Tuesday, December 19, 2017

THAT secret UFO project

        In a prominent article titled Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program (December 16th, bylines Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean,) The New York Times  revealed for the first time a $22 million Pentagon project called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The NYT reporters wrote that it was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring. It ran from 2007 to 2012, and its objectives included investigations of UFOs.

        The UFO connection, of course, was what ensured that this piece was picked up by the mass media, re-tweeted, instagrammed, and googled to death by people passionately interested in such phenomena. But those who were perhaps hoping that this was the magic DISCLOSURE they've been anticipating as eagerly as the Pope anticipates the Second Coming, were disappointed yet again. Judging by the two videos that were embedded in the online version of the NYT article, the cases investigated were reports by military pilots of encounters with unknown aircraft, with nary a suggestion that such things were actually alien visitations. The first was an undated encounter between a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet and an unknown object.

         The second was  a 2004 encounter near San Diego between two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets and another unknown object.

The NYT piece included these two sentences:
"The shadowy program ... was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space."
James Oberg, co-founder of, and occasional contributor to, this blog comments:
"I understand the media frenzy, but as usual it seems irrational. Reid set up a 'hobby shop' to please a political donor's personal interests, which involved validating the donor's personal devotion to UFO theories. The DoD never seems to have shown the slightest interest or concern in the issue. 
Per the original story: "The former staffer said that eventually, however, even Reid agreed it was not worth continuing. 'After a while the consensus was we really couldn’t find anything of substance,' he recalled. 'They produced reams of paperwork. After all of that there was really nothing there that we could find. It all pretty much dissolved from that reason alone—and the interest level was losing steam. We only did it a couple years.' ... 'There was really nothing there that we could justify using taxpayer money,' he added. 'We let it die a slow death. It was well-spent money in the beginning.' " 
Also --'ufology' has sadly disappointed, never becoming a 'science' -- forty years ago I won a worldwide essay contest with that assessment,  expressing hope it would change -- and so far, no signs of that."
        Oberg also points out that Leslie Kean, co-author of the NYT piece, is a committed UFO promoter and author of  "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record." In a 2010 critique, Oberg questioned Kean's assertion that pilots are the best observers of aerial phenomena. Today he wrote to me that Kean's inclusion is "a  journalistic travesty of the first order, worth making a fuss over, considering her track record [especially the fiasco over her championing a 'true UFO' video from Chile not long ago that turned out to have been a scheduled commercial airliner]."

        Oberg was interviewed by the Canadian CTV News Channel on Sunday night, and here's a partial transcript:
JO: "The report is on airborne threats, and threats come in all flavors. Whether it's equipment problems, or procedural errors, criminals, hackers or real enemies or even space aliens. So anything you see out there, whether it's in the air or in my experience in Mission Control, in space, you want to track it down."
CTV: "James, have you ever heard of this program in the past?"
JO: "I haven't , but I know there are people interested and there should be. In fact, there's another tremendously important reason to pay attention to the reports. You can't study UFOs because we don't have any. But you can sudy UFO reports, [and it] turns out that among the UFO reports ... one of the causes are misperception by startled viewers, especially in Russia and around the Russian border, of secret missile and space activities."

A CAD-CAM technician speaks out
        As for Mike Bara, he seems to have achieved what for him is a minor miracle—being right twice in one year. First he was almost certainly right about the so-called Nazca mummy, and now he's probably correct in dismissing this story as over-hyped.

           In a vlog on Sunday, he alleged that the true purpose of the Pentagon project was money-laundering by Harry Reid and enrichment of his pal Bigelow. He questions whether the voices heard on the video releases were really the voices of the pilots recorded live, and points out that when the first "UFO" zips out of frame, it's most likely because the gimbal camera moved.

        As for the second "UFO," he identifies it as an X-47B attack drone.

        He boasts that he actually worked on the X-47B as "an aerospace engineer for more than 25 years," which to my knowledge is an exaggeration. A CAD-CAM technician is not an engineer but just a draughtsman using a computer screen instead of a sharp pencil.

       But I have to agree with him that these videos are nothing to get too excited about. Well done Mike—dare we hope that one day you'll correct the horrible technical errors in your non-fiction books? No, I thought not...

        Richard Hoagland has a scheduled podcast on this topic next weekend, with guest Steve Bassett. THAT'S IF he can get his show on the air. Since he switched to blogtalkradio in October, SEVEN shows have been canceled for "technical reasons."

        The Bassett show got on the air but Bassett was inaudible (see Comment #24 from anonymous.) On C2C december 29/30 Jimmy Church poured scorn on those who maintain that the object was a drone. "If it was, it was a drone that can fly sideways," he said—and then proceeded to tell the story of his UFO experience at Joshua Tree for the nth time.


Chris said...

Best laugh I've had all week was when X-47B chief engineer Mike said "that's my analysis, and I'm pretty good at this shit". Anyway I'd like to congratulate Mike on the publication of his first intentional work of fiction. If it's as crazy as all his unintentional works of fiction it should be a blast, although maybe not a NYT bestseller like he claims "his" book was in 2007. As if Hoagland doesn't have enough problems right now without his buddy writing him out of history.

expat said...

Chris is referring to Lightbringer: A Dark Mission Novel self-published by Bara last month.

Currently Amazon ranking 365,637, but look for improvement after his interview tonight on Coast-to-Coast AM

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Why does James Oberg write so much about a lot of stuff that he seems to know nothing about, and why would any credible journal bother to publish his inconsequential musings?
Furthermore, the current pope most certainly isn't looking forward to meeting Jesus, any more than is James Oberg. Further furthermore, Chris can't bring himself to mention the X-37B, any more than can Richard C Hoagland, because they are both sworn to secrecy about Project Prometheus.

expat said...

Oberg's books have all been about space technology and the history of spaceflight, with perhaps a bias toward interpreting Soviet/Russian programs and technology. AFAIK he's the foremost expert in the latter discipline that the USA has.

The X-37B has nothing to do with Prometheus. Prometheus was canceled in 2005.

jim oberg said...

Mick West's analysis -- https://www.metabunk.org/2004-uss-nimitz-tic-tac-ufo-flir-footage.t9190/

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What's the point of mentioning Oberg's books, when you publish his periodical hyperbole about UFOs and Close Contact? Project Prometheus went black when the DoD bought it. The X-37B is nuclear powered.

expat said...

« The X-37B is nuclear powered. »

Rubbish. It's launched by an Atlas-V.

jim oberg said...

Is there any evidence this puissant hobby shop effort had any interest in all the NASA videos alleging UFOs following our spacecraft? Didn't Bigelow launch some external-camera-equipped satellites of his own about ten years ago -- do you suppose they saw UFOs too and he's covering it up?

Two Percent said...


As I said a few days ago when I brought this matter up in the earlier thread, the timing of this event is what is most interesting. Like the Las Vegas Massacre story, there are things about this that don't add up - at least, not in the normal run of things.

So close to Christmas, a story like this would normally be reserved for the "Silly Season", the couple of weeks or so following Christmas, when real news is very thin on the ground, and the media has to scratch around for stories, resort to "The Year in Review" and other fluff to fill the pages and to keep the skeleton staff who are kept at their stations through this period, something to do. All the while, they try hard to dig up "bombshells" like this to really get the vacationing public out of their cosy living rooms into the snow to buy their otherwise almost empty papers.

So, if Mikey is right about the one object and its apparent evidence of the bleeding lack of coordination among the US Armed Forces, what's the explanation for the other one, doing precisely controlled, massive step-wise "pitch" or attitude changes in mid-'flight', without changing its speed or direction?

expat, this is a significant aerodynamic challenge, wouldn't you say? Especially at the speed it seems to have been doing. Or is the military doing CGI now too?

I await with interest.

expat said...

I'm not competent to answer that. Maybe Jim Oberg will.

Trekker said...

The rotation of the object is discussed in some detail in Metabunk: https://www.metabunk.org/nyt-video-of-u-s-navy-jet-encounter-with-unknown-object.t9333/

Start at post #38 for the discussion.

jim oberg said...

I really did mean to write 'pissant' [Texan for contemptably tiny] in my above post. Not 'puissant'.

I trust others to do aerodynamics that I find convincing. With only partial evidence of uncertain origin, it's way too soon to be demanding explanations...

.... but sometimes, as recently with Kean's pathetic Chile helicopter IR view of an unrecognized passenger airliner, collapse does come quickly.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What the X-37B has in range, it lacks in power. The fact that it's launched by conventional rocket is totally irrelevant to the fact that it's nuclear powered. Such strawman arguments are more insulting, Patrick, than your lame sarcasm.

Art Bell strayed from his political talk radio format one night, to do a show about something paranormal. Robert Bigelow, having caught that episode, encouraged (enabled?) Art, as Art tells it, to make that programming, de rigueur.

I'm skeptical of this latest leak. It likely will prove to be hokum, used to discredit otherwise more credible accounts; but maybe we'll see.

expat said...

« The fact that it's launched by conventional rocket is totally irrelevant to the fact that it's nuclear powered. »

Evidence please...

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What evidence is there to support the foolhearty, misguided, asinine assumption that a nuclear powered Spacecraft would necessarily not be launched by rocket? The X-37B is top fucking secret. If it were to just merrily take off from the rooftop of the Mandaly, people might suspect that it isn't conventionally powered. Besides, the risk of exploding within Earth's atmosphere could be catastrophic. Don't you remember that episode of Star Trek where a Spaceprobe from Earth visited an inhabited, distant planet, only fatally, irradiate a large segment of that planet's population, from the radioactive contaminated engine exhaust, on take off?

expat said...

« The X-37B is top fucking secret. »

....and yet you pretend to know all about it.

I think you're horribly confused. The discussion in this thread is about the X-47B, an attack drone that does not go into space.

BTW "foolhearty" should be "foolhardy," I believe.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

I don't think that the X-47B will get away with shooting down too many UFOs before the ETs get pissed.

Anonymous said...

There is an old saying among those who actually hold high level security clearances: Those that know do not talk, those that talk do not know.

By this dicta it is clear this ORB person has not a clue what they are talking about. If the X-37B is so secret how did this chucklehead learn of it?

Two Percent said...

Thanks, Trekker,

Had a look at the metabunk thread a couple of days ago... But Christmas is nigh. In short, (rotating) lens flare.

Of course, it all depends on whether the airman who mentioned that the object was rotating was observing it with the simple, but superior naked eye, or whether he was also watching the recorded artificial display, where we see it appearing to rotate. I doubt anyone else can answer that.

On that theme, I take it that "the SA" is a Situational Awareness display? Shame that hasn't been published, but maybe it's not recorded.

Whether it's true or not, it's hard to believe that a tracking camera system manufacturer would design their mechanism to be subject to lockup and loss of effectiveness at the dead-ahead position, but I know that it I was instrumenting such a poor system, I would generate an error signal whenever that situation occurred, so that at least there's a clue.

Then, there's the question of the "whole fleet" of them, but debunkers like to ignore the inconvenient aspects... Right, expat?

Never let the facts get in the way of a good (counter-)story!

Two Percent said...

"Blogger THE Orbs Whiperer said...
I don't think that the X-47B will get away with shooting down too many UFOs before the ETs get pissed.

Just leave out the X-47B and you'll be on the mark. It doesn't matter what technology, if it can shoot them down, they WILL get pissed.

But don't worry. They have things under far, FAR greater control than that. Do a little research into SDI developments and the high numbers of mysterious deaths among the top brains on that project to get yourself wondering what the real truth might be... Was it the Russians, or who / what?

The thing that puzzles me the most is why there appear to have been so many obvious "malfunctions" - it must be bleeding edge technology, even at this stage. I guess that in itself is an importent clue.

expat said...

Irrelevant and repetitive comment from Theadora disallowed

expat said...

Aggressive and insulting comment from Theadora disallowed

Anonymous said...

And I note with great, jolly good humor the ORB thing still has not told anyone how she came to know so much about a top secret progra,. And "Little dick Hoaxland said so" is not what I would call a rational, or even believable arguement. The conclusion: The Orb thing has not a clue about what she is talking aboiut, which comes as zero surprise.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this, Expat?
You can listen to the audio of the UFO Hoagland show at your leisure!


in case it changes, archived here http://archive.is/55mim

And this wonderful part!!

From the text:

Dear Friends, The night of this controversial show, it seemed as though Richard’s computer was being hacked…as the controls kept changing their settings in front of his eyes…without him initiating the changes. So during the first hour, Stephen Bassett’s voice was so low as to be below Richard’s breathing!

expat said...

Oh that's precious!

Anonymous said...

I listened to the first part of the "fixed" audio file on the OTOM site. Bassett is now sort of audible, but you get amplified breathing and background noise from Richard's mic. The interview starts at about the 10:30 mark (it seems you have to go "full screen" to get to the timestamp slider on this particular player.)

But the funny thing is, RCH never starts talking on air about how his computer is hacked and the controls are changing before his eyes. Wow, what a professional. Just kept his cool and kept on with the interview like nothing was happening.

Are they sure it wasn't "something called a USB port" that was responsible?
"I said, "GO!!""

Val Miller said...

"The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designed for aircraft carrier-based operations."


Not in space.
Not nuclear powered.