of "Fake" Images
by David Rath
The Art Bell vs. Courtney
(Last update 1-21-97)
This is an Email sent to me that I find challenges the recent
controversy over images and suggest that perhaps there is more than
one answer to this argument. Farther below is the response from Dr.
Courtney Brown concerning the accusations. I will let you
draw your own conclusions.
Gary D. Goodwin
From: David Rath
For those who may not know, the following document and attached
images are being sent to Gary Goodwin as well as Art Bell.
These images represent a small amount of work to debunk the
debunkers, as it were. For a little background history, let me
fill you in on the chain of events thus far.
On a tip, I decided to check out the controversy surrounding
Hale-Bopp and the Companion (Hail-Mary,) herein referred to as
HB and HM, respectively. What I found was a lot of people
working hard, even to the point of lying, to debunk the notion
that HM even EXISTS despite solid proof (some released by
government agencies themselves) that shows Hale-Bopp with
Companion in tow indisputably.
Hearing the Limbaugh-like (much bark, little substance) ranting
and raving and finger-pointing on the side of the debunkers, I
noticed a few things: first, that nobody WANTS the public to
know or even suspect that HM might be real, and second, that
they throw a lot of "fluff," namely information that would be
unverifiable to the average citizen.
I am not the average citizen. I am an Artist well-versed in
digital media, as the computer is used in almost all of my
imagery, and have a rather intimate knowledge of rendering
capabilities and tendencies. I have an open mind, and would be
willing to believe whichever side was believable.
What I would like to address here are the two images labeled as
"REAL" and "FRAUD," both showing very similar images of HB
before a cluster of bright stars, more in the background. These
images are, at first look, virtually identical with one major
feature, that being that "FRAUD" shows the image of HM above and
to the left (or Northwest) of HB, in the midst of the cluster of
Both images were touted as being from the same source photo by
the debunkers, on the following criterion:
1] THEY ARE EACH EQUAL IN PIXEL SIZE
What they mean by this is roughly a mystery, but I have come
up with three possible interpretations. First, that there is
somehow an actual difference in the size of their pixels, which
is in itself a joke. Second, that their vertical and horizontal
size is the same in pixels, which would be irrelevant because
any image can be scaled or cropped to any size.
They are, in fact, the same size:
both 250 pixels by 190. Third, that the size translation for
printing is the same. For example, a picture is defined as
having 72 pixels per inch. That would make the PRINTED pixel
size 1/72nd of an inch. As well, if it had a size of 120ppi, the
pixel size would be 1/120th of an inch.
Simple enough, but also irrelevant
because MANY imaging programs can adjust this measurement and it
has NO BEARING on the origin of the picture - unless you
consider that most of these images are in GIF format, which HAS
NO SPECIFICATIONS FOR PRINTER SETTINGS ANYWAYS. In other words,
3 points, all moot.
2] THE IMAGES ARE IDENTICAL
This notion is flatly false as well. I have not uploaded the
original images, as redundancy is memory-waste but these can be
rechecked any time. To display this, I have made two overlays of
the original picture that are VERY revealing.
This I did by tinting the "REAL"
image as red, and the "FRAUD" image as blue, then compositing
the image to show their true relationships.
The first image,
simply shows a composite of one
image laid directly over the second. Lo and behold, and what do
you know? The images are shifted, as it were - THEY DO NOT MATCH
Almost all bodies are out of
position for where they would be in identical images. This I
noticed while netsurfing, but I made the composite to
double-check and my suspicion was validated. Then came the
which I created to determine the
relationship of the shifted objects. This I did by overlaying
the red/blue images as I did before, but this time I centered
the prominent objects as best I could - HB and the other
prominent central stars. This revealed that there had been some
scaling going on. Namely, the "REAL" image was vertically
stretched (in relation to "FALSE") and just as well, "FALSE" was
horizontally stretched, in relation to "REAL."
I don't profess to know much about
CCD imaging, but in my estimation, such variances in
high-precision digital imagers would be common. This in itself
would suggest that the images had two separate sources, but on
the alternatives that images were carelessly scaled to resemble
one another, or to hide certain telltale signs of digital
More, that the "REAL" image
displayed a SLIGHTLY different area that the "FALSE," as it
contains extra material not shown in the other. These signs may
also suggest that the images were taken from separate locations,
as once again, they were out of equal scale. A lot of
inconsistencies for two supposedly identical pictures.
3] The "FALSE" photo is an astronomically-acceptable image
This was said by the debunking committee themselves. What a
dangerous thing to say, especially if your own image is not of
that same standard. Once again, I'm a nitpicky Virgo. Just as I
noticed by sight that the images were out of line, I noticed
something else: a barely-discernable fingernail crescent in the
midst of the star mass of "REAL," just above and to the left of
HB. Guess what?
That slight fingernail crescent, for
those of you attentive enough to discern it (come on, I did it
with ONE EYE) most EXACTLY outlines the image of the Companion,
HM, in the "FALSE" photo. As I said, this crescent outline is
barely discernible, so as an Artist, I made it my duty to make
it more visible for comparison in case you want to look for
yourself - and I hope you do. To do this, I focused in on the
cluster itself. From each picture, I extracted the cluster.
The sizes of the pics I took were
identical, and as best centered on the cluster as possible. To
make the pics compatible and comparable, I converted them both
to grayscale, since the "FALSE" image effectively was already.
This alone helped discern the fingernail crescent, by removing
contrasting colors that broke it up.
From there, I adjusted the intensity
levels of the "REAL" fragment to diminish the background and
enhance the crescent. Unfortunately, I could only do a limited
job of this - it is a somewhat disperse and grainy pic that to
go any further would destroy detail. As I suspected, the
crescent showed up.
This image shows the crescent amid
the cluster, while-
this image shows the cluster with
HM. This was a lot, but not enough as the crescent could be
explained away as a twist or flare in the coma of HB. What I
needed was to prove their relationship. From here I effectively
faded one picture into the next, as shown in this image-
As you can see, the crescent DOES IN
FACT DEFINITIVELY OUTLINE the right side of the Companion!!!
So - how does this in fact prove that the "REAL" image is in
fact the fraud? It doesn't - if you believe in a coincidence so
far beyond the realm of likelihood that impossibility is your
nearest neighbor. All I can do is try to instill in you some
understanding of photo-imaging.
One of the most difficult things to do is to hide a seam. For
one thing, the process of selecting a portion of an image is not
quite perfect. While selections can be "Feathered" (making the
edges gradually less transparent for better blending) this has
it's own flaws. For one thing, the mathematics a computer uses
are rather rigid, often resulting in one edge getting better
attention that it's opposite.
This may result in a left/top border
being more/less attended than the bottom/right. This may have
caused the seam. Another factor to take into account is
contrast. A flatly-toned image pasted into an image of varying
tones will show edges more sharply in areas of higher contrast,
less so in areas of less contrast. For another, in the example
of "REAL" and "FALSE," PIXELS COUNT! These are relatively
low-resolution pics, so a few overlooked pixels (such as those
in the border of a poorly-selected area) can make a VAST
In this case, it took the eye of an artist who knows his medium
to spot the difference, and it is there. I hope that after
reviewing the materials, you can spot the difference as well,
even in that many copies of the original sprinkled about the
net. I've done all I can to help you on this one (for now) but
I'll be keeping my eye on any future releases of other images,
and am even creating some conceptual art based on the whole
Why not provide the raw data and let
each person come to their own conclusion?
Dr. Courtney Brown
20 January 1997
To Whom It May Concern,
It is with both great concern and enthusiasm that I address all
of you today who are willing to listen to me. I, and many of my
colleagues here at The Farsight Institute, have learned a
great deal these past weeks. Though many of you have been
following the recent events surrounding the Institute, much of
what I report below will be new to most of you. Let me explain.
To begin with a re-cap of the events of the past weeks, in late
1996, I reported on a series of remote viewing sessions that
were conducted here at The Farsight Institute. This
report was made live on the Art Bell radio talk show. The
substance of the remote viewing sessions was the apparent object
that was following the comet Hale-Bopp. The remote viewing
results clearly suggest that the object was artificial in
nature, and that it was under intelligent control. The summaries
of these sessions can be found at
our Web site.
The targeting of this object was a
consequence of a photograph taken of the object (which was
released on the same day as our remote viewing sessions) by the
amateur astronomer, Chuck Shramek. To target the object
with our remote viewing sessions, we did not use Shramek's
photo. Rather, we used the verbal cue, "Anomalous object near
Hale-Bopp comet (current time)."
Immediately before assigning the
target to our professional remote viewers, we at the Institute
made some phone calls to professional contacts we had in the
astronomical community to ascertain whether there indeed was any
knowledge of such an object. We received an affirmative response
from one astronomer who talked to our Webmaster.
About one week after my appearance on the Art Bell show,
the astronomer mentioned above called us and told us that he had
received other information about the object. When asked by us,
he offered to send us some photographs of the object that he had
obtained. At the time, we felt certain that the photographs were
his, or were at least under his control.
He also said he had other
information relating to the object, including a recording of a
radio transmission originating from the object. He did not offer
to share this other information with us, and we did not ask for
it. We were eager to obtain physical confirming evidence of our
remote viewing sessions that could be seen as a form of
scientific feedback. The astronomer sent us three rolls of film
that we then developed. Two of the rolls were blank when
But the other roll had five very
good astronomical photographs, unevenly placed along the film
strip. The photos clearly showed the comet as well as the
companion object. When the photos were sent to us, the
astronomer asked us to share them only with our inner group, and
never to associate his name with them. He also mentioned that he
hoped to have a news conference within one week pertaining to
the evidence that was being gathered and analyzed.
After receiving the three undeveloped rolls of film from the
astronomer, we had them developed. I, myself, have personally
held and examined the developed film. Our Webmaster then scanned
the images directly from the black and white negatives into a
computer. She digitally enhanced the images by putting them
through a number of filters. She also enlarged one of the images
so as to clearly show the comet and its companion.
Soon after receiving the photographs mentioned above, Art
Bell contacted me asking if anything could be done to help
Chuck Shramek, who was under considerable attack from
lots of people since he released his photograph of the comet and
its companion. At first I did not know what to say to Art; we
had already presented our remote viewing results, and that is
all we do... remote viewing.
But I remembered the photographs,
and I called Art again suggesting that we could do another radio
show where we talked about the pictures, as long as we agreed
not to post or distribute the pictures, nor to talk about the
identity of the astronomer. We sent a copy of one of the
pictures (via email) to Art Bell and Whitley Strieber.
In the radio interview pertaining to the pictures, I and our
Webmaster clearly stated that the evidence that we had gathered
was to be considered only anecdotally by others until the
astronomer had a chance to come forward with a formal
presentation of his evidence. This photo was not used by The
Farsight Institute in any way with regard to remote viewing
We showed it to Mr. Bell and
Mr. Strieber primarily to assist our radio presentation,
which in turn was primarily motivated to help Mr. Shramek.
The photo was never intended to offer "solid physical proof" of
the existence of the object. It was, minimally, another picture
of the comet and its companion, and it reflected our efforts to
try to obtain physical confirmation of our remote viewing
Following this radio broadcast, a huge public interest in the
"mystery astronomer" developed, in large part stoked by comments
that continued to be made on the radio about the picture.
Finally, Art Bell announced that he would post the picture that
was sent to him by us on his Web site. He did this, despite my
strong objections, in mid January.
Approximately 24 hours later, Mr.
Bell called me and informed me that the photo that we had sent
him was a fraud. He said that the picture was found (without the
Hale-Bopp companion) on a Web site run by the University of
Hawaii. An astronomer at that university apparently sent Mr.
Bell a letter stating that he took the photo, and that it was
later digitally modified to add the companion. The overall
implication was that we had taken the Web image from the
Hawaiian Web site and created a fraudulent image of the
When I heard about this, I realized that I had made a very
crucial error. I knew that we had an authentic astronomical
image that was not stolen from the Hawaiian Web site. (Remember,
I have held the negatives from which our image was obtained.)
Moreover, I do not now, nor have I ever argued that the Hawaiian
image is contrived, or that anyone at the University was
knowingly involved in an effort to discredit me or The
Moreover, we have absolutely no
evidence to suggest that the astronomer who gave us the original
images knowingly assisted the attempt to attack us. Also, even
if the images provided to us were doctored, this does not mean
that our astronomer contact knew of this. It would be positively
immoral to disclose this astronomer's identity if he himself
Those who have attacked us have resources that extend beyond
those of any university or professor. Yes, there are questions.
But I do not have the resources to answer these questions in a
way that will be meaningful to the public and the larger mission
of The Farsight Institute. We were fed an image that
someone knew would be attacked if ever released. That much we do
But the mistake that I made was in trying to combat a wide-scale
and highly organized disinformation campaign using only physical
evidence (e.g., a photo). The result was that I walked right
into a trap. I am glad, in retrospect, to have done so, for I
have re learned a great deal about what we need to be doing, and
what we should not be doing, at The Farsight Institute.
Moreover, this lesson has relevance to all interested
individuals and groups across this entire planet.
Disinformation campaigns are not unusual in the area of
extraterrestrial life. There are many powers-that-be that
absolutely do not want this information to be widely accepted in
the general populace at the current time. The magnitude of the
disinformation campaign has been escalating ever since the
Roswell UFO crash, and it certainly continues to this day.
Friends, it was foolish of me to think that we at The
Farsight Institute could hope to combat an entrenched and
continuing disinformation campaign on the basis of
physical evidence. Physical evidence has never been the problem;
the problem has always been that people are too willing to
disregard almost any evidence based on nearly any contrary
argument. In our case, an image nearly identical to our own was
found in record time on a prominent university's Web site.
What should we do? Many of you may think that we should continue
to combat this on the physical level. You may think that we
should try to prove that our image came from film, and that this
image was taken from a telescope, not another Web site. But
friends, while all these facts are true, any effort to "prove"
this would not succeed.
We know that we have never deceived or lied to the public. But
we need to be very careful in how we respond to what has
happened to us. If we try to respond on the level of only
physical evidence, we will be crushed, not because we are wrong,
but because we do not have the resources to win such a battle
compared with those who attack us. The attacks would continue,
and they would get worse in unexpected ways. It simply is not
possible for us to fight our fight on that level.
We now want everyone to realize that we erred by fighting, even
momentarily, on the level of the display of physical evidence.
We are sorry for having done this. We apologize to those who
have supported us for having strayed from our mission. But in
the end, we want to emphasize to all of you how inconsequential
all of this is in the larger picture of things.
At the current time, everyone is focusing on the photo, a photo
that was never used by us for remote viewing targeting. This
misses the point of all that we do and is ultimately not
important. We need to remind everyone that our job at The
Farsight Institute is to demonstrate scientifically to all
of us that we humans are more than our physical bodies, and that
life exists on both the physical and subspace (nonphysical)
Focusing on the photo plays right
into the hands of those who want to hinder widespread
acknowledgment of our current condition, as well as our current
potential as a species living in a galaxy that is literally full
We all need to move to a higher level of awareness. We all need
to act from within that higher level. In order for us to be
successful, we simply cannot continue to act solely on the lower
level of physical manifestation. Indeed, if the
extraterrestrials wanted to force the issue of humanity
accepting the existence of extraterrestrial life, they could
simply move one of their large ships into an Earth orbit and
leave it there. The reality is that they are using this cat and
mouse, appearance and disappearance game to help us move to that
higher level of awareness ourselves, without the need for such
Many people think that they know what they themselves need with
regard to scientific evidence that we live not alone in our
universe. But again, the absence of such proof has never been
the problem, and thus, the perceived need is simply incorrect.
In our view, what people really need is the truth about who we
are as humans.
People need to know about the new
scientific understanding of our composite nature (two things put
together, soul and body). Finally, people need to know that
The Farsight Institute is dedicated to researching and
teaching about our essential nature on the level of explorations
One day, the disinformation campaigns that reside on the
physical level will cease. The attacks will come to an end, and
we will all realize that these very attacks were a deep
psychological response to the sense of change that is upon us.
Indeed, these attacks reveal a profound level of stress in the
collective consciousness of our human society.
We are at a turning point in our human evolution. We must all
realize that no one should ever expect our efforts at The
Farsight Institute to devolve to the level of a detective
agency that seeks and presents only physical evidence. We
collect and present data obtained using scientific remote
We demand great accuracy of
ourselves. We seek to demonstrate and continually improve our
work. It is my view that the entire world will soon look
objectively at what we do. Finally, one day nearly everyone will
recognize that the great debate as to who we are and why we
exist has been significantly resolved. This, indeed, is our
A carpenter uses chisels and hammers. A plumber uses wrenches
and torches. Cameras and telescopes are also good tools, but
they are not our tools. Our tools that we use to accomplish our
mission are the tools of consciousness. It was my mistake that
we strayed from the use of solely these tools. I will not make
that mistake again.
The stakes are high for all of
humanity. We simply cannot fail in this effort to raise our own
awareness of who we are. Never ask more than that we use our
tools well. And we will never ask less of ourselves.
Courtney Brown, Ph.D.