Author Topic: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations  (Read 12841 times)

Offline sanman

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A few days ago, the New York Times broke a story about an incident in 2004 where 2 US naval jets encountered some object they couldn't identify or explain. The object displayed extraordinary mobility and speed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html

Video footage:






News interviews:






So while trying to stay within the realm of rational analysis and speculation - what are the thoughts on what was observed? What conclusions can be drawn?

Could this all just be a hoax? Could it be an aircraft of another country? Or what about some high-performance American aircraft unfamiliar to the observers?

Even if the object doesn't fit the characteristics of known aircraft, are there any experimental or hypothetical vehicles which could behave this way? What might at least be the closest match?

Could it be a spacecraft?

Some notes:

In Video#1 above, we hear one observer state that the object is "rotating" and we see the object's profile change. He seems to be saying that the object is changing its orientation by pivoting on its axis in a way that doesn't conform to aerodynamic change of pitch & yaw.
Near the start of that video one observer says there are other objects visible on radar (ie. "a whole fleet of them")
The object appears to have a glowing halo around it. Would that be some mere optical artifact, or does it indicate something about the object?

At the end of Video#2, we see the object from its side, as it suddenly shoots to the left and out of view. It appears to have an elongated teardrop shape.

In Video#4 above, USN pilot David Fravor says that he saw something in the water, which the UFO was apparently hovering above.
If it was a foreign submarine, then wouldn't it have been detected by sonar networks near the California coast?
The encounter was supposed to have happened off the California coast, ~100 miles from San Diego.
« Last Edit: 12/20/2017 07:07 PM by sanman »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #1 on: 12/20/2017 07:11 PM »
I watched the videos, and it looked for all the world like a refraction effect of some kind.  Refraction and reflection events in the atmosphere, derived from all sorts of lighting and atmospheric conditions, can appear to be rock-steady, but as you approach a critical angle from which the refracted/reflected light no longer reflects back to you, the image appears to dart away to the side.  I've seen these kinds of odd effects in the sky, and in water, a number of times.

As to what exact sea and atmosphere state could cause such a thing, that, as a non-physicist, I can't tell you.  But I can imagine any number of odd things that the sea/air interface could pop up.  A waterspout that was intermittently pulling up seawater, then pulled up from the sea but held as a solid vortex in the air for several minutes?  That wouldn't look like a funnel, and it could generate radar returns.  And as the seawater boiled around, spun and suspended in the vortex, a complex set of interactions where larger drops break into small ones and then recombine, could cause all sorts of odd acceleration vector ghosts on those radar returns.

That's just the first natural explanation that popped into my mind.  I bet there are a bunch more, from transient clouds all the way to full mirage events.  Airline pilots see mirage images of faraway offshore oil rigs and even large coastal cities well out in/over the ocean, on occasion.  That may well be what happened here.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline TorenAltair

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #2 on: 12/20/2017 08:08 PM »
I think the reason they published these videos is to encourage pilots to report all strange things. Not because of Aliens but because of foreign aircraft of any kind. Often in the past new stuff was only found/detected by luck/coincidence. And if it's really the case that pilots no longer dare to report things because they are mocked then it is very understandable that they want to change this behaviour.

Offline gosnold

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #3 on: 12/20/2017 08:09 PM »
Here is a recap of the incident from an alleged friend of the pilot interviewed above:
https://fightersweep.com/1460/x-files-edition/
If the report is to be believed, there were detections accross the spectrum by:

-SPY1 radar from a ship (repeatedly)
-Airborne radar on Hawkeye
-Visual by several crew
-F-18 radar
-F-18 FLIR

Now FLIR imagery is notoriously difficult to interpret (the previous UFO caught on FLIR turned out to be a liner, but the Chilean Navy was stuck on the case for a while before it released it to the public, see https://www.metabunk.org/explained-chilean-navy-ufo-video-aerodynamic-contrails-flight-ib6830.t8306/)
The combined detection is however much more indicative of a solid object at the observed location.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #4 on: 12/20/2017 09:35 PM »
I don't know if this is related, but apparently there were some prominent sightings in Mexico around that time:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_sightings_in_Mexico#2004


There's some video that's been up for years, purporting to show UFO footage from June 2004, Guadalajara:



Those seem to look like balloons of some sort, but the date and location aren't that far away from this reported November 2004 US Navy jet encounter - and plus it's a whole bunch of lights. I wonder if, when the naval aviators felt they saw a "fleet" of UFOs, if they looked something like in that video.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #5 on: 12/21/2017 11:50 PM »
More interview segments:















Offline Andy DC

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #6 on: 12/21/2017 11:57 PM »
This should probably be moved to Entertainment. You don't want UFO wacky people invading NSF.

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #7 on: 12/22/2017 04:51 PM »
A lot of this feels like a politician coming around to say "hey look, something shiny!" There's not enough detail in the released footage to come to a firm conclusion, and other technical details that would help corroborate and explain the incident are not available to the public. Releasing it to the press like this is, at the very least, a little bit strange.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 04:52 PM by RotoSequence »

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #8 on: 12/22/2017 06:53 PM »
Well, it's the New York Times that broke the story, so you'd have to ask them about that.

I'm wondering about this claim of the US govt holding "alien alloys" or other exotic materials related to UFOs, which sounds weird, cliche and questionable.

Modern materials science has advanced to even include nano-engineered materials, so I'd imagine that just about any exotic material can be examined to determine its structure and properties. I can't imagine some material existing that modern science couldn't figure out through examination, even if it was degenerate matter.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-those-alien-alloys-in-the-new-york-times-ufo-story/



Another thing I wanted to ask - what is the best and most incontrovertible way to prove that a UFO is not a regular aircraft?
If we say that no exhaust is visible on FLIR - is that incontrovertible? Or are there some stealth aircraft which can totally conceal heat emissions for their exhaust?

Based on the reports of the 2004 incident, the vehicle was said have an "aura" or halo of some sort. What's the best way to record and analyze that? Presumably any aura would result from interaction between the UFO and our atmosphere - so could spectrographs reveal something if they were used?


If radar is fallible and can produce false readings, then are there data analysis techniques which can reveal which readings might be faulty and for what reason?
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 07:52 PM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #9 on: 12/23/2017 01:49 AM »
There's a sudden spate of UFO sightings tonight - I guess not everyone knows about SpaceX's launch schedule









« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 01:52 AM by sanman »

Offline tyrred

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #10 on: 12/23/2017 06:16 AM »
I have a funny feeling that for all unidentified flying objects, the sample size of people that can actually identify it is >1.  First (sometimes the hardest) step is to identify who can properly do the identification.  The wanted party may just intend to remain unidentified

In any case... Get your ass to NSF.  Best place I've ever been to learn about what's up.  There are wickedly wonderful things ahead.

Offline sanman

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #11 on: 12/23/2017 12:54 PM »
Regarding Video#1 from the OP, after re-watching it a number of times, it does look like it could be a mere bug/insect on the camera lens, protected under a clear cover/windshield. If you particularly watch the part where it's rotating, it looks consistent with the way a bug/insect might move while sitting on a lens.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #12 on: 12/23/2017 01:32 PM »
I only saw the "black saucer" version. It looked to me like some sort of lens flare where the oversaturated values become black.

Now I see a version where sometimes they occasionally show the inverse. So I don't even know which was correct. One is black with a bright aura. One is white with a dark aura .. in any case most of the shape definitely just looks like a 2d effect to me.

I didn't encounter any clips offering real journalism. I suspect that the story would suddenly become dull if any real journalism was applied. So of course it isn't applied.

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #13 on: 12/23/2017 07:25 PM »
Now I see a version where sometimes they occasionally show the inverse. So I don't even know which was correct. One is black with a bright aura. One is white with a dark aura .. in any case most of the shape definitely just looks like a 2d effect to me.

FLIR allows you to invert between white = hot and black = hot at the flip of a switch for the pilot's convenience.

Online Chris Bergin

When I saw this thread early on, I did think "Uh oh". Then last night happened, so it was pretty timely ;D

Offline deaville

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #15 on: 12/25/2017 07:15 AM »
Carl Sagan dealt with this in the course of his 'Cosmos' series of programmes for television. One should remember his wise words about UFOs and alien visitations - "Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof."
Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until they speak.

Offline LaunchedIn68

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #16 on: 12/26/2017 02:57 PM »
Carl Sagan dealt with this in the course of his 'Cosmos' series of programmes for television. One should remember his wise words about UFOs and alien visitations - "Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof."

So, if you or him were a member of an undiscovered tribe living in the jungle, cut off from all of the rest of humanity, and one day you saw an Airbus A380 fly over, what would you say to your tribe mates?  Now maybe more than one person saw the A380 but most didn't being cooking in the huts or out hunting.  The tribal elders say there are no other tribes, they would have arrived if they did.  So does the A380 not exist?  The members are human, but why can't they build one and not just spears and harnessing fire?

A "rational" discussion would concede all the possibilities involved.  I'm personally turned off by the "Armstrong saw an alien base on the moon" crowd, as I am by the rigidity of those on the other side "It was a bug on the lens"...SMH.  In the above posts, why is no one taking into account the Navy pilots observations.  Has anyone watched the video?  Take into account the whole picture.  The radar operator on the ship who called the jets up to investigate what he saw, the object then spotted on the surface which then shot up to the jets altitude.  Take into account the pilots description of the encounter, it wasn't just the FLIR video, so what about this "40 foot Tic Tac" that excellerated away at 50K MPH? 

Also, what is very important here is that the government insisted for 50 years that with the closing of it's investigation with Project Blue Book in 1969, it had NO interest in investigating aerial phenomena.  And now we know that wasn't true, as all these years there's been this secret Pentagon investigation.  Whose to say there's not another one now?

This news event just confirmed what I've thought about this topic all along.  There has been too many credible accounts over the years among the noise, some scientifically measureable, for the whole topic to be just be discredited and laughed off.  The Government knows that there have been unknown objects coming and going in and out of our airspace, which can be documented as such, and are interested in what might be the origin.  With the added caveat that the evidence shows there performance to be such, that they could not have originated on this planet.
"I want to build a spaceship, go to the moon, salvage all the junk that's up there, bring it back, sell it." - Harry Broderick

Online chrisking0997

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #17 on: 12/26/2017 07:13 PM »
I find it more than a little frustrating that our military seems to be equipped with the same technology that walmart uses for its surveillance systems.  Much like alot of criminal cases, I think alot of this could be cleared up just by getting a good view of the subject.

Maybe "a bug on the lens" will become this generations weather balloon or swamp gas?
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #18 on: 12/26/2017 09:09 PM »
Maybe "a bug on the lens" will become this generations weather balloon or swamp gas?

Sure seems like it. It's a pretty bad explanation too, since lenses are sealed units to prevent contamination. The really good ones are made and maintained in clean-rooms.

Offline Avron

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Re: UFO - Rational Analysis, Explanations & Speculations
« Reply #19 on: 12/26/2017 09:26 PM »
UFO's the best CIA gig ever, had the Soviets spend themselves out of existence. Its amazing how the gov. series of projects all start around the beginning of the cold war.  Funny how the CIA ends its  focus on UFO's in the early 90's.

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