As well as the facts there's also the opinions of many (including my own!!) who have been involved with researching the Drones as well as possible inspirations and/or influences, discrepancies in the images and accounts etc. etc. Also, as nearly all relevant data that is discussed and subsequent analysis that occurred/occurs in the UFO forums (that discuss the Drones in any great depth) is usually swiftly lost amongst the multitude of opinion and conjecture that inevitably follows and precedes all valuable snippets of information I've decided to catalogue what I believe are the most interesting aspects of this research.
As well as this I try to provide a commentary on events surrounding the Drones as well as notable online postings/web-pages that I personally feel are of merit and/or just warrant a mention, plus related video/audio clips etc.
To commemorate April Fools day (2009) here's the written word
from the first witness account by Chad, (yes, the first and the original Drone witness account)
set to music...
Music and voice-over by "WildAlf",
Video by ufo-blog.com
Words by Chad (the anonymous hoaxer).
The Chad Account (First Contact)
Last month (April 2007), my wife and I were on a walk when we noticed a very large, very strange "craft" in the sky. My wife took a picture with her cell phone camera (first photo below). A few days later a friend (and neighbor) lent me his camera and came with me to take photos of this "craft". We found it and took a number of very clear photos. Picture #4 is taken from right below this thing and I must give my friend credit as I was not brave enough to get close enough to take this picture myself!
The craft is almost completely silent and moves very smoothly. It usually moves slowly until it decides to take off. Then it moves VERY quickly and is out of sight in the blink of an eye. MORE THAN ANYTHING I simply want to understand what this is and why it is here? We found your show with Google and I have listened for a few nights now. I have decided that if anyone can help me understand what this thing is, it is you and your audience. I must admit I am deeply unsettled by this thing. I have never seen anything like this in my life...
Location: I would prefer not to say for now.....
ONE of the reasons I decided to create this website was as an attempt to collate some of the commentaries and analysis that has taken place across many UFO-related forums since the Drone was first reported in May 2007.
If you'll indulge me I'd like to briefly explain about the Drone phenomenon from a personal perspective, it interests me now as much as it did on day one and my stance/belief has never faltered once, not with the release of the Isaac documentation nor any of the new witnesses, I've always believed it to be a hoax. I guess the experience is similar to how other people may read a good book except it was in real time and I was able to interact with the information supplied (well, to a certain extent). Like I say I've never accepted any of it as a real-world event and I view it as little more than a case-study of sorts, an intriguing puzzle or more simply an unhealthy interest, but an interest nonetheless.
I believe that with the data available at present regarding the Drones that no testimony ('expert' or otherwise) will ever be sufficient to sway the beliefs of those that currently hold opposing viewpoints. That's not to say that the available information that indicates a hoax is not convincing, as I believe it is. But rather it's more a testament to the power of personal belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
I also think it's important to acknowledge that it was almost a year before the MSM picked it up, before this it had existed entirely on the internet, and indeed it positively thrived in this environment with not one verifiable witness to back it up!! A handful of images and a few written accounts and it's possibly as polarizing a topic now as it was in May 2007 when Chad emailed C2C with his Drone images.
The Drone phenomenon itself, irrespective of whether it's real or fake is nothing short of a self-contained and self-perpetuating meme, indeed I believe it became organic a while ago and as such existed independently of its creators almost instantly, positively flourishing on a strict diet of belief and hypothesis. Then just as the Drone demon seemingly starts to relinquish its grip on the imagination and fade back into obscurity a new witness appears, the new information inevitably adds to the life-force of the Drone demon often rejuvenating the entire enigma.
Consequently the Drone enigma is seemingly powered entirely by belief, regardless of what that belief is as both the pro-real and the pro-hoax camps inevitably 'feed the demon' with their convictions.
If you view the entire Drone phenomenon from a cultural or sociological perspective, or even as a brief look at how the dissemination and propagation of UFO related information is perpetuated in this new era then I have found it to be an insightful and intriguing companion and personally speaking it stopped being about the physical reality of the Drones quite a while ago.
I feel it is well beyond real or hoax and the implications thereof. By this I mean it's not about the physical reality of the Drones per se (i.e. nuts & bolts physicality) but more about the Drone phenomenon in its entirety, and more importantly the resulting beliefs it inspired in researchers and as dismissive as most are I believe it has -and will- shape the perceptions and intrinsically effect the views of all involved for quite some time to come. It's a little like the entire UFO enigma on a more easily interpretable and much smaller scale.
It is within this context that I speak of the origination of the Drones being irrelevant, in this respect its much the same as the ensuing arguments as to which particular anomaly bolsters whoever's particular hypothesis, unfortunately it appears this is a necessary evil and is especially true in the current technological age which the populace have had thrust upon them and it appears practically all have subsequently embraced the "information generation" and the opportunity to interact with media that it presents..
If you emotionally detached oneself from the *scene* and stepped back to view the frenzied analysis and increasingly biased appraisals from both sides. Then in doing so you begin to TRULY appreciate the devastating and polarizing effects that the Drones continue to exert on perceptions, ideals and behaviours. Once this rather unsettling aspect is recognised and accepted then it is most certainly a thing of beauty and one that commands a begrudged respect, a respect that is beheld irrespective of original motivations or by any and all resulting conclusions.
I believe the Drones were more intellectually stimulating than previous attempts at manufacturing similar myths (such as SERPO for example) and they truly were a modern meme, a myth in the making, but above all, a hoax.....
At the beginning of May, 2007 a strange and previously unreported object that looked very retro and, "Industrial" in nature appeared on the internet courtesy of someone who called themselves Chad. This was accompanied by a brief account of his experience and in a matter of days of this being published a second account was posted by Chad which in all honesty read from start to finish as though it was a total fabrication with ridiculous assertions and equally highly dubious and unlikely claims.
Then in the space of six weeks there were another four witnesses who appeared with photographs of slightly different objects but all of which bore striking similarities to one another and all with the same unique and ultimately defining features such as a segmented paddle, thin protrusions which appeared metallic in texture tapering off at the top of the objects, smaller paddles around the main section, a circular body etc. etc.
Then seven weeks after Chad and his images made their debut an alleged whistleblower emerged claiming to be an ex-government employee and calling himself Isaac.
Isaac claimed to have insider knowledge proving that the objects were extraterrestrial in origin, had been visiting our planet for many years, were always present (just conveniently cloaked), were nothing to worry about, were known to the US government who were working on trying to back engineer them for decades, and some of the objects had been acquired by the US government courtesy of another extraterrestrial device which had been *given* to them.
And that's about it for the 'original' Drone related accounts, images and documentation, of course it's not quite as cut and dried as that hence the creation of this website. The Drones have created incredibly polarised opinions as well as causing large sections of the online UFO community to become increasingly fragmented and continue to do so to this day, nearly a year and a half since they first appeared.
I personally have never made any secret of my disbelief in all things 'Drone' and have been one of the more vocal hoax proponents since Chad first reported his sighting, but as I mentioned due to the polarising nature of belief in the Drones it has become almost impossible to access a comprehensive and factual timeline of events as practically all relevant information to date has been obfuscated, tainted, diluted or mistakenly reported.
Whether this misrepresentation of the facts has been intentional or not it has undoubtedly occurred.
Timeline Of Drones (May/June 2007)
Five Main Sightings
May 6th 2007: Chad - Bakersfield, California
May 12th, 2007: Mufon <submitter> 7013 Wife – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
May 20th, 2007: Rajinder Satyanarayana (Flikr: Rajman1977) – Capitola, California
June 6th, 2007: Jenna L/Stephen – Big Basin, California
June 16th, 2007: Ty – Big Basin, California
June 26th: Release of Isaac documents.
Image Copyright - Kris Avery (www.kaptive.co.uk)
Don't let the title of the website put you off as DroneHoax.com is intended to collect, collate and present the facts as they were found. Sure I believe it's all a hoax but it piqued my interest massively and still does to a certain extent, although I admit that the intentions, motivations and machinations of the investigators and researchers of the Drones presents almost as much of an intrigue as those of the creators of the Drones.
In the, "Drone History" section we have the five original sightings which occurred in a matter of weeks in May & June 2007.
Several of the witnesses allegedly followed up on their initial communication with some other method of contact so in this section we'll have a look at exactly what these communications (if any) entailed and basically just any other information that came to light regarding the witnesses or their statements. (This also includes Isaac who it is claimed was in touch with LMH and exchanged several correspondences with her).
Rajman1977 was the only witness who was confident enough in his story to dare and venture into an online (UFO related) forum, this brief sojourn (if of course it was Rajman1977) consisted of two brief visits to OMF where he introduced himself in his first post and then answered several members' questions with his second of his two posts, these are covered in full in this section along with three emails that Rajman1977 exchanged with two of the Open Mind Forum's moderators, these weren't released until seven months (Jan 2008) after this occurred. Also a brief look tthe infamous 'hijacked' Flickr account and his original Craigslist.org post.
Lake-Tahoe Additional Information
Unfortunately very little is known or has come to light since the Lake Tahoe sighting first occurred. It was originally submitted/posted to Mufon by someone who became known as the *Lake Tahoe Drone* or *Mufon/wife*. Two cell-phone images were submitted along with a wholly unremarkable and quite plausible series of events which surrounded the photographing of `the Drone.
Isaac - Follow-up Emails
After Isaac posted his Fortunecity site which was subsequently picked up by C2C AM & LMH (Earthfiles.com) it is alleged that he was in contact with LMH for a while after this initial communication. LMH was trying to arrange an interview with Isaac and digitally coding his voice so as to maintain anonymity. LMH has since published two emails that Isaac sent to her as a direct rebuttal to her Earthfiles readers who posed emailed LMH with questions for Isaac. The haste with which Isaac replied is astounding considering the circumstances surrounding these communications. This is discussed in more detail along with the emails.
Related Drone History
Mufon (Yearly) Report.
As well as declaring the event a hoax after just two sightings (with photographs) were reported Mufon Director, James Carrion penned what was promised as the 1st part of an article for the Mufon journal. It was published in the April 2008 Mufon journal.
The LMH Effect.
The LMH Effect is exclusively regarding the owner/author (Linda Moulton Howe) of the alternative news website, Earthfiles.com. She became a lead, “Player” early on in the Drone debacle and has since positioned herself against all other investigators in not only vouching for the authenticity of the Drone witnesses & their images but because she still withholds 11 images (of a set of 12) of a decent resolution which she still refuses to release to the community and which she was entrusted to do by the ‘witness’.
The Dreamland Drones.
A brief look at another believer in the reality of the Drones, doesn’t add to the Drone subject very often but when he does it’s always in his own inimitable style. In July of 2007 he wasn’t sure if the Drones were hoaxed or not but never discounted the possibility, this all changed in December 2007 when he believes he witnessed one while possibly/probably transcending dimensions. Then nothing until June 2008 and Whitley published another commentary on how special the Drones and their related imagery was, further reiterating his belief that they are indeed, “Real” and offering opinions based on conjecture and constantly failing to spell even the CARET acronym correctly.
Location of Stephen Drone Photograph.
A very brief look at the circumstances surrounding the Stephen (BigBasin) Drone location, and the fact that prior to this release it was disclosed to Linda Moulton Howe with no reply or action forthcoming.
Walter & The Fake Drones.
Two of the ‘lesser-spotted-Drones’ that were late to the party and attempted to hitch a ride with the original Drone images, later admitted to be hoaxed to the DRT. But to be fair no-one had ever accepted them as anything other than a blatant fake as they paled in comparison to the original images in almost every aspect, and yet again this was disclosed to Linda Moulton Howe prior to this DRT contact with no reply, action or even acknowledgement ever received.
Personal Beliefs, Perceptions and Reality (Prism Of Belief)
This section isn't exclusively about belief but rather certain facets of what is undoubtedly a multifaceted construct. So as well as a collection of articles on belief systems, subjective/objective reality, perception etc. this section also includes some of the more thought provoking pieces I've read with regards to the general UFO phenomenon and of course the varying human perception of it, also looking at scepticism and its inherent bias, including the opinions of proponents from both sides of the fence and from a pseudo-scientific as well as a 'classical' (scientific) viewpoint.
Skeptical Of Believers? From something I wrote a while ago, I've mentioned many times before about the terms, "Skeptic" & "Believer" more specifically about the instant connotations that come to mind when these words are mentioned, and that they are not umbrella terms and nor should be used as such.
Marcello Truzzi on Zeteticism
An excellent piece written Marcello Truzzi who explains that his: "General concern is to try to foster an interdisciplinary program, best called anomalistic, on the study of facts that seem unexplained by our current models. In order to study anomalies in science we have to be interdisciplinary because we don't know ultimately where an anomaly will fit. For example, if it is a UFO, we don't know if it will contribute to astronomy, sociology, psychology, or meteorology in the end. An interdisciplinary approach to anomalies is absolutely necessary."
The Burden of Skepticism (Carl Sagan - first published in Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 12 - 1987) What is Skepticism? It's nothing very esoteric. We encounter it every day. When we buy a used car, if we are the least bit wise we will exert some residual skeptical powers -- whatever our education has left to us.
You could say, "Here's an honest-looking fellow. I'll just take whatever he offers me." Or you might say, "Well, I've heard that occasionally there are small deceptions involved in the sale of a used car, perhaps inadvertent on the part of the salesperson," and then you do something. You kick the tires, you open the doors, you look under the hood. (You might go through the motions even if you don't know what is supposed to be under the hood, or you might bring a mechanically inclined friend.) You know that some skepticism is required, and you understand why. It's upsetting that you might have to disagree with the used-car salesman or ask him questions that he is reluctant to answer. There is at least a small degree of interpersonal confrontation involved in the purchase of a used car and nobody claims it is especially pleasant.
UFOs In The Age Of Information Steve Mizrach begins this examination of the evolution of the UFO phenomenon with quotes from Jacques Vallee, who is a UFO researcher and a computer network scientist, and Philip K. Dick, a science fiction writer who might have been a contactee (of sorts). In this quote, Vallee offers an incredible new way of thinking about parapsychological phenomena and synchronicity, perhaps even cosmology itself. Steve particularly focuses on a key concept that Vallee stresses here and elsewhere in his work: that UFOs focus as a kind of cybernetic control system, and that the UFO might be an "information singularity" of a particular kind.
The failure of the 'Science' of UFOlogy (By James Oberg - From: New Scientist magazine, London, October 11, 1979) In the 30 years since the current flying saucer fever began, the phenomenon has apparently been transformed from the property of cranks and crackpots to the subject of true scientific study. The sensational term "flying saucer" became the more semantically neutral "unidentified flying object", or "UFO". The study of such reports -- the objects themselves, not being physically present, cannot be studied -- came to be called "Ufology".
UFOs At The Edge Of Reality "UFOs At The Edge Of Reality" is an excerpt from a (transcribed) lecture by Jim Keith that was originally delivered in Atlanta in the November of 1995. Jim said that his intentions of the lecture was to explore today are some of his own thoughts and opinions about the nature of UFOs and aliens and reality, based upon an interest Jim has that dates back to about 1957. Focusing on some material suggesting that UFOs and ETs walk a fine line between reality and thought (or awareness), Jim is also quick to add that his is not to suggest, that the UFO and related phenomenon is just an illusory experience, saying: "I don't believe that the UFO experience is illusory. I want to explore what you might call the edge of manifestation of this UFO phenomena."
The Logical Trickery of the UFO Skeptic
Brian Zeiler writes: Skeptics in the scientific community resist the evidence for extraterrestrial visitation because of the implications it raises and because of the questions it begs. But should the integrity of the determination rely on the implications of a positive classification? Or should the classification of true or false be assessed in isolation of the implications? Which is worse -- a false positive, meaning ruling in favor of the UFO as a unique phenomenon when in fact it does not exist, or a false negative, meaning ruling against it and missing out on its true existence?
Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Skepticism Rochus Boerner elaborates on the warning signs of bogus skepticism: The progress of science depends on a finely tuned balance between open-mindedness and skepticism. Be too open minded, and you'll accept wrong claims. Be too skeptical, and you'll reject genuine new discoveries. Proper skepticism must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Unfortunately, much of what comes out of the "skeptical" community these days is not proper skepticism, but all-out, fundamentalist disbelief. Such skepticism can be called pseudo-skepticism, pathological skepticism or bogus skepticism.
Marcello Truzzi On Pseudo-Skepticism Another commentary by Marcello Truzzi, this time its the turn of the phrase he coined, i.e. "Pseudo-skepticism": Over the years, I have decried the misuse of the term "skeptic" when used to refer to all critics of anomaly claims. Alas, the label has been thus misapplied by both proponents and critics of the paranormal. Sometimes users of the term have distinguished between so-called "soft" versus "hard" skeptics, and I in part revived the term "zetetic" because of the term's misuse. But I now think the problems created go beyond mere terminology and matters need to be set right.
Some Unfair Practices towards Claims of the Paranormal Marcello Truzzi again: The reception of unconventional or extraordinary claims in science has come under increasing attention by sociologists and historians. Scientific anomalies have sparked scientific revolutions, but such claims have had to fight prejudices within science. This essay offers scattered reflections on the adjudication process confronted by protoscientists (science "wannabes") wishing admission into the scientific mainstream. My comments here are not intended in support of proponents of the paranormal (for I remain a skeptic, as defined below) but to help produce a more level playing field and a greater fairness that might help all scientists.