I was about to post a critique of Jose's methodology, but I see chrlzs has beat me to it. He is exactly right. Jose, your methodology is severly flawed.
Using unsharp mask at any point in such an "analysis" fundamentally kills any hope you have of identifying anything, full stop. You've heard the term "garbage in, garbage out," I assume. Thisis precisely what you did.
John's approach, while simple, is correct. He likely used Photoshop because that's your tool of choice. Image analysts make use of filters and histogram adjustments that are as simple and undestructive as possible. Most of Photoshop's tools are irrelevant in this type of work.
"I heard they had a space program, when they sing you can't hear, there's no air. Sometimes I think I kind of like that and other times I think I'm already there."
-They Might Be Giants, "She's An Angel"