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The Ummo affair:

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Did the Spanish police authenticate alleged pictures of a spaceship from planet "Ummo"?

The only question tackled here is that of the use of a of a photographic analysis report by Guardia Civil, the Spanish police forces, bearing on the photographs of an alleged Ummite spaceship, taken in San José de Valderas, and some other technical points of context in connection with the debate on the authentic or fraudulent nature of these photographs.

"Jean Pollion", a French Ummo-proponent, wrote:

"Farriols then entrusted the negatives to Juan José Benitez, a Spanish "ufologist", for a counter-evaluation by the specialized services of Guardia Civil. This expertise carried out in 1996 with the means of the time (a little better than in 1976) concluded to the absence of hoax and the absence of a thread!"

Agreed, the analysis by Guardia Civil concludes that what was called in the analysis by Ground Saucer Watch as "a suspension thread for the UFO model", and in another analysis called "a ray emitted by the UFO" was only a scratch on one of the negatives.

But does "absence of faking" mean that the photographs are those of a spacecraft? And does Guardia Civil conclude with the absence of faking?


Some preliminary considerations:

To prove the authenticity or the fraudulent nature of a photograph is rather complex and a final, absolute, undeniable proof, in the direction of the authenticity may be something impossible to reach. To prove a fraud is often much simpler, and in the case of the photographs of San José de Valderas, as in any other photographic, one could extremely well stick to some simple principles usually extremely well accepted:

The photographs taken with San José de Valderas can be rejected as fraudulent, not just because of one or the other of these reasons, but for all these reasons at the same time.


One year after the publishing of the photographs of an extraterrestrial spacecraft supposedly from "planet Ummo" in San José de Valderas, Rafael Farriols, largely involved in the "Ummo" affair, and his friend Llobet, made a land survey of the places from where the photographs were taken.

They then stated to have reconstituted the exact flight trajectory of the "Ummo" spacecraft, and thus the truthfulness of the photographs.

"Jean Pollion", (this is a pseudonym, this author does not want to indicate his/her true name), thus wrote, much later, on this aspect of the topic:

"Thanks to this topographic interpretation, the two researchers also brought a proof of the authenticity of the photographs. Indeed, it would be very difficult to make faked photographs so perfectly in agreement with the plan."

It is not true per se. The continuity of a series of photographs, by itself, even when there are no doubts about this continuity, is normally not enough to absolutely prove that they show what one claims they show.

But the problem is much more serious here: the order of the photographs is not established satisfactorily, according to the report by Guardia Civil:

Thereafter is described how the negative were filed given and their respective marks:

Reference mark 1. - The negative bears numbers 23 and 23 A in the margin
Reference mark 2. - The negative bears numbers 24 and 24 A
Reference mark 3. – The negative bears numbers 12 and 12 A. The protective plastic of the grey side appears damaged.
Reference mark 4. – The negative bears numbers 21 and 21 A
Reference mark 5. – The negative bears numbers 19 and 19 A

From the analysis of this observed characteristic, we deduce:

1. That from the original film, negatives which were to be between number 12 and 24 are missing, and this stressed that:

a) part of the film was not photographed (blank passages)


Guardia Civil also offers this comment:

2. The photographic sequence was not carried out as one could deduce it from the order allotted to the framings, this order could correspond to a first list of references.

In other words, clearly, the numbers on the negatives are not in the correct order, and a numbered list which would make it possible to restore the correct order is not in possession of Guardia Civil, they can only suppose that it may exist.

"Jean Pollion" has this fact right but makes quite a bold conclusion about it:

"The numbers of the photographs are not in order (except 23 and 24 of the film): there were thus at least 13 photographs (there may be more before N.12 and after N.24) thus at least 8 intermediate photographs which were not delivered to the photo shop."

And he adds, "the suggested trickery for these photographs is thus absolutely not established."

There is no justification which would make it possible to change that into "the photographs are not trickeries." He however does just that by a claiming continuity is a proof: "the two researchers also brought a proof of the authenticity of the photographs."

As for Guardia Civil, they do not neglect this point: the report further mentions that...

... there remains the fact of the lost chronological order.

What is the intrinsec value, independently of the problems of continuity, of the "reconstitution of the trajectory" in term of proof, according to the analysis by Guardia Civil? It is very clear: no value at all.

Plan of the variations of flight.

Our comment is... that the parameters of topographic situation and reference are unknown, i.e. the relative position between the objects. One should not forget that photography transforms the three-dimensional image into an image with two dimensions, as if it were a projection, in best of the cases an orthogonal one, by losing the parameter of the third dimension. Any made calculation will be only speculation, for it implies to define dimensions which do not have determination on the negative."

Usually, in a series of photographs of alleged UFOS, when not only the chronological order is lost, but also images are missing, one notes this as likely indication of fraud. In the "Ummo" case, proponents of the authenticity of the photographs make the exact opposite: they claim to have proven the authenticity of the photographs because of the continuity.

Usually, the researcher wants a continuity of photography, a complete filmstrip, showing some other banal things initially, continuing the series without interruption of photographs with the UFO pictures, with other ordinary photographs following, such as:


and not that:


Jordan Pena confesses to have taken these photographs, which are those of a model:

"Jean Pollion" then writes: "Other photographs which circulate on the Internet are forgeries manufactured by Jordan Pena in order to "prove" that he was at the origin of the original photographs!"


Above: Here a photograph of a model designed by Spanish ufologist Manual Carballal.

He received the confessions of Pena and used this model to reproduce similar photographs.

In any other case of this type, the burden to prove that the photographs show an authentic extraterrestrial spacecraft of "planet Ummo" would be to those who think it is so. Here, we come to the point where in fact the confessions of fraud and the photographs of the model are regarded as forgeries.

The case for the suspension thread:

To my knowledge, "Jean Pollion" does not say in a specific manner that, since the analyses preceding those by Guardia Civil mistook for a suspension thread the feature Guardia Civil showed to be a mere scratch, then these previous analyses which demonstrated the fraud are false, and thus the photographs are really of an authentic "Ummite" spacecraft.

However, it sometimes happened to me to hear exactly that.

A problem with the lighting:

The report by Guardia Civil is perfectly clear on this matter:

By examining the images of negative 19 (photograph 41), the UFO luminosity is incongruous compared to any other photographed object.


1°) That the negative 19 presents signs to have be obtained by a series of operations in which at certain times, artificial light was used.

2°) That on the negative 19, there is no coherence between the light which the UFO reflects and the light which is reflected by the poles of the field.


"... because of the disagreement of the luminosity between the negative and the photographed objects, as with the apparent illumination of negative N.19 and the abnormal images (lights and obscure) on negative 12, we cannot cast aside the doubt that their conception was fraudulent."

It was objected to me on this matter that if there is an anomaly with the light, it is because the Ummo spacecraft is self-luminous. But this is not what the analysis of Guardia Civil found:

"No coherence between the light reflected by the UFO" means the light is reflected light, and not light emitted by the UFO.

Guardia Civil said to have proven that there is no tampering of the negatives:

They did not prove it, they only did not find evidence of it.

For the remainder, Guardia Civil found several indices of possible tampering:

"It is very probable that this negative was obtained starting from a photograph which was layed under a glass to maintain it perfectly plane. It is may be a sign which forces us to admit that the studied negatives are not real images, but were obtained through a laboratory process."

Guardia Civil notes that certain types of frauds are undetectable to them:

"In the case we are dealing with, we have the negative which do not show signs of fraudulent handling, but one cannot escape to suspect the possibility that they were obtained by means of technical handling or from an assembly."


It is said there were two photographers, called "two independent witnesses":

"X1 and X2 are prints, sent in August 1967 by one "Antonio Pardo" (who stated that he had made 9 photographs including 7 good ones, but only 2 of them re known!) to Marius Llegret. One of the stereotypes, X1, by "Antonio PARDO" is very exactly juxtaposable (object included) with the photograph Y1-n° 12 (best precision of 0,1 %) and is taken from the same the 1,15 meters height of the ground. If there had been really two photographers, they would have been collided to have exactly this same point of view!! The origin of these photographs exists only by the statements of *Antonio Pardo". Nobody ever saw anything else than the two prints X1 and X2. This alone created doubts about the real motivations of Antonio Pardo..."

The above statement is by "Jean Pollion".


The first photographer, an anonymous character who, according to the journalist San Antonio, sent him under anonymity 5 of the photographs, was never found. The other photographer, "Antonio Pardo", never had more existence than that of a name to the bottom of a letter accompanied by two other photographs, it was all that was received by ufologist Manus Lleget following his call for UFO witnesses. Of the "hundreds of visual witnesses, according to newspapers," about which I am sometimes entertained, none was never, and the newspapers do not refer in any case to the alleged event of San José de Valderas, but to the alleged event in Madrid.

There are no known credible witnesses at all having taken these photographs with San José de Valderas.

Benitez, quoted by Pollion, give his opinion, here it is:

"Does that mean that the famous photographs are authentic? No. Personally I think that they were taken by the citizen named José Luis Jordan Pena, with the assistance of a friend. And in this intention they made use of a small model suspended under a nylon wire."


Pena and his friend Ortuno confessed to have been the authors of this fraud, among other "Ummo" frauds they performed. They are the only known witnesses, they are witnesses of their own fraud.


In any other photographic case, with as many problems as that, anyone would admit that the case is a fraud.

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This page was last updated on April 3, 2005.