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What have you seen?

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What have you seen?

Old 29th Dec 2018, 18:38
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What have you seen?

They say stranger things are seen at sea, which is true, but even curiouser things have been seen in the air...

Whats the weirdest thing you’ve seen that you perhaps decided to keep to yourself, so as to avoid two men in black suits knocking on your hotel door?
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 19:54
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I used to read up on a lot of that stuff as a teen, now a tad skeptical!
Nothing in 30 years, 15 000hrs plus!
More worried about two chaps in white coats showing up......
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 19:56
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Back in college, I did work/study at NASA-Wallops Station, on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia. One of the best sights was the Advanced Technology Demonstrator (McDonnell-Douglas prototype of the F15) was being evaluated by the Navy at Pax River after the Air Force had finished their testing. It dropped in for a few minutes, refueled and took off on afterburner at about a 50 degree climb angle. Within less than 2 minutes from ground idle, it was clearly passing a 747 intercontinental flight.

Another time, a NASA U2 dropped in. He said over the radio that he'd have to wait for the sun to go down before he could land (not meaning real nightfall, but that it had to go far enough down for the asphalt to cool). Next day, he left, and it seemed it made as much noise as the F15. The whole place shook!

They were doing a series of tests for DOE to find out what would happen to an inbound ICBM if it came through the cloud tops in heavy weather. They called these "rain erosion tests". They used a Terrier-Recruit 2-stage rocket launched at a low angle, to zip through the cloud tops. Somebody had REALLY GOOD weather forecasting back then, 1972-1973. They would schedule these tests a MONTH in advance, and EVERY TIME, it would be a full-scale monsoon that day. Anyway, one day they did the reference test, no clouds. I got to see this bright dot arch across the sky incredibly fast. So, the rocket went from ground to splashdown in the ocean 20 miles away in 19 seconds. Same speed as an incoming ICBM reentry vehicle, about 6000 MPH.

Another one was an EXAMETNET super-LOKI datasonde, for ionospheric research. This one launches off the pad at 120 G's, and then as fuel burns and it gets lighter, the G force goes UP from there. I was about a mile away, listening to the count down and looking right at the rocket. It simply disappeared, to be replaced by a smoke cloud. I jerked my head up and saw a vertical smoke cloud with a bright dot at the top. Incredible.

One that I did NOT get to see was one I helped (in a tiny way) to launch. They pulled some strings so I could be in the blockhouse all night for an early morning launch of a Scout-D, launching one of the micrometeoroid technology satellites. (These had big styrofoam "wings" that detected micrometeoroids flying through them, to map and estimate the frequency of such hits on other satellites.) This was a BIG, 4-stage rocket. I was running some CCTV cameras on various places in the launch facility. When the sun came up, the one really exposed camera was covered in salt spray, so i had to go up on the roof of the blockhouse and clean it. I hadn't thought to bring cleaning stuff with me, so I had to spit on the camera window and wipe it with my handkerchief.
Didn't want to stay up there too long, as if anything went wrong with the rocket I'd be vaporized. The rest of the CCTV crew got some pictures off the recorded video, however, for me to keep.

One funny bit was that there were some launch controllers there with big abort buttons on their consoles. One of them hit his button at T-7 seconds or so, saying he was supposed to get a specific light at that time. The guys pulled out the whole launch clock diagram and showed him he was only going to get that light when the main motor lit. He insisted he had to see that light.
So, they unplugged his light from the plugboard that programmed the launch clock, and plugged it in to a manual pushbutton on a cord, and had a guy push the button when the clock hit -7.
Launch went off just fine!

Jon
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 20:13
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I recently saw a large London airport come to a grinding halt due to an invisible UFO. Of course, the government will deny it ever happened i'm sure, put it down to a weather drone maybe. Probably find some old wreckage from a previous drone and claim it was that, and have some poor buggers pose in the press a few days later looking upset, puzzled and confused. Nah....wouldn't happen, such an imagination I have. Maybe a few years from now we could have 'Project (DJI) Phantom' and an assembled group of the 'Mavic 12' to covertly investigate such mysterious an unseen objects.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 20:32
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August 1988, I was 19, parents away abroad so teenage party prevailed. It was one of those rare but fabulous nights (in the UK!) warm with a starlight sky. We were all laid on the front lawn (after booze yes & before sex obviously) staring at the heavens and talking philosophical nonsense as teenagers do. Then something triangular, unlit and very quiet flew overhead. I can't say how big it was because there was no point of reference, It was a moonless night & it only blanked out the stars. That was the only way anyone saw it. There was lots of "Whoa, what was that?", "Did you just see that?" etc etc. But tbh, it was quickly overlooked, sex was on the agenda after all! I must add this was in East Anglia, Mildenhall, Lakenheath etc about 30 miles to run, in aviation terms "just down the road"
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 20:54
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Weirdest thing I've seen is the OP's post mysteriously appearing in the Rumours & News forum instead of the Spotters Corner!
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 22:07
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
Weirdest thing I've seen is the OP's post mysteriously appearing in the Rumours & News forum instead of the Spotters Corner!

Actually good point! I posted this last night when tired. Mods, feel free to move this thread to a more appropriate venue poste haste.

Tally ho
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 22:13
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Nothing. 40 years and 16.000 hours.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 22:30
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Many hours of watching the St. Elmo’s fire on my windscreen and wingtips while full of checks in a beat up 402 over northern Wisconsin. Listened to a lot of Art Bell on the adf, but never saw a UFO.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 22:43
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1989, c 8,000 ft heading west towards CLN and over the base of Clacton pier. I said to my FO, 'I've just seen something I can't explain.'

It was a chrome-silver ball, small weather balloon size, at low level. Hard to tell, but circa 200'. Nothing too strange about this until it made manoeuvres that would be hard to explain even with gusty winds. It was calm-ish. Just one of those things.

However, less than a week later, I was home in nearby Frinton and the local paper had a report about a local boatman having this ball circling his (I think, pleasure trip) boat. I happened to know he was a serious sort of chap, retired RNLI, and not the sort to make up modern tosh. I phoned the paper.

Next thing was a call to my home from a contact they no doubt kept for such issues. A chap with one of those voices made for UFO spotters, asked me to describe what I'd seen. Just a ball. Impossible manoeuvres, etc., etc.
"Had it got windows?"
"No, just a ball."
"Oh. Had it got lights on it?"
"No, just a plain ball."

It was at this point I got the feeling the next question would be about little green men, so I politely ended the conversation. He sounded so disappointed.

Thing was, despite it being 'just a ball', it really did chase about it what seemed an impossible way. If it was just one of those things, I'd like to know what kind of thing it just was.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 22:58
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Late evening cruising at 28,000 ft in an F28 Fellowship 50 miles north of Tamworth NSW Australia in cloudless sky. Our weather radar picked up an echo 50 miles ahead on our track. It was stationary and as we grew closer we needed more down tilt to keep it in view.
. Called ATC and they said there was no aircraft in our area. Around 5 miles with more down tilt we both looked out of the window trying to spot the echo which was now quite strong. Nothing seen.
Ten years later same type of echo seen to one side while we were flying a 737 near the Vietnam coast. This echo was a long oblong shape. We passed abeam of it around 10 miles but despite being a clear day unable to spot anything visually. Other crews experienced in that part of the world said these sort of echoes may have been "window" floating in the sky. Window being strips of radar reflective aluminium designed to flood radar screens fooling observers into thinking many aircraft in the sky.
Maybe high altitude air currents carrying Window around the world from WW2. Over Vietnam maybe. But Tamworth no way.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 00:43
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Flying between Moomba and Alice Springs one July in a C402. Saw what I thought was another aircraft out to the West, at a similar height and speed. Askes AS Flight Service is there was another traffic only to be told that I was the only aircraft in their area.
Had a what looked like a red flashing light and a steady green light.

After spending the night in AS, I spoke to the blokes in FS and we came to the conclusion that it was Venus low down in the Western sky.

50 miles north of Tamworth NSW Australia
There was a story where a couple of Westwind? freighters flying between BN and SY on opposite tracks (one tracking North and the other South) each had a radar return at the same time of something that was moving extremely fast.

No other traffic in the area.

Has anyone heard about that or was involved?
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 00:45
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I expect the Mods are allowing a little light relief over the holiday period.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 05:22
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Silver balls

I saw similar things to some other people. South Pacific daytime and two silver spheres zipping around at incredible speed. The other pilot watched them too, so it was unlikely to be me going nuts. They shot off to the south and vanished. No idea what they were. No I didn’t report it.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 05:26
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In 1975, out on one of those undulating plains they have in the UK, heard a bang from one direction and saw an airplane standing on its left wing through a gap in the hills. Then about 0.5 seconds later the same aircraft, same attitude, but 90 degrees away in azimuth. After that, nothing at all.

In 1997, had a window seat in an aircraft over an beautiful Indonesian island. Suddenly right below us there is a different aircraft, maybe 5000 feet down, and going the opposite direction. Spoke to a few people since and had the suggestion made that navigation with precision well below a metre is actually making some sorts of conflict more likely, because everybody follows the same line.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 06:30
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About 3 years ago we were cruising at 36,000 mid way on an oceanic track on HF, it was the middle of the night and I spotted a bright white light (similar to a motorcycle headlight) in the upper right had portion of the FO’s windscreen. I checked TCAS as we sometimes cross paths with other traffic but not regularly. Anyway there was nothing on TCAS and the light started getting bigger and bigger like it was coming towards us, I pointed it out to the FO and he and I watched it for the next 30 seconds or so dancing around, getting bigger then smaller etc. suddenly it seemed to come straight towards us and went straight over the top apparently so close that we both ducked :-). Didn’t see it again and at the next HF report I asked if any other traffic had been near us in the last 60 minutes, ATC said nothing else was out there that night. We agreed just to file it away under the ‘[email protected]#k knows’ file.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 07:14
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
the light started getting bigger and bigger like it was coming towards us, I pointed it out to the FO and he and I watched it for the next 30 seconds or so dancing around, getting bigger then smaller etc. suddenly it seemed to come straight towards us and went straight over the top apparently so close that we both ducked :-)
Could it have been lights from a ship, reflecting off cloud above your level? Your description reminds me of the last communication with Frederick Valentich.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 07:32
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In 1994 from the front window of a PA28 cruising at around 3000’ over County Durham I saw the form of a man appear from the distant haze, silhouetted by the low winter sun. The sight was reminiscent of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the old “World in Action” man with arms and legs outstretched. It grew in the windshield and just as I started to think I was seeing a divine vision it flashed past the aircraft about 100 yards to the left, maybe 100’ feet below and I realised what it was - an inflatable Michelin Man that must have broken free from it’s tether on some garage forecourt.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 09:57
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Lots of time pondering subsonic aerodynamics while watching the shock wave bounce around on the wing!
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 13:20
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So a Captain once flying manually without the Flight Directors on😬
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