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This discussion has been archived.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:
  • by jormurgandr (128408) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:17PM (#4014860)
    Bill Gates' personal "transport". After all, the best way to hide money from the government is to spend it, right?
  • by sllort (442574) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:18PM (#4014863) Homepage Journal
    That's awesome that they've proved these massive airplanes have been kept secret from us for so long. When can I fly on one? Can someone mirror the pictures of them on the runway? Maybe some Slashdotters can go to the airbase where they're based and get some snapshots of the crew!
    I'm so glad we have proof now!
  • These airships have the ability to remain stationary in the air and then accelerate to maximum speed almost instantaneously.

    Sure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:24PM (#4014893)
    They're just trying to get you to take your tinfoil hat off! Don't do it!
  • by yali (209015) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:24PM (#4014895)

    Among a range of NIDS observations, the group believes the BBDs are powered by electrokinetic/field drives, or airborne nuclear power units.

    Oh, that's why. The DoD probably doesn't want to deal with the fallout (ha ha) from announcing to the public that they're putting nuclear material in airborne vessels.

  • It doesn't take a brainiac to figure this one out. It is well known that the US and Soviets help promote Space Ship theories to cover up their research projects. This goes right up that alley. Make an airship that looks pointless, fly it at night and near places where you known only small towns will see it and poof its from SPACE. That way next time you fly that space plane into orbit and it's seen, people will first think Aliens before they think home grown.
  • Fancy that... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by boowax (229348)
    And here I spent so many years believing they were weather balloons!
  • Help (Score:5, Funny)

    by CableModemSniper (556285) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .odlapacnagol.> on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:30PM (#4014925) Homepage Journal
    I can't seem to find the "-1: Crackpot" mod.
  • "Elecrokinetic propulsion means that no propellers or jets are used."

    Someone want to explain that one?
    • by Bearpaw (13080) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:33PM (#4014942)

      "Elecrokinetic propulsion means that no propellers or jets are used."

      Someone want to explain that one?

      It's a form of buzzword propulsion.

    • Airships are big balloons. We've all rubbed balloons against our shirts, then stuck them to the wall. This is an "electrostatic" effect. If you rub an airship against a big enough shirt, it will accellerate towards the nearest large wall. The clever bit is that you pile a bunch of drywall slabs on the back of a truck, then drive the truck around while the airship follows. Since the wall is moving, the effect is "electrokinetic".

      I'm waiting for a report that the development of the large shirts in the 1950s was partially responsible for the Paul Bunyan legend.
    • Elecrokinetic propulsion means that no propellers or jets are used.

      I think that means they are using telekinesis. That would explain why the CIA is harboring so many al Quaeda members in psionic prisons in Cuba. Islamic people are well known to have strong psychic powers. There brand of Evil is strong.


    • "Elecrokinetic propulsion means that no propellers or jets are used."

      Simple - if it does not use propellers or jets, then according to the quote, it must be using electrokinetic propulsion. Examples of this include paper airplanes, baseballs and automobiles. :)

    • Actually, they're using multiple Vectored Cow Flatulence Propulsion Modules. They have cows suspended in frames that squeeze the cows in the right places producing hugh amounts of thrust. If you've read this far...then it must be true.
  • 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.

    • Interesting account, thanks for posting it. But I don't understand why you discount the possibility that it was one of these secret DoD blimps?

      What specifically about the thing that you saw is inconsistent with one of these things?
      • 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 Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:04PM (#4015117) Journal
          Yeah, but a stealth blimp would need to be angular. That way it doesn't reflect radar back in every direction. And being thin like you describe would be advantageous too, in that regard. However, it would still have to be big enough that it could have sufficient lift. How big was the object you saw? If your UFO was full of helium, think it could lift a few tanks?

          The orientation of a blimp could change. It's lift is not defined by the direction it's facing.

          Don't get me wrong, I don't necesarily believe your story *or* the one on space.com, but I don't see what your argument is. Your description sounds like it could easily be a... um... stealth blimp. How else is it going to remain airborne silently?
          • Don't get me wrong, I don't necesarily believe your story *or* the one on space.com, but I don't see what your argument is. Your description sounds like it could easily be a... um... stealth blimp. How else is it going to remain airborne silently?

            I guess I would question the physics of such a thing, then. If the DoD craft was kept aloft by a lighter-than-air gas, wouldn't that limit its shape and behavior somewhat? I could see the craft pictured in the article existing, but what I saw was flat and flying perpendicular to the ground. It looked nothing like either of the artists' representations in the article, although this really doesn't say much.

        • Eye witness accounts of this nature are wonderful things. Everybody wants to see something super-natural in order to guage and experience it.

          Maybe it was real. Maybe it was swamp-gas. Both are entirely possible in my estimation.

          In what manner did it dissapear? Did it fly off over the horizon, getting smaller & smaller until it was gone? Did it simply fade from view? Typically, when genuine, these things fly off at 'incredible speeds'.

          Just curious.

          -Fantastic Lad --Art Bell: disinfo genius?

          • In what manner did it dissapear?

            Well, "disappear" may be overly dramatic. "Became too damn hard to see anymore" is more like it. It was difficult to see in the first place, and just became impossible to see after it turned and moved away from us.

    • So, what's your title about then ('Bullshit')? What you described sounds pretty much exactly what they described in the article. Do you have reason to believe it wasn't a military craft, or?
    • by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT 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 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.

        • Perfect ingredients for a misidentification. You say it was grey, on its side. I doubt very much you could see enough detail to tell it was on its side. An airliner banking would present a nice planform.

          Grey? At night? Colors are notoriously hard to see at night.

          200 feet? Depth perception at night is hard, and 200 feet is getting near the limit in daylight for binocular stereo depth perception. Most depth perception is based on the perceived size of a known object; for instance, cars on a highway, or airliners in the sky. It could easily have been thousands of feet away and you wouldn't be able to tell since you didn't know what the object was and thus what it's absolute size was.

          Ditto for slow. Anything far away would have a slow angular velocity, and based on your perception of it being only 200 feet away, of course it looked slow. The biggest airliners are twice the size of small ones. Big military cargo planes are many times the size of small fighters, and I have many times marveled at the big cargo planes looking so slow when I drive near the local airbases when it is really just the difference in altitude.
          • Grey? At night? Colors are notoriously hard to see at night.

            Colors are indeed hard to see at night. Shades of grey, however, are easy to see. It was grey in appearance.

            200 feet? Depth perception at night is hard, and 200 feet is getting near the limit in daylight for binocular stereo depth perception.

            I didn't say it was 200 feet away. I have no idea how far away it was, because I don't really know how big it was. But it's altitude was less than 200 feet, because it was just above the apartment building opposite us. It was further away than that apartment building, but by how much I do not know.

            Ditto for slow. Anything far away would have a slow angular velocity, and based on your perception of it being only 200 feet away, of course it looked slow.

            Again, I make no claims as to its distance. But we watched it for about 30-45 seconds before it turned away and disappeared. In this time it moved maybe 30 degrees. It was slow.

        • 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. :-)

    • by Peridriga (308995) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:54PM (#4015070)
      Thank you for posting...

      An appointment has been made for a visit by many men in dark suits and black sunglasses to visit you and 'explain' to you what you 'really saw'.

      Please contact truth@mib.gov to schedule a time that is acceptable for you. We will most likely disregard you request and just shove you into a black van during the day.

      Once again, thank you for your coperation on this matter.

      The Management,
      -- Employee #82108302
    • We had stayed up all night talking politics and philosophy, and had gone out onto the balcony so I could smoke.

      Could this have something to do with the "vision" ?
      And what were you smoking?


    • They are government crafts. Just because they dont make a sound and can move fast doesnt change the fact that its just an spycraft.

      Ive seen the flying black triangles before too, I havent seen a flying saucer, that would be diffrent. But a flying triangle? Thats likely one of our crafts. How does it work or fly? I dont know, but we have the technology.
    • While meteor-spotting, more than once I've seen a triangle-shaped thing fly overhead. I thought it was a plane at first, but it was slower than that, and the lights were dimmer, and flickered some. Eventually I decided it was three birds flying in formation with the city lights reflecting off their bellies. It was kind of small (or distant); I don't recall any stars going behind it.

      Did you actually see it, or just the lights at the corners? You say it was dark gray. Then you saw the ship itself, which would rule out birds.
  • Airship (Score:5, Funny)

    by papasui (567265) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:33PM (#4014940) Homepage
    Great you got an airship now all you need is a guy named Cid to fly it and some dudes with swords.
  • by Debillitatus (532722) <devillel2&hotmail,com> on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:33PM (#4014941) Journal
    The editors came up real short on this one. After reading the /. blurb, it sounded like an actual piece of journalism that was reporting on this. Ok, fine.

    Then I went to the website that this came from. Let me give those of you who bought this a clue: Any website which has "Consciousness Studies" on the front page is not anything close to reputable when it comes to speculating about objects flying in the air.

    Perhaps I'm being a bit thick-headed and missed the sarcasm, but it sure seemed like this was honestly submitted, and this is nothing but a load of crap.

  • 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

    • I believe the general thinking is this thing has some heavy duty stealth features. Radar absorbance, etc. Also its slow movement speed makes it hard to pick up as a moving object with most radar systems. Of course, I understand that for it to be as stealth as I'm making it out to be, it would have to be a bit beyond our current understand from the stealth fighter/bomber, but it doesn't seem that far out.
      • I believe the general thinking is this thing has some heavy duty stealth features. Radar absorbance, etc.
        Who has the contract for manufacturing the radar absorbing material? Halliburton? Whew, talk about a cash cow...

        sPh

    • by blair1q (305137) on Monday August 05, 2002 @08:01PM (#4015397) Journal
      NEXRAD has a pixel resolution of about a kilometer, and can be jammed by a squirrel fart.

      You shoulda sent for the X-Ray specs, tho'. Those things are amazing.

      --Blair
    • But I did get an ad in the mail just the other day for my very own phased-array NEXRAD weather radar

      *inside secret military craft, a warning light comes on.*

      Pilot: "Looks like we're lit by a ground-based bogey bearing two-four-oh , approximately two-point-five miles."

      Copilot: "Powering up laser."

      6PM news: "And in local news , there was a massive explosion in an apartment building at 2:30am this morning. The occupants are presently missing, feared dead. Authorities state the occupants were using some kind of "weather radar" device and were known "hackers". Authorities caution that this kind of dangerous apparatus should not be in the hands of the general public. They have declared an amnesty on the return of these devices intact and anyone in the local area possessing them should hand them in to their local police station immediately."
  • by T3kno (51315) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:34PM (#4014946) Homepage
    NIDS invented NADS the Australian hair removal system. The flying wedge is the transport system that will be used to systematically drop free samples of Nads over Europe, the Middle East, and Russia where excessive hairyness is a problem.
  • Sadly... (Score:4, Funny)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:37PM (#4014962) Homepage Journal
    ... the key witnesses to one of the sightings, Vicks and Wedge, were killed before they could take the stand.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:43PM (#4015003) Homepage Journal
    Vogan survey ships, measuring and laying out the interstellar bypass. Sometime in the next decade the Constructor ships will arrive.

    Support your local poet.
  • by Kozz (7764)
    Wait. Those aren't airships [space.com], they're Leviathans! [farscape.com]
  • 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.
    • I was going to say "troop deployment" but then I remembered the Hindenberg.
    • Re:Does not compute. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by liberteus1 (586386)
      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.
    • Re:Does not compute. (Score:5, Informative)

      by nathanm (12287) <nathanm@nOsPAM.engineer.com> on Monday August 05, 2002 @08:20PM (#4015470)
      A 747-400 has a payload of over 120 tons with a range of over 4400 nautical miles. Why not just use 747s?
      A standard 747 works great for carrying passengers, and freight configured 747s can haul lots of cargo in small crates, but military airlifters use standardized pallets that won't fit in (current) 747s. Also, they can't carry tanks, large vehicles, helicopters, or other aircraft. Military cargo aircraft can accomodate the pallets or other large payloads. Besides, the C-5 can carry over 145 tons (max wartime payload, standard max is 125 tons).
  • by patiwat (126496) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:51PM (#4015053)
    The airships don't come and go - they're out there constantly. They're just invisible, both to optical and radar wavelengths. The ships are actually filled with tall, thin, vicious aliens who want to exploit earth's natural resources and kidnap earth's children.

    The reason they haven't landed yet is because they find earth's atmosphere poisinous. The high humidity burns their skin the way hydrochloric acid burns human skin. They haven't developed the appropriate environmental suits yet because (despite being able to traval intersteller distances) they're not that smart, and don't know, for instance, how to turn door knobs. They're also confused about where to land, since all of their original crop sign navigation markers were soon replaced by the work of Disney executives and 30 year-old nerds who don't have girlfriends.

    Patiwat Panurach
    patiwat@sloan.mit.edu
  • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Monday August 05, 2002 @06:53PM (#4015064)
    "Big Black Delta Mystery Solved?"

    One really shouldn't use the words 'Big' and 'Delta' in the same headline unless it is about Delta Burke. I had to read a little ways in before I realized I had the wrong image in my mind.
  • Oh, please (Score:5, Informative)

    by linuxwrangler (582055) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:07PM (#4015140)
    Big Black Ships? mysterious humming drive systems?

    How did this get by the /. editors.

    I know it is an "argumentum ad hominem" but just do an AltaVista search and see all the people who link to the "National Institute of Discovery Science" and you will not find a bunch of references in serious scientific journals.

    You will, however, get a reasonably comprehensive list of UFO whako sites. A small sample:

    www.area51researchcenter.com
    www.virtuallystran ge.net
    www.ufofinland.net
    www.ufowisconsin.com
    www.ufodisclosure.com
    www.aliendave.com
    www.oreg onuforeview.com
    ufounderground.net
    www.ufowatchd og.com
    www.truthseekeratroswell.com
    www.stardriv e.org
    www.intrudersfoundation.org
    www.ufoinfo.co m
    www.ufoconspiracy.com
    www.artbell.com

    You be the judge
  • "Hey guys, you'll never guess what they think we're building this time!"
  • by Goonie (8651) <robert DOT merkel AT benambra DOT 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?

    • Unfortunately, these things never quite get off the ground [hoovers.com]. Ha ha ha... CargoLifter is just the lastest in a long stream of ventures to build heavy-lift airships, none of which have succeeded. It is quite difficult to beat the economics of airplane for fast/expensive, railroad for moderate/moderate, and barge for slow/cheap.

      sPh

  • 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.
  • Theoretical Scientists have discovered that the V-ship is powered by a homeopathic antiradioactive nuclear (HARN) power plant.

    This incredible breakthough was paved the way by new age researchers. It's well know that it's possible to treat medical problems by giving someone immensely weak doses of substances that would cause similar symptoms in large does. What most scientists didn't realize was that the same thing could be accomplished with nuclear power.

    By having a small dose of nuclear material (in this case the glowing stuff scraped off the watch hands from an old glow-in-the-dark watch) blocked by an extremely watered down substance (the remaining amount of lead in a lead pencil), massive amounts of nuclear power can be harnessed. Also, since the objects naturally cause a minute amount of gravity to affect the ship, the ship responds with an incredible amount of anti-gravity, allowing it to fly.
  • From the articls: "There appears to be an increase in deployment of these vehicles," Kelleher said. "The only time you see these things are when they are leaving or coming in. A lot of these sightings are at night. Our information is that they spend a long time aloft, weeks at a time. They can be thought of as ocean-going ships, rather than aircraft," he said.

    This reminds me so much of Final Fantasy! How cool. I wonder when they'll make a luxury air liner; it could reach a lot more sights than an ocean liner. I wonder if they have one called The Big Whale, or if they have a captain named Setzer. They have to have a mechanic named Cid!

    BlackGriffen
  • 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.)
  • I was surprised to see them attribute these airships to the Air Force. The Navy has been far more interested in lighter-than-air craft than the Army or the Air Force, even today (or so I gather from the technical papers published in the white world). If the airships were from the Navy, then that would even explain why there were seen behaving suspiciously around Scott Air Force Base. Surely the Air Force would be careful to avoid having it's top secret airships seen comming in to land at its home base. A Navy crew, however, might not be able to resist the temptation to scare the crap out of an Air Force base by doing their best alien flying saucer imitation.
  • by gleam (19528) on Monday August 05, 2002 @07:45PM (#4015327) Homepage
    Back in the 1970's, author John McPhee wrote a great book called "The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed," detailing the efforts of the Aereon company to create a lighter-than-air transport vessel.

    The company has, over the years, been issued five US patents for their work, numbers (feel free to look them up) 4149688, 4896160, 5034751, 5931411, and 6179248.

    McPhee is by no means a crackpot or a ufo "journalist", but rather a widely respected non-fiction author who has covered subjects from nuclear energy ("The Curve of Binding Energy") to oranges ("Oranges") and underground russian art ("The Ransom of Russian Art"). Although he is certainly not an expert in aerodynamics, he is not a biased party.

    The Aereon ships, shaped something like a bright orange pumpkin seed (hence the title), were never any longer than 26 feet, and the 26-footer (a test, basically) required no helium to take off--but the notion was always that the larger, transport versions, would need some assistance from helium to lift off and travel. The goal of the shape is to combine the lift capabilities of a normal plane with the features of a blimp. It was always meant for transport.

    A few urls:

    http://www.johnmcphee.com/deltoid.htm

    http://www.nidsci.org/news/illinois/aereon.html (from NIDS itself, commenting on the possibility of the vessel being an Aereon or an Aereon knockoff)

    http://www.users.on.net/justin/docs/transport/ae re on.jpg (the original design for the Aereon)

    http://www.aereoncorp.com/ Official Website of the Aereon corp, including a picture of the Aereon 26 in flight

    http://www.pacpubserver.com/new/business/6-22-99 /a ereon.html (article from 1999 about the possible return of the Aereon corp, including the following quote:

    Mr. Smith [an Aereon employee] described Aereon's two most promising current projects. One is a rotor vector -- part helicopter, part helium balloon -- that is being designed to replace helicopters in aerial logging operations. The second is a version of Aereon 26 that the company is designing to carry radar. Called WASP -- wide aperture surveillance plane -- and capable of a making continuous 360 degrees sweeps of the sky, the deltoid-shaped craft would far exceed the effectiveness of current anti-missile detection aircraft, Mr. Smith said.

    end quote. You'll note that the only current patent Aereon corp holds is for the WASP-style system)

    I'm not saying I have any idea what these things people are seeing are, I'm just mentioning a possibility. Anyone still interested in this *kind* of vessel should definitely go read "The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed" by McPhee.

    -gleam

    • 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.
      • It's possible, but I doubt it... there's too much obscure and weird history to Aereon corp for it to really be a front..

        examples:

        1) Founded by a presbyterian pastor (I think), who provided most of the original funding for the project.

        Quote: In Mr. McPhee's words, Mr. Drew, asked himself: "Why not bring the world's underdeveloped nations into the transportation forefront of the 20th century in a single leap by eliminating the need for roads, railroads, tunnels, bridges, airports, storage facilities and prepared harbors? Enormous warehouses in the sky would move from place to place, landing lightly on grass fields."

        It's possible Lockheed got a lot of strange religious people to start up this company, but I kinda doubt it...

        2) The now leader of the company, William Miller Jr., is also a religious man: he's a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary. It just strikes me as unlikely that an organization with such a...holy...background would be a front for lockheed-martin.

        Basically, a huge number of those involved with the project are a pastor, reverend, priest, minister, or graduate of a seminary...

        3) Lockheed's interest in lighter-than-air vehicles is fairly well documented..

        4) Another quote:

        He didn't give up. When the aircraft industry showed no interest, the theologian/flyer/inventor turned to the trucking industry. An aging trucking industry magazine in his files shows a football-field sized Aereon pulled up to a loading dock. Trucking companies showed some interest, but, Mr. Miller said, unions representing truckers felt threatened by the airship that could put many of them out of business, and so funding never materialized.

        It's possible the whole thing is a coverup, but I think it's more likely that Aereon is just a group of people who believe in the idea of an aerobody.

        -gleam
  • Do the sitings also correlate to conferencers CowboyNeal has been attending? If so, how was Slashdot able to contract service from the DoD?

    Many apologies to CowboyNeal for the joke made at his expense...
  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @02:39AM (#4016582) Journal
    Yes, yes, crap. Thanks, let's move on.

    Anyhow, when the next secret aircraft is uncovered, and tied to a number of unsolved sightings, it would be nearly as significant as proof that it was aliens.

    How secure would you feel knowing that there were military aircraft overhead, that no radar station was able to confirm? How would you feel knowing that the paranoid kook that you discounted was actually right? All the reports that have been discounted will no doubt give great insight, and reveal tell-tale signs of what the government does when attempting to cover-up a legit sighting.

    And I'd like to end with some advice for you kooks that often photograph blury black blotches flying in the sky. Get the following:

    1. An industrial stregenth spot-light.
    2. A very hi-definition video camera, with good optical zoom
    3. A laser range-finder

    With that, you should be able to:

    1. Light-up the craft.
    OR
    2. Instantly determine what is causing the optical illusion.
    3. Get very detailed moving photos of the craft.
    4. Get a definitive distance measurement, that will help when reviewing the tape(s).
    5. Get credibility

    You might discover classified military craft-in which case you can rub the video in the face of all the radar operators.
    Hell, even if you discover that you aren't seeing craft, you just might end up with the most detailed film of some particular natural phenomenon. That's not such a bad runner-up prize.

    #5 is most important. It was crappy photos that convinced the public of the lock-ness monster. The same such photos aren't going to convince anyone with half a brain.

    In the worst case, with that setup, you WILL difinitively discover the real source of those sightings, and put your own mind at ease.

    Heh, Aliens that can travel much faster than the speed of light, can instantly accelerate, and can stay hidden for a century, but they can't stay 'cloaked' at night, or in areas where there is not adaqute equipment to get a good record of them.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.

Working...