June 8, 2009

The Nature of Recent UFO Sightings

More than 100 orbs that seem to be intelligently maneuvering have appeared over the sky's of Britain and Holland over the past week.

[The following
story appeared in headlines throughout the world last week that had people in Europe in a frenzy as to what was behind the mysterious appearance of over 100 orbs in the sky's of Britain and Holland. Skeptics have speculated these to be lanterns or some other natural phenomenon. Others believe they are UFO's. The grainy amateur photos don't offer much as far as clues go regarding the true nature of these lights, and I'm not about to offer my opinion until the evidence is properly examined.

However I found it interesting that also last week Popular Mechanics magazine published an article that tries to explain most UFO sightings as being unfamiliar aircraft of human origin. This article is also found below.

I've been studying the UFO phenomenon for many years and I would agree with the skeptics that the large majority of reported UFO's have a clear natural explanation such as unfamiliar military aircraft or lanterns or even hallucinations. But there are also a small number that cannot be explained away quite so easily.

Of course, I have opinions as to what these small minority could be, and my theories do not include what we traditionally know as aliens. What I do know however is that the simplistic explanations of the skeptics don't quite fit the model to explain away every reported UFO sighting and I just want people to be aware of this for now. More to come in the near future. - J.S.]

Stunned Onlookers Watch as Mysterious Orange UFO's Swoop Across Britain's Skies

By David Wilkes
04th June 2009

Darting silently in formation, the mysterious glowing orbs light up the night sky.

Some say these orange lights even weave in between each other with the precision of a synchronised flying team from some far corner of the universe.

Clusters of more than 100 have been spotted across Britain and even Holland, leaving onlookers with an eerie sense that, for all the mystifying beauty of the strange objects, they may have just witnessed an armada of invading UFOs.

The most recent sighting was on Sunday when they were seen in two locations, Merseyside and Lincoln. Days earlier a similar phenomenon was spotted over Cambridgeshire, where one witness claims each was as big as a house.

The sightings have prompted defence officials to check their logs and sent UFO fans into orbits of excitement. Engineer Paul Slight, 54, took photos on his mobile phone of the strange objects hovering over Lincoln at 10.30pm while he was cycling home after a day out with friends.

'There were 26 of them at first, dodging and darting in between each other like they were playing a game,' he said.

'After that, seven more arrived and weaved through the crowd of lights like strange kinds of aircraft. After five minutes of moving around, they hung in the air for a second then shot off into the sky and disappeared.'

A spokesman for nearby RAF Cranwell said the base was closed at the weekend so the lights could not be attributed to its aircraft. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence is examining claims that the Merseyside lights were connected to an exercise involving HMS Daring, docked in Liverpool.

An ex-military source claimed the lights were dropped by jets to simulate the path of a missile in order to test the warship's radar systems.

In Cambridgeshire, banker Scott Boswell, 37, said he saw more than 100 lights flying less than two miles above his home in Hinchingbrooke. The former soldier and experienced pilot said: 'I know they weren't aircraft – they were silent.

'And I was a soldier for a decade so I could immediately rule out flares or weather balloons. I really have no idea what they were.'

On the same night, May 27, at around 11.30pm guesthouse owner Auberon Hedgecoe, 40, of nearby Huntingdon, also saw the lights. 'There was no sound,' he said.

'They were travelling 15 at a time and every six minutes more seemed to be coming over the horizon. They were not planes. They were not balloons.

Each one was the size of a building.' Last night it emerged a woman has contacted her local newspaper to claim that the lights over Lincoln were Chinese lanterns – mini hot air balloons – set off at her wedding reception.

'They looked amazing, hope you all enjoyed the spectacle,' she said.

Nick Pope, the former head of the MoD's UFO Project, supported the Chinese lantern theory.

'I'm not disparaging the whole UFO phenomenon, but I'd say 99 per cent of UFO reports involving orange lights in the sky these days are attributable to these lanterns.'

Six Top-Secret Aircraft Mistaken for UFO's

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Popular Mechanics

By Phil Patton

Spy and stealth planes — some with bizarre, bat-shaped wings, others with triangular silhouettes that imply otherworldly designs — have long generated UFO sightings and lore. And official denials feed rumors that the government isn't telling us about alien ships.

The CIA estimates that over half of the UFOs reported from the 1950s through the 1960s were U-2 and SR-71 spy planes.

At the time, the Air Force misled the public and the media to protect these Cold War programs; it's possible the government's responses to current sightings of classified craft — whether manned or remotely operated — are equally evasive.

The result is an ongoing source of UFO reports and conspiracy theories.

Here are the Earth-built craft that likely have lit up 911 switchboards over the years.

1. RQ-3 Darkstar

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin/Boeing
First Test Flight: 1996
Deployment: None (it was canceled in 1999)
Declassified: 1995
Size: 15 ft long; 69-ft wingspan
Performance: 288 mph (cruising speed); 45,000+ ft (max. alt.)

UFO Link: The official life span of this unmanned spy plane was brief and disappointing, with a crash and a program cancellation after just three years. But in 2003, Aviation Week reported that a similar stealth UAV was being used in Iraq — fueling speculation that the government scrapped the craft publicly only to secretly resurrect it for clandestine missions.

2. U-2

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
First Test Flight: 1955
Deployment: 1957 to present
Declassified: 1960
Size: 49 ft long; 80-ft wingspan
Performance: 410 mph (max. speed); 85,000 ft (max. alt.)

UFO Link: Designed for high-altitude reconnaissance, the U-2's long, glider like wings and silver color would have been notable to observers on the ground and in the sky. In the 1960s the airplane was painted black to avoid reflections. The U-2 is also famous for being among the first classified planes to be flown from the Air Force's secret test facility at Groom Lake, Nev. — aka Area 51.

3. SR-71 Blackbird

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
First Test Flight: 1964
Deployment: 1966 to 1990, 1995 to 1998
Declassified: 1964
Size: 107 ft long; 56-ft wingspan
Performance: 2432 mph (max. speed); 85,000 ft (max. alt.)

UFO Link: The tailless spy plane has an even more unusual cross section than the U-2. This Area 51 alum was briefly reactivated in the 1990s, and rumors of a followup — the now-legendary Aurora project — have supplied both UFO believers and skeptics with a possible source of unexplained sightings.

4. P-791

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
First Test Flight: 2006
Deployment: Unknown

UFO Link: Plane spotters' photos and videos blew the top-secret cover off a 5-minute inaugural flight in Palmdale, Calif. The hybrid airship — it uses gas and a wing shape for lift — fuels speculation that classified airships quietly roam the night skies.

5. F-117A Nighthawk

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
First Test Flight: 1981
Deployment: 1983 to 2008
Declassified: 1988
Size: 107 ft long; 56-ft wingspan

UFO Link: This long-range stealth fighter, which could stay aloft indefinitely thanks to midair refueling, remained classified through much of the 1980s during test flights at Tonopah Test Field Range in Nevada, 80 miles from the legendary Area 51 Groom Lake facility. Along with the B-2 Spirit, the bat like F-117A was a perfect candidate for triangular UFO sightings.

6. B-2 Spirit

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman
First Test Flight: 1989
Deployment: 1997 to present
Declassified: 1988
Size: 69 ft long; 172-ft wingspan

UFO Link: Although the long-range bomber was never a true "black aircraft," since it was displayed to the public approximately eight months before its first flight, an airborne B-2 is a UFO report waiting to happen. It looks like an alien craft from nearly any angle and specifically like a flying saucer when viewed head-on or in profile.

An RQ-3 Darkstar prototype on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

A U-2 takes off from an undisclosed location during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2003.

A U.S. Air Force Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird jet on a runway in 1995.

A screen grab of a civilian video of a 2006 test flight that revealed the existence of Lockheed Martin's P-791 lighter-than-air craft.

A U.S. Air Force F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter jet in flight in 1998.

A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth jet bomber, viewed edge-on in flight in October 2000.