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Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 07:22:23 -0500
Fwd Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 07:22:23 -0500
Subject: Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story

Source: The Shreveport Times, Louisiana, USA


January 26, 2007

Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story
A-10s' flares fooled people on the ground

By John Andrew Prime

It wasn't little green men, but rather green-suited airmen from
Barksdale Air Force Base who lit up the skies over Arkansas on
Jan. 9.

The online publication WorldNet Daily initially reported the
appearance of mysterious lights over northwest Arkansas, brought
to their attention by a retired Air Force F-16 pilot who lives
near Van Buren, Ark., and was perplexed by the sight.

"As soon as we saw the story, we knew it was us," said Lt. Col.
Jim Macaulay, commander of the Air Force Reserve's 47th Fighter
Squadron, which flies A-10 fighters here.

The story was picked up by the Drudge Report, and Wednesday,
WorldNet reported it had discovered the source: A-10 pilots
training at nearby Fort Chaffee.

But the pilots training that night were students from the 47th
Fighter Squadron, which offers pilots nationwide advanced
training in the service's toughest ground-attack fighter.

"We had a number of pilots going out there that night, working
the Razorback Range just southeast of Fort Smith," Macaulay
said, chuckling over the incident. "There were three flights of
two airplanes each, and they each spent probably 30 to 45
minutes on the range.

"We actually have a number of Fort Smith pilots going through
training now, and when they saw the story, they were intrigued,
and then they were amused because at least three of them were on
the flight that night."

What drew the retired F-16 pilot's attention were flares the A-
10s dropped over targets, Macaulay said.

"They're somewhere on the order of 5 million candlepower," said
Macaulay, a veteran pilot with more than 4,300 hours in the
twin-jet A-10. "We use them to illuminate a target area so we
can discern vehicles or potential targets on the ground. They
fall for about 3=BD minutes under parachutes after they're lit."

The flares create a cone of light and burn out up to 1,000 feet
above the ground, he said.

The flare, technically called the LUU-2, is in use by about 30
nations around the world.

The local squadron, which traces its history to December 1940,
doesn't make the news often these days but once was all over the

It was based in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor. Several of its pilots were among those
who managed to get in the air that day to score kills against
the attackers, and it suffered one of the service's first battle
losses in the war when one of its pilots, 2nd Lt. John Dains,
was shot down. Then the 47th Pursuit Squadron, it flew Curtiss
P-40 fighters.

Macaulay said there have been previous reports of the same flare

"It shouldn't have come as a surprise," he said. "It's not the
A-10s that get mistaken for something out of this world, it's
the weapons we use, the flares specifically. The flare itself is
benign -- it's a tool."

Jessica D'Aurizio, spokeswoman for the squadron's parent unit
the 917th Wing, said she can't remember anything like this
happening since 1991, when she came on board.

"But that's not to say it hasn't happened," she said. "The guys
tell me that in the late '90s somewhere around Phoenix, someone
saw A-10 flares and thought the same thing."

Arizona is home to its own pack of A-10 pilots, based out of
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson.

"I doubt it was us," she said.

[Thanks to Stuart Miller of http://uforeview.net/ for the lead]

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