Posted by: S. P. | August 27, 2011

Recent UAP Sighting

Just wanted to share an interesting sighting I had a short time ago this evening. Around 8:18 pm local time, my wife and I were out walking our dogs when we saw a bright white light suddenly flash on in the eastern sky. As a pilot, at first I thought an aircraft had turned towards us with its landing light on. However, the light then went out and I didn’t see any of the position lights normally associated with an aircraft. Then, lo and behold, the light came back on. It repeated a steady rhythm of coming on and going off for several minutes while appearing to remain relatively stationary in the sky. Finally, the light went out and didn’t come back on. The light itself, while star-like, was larger than a star or planet, and I don’t have a good explanation for its pulsations. Additionally, we heard absolutely no aircraft noise associated with the event. Dusk was only just setting in, so the sky remained relatively light and there were only scattered clouds in the sky.

It was certainly an interesting sight and as a trained observer, I’m at a complete loss to identify the object. Unfortunately, as merely another “bright light in the sky,” I’m not holding out for discovering a satisfactory explanation – but, as I said, it was certainly interesting.

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Posted by: S. P. | August 26, 2011

UFO Connect — Game Changing App

UFO Connect

UFO Connect is a revolutionary application that stands to change the way UFO sightings are reported and shared. The app consists of three modules: MUFON Mobil, UFO Search, and Skywatch Alert. The MUFON Mobil module provides a convenient connection to MUFON, including the main MUFON website, MUFON forums, news, MUFON radio, store, field investigator information, and even a link to join MUFON. UFO Search allows users to search the extensive MUFON UFO sighting database — a goldmine of information. The Skywatch Alert module is the real game-changer for UFO reporting. In this module, users are able to report UFO sightings, including the ability to upload photos and videos — and other users are able to receive real time notifications of those reports. Depending on your alert settings, if someone nearby reports a sighting, you receive almost immediate notification and can look for it as well. The app is in the final stages of beta testing and is scheduled to go live very shortly. It will initially be released for the iPhone platform, however if that release proves successful, an android version is in the wings.

Posted by: S. P. | August 11, 2011

Test of Hypersonic Aircraft Fails over Pacific Ocean

HTV-2 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Apparently the “alien technology transfer” some conspiracy theorists like to talk about isn’t working out so well for us:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/08/vandenberg-launch-hypersonic-vehicle-fails.html

A Thursday morning flight test of the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) didn’t quite go as planned. The craft is designed to reach speeds of Mach 20, meaning twenty times the speed of sound. The flight on Thursday was planned for 30 minutes, but controllers lost telemetry 20 minutes into the flight. Don’t worry: they say it “likely” ditched itself into the Pacific Ocean.

Posted by: S. P. | March 15, 2011

Recommended UFO/UAP Books

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The following recommended reading list is from the CUFOS website. While a bit dated, it’s nevertheless an excellent starting point for those interested in serious UFO/UAP research. Even though it’s not current, if you start with these books, you’ll gain the knowledge to separate the few truly useful current books from the large amount of “junk” being published today.

Recommended Reading List for the General Reader

What are the best books to read about UFOs?

There are many books in bookstores and libraries that discuss UFOs. Sometimes it is hard for someone new to the subject to tell which are worth reading. Whatever you read, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are the author’s qualifications for writing on this topic?
  2. Does the book show political, cultural, or religious biases?
  3. Is there a bibliography, footnotes, or lists of sources for further reading?
  4. When was the book published? Is it a first edition, a revision, a reprint, or a rerun?
  5. What audience was the book intended for?
  6. Is the evidence presented clearly and objectively?
  7. Is it suitable for your level of understanding, or is it too simple (or too difficult)?
  8. Does it have graphs, charts, tables, glossaries, maps, or illustrations?
  9. Does it have an index and table of contents?
  10. What is the author’s thesis or purpose?
  11. What facts and opinions are presented?
  12. Are various points of view represented?
  13. Is this a report of primary research: surveys, experiments, observations?
  14. Is it a compilation of information gathered from other books?
  15. Are the conclusions justified by the evidence presented?
  16. Is this information verified by other books or articles?

Recommended books, a brief selection

The following books are recommended by the Center for UFO Studies for anyone who wants to learn more about the topic. They may be found in bookstores or libraries, but a few are hard to find. [Further synopses will be forth coming.]

  • J. Allen Hynek, The UFO Experience (1972)

For twenty years Dr. J. Allen Hynek served as a consultant to Project Blue Book, and The UFO Experience is his response to the official Air Force debunking policies and a summation of what he had learned about the UFO phenomenon. Hynek presents an eloquent and accessible case for the continuing scientific study of UFOs and offers a classification system that inspired the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Moreover, his witness profiles shatter the officially fostered fallacy that those who see UFOs are ignorant or insane.

  • Lawrence Fawcett & Berry Greenwood, UFO Cover-Up (1992)

Using government documents released through FOIA, Fawcett and Greenwood build a convincing scenario that traces the history of official efforts to conceal UFO evidence.

  • Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia (3 vols.)

Modern (post-1970’s) UFO books of excellent scholarship and broad coverage are difficult to come by. Clark’s incredible tour-de-force of short historical-analytical essays fills that void. The whole panoply of serious UFOlogy to carnival UFOria is covered in fine fashion.

  • C. D. B. Bryan, Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (1995)

Bryan, a respected mainstream journalist, details his reflections on the 1992 abduction conference at M.I.T. and concludes there is merit in researching these experiences.

  • Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt, The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell (1994)

This second book by the authors is the definitive account of the Roswell crash and retrieval.

  • Timothy Good, Above Top Secret (1989)

Timothy Good, British researcher, offers an exhaustive historical study of official, worldwide suppression of UFO evidence.

  • Travis Walton, Fire in the Sky: The Walton Experience (1996)

This is Walton’s personal account of his controversial experience, an expanded version of his 1976 book, The Walton Experience.

  • Donald E. Keyhoe, Flying Saucers from Outer Space (1953)

Keyhoe essentially broke open the official log jam of government UFO cover-ups with his first book, The Flying Saucers are Real. This, his second book, continues in the same vein and argues for an end to saucer secrecy.

  • Budd Hopkins, Intruders (1987)

Intruders details Hopkins’ investigation into the experiences of Kathie Davis, which leads him to conclude that ETs are collecting and experimenting with genetic material taken from abductees.

  • Richard Haines, UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist
  • David Jacobs, Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions (1992)

A compelling collection of abduction cases drawn from the author’s personal investigations. Jacobs explores the typical abduction scenario in detail.

  • Walter Webb, Encounter at Buff Ledge: A UFO Case History (1994)

Webb, one of the leading UFO investigators of all time, presents the results of his extremely thorough investigation of a double abduction case. Most notably, the two witnesses, teenagers at the time, never discussed the event after it occurred. Ten years later, both consciously and under hypnosis, they recalled numerous matching details of the experience. The book makes a compelling case for the reality of this abduction event.

  • Paul Devereux, Earth Lights Revelation: UFOs and Mystery Lightform Phenomena (1990)
  • Hilary Evans & Dennis Stacy, ed., UFOs 1947-1997 From Arnold to Abductees: Fifty years of Flying Saucers (1997)
  • Carl Sagan & Thornton Page, Eds., UFO’s A Scientific Debate (1972)

A book that was the outgrowth of a conference organized by the two editors. It includes a wide range of opinion on the UFO subject. Contributors include J. Allen Hynek, James McDonald, Donald Menzel and Carl Sagan.

  • John Fuller, The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours “Aboard a Flying Saucers” (1966)

The famous Hill abduction is detailed here with lengthy transcriptions of tape recorded hypnotic regression sessions. This is still one of the most convincing cases of an alleged abduction by aliens.

  • Raymond Fowler, The Allagash Abductions: Undeniable Evidence of Alien Interventions (1993)

Fowler, long-time UFO investigator, details one of the best multiple witness alien abduction cases on record.

  • Bob Pratt, UFO Danger Zone: Terror and Death in Brazil–Where Next? (1996)
  • J. Allen Hynek, The Hynek UFO Report (1977)

Recommended books out of print, a brief selection

The following books may be out of print, but are worth searching for in used bookstores and libraries:

  • Edward J. Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)
  • Jenny Randles, UFO Conspiracy (1987)
  • Edward Condon, ed., Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (1968)
  • Allen Hendry, The UFO Handbook (1979)
  • Jacques and Janine Vallee, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma (1966)
  • Jenny Randles, UFO Reality (1983)
  • Hilary Evans & John Spencer, ed., UFOs 1947-1987: The 40-Year Search for an Explanation (1987)
  • David M. Jacobs, The UFO Controversy in America (1975)
Posted by: S. P. | January 5, 2011

The Unblinking Eye

Gorgon Stare

Some are claiming with Gorgon Stare, the Air Force will be able to “see everything.” Does that include UFOs? Here’s the Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/01/AR2011010102690.html

Posted by: S. P. | December 31, 2010

Houdini and Doyle: Two Extremes of Belief

[This post originally appeared on my Ghost Writer blog where it’s proved quite popular.  I’m re-posting it here since it applies equally well to those who investigate UFO/UAP phenomena.  Many people claim to be searching for the “truth,” however their attitudes and actions often indicate they’re actually more interested in justifying their own belief systems and preconceived notions.  I maintain we need to focus on the truth and follow wherever it might lead — even if that means having to alter our previous notions — for example, the die-hard cynic finding out ETs exist or the “believer” finding out it’s all a case of mistaken identity.  Honest research must accept the possibility of having to revise one’s initial theory.]

Houdini and Doyle (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

 

When it comes to the paranormal and unexplained phenomena, many people fall into one to two unfortunate camps.  Some people unquestioningly and uncritically believe every unusual occurrence has a paranormal explanation – most have not met a kook theory they don’t accept.  On the other hand are people who fall into cynicism, generally while claiming they’re “open-minded skeptics.”  However, they are cynics and flat out refuse to accept paranormal explanations for any situation, no matter the circumstances or the evidence.  They refuse to believe anything with equal vigor as those in the first group willingly believe everything.  Neither position represents a true open-minded, skeptical attitude.  Two famous men represent each of end of the belief spectrum – Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Harry Houdini was a highly accomplished magician in the early twentieth century.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a physician and writer – the creator of Sherlock Holmes.  Both men were highly respected and both considered highly intelligent.  Given their notoriety, it’s interesting to look at the difference in their beliefs regarding the paranormal.  Least any reader get the wrong impression, let me say right up from that I hold both men in high regard.  However, I think it’s enlightening to look at how each of them fell into opposite ends of the belief spectrum.

“Spiritualism” flourished in the mid to late 1800s, however it slowly faded from popularity due to the exposure of many mediums as frauds and the confession of fakery (later retracted by one) of the Fox sisters who’d touched off the movement in the 1840s.   It’s insightful to note spiritualism gained much acclaim in the United States during and shortly after the Civil War as grieving relatives hoped to contact relatives killed in the war.

Spiritualism found a revival, particularly in Europe, during and following World War One.  It’s almost impossible for us to understand the devastation brought on by the war.  We think the US death toll from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a big deal.  It’s nothing compared to World War One.  During the Battle of the Somme alone, from July to November 1916, over 164,000 were killed or missing.  On the first day of the Battle of Somme, over 19,000 British soldiers were slaughtered in a matter of hours.  We simply cannot fathom the impact – nearly everyone had a relative killed or had a neighbor whose relative was killed.  As in the American Civil War, grieving relatives desired a means to communicate with lost loved ones, mostly young men cut down in their prime.  Unfortunately, many charlatans, claiming “mediumistic” powers, took advantage of the situation purely for financial gain.

Into the situation stepped Houdini and Doyle.  Houdini had a long interest in the paranormal.  As a highly accomplished illusionist, he was very adept at spotting trickery.  In fact, at one point early in his career, he held staged séances as part of his act – he made it clear it was an act and didn’t claim possession of any special powers, yet due to his skills, many came away convinced Houdini was a medium.  However, this was precisely his point – to show how easy it is to trick the believer.  Houdini’s interest in the spirit world took on a new importance following the death of his beloved mother on July 17, 1913.  Houdini went in search of a medium who could help in get in touch with his departed mother.  Instead, he only found trickster after trickster.  As he found one fraud after another, Houdini quickly turned from honest, open-minded skeptic to die-hard cynic.  His personal goal became “exposing” all mediums as frauds.  His attitude clouded his judgment to the point when he encountered something he couldn’t explain, he still denounced the medium, claiming the person was simply using some kind of trickery he wasn’t yet able to explain.

Like Houdini, Doyle shared a long-time interest in the paranormal.  While Doyle initially believed much activity was due to trickery, he lacked Houdini’s skills as a magician to spot the tricks.  As Doyle continued to study spiritualism, he took an opposite path to Houdini.  Whereas Houdini became less accepting, Doyle became more accepting.  Even when mediums Doyle claimed were authentic were proven frauds, Doyle continued to support the mediums.  It seems Doyle’s desire to believe overrode his critical judgment.  For example, Doyle championed as authentic the Cottingley fairy photographs of 1917, even though they appeared to be photos of cardboard cutouts (which is exactly what the sisters who took them admitted they were in 1981).

Houdini and Doyle actually developed a close friendship in the early 20th century.  The two men clearly respected each other and shared a genuine interest in exchanging thoughts on spiritualism.  For some time, they exchanged good-natured arguments.  However, as Doyle continued to accept as true even claims clearly shown as fraudulent, the friendship became strained.  It finally ended in bitterness when Doyle publically claimed Houdini’s feats of illusion came from his mediumistic powers.  Doyle adamantly refused to accept Houdini’s explanations his illusions were mere trickery performed by a highly skilled magician.

I believe the attitudes of both Houdini and Doyle are wrong.  It seems to me both attitudes represent the easy way out.  In one case, you simply declare everything a hoax or a trick.  In the other case, you simply accept everything as true.  Neither requires much critical thought because you go into the situation with our mind already made up.  There’s no need to conduct any investigation or any research because you either already believe it’s true or you already believe it’s a lie.

Honest, open-minded skepticism is the much less “easy” attitude.  This attitude forces you to critically analyze the situation.  It forces you to engage your brain to actually think about the situation since you don’t go in with a prejudgment.  Does this mean you’ll get it right every time?  Of course not, but it does force you to arrive at a conclusion based on your observations instead of your preconceived decisions.  Along the same lines, I believe this attitude also allows you to accept if you’re initial analysis proves wrong.  With the other two attitudes, it’s not easy to admit you were wrong since that goes against you underlying paradigm.  Have you honestly analyzed your attitude?

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

Posted by: S. P. | September 24, 2010

UFOs and Nukes

Minuteman Missile - US Air Force Photo

Thanks to Morgan Beall, MUFON Southwest Florida State Section Director, for bringing attention to this Fox News story.  The article, which appeared on the Fox News website on September 23rd, announces that a group of former Air Force members, six officers and one enlisted man, will hold a news conference at the National Press Club on Monday [presumably meaning September 27th] during which they will discuss UFO activity connected to nuclear weapons sites.

Serious researchers of UFO/UAP activity know there’s a long and undeniable connection between this activity and nuclear weapons sites.  In fact, the article mentions one incident from March 16, 1967, at Malmstrom AFB in Montana during which an unidentified aerial craft reportedly appeared over a lunch site.  At the same time, ten missiles on nuclear alert dropped off-line.

Ten nuclear missiles simultaneously dropping off-line is an event with enormous national security implications.  In the 1960s era Strategic Air Command (SAC) still operating under the shadow of its former boss, General Curtis LeMay, such an incident would simply not have been tolerated in the slightest bit.  Regardless of Air Force denials, there is simply no way SAC would not have upturned every store in search of an explanation – and documented their investigation.

While these events do not prove we are being visited by little green men, they do prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is happening and that the government in general and the Air Force in particular are withholding information. I completely understand the need to protect classified information.  However, if this is the case, then as tax-paying citizens in a representative Republic, we’re at least owned this answer instead of a bunch of lies that the government has no interest in UFO/UAP activity near military instillations as it presents “no national security threat.”

On Monday, the group of former Air Force members will supposedly “distribute declassified U.S. government documents at the event that they claim will substantiate the reality of UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites extending back to 1948. The press conference will also address present-day concerns about the abuse of government secrecy as well as the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons.”  We’ll see what comes of it and if there’s any follow-up reporting.

In the meantime, this news story is the perfect segue into sharing my introduction to serious interest in UFOs/UAP.  While I had an interest in anomalous phenomena most of my life, my serious interest was first piqued by an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on the Roswell incident which originally aired on NBC in the late 1980s.  Later, as a brand new second lieutenant at Air Force intelligence school, during a discussion with a classmate on the Unsolved Mysteries episode, I learned of his deep interest in UFOs/UAP.  He pointed me towards some of the serious books on the subject and I was hooked.

One of the first books I purchased was UFO Crash at Roswell by Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt.  The book was well-written, well-documented and presented a compelling case.  I felt anyone reading the book with an open mind must come to the conclusion something crashed near Roswell in 1947.  It might not have been space aliens (and I’m still not convinced it wasn’t a classified prototype military aircraft), but it was certainly not a weather balloon.  Since it clearly wasn’t a weather balloon, this led to another inescapable fact: the government and the Air Force were lying about what they knew regarding Roswell (I should point out this was in the early 1990s when the Air Force still held steadfast to the “weather balloon” explanation and before it muddied the waters even further with other “explanations” involving parachute test dummies, Project Mogul and a captain with a severe head injury).

Now, patient reader, allow me to come back to the subject of UFOs and nukes.  In my intelligence class, we had two captains who were former missiliers retraining into intelligence (the Air Force only kept guys stuck down in a hole for four years before letting them go off and do something else for awhile).  If any Air Force missiliers are reading this, my apologies, as your two comrades have clouded my opinion of missiliers ever since.  Hopefully these two did not represent your “best and brightest.”  However, as mere second lieutenants, we were all at the mercy of these two captains as our class “leaders” (and with these two, I use the word “leader” in its loosest sense).  Excuse me, kind reader, I digress.

After learning we shared similar interest in seeking real answers for UFOs, my friend and I engaged in many serious discussions.  At one point, he brought up the topic of UFO activity connected to nuclear weapons sites.  Well, with two missiliers in our class, it seemed the perfect opportunity to seek firsthand information.

We approached the two “mighty” captains and my friend inquired if they had any experiences while serving as missiliers which might be related to UFOs.  Interestingly, both apparently experienced Air Force security policemen guarding the missile sites topside reporting sightings of unidentified aerial craft over the missile fields.  One captain didn’t have much more to say on the subject, other than “they” (the security police) didn’t know what they were talking about.  The other one, clearly my favorite of the two, provided a much more condescending answer, claiming the security police who reported such incidents were “drunk.”  Oh, really, Captain America?

Everyone, including security police, connected with nuclear weapons must maintain a top secret security clearance.  On top of this requirement, those serving in nuclear weapons related duties were subject to what was called the Personal Reliability Program (PRP).  The PRP was more of a psychological evaluation.  The simplest things, such as marital trouble or financial trouble, would cause one to lose his PRP status and therefore be barred from working near nuclear weapons until the situation resolved.  The Air Force wanted to ensure those trusted near nuclear weapons were able to focus their minds on the task at hand without any outside distractions.

Now this captain really believed someone whose job carried these requirements would be drunk on duty?  In almost any Air Force career field, but especially those connected to nuclear weapons, being caught drunk on duty would mean a Courts Martial, dishonorable discharge and a free pass to spend some time at Ft. Leavenworth – and not as a visitor.  Despite all this, it was clear Captain Courageous actually believed the security police calling in reports were drunk.

I often get the impression many UFO/UAP researchers without military experience believe all military members are “in on the secret.”  The sad reality is the captain described above represents the attitude of most in the military regarding UFOs/UAP.  They know only kooks “believe” in UFOs, therefore anyone reporting such incidents must be mistaken, insane or drunk – or all three.  Most simply can’t square the fact reliable, credible witnesses are reporting unidentified aerial phenomena.  This leads to two unfortunate results.  First, most in the military won’t report unusual activity for fear of being labeled a “kook.”  Second, when incidents are reported, the same attitude often causes the reports to simply be dismissed out-of-hand.

Despite the weak excuses from these two, we ended up with first hand confirmation that Air Force members continued to witness unidentified aerial craft near nuclear weapons sites.  I suspect such sightings continue today.

I’m convinced the answer to the UFO/UAP mystery will come through historical research cracking open government files, not by chasing reports of odd lights in the sky.  It’s very clear the government is not exactly forthcoming in admitting everything it knows – while this might be due to some secret conspiracy, at the same time, it might be due to the same, good old government incompetence which has brought us things like a social security system about to collapse.  Regardless of the reason for not disclosing the information, it’s there somewhere and it’s the job of serious researchers to track it down.  Hopefully the press conference on Monday will offer up some further intriguing evidence and provide some more trails for serious researchers to follow.

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

Posted by: S. P. | September 15, 2010

“Strange” Lights over SWFL Update

Hats off to NBC 2 in Ft Myers.  After taking a light-hearted approach to their initial story of people reporting “strange” lights off the southwest Florida coast, the station actually followed up on the story today with more solid investigation.

Homestead Air Reserve Base, which is located near Miami, is taking credit for the light show.  A spokesman for the base says they were conducting flare training exercises, which are required on a quarterly basis.  Homestead Air Reserve Base operates F-16 fighter aircraft, which employ flare counter measures.  Additional witness photos and video give a fuller picture and do seem to show flares.

In order to maintain operational currency, Air Force pilots are required to complete a certain number of training events within certain timeframes which are airframe-specific.  For example, they must log a certain number of instruments approaches in order to maintain instrument currency.  Fighter pilots must additionally complete a certain amount of fighter-specific training events, including training in use of countermeasures.

There are designated Warning Areas off the Florida coast in the area where people reported these lights.  The Air Force prefers to practice with flares over water, particularly after setting a brush fire a few years ago touched off by a flare.

While they’re called “flares,” most people don’t understand the type of flares we’re talking about bear almost no resemblance to the roadside flares with which most people are familiar.  Instead, aircraft use specially-designed, very sophisticated flares as countermeasures against missiles.  Very simply, most missiles are looking for the heat signature given off by an aircraft’s engine(s).  The missile can be “fooled” if another “hotter” heat signature appears.  That’s what flares are designed to do – “trick” the missiles.  As I learned doing some additional research today, in recent years flares have become even more technologically advanced in order to keep up with advances in missile seeker head technology.  In order to defeat newer missiles which employ sensors that can “see” color, today’s flares are “multispectral” flares which change color as they burn.

Finally, the timeframe during which these lights were observed turns out to be much shorter than originally implied.  It’s now reported the people saw the lights around 2120 for only “several minutes.”  This time frame is consistent with fighters ejecting flares in order to “check the box” and complete a quarterly training requirement.

Given all this, I’m very comfortable with the explanation that these lights were in fact flares from F-16s operating in designated military training areas.  Considering the (now obvious) likelihood of people seeing these flares and misidentifying them, Homestead should have notified the media in advance.  I chalk this up to someone not thinking as opposed to some sort of secret squirrel conspiracy.

Case closed.

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

Posted by: S. P. | September 15, 2010

Strange Lights Spotted over SWFL Coast

[Note: In case you came directly to this story instead of through the homepage, my update to this story is here.]

According to a NBC 2 News report this morning (http://www.nbc-2.com/Global/story.asp?S=13156353), residents along the southwest Florida coast from Ft. Myers Beach to Marco Island spotted “strange” lights off the coast Tuesday evening (14 Sep).  The Coast Guard claims the military was conducting “training.”  Viewing the video attached to the story, as a former Air Force pilot, I cannot identify the lights, however it was not of the best quality and shows the lights only briefly.  Warning Area W-168 (which are areas overwater in which the miliary conducts training) is off the coast of Ft. Myers, so it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that the military was conducting training and that the lights are aircraft position lights or flares — perhaps someone else has seen this pattern and knows what they are for sure?   The news station, in typical fashion, laughs it all off as a joke, but claims they’re going to look into it more today.  Time will tell if they actually follow through.  Interestingly, the area of Tuesday’s reports includes Capri Island, where residents reported seeing mysterious lights earlier this year.

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

Posted by: S. P. | September 11, 2010

UAVs and UFOs

 

RQ-170

[This article was originally posted on my blog The Ghost Writer (http://spiritedwriter.wordpress.com/) in December 2009.]

Photos of an unknown aircraft, dubbed the Beast of Kandahar, have circulated around the internet for the past several months.  This week, the Air Force issued a statement confirming the existence of this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  It’s officially known as the RQ-170 Sentinel and was developed by Lockheed Martin to “provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces,” according to the Air Force statement.  The “RQ” designation identifies the craft as an unarmed UAV, as opposed to the “MQ” designation for the Predator and Reaper UAVs which are armed aircraft.

 

 

Reports of triangle-shaped “UFOs” date back decades – in fact during Kenneth Arnold’s famous sighting near Mt. Rainier on June 24, 1947, which ushered in the modern UFO craze, he reported the craft as vaguely triangular in shape (technically crescent-shape).  Given the documented history of triangular shaped aircraft, manned and unmanned, from the close of World War II through the present day, with aircraft such as the B-2 and RQ-170, how many of those triangle-shaped “UFO” sightings were actually misidentified military aircraft?

Northrop N-1M (Circa 1940)

Many people think military UAVs are a new development.  However, the history of UAVs, or remote controlled aircraft, dates back to shortly after the development of heavier-than-air flight.  By the end of World War I, engineers developed rudimentary remote control systems.  Refinement of these systems continued through the 1920s and 1930s.  World War II gave a great boost to perfecting remote control of even large aircraft, including B-17s.  Today’s reconnaissance UAVs trace their history back to the 1950s when cameras were first fitted to UAVs for surveillance.

As the charts on this site (http://www.uavforum.com/vehicles/overview.htm) and this site (http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/uav.htm) show, a large variety of UAVs have been produced since the close of World War II.  Many of these craft have unusual shapes, which would easily lead the unknowing observer to classify a sighting as a “UFO.”  Keep in mind as well that without a human pilot, the craft is limited only by its structural capabilities, not by the limitations of the human body – therefore UAVs are capable of higher sustained g-loading and more abrupt maneuvers than an aircraft with a human pilot.

CL-327 UAV

Certainly UAVs do not account for all unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).  However, it’s very likely UAVs and experimental aircraft do account for a significant number of UAP reports.

This brings up a very important point: investigators of any type of unknown event must begin with the assumption that a “normal” explanation exists for the activity.  Only when all normal explanations are exhausted should other explanations be considered.

Far too many self-styled “investigators” begin with the assumption whatever type of activity they’re researching exists, be it ghosts, Big Foot, aliens, or whatever.  So when someone reports a ghost or a “UFO,” these types of “investigators” go into the situation with the pre-loaded assumption that the explanation for the activity is a ghost or is space aliens.  This is a fundamentally incorrect approach.  Instead, the initial assumption should be that it’s not a ghost or it’s not space aliens.  This mindset keeps the investigator focused on looking for normal explanations first.

True anomalous phenomena are very rare events.  If investigators ever hope to gain any credibility, they must approach the subject with strong discipline and healthy skepticism.  If you claim ghosts and aliens are everywhere, is anyone going to listen to you that one time when you actually find something?

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

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