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Archive for the ‘UFOs’ Category

UFOs Filmed Over London — Or Not

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For extraterrestrials notoriously shy about making their presence known to Earthlings, they have been making more and more appearances in home videos over the past six months.

One of the most famous was the UFO that appeared over the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine in Jerusalem, on January 28. Discovery News writer Ian O’Neill published one of the first analyses of the video (based in part on my own investigation), demonstrating that it was “almost certainly a hoax.”

A more comprehensive analysis by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), one of the oldest, largest, and most respected UFO investigation organizations in the world, also later concluded that it was faked.

A few months later, on April 21, another ‘alien’ home video surfaced. This one, allegedly taken in Russia, showed two young men finding an alien body on a rural, snowy farm. It, too, was soon revealed to be a hoax.

Now, right on schedule, comes yet another UFO home video, this one taken in London, England. According to a report in the Daily Mail:

“In the video, the cameraman runs towards the corner of Bolsover Street and Clipstone Street where two other men are already standing, gazing skywards, one of whom is using a mobile phone camera. As the camera is pointed upwards, over the BBC’s Yalding House, three white dots flash across the sky at great speed in a triangle formation, they are very quickly followed by two similar sized white dots. As the camera pans down again, two people on the opposite side of the road can also been seen watching events unfold above them. Then one larger, bright and more slow moving disc-shaped white object appears, circles around briefly and zips off.”

The video, one of at least two similar videos, was posted to YouTube last week and soon went viral over the Web, stirring interest and controversy among believers and skeptics alike.

Though evidence may eventually validate the video, a preliminary analysis strongly suggests that this video, like the others, is a hoax. For one thing, it’s not clear who shot the video, or even when; anonymous eyewitnesses are a red flag.

Furthermore, the UFOs (like the one that appeared in the hoaxed Jerusalem video) are very easy to fake with video-editing software, mere spots of light without structure or detail.

Adding fuel for the skeptical grist, it seems that no one else on the busy London street near the British Broadcasting Building saw the many bright glowing objects in the sky. Logic suggests that there would have been thousands of eyewitnesses, yet the cameraman captured an event that apparently no one else saw.

It’s also suspicious that though the video shows others recording the amazing event, no other photos or videos from the same angle have surfaced. Surely one of the other UFO eyewitnesses present (and seen in the video) would have come forward in the past weeks to sell their own photographs or videos to a newspaper or television station — perhaps the BBC would be interested, since it occurred above their building.

Faked UFO videos may be fun for hoaxers (or as viral marketing), but even many people firmly convinced that UFOs are real are getting tired of the hoaxes. After all, how will we know when the real UFO videos surface? No one likes to be fooled, and the best preventative is to examine all the evidence with a sense of history and a skeptical eye.

 

Via Discovery

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Australian Government Loses All Its UFO Files

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Two months ago, an Australian newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to its government seeking files pertaining to UFO sightings across the country.

Government officials have just come back empty handed. The UFO files, they said, seem to have gone missing.

“The files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost,” the Australia Department of Defense’s FOI assistant director, Natalie Carpenter, told the Sydney Morning Herald, the newspaper that made the request.

Two months spent (presumably) thumbing through drawers turned up only one UFO-related file, Carpenter said, called “Report on UFOs/Strange Occurrences and Phenomena in Woomera.” It documents a series of sightings in and around a military weapons testing range in the Australian outback.

All other files had been lost or destroyed.

According to the Herald, Australia’s military stopped taking UFO sighting reports in late 2000. For the past decade, members of the public have reported incidents to the police instead, and those recent reports are presumably still extant.

This isn’t the first time in recent history that a government body has misplaced UFO files. Earlier this year, Britain’s Ministry of Defense released thousands of reports related to UFO sightings in Britain over the past few decades. All files from 1980 to 1982, however, were missing. The omission raised some suspicion among conspiracy theorists.

 

 

Via SPACE

Squadron of UFOs flying over California?

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The Internet is abuzz over an alleged UFO sighting in the night sky over Oakland, California.

Three fast-moving dots of light can be seen travelling close together in a video posted on YouTube by a KevinMC360.

The ‘UFO squadron’ shows the three lights in a triangular pattern spotted on May 26.

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Spotted: Three fast-moving dots of light can be seen travelling close together

Spotted: Three fast-moving dots of light can be seen travelling close together

Cynics claim the cameraman has merely captured a flock of birds, but Kevin insists the sighting was genuine.

In the film, he follows a plane as a point of reference.

 

 

‘For all you bird lovers out there you can call them geese, if you like, but I will only laugh at you,’ he said.

The UFO video has already attracted more than 2,500 viewings.

He posted it a year after claiming to have filmed ‘a group of spacecraft’ over Oakland.

‘I got them. There was a squadron of spacecraft,’ he claimed in the video, which shows five lights in a V-formation.

That video has been viewed more than 23,780 times.

 

Via DailyMail

Area 51 Spy Plane, Intact

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Area 51 plane crash cover-up picture: an A-12 spy plane prototype is seen on the runway.

ON TV:Area 51 Declassified premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, May 24, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Suspended upside down, a titanium A-12 spy-plane prototype is prepped for radar testing at Area 51 in the late 1950s. After a rash of declassifications, details of Cold War workings at the Nevada base, which to this day does not officially exist, are coming to light—including never before released images of an A-12 crash and its cover-up.

In 1963 a prototype rocketed out of the secret base—and never returned. See the crash for the first time, and get closer to the truth about Area 51.

Area 51 was created so that U.S. Cold Warriors with the highest security clearances could pursue cutting-edge aeronautical projects away from prying eyes. During the 1950s and ’60s Area 51’s top-secret OXCART program developed the A-12 as the successor to the U-2 spy plane.

Nearly undetectable to radar, the A-12 could fly at 2,200 miles an hour (3,540 kilometers an hour)—fast enough to cross the continental U.S. in 70 minutes. From 90,000 feet (27,400 meters), the plane’s cameras could capture foot-long (0.3-meter-long) objects on the ground below.

But pushing the limits came with risks—and a catastrophic 1963 crash of an A-12 based out of Area 51.

A rapid government cover-up removed nearly all public traces of the wrecked A-12—pictured publicly for the first time in this gallery, thanks to the CIA’s recent declassification of the images.

—Brian Handwerk


Via NatGeo

Were Soviets behind Roswell UFO?

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Investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen’s new book, “Area 51,” suggests that the Soviets stirred up the Roswell UFO incident in 1947 by sending flying disks into New Mexico with child-size aviators on board, as a warning that they could spark a UFO panic if they wanted to.

But will that explanation fly?

Jacobsen’s revelation is based on an account from just one unnamed source. This source said he was an engineer with the company EG&G at Area 51,  the hush-hush military research site in Nevada. He told Jacobsen that he studied the remnants of the Roswell crash in 1951, along with four other EG&G engineers.

There are no documents to confirm the account — because, Jacobsen says, this was one of the most tightly held secrets of the Cold War. Even though that confirmation is lacking, Jacobsen says she stands by her source’s amazing account. “He had nothing to gain and everything to lose by telling me,” she told me, “but it was a matter of conscience for him.”

Jacobsen’s source recounted what he says he saw, as well as what he was told and what he surmised based on that information. Here’s the scenario presented in “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base,”based on the source’s account:
  • After World War II, the Soviets capitalized on the work being done on stealthy flying-wing aircraft by a group of Nazi German engineers headed by two brothers, Walter and Reimar Horten. They developed disk-shaped flying machines that could sporadically evade radar detection. The U.S. military perfected such technology at Area 51 over the decades that followed to produce planes such as the F-117 stealth attack aircraft.
  • Soviet leaders were spooked by the U.S. military’s use of the atom bomb to bring the war to a quick close. They were a couple of years away from developing their own atomic weapons, based on secrets stolen from the U.S. bomb effort. The Roswell incident was aimed at warning the Truman administration that the Soviets could create a UFO hoax, stirring up fears similar to those that were sparked inadvertently by the fictional “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast in 1938.
  • Jacobsen’s source believes that the Soviets dispatched flying-disk drone aircraft from a mothership flying near Alaska. Intermittent radar signals were picked up by U.S. installations, but the disks were nevertheless able to enter U.S. airspace and come down near Roswell, N.M.
  • “Child-size aviators” were aboard the disks: humans, seemingly about 13 years old, who may have been surgically or biologically altered to give them enlarged heads and eyes. Jacobsen quotes her source as saying he was told that the alien look-alikes were the result of experiments conducted by Nazi mad scientist Josef Mengele. The bodies were recovered from the wreckage, and two of them were alive but comatose.
  • The wreckage and the bodies were transported from New Mexico to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for study, then transferred again to Area 51 in Nevada. This is where Jacobsen’s source saw them in 1951. The source is quoted as saying he saw Russian writing stamped on a ring that went around the inside of the aircraft, and that he saw the child-size bodies on a life support system.
  • When Jacobsen asked why President Harry Truman didn’t report all this in 1947, she said the source replied, “Because we were doing the same thing.” She notes in the book that the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense Department carried out human experiments on the effects of radiation, and suggests that the hundreds of experiments revealed in 1995 were just the tip of the iceberg. “I believe that a lot of what the Atomic Energy Commission did was reckless and dangerous,” she told me.

This latest explanation runs counter to the scenarios put forward by the federal government— first, that the Roswell wreckage came from a weather balloon, and then that it was debris from a crash-test dummy drop as well as a balloon-borne experiment to monitor nuclear blasts. It also runs counter to the long-held claims by UFO activists that the crash actually represented a covered-up visitation by extraterrestrials.

Drawing fire from both sides
As such, Jacobsen’s Roswell account is taking fire from UFO skeptics as well as those who give the alien scenario more credence. In a novel twist, Clifford Clift of the Mutual UFO Network told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the linkage to German aerospace technology was too tenuous to be believed.

“After researching the claim, I found little truth in this theory,” he said. “It is a stretch. One of my concerns is if they wanted to create panic, why in New Mexico and not in New York where there are more people to panic? I would suggest it is another conspiracy theory, and heavens, MUFON knows about conspiracy theories. They do sell books.”

Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center said he also was skeptical about Jacobsen’s account, although he stressed that he hasn’t yet read the entire book.

“People have been studying the Roswell case for decades now,” he told the New Mexican. “They’ve got deathbed testimony. They’ve got testimony from military officers who were involved, eyewitnesses. I think I’ll go with the latter, rather than this young lady who penned this new book.”

Investigator Kal Korff — who took aim at the alien claims in his 1997 book, “Roswell UFO Crash” — said he wasn’t buying the “Area 51” story either. “Of all the crazy ideas as to what is behind Roswell, this is one of the most extreme out there,” he told me in an email.

Beyond the substance of the story, there’s the issue of basing such a dramatic story on one person’s account. “I would never report anything related to UFOs based on only one unnamed source!” journalist Leslie Kean, the author of “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record,” wrote in a Facebook update.

Jacobsen told me that getting the story out of even one of the five engineers who were involved in the Area 51 follow-up to the Roswell incident was a months-long job.

“What’s important to understand is that all of the top five EG&G engineers had top secret clearances and also Q clearances. … So you’re dealing with the most upper-echelon clearances you could possibly have within the federal government, in the Atomic Energy Commission. Your ‘need-to-know’ is so strict that you only know what you know. … To suggest that the five engineers could stand around and discuss, ‘Hey, what do you think is,’ is a bit naive,” she said. “It’s ‘take this craft apart and put it back together … take these bodies and move them over here.’ And that is about the extent of it.”

It’s also important to understand that there’s a lot more to “Area 51” than Roswell. The Roswell tale, which takes up about 30 pages of the 544-page book, is the only one that depends on a single unnamed source, Jacobsen said. Most of the book focuses on the stories behind formerly secret programs ranging from nuclear bomb tests to the development of the U-2 and A-12 Oxcart spy planes. To this day, military officials avoid referring to Area 51 by that name.

The gorilla-mask scenario
So if the Roswell UFO wasn’t an alien (or Soviet) intruder, and if you don’t buy the official explanation that it was a balloon experiment, what else might it have been? One of the alternate explanations is that the “UFO” was indeed a flying disk, but that it was a U.S. rather than a Soviet experimental craft. In this scenario, the alien-looking bodies might have been dummies designed to create a preposterous cover story.

Jacobsen herself refers to a similar disinformation strategy that the Air Force used in 1942, when the first jet aircraft were being developed at California’s Muroc dry lake bed. She said one of the test pilots for the Bell XP-59A jet plane, Jack Woolams, put on a gorilla mask when he went on a flight — just in case other pilots training on different planes came flying nearby to take a look.

“Instead of seeing Woolams, the pilot saw a gorilla flying an airplane — an airplane that had no propeller,” Jacobsen wrote. “The stunned pilot landed and went straight to the local bar and ordered a stiff drink. He told the other pilots what he’d definitely seen with his own eyes. His colleagues told him he was drunk, that he was an embarrassment, that he should go home.”

Thus was the secret of the Bell XP-59A preserved, even from the other fliers at the Muroc base (now known as Edwards Air Force Base).

Were the Roswell aliens actually dummies, the equivalent of pilots wearing gorilla masks? Or is Jacobsen’s source correct? Is the truth more monstrous than people thought? Even though the eyewitnesses are dying off, Jacobsen believes the real story may be contained within the hundreds of millions of documents about “black” projects that are still said to be classified.

She notes that all of the sources she consulted while researching “Area 51” told her they knew much more than they were telling. “Everyone always ends with, ‘Well, Annie, I’ve actually told you 5 percent of what I know,'” Jacobsen said.

Is the truth out there? Or will it remain mired in reams upon reams of conjecture and disinformation? Feel free to weigh in with your comments below.

– Alan Boyle

Via MSNBC

How Area 51 Hid Secret Craft

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Area 51 plane crash cover-up picture: a mock-up of a secret spy plane is hoisted upside down on a pylon.

ON TV: Area 51 Declassified premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

No word yet on alien starships, but now that many Cold War-era Area 51 documents have been declassified, veterans of the secret U.S. base are revealing some of the clever—and surprisingly low-tech—ways they hid futuristic prototypes from prying eyes.

(Also see “Exclusive Area 51 Pictures: Secret Plane Crash Revealed.”)

The CIA created Area 51 in 1955 to test and develop top secret U.S. military projects in the remote Nevada desert. More than 50 years later, the base still doesn’t officially exist and appears on no public U.S. government maps.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Area 51 was the epicenter of the OXCART project, intended to create the successor for the U-2 spy plane.

The OXCART plane was expected to be undetectable in the air as it flew surveillance and information-gathering missions over the Soviet Union. But Area 51 personnel soon found it necessary to conceal the craft from the Soviets eyes even when it was still being tested on the ground.

Cat and Mouse at Area 51

It was discovered that Soviet spy satellites, dubbed ash cans by Area 51 staff, were making regular rounds over Nevada.

U.S. intelligence agencies, though, provided Area 51 workers with a decisive advantage in this international “game of cat and mouse,” according to T.D. Barnes, a former hypersonic flight specialist at Area 51 whose expertise was in electronic counter measures.

No longer sworn to secrecy by the CIA, Barnes said, “In our morning security meetings, they’d give us a roster of the satellites that the Soviets had in the air, and we’d know the exact schedule of when they were coming over.

“It was like a bus schedule, and it even told us whether it was an infrared satellite or what type it was,” Barnes told National Geographic news.

The Area 51 Hoot and Scoot

Often hoisted atop tall poles for radar tests of the planes’ stealthiness, OXCART prototypes were tested outside—making the Soviet spy satellites especially aggravating.

“We had hoot-and-scoot sheds, we called them,” Barnes says in the new National Geographic Channel documentary Area 51 Declassified. (The Channel is part-owned by the National Geographic Society, which owns National Geographic News.)

“If a plane happened to be out in the open while a satellite was coming over the horizon, they would scoot it into that building.”

Former Area 51 procurement manager Jim Freedman adds, “That made the job very difficult, very difficult.

“To start working on the aircraft and then have to run it back into the hangar and then pull it out and then put it in and then pull it out—it gets to be quite a hassle,” Freedman says in the film.

(Also see “Cold War Spy Plane Found in Baltic Sea.”)

Shadows of Area 51

It turned out that even laborious hooting and scooting weren’t enough. Spies had learned that the Soviets had a drawing of an OXCART plane—obtained, it was assumed, via an infrared satellite.

As a plane sat in the hot desert, its shadow would create a relatively cool silhouette, visible in infrared even after the plane had been moved inside.

“It’s like a parking lot,” Barnes told National Geographic News. “After all the cars have left you can still see how many were parked there [in infrared] because of the difference in ground temperatures.”

To thwart the infrared satellites, Area 51 crews began constructing fanciful fake planes out of cardboard and other mundane materials, to cast misleading shadows for the Soviets to ponder. (Not intended to be seen, the decoys themselves were scooted out of sight before satellite flyovers.) Sometimes staff even fired up heaters near imaginary engine locations to make it look as if planes had just landed.

“We really played with the infrared satellites,” Barnes recalled.

Ahead of Its Time—And Gone Before Its Time?

As for the real U-2 successor, the Soviets never solved the secrets of OXCART before the program was made public in the mid-1960s.

But during the course of some 2,850 top-secret test flights numerous people did see an oddly shaped (for the time), Mach-3 aircraft. Unidentifiable even to air controllers or commercial pilots, the gleaming titanium craft no doubt helped fuel the persistent rumors connecting UFOs with Area 51.

In the end, the result of all the subterfuge was the Archangel-12, or A-12, considered by some to be the first true stealth plane. (Related: “‘Hitler’s Stealth Fighter’ Re-created.”)

The A-12 could travel over 2,000 miles an hour (3,220 kilometers an hour) and cross the continental U.S. in 70 minutes—all while taking pictures that could resolve foot-long objects on the ground from an altitude of 90,000 feet (27,430 meters).

But despite being “the most advanced aircraft ever built,” as CIA historian David Robarge writes, the A-12 never saw spy service over the Soviet Union. And just as the Archangel was to be deemed ready for operation, its successor, the U.S. Air Force’s famed SR-71 Blackbird, was already in the works.

Due to fiscal pressures and Air Force/CIA competition, Robarge writes, the A-12, one of Area 51’s greatest creations—at least that we know about—was decommissioned in 1968 after only a year in active service.

Via NatGeo

‘Fireballs’ reported in east Fort Worth

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Fire and police dispatchers were busy Tuesday night answering calls about “fireballs” in the sky and on the ground in east Fort Worth.

Several transformers were struck by lightning in east Fort Worth Tuesday night, Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina said.

Repair crews worked through overnight Wednesday through the afternoon after the lightning strikes “destroyed” some of the transformers, Molina said.

About 550 power outages were being reported in the Metroplex as of noon Wednesday, with most of them in the Fort Worth area, Molina said.

The number of outages have been reduced from the 4,000 outages reported late Tuesday, Molina said.

About 210 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were reported in Tarrant County between 8 and 9 p.m., said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Mosier, who said he couldn’t pinpoint the exact locations.

Some 120 more incidents of lightning striking the ground were reported from 9 to 10 p.m., Mosier said.

Mosier said he didn’t know if it had to strike the transformer directly or the ground close to it but if the lightning carries a large enough electrical charge, it can “blow” a transformer.

At 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, police officers were blocking East First Street from about Beach Street to Oakland Boulevard.

The calls began coming in about 9 p.m. in the White Lake Hills area along Interstate 30 east of Oakland and west of East Loop 820.

Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders said that whatever it was, it was dramatic.

“I’ve seen lightning strike, and this was no lightning,” he said. “It may have been precipitated by lightning strikes.”

Sanders said he was at his home, which backs up to Randol Mill Road, when he saw “blazes up in the air.”

“I saw fire in the sky and on the ground,” he said. “I saw 10 or 12 explosions. It was like someone was dropping bombs.”

After his power went out, he got in his car to investigate and found that street and signal lights were not working.

There were two fires west of the Riverbend Estates, north of I-30 and west of Loop 820, he said.

Anselma Knabe, who lives near Randol Mill and Oakland, said she heard some kind of explosion about 9 p.m.

When she looked outside, “sparks were showering everywhere,” she said. “I thought the house was going to catch fire. Luckily, we have a metal roof.”

The police scanner was noisy with chatter as officers called for assistance.

“I need someone from Oncor out here for a transformer on fire,” one officer said.

A dispatcher said they were swamped with similar calls and said, “I’ll add you to the list.”

Fort Worth firefighters responded to several calls involving transformers and electrical problems Tuesday night, Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman said.

There were several calls about a possible lightning strike at a transformer substation at 4800 Randol Mill Road just after 9 p.m. after repeated sightings of flashes and explosions, Hardeman said.

There was also a report of a transformer on fire at the Five Star Custom Foods storage facility at 3709 East 1st Street at about 10:04 p.m., Hardeman said.

It’s not known at this time if the transformer belonged to the food storage facility as it did not suffer a power outage, Hardeman said.

City health inspectors were called to the scene as a precaution, Hardeman said.

Via StarTelegram

Written by Nokgiir

May 14, 2011 at 7:34 am