Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Big Black Delta Mystery Solved? 571

Posted by Hemos
from the hindenburg-alecious dept.
jonerik writes "According to this article from Space.com, hundreds of sightings of enormous arrowhead-shaped aircraft that have been logged since the 1980s just might have been solved. According to a new report by the National Institute for Discovery Science, the craft (referred to as Big Black Deltas, or BBDs) are massive black airships on the order of 600 feet long, 300 feet wide, and 40 feet tall, weighing on the order of 100 tons and capable of carrying huge loads over long distances. Since a 2001 NIDS study correlated sightings of large triangular or delta-shaped objects with Air Force Materiel Command and Air Mobility Command bases throughout the United States, it's assumed that the BBDs are DoD transport airships. Dr. L. Scott Miller, professor of Aerospace Engineering at Wichita State University, agrees with much of the NIDS report. 'I do think that a large airship, with a heavy lift and other mission objectives, has been built,' says Dr. Miller. 'Lockheed has shown a great deal of interest in airships for many years. The real question is whether the Department of Defense has committed to buy and use such machines.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Big Black Delta Mystery Solved?

Comments Filter:
  • Bullshit. I saw one. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by revscat (35618) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:32PM (#4014937) Journal

    I was going to post this anonymously, but then decided it would just lessen my credibility.

    I saw one of these in (of all places) Denton, Texas in 1992. I was going to the University of North Texas, and was hanging out at this friend of mine's house. We had stayed up all night talking politics and philosophy, and had gone out onto the balcony so I could smoke.

    Her apartment was on the second floor, facing the pool, behind which was another two-storey apartment building. We hadn't been out there long when I noticed something moving just above the building opposite us. It was triangular in shape, with lights at each of the points. In appearance it was dark grey, and the lights at the points were just a tad brighter than the stars around the thing. It's orientation was almost completely vertical: imagine holding up a mostly-equilateral triangle in front of you and moving it from left to right, with the point facing right. It was moving very slowly, I would estimate at around 20 or 30 MPH.

    I shouted out "Hey, what's that?" It took a short while for her to see it, but eventually she did. We watched it for a minute, chattering excitedly, before it slowly turned away from us and disappeared off to the west.

    It didn't make a sound, and it was very big. It was unidentified, it was flying, and it was an object. Beyond that I make no claims. But if the DoD can build something like that, then I'm damned impressed.

    No, I'm not bullshitting in some weak attempt to get karma. This really did happen to me.

  • by sphealey (2855) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:33PM (#4014944)
    In Skunk Works, Ben Rich mentioned that air traffic controllers were briefed and sworn to secrecy while the SR-71 was being developed and before it was announced to the public. So I guess it might be possible to keep the radar return of something like this secret.

    But I did get an ad in the mail just the other day for my very own phased-array NEXRAD weather radar, quite suitable for rooftop mounting (well, an office building roof anyway). With stuff like that available to the public I think it would hard to keep something this big secret for long.

    sPh

  • Does not compute. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AJWM (19027) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:46PM (#4015016) Homepage
    Okay, some quick calculations, based on the estimated volume and mass, gives me a net payload of way less than 100 tons. (More like about 40 tons unless I messed up the math. - Figure a volume of about 36 million cu ft, the density is about 25 grams/cu ft, for a net lift of 10 gms/cu ft (air weighing about 35 gm/cu ft), or 36 metric tons.

    A 747-400 has a payload of over 120 tons with a range of over 4400 nautical miles. Why not just use 747s? (Although, if this airship has the advantages of stealth and being able to "land" just about anywhere, there might be some point.)

    Somehow I don't buy it.
  • by david.given (6740) <dg@@@cowlark...com> on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:46PM (#4015018) Homepage Journal
    It was probably a jet.

    The eyes can play very funny tricks on you. I live under the flight path for Heathrow, and at night you see these huge diamond-shaped aircraft flying over. I look at one, I know it's a jet, I tell myself it's a jet, but I can clearly see the lines connecting the nose and tail with the wing tips, and the body is easily visible.

    The brain's got this amazing pattern-recognition system as part of the visual processing. Unfortunately, when it doesn't know what something is, it tends to guess, and one of the algorithms it uses is to connect points with lines... and to fill in shapes... and the four beacons on the nose, wingtips and tail of a 747, seen at night, is perfect material for this.

    Of course, I don't know exactly what you saw, I wasn't there. But I strongly suspect what it was was a jet, a lot further away than it looked, banking away from you (so making the tail beacon invisible). You didn't make any sound because passenger jets are pretty quiet and it was a long way away, and any noise that reached you was drowned in the traffic noise.

    Sorry.

  • by Ksop (132400) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:48PM (#4015028) Homepage
    maybe something like...this [af.mil] ???
  • by xevioso (598654) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:48PM (#4015032)
    Reading this article in light of the book review at Salon.com today, about supposedly hidden anti-gravity technology the US took from the Nazis after WWII. http://www.salon.com/books/review/2002/08/05/zero_ gravity/index.html They don't give the book a lot of credence, but the fact that it was written by an editor at Jane's Defense makes it a little more plausible. The author says that some of that technology, if it exists, is actually being used in the B-2 bombers. It would, don't chya think, make sense to put two and two together and come up with a big-ass blimp that is powered by some obscure technology to keep it afloat. Makes sense to me.
  • by revscat (35618) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:49PM (#4015039) Journal

    What specifically about the thing that you saw is inconsistent with one of these things?

    Mainly its orientation. It was flying on its side, not flat. Again, imagine taking a cardboard triangle and holding it up in front of you, with the point facing to the right. Now slowly turn the point of the cardboard triangle away from you: the triangle gets smaller, then flat. When it turned away from us, it was thin like the cardboard would be, but still vertical. Am I making any kind of sense? I don't feel like I'm describing this very well.

    Plus it was very angular. I would expect a blimp to be more rounded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:53PM (#4015060)
    Sorry I have to reply anonymously, but I'm not registered.

    I'm not questioning your story, but whatever you saw, it doesn't look like it was trying to keep itself secret, since from your description it had some sort of running lights. The "black" aircraft hypothesized in the article would presumably try to keep itself as invisible as possible.
  • by revscat (35618) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:55PM (#4015078) Journal

    Well, that's certainly a possibility. I agree with you on the pattern-recognition abilities of the brain. However, if it were a passenger jet:

    It was flying on its side

    It was flying at an altitude of less than 200 feet

    It was flying slower than any passenger jet I have seen before

    Again, I am probably wrong, and just got excited about my siting. But I live in a flight path for DFW airport, and I also know how passenger (and private) jets look at night. It didn't look anything like this.

  • disclosure project (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:00PM (#4015094)
    At disclosure project there are several videos that talk about anti-gravity drives and 0-point energy systems that could take you "off the grid" permanently. Supposedly, much of the money that was funnelled into the "Star Wars" project actually found its way into the engineering and creation of these types of secret devices and weapon systems.

    I know UFO's and space aliens are a stretch to the scientifically-minded /.'s, but Disclosure Project has really changed my mind. The book has testimony from over a hundred government personnel from DIA, DoD, ONI, Army, Navy & Air Force, testifying that not only do UFO's exist but the technology has been used by a shadow government since the late 1940's. I have also read in other places that this structure is connected with several large complexes inhabitted by Nazis in Argentia and Antartica. Now before you accuse me of going off the deep-end, check out the well-documented account of an Admiral Byrd who lead an expedition of a dozen ships from S.A. to Antartica in 1947. Also, note the rash of cattle mutilations and UFO sightings in Argentia right now (rense.com).

    Perhaps try reading or viewing some evidence before casting it all aside like a latter-day Carl Sagan.

    Just because YOU haven't seen it, personally or on the tele, doesn't mean it doesn't exist (or something like that).

    further reading and subjects:

    Branton's dulce book
    Disclosure Project
    rense.com
    "foo fighters"
    Project Paperclip
    http://www.violations.dabsol.co.uk/enig ma/enigmapa rt1.htm -- The Arctic Enigma
  • by Goonie (8651) <robert,merkel&benambra,org> on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:17PM (#4015194) Homepage
    As was discussed in the slashdot writeup, there have been serious proposals for transport airships for some time now. This British company [airship.com] is proposing 1000-tonne capacity cargo airships.

    This kind of cargo airship would be very large, take a long time to get anywhere, and would probably fly much, much lower than a plane. Trying to keep its existence secret would be a substantial challenge to say the least.

    So, given the non-secretness of the whole idea of a big cargo airship, the difficulty of keeping one secret if it existed, and the fact that the exact capabilities of a transport aircraft aren't generally the most important things to keep secret anyway, why bother?

  • I saw one.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BitGeek (19506) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:22PM (#4015221) Homepage

    I saw one of these as well.

    It was in the late 70s, on Vandenburg AFB in California (the west coast missle base.)

    It was going rather fast.

    Eventually, when the Stealth Fighter was announced, I concluded that that was what I actually saw.

    It was very fast, very quiet, and flying low- quite startling. It didn't get enough of a look to recognize it as an airplane (As the stealth is obviously an airplane when you see one stopped)...

    but I didn't decide it was a spacecraft either.

    Ahh, the days of getting up at 6 am and watching simultaneous dual-minutman launches.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:35PM (#4015290)
    > It was flying on its side
    > It was flying at an altitude of less than 200 feet
    > It was flying slower than any passenger jet I have seen before

    I can't speak to what you saw - I wasn't there. But how did you know its altitude?

    Suppose an aircraft is flying at 2000 feet and normal airspeed.

    Suppose an observer estimates (for whatever reason) that it's flying at 200 feet, when it's really at, say, 2000 feet.

    Such an aircraft will appear to be flying extremely slowly (and quietly) if you think it's at 200 feet when it's really at 2000.

    Your description of "flying on its side" indicates it may have been at an odd attitude relative to you - consistent with a previous poster's hypothesis that it was a jet banking away from you.

    The mind does funny things when given insufficient information. My funniest one was when I was driving to an air show, and I swore I'd seen a Rafale or Eurofighter, which made me wonder (a) what the hell it was doing here, 'cuz there was nothing like it on the list of planes scheduled to show up, and (b) why it was so quiet at that altitude, as a nearby propeller was able to drown it out.

    As it turned and overflew us, I realized it was one of those funky "build-it-yourself" kit experimental planes with an impeller ("pusher") design and a funky delta-wing configuration, and that's where the prop sound was coming from. A very slick homebuilt/kit plane, to be sure, but no EF2000. :-)

  • Ground support? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:36PM (#4015291) Journal
    If true, there should be some very large custom-built hangers for these things that would show up in commercially available satellite photos. Do these exist? (For that matter, the craft themselves should have been imaged multiple times, but in the flood of data, it could be hard to find them.)

    On a side line - how are the 'Aurora' rumours coming along? ('Aurora' is supposedly a deep black hypersonic reconnosance airplane, replacing the SR-71.)
  • Re:Does not compute. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by liberteus1 (586386) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:53PM (#4015361)
    747-400 has a payload of over 120 tons with a range of over 4400 nautical miles. Why not just use 747s? (Although, if this airship has the advantages of stealth and being able to "land" just about anywhere, there might be some point.)
    Why not use B747 ? Because they're not what you think they are. They are probably using magneto-hydronamic (MHD) tech to generate a shockwave in front of them and surf it. Sounds like a UFO ? Well, consider the F117 was developped in the 70's. Disclosed in 1990. Do you know why militaries disclose sercrets ?
    1/ can not be kept any longer. Not a good reason, considering secrecy was held for 10 years.
    2/ impress your enemies
    3/ you have better
    reason 2 and 3 are not exclusive, and I think that's exactly what happened: the message is: "you cant touch us" and "guess what we developped between 1980 and now ?".

    Now, I'd say that if such crafts are disclosed by the US militaries, it would be a way to tell Saddam and others: we can get thousands of men in a day in your country. Remember 1990 ? US Army took 6 month to be able to operate. Now, if that could last 10 days to bring all the people on the battlefiled, imagine the strategic advantage.
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Monday August 05, 2002 @08:32PM (#4015517)
    gleam,

    Why do I have this feeling that Aereon is actually a front company for a Lockheed Skunk Works project?

    If you remember from the late Ben Rich's book Skunk Works, the way Clarence Kelly Johnson got the parts to build the U-2 was to order the parts through a front company named C & J Engineering, complete with a postal box out in Sunland, CA, which was well-away from the Lockhead plant at Burbank, CA. It's possible that the Aereon company was a ruse to cover up Lockheed's ressearch into stealth lighter-than-air vehicles used for reconnaissance and special ops transport.

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...