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The Gulf Breeze UFOs: Real or Hoax?

Possibly the most dedicated and prolific amateur supplier of UFO documentation, Polaroid photos, videotapes and personal accounts of UFO encounters, has been Ed Walters of Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Walters' experiences began on the evening of Nov. 11, 1987, when he noticed a bright object in the sky just beyond the trees in his front yard. A closer look revealed a structure much like an enormous toy top, with holes around the sides and a circular glowing ring around the base.

While snapping photographs in his yard, Walters claimed he was immobilized by a blue beam of light from the craft and lifted off the ground. Most of his reported experiences, and there are many, are truly astonishing.  Beyond innumerable sightings (with photographic accompaniments), they include an encounter with a small alien being in his yard, periods of missing time from which he emerged with physical manifestations, such as punctures and bruises, and frequently-heard internalised voices issuing mysterious directives.  On many occasions, he said, he heard a strange voice telling him: "We will not harm you, we are here for you, in sleep you know." These alarming and regularly reported sightings and encounters went on for six months.  Then, much to nearly everyone's relief (including Ed Walters'), the UFO events ended abruptly following a bizarre photo session on an early morning in May.       

Suspecting a gigantic hoax, ufologists from CUFOS (the Center for UFO Studies), MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), and FUFOR (the Fund for UFO Research) investigated Walters, his family, and his environment.  Photo- analysts spent many hours examining Walters' photos; most appeared genuine, but some could have been double exposures and others seemed to be outright fakes.  Other damning evidence, such as styrofoam UFO models recovered from Walters' Gulf Breeze properties, cast doubt on his credibility. Is Ed Walters a hoaxer, or a hapless victim targeted by alien intruders?

The jury is still out on this one. "The guy is incredible", one sceptic was heard to remark.  "He sees a UFO every time he goes out in his front yard."