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Reader Submits 1958 UFO Photograph from Spain

UPDATE: Photographic analyst Dr. Bruce Maccabee has studied the photograph shown on this page. See his comments added at the bottom of this article. Very interesting.

Published: 9:13 AM 12/3/2009

Torremolinos, Spain -1958

My father (Ben Stahl, a famous artist) took this picture on the beach in Torremolinos, Spain in 1958. The strange thing is that he never said anything about it. He really would have told everyone if he had seen a UFO.

I know it was taken with a Nikon Rangefinder camera at f16 @ 1/124 Plus-X film iso 125. I'm a photographer, so I know it isn't a tear in the emulsion on the negative because the edges of the object are whole.

The shadows on it are consistent with the man in the background beyond the boat and they give the object solidness, unlike paper. It isn't a paper plane because of its form (the slight bend in its structure and the squared-off tail).

It's not a blurred gull. The action blur of the object does not match the waves. I know the exposure because of the photo's depth of field, contrast, and frozen action of the waves are consistent of 1/125 of a second.

Also, the light streaks at both ends are not developing streaks. There is a section under the object on the fishing nets that looks like a shadow, but if you look at it closely you'll see that area of net is resting on a rise of sand - so it's not a shadow cast by the object between the camera and the boat.

The photo looks like it was taken at about 4:00 PM. The right side faces west and the left is toward Malaga, which is east of Torremolinos. Please let me know what you think of this picture.


David Stahl

Dr. Bruce Maccabee's Comments

As you presume, his friendship with a person connected to Project Blue Book would suggest that, if he thought he had seen a UFO, he would have said something at least to Earley. Well, one might speculate that he did say something to Early and was told to "shut up" about it. Do you know what was Earley's connection to BB?

As for the image, as you are aware 1/125 sec is fast enough to "stop" normally moving objects and certainly slowly moving such as a wave. The nearly horizontal (tilted somewhat) upper edge of the image appears quite sharp indicating that it was a real object "out there", its vertical component of motion was slow (didn't move much in 1/125 sec).

The edges that are (nearly) vertical also see quite sharp, but they do not have the length of the upper edge so it is hard to tell. Looks as if there is a shadow of a "wing" or some structure on the "fuselage" of the "object."

But if so, its shape is weird. Clearly not a normal aircraft with wings, and, because of the size of the image, if it were a real airplane of some strange design, it would have been large and hundreds to a few thousand feet away, or very small and close (model airplane size?).

The shape seems to be wrong for any typical airplane. I was surprised to see that a mask brought forth what appears like "lettering" on the side of the image below the "wing."

I am surprised because none of the other images seem to give any hint of "lettering."

It's a puzzle and since there is no witness to say it was seen, we can't rule out the possibility of some bizarre photo artifact. I will say, however, that the man in the picture appears to be looking roughly in the direction of the "object" and perhaps his raised arm indicates that he is shading his eye from the sun as he looks... although the sun would appear to be behind him.

Maybe it is still possible to contact Roger Earley to find out if he knows anything about the picture.

(end comment)

Torremolinos, Spain -1958 Torremolinos, Spain -1958

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