From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul> Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 15:11:38 -0400 Fwd Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:23:42 -0500 Subject: Re: FAA's Credibility & Varacity Over O'Hare - >From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul> >To: <ufoupdates.nul> >Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 11:56:34 -0000 >Subject: Re: FAA's Credibility & Varacity Over O'Hare >>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul> >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul> >>Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 12:56:27 -0400 >>Subject: FAA's Credibility & Veracity Over O'Hare UFO ><snip> >>Often they are made to look the fool. I find it curious and very >>disturbing that United Airlines have attempted to subvert >>freedom of speech by ordering their employees not to speak of >>this incident. A few thoughts in a limited forum. >Surely the only folk qualified to judge craft and their flight >characteristics are pilots? And that includes astronauts. But >they're specifically barred from speaking, by military law and >maybe now even by civil 'law' or 'guidelines' (corporate >censorship). >Astronomers, meteorologists (weather people), other scientists >and folk in 'administration' have no experience or knowledge of >flying and so should be ignored. But they're the only ones asked >or allowed to speak, because their careers are controlled by >gov't. Where the problem arises is the pilot's inability to identify what he or she has seen. For that they are called lousy witnesses by Oberg and Hynek who miss the point. The latter recanted if I remember correctly. On SDI last Saturday evening, Dave Furlotte mentioned James Oberg referring to the NTSB calling pilots poor witnesses when it comes to accidents etc. which was translated over to the UFO phenomenon. The NTSB is made up of pilots and aero-maintenance personnel and buttressed by forensic technologists and science. They second and draw from many persuasions [FBI, police, military, NASA*] to get their jobs done when an accident occurs. I find it odd that they would make it a point to target pilots. I'd like to see the statement where that is claimed by the NTSB. The pilot will tell you were it was at what altitude for how long it was viewed-often to the second-its direction, apparent size, light colours, etc., it's not their job to explain, just report it and try and determine whether it's a threat to their aircraft. Why they are expected to know what the hell these things are when we don't know ourselves puzzles me. Let me run an example past the readers of this List. Venus may look big and bright from the ground but it gets dramatically more so when you are airborne. Let that planet sneak up [the aircraft's speed over the ground] over the horizon on a clear, moonless but frosty night when you are not expecting it and you are immediately concerned about this huge light that's fixed in your windshield. You might suspect that it is a star or a planet but you can't take that chance, so you check it out because that's your job. You ask ATC about traffic at your 12 o'clock and find there is no reported or radar traffic at your 12 o'clock. You suspect Venus but because you don't carry Starry Nights or Heavens Above in the cockpit you have no way of checking that out. If you are on an IFR flight plan or flight following you can't just bank away or break out of your assigned altitude. You have to sweat it out for awhile. What are you sweating out? Possible collision with another aircraft. There is one thing you learn when you are flying and that is objects visually at a distance tend to seem to stay there for awhile and then suddenly they are in your face and you have to react. Sometimes the reaction time is too close for comfort. The pilot in this scenario is in a quandary. There is no reported traffic, no radar contact and we can throw in the fact that the tower 'he's' been working is well below the horizon of this event so they can't see it. The TCAS [Traffic Collision Avoidance System] is _not_ going off giving him a Resolution Authority so he doesn't have an excuse to legally leave his assigned altitude and flight track. Yet he has this brilliant light which is flickering away [various layers of heat escaping from the still warm surface of the Earth] right on the nose of his aircraft. He knows that radar can't see everything that flies, so it could be military or a plastic or composite homebuilt or factorybuilt [many of which are invisible to radar] that is flying under VFR rules. Time and space doesn't allow me the luxury of going into the dozens of parameters which have suddenly presented themselves to the pilots on that flight deck so I'll keep it simple. As soon as the captain makes a move ATC will know it and will violate him for doing it, for which he will have to answer later on. ATC might have to move other aircraft in that sector around as a result upsetting the delicate balance of airspace versus number of aircraft occupying the same block of airspace, all traveling on slightly different headings, some of which are 180 degrees to your own. All of this for Venus? Imagine what's going through the pilot's mind when he sees the damn thing. Risk against probability. But does he/she have that luxury with 50 or 350 souls on board? But we don't know for sure it's Venus though it's suspected. If you had an astronomer on the flight deck he or she couldn't be positive of it being Venus even though it was suspected. Jill Tartar and her husband were in a light plane at night and spooked by the Moon as they attested to on the Peter Jennings' UFO special report - last I heard she was an astronomer. Anyway the final piece of this little scenario is that at 600 mph there's a good chance that this is another aircraft traveling at the same speed - opposite direction - with a closing speed of 1,200 mph or 20 miles a minute. If the other aircraft is suspected at being between 20 and 50 miles away you have between 1 and 2.5 minutes to react. If its one minute and you have already wasted half that time to check ATC, then check again to be sure, even with some of the other aircraft in your block, there is not much time left to react. Your husband or wife and kids are in the back of the airplane - what do you want the pilot to do? And don't forget this scenario is just about a suspected planet Venus, not the real thing. Flying an airplane is a personal experience, like sex. If you haven't experienced it yourself, you can't be shown or told what it's like. TV and the movie depictions are full of crap - often laughably so. Pilots don't only not report UFOs if they don't have to, because it might be embarrassing, but because they are risking not only their livelihood but something they love doing. The authorities [FAA,TC, CAA - just to name three] can't take your license or flight privileges away from you because you have reported a UFO but the company can, or the forces can. [Note-air force/navy/army pilots don't get licenses]. Years ago a pilot could go to prison for 10 years and/or pay a $10,000 fine if it was found out that a CIRVIS report made by the pilot to ATC was then blabbed to the media by the pilot. But loss of job works just as well. That's why ATC jokes about it at O'Hare and the pilots go underground. Don Ledger * Dr. Richard Haines was often called upon by the NTSB to participate on airline accidents during his tenure with NASA/AMES and has had much more experience dealing with pilots than either James Oberg and Allen Hynek. Dr. Haines thinks pilots are excellent witnsses.
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