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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 4

Holes In The Cloud Deck [was: In the sky! A bird?

From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj.nul>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 09:44:16 -0800
Fwd Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2007 07:26:45 -0500
Subject: Holes In The Cloud Deck [was: In the sky! A bird?

>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 10:39:55 -0700
>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

>>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.

>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,

Hello Michael,

Martin will likely have some good suggestions. To me, this
solution of yours certainly seems possible, if the hole were
small in diameter, not much larger than the UFO craft.

>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).

From what I read, it was a good-sized hole, however. As you say,
to generate enough heat to evaporate cloud droplets over a
sizeable area in just a second or so would seem to require a
white-hot object, which was not observed.

Other means of generating heat that we are familiar with, over a
rather large circular area, require an explosive source, which
also was not obseved.

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

If this occurred while the total cloud-water content remained
about the same, it would require a sudden coagulation of all
droplets into a few giant drops. The mechanism of doing this,
over a particular circular area and no further, would belong in
the UFO-high-tech super-science category, i.e., paranormal, or
beyond present understanding. I favor the latter category as
holding the explanation -- some effect we don't yet begin to
understand any more than how a UFO can hover silently, make
itself invisible, overcome inertia, accelerate away extremely
fast, send down a beam of solid-like light, etc.

A similar phenomenon are the large, very circular holes very
infrequently observed in an alto-cumulus layer. There, cloud
physicists could assume that the cloud was composed of
supercooled droplets into which ice crystals had somehow formed
at one spot, which then rapidly spread out laterally to form a
circle of increasing diameter, with trails of ice crystals
falling out. (I can't find my files on this at the momemnt).
Trouble is, no such circles have ever been observed in their
initial phases, no substantial ring of falling ice-crystal
trails was observed, and the holes were very large (1/2 mile or
so in diameter) yet had a well defined circular edge despite
local variations in cloud-droplet density, temperature, wind
shear, etc.

Jim Deardorff

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