Large UFOs in orbit around the Earth?

Timothy Printy 2008

Recently, while reading some of the oddball topics one finds on the Internet, I discovered that there was an amateur astronomer, who was imaging large unidentified objects orbiting the earth. Being an amateur astronomer myself, I was astonished that large unknown objects had been imaged. After all, not much reaches near earth orbit without being identified. Recently, astronomers accidentally classified the Rosetta Spacecraft as a small asteroid! Intrigued, I began to examine this claim and the evidence presented to support it.

Who? How? What? Where and when?

The first bit I wanted to know was who the individual was providing the evidence. The most I could originally discover was this bit of information at Rense.com

A young man by the name of John Lenard Walson has discovered a new way to extend the capabilities of small telescopes and has been able to achieve optical resolutions - at almost the diffraction limit - not commonly achievable. With this new-found ability, he has proceeded to videotape, night and day, many strange and heretofore unseen objects in earth orbit. The resulting astrophotographic video footage has revealed a raft of machines, hardware, satellites, spacecraft and possibly space ships which otherwise appear as 'stars'...if they appear at all. (Rense)

A quick search of the web showed that Walson's only claim to fame was this "discovery" in extending the capabilities of small telescopes. One would think that such a "discovery" would have made big news in the amateur astronomy community. The reason this "discovery" is not big news is because it is not a "discovery" at all. Amateur astronomers have been using webcams for astronomical imaging for many years. Many obtain images that are resolving sub-arc second details when videos are obtained and images "stacked" using readily available software. So, the article is misleading in suggesting that Walson had made a discovery. All he was doing is taking credit for work done by others before him. The fact that Walson has no history other than this "discovery" indicates he is not an active amateur astronomer who contributes in any astronomical forum or this is not his real name.

The second thing I wanted to know was "what" he was imaging. It is clear from the initial link that he was imaging something but was he imaging anything extraordinary. History has shown that amateur astronomers are very avid sky watchers and often identify events that happen in the night sky especially when they are in earth orbit. A few recent examples are:

August 31, 2004 - A centaur stage fuel dump was observed by astronomers in the northeast

February 19, 2007 - A Briz-M rocket booster in orbit exploded and was observed/imaged by astronomers in Australia.

November 16, 2007 - Fuel dump by a rocket booster

December 10, 2007 - Fuel dump by a rocket booster (identified as a UFO by the National UFO reporting center)

It is odd that Walson is able to image these objects frequently while other amateurs seem to miss them. If there are indeed large objects in orbit, similar to the ISS in size, then they would be bright as viewed by observers on the ground when they reflect the sun. The ISS can get as bright as Venus and is a stunning sight for anyone looking for it. It stands to reason that Walson's "objects" would also be brighter than most satellites. We are given no magnitude estimates but we are told in this article that they look like "stars" but not all the time ("if they appear at all"). This brings up the question of how Walson can even image them if he can not see them visually? The story being told by Walson to Rense.com is less than satisfactory because we don't know any details of his imaging.

To top it off, Walson's images are really not that good. Amateurs have been imaging the International space station (ISS) for years and their images are far superior to Walsons. In fact, you can barely tell if Walson's ISS images are even images of the ISS! The shape looks right but it looks "transparent" as if there is no solid structure at all but some sort of frame. One can not even pick details or sections of the ISS out like in other amateurs images. If his images of the ISS are this poor, what does it say about these large UFOs/machines he is imaging and promoting in his videos?

This brings us to where and when Walson is performing his imaging. There are no dates, no times, and no location for these observations. This is another indicator that Walson does not want to be discovered as to his true identity or his real abilities. He reminds me of "amateur astronomer" Chuck Shramek, who made wild claims about an object following Comet Hale-Bopp that turned out to be just a star. Even after his error was determined, Shramek refused to believe it and accused astronomers of hiding the real truth about his UFO following the comet. Walson appears to be of a similar conspiracy type when one starts to read more about what he has been doing.

Big Brother is watching

Walson's next story has to do with what happened after he released his images on the web. That being helicopters began to watch his neighborhood. He even released a video of the helicopters. Unfortunately, it appears he revealed something of his location. One of the helicopters visible is an American made Chinook CH-47. In another video we see an apache helicopter. This indicates it is probably in the United States. However, other helicopters shown are a SA-342 Gazelle and Westland Merlin Helicopter. These are British type helicopters not normally found in the United States since the US military mainly uses their own American built craft. Based on the types of helicopters visible, it appears that Walson is from the UK and not the US. US helicopters have been used by UK forces and the US military can be found in the UK. Although, I have not see all of the clips, I read in one forum that there are cars of UK manufacture and UK plates visible in one video. It is becoming apparent that "Walson" is trying his best to hide his location, even though, if you believe his claim, the UK military is completely aware of it. There can be only one reason for this and that "Walson" does not want to be discovered as a fraud even though it is becoming apparent that he is.

Escamilla discovers he has probably been had

Interested in making a buck/pound, he teamed up with Jose Escamilla (of rods video fame) in order to create a video that showed all he had been recording. It received a following as people started to pay to see more of these extraordinary images. Unfortunately for Escamilla, Walson continue to peddle these videos on the web for free as people began to question them. Jose Escamilla became concerned and noticed that the person posting them by the name of "Gridkeeper", was also posting on the "Above Top Secret" discussion forum. Jose posted his concerns about how he originally wanted to use Walson in a pay-per-view scenario with Walson demonstrating his techniques live. He also wanted Walson to give information about the locations of these "objects" so others could find and record them. Walson got cold feet, claimed the government was after him and his family, and even sent a video of him getting "attacked" by a "government agent". Escamilla doubted this incident was real and it did not appear publicly like the helicopter videos. He also revealed that many of the items being displayed in the videos showing e-mails from respected scientists (Gerry Gilmore and Henry Kline), were not authentic or being misrepresented. Checking up on them, Escamilla discovered that these men were not endorsing these videos at all and were surprised that these emails were being used in this way. After a few weeks, it was apparent that Walson and "Gridkeeper" were not going to publicly discuss this with Escamilla and others. Despite agreeing to a contract regarding the video, Walson was withdrawing on his commitment.

Ambush endorsements

Shortly after these revelations Escamilla was ejected from the "Above Top Secret" forums for some apparently bad behavior towards some of those posting in the forum. Walson's supporters were not willing to accept that they may have been fooled. Meanwhile, "Gridkeeper" released a new attempt to endorse the Walson videos. This is a short clip of Walson with somebody called Dr. J.W. Mason (who is identified as an expert on spy/astronomical satellites). Walson's face is hidden in the clip but "Dr. Mason's" face is clear. Both speak with British accents further indicating this is something happening in the UK. Dr. Mason appears to be indicating that Walson's work is acceptable and worthy. It took some searching around but I eventually discovered that Dr. J. W. Mason is a trustee to the South Downs Astronomical society and planetarium. He also appears to be a space expert for Sky TV. All Mason says in this video is that he doesn't think it was the international space station, he seemed surprised that the images were taken at the time indicated, and that Walson is shooting with too much magnification. Based on the recording, it appears Mason had no idea what was going on and he was simply helping another amateur astronomer in his hobby. He was not informed about what Walson was doing and about his videos. This was an ambush type recording where the subject has no idea that he was going to be used to endorse something of this nature. This was confirmed by Dr. Mason himself, who sent an email to Rense.com. He stated in another email (in response to the video on youtube) that the person called himself "Steve Spencer". Mason seemed upset that the video appeared on the web and that he gave no permission for the video (the video would later disappear from youtube). Lastly, Mason seemed to think that these images were not clear enough for interpretation. It seems that "Walson" is going to great lengths to try and convince everyone that his videos are of something real. Why would somebody go to such lengths if they could easily seen by others with similar telescopes?

Who is Walson?

With "Gridkeeper" continuing to publish Walson's videos on the internet, it was apparent there was a desperate attempt by Walson to keep pushing his agenda about these "objects" in orbit. Eventually, "Gridkeeper" would suggest that Walson was actually somebody called Simon Anderson. A quick search on the web found "Anderson" reporting to Rense.com a few years back that he had videotaped a UFO during an airshow. Even more interesting was how "Simon Anderson" was associated with another individual named "Abby Parker". All of these people live in the UK, which confirmed my original suspicions about the helicopters. Looking at "Abby Parker's" video clips, one can see identical clips in Walson's videos. She even had a few images of helicopters for some reason in her video clips. Some look a lot like the ones in Walson's clips. Are these helicopters time traveling since they appear in two videos taken years apart or is Walson just taking these clips and using them to spice up his story? Are Abby Parker, Simon Anderson, Steve Spencer, and John Lenard Walson, the same person or the same group of individuals trying to peddle UFO videos for sale? It appears that this is the case.

A brief analysis of Walson's clips on Blip TV

The more I saw of these clips, the more I wanted to see if I could learn more about how they were done. Most of Walson's work could be found on Blip.TV and it is very revealing. It starts with Episode #4, which is rather lengthy. The original video makes the following claims early on:

Its time for the facts there are no aliens or star people in this film. Some people flim bright objects in the sky like Jupiter and Venus a video cameara held by hand will only film a bright view that will change shape from atmospheric distortion. Watch this fictional film to see the truth explained. (Walson episode 4)

I am not sure if Walson really understands the term "Fictional", which means it is made up. Is this is a clue of a hoax or is Walson demonstrating that he is not very bright? The video starts with a bright light near a lamp post. This is very similar to an "Abby Parker" video. The video then says that bright objects will change shape but it shows an out focus point source.When he zooms in, it gets larger. After a few zooms in and out, the video declares that this is Venus. The video then shows an extreme zoom on Jupiter, which is out of focus and an odd oval shaped. As the exposure is adjusted it becomes brighter and fainter but nothing is resolved. No moons or surface features are visible. It appears that this is a video with just a handheld camera with some form of optical defect. If this is a video of Jupiter, I could not tell other than the video saying it is. As the video advances to 25:30, we are shown what appears to be the same video shot in the infamous "carp landing case". It is rotated around 360 degrees like it was shot off a TV screen and the camera was rotated. There are also clips of the "twin plasma videos" that "Abby Parker" shot on June 9th, 2002 at time 28:41. No credit is given and little is said about these clips. This video appears to show somebody experimenting with their video camera and seeing what they can do with it.

Episode 35 starts with videotapes of Saturn showing nothing more than the planet and exposure time for the video camera being adjusted. The moons are clearly visible and Saturn is overexposed. When the exposure time is adjusted, Saturn's details became clear but the moons disappear. The tape then reads:

Note how the objects can only be viewed independently to the clear view view (SIC) of Saturn. Whereas to view Saturn clearly the view of the objects is lost. (Walson episode 35)

He appears to have no grasp of exposure time and how it affects recording faint objects. Walson demonstrates he has no understanding about photography/imaging through the telescope. Is this the man we are led to believe has "discovered" a new method of recording objects in space revealing details? Episode 48 seems to be another attempt at astronomical imaging. This time the target is comet Holmes. It appears any stars near Holmes are considered "objects" of interest. This is beginning to sound like Chuck Shramek and the Hale-Bopp Saturn Like Object. It demonstrates a poor understanding of Astronomy and a desire to create a mystery in order to perpetuate a hoax.

Finally, in episodes 51 as well as episode 42, Walson provides images of where he was recording these spaceships. At time 00:13 (episode 51), he shows a star field and the precise object at 00:18-20, he was recording, which is star-like and reddish. The star is easily identified because it is part of an obvious star pattern known by all experienced amateur astronomers. That being the V-shaped Hyades star cluster in Taurus. The bright "star" that is supposed to be a spaceship is non other than Aldeberan, which has been part of earth's skies since man began recording the locations of stars in the sky. Looking back at episode 42 demonstrates that he is indeed identifying Aldeberan as the source of one of his objects.

Just another UFO hoax!

The revelation that he is videotaping stars that turn into "spaceships" or "UFOs" makes it clear what is happening. Apparently, Walson's optics are completely misaligned/damaged or Walson is purposefully creating this distortion. Based on the lengths to which he has gone to peddle his videos on the web, that his videos of the moon and Saturn are pretty clear, that he is hiding his identity, and desperately attempts to endorse his videos from unsuspecting authorities, I would conclude that he knows what he is doing and these are not accidental in nature. Walson acts like a hoaxer who became concerned he was going to be exposed when Escamilla was going to escalate the sales to include live recordings. However, it is now too late because he is presented way too much evidence to identify him for what he is, a con-man. The "gullible faithful" on the intenet will gladly defend these videos and Walson but people with a more critical eye are not going to buy it. If people are looking for evidence of alien visitation or secret government platforms in orbit, Walson's evidence is not even close to being compelling. I suggest they join an astronomy club, buy their own telescope, and study the Universe as it is and not what they want it to be.

Works cited

Rense, Jeff. "Mystery space machines above black ops, star wars, ET? Or all of the above?" Rense.com 12-12-07Available WWW: http://www.rense.com/general79/wdx1.htm

Walson, John Lenard. Far above space and time to rewind. Episode 4. Available WWW: http://blip.tv/file/384104/

Walson, John Lenard. Far above space and time - Saturn Rising. Episode 35. Available WWW: http://blip.tv/file/424853/

 

Back to My Skeptical Opinion about UFOs