Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Closer Look Behind The "TUBITAK" Report" On The Kumburgaz Case

A lot of people may have heard about the report that was issued by the Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey, which inspected the original cassettes and issued a written statement after reaching a conclusion. This post will provide more information on the specific individuals involved, their resumes, and the circumstances that preceded.

Let's start at the beginning. After the footage of unknown objects taken by Yalcin was public, a debate between the skeptical society and the Turkish UFO community began to proliferate. Soon thereafter multiple theories were offered by skeptics and Yalcin was being labeled a hoaxer, despite zero evidence to suggest he was. These types of disagreements are nothing new in the field of Ufology. Finally both sides appeared on a highly rated national television show in Turkey to try and reach some type of conclusion.

On the TV show called "The Reporter" hosted by Tolga Ozdeniz the different sides appeared on a round table. The popular show is similar to the Turkish version of Larry King or 60 Minutes. Astronomy lecturer Professor Dr. Adnan Öktem from the TUG Observatory and TUBITAK and Haktan Akdogan a noted Turkish UFO investigator deliberated their difference of opinion on national television. During the show Haktan offered Dr. Oktem the opportunity to inspect the cassettes at the National Observatory Image Processing Unit a division of The Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey were Dr. Oktem worked. The results of their study can be read in a previous post here: Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey Report

Individuals Involved:

Astronomy lecturer Prof. Dr. Adnan Oktem, University Dept. of physics lecturer Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin, Film and Television Director Tarkan Ozel, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Kerem Doksat,
Professional backgrounds for each are at the end of this post.

During the live national T.V. broadcast an agreement was made to have the Mini DV cassettes inspected in the laboratory at TUBITAK headquarters.

Haktan handed the original cassettes over to Dr. Adnan Okten for inspection by experts within Istanbul University and The Science and Technology Board. For several days speculation grew as they waited for the results.

A follow up episode was broadcast close to a week later. And the reporters brought their cameras to the TUG National Observatory for an announcement.

Then a 2 page official report was released to the media.

The analysis and inspection of the DV cassettes by their experts found no evidence of tampering, forgery, or manipulation. Full text of the report is posted below.

Here is the segment aired on "The Reporter" hosted by Tolga Ozdeniz.

Included are comments made by the skeptics before and after the analysis was done. Once the cassettes were analyzed by TUBITAK and found no evidence of forgery, the critics statements began to change. Of course unidentified doesn't necessarily mean alien, but for a major scientific institution that is highly influential in the region, to admit that the film shows an unidentified flying object is a step forward.

Text Of The Report:

Mr. Tolga Özdeniz

ATV Channel - Program Editor

On January 31, 2008, a MiniDV format video cassette holding 35 minutes of footage was brought over to "TUBITAK" The Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey’s (a Scientific Institution owned by the state that is highly reliable and influential) National Observatory (TUG) by Mr.Tolga Ozdeniz, the Editor of "Reporter" that has been aired on ATV Channel. The footage on the cassette was said to have been recorded by a Canon GL1 MiniDV digital camera on a beach of a holiday village in Kumburgaz/Istanbul by an amateur.

The images were examined by TUG - National Observatory Image Processing Unit. Because, it would take quite a long time to analyze all of the images, only randomly selected parts were pre-examined. During this process, emphasis was not placed on images produced by optical clarification effects which a number of point light sources generated.

The examination of these frames has yielded following results:

- The images were recorded in digital NTSC format by above-mentioned camera.

- The date on the video indicates that the recordings were made during 2007, 2008, and 2009.

- The footage images of the object which visibly have a certain configuration are not computer animations, special video effects or studio re-created images or models. The footage is genuine.

- The first observation made from the footage is that some of the images were recorded in nighttime sky at a certain altitude from the horizon. The footage also covers images of moon in some parts which proves that the video was shot in nighttime and open air. But, the fact that digital date display’s showing AM in certain frames and PM in others, raises suspicion about the validity of the time in which the recordings were made.

- Since in some parts, there is no other object that can be featured as a reference in the close-up frames and no observable differences were found on background examination, the actual location, distance, dimensions and nature of the objects could not have been determined.

- Through the examination of shootings of multiple dates, it’s a strong possibility that 2-3 different objects were captured. However, it’s difficult to determine whether the objects are moving or not. Their movement is slow even if they do so.

- The reflections of light on the objects are sometimes caused by moon which was in a convenient location at that time, and sometimes produced by some other sources of light.

- The light reflection from the left side of the object which is seen on August 10th shootings is not produced by the moon. At that time, the moon was in a phase that was pretty close to the "new moon" phase and located approximately at a 10 degrees proximity/angle to the horizon. Moreover, the image processing analysis conducted on some part of the footage revealed that the center of the object has the same density as its background, namely is of a transparent nature.

In conclusion, even though a detailed analysis of the footage is conducted, it might still remain unidentified. Hence, other reference objects need to be recorded in the same frame with the disputable object and further shootings need to be done by ourselves with special equipment in the same location and conditions.

Accordingly, the term "UFO" (Unidentified Flying Object) which has been used for these sort of dubious objects can also be used for these objects. But, this definition does not mean that these objects are from extraterrestrial (flying saucer etc.) origin.

Prof. phD. Zeki EKER Director
National Observatory of TUBITAK

Turkey Science and Technology Board Homepage


The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) is the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. It was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers. The Council is an autonomous institution and is governed by a Scientific Board whose members are selected from prominent scholars from universities, industry and research institutions.

TUBITAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organizing, conducting and coordinating research and development in line with national targets and priorities. TUBITAK acts as an advisory agency to the Turkish Government on science and research issues, and is the secretary of the Supreme Council for Science and Technology (SCST), the highest science and technology policy making body in Turkey.

Istanbul University

Istanbul University is a prominent Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square in the Fatih district, on the European side of the city. The university has a teaching staff of 2,000 professors and associates and 4,000 assistants and younger staff. More than 60,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students follow the courses offered by Istanbul University every year.


Prof. Dr. Adnan Okten

Professor, Istanbul University, Faculty of Science, 1978 - Continued
Department Head of Istanbul University, Faculty of Science, 03/13/2013 - Ongoing

Curriculum Taught:
Sun World Climate Effects, Master of Science, 2013-2014
Global Astronomy, MA, 2013-2014
Advanced Astrometry I, MA, 2012-2013
Global Astronomy, MA, 2012-2013

Dr. Adnan Okten's Directed Studies

Ph.D.,"Active Solar prominence to a method of 3-D Computer Aided Determination of the Structure", Istanbul University, in January, 1998.

Ph.D.,"the problem of asymmetry of the Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum",University of Istanbul, in January, 1998.

"Investigation of Characteristics of sunspots Nest", University of Istanbul, in January, 1999.

Master, "Satellite Viewing" Istanbul University, in January, 1992.

"Physical and Morphological Study of Solar Cycle 22 at the University Observatory Observed Article Exit Event", University of Istanbul, in January, 1991.

Dr. Adnan Okten's Committee Memberships

Proficiency, Interview of Graduate Students, July 2013
Thesis defense, the jury M.Sc., M.Sc. jury in December 2013
Competence, Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, April 2013
Competence, Qualifying Committee, September 2013
Competence, Ph.D. Qualifying Exam, Ph.D. December 2013

Dr. Zeki Eker
Director - TUBITAK National Observatory 2007-2012

1978 - graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Science Astronomy department.
1980-1986 University of Wisconsin in the United States in the field of astrophysics PhD

2005 - Canakkale University professor in the Department of Physics
 2009 - Akdeniz University Physics Department, Faculty of Science
2010 - Space Science and Technology Department Akdeniz University
August 1, 2012 - End of term of the National Observatory Task Manager

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin

2007-2012, Director of the Astrophysics Research Center TUBITAK Institute
of Science and Technology Space Observation Research Center
1990 - Professor of Physics Univ. of Çukurova, Adana, Turkey
1974 - 1979 Ph.D. in Physics, METU Physics Dept., Ankara
1965 –‘70 B.Sc. in Physics; Middle East Tech.Univ. (METU) Ankara - Turkey
1970 - 1972 M.Sc. in Physics; METU, Ankara

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin's Committee Membership:

New York Academy of Sciences (1986 - 1994)
American Physical Society (1986 - 1989) 
 American Association for Advancement of Science (1990 - 1999) 
 Turkish Physical Society (1975 - 1990)  
Turkish Astronomical Society (1991 - present )

Tarkan Ozel

Film & Television Director (Special Effects)

30 years in television production and cinema, worked for CNN Turk television news, owner of television and video production company Ozel FX

Prof. Dr. Kerem Doksat

Dr. Kerem Doksat is a clinical psychiatrist focusing on elderly psychiatry with continued work in psychiatric hospitals in Nisantasi, Istanbul. Expertise in psychometric testing, psychological assessments, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

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