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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > May > May 6

Re: Case Studies In Pilot Misperceptions Of UFOs -

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2007 13:37:58 -0300
Fwd Date: Sun, 06 May 2007 08:12:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Case Studies In Pilot Misperceptions Of UFOs -


UFO UpDates - Toronto wrote:

>Source: Peter Smith's Website

>http://www.zip.com.au/~psmith/pilot-ufos.html

>November 10, 2002

>Case Studies In Pilot Misperceptions Of "UFOs"

>James Oberg
>jamesoberg.nul
>voice/fax 281-337-2838

>How good are pilots' "UFO reports"? There is some dispute over
>whether the features they describe are imaginative
>interpretations of raw visual stimuli (based on their own
>aviation experience) or are sound renditions of raw perceptions.

<snip>

>Rhodes appears to be a sincere witness who's convinced he saw a
>true UFO. But to understand the case we need some more relevant
>data and comments. First of all, this is the key: The Russian
>Baikonur Cosmodrome (space launch center) is located at approx
>46N 66E, east of the Aral Sea in independent Kazakhstan.

>The regularly scheduled unmanned supply ship Progress M-21 was
>launched toward the Mir space station at 0212 GMT on January 28
>(a Friday) aboard a "Soyuz" (SL-4) booster. It blasted off and
>then pitched over on a slightly north-of-east course, and nine
>minutes later achieved orbit about 140 miles up, 1200 miles down
>range, at a speed of 17,600 mph. During ascent it followed a
>straight course on a constant heading. However, at about 2.5
>minutes into the flight the four strap-on boosters separated and
>fell back to Earth still trailing smoke.

>The "Tajik Air" report does not provide direction of eyewitness
>view or direction of motion of the airliner. However, if one
>assumes it was flying eastwards, the launch would have been seen
>directly in front of them and they would have passed under the
>booster exhaust trail (NOT a jet engine "condensation", or
>CONtrail) much later.

>These booster plumes are known to last 40-60 minutes after a
>launch, which would explain the air crew's feeling that they
>observed the UFO for that long. The plumes are twisted into
>corkscrews and zig-zags by the varying directional winds in the
>upper atmosphere.

>Since this is the obvious visual stimulus for this apparition,
>we can see that this air crew made many, many perceptual
>mistakes, including:

>1. A "bright light of enormous intensity" must be calibrated
>with a pilot's dark-adapted yes in a dimly lit cockpit. From
>hundreds of miles away a rocket is indeed a "bright light" but
>it it is hardly dazzling, blinding, or "of enormous intensity".

>2. They concluded the UFO "approached them from over the
>horizon" when it merely rose and grew brighter as it was at all
>times flying away from their reported position. They mistook
>"brightening" for "nearing", an extremely common UFO witness
>error.

>3. They claim to have watched "the object" for forty minutes,
>although the rocket would have been out of sight in four or five
>minutes. The smoke plumes, sunlit in the pre-dawn upper
>atmosphere, would have been visible ahead of them in the sky for
>forty minutes, but there was no "object" there.

>4. The pilots reported seeing "circles, corkscrews, and 90-
>degree turns" but the actual rocket did no such maneuvers.

Ergo it wasn't the rocket.

>However, the smoke trail would within half an hour have
>portrayed such a path, so the pilots could have simply assumed
>they were seeing an accurate history of the object's original
>path, instead of a smoke trail distorted by winds. They could
>NOT have actually seen the UFO performing these maneuvers, but
>in hindsight they could easily believe they did.

Watch the word "assumed". Oberg is trying to make a square peg
fit into a round hole. The rocket launched so that's what the
pilots' had to have seen.

>5. The UFO maneuvered "under very high g's", according to the
>pilots. But that rests on assumptions of actual distances and
>actual speeds, as well as the erroneous belief that it really
>changed course as reflected in the smoke trail.

Pretty easy to note a course direction change. Rockets don't do
that.

>6. The pilots recall that "after some time, the object adopted a
>horizontal high-speed course", when the rocket had been flying
>essentially straight and horizontally away from them since early
>in its flight. Their report of a non-existent gross change in
>course and speed must have been a rationalization to explain its
>eventual disappearance.

Again he assumes they were looking at the rocket. The rocket was
up there so that's what they saw.

>7. The pilots "were adament that they had seen thousands of
>'falling stars' and other space junk entering the atmosphere in
>their years of flying... This, they insisted, was nothing
>like a meteor." While true, it mis-aims attention at one
>explanation while omitting the other, a rocket launching.

He's got this rocket launch on the brain.

>8. The pilots concluded that "on the basis of its speed and
>maneuverability... the object was extraterrestrial and under
>intelligent control." One last erroneous interpretation based on
>all previous misinterpretations and imaginations.

Gross over exaggeration.

>These recent examples are consistent with the experience of UFO
>investigators for more than fifty years. Reports of UFO
>maneuvering, intelligent flight formations, responses to
>witnesses, and other 'inexplicable' narratives can be engendered
>from prosaic, simple, but unfamiliar phenomena.

Meaning they were all rockets.

>In these cases, "UFO reports", even from pilots, did not need
>a "real UFO" to create them.


Nor astronomers or middle level NASA engineers. And three out of
more than 10,000 sightings-if they were prosaic? Oberg hasn't
proved his case. I responded to this about 6 or 7 months ago.
It's on Update's archieves somewhere. Jim Oberg wrote it in
2002. he should have sent this to Dick Haines Ph.D. retired
Chief scientist at NASA/AMES for 30 years [to Oberg's mid-level
engineer] who disagrees with Oberg's opinion about pilot
reliability.

Roswell, pilot misconceptions, next it will be the Socorro
"balloon". The big wheel keeps on turning.


Don Ledger


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast

See:

http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/


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