer
than ever the principle according to which a photograph alone can under no circumstances
constitute evidential proof.
This site’s objective is to present a state-of-the-art standpoint in the field of
extracting objective information from digital still or video imagery in which a (so
far) unidentified object or phenomenon appears.
It also offers for sale user licenses of the IPACO software, which has been specifically
developed for that task, as well as offering a resident expert service to produce
imagery analysis reports on demand.