(Investigator 202, 2022 January)

It was neither a hoax nor a joke.

It was an investigation into how UFO investigators would react to a photo of a flying saucer.

Under the heading UFO HOAXES Investigator #8 had a xerox of a photo of a flying saucer that was apparently seen through a window, and stated:

The best evidence for flying saucers often ends up exposed as a hoax... A great many UFO hoaxes began by sticking a picture of a flying saucer onto a window and then photographing it from the inside of the room.

To emphasize this point Investigator referred to a 1987 photo in Yorkshire by Peter Beard, which made world headlines, and quoted The Advertiser:

But computer analysis of the negatives in a US laboratory has revealed the photographs were of transfer stickers placed in different positions on a window. (1989, April 24)

The Investigator article also described the reaction to Investigator's photo by joint editor at the time, Alan Winters:

"This UFO looks familiar," he said. A week later he checked through a stack of UFO literature. Finally Mr Winters decided that the saucer in the window was the same as the saucer on the front cover of ALL ABOUT UFO's.

Peter D. Thomas of the Flying Saucer Research Society wrote:

 In UFO HOAXES you should have published the original photo enlarged to the same scale as the UFO on the book cover. It is not enough to publish a tiny, fuzzy version of a photo and dub it a fake with an assurance that it reminded someone of a picture in a book. (Investigator #9, p. 6)

The negative of the photo and a copy of the cover of ALL ABOUT UFO's were sent to Mr Thomas. Also to meteorologist and skeptical UFO investigator Allan T. Brunt.

Mr Thomas wrote:

Examination of the print showed a solid object, outside the window, which was
open at the time. The lighting is consistent with a circular, lenticular shaped object surmounted by a dome, which could have been in the size range between 3 and 30 feet in diameter...
It was not cut out of a published illustration and stuck onto the window since the window was open. Nor was it a solid model suspended inside the room...
However the outline is identical to the "craft" shown in detailed photographs by G. Adamski published in "Flying Saucers Have Landed" (1953).

Mr Brunt wrote:

A photo without a description of the sighting is pretty useless. The date, place, time, direction of the photo, angle of elevation etc would all be required to investigate it properly... Photos of clear unambiguous "flying saucers" tend to be fabricated ones. I blew this negative up on my projector to as large a size as possible and I remain unconvinced that the window is open. (Investigator #10 p. 6)

Explanation and Conclusion:

An amateur with a cheap camera produced a UFO photo, even admitted how it was done, and we named the book it came from.

Yet two UFO investigators, one skeptical, the other apparently naive, could not refute the photo. Consider, therefore, what well-organized deceivers using sophisticated modern technology could do!

The lesson is: Be skeptical of evidence that cannot be properly checked.