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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Mar > Mar 10

Re: The Phoenix Lights 10th Anniversary - Ledger

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 15:13:50 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 16:45:27 -0500
Subject: Re: The Phoenix Lights 10th Anniversary - Ledger

>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 19:30:34 -0500
>Subject: Re: The Phoenix Lights 10th Anniversary

>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 14:17:43 -0400
>>Subject: Re: The Phoenix Lights 10th Anniversary

>>>From: Steven Kaeser <steve.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 08:40:15 -0500
>>>Subject: Re: The Phoenix Lights 10th Anniversary


>>Something that bothers me is that it's never been made clear why
>>they were dropping flares in the first place and at such a high
>>altitude as to make them visible in Phoenix. Was there a ground
>>exercise in play that night? Were they then dropping flares at
>>altitudes that would then cause the flares to ignite at between
>>500 to 1,500 feet above the ground which would NOT then have
>>been visible in Phoenix.

>It may "bother" you that they were dropping flares at high
>altitude, but if I recall correctly the MD Air Guard spokesman
>confirmed that they were. At any rate, the triangulation that
>shows a long distance does not depend upon any assumed
>altitude... that fact that they were seen and video-taped proves
>that they were at least high enough to see.

>>There is no reason to ignite flares at high level, certainly not
>>as an illumination tool and certainly not to train the pilots
>>how to release them. Their training would be in their ability to
>>lay the flares at an altitude that would aid ground troops in
>>seeing enemy troops and assets which thay could target and
>>destroy. Igniting flares at 5,000-25,000 feet would provide no
>>more illumination than would the stars.

>One can get into a big argument over what may or may not seem
>logical. But there is no point in it.

>I wondered about this myself and concluded that if they were
>using night vision devices to see objects on the ground they
>would want to have the flares above them so the vision devices
>wouldn't "bloom out" which would happen if the devices were to
>"see" the flares between then and the ground.

>But, I don't know that they were using night vision devices. On
>the other hand, if the flares were lower than the airplanes the
>air crews could lose their night vision when they looked in the
>vicinity fo the flares.

>>There are two weak reasons given why these were released at high
>>level that I know of and these are 1] because it is dangerous to
>>land with them onboard. This is nonsense. 2] The ordinance
>>officer didn't want to have to re-stock them so they were
>>ordered to dump them.

>>If there was no ground exercise going on in the first place why
>>did these A-10s have flares on board and why were they dropping
>>them at such a high altitude?

>>There seems to be only one reason to have dropped these flares
>>at such a high level and that was so that they would be seen in

>According to the spokesman they were required to dump flares at
>the end of the exercise for whatever reason.

It's that "whatever reason" that I'm concerned with. And I don't
believe they were "required" to do any such thing unless that
aircraft was in some kind of trouble - but there is no evidence
of that. It is one of those military statements that can never
be disputed or proved and therefore is useless in my estimation
and self-serving. I'm not going into the reasons why again, they
are stated above.

I don't dispute that these were flares. I fully agree with your
paper which is an impressive work. My question is not what they
were but why they were.

There is only one reason to deploy flares when it is not for
real - e.g. actual war setting or for search and rescue purposes
- and that is to support the ground troops/assets in their
exercise. You have already mentioned why it doesn't work for
pilots to deploy flares for them to see ground insurgents with
or without nightvision equipment and I agree. These days they
use night vision goggles and other equipment without any other
illumination. But deploying flares that ignite above 1,500 feet
is still counter-productive. You offered below:

>One can get into a big argument over what may or may not seem
>logical. But there is no point in it.

I don't think this has anything to do with being logical; it's a
matter of reasoning. Someone would have to be held accountable
for the frivolous use of assets and ordinance [A-10s, pilots,
air-support personnel(ATC), ground support personnel, fuel and
flares] for what appears to be a release of flares at high
altitude for no good reason, unless you accept the premise that
it was done on purpose. There seems to be no good purpose other
than as a decoy.

Again I accept that flares were probably released at
approximately 10 p.m., local, that evening; that one aircraft
deployed 8 flares [two deploying would have been redundant and
difficult to match up] but what I'm trying to get at is why they
were released other than their decoy purpose.

I should mention that off-Llist I received an email from a
person who had experience with flares who stated:

"I agree with your assertion that there would be no logical
reason to deploy flares at 1 to 5 miles AGL. I was a weapons
mechanic for a couple of years in the USAF back in 1964-66 and
was involved with loading flares on F-100 aircraft in LA and FL
prior to deployment to Viet Nam in 1965."

He is a lurker on this List so I don't want to publish his name
without his permission. He also had an experience with 'flares'
in his own right a few years ago [alone at night in a vehicle]
that he has a difficult time ascribing to flares.

I still haven't heard from anyone about whether there was a
ground exercise ongoing the night of the Phoenix lights.

You also made mention of the following:

"At any rate, the triangulation that shows a long distance does
not depend upon any assumed altitude... that fact that they were
seen and video-taped proves that they were at least high enough
to see."

High enough to see at what appears to be a considerable altitude
to be seen from Phoenix has to be thousands of feet above the
barest optimum altitude of above 1,500. Any video I've seen of
the 10PM flares makes them to appear to be about 30-45 degrees
above the horizon. If they were - if memory serves - over 60
miles away and behind the mountains would they not then have to
be at a considerable altutude above the range in order to be
seen from Phoenix or beyond Phoenix?

Don Ledger

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