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U.F.O.'s but no panic?!

Parson

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I read this in the New York Times a few days ago and thought I'd find some discussion about it, but no .... so ....

‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects

I'm struck by the similarity of this to a book I've read some .... 40 years ago? No clue about author or title .... But UFO's were first spotted using an advanced radar, like the story talks about. (The story has the first Earth star ship see them again after the first jump to Alpha Centauri.) Secondly, it strikes me as hugely strange that if the government claims nothing is going on (area 51 anyone?) everybody is sure that there's some kind of a huge cover-up. Now they are opening talking about UFO's that have been tracked, there is no hue and cry about aliens or what not?? One of the leading theories that it is some kind of government program the Navy knows nothing about? .... Aw, give me a break!

I don't know what to think! Ideas?
 

Robert Zwilling

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Without pictures it's only the words describing the UFO encounter which don't appear to have an impact anymore. Words don't carry the impact they used to, or it's too easy to assume words could be fantasy even if they are describing a real event, while a picture, no matter how faked it is or real, is readily believed to be real.
 

Parson

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Without pictures it's only the words describing the UFO encounter which don't appear to have an impact anymore. Words don't carry the impact they used to, or it's too easy to assume words could be fantasy even if they are describing a real event, while a picture, no matter how faked it is or real, is readily believed to be real.
(Sigh!) But there is the data from the radar connection. It would be hugely ironic if this was the real thing and no one was interested.
 

CupofJoe

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One of the leading theories that it is some kind of government program the Navy knows nothing about? .... Aw, give me a break!
If by Government you open it up to any government or even a private company, then I think that most likely. UFO just means they don't know what it is and there are probably dozens of [secret and/or covert] projects around the world working on AI drones with an agility that isn't like that of a conventional aircraft.
That said if Aliens landed on that bit of ground outside the White House or in front of Buckingham Palace and wandered about signing autographs, then at least half the world would call if fake news, all CG'd and demand real proof.
 

RJM Corbet

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Without pictures it's only the words describing the UFO encounter which don't appear to have an impact anymore. Words don't carry the impact they used to, or it's too easy to assume words could be fantasy even if they are describing a real event, while a picture, no matter how faked it is or real, is readily believed to be real.
But there are real time video records. And it's in the NY Times, which I believe is a decent newspaper that checks it's facts before publishing.? Especially something like this?

There are clever fakes around, but this doesnt seem to be taken from a You Tube video or something like that? The NY Times must be pretty sure these are actual observations by actual navy pilots? Experienced pilots. They would be unlikely to get confused with birds or balloons, etc.

Of course they don't have to be extraterrestrial. But as @Parson observes, the strangest thing is the total lack of reaction.

EDIT: Perhaps it's because people are so used to You Tube and Facebook fakes they no longer appreciate that a respectable newspaper actually has to check facts before publishing?

I'm not an American. There are some rubbish rags excuse for newspapers in the UK. So perhaps it depends on how seriously people can trust the NY Times.
 
Last edited:

Brian G Turner

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These days I think people may be more likely to believe "Unidentified Flying Objects" as experimental government programs, rather than visitors from space.

When I lived in Hull, some friends said that over the years they'd seen UFO's in the shape of a black triangle.

It was a number of years later that the US revealed it's Stealth Bomber - and a few years later before we learned some had been stationed at the nearby Brough airbase...
 

RJM Corbet

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These days I think people may be more likely to believe "Unidentified Flying Objects" as experimental government programs, rather than visitors from space.
From the article:

"... Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the possibility of an extraterrestrial cause “is so unlikely that it competes with many other low-probability but more mundane explanations.” He added that “there are so many other possibilities — bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight ...”

And nowadays there are all sorts of drones and things.

The objects were only visible on new generation radar. They could not be observed visually.
 

Venusian Broon

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I read this in the New York Times a few days ago and thought I'd find some discussion about it, but no .... so ....

‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects

I'm struck by the similarity of this to a book I've read some .... 40 years ago? No clue about author or title .... But UFO's were first spotted using an advanced radar, like the story talks about. (The story has the first Earth star ship see them again after the first jump to Alpha Centauri.) Secondly, it strikes me as hugely strange that if the government claims nothing is going on (area 51 anyone?) everybody is sure that there's some kind of a huge cover-up. Now they are opening talking about UFO's that have been tracked, there is no hue and cry about aliens or what not?? One of the leading theories that it is some kind of government program the Navy knows nothing about? .... Aw, give me a break!

I don't know what to think! Ideas?
Hey Parson,

Been reading the Fortean Times for decades now and this is bread and butter to it. The story in has been reported in it for a good couple of years.

This is kinda complex, but I will try and break down what I understand to be happening.

Radar is a notoriously finicky technology. For civilian radar and commercial travel they simplify it by forcing all flights to install a transponder and then the radar system is forced to just track objects which have a transponder. The reason they do this is that the atmosphere is extremely complex and radar will highlight a huge number of false positives, see 'Radar Angel' echoes for example. Essentially civilian radar just ignore most of the data they are getting back. Obviously military systems can't work on this trust system, so have to work on all the data that returns, which means, by definition it must be more advanced and able to analyse and work with a much more complicated data set.

Now the fact we don't seem to have air forces around the world chasing shadows constantly suggests to me that, generally speaking these military systems work most of the time! But they are bound to, at times, pick up anomalies and weird conditions. Pilots, both civilian and military are bright people, but they are not trained as atmospheric physicists. Yes they will see and pick up strange things that they cannot explain - I'd say there's still a great many phenomena that we haven't come close to explaining, but that's science for you - but I do think even these people can misunderstand info coming in, get confused or just not have enough info at the time to really comprehend what they have found.

As for cover ups...I'd suggest that generally all types of aircrew are reluctant to report anything they see - even if it is, as I suggest, interesting atmospheric phenomena that isn't little green men or genuine mistaken identification of some more mundane phenomena - as I am sure they will fear this might lead to them being taken off flying one way or another. Although in recent years there do seem to be more stories coming through. (Maybe this attitude is changing though?)

For the videos that the AATIP (organisation mentioned in the article) provided recently, for example. it was interesting that a couple of them came from training flights, suggesting that the pilots were getting used to their equipment. Although we can not convincingly state what any of the objects really were, analysis does seem to contradict what the pilots were reporting. So rather than tracking objects going at hypersonic speeds, it has been estimated that they were in fact going at about 80-100km/h. The likelihood is that the Navy has analysed the images and reports and probably concluded that, given the facts, they were very probably mundane objects misidentified by the pilots. The video images were, I believe Infra-red, so they will not give a proper image of what the object really was.

One must also question the motives of certain groups. The AATIP were set up with a bit of spare defence cash by 2007 by Senator Harry Reid on the urgings of his friend Robert Bigelow. Now Bigelow is big in 'anomalous' research. He for example was involved in observing what was happening on Skinwalker ranch, but also did research on cattle mutilations and other UFO topics, and has been doing this for decades. The AATIP have disbanded (but still continue, I think with private funds, under the name 'To the Stars Academy of Science & Arts') I think because of all the material they produced, they didn't show anything of substance. (There's a quote to that effect in the Wikipedia article on them, so I nicked that!). So I expect that the US Navy took a more pragmatic approach to all this data and evidence and probably just shrugged it off, on the reasons I gave above. After all, it's not as if any of the above has damaged any of their equipment, attacked their personal or tried to contact them. (At least that we know about :)). Whereas it's in the interests of the AATIP to promote the mystery. Plus it makes better copy than US Navy pilots chasing weather balloons/sea birds.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm open about all possibilities regarding this topic, and would love it if there really was something weird there.

But my rough guess is that, ignoring all the tall tales, fibs, lies and fictional accounts (there are many!):

99.9% of 'real UFO' sightings are observations of totally mundane objects or interactions that people completely misunderstand
of the 0.1% left over, 99.9% are observations of rare natural phenomena that we do probably understand
of the 0.001% now left over, 99.9% are observations of natural phenomena we don't understand or have come across before, and...

...the remainder is, perhaps, some weirdness that goes beyond our current understanding of the universe. Maybe. Always best to keep an open mind, even while remaining sceptical.
 

Parson

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@Venusian Broon .... thanks for the detailed post. I totally agree with the likelihood that this is totally mundane, but it still strikes me weird that the navy would report it, The New York Times (One of the most dependable News services) would print it, and there is no stir? I'd bet that if someone photographed a Frisbee as just the right angle and posted it on Facebook it would go viral. (SIGH!)
 

Venusian Broon

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@Venusian Broon .... thanks for the detailed post. I totally agree with the likelihood that this is totally mundane, but it still strikes me weird that the navy would report it, The New York Times (One of the most dependable News services) would print it, and there is no stir? I'd bet that if someone photographed a Frisbee as just the right angle and posted it on Facebook it would go viral. (SIGH!)
I think it was because there was a reasonable stir when the videos came out...sometime in early 2018 if my hazy memory serves me right.

I think the people who are pushing it are the ex-members of the AATIP who, officially were working for the Navy for five years, and as I said probably were biased a little to go for more extreme explanations of unknown phenomena. The fact they were properly funded by the Navy gives them reasonable respectability with news organisations - although as I stated above I don't think they really found anything significant (otherwise I'm sure they would still be employed). I'm sure if the AATIP weren't involved the US Navy probably wouldn't have bothered reporting anything, because they probably didn't think it was important.

Here in the UK there's a guy called Nick Pope, who is billed as the British version of Fox Mulder as he worked 'running' the British Governments UFO 'project'. Actually all I think he did was sit at a desk and deal with the occasional call from the public about their experiences. Anyway he's taken that and become a bit of a guru, writing books, lectures, appearing on the History channel etc... Despite being in the Ministry of Defence and running the show, he apparently did not find out any secrets. However he can always say he worked the UFO desk for the MoD.

Regarding Frisbees, yeah seabirds too! Sometimes when people take a picture they get a bird in shot and it's at such an angle and so blurred that it comes out 'saucer shaped'. The clue that that is the case is that ten times out of ten the person who took the shot will say 'When I snapped the picture I didn't see anything, but when I saw the image, this UFO appeared.' Yes, when you took the picture you didn't think that the birds in the sky were anything unusual :).
 

Robert Zwilling

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The article could be a way of obtaining financial support so we could find out what is really being seen. Using monetary expense is not the best way to decide what course of action should be taken though that is how we do things. The NY Times is not the shinning knight it used to be. Radar is not the best way to look at things, though I doubt there is anything better. Radar is great for detecting moving disturbances but only returns a small spectrum of information. It would be nice to know the temperature within the disturbance. A certain amount of the information has to be interpreted. In looking for what else radar might be picking up, I saw that it can mistake air disturbances from wind turbines as an emerging tornado or when it detects hail, it can show the hail to be in a different location than where it actually is. I don't think there is any doubt the radar is picking up something, but the moving picture they show is not very detailed. Is there a reason a digitally enhanced image isn't shown or is that image already at the limit of what can be tweaked out of the signal. Are there any infrared images of these things as they fly by the jet planes? Could be Earthmen are easy. all you need to do is make sure you don't radiate anything in the visible spectrum.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Yahoo is trying to drum something up with this headline, Senators Get Briefings On UFOs. Putting it in front of the US congress will insure the news gets buried. Funny thing, you can't search for UFO, it's too short, has to be spelled out.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Apparently Dapra balloons were spotted over Missouri at night just floating by. They are 70,000 feet up but highly visible. The usual suspect weather balloons were ruled out by the weather service which left people wondering. The Dapra balloons were not highly publicized but the news was out there. Google has large balloons as well as other companies which means there will be more stuff visible in the sky that is moving slowly. The article used the words intrigued and stumped to describe the initial reaction. Looks like people just aren't going to get excited about UFO reports unless they are doing something besides just driving by.
 
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