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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > May > May 11

Re: UK F-15 UFO Incident - Ledger

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 03:13:28 -0300
Fwd Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 10:00:06 -0400
Subject: Re: UK F-15 UFO Incident - Ledger

>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 9 May 2007 16:37:03 +0100
>Subject: Re: UK F-15 UFO Incident

>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 08 May 2007 14:28:35 -0300
>>Subject: Re: UK F-15 UFO Incident

>>>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Tue, 8 May 2007 01:46:35 +0100
>>>Subject: F-15 UFO Incident

>>>On January 12 2007 two USAF F-15 aircraft encountered an
>>>unidentified object that was tracked on radar over the UK.

>>>There's probably a prosaic explanation for this one, but it
>>>certainly got British ufologists excited. Here's the
>>>information on the MoD's website:

>>>Response to incident involving USAF F15 aircraft
>>>(29-03-2007-111736-002) PDF [23.9 KB]

>>>Service Police Report PDF [71.0 KB]


>>This is one of those annoying incidents that has potential then
>>you find you have a grapefruit to soccerball sized object
>>drifting around between 17,000 and 18,000 feet with enough
>>cross section for the aircraft's radar [but only the one F-15
>>apparently] to lock onto it.

>Actually both planes got radar lock on it. The wingman's lock
>occurs towards the end of the clip after two earlier locks (at
>least) by GATOR. As he makes his pass you can hear him saying
>"clean . . . clean" and then "locked!" followed by "bullseye"
>and the range and bearing to the target. He subsequently gets a
>visual but like his partner is not able to identify the object.

My second attempt at this thread. Lost what I had typed in
earlier to one of those annoying Windows updates with a restart
that catches you off guard.

I was trusting to the MOD document and my faulty recollection of
the 4 minutes of audio I have saved somewhere. The second F-15
did lock on.

>>Seems a bit off for the RAF pilot to suggest that it was a piece
>>that had fallen off a weather balloon since the thing remained
>>at the same altitude long enough for his F-15 to make three
>>passes at it.

>As I suggested on another list, the pilot's (USAF, not RAF) idea
>of a piece fallen off a balloon might well have been no more
>than the sort of notion you would come up with if pressed for an
>opinion. "If you had to come up with an explanation, what would
>you say?" It doesn't necessarily mean that the pilot(s) believed
>it, and in fact the evidence of the audio is that they were
>puzzled at the time.

I think you are right. Gator likely had a better idea of what
this might be  than of that which he spake [got that flowery
phrasing from Al Lehmberg]. I suspect this is a common occurance.

>>What's curious about it is that it remained 'apparently'
>>stationary in one area for several minutes, long enough to
>>initate and carry out three passes under the object. The F-15's
>>turbulance should have had the thing bouncing around the sky.

>Quite, given they got close enough to this grapefruit-sized
>"rock" to attempt visual identification by size and shape. And
>4.5 mins minimum of essentially neutral buoyancy is a bit odd to
>say the least. I can only think of a small collapsed pilot
>balloon, partially deflated into a baggy shape with just enough
>remnant buoyancy to keep it lofted, maybe helped by an
>updraught. But what balloon of that sort has the radar cross-
>section to give solid auto-locks at ranges up to 15 miles?

You probably are already aware of this bit of information but
for the others note that the F-15 was fitted with a Hughes
AN/APG-70 pulse-Doppler radar with good lookdown [look-up as
well] capability that could separate targets from ground
clutter. It also had the ability in "raid assessment mode" to
"see" individual aircraft in a tightly packed formation. You
have to wonder just how small it could see. can't find detail on
the latter. At such close range and fraction of a second
observation time just how close did GATOR actually get to this
thing and was it really that small?

>Conversely, if it was a "piece" of some unidentified kind that
>fell off the instrument package of a larger balloon (say) then
>it could have had metallic components that would help the RCS,
>but then it should fall thousands of feet during the event. A
>partially-deflated balloon _and_ an instrument package then. But
>so small? And how come the package - probably about equal in
>size, at least, for any realistic instruments - is not visible
>hanging below this little collapsed envelope? It would have to
>be wrapped up inside it somehow, which just doesn't add up.

>>Not sure how the A/C Cmdr knew that it was drifting with the
>>wind when he was travelling at 300 knots [346 mph].

>I'm not sure about this either. The radar appears to be able to
>deduct the aircraft intercept vector to estimate true ground
>speeds, and these are given as from 30 to 80 knots at various
>times, but I can't help feeling a bit sceptical that the
>pilot(s) determined the direction of this motion in relation to
>the wind whilst screaming in at 300 knots (at least - GATOR
>*slows down* to this when getting close and advises that "I'm
>not going to go below 300 knots").

Yeah, GATOR wasn't at critical speed here but 300 knots is
uncomfortabley close to the stall if he happened to pull up
slightly and his airspeed bled off. Believe stall speed is about
220 knots. It's best angle of glide [engines out] is 240 knots.
Doesn't take long with a 68,000 pound airplane to lose that 80
knots. Possibility of a flat spin here with the engines at
reduced RPMs.

>Over the course of the whole
>incident the reported object speed would take it a few miles, so
>maybe they knew their positions quite accurately and were able
>to determine that the centre-of-gravity of the "dogfight" had
>drifted several miles since the first contact? Maybe they later
>matched this with the weather for 18,000 ft and GATOR based his
>reported "with the wind" estimate on this? On the other hand, it
>could just be that the words of the RAF interviewer that it was
>reportedly "drifting with the wind" are based on a stament that
>it seemed to be drifting at about the _speed_ of the wind. Who

Something we won't ever know.

>>The report doesn't mention the pilot's description
>>[on tape] of the object which he said looked like a rock.
>>Additionally one always needs to be careful when told about
>>anomalies on radar that suddenly appear in one sector of the
>>ATC's screen as being some quirk of the radar itself suddenly
>>being untrustworthy while the controller is still working
>>traffic on another sector of the screen, whether it be military
>>or commercial traffic carrying 200 plus passengers. The rush to
>>condemn the returns from none transponder traffic as radar
>>quirks while the lives of hundreds of people are in the hands
>>of these same returns strikes me as opportunistic and frankly
>>silly. The radio or H.A.M. radio operator that picked up on
>>this deserves some credit for being right about the incident.

>Maybe I'm misinterpreting you but you seem to suggest that an
>ATC ground radar contact is being discounted. I'm not aware of
>any evidence for a ground radar contact other than the original
>anonymous story that London area military ATC had tasked the F-
>15s with investigating. This is denied in the MoD report.
>Although strictly speaking the report does not specifically deny
>that LAATC might have contacted the F-15s in a merely advisory
>capacity, the denial is supported by the separate statement that
>MoD do not know the location of the incident. At least that
>means there is no record, anyway.

I was actually drawing on other reports of anomalous targets
outside of this incident. Drifted off there. But this needs to
be asked. If the object wasn't moving was it rejected [more
realisticaly, ignored] by the military radar. That happens a lot
as you know. The returns might have been evident but not noted
[logged] by the radar operator. Again, we'll never know.

>So I do agree with you that this is an odd one and a frustrating
>one, that is certainly not solved. On the other hand it isn't
>strong enough to bear much weight as it stands and I doubt it'll
>ever be resolved or become a classic unless the pilots are found
>or a USAF report surfaces.

I never did like those 'little' UFO reports... the ones about a
foot or three feet or 6 inches in diameter. Give me a great, big
honkin' UFO every time.

It's a personal flaw I guess.


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