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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 3

Re: In the sky! A bird? A plane? A... UFO? -

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 10:39:55 -0700
Fwd Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 08:28:19 -0500
Subject: Re: In the sky! A bird? A plane? A... UFO? -

>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 15:35:15 -0000
>Subject: Re: In the sky! A bird? A plane? A... UFO?


>>A flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International
>>Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds
>>with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast
>>skies, said some United Airlines employees who observed the


>>"Our theory on this is that it was a weather phenomenon," she
>>said. "That night was a perfect atmospheric condition in terms
>>of low [cloud] ceiling and a lot of airport lights. When the
>>lights shine up into the clouds, sometimes you can see funny
>>things. That's our take on it."

>Hi List

>Well, a number of ground staff and pilots as witnesses to a low-
>altitude daylight object over a major airport has to add up to
>one of the most intriguing cases I've heard for a while. I hope
>references to any follow-up investigations get posted here.

Hi Martin,

This is intriguing indeed. The observation that the passage of
the object created a "hole" in the overcast is particularly
interesting. There would seem to only be two ways for this to
happen (but perhaps an atmospheric scientist will chime in):

(1) the water droplets in the cloud were heated to the vapor
state; or,

(2) the size distribution of the droplets was modified such that
they no longer were effective scatterers at visible wavelengths.

For case #1 it should be possible to put constraints on the
radiative power of the object based on the size of the "hole".
It seems that a black body radiator would have to be extremely
hot to produce such an effect, to the extent that it would glow
in visible wavelengths (at odds with the dark grey color
ascribed to it). But perhaps it radiated at a specific
wavelength (e.g., microwaves).

For case #2, the most straightforward scenario is that the
droplets coalesced into larger ones and rained out, but the
mechanism to bring this about is not obvious. Perhaps some local
stratification of electric charge?

In principle the appearance of this "hole" would have altered
the radar signature if the cloud as well, although I wouldn't
know if this could be detected by airport systems. I defer to
your radar expertise here.

>I won't be losing any sleep waiting for any FAA investigation
>though if their spokeswoman's "theory" is anything to go by.
>Airport lights shining on low clouds at night?

>"The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just
>before sunset."
>This is consistent, sunset would have been about 4:38 pm and
>even though gloomy in the overcast it would still have been

>"All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well
>defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by
>different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not
>display any lights."

>So it was a dark gray object, with no lights, seen in daylight,
>and was caused by airport lights shining up upward at night?

I was astounded by this disingenuous and bizarre offering from
the FAA. It would seem they are simply trying to avoid the
implication that they have no control of the airspace.


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