Teperdexrian

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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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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