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The Ummo affair:

For more information related to the Ummo affair, visit this page.

"Skeptics" mistakes:

Not only the "Ummites" make mistakes. "UFO-skeptics" who are right most of the time when they deal with the Ummo affair also have their share, in their haste to accumulate a vast quantity of arguments. Not huge mistakes like the "Ummites" but nevertheless mistakes, Here is one of those.

Dominique Caudron and the business of the mis-drawn helicoid:

Dominique Caudron, also known as "Uncle Dom", is a French skeptic ufologist, of the "old guard", who thinks that all UFO reports are hoaxes and confusions. On his website, there is relatively little ufological stuff, but there is a rather well put dossier about the Ummo affair, suitable to open the eyes of the Ummo "believers", you would think. Unfortunately, like many other "UFO-skeptics" he uses a tongue-in-cheek of even scoffing writing style, and many of the readers would certainly reject all he writes just for that: a scoffing "skeptic" writes, he laughs and makes fun at everything UFO related, hence he can't be interesting at all, they would think, inevitably.

In his web page dealing with the Ummite blunders as regards astronomy [1], he indicates such a blunder and makes great fun of it:

To make it look more "true", he writes, the "Ummites" speak about the cosmological errors of their ancestors, who had taken the second OYAA (planet) as reference, and believed that their planet followed a duplo-helicoid orbit. He indicates with reason that this is utterly silly as if the astronomers of the time of Ptolemy had believed not that the Sun and Mars orbit around the Earth, but that the Earth followed an oscillating trajectory around the sun. Up this I much agree.

But he continues by indicating that the "Ummites" are so silly that they couln't distinguish a pile of ellipses from a helicoid, that they can't even draw properly, since they draw a stack of circles. He presents this silly drawing on his website:


Indeed, this is not an helicoid but a series of independent circles, which is laughably at odds with the "Ummite" text that it is supposed to illustrate.

But there is a big problem.

This drawing was surely not made by the "Ummites"!

The reason is simple. What my colleague ufologist Alain Delmon ( pointed out to me whereas we debated aspects of the Ummo affair of the missed helicoid, is that there is a quite different drawing elsewhere, which is "right" as of the helicoid. That had escaped me!

That drawing is quite simply on the "" website [2], by people who did a huge work of French translation and publication of the "Ummo letters", and where you can see as of July 2006 a very different drawing:


And there, the helicoids are indeed helicoids!

Of course, in the "Ummo" affair, suspicions of fraud rise quickly.

Did Caudron make a "fake drawing" for better making fun of the "Ummites"?

Did the website team make a fake drawing to "correct" the mistake"?

Not at all! As often in ufology, unfounded suspicions are not the answer, nobody cheated, there is a simple explanation... Dominique Caudron simply used a wrong drawing believing it is genuine!


This one is a drawing from the "Ummo letters". The other one can't be!

What happened?

When Caudron wrote his web page, he had to find the "wrong" drawing somewhere. Where could he have found it?

It was published in the book by Castello, Chambon and Blanc in 1991, on page 51 [3]:


One also finds it on the web site in the PDF file of the "complete letters" such as I downloaded it a few years ago.


Therefore, there is nothing astonishing in Dominique Caudron using the "wrong" drawing.

But who created this "wrong" drawing? That can be neither be the guys nor Caudron since this drawing appears already in a book of 1991!

Somebody else did it before. But why?

Well, quite simply because the "true" Ummites drawings with the color pencils don't look serious. They look childish. Then, to make it look more serious, more "technical", more "scientific", for some Ummo book, somebody came to the idea of "remaking" the Ummites drawing. And that could very well be entrusted to a any ordinary illustrator who quite simply did not see that he incorrectly rendered the original drawing.

Who was he? I do not know. The oldest source in my hands for this drawing is the book of Castello, Blanc and Chambon in 1991. They indicate as source of the letter where this drawing was the Spanish ufologist Antonio Ribera who would have received this letter, and who wrote a first book related to Ummo with his colleague Raphaël Farriols. In this first book, there is no such drawing. As a matter of fact - few people know it because the book is difficult to find - although it lengthily narrates alleged landings of Ummo ships in Spain and publishes their "photographs", although it describes in detail events totally related to the Ummo affair, the book hushes everything about Ummo.

But Ribera would publish more books later in which he introduced Ummo and the letters, the drawing is probably in one of these other books, perhaps even with the name of the quite human illustrator.

In any case, this "improved" drawing is not the original "Ummite" drawing, and if Dominique had better knowledge of the Ummo habits he would have recognized in one glance that it is not a drawing in the "Ummo style". Because he didn't, he thought in all good faith but wrongly that he had spotted, an "error of the Ummites"...

Nope. This time it wasn't the Ummites that made a mistake.


Following my article above, a "Ummologist" of the team confirms that my scenario is correct: the only really relevant image is indeed the color drawing, he says, scanned from the original letter. As for the image with the error used by Caudron, I wrote that he had probably found it in a source such as the book of Castello, Chambon and Blanc where it appears, and I had written that it was probably coming from an earlier book by Ribera. My correspondent confirms it and gives the precise reference: it can be found in a 1979 Ribera book translated and published in French in 1991 under the title of "Les extra terrestres sont-ils parmi nous?" (Are aliens among us?) on page 46. At the time of the creation of file their PDF file of the "complete letters" where the incorrect "Ribera" drawing appears, the authors of the website had not yet secured the original letter with the correct color drawing that they later found, scanned and published on the D74 letter web page.

My correspondent also has another "remake" drawing, but that one is accurate contrary to the "remake" for the Ribera book. This other drawing appears in compilations of Ummites letters by Aguirre in 1984, II-II, page 14, of which my correspondent specifies that the drawing was rather pale that he had to redraw it a bit for scanning:


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This page was last updated on August 19, 2006.