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Issac's Hoax: A Sad Story

Photo provided by "Issac." Either a cry for help or a cry of madness.

When I saw a post on The Myspace about "Awesome new UFO pictures!" I knew that I was doomed to have a look. Little did I know that it would be the firstt tiny step on a long road of confusion (mine) and depression (that of a guy named Issac). On the other hand, this is the longest article I've yet written. I still don't think that compensates me for the mental anguish of sorting through this mess.

These photos were supposedly taken by a fellow named Chad, who claims he saw the object one night, and then some time later returned with a camera and, lo and behold, the object was still there. With great prudence, he forwarded all of the photos and his story to Coast to Coast AM, a sort of internet radio variety show. I’d heard about this show from Angry Joe at work: sometimes they have absolute lunatics on, and sometimes distinguished scientists of the highest caliber. Chad added the ominous note that his wife, who is a month pregnant, is now getting headaches.

Some of Chad's photos at 1/4 size. Click on images for full size photos. Notice how sharp most are.

The first batch of photos show a sleek, lightweight thing that, to me, looks like a fruit juicer’s skeleton. The underside of the point wing-things have writing on them that, in Chad’s pictures, are clear. If it were English, Arabic, or Cyrillic, I’d be able to at least sound out the words. Sadly, it’s not: the font is some weird, sleek space age stuff that will shortly be the source of great entertainment (keep reading.) There’s something weird about the picture: as soon as I saw it, my first reaction was that the ship must have been added in as a CGI object. It’s hard to put my finger on, but it just looks too sharp. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way: on various message boards, thousands of posts claimed that clearly the ship was added with one CGI program or another, that there was too much backlighting, or too much frontlighting, so on and so forth. Every self-proclaimed CGI expert on the internet was out and about without pants, swinging around their unit and claiming it was the biggest.

Over time, though, the CGI/not CGI debate died down. People that thought it was a hoax eventually got tired and left, leaving an internet residue of true believers who, somehow, came to the conclusion that the devices were ‘drones’ here to observe the earth.

A handful more people on the west coast came forward with their own photos. The first was Ty B., who claimed that he was out mountain biking and, for some reason, had brought a camera with which he took some quick photos when a ‘drone’ appeared instantly out of the clear blue sky. But his craft was different: bigger, bulkier, with more doodads on the side. There’s nothing remarkable about his story, other than that he claims to have listened to Coast to Coast AM for many years, and to be a great fan.

Two of Ty B.'s Photos at 1/4 size. Click images for full size photos. Notice increasing complexity of 'craft.'

Then came Stephen, supposedly a photography student who was out taking pictures of some flowers when a spaceship from beyond the moon suddenly appeared before him. He snapped a few quick pictures, and it seems that he posted them to a listserv for photographers; a freelance wedding photographer named Jenna saw them and forwarded them, again, to Coast to Coast AM. Stephen’s email is written in the style of a teenage girl’s text messages, a style I like to call TXTOMFGBBQ.

Last but not least, some of Jenna/Stephen's photos at 1/16th size. Click images for full size photos.

That’s more or less the end of the photographic evidence. Everyone describes the movement of the ‘drones’ as being mechanical, sort of like an insect. The craft, silent, would just float lazily along, and then suddenly dart somewhere else, and then repeat. It would appear instantly and disappear just as suddenly. It wasn’t just the size and shape of the thing that changed, though; the pictures were now different. Instead of the ultra-clear, ultra-sharp quality that characterized most of Chad’s photographs, the drones were now for the most part farther away, fuzzier, and less sharp.

If this were where the story ended, I’d pull my usual shtick, lamenting the lack of verifiable physical evidence, calling into question the trustworthiness of the witnesses, and probably expounding on my initial gut reaction, that the ships were CGI additions to otherwise lovely scenic photographs.

But this fairly straightforward story of spaceship sightings took an extraordinary turn for the ridiculous with the emergence of Issac. He sent a bundle of e-mails to (yet again) Coast to Coast AM. Issac claims to have been a scientist at a top secret UFO research facility, and his emails contained scanned pages from research documents that he’d supposedly stolen, as well as photographs and a long explanatory letter.

The letter makes it clear that he doesn’t care who uses the materials he’s supplied, as long as they post the pictures and letter together. Since I’ve used some of the images in this article, you can find the original article here. However, I suggest that you not read it. It’s long. Really long. Too long. It’s roughly 12 pages of unpleasant insanity, and you’ll hate yourself if you read it rather than my quick summary. [Author's edit: after rereading Issac's letter, I decided to add a running commentary to it. It is now definitely worth reading.]

Basically, Issac claims to have been a computer scientist in the Department of Defense, who was recruited in the early 1980s to work at PACL, the Palo Alto CARET Laboratory. While working at this (non-existant) top secret laboratory, buried in five underground levels below some innocuous front in California, he was given a position of authority and worked mainly on deciphering the alien language that can be seen on the bottom of the wings in the photos. PACL was run by the military, but with the goal of producing technology that they could patent, sell, and from which they could use the profits to fund other top secret operations. There were guards in every single room, everyone was strip-searched on the way in or out, and the brass had a very strict need-to-know policy that eventually grated on the scientists. In a fit of disgust at the way things were being run, a few years after joining PACL Issac began stealing documents by stuffing them in his pants (ha!) and simply walking out of the facility. Then he quit. He’d thought on and off about going public, but was only spurred to do so by Chad’s photos.

Issac's "documents" at 1/3rd size. Click for full size images, and be astounded.

His letter claims that the ‘drones’ are larger versions of the anti-gravity devices that he worked on at PACL. As proof, Issac included a photo of ‘alien artifacts’ which he claims he worked on: if connected together, you can easily see how they’d make the central ring of the ‘drone.’ This sort of shoots a hole in the CGI theory: if someone did add a CGI drone to a photograph, they at least went through the trouble of making a model of it for use in Issac’s photos.

Issac’s most insane theory involves the alien alphabet. The internet was initially abuzz with the nature of the language: some said it was Japanese Katakara, others said it was Klingon script (from Star Trek), some said it was Aurek Besh (from Star Wars) and so on and so on. It looks similar to all of those, but doesn’t quite match. All translation attempts failed. Issac, however, has a much more awesome explanation. In fact, I’ll just quote him:

“…is a system of symbols… along with geometric forms and patterns that fit together to form diagrams that are themselves functional. Once they are drawn, so to speak, on a suitable surface made of a suitable material and in the presence of a certain type of field, they immediately begin performing the desired tasks.”

What he’s saying, is that were you to write “make the table dance” using this alien language, on an appropriate type of paper, and then you put the paper on a table, the table would dance. He makes it very clear, though, that there’s no way we can test this claim: we’d need a special ink, a special paper, a special field, and it doesn’t matter anyway because the language is so complex that the human brain can’t understand. Except Issac, because he’s the mayor of Geniustown, but more on that later.

Issac's "technical drawings" of the alien language at 1/3rd size. Ugh. You know what to do.

The rest of Issac’s information is, to quote an episode of Futurama, “...a crummy world of plot holes and spelling errors.” At this point, forgive me for referring you to my friend The Bulleted List, who shall make things easier for me.