Updated Tuesday 7th January 1997
The OCVid has now been technically examined by THREE American video professionals, and ALL of them have independently arrived at the same conclusion:
There is absolutely NO evidence of tampering on the Oliver's Castle Videotape.
I've spoken twice with Jim Dilettoso about his findings. Jim is the president of a company which, in addition to other clients, does work for government labs. It has a state-of-the-art lab with top-of-the-line equipment, including a Cray 6400 computer.
Jim's main responsibility is setting up supercomputer networks. He uses a supercomputer to analyse video footage when he deems it necessary. [The Cray, however, was not used to evaluate the OC videotape.] His work also entails very advanced image processing. He is the 'expert' analyst the national television programs *Sightings* and *Unsolved Mysteries*, among others, call upon to verify the 'purity' of, in particular, UFO tapes and photos. He's been doing this work for twenty years.
Jim made it clear to me that while it might be possible for a team of people with the experience, the appropriate equipment, *and the time* to come up with a *similar* video, he stated emphatically that THIS tape showed no signs of computer enhancement, splicing, depth cueing, or fields-per-frame anomalies. He used terms like 'subcarrier' and 'blanking pulse' to describe facets of his analysis. He said the Balls Of Light (BOLs) were NOT spherical but were appropriately distorted (as actual movement would distort them as opposed to animation-generated movement). [Patrick's evaluation of the BOLs (below) not only agrees with Jim's, but goes even further - see his startling analysis on his website!]
Jim also noted, as I did early on but before I mentioned the fact to him, that (especially) the central Circle can be seen to 'open' because the crop goes down blazingly quickly IN SPIRALS around the centre of it. Some have claimed that the crop movement appears to be 'animated' and seems to 'jump forward' in the quadrant nearest the camera. Such is NOT the case, both according to what I've seen, and what Jim's observed. He was especially impressed by the 'action' documented in the main Circle.
When I questioned Jim about the 'shadows' at the far bases of the Circles, he immediately replied that they were most probably an artifact, the result of a camcorder technical phenomenon called 'blooming'.
A final spontaneous point Jim offered, which I too had independently noticed somewhere around my 30th time of viewing the clip, was that after the Lights leave, the crop (especially) in the largest Circle can be seen to be 'twitching'. This residual effect of the Energies was first noted many years ago, and was witnessed in 1993 by a group of visitors to the early-morning addition to a UK Formation known as the Overton Oval. The tuft in the newest Arrival (the Circle highest on the hillside on which the rest of the Formation had arrived the previous morning) had been standing when the first witness saw it. It subsequently underwent two phases of 'collapsing', or settling, over the next hour or so, during which time there were additional visitors in that Circle who noted the changes to the tuft. This same type of settling can clearly be seen on John's tape. I'm delighted that Jim commented on it.
He told me that creating the BOLs and their flight paths would not be difficult to do on computer by a computer animation person with the right equipment. (Remember, while Jim said it is *possible* to achieve a *similar* effect using computer, he found no computer enhancements on the OCVid tape itself.) He wasn't so sure about how one might go about computerising the 'laying' of the Formation itself, for he thought it would be an especially complex, highly technical (if not impossible), time-consuming procedure.
But the most important point which separates this tape from a computer-generated or -enhanced one, in Jim's professional opinion, is that he doesn't see how the SEAMLESS MESHING of (what would have to be) two separate 'tracks' - as flawlessly as that which he sees on John's video - could be accomplished without leaving telltale clues in the output. [One 'track' would have to consist of the Formation opening, and the second would be of the BOLs - and each 'half' would have to have the camera-shake synchronised identically on each of the two fields per frame.] Because he finds *nothing* to cause him to decide otherwise, Jim's conclusion is that there is but a single normal continuous 'track' during the time the Lights are present. In other words, there is a seamless unity in the Formation's manifesting and the movements of the BOLs throughout the entire segment.
There has also been discussion that the paths are laid after all the Circles appear. This is a misperception, as stills from the video confirm. (Some stills are up on The CropCircle Connector, but there are at least three crisper ones on another site. Does anyone remember which site?)
Here's something to consider: Since Jim has made his thoughts about the OCVid known, no one who's carefully examined the footage has contradicted any of his findings.
Jim told me that if anyone does his or her own TECHNICAL analysis and comes up with a 'different bottom line' than he did, he'd be happy to look over the report and evaluate any points of difference.
I could use some help: Jim Dilettoso is sufficiently intrigued by what he's seen on this tape that he'd like to see the entire footage that John shot that morning. He's offered to fly John and his master copy round-trip from England to his lab. If anyone reading this can help put me in contact with John, please contact me through my Inbox.
A second analysis of this tape was completed by 'special effects expert' Laurel Click, at the request of the Strange Universe national television program. Laurel works at a studio in California. Her conclusions were basically the same as Jim's: the tape shows no signs of tampering or computer enhancement, and she's unable to even guess how it might have been created. She stated that it would probably take a team of highly qualified computer and video experts MANY hours to produce similar footage - if it were indeed possible at all. In her professional opinion, the tape offers no indication of artificiality.
The following is taken from a third analyst's HomePage. In the excerpts below, Patrick Wilson ( firstname.lastname@example.org) tells who he is, and what he does:
I compose and record my own [record] albums. I also do
soundtracks for TV and films pretty much full time. Being a keen '3D Modeller' I have
included a page of my Computer Graphics. These are mostly of landscapes, sometimes with a
I digitised [the OCVid] using a Miromotion video capture board on a Macintosh9500/200. I am pretty sure that the film is not faked having examined the film frame by frame. I reckon it would be very hard to draw moving objects onto the frames with such accuracy *and with consistent lighting* [emphasis ilyes']. Not to mention that the objects' motion paths [are] integral to the scene despite camera wobble etc. There are 400 frames in the 16 seconds of action (at 25fps).
Re: Paul's effort at 'duplicating' the OCVid, Patrick writes: ... sorry Paul Vigay, despite your applaudable effort, it immediately looked to us like the most transparent fake. Anyone else want to have a go? The original is one hellava good fake, if it is.
Please note: I do not disparage Paul's effort, for I've not seen it and hence will not comment on it. I add Patrick's comments here because he DID evaluate both Paul's and John's tapes. Paul had not tried to conceal the fact that he would make a video in which he'd attempt to replicate what was shown on the OCVid. This is the tape to which Patrick refers.
To see what Patrick did with the BOLs (and if you haven't visited it already, I think you'll find it fascinating, if controversial!), check out http://www.mistral.co.uk/patrickwilson /clasps.html Once you get to Patrick's HomePage, then his Index, go to the 'clasps' graphics for the BOLs. (Your browser may take the entire URL - mine wouldn't.)
So here we have three recognised 'experts' who've independently all come up with similar conclusions: they believe that The Oliver's Castle Video shot by John is most probably the real McCoy. They have recorded their findings: Sightings will air their program with Jim's evaluation, which will include Peter's sceptical evaluation and Michael Glickman's conditional support, after January 1; Strange Universe has already aired their segment with Ms Click, and has even rerun it.
My especial area of study over the last five years has been the crop lays. What I see on this tape, irrespective of any technical analysis, correlates beautifully with how my eyes, brain, and heart have been telling me the lays are Transmitted. The alternating 'tubes' of crop laid in spirals, the perimeter stalks, the alignment of the seedheads, the off-centre 'centres', the simultaneous creation of all parts of a Pattern (as determined by what's on top of what), the Lights reported by some witnesses, the blazing speed that's been reported by all witnesses, the 'twitching' seen by the earliest visitors to a newly formed Circle - they're all confirmed on this tape.
Incredibly, what I'm hearing from those not ready to accept what this footage documents is that what we see meets all previously documented criteria SO WELL that it can't be real! (These are some of the same folks who call ME 'irrational'!)
After assimilating what I've watched over and over again, I understand for the first time how each of the bird's nest centres' openings in the Hackpen Hill 'Claw' Formation of 1994 was able to face in a different direction. Until I saw this footage, I thought that a Formation might be created from a point above the Pattern - but that scenario never satisfactorily resolved the discrepancy of the different directions of the openings. Seeing how the Heat and Wind are 'applied' as the 'labs' circle *around* the Formation finally clarifies at least that part of the mystery for me. (I wouldn't doubt, however, that not all Formations are Transmitted identically. The CircleMakers are nothing if not creative!)
If 'experts' who work daily with special effects, advanced image processing, and computer graphics find *nothing* after thorough analyses to suggest that enhancements were used in John's video, why would reasonable people persist in contrarily maintaining that 'tricks' *had* been used?
The high probability (in my reality, it's a certainty) that the video is 'genuine' is, indeed, a large chunk of something-outside-our-normal-paradigm to swallow. Nevertheless, the video exists, and has been given a clean bill of health by three 'experts' who have critically examined it. We will undoubtedly receive more such Gifts from the CircleMakers in the coming Seasons - perhaps even as early as next Summer ...
The shoe now appears to be on the other foot. Is it not the turn of those who disagree with both John's presentation and the findings of the 'experts' to either substantiate their contention, or accept the tape's validity?
At least two of the analysts have agreed to examine any computer-based videos or technical reports to the contrary submitted by knowledgeable individuals. If you believe that this tape can be EXACTLY replicated, by whatever means, please DO IT and send me a copy of your effort. I'll be happy to forward both it and all technical reports to these analysts, and will keep apcc updated.
Centre for CropCircle Studies / US Network
I don't know how many readers are aware of the following, so for completeness I'll include the first part of this story. It was relayed to me by Peter, who received it directly from John. So, here's what John told Peter, who told me:
On the morning of August 11, John was sleeping in his sleeping bag on the hillside next to Oliver's Castle. At around 5am, he was awakened by 'Sounds'. He sleepily looked around to discover the source of the 'chirping', and his attention was drawn to a field below. As he willed himself to full consciousness and focused on the field, he saw Balls of Light moving deliberately over a localised area. He watched them briefly before they disappeared from his sight.
[I believe what John first 'witnesses' here is the setting-up of the SoundBarrier, the Energy Field around the template of every Formation. It is this Energy Field which subsequently restricts the Heat and Wind, which Energies actually lay the crop, to within it. "Lines of Sound" are also set up within a Formation at the places where new lay patterns are to begin.]
When the first set(s) of Lights had gone, John dove for his video camera tucked into the foot of his sleeping bag. He frantically tried to turn the camera on, turn the camera on, but the humidity sensor had prohibited it from working. John then noticed that the Lights had returned to the field. Frantically, he tried again to turn the camera on. Suddenly, it came to life in his hands. John aimed it into the field holding it as steady as his trembling hands would allow. He was breathing heavily (his breaths can be heard on the tape). He dared not move. He barely dared breathe. He was mesmerised, transfixed. At one point he's heard to whisper, "Ohh, that's amazing ..."
Everyone's repeated an early viewer's observation that John utters the statement expressionlessly, flatly, with no excitement or enthusiasm appropriate (so it's been deemed) to the occasion. What it sounds like to me is that he whispers it because a whisper is the least physically disturbing vocal expression he could've made. Whooping and hollering - or excited cussing - for example, might've shaken the camera - and John was frozen in place - he didn't want to miss any of what he KNEW at the time was a transdimensional Event taking place before him. It sounds to me like he whispers it involuntarily, almost unconsciously, as one might if one were witnessing a Miracle in a holy place ...
Finally (actually, a mere 18 SECONDS after he first turns his camera on), the Lights leave. John keeps the tape rolling. He realises after a while that the Lights have indeed completed their work. He shuts his camera off. He's stunned by the transdimensional Event he's witnessed through some miraculous interdimensional window. He turns his camera on again, and shoots the Formation, zooming in on it, then zooming out. He doesn't know what he should do next as he tries to consciously assimilate his incredible experience - so he begins shooting the landscape. He pans to his right, across the field in which the Crescents arrived in '95 at the foot of Oliver's Castle, and continues the pan to the earthworks, then pans left, back to the Formation. He shoots, and keeps shooting and shooting, until it begins raining. Finally he shuts his camera down and puts it away.
After he left the area, the first thing he did was make a copy of the tape he'd just recorded, and then he locked up the master for safe-keeping. He was thrilled and ecstatic about what he'd just seen, and probably realised at the time that no one else had ever before documented the Transmission of a CropCircle*. He wanted to show someone. He wanted to show EVERYONE! Approximately six hours later, he called The Barge pub, looking for a videographer he'd never met but had heard about. He wanted to show the tape to Peter Sorensen. He thought that Peter would know what he (John) should do from that point, and hoped that Peter would help him get his tape out to Circle Researchers and 'the world'. John wanted to share his wondrous Gift with everyone.
He was unable to locate Peter during his visit to the pub that evening, but began, allegedly with trembling hands, to show those who were inside the pub the copy of his tape through the viewfinder of his camera. Ultimately, he connected with Freddy Silver, who connected him with Colin. Peter subsequently went twice with John to a Swindon video studio where together they viewed the tape. At this point, John had been returning all of Peter's calls whenever Peter left a message for him.
But when John realised that both Peter and Colin had begun questioning the validity of the footage, it appears that he (figuratively, at least) might have thrown up his hands in disgust and frustration. He'd really TRIED to get the tape distributed. Maybe he didn't feel that he was able to do it alone. Perhaps, as a college student, he didn't have either the money, time, or connections to produce it on his own. We don't know what happened since then, except that John has continued to make himself unavailable. (It has occurred to me that our two countries' military intelligence communities would be extremely interested in this tape. I don't know, of course, whether this might have any bearing on John's 'unavailableness', or not.)
Maybe he simply figures that HE knows what he saw, and he has the Miracle footage safely tucked away. Perhaps at a more appropriate time he'll bring it forward again. Maybe John's content enough, for now, to allow everyone to believe whatever they choose.
And now you know ... the REST of the story. (See also the December '96 Issue #59 of "SC", the Sussex Branch newsletter, for an excellent additional report on this saga.)
*Although nobody had previously *videotaped* such an Event, in May '96 I completed my monograph entitled, "An Hypothesis: The Transmission of a CropCircle". Mark will shortly be serialising it on The CropCircle Connector.
December 22, 1996