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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 30

Re: Catalog of Levelland concentration, Nov 1957

From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 01:48:54 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 06:49:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Catalog of Levelland concentration, Nov 1957

> From: David Rudiak <DRudiak@aol.com>
> Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 18:03:10 EDT
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: Re: Catalog of Levelland concentration, Nov 1957

> >From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@IX.NETCOM.COM>
> >Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:07:03 -0400
> >Fwd Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 07:25:20 -0400
> >Subject: P-1947 Re: Catalog of Levelland concentration, Nov 1957

Right up front, I want to publicly thank David for taking my rather
poorly done back of the envelope and far from expert estimates and
turning them into something far more useful. It's a great example
of how we can work together to go from a mysterious happening
to getting some real quantitative estimates.

Thanks, David!

> > One might profitably use
> >the density of an aircraft applied to an object of such a size
> >to get an idea as to how much thrust might be required to attain
> >the reported performance.

> >For instance, realize that at the reported dimensions, the size
> >of the Levelland object is comparable to a C5A Starlifter. This
> >implies a weight of between a quarter million and three quarters
> >of a million pounds.

> In the absence of further information, this is certainly a very
> reasonable starting point. However, typically half or more of
> such an aircraft's weight is devoted to fuel and payload. This
> is unlikely to be the case with a UFO, which doubtlessly does
> not use jetfuel as an energy source, nor is concerned with
> delivering heavy payloads from points A to B. Furthermore, I
> would expect such a high-performance craft to be using advanced
> materials which are of greater strength and lighter in weight
> than what we typically use in building our aircraft. This is all
> speculative, yet I think reductions in overall mass by factors
> of 3 or 4 are not unreasonable.

I agree with David that these are not unreasonable. At the same
time, one must wonder why so huge an object is necessary unless
its internal volume is at least largely utilized. So while there
is no question that such materials as he suggests could be used
to reduce airframe weight, it is still likely that a large
vehicle would be efficiently utilized to carry heavy payload of
some sort.

After all, our aircraft materials and engineering are probably a
factor or 3 or 4 lighter than those used in, say, DC-3s or heavy
piston fighters of the WW-II era, but we have used those
advances to increase payload, armament, or performance.

What requires a Levelland-size object to engage in roadblock
activities remains a mystery.

>This would lessen the energy
>demands on the propulsion system considerably. But for now,
>let's stick with Mark's higher estimate. Thus, the numbers
>computed below likely represent more of a worst-case scenario.

Note that Hill's estimate of the density of the Quarouble object
suggests that object was significantly denser than an aircraft,
and was, in fact, closer to the density of a submarine (96% as
dense as water).

On the other hand, the Socorro object density seems to be
significantly less than that - resting somewhere between 20% and
51% that of water, thus between 1/5 and 1/2 the density of the
Quarouble object.

Also note that the low limit Starlifter weight of 250,000 lbs is
close to empty weight, since operational weight is 337,937 and
max takeoff is 769,000.

David - if you have the time, perhaps you can run the numbers
for the Socorro and Quarouble densities, and give us an idea of
how they relate to the C5A numbers.

>>If the object rose 200 feet in 3 seconds
>>(one possible estimate of "rose swiftly"), the acceleration
>>would be 3 gravities and the speed at the end of the three
>>seconds would be 240 mph.

>Unfortunately there are some math errors here. The acceleration
>would be given by 2*distance/time^2 or 2*200/3^2 = ~ 44
>ft/sec^2. This is about 1.3 g, not 3g. The speed would be
>acceleration * time = 44 * 3 sec = 132 ft/sec = 90 mph. This all
>points to much more relaxed demands on the propulsion system
>than in Mark's calculation.

David is quite right about this. I accidentally used 500 feet
instead of 200 feet and thus inflated the acceleration and final
speed. (what an idiot! slaps head... :-)

>>The thrust required would seem to require T=mag= 48,300,000 lbs
>>of thrust at a 500,000 lb weight (assuming no drag and no
>>losses). This is eight times the thrust >of a Saturn V rocket.

>Fortunately, the required thrust isn't not anywhere near this
>bad. The math is as follows:


>The main error in Mark's calculation was assuming the mass and
>the weight were the same, which led to the calculated thrust
>being 32 times greater than it should have been. (Note: actually
>mass in English units = weight/32, expressed in the horrific
>English unit, the "slug." Slugs plus PSH'ers and English food
>are not the among the high points of British civilization.)

Not to mention doubling the acceleration. Thank goodness for
peer review. I also had a hard time finding a good thrust
equation, which shows the need for better references in this
library. At least now I have a spreadsheet that works, so I
won't make this mistake again.

>Still we have to deal with the problem of energy dispersal
>from the rough equivalent of six 747's (in the more
>conservative or worst-case estimate) taking off at the same
>time. One difference between a jet engine (or rocket) and a
>UFO is that a jet engine confines the thrust to a relatively
>narrow area, whereas a UFO may ionize a large mass of air
>around it and thus spread it's thrust over a much greater area.
>Thus the thrust per unit area (pressure) might be considerably
less than that of a jet engine.

This is where I believe we have to be very cautious. I am not
sure of what evidence might be construed to indicate the
dispersal of thrust through ionization. I'd be interested in
hearing from David which cases suggest this to him and why. I am
bothered by the apparent ability of the UFO to hover and to
accelerate without luminosity when considering this idea.

Still, the idea that the thrust is spread over a large area has
great merit. It may very well be that there are limitations on
this which are signaled by the presence of the sound from the
usually soundless object, a problem which also crops up with the
Socorro case.

>If the ionized air "footprint" was four times the figure used
>above, or 40,000 square feet (this assumes the region of
>effective ionization is double the dimensions of the craft
>itself), then the thrust/area drops to a very gentle 30 pounds
>per square foot, or double atmospheric pressure. (And for a UFO
>of 1/3rd the mass of the worst-case above, this drops to a
>"miniscule" 10 pounds per square foot.)

We need to take a look at the expected "breeze" from a 2 atm UFO
force effect. Does this conform to the observations in cases
such as Flynn and Moreland?

>How much would the air heat up as the UFO takes off and
>accelerates upward? The Levelland UFO is dumping it's energy
>into a very large volume, so air heating is relatively minor. A
>little calculation shows that the combined kinetic plus
>potential energy of a 500,000 lb craft rising 200 feet to an air
>speed of 90 mph is roughly 300 million joules.

May we assume this is for a case without atmospheric drag? If
so, what effect would we get from, say 25-50% surface area drag
levels, making the assumption, justified by a variety of
reports, that the UFO has the ability to ensure clean airflow,
but perhaps cannot eliminate all drag.

>If an equal
>amount of energy was dumped into the ionized column of air this
>craft passes through (assuming the smaller 10,000 sq. foot
>footprint but now 200 feet high) the total volume of air
>affected would be roughly 2 million cubic feet. This contains
>about 2.5 million mole of nitrogen/oxygen gas, which when
>multiplied by the univeral gas constant (8.3 joules/mole/deg K)
>gives a net heat capacity of roughly 20 million joules/deg K.
>Thus the column of air would be raised in temperature by 300
>million/ 20 million or only about 15 deg Celius, or 27 deg
>Fahrenheit. And of course, the average heating of the air would
>be only 1/4 of this if the actual ionization footprint was four
>times the area of UFO footprint itself, and even less than that
>if the craft was of much lower mass than assumed in the

I think we can consider a few possibilities.

First, the heat effects would seem to be the greatest with the
air column at its shortest, which predicts ground heating
disproportionate with the temperature change experienced by
witnesses. This is because the witnesses don't experience the
heat either until the object has attained enough altitiude for
the heated column to begin to disperse, or until they are within
the "cone" of the force footprint.

>These are very rough numbers, but again demonstrate
>that the good people of Levelland were probably in no danger of
>being fried. It's a much different situation than standing in
>back of a jet engine with its very hot, high speed gases rushing
>out. UFOs have "kinder and gentler" propulsion.

>>This, in a nutshell, is the core of the UFO as a technological

>Mark, I think if you look at the problem using the numbers
>above, the required technology doesn't become so daunting.

Yes, in many ways I agree. However, the accelerations reported
(though unfortunately not really usable in estimates) by Saucedo
and other witnesses indicate that the Levelland object may have
been capable of the same 100G plus accelerations estimated from
Hill's large cigar sighting, or at least the 18G acceleration I
calculate for the Marignane object.

>I would like to add here that I consider Mark Cashman to be a
>very serious researcher, and I've enjoyed his very thoughtful
>and intelligent posts in the past. I hope he isn't upset at
>having some mistakes pointed out. I totally agree with Mark that
>a great deal about the physics of the UFOs can be deduced by
>careful examination of the reports. I am very greatful to his
>past work in this regard, such as the energy output as deduced
>from luminosity reports.

As I am grateful to David for correcting my work when it is in
error. In contrast to the kind of backbiting that occurs when
all we have are qualitative information on the table, using real
data to generate real estimates means that right and wrong are
quite clearly defined, and when an error is corrected, we all
know and can all benefit from it.

>One of the reasons I wrote this post correcting some of Mark's
>numbers is I didn't want to give the scientifically illiterate
>debunkers who regularly post here additional ammunition with
>which to dismiss the UFO phenomenon. UFOs don't need some
>pie-in-the-sky, gee-whiz Star Trek Sci-Fi dilithium crystal
>technology to do many of the things they are reported as doing.

That's quite true - and in fact, the witnesses themselves are
often in error, even when technically trained, as to the
performance of the object. For instance, in the Apr 12, 1950
Captain Robert Adickes and co-pilot Robert Manning case, the
reference, (Spencer, UFO Encyclopedia, ISBN 0-380-76887-9, p 4)
indicated that the object would have to be unmanned due to the
doubling of speed within a certain interval. My calculation,
however, indicates that, based on the witness statements, the
object accelerated at less than 1G.

We also need to keep our technological conservatism balanced by
an understanding of reasonable and expected advances - such as
David indicated concerning material weight and strength, and, of
course, thrust to weight ratios. What, for instance, would a
Model T owner make of a modern dragster? Or could the Wright
brothers expect their kite to become the massive and powerful

UFOs definitely don't use conventional technologies to work, but
the way to understand the UFO is to apply standard techniques to
generate reasonable estimates from witness data, and to suggest
reasonable error limits. From that basis, we can build something
more solid than sand castles. It's good to find guys like David
Rudiak out here on the beach.

Mark Cashman, creator of The Temporal Doorway at
- Original digital art, writing, and UFO research -
Author of SF novels available at...