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Bilby-Phillips Gamecam Photo, Part 2 – Analysis by Dr. Anthony Ciani

//Bilby-Phillips Gamecam Photo, Part 2 – Analysis by Dr. Anthony Ciani

Bilby-Phillips Gamecam Photo, Part 2 – Analysis by Dr. Anthony Ciani

Stan – Dr.Ciani contacted me by email and offered to evaluate the original digital copy. At that time I obtained from Phillips – Bilby an untouched copy. Below is his analysis of the Gamecam Photo, originally posted here on the 19th of April, 2010. And then below that is Dr.Ciani’s analysis of the untouched copy.

Anthony Ciani, PhD (aciani1@uic.edu)
Condensed Matter Physicist
http://wolfgang.phy.uic.edu/~tony

(Dr.Ciani’s thoughts on the posted photo of Gamecam Photo
of 19th of April, 2010.)

After reading this and seeing the original scan, it became clear what that person did. He tried to apply a sharpen or deconvolution filter to a heavily noisy image, which was already in focus. The result is that it creates a moire pattern, which hides detail. He then “cut” around the figure, and applied some type of level adjustment (probably a gamma filter) to attempt to brighten the subject. The end result was a low quality, distorted image, which appeared to be doctored.

[Stan – the original non-enhanced photo. For large scale image click link]

http://www.stancourtney.com/photo/untouched_large.jpg

(Dr.Ciani was supplied with the above untouched original photo which he then enhanced himself. What follows is Dr.Ciani’s analysis of that original photo of which Dr.Ciani enhanced himself and is posted below in both small and full scale.)

My analysis of the photo:

The digital image purports to be a scan from a developed photographic film, used in a game camera. The type of film is unidentified. The image contains EXIF data indicating it was made by a Noritsu Koki QSS-32_33, and saved by Noritsu’s image software. EXIF data can be faked; however, there are no indications that the image has been altered in any way, post scan. The Noritsu Koki QSS-32_33 is a low volume film processor, and the image was probably made directly from the negative; although the QSS-32_33 can scan images from prints. For simplicity, the term “film” will be used to refer to the scanned original, and “image” will be used to refer to the digital data.

The game camera (model unknown) is a flash photography model. The object of interest, hence forth referred to as unidentified humanoid shape (UHS), is just within the range of the flash, and is approximately as dark as the surrounding vegetation, and similarly hued. The intensity values in the image span almost the entire range, but there is no true black present in the image, which reduces the likelihood that there has been alteration of the image. UHS is within a darker region of the picture, and being dark itself, there is a substantial amount of dithering over UHS. This is typical when scanning dark areas, as noise in the electronic sensors becomes equivalent to the signal.

UHS appears to be a real object in the film. The camera flash and lens are not coaxial, which allows the lens to see shadows caused by the flash. These shadows should be offset in the same direction which the lens is offset from the flash. In this case, the lens would be below the flash. The distance between the shadow and the casting object should decrease as the object rises above the horizon. The shadows being cast on UHS appear to be consistent with this. UHS is also clearly in front of some limbs and trees in the background, which pass behind UHS. There is no indication of UHS being anything other than a real object in the scene, and there is no indication that any part of the scene is a composite image.

There is a substantial amount of noise around UHS, which can cause some details to become difficult to identify. Unfortunately, noise covers detail, and removing one removes the other.

[Stan – Dr.Ciani’s enhancement – For large scale image click link]

http://wolfgang.phy.uic.edu/~tony/bilby_enh.jpg

The above enhanced image has undergone several processing steps to remove noise (which adds blur), and then enhance the edges. This process was performed in the following manner. The image was copied into a new layer, and the color space was reduced to gray scale. A filter was applied to erode dark pixels. This filter increases the intensity of a pixel if it is of lower intensity than its neighbors. The effect is to remove noise over the lighter areas, identifying solid objects. The filter was applied with a 25% level (75% original gray scale, 25% filtered gray scale). A second gray scale layer was then enhanced using a difference of Guassians, to bring out edge detail, which created a light map, used to highlight continuous regions. The edge enhanced layer was then combined with the filtered layer to produce a light map which highlighted the branches and UHS. This light map was then applied to the original layer, to brighten the key objects. The result brings out the form of UHS and the trees, but removes the appearance of texture from those objects.In reality, it was the noise which destroyed the texture.

There is a caveat as well. If the noise is strong enough, this process can highlight objects which never existed. The only region with strong enough noise for this to occur is the area around or above the head of UHS. In the enhanced image, it appears UHS may have a highly domed head. This may be a result of the filter highlighting a random “pattern” in the noise, essentially, digitally enhancing pareidolia. The general form of UHS is certain. The noise is too low for pareidolia.

A scan of the film using higher exposure settings may provide additional detail for the dark regions of the film, while destroying detail in the empty area illuminated by the flash. Some of the noise may also be due to film grain, depending on the ASA speed and model of film. The limiting information seems to be pixelation, more than noise or film grain. The film should contain more information than this, and a higher resolution scan should yield significantly better detail. Even better if multiple, high resolution scans are averaged together, to remove noise.

Stan – Original untouched photo on left, Dr.Ciani’s enhancement on right.

The UHS object itself is interesting. There are three bright points on its figure. Two near the knees, and one between the left elbow and body. These might be reflective materials (e.g. mica), bare metal, or brightly colored objects. The two lower spots are very likely flecks of material. The object under the arm is different, and clearly being carried, with the left hand wrapped around it. It is also not a single bright point, and some details can be identified. The object is oval in general shape, darker than UHS, and may have color, perhaps blue or green. The bright spot is roughly in the center of the object, and is not perfectly round. The bright spot seems to have a darker spot in its middle. In this case, pixelation is the limiting factor, the noise is not substantial. Overall, the image appears to be an unaltered scan from a film processing unit. The film is likely a picture of a real scene. The limiting factors pertaining to detail in the image are the scan resolution, followed by the exposure level. It is suggested that the film be taken to a professional photographic shop, where it can be scanned using a higher end film scanner, perhaps with an optical resolution of 4000 dpi or higher. Film scanners with optical resolutions of 7200 dpi exist, and would be best. Ideally, a scanner with an adjustable exposure level or high dynamic range should be used to intensify the dark areas. Film is analogue, and so, such an optical intensification should produce a better scan.

By | 2010-05-10T16:57:48+00:00 May 10th, 2010|Uncategorized|20 Comments

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20 Comments

  1. John Phillips May 11, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Stan,

    We cannot thank you enough for all the effort (and forebearance) you've given to this project.

    The upshot of these events is perhaps the next time the so-called "experts" at places such as BFF, MABRC, et. al. decide to jump out and play "gotcha guy expert" they'll decide to employ actual due diligence before rendering an unqualified postulation based upon evidence they have only the slightest grasp thereof.

    It does however serve to illustrate such behavior as one of the primary impediments to any real progress in this field. People should get over their own egos first and maybe then they'll be able to "see" a UHS in the forest and get past all the "trees".

    Regards,

    John Phillips

  2. A.J. Ciani May 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    John, and others,

    It is true that there are quite a few "arm chair researchers" at BFF and MABRC, but I do not believe their skepticism originates from ego. There are a LOT of hoaxes, and some of them rather good. One might say that the people on those forums have been hoaxed into scoffticism. That is, they cry hoax at the slightest incongruity. I believe the exact same thing happened when the Myakka photo was first released. Eventually, someone's wife said, "that's a well known costume," and suddenly everyone else just said, "hoax." Problem was, the costume apparently existed, only in her imagination. I think Coleman still has the high-res scans of that photo, and I hope he posts them sometime, because I have heard the detail is quite good. But alas, the scofftics have gotten him down, and I think he feels no motivation to restart Myakka.

    I certainly hope the 35mm film of this UHS can be taken to a photo shop which has an optical enlarger and uses photographic print paper. I think the film may have substantially more detail than the Photo CD scan. Unfortunately, almost all film processing has moved to digital.

    The greatest let down; if better detail is recovered, it might only provide some researchers additional insights. The truth is, without some significant corroborating evidence, a photo is just not convincing proof. For all we know, that could be a real photo of butchykid624.

    Also, I hope that a photographic enlargement might reveal the identity of the object carried in the left hand. My first impression was that it might be an opened soda can, but the shape does not appear to be round. Given its color, and what can be discerned of its structure, I think it is a man made object.

  3. Bob T May 12, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Stan,

    Thanks for posting the update with Analysis.

    Bob

  4. John Phillips May 12, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Dr. Ciani,

    Kindest thanks again for your (unsolicited) efforts regarding the photo.

    Thom Powell appears to be spot on in his book "The Locals" when he describes the "turf war" mentality endemic among many so-called BF researchers. It's almost a carbon copy of how gangs operate in both mentality and actions.

    Even though I have never (personally) claimed the image in question is eiher a "this" or a "that" there are those now alleging I'm an admitted hoaxer. Their apparent logic in arriving at such a conclusion is a mystery to rival the trinity and illustrates the paredolic paranoia and groupthink mob mentality epidemic within this subset of individuals.

    I have thick skin however, the behavior of some of these persons is rather disturbing to the point of wondering if they are a danger to others personal safety. A couple even have such documented troubled backgrounds that the idea of "going postal" may well be within their inventory of options.

    And they say life isn't a circus.

  5. Ryan May 12, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Thanks to Dr. Ciani and John Phillips. This is a very good analysis.

    I appreciated your reply to me in the original article John. I think it's fair to say that although I wasn't able to use the correct terminology, my opinion of the other pictures was accurate. Maybe if I had posted as "Dr. Ryan"…? haha And like you said, as more analysis came out, I might have a different perspective. Definitely more curious now than I was before..

    "Keep on keepin' on" everybody! It's only a matter of time..

  6. Joppa May 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    So, the picture may be real, but of what ? Now comes the fun arm chair speculation. To me, it looks like a human wearing some sort of Camo, need not be a hoaxer, just a hunter getting his pix taken on a game cam.

  7. John Phillips May 12, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Of note is the fact this immediate area is also the scene of several (alleged) UHS sightings by several hunters, BFRO field investigators as well as several MABRC members. Of course, this history doesn't preclude that possibly some of those individuals with knowledge of the particular area might have been tempted to conduct some ad hoc "research" on an "unauthorized basis" ?

    I certainly hope that isn't the case but such cannot be 100% ruled out as a possibility.

  8. A.J. Ciani May 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Solid brown or gray "camo", and walking around barefoot?

    There is enough light to show color, and the color of whatever it is, is clearly that icky brown-gray color. I guess it *could* be a dirty green. There is very little green in the scene, for comparison, but that seems unlikely. The color in the shiny thing it is holding comes out fairly well, as do the leaves beneath its bare feet.

    Looking at the feet, the front part appears to have the splayed width sometimes seen in suspected BF footprints, not the narrowness of a human foot.

    If it is not a BF, then I doubt it is an accident, or a misidentification. That is to say, I am certain enough about what is contained in the image to say BF or hoax. Every other option seems extremely unlikely.

  9. Hopsquatch May 13, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Stan,

    Thank you so much for having a professional review the photo. I know that there was no doctoring of the original photo as I was privy to the photo as it was found. There will always be confusion and as Dr. Ciani said, further photos can only enrich the evidence. Hopefully, grant money might be found in order to obtain the needed equipment to do more photographic research and survaillance. Further documented photos will then lend to the validity of this subject.

  10. bullet maker May 13, 2010 at 5:10 am

    If I havent already done so, I will take this time to thank Dr. Ciani, for his work on this photo. It is extremley important photo for the bigfoot world, and the Academic institutuions and the Academic world as a whole. Dr. Ciani, is right on with his work on this historic photo.

    This photo was taken 11/20/09 by a game camera of our`s (John Phillips and my self, Doug Bilby) AKA bullet maker.

    If everyone hasn`t already, alot of the picture in question is described on Stan`s Forums, in General Discussion. then go to (Game Cam Photo). I tale the best I can of the photo and how it was taken. The film used to take the picture was 35MM film. The time is unknown, but it was pitch dark. The date is on the film, at the time that type of camera would only post time or date, not both.

    Folks,….it is what it is, a real creature, not a human. If anyone would like to e-mail me or call me or John, we would be happy to answer all questions if you so desire to.

    Again I want to thank Dr. A.J. Ciani for his great work on the photo.

  11. bullet maker May 13, 2010 at 5:35 am

    My above post is my opinion only.

    Thank you.

  12. Rayford Wallace May 20, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I would like to make some comments about the picture, Dr. Ciani's analysis of it, and some of the commentary that has been offered.

    1. The picture was taken by a game camera put in place by John on Doug's place on Spenser Creek near where it runs into Oolagah Lake. (If you go there without an invitation, be aware that Doug has a 45.70 for which he makes his own loads.) When developed, it showed a dark figure–an UMS–in the darkness outside the circle of light that resulted from the flash. I was shown a print and viewed the image on a disk. I asked John, just recently, what had been done to the picture. He replied that it had been "lightened" and that that was all that had been done to it.

    2. John, and Doug, initiatially, did not want to go public with the location or their identity. I foiled their intent there–I guess. The immediate response from some posters was that it was a fake–that it had been put togeth