A case study in debunking — a gotcha WAR against crop circles and me

Make Love Not War

I am under attack for my last post, Colin Andrews, Crop Circle Culprit, Strikes Again, about Nancy Talbott, who is responsible for the science that’s been done on crop circles, and Robbert van den Broeke, the Dutch medium around whom crop circles form and who photographs images of deceased people with still and video cameras. Look at the sort of things that are hurled at me:

This is war and since Nancy doesn’t want to fight, then the war needs to be fought out on your blog, so please let the combatants through on both sides for a proper go-round.

I must be important to have extensive website pages dedicated to me.

And this, too: Muertos has just devoted an entire new article to you, Nancy and Robbert on his THRIVE-Debunked blog.

Crop Circle Wars! Fake Video Shakes Credibility of One of Thrive’s Main Sources

A bizarre little drama is going on right now in the world of crop circles. A fake video designed to bolster belief in the supposed paranormal origin of crop circles has been making the rounds on the Internet, igniting both indignant recriminations and spirited defenses. This matter may seem extraneous to issues involved in Thrive—until you realize that the fake video controversy directly concerns a website called BLTResearch.com, which is one of the Thrive movie’s go-to sources for the crop circle nonsense that appears so prominently in the first part of the film.

Nancy has come to a basic policy decision not to respond to such things. I can attest that when you get into back and forths with crop circle debunkers it’s like a tar baby that never gives up its hold on its position. Nancy meticulously documents her work on her site, http://bltresearch.com, which the attackers ignore. It reminds me of The Skeptics Society, where nothing outside of ordinary reality is possible so no investigations are necessary in order to debunk things. I’m not going to approve all the gleeful “gotcha” comments that came in on that last post, but am dealing with them in the aggregate here.

Would that you all had heard Saturday’s webinar for DOORWAYS TO ANOTHER REALITY, with Stephan Schwartz. We are part of an infinite realm that Stephan deals with, which would relate to what’s happening with Robbert. I highly recommend you play this 48-minute video of Stephan talking about what’s outside of space and time: http://blip.tv/play/AYHelggC. I guarantee it will fascinate you. (The archive of Stephan’s DOORWAYS webinar will be available if you sign up for the course: http://evolverintensives.com/upcoming/st-doorways-another-world.html. There are three live webinars to go.)

The central premise of the assaults is that Robbert gets his images by trickery, somehow loading the cameras with what produces the results. The attackers document photos that can be found online that Robbert then gets, as if that’s proof of trickery. But, not so. Some images are online, but they don’t end up in Robbert’s photos through any manipulations of his or anyone else’s.

Here’s the first response I got from Nancy when I passed along critiques to my Colin post and asked if she would deal with them:

When you stand up publicly for what you believe is the truth–as you did in this case (and which you chose to do on your own based on what I see as solid reasons for your trust)–this is the kind of baloney you ALWAYS get if the facts themselves are (a) beyond some of your readers’ capabilities to grasp, or (b) the truth scares them, (c) they’re mentally impaired, or finally (d) they’re debunkers. [Egotism and arrogance may involve all of these problems.]

I have written in laborious detail all of the info anyone with either the basic intelligence and/or the degree of courage needed to understand the situation should require. And the only suggestion I can make to any of these people is that they READ the details. If they refuse to do this, or if they choose to dismiss me as stupid or a liar, there’s really nothing more I can do. 

People with sincere interest will read the reports–ALL of the info presented, not just look at the pictures. Intelligent people will grasp the complexity of the situation and would, I should think, either be fascinated with what the these facts suggest or, at the very least, have the courtesy to address me with any real questions they still may have. Since no one has asked me a single question I see no reason at all to respond to superficial or disrespectful commentary.

I would suggest that you not bother to respond. And if you feel you must (which I think is ill-advised), simply point out again that people must READ the reports. And tell them that if they then have genuine questions, to pose them to me directly. I will always answer a sincere question. I will not waste time answering superficial or insincere (or rude) questions. (My pay-grade doesn’t cover these.)

Well and good, but there is voluminous material on Nancy’s site, and I didn’t see this being an effective response when indeed there is a very effective rebuttal to all the daggers. I finally got Nancy to relent and to give some bullets of information, all of which can be found on her site, that counter the assaults.

Apparition Photos report: http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/apparition1.php

Primary Facts Not Addressed by Debunkers:

1.         Robbert began getting photos of people (Apparitions) back in early 2004–HE HAD NO COMPUTER.

2.         Some of these early Apparition photos were of his OWN DECEASED RELATIVES, people he therefore KNEW were dead. 

3.         Many of the images of people who appeared in 2004 and 2005 and early 2006 were famous people and many others were of people Robbert DID NOT RECOGNIZE….and still doesn’t.  

4.         During 2004, 2005, 2006, he took HUNDREDS of photos of people (Apparitions) USING HIS CLIENTS’ CAMERAS (people he did not know prior to their visits and most of whom came to him wanting info about their deceased relatives). These clients were WATCHING ROBBERT AS HE TOOK THE PHOTOS USING THEIR CAMERAS.

5.         When the Apparition photos were taken with his clients’ cameras IT WAS THE CLIENTS WHO IDENTIFIED THE IMAGES AS THEIR DECEASED RELATIVES (often the relatives they had come to see Robbert about).

6.         The first time I personally witnessed Robbert taking photos showing people’s images was in 2006. Robbert was using MY camera and I was standing literally right next to him (my head touching his so I could see the LED screen as he took the shots) and saw multiple images of a man appear whom neither of us recognized.     

7.         In 2007, out in a crop circle field in broad daylight, Robbert took 60+ photos of MY OWN BROTHER who had died just two months earlier, USING MY CAMERA for the very first time that summer, and WITH ME STANDING RIGHT WITH HIM THE WHOLE TIME AND WATCHING EVERYTHING HE DID.

8.         Also in 2007, using Andreas Muller’s camera while Andreas, Robbert and I were out in a crop circle field, again in daylight (with no computers present), Robbert photographed an unknown man–with Andreas and me watching the whole time. None of us recognized the man.

9.         In 2008, using the highly-respected American parapsycholgist DR. WILLIAM ROLL’s BRAND NEW CAMERA, Robbert obtained multiple images of three different men–with Dr. Roll and me standing right there watching. None of us know who any of these men were.

10.       Robbert got his first computer in July of 2006. He did not begin to learn how to use it until the winter of 2006 and still does not know how to do very many things with it. It DOES NOT HAVE PHOTOSHOP OR ANY SIMILAR PROGRAM ON IT AND NEVER HAS HAD.  



And if you look 1/3 of the way down Part I of the Apparition Photos report, you will see this text, outlined in a box:

Basic facts regarding Robbert’s apparition photos:

(01)  Robbert usually feels a distinct “energy presence” as images begin; 

(02)  He aims any camera toward this “presence” and takes the photo;

(03)  The cameras are always set in the Auto mode;

(04)  The images do not appear on the LED screens until Robbert actually
depresses the Record button;

(05)  The apparition images, if they are occurring, then appear instantly;

(06)  Multiple cameras used within a specific time-period may all produces
images of the same apparition;

(07)  Multiple images of totally different figures may appear in one session;

(08)  Some individual images have appeared up to 60 times;

(09)  These images occur as readily in daytime as they do at night;

(10)  They are occurring with much greater frequency recently;

(11)  No one who has watched Robbert while he is taking these photos
ever has observed him to hold anything in front of the lens;

(12)  Regardless of the available ambient light, the flash never fires. 

– and there is NO computer involved –

This is all I am going to say…if people are sincerely interested they must READ THE REPORTS.  



17 thoughts on “A case study in debunking — a gotcha WAR against crop circles and me”

  1. Ted Serios and Robbert v B photo images do seem to be the same type of phenomenon. Both are able to impress upon a photographic medium a type of thought image. It’s true that in principle the images could be hoaxed, but the stringent controls in place, if true, seem to rule against it. Just because this type of phenomenon goes against one’s world view and known physics, does not rule out that it might be true, however improbable. Skeptics are quick to pass judgement without fully studying the subject. Nancy T. has studied this for years and should not be discounted lightly. We would all like to dismiss these pictures as hoaxes because any other explanation forces us to rethink our reality and hurts our head.

    1. I shouldn’t have said “likely a chlarlaton” to Will Wakely about Ted Serios. I should know better, beigng in the crop circle game, not to take my opinion from cursory reading. Will emailed this to me:

      If you have read Dr. Eisenbud’s 1967 book, The World of Ted Serios, and seen the pictures, you would not be so quick to call him a charlatan. The pics represented real scenes but with slight variations. Difficult to do without photoshop. Color polaroids were taken with skeptics’ cameras and film packs, developed on the spot.

      But I will add this to the conversation, supplied by Nancy Talbott:

      Vis-a-vis Ted Serios (and another more recent case, that of Mark Macy & his “Luminator” photos), the reason I have not referenced these men is because the evidence indicates to me that what is going on around Robbert is NOT really related to what either of these men were/are doing. If you will take the time to read thoughtfully the various individual reports about Robbert’s case (listed down at the bottom of Robbert’s BLT page: http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert.php) I think you will begin to grasp why I have this opinion.

  2. Suzanne, I admire your work but deplore the fact that you give attention to the Fitzgerald guy (“Nance and Suze Fight,” first comment above), as well as the anonymous producer of the Thrive Debunked site (“Crop Circle Wars!”) and the equally anonymous circularstateofmind blog.

    All three write slick sophistry filled with confident sneering and ridicule. Where factual counterclaims are actually made, they are not substantiated either by enough interpretation so that a person can understand what they mean or even just a reference to something we can check on.

    In all three web smears there appears only one significant claim that does not appear to be either devious or an outright lie, and it is an error: “Ms. Taylor seems to have missed the part where Colin Andrews did provide substantiation for the claim that the video is fake, in demonstrating that the images of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Chorley who appear in the video are obviously taken from the 1991 BBC interview.”
    Obviously you didn’t miss that part since you feature it very prominently in your blog. But, more importantly, anyone who thinks Robbert and his supporter, Nancy, ever even for a moment claimed or pretended that the Delgado-Chorley images were not taken from preexisting photos has simply not examined the voluminous BLT materials at all.

    For quite the contrary, a very large fraction of the strange faces easily have been traced to photographs of deceased people, often relatives of those Robbert is dealing with. Others have appeared in places like National Geographic or in obscure books.

    The puzzle in Robbert’s case, with these photos (there are many other puzzles, including other kinds of puzzling photos), is how on earth he succeeds, as apparently he does, in transporting the images from their source locations to the image that comes up immediately on the LCD screen of the many cameras he uses, and sometimes others use. Very strangely, it is the seemingly obvious “fakery” of the images that defies ordinary explanation.

    A fair-minded reader, who may be excused for having some doubts about the Delgado-Chorley images, should take the time to read carefully the voluminous material provided at http://bltresearch.com/robbert/apparition1.php as linked above.

    Keep up the fine work, Suzanne.

    1. Thanks, Bob. Anyone who reads all the material would be simpatico with what you are saying. Thanks so much for saying it. It’s a conflict for me with smear stuff as to whether to ignore it or let it be seen. Everything that gets thrown at me is countered by what I post, so I figure to let people see the scene. It’s astonishing to me that there is such vitriol and that those who deliver it remain oblivious to what I post that explains what they are ridiculing. Am just letting it all hang out.

      Thanks so much for your cogent clarifications!

    2. Hi Bob

      Just to clear up a few things I’ve noticed from your comments:

      1. My real identity is no secret; it isn’t Douglas Anthony Fitzgerald. Follow the link to my website as the URL makes it very clear who I am. Suzanne can tell you I exist. I have used different monickers online because of some very odd people causing me problems in the past. It is my good friend Andy Russell who runs the Circular State of Mind blog and he makes no secret of that either.

      2. I don’t so much make counter-claims in my article, or make ‘devious’ statements or ‘outright lies’. Either you’ve completely missed the point of what I’ve written, have misunderstood, are blinding yourself to the mundane explanations or are being disingenuous. Through my interest in contemporary folklore I know a fair bit about so-called spirit photography. All we have to support Robbert’s claims are the words of witnesses and still photographs. We are reliant upon these that Robbert has not taken photographs beforehand and is simply showing these to the observer, whether they be on a camera’s in built memory or an additional storage device. Robbert has the opportunity to make himself $1m dollars by applying for the JREF Challenge and demonstrating his supposed paranormal abilities in controlled conditions.

      As for Nancy, the pseudoscientific element of BLT’s research stems from the fact they have worked to find evidence to fit a predetermined conclusion. Let us not forget that Pat Delgado sent Levengood samples from supposedly ‘genuine’ formations.

      Suzanne is widely off the mark by suggesting I am trying to ‘smear’ her. Rather, I’m merely pointing out the flaws in her arguments.

  3. sorry colin i used to have so much respect for you,but since the aledged; pay off”things changed with you. you debunked so many formations,some of which i have bent nodes from i and many others lost our respect.As for Nancy and team its so refreshing to see people not swayed by political pressure,thank you for all your hard work and keeping us informed.Colin, open your closed mind

  4. Suzanne,

    Why do you not allow any form of discourse from those with an alternative point of view? It’s a little ironic given the name of your blog don’t you think?

    1. I thought this actually was humorous. Anastasio, who attacks my on some other blogs out there, posted this with a fake email address.

  5. Solid documentation and counter-punching as always from Suzanne, Nancy et al! These hit-and-run thugs obviously never got the spankings they deserved as kids.

  6. I stopped reading the BLT report about the time I came across the image of the soldier. I don’t care if you get somebody from MIT, Harvard or the University of Heaven, this is clearly fraud. I also don’t care if this man claims he can’t use a computer or didn’t have one or what have you. That photo is an exact replica of his supposed ghost image. So there’s some extremely SLIGHT differences. So what, that doesn’t prove anything. I’m not some professional skeptic, I’m an open-minded believer in the paranormal, but I’m also not a fool and DISLIKE deceivers.

  7. Good Work, Nancy. The facts speak for themselves. Your documentation is superb! Illegitimi non carborundum. [Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism meaning “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”…ST]

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