The CIA's Guide to Taking UFO Photos Is Insane

Friday, 29 December 2017 - 9:55AM
Alien Life
Friday, 29 December 2017 - 9:55AM
The CIA's Guide to Taking UFO Photos Is Insane
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We recently reported that the CIA has been investigating UFOs for years, trying to find out whether The Truth really is Out There, as that delightful Fox Mulder has always been saying.

In the wake of this, an old CIA document has recently kicked up some discussion online—it seems that, in addition to engaging in government-funded UFO hunting efforts, the Central Intelligence Agency has also been giving advice to amateur photographers who think that they can snap a photo of a flying saucer as a surefire route to fame and fortune.

Officially published on the CIA's website in July of this year, the document, entitled Guidance To UFO Photographersdetails a series of steps that should be undertaken in order to avoid pictures of rare alien spaceships simply looking like fuzzy floating cigars.

It's clear that this isn't exactly a guide that's in current use within the CIA—this thing is old, and certainly belongs to the era before smartphones, or indeed, before any member of the general public actually had a good idea of how to operate a camera.

Some highlights include:

Opening quote
"4. Do not move camera during exposure.

"5. Take several pictures of the object; as many as you can. If you can, include some ground in the picture of the UFO."
Closing quote


So basically, the CIA's advice is that those looking to photograph a UFO should adhere to elementary rules of photography so that their pictures aren't completely unintelligible.

This would seem like obvious advice, but given the number of shaky, blurry photos of UFOs that did the rounds before cameras became more widely available, it's clear that these lessons needed to be taught.

Perhaps the best piece of advice on the list is this one:

Opening quote
"If the object appears to be close to you, a few hundred feet or closer, try to change your location on the ground so that each picture, or few pictures are taken from a different place. A change in position of 40 or 60 feet is good. (This establishes what is known as a base line and is helpful in technical analysis of your photography.) If the object appears to be far away, a mile or so, remain about where you are and continue taking pictures. A small movement here will not help. However, if you can get in a car and drive 1/2 to a mile or so and take another series of pictures this will help."
Closing quote


So basically, the CIA advice is that if you see a potentially dangerous unidentified flying object, you should drive up as close as you can get to it, in order to take a bunch of photos.

Bear in mind that, at the time, in the public consciousness, UFOs were mainly associated with cattle mutilations, human abductions, and anal probing. The official advice from the government: risk torture and death by driving as close as possible to the mysterious floating object which could be anything from a Russian spy plane to a green-skinned Martian invasion force.

It's worth noting that, while the CIA has been investigating UFOs, not everyone in the organization is equally convinced that this is worth their time.

Take, for example, the comments from former CIA officer David Priess, who succinctly summed up how much use he felt this list was on Twitter by giving an alternative suggestion:




All in all, Priess probably has the better solution for UFO hunting, if only because it dramatically reduces the chances that the photographer will run the risk of being abducted by aliens.
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