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Expert in sightings


Three amber lights came across a hillside and split apart, making no sound and resembling no manmade aircraft, was the description of a 40-year old experience someone explained at last weekend’s Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network (MUFON) of Ventura County meeting in Thousand Oaks. The description might sound like a scene from Steven Spielberg’s movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," but the story isn’t so unique, according to MUFON of Ventura County president Diane Johnson.

Special guest speaker, Jim Dilettoso, who has analyzed UFO (unidentified flying object) photographs and video for more than 22 years, spent the evening with MUFON last Saturday and explained some of the most popular UFO cases that he’s worked on.

"Frequently, I’m not believed," Dilettoso said at the beginning of his speech. But his results are all based on data; data that he’s collected and stands by.

Dilettoso has been featured on many UFO programs, including "Sightings." He is the inventor of movie colorization, the LHX-Flight Simulator and the Audio Soundshere. He is considered one of the pioneers of JPEG and MPEG compression technologies and was the principle developer of the core processes used by XING, Inc. to create MPEG-2 and the MP3 audio format.

Among many other accomplishments, Dilettoso has made special effects equipment for movies and television. In 1977, Dilettoso was producing music concert tours. Some of the musicians he worked with include Alice Cooper, Toto, The Moody Blues and others. When Dilettoso wasn’t on the road, he built sound gadgets and other mechanisms and sold them.

Dilettoso’s knowledge of the latest digital tools in both audio and digital image processing attracted a group called APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) that asked if he had the technology to examine UFO photographs. Dilettoso was interested, he said, and he took on the work. He began a career that was thought to be something done on the side but would soon become something much bigger.

The purpose of Dilettoso’s work, he said, wasn’t trying to identify UFOs. But rather, he wanted to eliminate the possibilities of what the pictures weren’t. Dilettoso shot pictures of miniature models, superimposed images, shot pictures of flares and tried many experiments until the objects caught on film or video were either fakes or unidentified.

Eventually, Dilettoso became more passionate and more involved in his investigations and more and more film was coming his way for him to examine. He’s worked on some of the most famous UFO cases, including his first job, the Billy Meier case.

Billy Meier shot some UFO photographs in Switzerland in the late 1970s. Dilettoso conducted many tests of the Billy Meier pictures and during his speech last weekend discussed his study of pixels in various photographs he took versus the actual photographs.

Based on the number of pixels and the colors, he said, he would be able to make out the size of the objects in the frame. The Billy Meier pictures showed unidentified flying objects that were very large, Dilettoso said.

Several groups, according to Dilettoso, including APRO, claimed the pictures were a hoax, even though not one lab or Dilettoso himself didn’t find them to be fakes at all.

A strange phenomenon, maybe almost as strange as UFOs themselves, is the fact that the debunkers of UFO cases, according to Dilettoso, are usually UFO groups, science fiction writers or astrologists. And these debunkers, Dilettoso said, display a lot of passion.

"We discovered lies and deception from debunkers," Dilettoso said. "Conspiracy and deception that would continue to the present day."

The debunker of the Billy Meier case, Kal Korff, was interviewed and gave himself away as a fake, according to Dilettoso. In a video that Dilettoso showed last weekend, Korff explained his digitizing process of the Billy Meier pictures and described video quality or resolution as being 400 lines per inch and film as being several million lines per inch.

Video, Dilettoso said, isn’t measured in inches and film is between 300 and maybe at the most 2,400 lines per inch. But not millions, Dilettoso said.

"His testing didn’t exist," Dilettoso said. "He told us that in his interview." Anyone who has digitized once, he said, would know that Korff was incorrect.

Dilettoso also explained his experiences with the Phoenix Lights, an incident that took place in Arizona on March 10, 1997. Thousands of people witnesses unidentified lights in the sky. Debunkers, however, found the incident to be a hoax. F-16 jets were on a training mission in the area and, according to the military, the lights everyone saw were flares.

Dilettoso said his data proves the military and debunkers wrong. He described the type of light that everyone saw as being different from a flare’s light because a flare, like a flame from a lighter, has an inconsistent glow, whereas a light fixture keeps a consistent glow. The lights Dilettoso analyzed in the Phoenix Light images were consistent, he said.

Dilettoso had many stories to tell, explanations based on studies, strange experiences and many questions to answer at the MUFON meeting last weekend. He says he doesn’t take a firm position on UFOs, but will always trust his data and support his data. And he knows, he said, when an object is unidentified.


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