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Subject: Texas UFO sightings - now explained? rss

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Officials: UFO sightings were military jets
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22810569

"Several dozen people swear that what they saw was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. 'I guarantee that what we saw was not a civilian aircraft,' Steve Allen, a pilot and freight company owner, said Wednesday."

It does make sense to me that people would be able to tell the difference between ordinary aircraft and something else.


So, assuming the military is covering something up - what, then? A good guess might be experimental or top secret aircraft. But then why are they flying them over populated areas? Bugs in the navigation/steering?


The article says the Air Force has not investigated UFOs since 1969. In fact, my inside sources tell me that the word "UFO" on all incoming correspondence is actually now automatically replaced on Air Force computers with the text "ORDINARY JET AIRCRAFT." Check out this recent example, stolen from Pentagon computers by Chinese hackers and posted on the Internet:


Dear Mrs. Hobbs,

Thank you for your recent email regarding ORDINARY JET AIRCRAFT in your neighborhood last Tuesday evening.

I have to admit I was a little surprised at your description of ORDINARY JET AIRCRAFT hovering silently over your flower bed, flashing orange and red lights. ORDINARY JET AIRCRAFT do not usually behave in this fashion.

Likewise, although you expressed gratitude for it, ORDINARY JET AIRCRAFT are not commonly reported to levitate husbands out of their beds and cause them to disappear into their fuselages. I have reported this incident to the FBI via their new $500M computer system. FBI agents will contact you to discuss the case in {Error: Field Not Available} days.

Sincerely,

Lt. James Dasweissichnicht
John Adams Air Base
Poderoso, TX





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Tim Thorp
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Yeah, I saw the video and listened to the witness's description. Oh yeah, those were F-16's. Completely silent F-16's. F-16's that hang in the air, then shoot across the sky, making no noise whatsoever. Yep. No UFOs those.
 
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Rob Robinson
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The U.S. military has owned up to having F-16 fighters in the air near Stephenville on the night that several residents reported unusual lights in the sky. But the correction issued Wednesday doesn't exactly turn UFOs into Identified Flying Objects.

Several dozen witnesses reported that they had seen unusual lights in the sky near Stephenville shortly after dusk Jan. 8. One sighting included a report that the lights were pursued by military jets. Military officials had repeatedly denied they had any flights in the area that night.

But that position changed Wednesday with a terse news release:

"In the interest of public awareness, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs realized an error was made regarding the reported training activity of military aircraft. Ten F-16s from the 457th Fighter Squadron were performing training operations from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday January 8, 2008, in the Brownwood Military Operating Area (MOA), which includes the airspace above Erath County."

Maj. Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the former Carswell Field, blamed the erroneous release on "an internal communications error."

That still left unanswered the question of what F-16s might have been doing that would look like a line of silent, glowing spheres. Maj. Lewis said he could not give any details.

"What we do down there falls under operational procedures that cannot be released because of operations security for our mission," he said.

One battle tactic used routinely by F-16s involves the ejection of flares that are intended to confuse heat-seeking missiles. The flares can be ejected several at a time, and could form a pattern of bright lights traveling across the sky.

But such activity would not match other aspects of the descriptions of the Stephenville lights. Witnesses generally described what they saw as silent, apparently changing speeds and passing over populated areas. That does not sound like a flare release, said Jay Miller, an aviation consultant and historian in Fort Worth.

For one thing, any jet that dumps flares would also be trying to get away as fast as possible.

"He's going to be in full afterburner," Mr. Miller said, and that's very loud. But the jets wouldn't be the only noise associated with flares.

"Flares don't burn silently. They actually burn quite loudly," he said.

Flares are also extremely hot and dangerous, and it's highly unlikely that any drill would involve their use over populated areas, Mr. Miller said.

Wednesday's news release refocused attention on the lights a few days after more than 500 people attended a meeting intended to gather witness statements. The weekend meeting was hosted by the Mutual UFO Network, which collected more than 200 reports, though many were not about the recent sightings.

The military's admission that it had jets up in the area actually strengthens the credibility of some of the reports, said Ken Cherry, Texas state director for the network. After all, some of the witnesses had said they had seen military aircraft along with the lights.

"We have witnesses who could clearly distinguish the difference between an F-16 and some extraordinary craft performing in a manner not typical of an aircraft," he said.

Steve Allen, a pilot, was one of three men who first went public with their sightings to the local newspaper. Wednesday's military news release answers none of his questions, he said.

The Brownwood Military Operating Area is not close enough to Stephenville to explain what he saw, Mr. Allen said. And pilots are supposed to perform training exercises at high altitude, he said. What he saw happened near the ground.

He said he and his friends first spotted a row of glowing spheres that silently changed formation before vanishing. A few minutes later, they saw two more glowing spheres, with military jets in hot pursuit.

"They were on the deck and with the pedal down," he said.

Mr. Allen said that he had no trouble hearing the roar from the jets when they appeared, but he had heard nothing from the glowing lights before that.

"A bunch of stuff is bubbling up," he said about Wednesday's news release. "They may have to tell us the truth."
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Tim Thorp
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Drew1365 wrote:
I just watched a few media reports, but would have loved to hear the perspective of someone who's not from MUFON. Why does the media go directly to the True Believers all the time?


All the media reports I've seen so far have been from regular people, including the Sheriff of the town, who watched the lights the whole time they were in the sky. Of course, if they went to the "Skeptics", don't you suppose their theories would as biased as MUFON's?
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When are those aliens going to learn to turn off their headlights?
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Tim Thorp
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Quote:
Anyway, obviously I saw different reports than you. I'll keep looking.

Me too!

Quote:
(EDIT: I've always considered MUFON to be a weird fringe group. Now suddenly they have media cred?)


Actually, MUFON started out pretty legit. Unfortunately, inevitably, it attracted the usual assortment of psychos, wierdos, nutjobs, and out and out fringies, which meant you could wave bye bye to any sort of legitimate inquiry. I was at a MUFON meeting once, and you could see a lot of members cringe with embarrassment when people would get up and demand to know why the government was supressing the "other" photos of the Face on Mars. Too out there even for me to enjoy.

 
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It's official, so it must be true!
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XanderF wrote:


It's official, so it must be true!


Actually, I think the first one is the planet Venus, and the 4th one is ball lightning.
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Teague Webb
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C'mon, everyone. Just because Stargate:SG-1 was cancelled doesn't mean they aren't still running the Stargate program. Ever hear of a little show called Stargate:Atlantis? Sheesh! Obviously, the line of BS they fed us about Jack O'Niell retiring was just a cover for his top secret new job test-piloting all the cool new craft they've reverse engineered. These events sound just like something Jack would do, like the time he.......
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Mike Sawyer
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zombiegod wrote:

One battle tactic used routinely by F-16s involves the ejection of flares that are intended to confuse heat-seeking missiles. The flares can be ejected several at a time, and could form a pattern of bright lights traveling across the sky.

But such activity would not match other aspects of the descriptions of the Stephenville lights. Witnesses generally described what they saw as silent, apparently changing speeds and passing over populated areas. That does not sound like a flare release, said Jay Miller, an aviation consultant and historian in Fort Worth.

"Flares don't burn silently. They actually burn quite loudly," he said.

Flares are also extremely hot and dangerous, and it's highly unlikely that any drill would involve their use over populated areas, Mr. Miller said.


Just to jump into the fray, here (Your fault, Cull), I'm still wondering about the "decoy flares" aspect.

--No, flares don't burn silently, but neither are they audible to groundlings from altitude. Sound disapates pretty fast from up there to down here. Their sound is a by-product of combustion, not a freakin' designed-in siren to panic the masses.

--Yes, flares are extremely hot and dangerous, and they usually burn out long before reaching ground level.

--They are also relatively small things, so the danger of them damaging ground structures is minimal.

--Without positional references in the field of vision (such as an open, clear sky), it might be pretty difficult to gauge movement of objects in that sky. Add low light (twilight and night, when most of these are reported), possible cloud/haze cover, and the fact that the earlier flares burn out while the later flares are lit, could result in some pretty eerie effects.

--Add to that the presumption that it IS a UFO, and that's exactly what you get.

I'm not saying they ARE flares, I'm just saying we shouldn't be so hasty to discount them. In the absence of good video, I'll withhold judgement.
 
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