There has been an important breakthrough in the investigation of the authenticity of a photo showing a flying saucer landing on an aircraft carrier that was obtained by Navy Commander Graham Bethune (now deceased), and first publicly released in 2008 by his associate, Frank Chille. Bethunes photo was discussed in a May 4 interview on Rense radio featuring William Tompkins, and was analyzed in an exopolitics article published on May 11.
An official US Air Force photo of the flight deck of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt from April 1975 closely matches the configuration of aircraft found in Bethunes photo. There is clear evidence that the 1975 photo was altered to produce Bethunes photo. The origin and chain of custody of Bethunes photo suggests it was part of an officially sanctioned Navy disinformation campaign around the issue of flying saucers landing on U.S. aircraft carriers.
First some background. The 1975 USAF photo was released by the U.S. Air Historical Support Office and published in the 2002 book, American Military Aviation: The Indispensible Arm. It shows a Soviet intelligence ship approaching the USS Roosevelt, which was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea at the time.
The chronology of the flying saucer landing on the aircraft carrier photo released by Bethune is given by Chille, who says he obtained a copy from Bethune around the year 2000:
Graham had told me that all his photos were hand delivered to him personally by Admiral Delmar Fahrney. I had the distinct impression that I was one of very few whom were ever shown these photos by Graham Bethune. Graham never published any of the photos he had shared with me and he never told me not to share this photo with anyone. Graham did say to me at many meetings that Admiral Fahrney was very aware of the Visitors and the craft they employed. They had ships of all sizes and description and some were enormous in size. [Email 5/13/16]
Its important to emphasize that according to Chille, the photo possessed by Bethune was given to him personally by Rear Admiral Fahrney sometime before that latters death in 1984, and then later passed on to Chille in 2000. Bethune never publicly released the photo, and passed away on October 30, 2006. Chille publicly released it for the first time in 2008 via the CNN website. Chille later passed on the photo to Major George Filer who released it in one of his Filer Reports on November 2012. Finally, it was released online by Rense for his radio interview with Tompkins on May 4, 2016.
Chilles recollection of the genealogy of Bethunes photo clearly points to the U.S. Navys involvement in its creation and/or dissemination via Admiral Fahrney.
Fahrney, retired with the rank of Rear Admiral in 1950. He was credited with being the father of naval air guided missiles:
Rear Admiral Fahrney was “the foremost Navy pioneer for the development of guided missiles. His vision of future weaponry, technical excellence and tireless advocacy formed the basis for the post-World War II Navy missile programs.” “Admiral Fahrney’s early work in guided missiles and his foresight in planning for future generations of missiles earned for him recognition by many peers as ‘the father of naval air guided missiles.'” (circa 1956).
He subsequently became a prominent member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), and was prominent advocate of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis that UFOs were interplanetary vehicles. Fahrney’s stature would have meant that whoever he forwarded the alleged photo of a flying saucer landing on an aircraft carrier would have accepted it as genuine.
However, a comparative analysis of the 1975 USAF photo and Bethunes photo leads to a surprising conclusion. Bethunes photo is an altered version of the original USAF photo. The following animated gif which was created by Keanu Bruun shows the key similarities and differences of the two photos.
The removal of the word “Roosevelt” from the F-4 Phantom on the deck of the Roosevelt is very clear evidence of photo alteration. The identical wave action in the highlighted sections of the two photos is also very suspicious, and strengthens the case for the 1975 USAF photo being the original used in creating a doctored version.
This raises questions of why was the hoax created, and why was Admiral Fahrney complicit in its dissemination? His Naval and UFO research background suggests that it would take a professional military intelligence organization, such as the Office of Naval Intelligence, to fool him into believing the hoaxed photo was genuine, and anticipate that he would eventually pass it on to others who would leak it into the public arena.
Alternatively, Fahrney and/or Bethune may have been simply following orders to leak the doctored photo into the public arena.
The painstaking work that went into producing this doctored photo sometime between 1975 and 1984, well before Photoshop and other image manipulation software became publicly available, would have required professional photo manipulation expertise. Furthermore, the senior military ranks of the Navy personnel involved suggests there would have needed to be an important national security reason behind the photos creation.
One justification is that if flying saucers were genuinely landing on aircraft carriers on a regular basis, then over the years many thousands of Naval personnel would have witnessed such occurrences, and could eventually start revealing this to the public. Fahrney may have been told by Naval Intelligence assets, for example, that a flying saucer had indeed landed on the USS Roosevelt in 1975, and that dissemination of a doctored photo was necessary on national security grounds in case the incident was ever revealed by rank and file Naval personnel.
What better way to anticipate and discredit future reports of such encounters than by releasing a doctored photo of one? The hoax could then be easily mistaken as genuine by those familiar with or having direct experience of flying saucer landing on aircraft carriers, and thereby discredit such a phenomenon.
Indeed this appears to have happened with retired aerospace engineer, William Tompkins. In a radio interview with Jeff Rense, he connected Bethunes photo to an incident described in his autobiography, Selected by Extraterrestrials, where a flying saucer piloted by Nordic extraterrestrials landed on the USS Coral Sea in the 1950s.
Rense: … the first image that comes up is a large disk-shaped craft with a couple of lights visible. Apparently [it] landed on the deck of an American aircraft carrier. Tell us about that picture, Bill. What’s the story? …
Tompkins Its one of quite a number of Nordic extraterrestrial UFOs that have landed on US Navy aircraft carriers.
Tompkins was likely confused by the realistic depiction of the flying saucer in the doctored photo, which led him to believe it was a genuine photo of one of many landing incidents.
One of the leaked Edward Snowden NSA documents confirms that the intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes nations USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are involved in disseminating hoaxes involving UFO images online. The doctored flying saucer landing on the USS Roosevelt is evidence that such an officially sanctioned disinformation effort is being conducted to confuse not only the general public, but also well-meaning senior military officers and even aerospace engineers, over what is genuine or not.
In the case of Bethunes photo, it was through a collaborative effort by private researchers, who were able to identify the original USAF photo used to create the doctored version, which proved essential in bringing this to public attention. While some may be disappointed that Bethunes photo is not hard evidence of a flying saucer landing on an aircraft carrier, it is nevertheless significant that an official Navy disinformation campaign has been found that aims to anticipate and discredit such claims by the dissemination of doctored versions of genuine extraterrestrial encounters.
© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice
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