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-   -   Mysterious delta jet over Texas, a fortnight ago (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/536905-mysterious-delta-jet-over-texas-fortnight-ago.html)

chopper2004 28th Mar 2014 15:54

Mysterious delta jet over Texas, a fortnight ago
Came across the pic on a group in Fakebook......:E

Mystery Aircraft Over Texas

Any takers?


AnglianAV8R 28th Mar 2014 15:59

If anyone in these hallowed halls does know, I suspect they wont tell you :cool:

Roland Pulfrew 28th Mar 2014 16:24

Looks like a B2 to me, particularly in the colour photo.

Boy_From_Brazil 28th Mar 2014 16:32


Couldn't agree more...at first I thought a F117...


Kitbag 28th Mar 2014 18:25

Really surprised that if a 'secret' ac, ie not a B2, would operate in a contrail environment. Suspect it is indeed a publicly known and acknowledged type

Willard Whyte 28th Mar 2014 18:27

Compare to a B-2


Fox3WheresMyBanana 28th Mar 2014 18:38

US Navy drone X-47B perhaps?
(I disagree with the reasons why not, and the shape and contrail are correct)


chopper2004 28th Mar 2014 18:52

X-47B - looks a tad too small, judging from photo looks like something flying at 20,000 and unless someones used telephoto long lens, be difficult to get a fast jet sized shape in....

But are there not delegated areas especially for UAS ops in the states, agreed with the FAA, and anything else be around Edwards, Groom, Eglin, Pax ranges? I do not believe (please correct me if I am wrong) the state of Texas has any restricted airspace to fly UASs bar the bases?

Though thought it was a 1950s/60s photo initially ....

if you take away the forward canards, of this


The wing shape would look similar?

dagenham 28th Mar 2014 18:56

Is it aurora?

Can i claim my five pounds?

MPN11 28th Mar 2014 20:00

I know the answer, but I'd have to shoot you first? :cool:

Stuff 28th Mar 2014 20:12

The shape looks more like the Boeing Phantom Ray


But both this and the X-47B have a single engine. How does that form 2 parallel contrails?

Edit: I'm not saying 2 contrails from 1 engine is impossible (the B2 picture in this very thread seems to have 3 contrails from 2 engines) I'm just not sure how that happens.

500N 28th Mar 2014 20:14

I see it has hit the front pages of the Daily Mail :rolleyes:

But interesting / good blow up of the black and white photo.

UFO of secret fighter jet? The mysterious triple triangle craft pictured flying over Texas | Mail Online

Fox3WheresMyBanana 28th Mar 2014 20:18

The x-47B appears to have a divided exhaust nozzle

p.s. The DM's next Don't Miss article is "Was Kim Kardashian too fat for Harper's Bazaar?"

whereas that probably isn't the next article in FlightGlobal, 'Jane's..', etc

If you post DM links again 500N I'll put you on my 'Ignore' list - no excuses!!

barnstormer1968 28th Mar 2014 20:40

Could a Neuron be out there?

TEEEJ 28th Mar 2014 20:54

Douglass claims that there was three of these aircraft in formation. Photographs and full details on Steve Douglass website. Apparently 509th confirmed to Bill Sweetman that no B-2s were in the area at that time.

Search on 'Deep Black Horizon'. First website on search as I am unable to post direct link to website.


Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:00 PM
To: Sweetman, Bill

Subject: Aircraft sighting


I have spoken with our schedulers and the aircraft you saw was not a B-2 on the date and time in question.
Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Jennifer Greene
Director of Community Relations
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
509 Spirit Blvd. Suite 112
Whiteman AFB, MO 65

B-2 contrail video for comparison.

LowObservable 28th Mar 2014 21:01

Correct, Teej... the 509th denial will be in the upcoming AW&ST also.

So one thing it probably wasn't, was a B-2.

NutLoose 28th Mar 2014 21:07



TEEEJ 28th Mar 2014 21:35

LowObservable wrote

the 509th denial will be in the upcoming AW&ST also.
Is it coming out on April 1st ;)

3 of them in formation? Really?

Is it just me or is Steve Douglass working up to an April Fools' stunt?

With Steve Douglass you have to take a few things that he comes out with a huge pinch of salt. He does have a history of BS, IMHO. Take into consideration that Steve Douglass was the guy who first came out with the "donuts on the rope" contrail photograph back in 1992. In 2010 he claimed that it was back.

I was on my way home from Wal-Mart this afternoon when I heard a strange thumping noise - rhythmic in nature. At first I thought it might be a flat tire - but then I realized it was coming out of the sky. Then I realized what it was. It came back in a flash - a sound I hadn't heard since 1992. I looked up and saw a familiar sight. My old friend the "Pulser" was back.
The above snippet from his website complete with images. Again, anyone can post images of contrails with pendules and claim whatever they like. You tube and the web is full of them with people claiming they were produced by undisclosed aircraft.

Ever since then contrails with pendules have been associated with claims of pulse detonation wave engines. Contrails with pendules are nothing new.


Douglass also got caught up in the nonsense of NATO manned aircraft losses over Yugoslavia in 1999 claiming figures of around 22 shot down. I've heard that radio interview he did back in 1999 on NATO losses and it didn't do him any favours.

Texas Radio Buff: About Two Dozen NATO Aircraft Shot Down by the Serbs

What attracted our attention to Steve Douglas, however (thanks to a heads-up we got from a TiM reader in the U.K.), was that he also eavesdrops (literally and legally) to many unencrypted U.S. military messages. Such as those exchanges during NATO's war on Serbia, for example, when many communications between the NATO pilots and command and control centers were not encrypted, due to a lack of sufficient number of encryption devices, according to Douglas.

So what valuable "intel" did Douglas pick up from all this eavesdropping to be invited as a guest on the Jeff Rense radio show? How about that at least 22 NATO fixed wing air craft were shot down by the Serb defense, about 10 of those U.S. planes.
S99-145, KFOR "Peacefarce" 39 - Special TiM GW Bulletins (Sep. 3, 1999)

After what he has produced in the past then call me skeptical.

Haraka 29th Mar 2014 06:52

Thanks for that TEEEJ. I was unaware of the dubious provenance of the images.

WhiteOvies 29th Mar 2014 10:52

X-47B usually flies with Chase aircraft from VX-23 and it says there were 3 aircraft in the formation, not 3 of these triangles.

My money's on X-47B, which is surprisingly small up close, although with a big wing.

Lima Juliet 29th Mar 2014 17:39

Lockheed Polecat has 2 engines, but I thought that it had been shelved...


saudipc-9 29th Mar 2014 21:13

Twin engine contrails so all the single engine drones are out.

ShotOne 30th Mar 2014 13:32

No they aren't. Contrails are formed by wingtip vortices, not a function of number of engines.

My money is on an X47B

Hempy 30th Mar 2014 13:38

Originally Posted by ShotOne (Post 8409855)
No they aren't. Contrails are formed by wingtip vortices, not a function of number of engines.

My money is on an X47B


BEagle 30th Mar 2014 14:25

Condensation trails can be caused either by pressure reduction, for example in wing tip vortices or by engine exhausts.

If you ever saw a Buccaneer flying a blown overshoot on a damp day, you'd see a plethora of such pressure reduction trails.

NickPilot 30th Mar 2014 14:46

Contrails formed by pressure drop are short lived. Trails formed by engine exhaust are usually longer lived, depending on atmospheric conditions. The ones in the photo are definitely exhaust generated.

DITYIWAHP 30th Mar 2014 15:11

Vapor trails that are formed by wingtip vortices never persist because the low pressure area disappears as the vortex quickly dies, whereas those formed by engines persist because of the water vapor added by the combustion process in the engines. Index finger to glasses, glasses adjust...

ShotOne 30th Mar 2014 15:21

DITY, if we're talking about high level contrails, they are caused by the jet exhaust, specifically the water content, being mixed by wingtip vortices. Hempy, if you were to take another picture 30 secs later you'd see two contrails. Beagle, what you say about pressure drop is true but doesn't much help identify our mystery machine; we're talking tens of thousands of feet over Texas not Honington on a drizzly morning.

saudipc-9 30th Mar 2014 16:35

Shot- you would either have to have the jet under G or have lift devices deployed for what you are referring to and as has been mentioned are short lived and are not present at the altitudes this aircraft was flying. The photo shows engine contrails emitting from the aircraft. What the vortices do afterwards is irrelevant.

Sideshow Bob 30th Mar 2014 16:45

No they aren't. Contrails are formed by wingtip vortices, not a function of number of engines.
Doncha just love amateur hour

ShotOne 30th Mar 2014 17:01

Read my post in the context of the question being answered, Bob. It's simply not possible to state how many engines this aircraft had just by looking at the contrail.

langleybaston 30th Mar 2014 17:22

Jet engines eh?

So all those Flying Fortresses I saw during the war were running on jets after all.

So the USA invented the jet engine and flew it before Germany or GB?

Real education this thread.

Willard Whyte 30th Mar 2014 17:26

I think they scrapped all the X/YB-35s...

dagenham 30th Mar 2014 18:11

So all this is telling me is high altitude stealth is a bit pointless if your in the contrail layer?

The only airframe(s);) I know of that has fewer contrails than engines is because 40% of the engines fitted where shut down for most of the flight.

Roland Pulfrew 30th Mar 2014 20:09

if we're talking about high level contrails, they are caused by the jet exhaust, specifically the water content, being mixed by wingtip vortices.]
Bloody hell. All that time watching the VC10's contrails and apparently the exhausts were mixing with the wing tip vortices!!

BEagle 30th Mar 2014 20:40

I don't know why it's all such a mystery?

Surely it was just one of these on test:

Compass Call 30th Mar 2014 20:45

Sea Vixen?

I'll get my coat!!

saudipc-9 30th Mar 2014 21:13

Here's an interesting video

ShotOne 30th Mar 2014 21:25

Yes they were, Roland. Are you postulating that contrails from aircraft with tail mounted engines behave fundamentally differently from others? I'd challenge you to tell those of, say, an MD80 and a 737 apart a minute after they'd passed.

That said, I feel the contrail debate is a red herring; my money is still on the (single engined)X47B for the much more basic reason that the planform looks like it. This isn't the 50's with dozens of exciting projects. Even if some new mega plane had somehow been funded and built in super-secrecy, would it reallly be cruising over Texas in broad daylight?

saudipc-9 30th Mar 2014 21:28


This one is for Shot. If you're telling me that the vortices mix the contrails, fair enough. However, that is not what your post said "Contrails are formed by wingtip vortices". This is also why, in order to ID the number of engines, that you would look very close to the aircraft itself. However, given the video and the similar contrail pattern from the original picture may very well show a UAV.

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