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The "Lawton Triangle" UFO Hoax!

Do UFO "experts" really investigate UFO reports, or do they simply take such reports at face value?
Clic more about Jim Hickman


Hoax Phase 1:


On 3-11-02 the following image was submitted to MUFON "Research Specialist" Jim Hickman of "The Hickman Report".

 

. click for full size image


It was claimed that this was a picture of an object (or objects) moving through the night sky over Lawton, Oklahoma. Jim Hickman then sent a copy of this image to Bruce Maccabee for "investigation".

After a very short "investigation" Bruce Maccabee reports in Filer's Files #16-2002:

OKLAHOMA INVESTIGATION DETERMINES IT'S A REAL UFO

LAWTON - Investigator Jim Hickman reports on the Flying Triangle-MUFON Case #1-774 that took place on March 11, 2002. Jim received a sighting report from"Joe W." taken near Lawton with a fairly strange photo attached. Dr. Bruce Maccabee, agreed to conduct the photo analysis and asks what could this craft have been? It certainly doesn't seem to be any military device or any type of object normally in the sky. Internally lighted blimps seem like very strange objects at night, but they have a distinctive shape. (There was a rash of blimp sightings and videos back in the early 1990s, so we have video "data" on the types of images they make...nothing like this.) Hence, unless someone has a better idea, I would have to classify this as a True UFO (TRUFO), which might be some sort of Alien Flying Craft (AFC) (or two such craft)? I met with Bruce and heard his excellent talk at Pat Marcatillio's conference in New Jersey. You can read our full report at: http://brumac.8k.com/LawtonTriangle/LawtonTriangle.html. Thanks to Jim Hickman jim@thehickmanreport.com MUFON Research Specialist for Media Operations


Hoax Phase 2:

 

 

Then on 5-20-02 a second report was sent to Jim Hickman complete with the following picture:

 

click for full size image


Once again it was claimed that this was a picture of an object (or objects) moving through the night sky over Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which is a large U.S. Army installation that borders on the city of Lawton where the first "UFO" was "sighted".

The following article was then posted to Filer's Files #22 (05-29-2002):

OKLAHOMA PHOTOS

FORT SILL -- Jim Hickman reports that on May 20, 2002, "TJ" was out on the Quanah Range on Fort Sill earlier tonight, and saw the strangest objects in the sky that he ever saw! TJ reports, "The nature of my job requires that I carry a camera in my vehicle for documenting accidents and incidents on Fort Sill training areas, so I was able to get a picture of the objects." When I got home, I started searching the web trying to figure out who I should report this to, since I'm definitely NOT going to report this to the military authorities. If I did I'd probably end my career real fast. When I came across your website I almost fell out of my chair! The Lawton Triangle picture is almost exactly like the objects I saw, and Lawton is just south of Fort Sill where I saw these objects! Is this bizarre or what? TJ continues, "I was looking west when I first spotted the objects low to the ground behind some tall trees." At first I thought they were the lights from military vehicles. "Then suddenly these lights shot straight up in the sky and just hovered for a minute or so." I just sat there dumbfounded for a moment when it suddenly dawned on me that I should take a picture.

MUFON's Dr Bruce Maccabee's comments on the new photo: "WOW! Got to pull out all the stops on this one! A rare event, two photos of the same (apparently) thing! The numbers of lights at the corners may agree (do agree at two corners) and the shape of the red "car" is as I had predicted (the left and right outlines of the "car" in the Lawton photo would be the actual shapes of the left and right sides of the red UFO image if photographed without camera smear)." Thanks to Jim Hickman Research Specialist. See photo's at: www.thehickmanreport.com.


Conclusion:

So where these images "True UFOs" or "Alien Flying Craft" of some sort? No... In reality these pictures were nothing more than a picture of Microsoft Optical Mouse taken with the room lights and camera flash turned off!

click for full size image

That's it! No elaborate image manipulation were needed. No model UFOs needed to be built. All that was needed to fool two "UFO researchers" was a picture of common, everyday computer hardware.

 

Then self-proclaimed UFOlogist Jim Hickamn was scheduled to be a guest on the Jerry Pippin Show on 9-13-03. As the show began, Jerry Pippin announced that his guest, Jim Hickman of "The Hickman Report" would explain how he proved that the Lawton Triangle was a hoax. Before Jim was scheduled to be on the air, I called in a question for Jim, asking if it really wasn't a case of him proving it was a hoax, but instead of him being informed that it was a hoax. For some "odd" reason, Jim never called in, and from what the hosts of the show said, this wasn't surprising at all.

(Samples from the show Clip 1 Clip 2 Clip 3) (Used with permission)

 

To read the discussions about this hoax on usenet, see the following:

UFO "Investigators"? I think not

The Lawton Triangles HOAX


The Next Question: "Why did you do this?"


Many have asked, "Are you a paid government debunker?", or "Why did you do such a mean thing".

The answer is simple: I did it to demonstrate how easy it is to fool the so-called "UFO experts" and how willing they are to take any claim at face value. But rather than lean from this example, their reaction was one of hostility.

My usenet provider was flooded with complaints in an attempt to silence me. My ISP was also flooded with complaints as was the host of my original website. I even received an email that stated, "Let's meet you and me, anywhere any time. Let's finish it. Ok?" One other individual went so far as to locate my daughter and send her harassing email. Another claimed that they tried to file a report against me with my local police department for "filing a false UFO report"!

Clearly many of those involved with or supporting "UFO Research" are less interested in "Finding the Truth" as they claim, as they are in silencing their critics.