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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Pilots & UAP

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 17:22:20 -0400
Archived: Thu, 22 Nov 2007 06:49:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 14:34:11 +0000
>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>Hi Brad,

>>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 21:55:23 EST
>>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>>>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 13:09:25 +0000
>>>Subject: Re: Pilots & UAP

>>>The point that I was making as I am sure you will appreciate is
>>>that in the absence of other cues that you mention in the
>>>snipped portion from your post, pilots are really no better than
>>>anyone else when it comes to estimating size/height/speed of an
>>>unknown object (as you imply in the final sentence above). There
>>>are many examples of people accepting such estimates without
>>>querying how they were arrived at, simply because the witness
>>>was somehow an "expert observer".


>>Sight-lines from an aircraft in motion provide a continual
>>series of baselines which can triangulate an unknown object's
>>position, and thus its speed, distance and size, via something
>>that is roughly analogous to interferometry.

>>As an observation progresses over time a pilot in an aircraft
>>flying at say 500 mph can gain legitimate visual cues about an
>>unknown object's relative speed and position, which a stationary
>>observer on the ground cannot. Thus, equating the two
>>situations, ground and air, is not valid. Furthermore, with more
>>experience in making observations from the air, the better able
>>a pilot will be to process these dynamic visual cues.

>>The fact that a pilot may make mistakes in such situations
>>inside a moving aircraft, or that there may be a few situations
>>where no dynamic observational cues are perceived, are merely
>>the exceptions that prove the rule: The rule is that in general
>>pilots in flying aircraft <do>have an ability to perceive and
>>estimate size, speed, distance and relative position of unknown
>>objects in the sky, <unlike>observers on the ground.

>Hi Brad, List,

>I don't think we are really in much disagreement here, Brad,
>though I would query the question as to whether or not accurate
>estimates are the norm or the exception in cases involving UFOs.
>I think this would be a difficult thing to prove either way, and
>to my knowledge, no study of these particular circumstances have
>been conducted. All that we currently have to go on are isolated
>cases, where dimensions have been arrived at that can be
>compared to the pilot's initial estimates.

>Two such cases come to my mind immediately.

>First, the relatively recent Bowyer case - which Martin and his
>colleagues will shortly be publishing a detailed report on.

>IMO Bowyer was an excellent witness, reporting accurately what
>he saw and qualifying estimates of distance and size. This is
>one of the factors which have made it possible to carry out any
>meaningful study of the report.

>Bowyer revised his initial estimate - of distance - following,
>IIRC, consultation with Air Traffic Services. His initial
>estimate was out by a considerable margin, as the report will

>That is not a slur on Bowyer or his abilities, but does tend to
>confirm my view about the need to question the accuracy of
>observations even if they are made by a pilot or what some
>regard as any type of 'expert witness'.

>The other case that comes instantly to mind is the 1990 case
>near the Dutch-German border, admirably written up by the UFO
>Working Group Netherlands at:


>In this case, a re-entering satellite caused two highly-skilled
>RAF pilots to think that an unidentified aircraft was in their
>immediate airspace, causing at least one of the aircraft to take
>avoiding action.

>Straight off the top of my head, there are two cases
>exemplifying what I am talking about. I am unable at this time
>to recall any case demonstrating the accuracy of pilot
>observations in respect of UFOs, perhaps you can?

To butt in, right off the top of my head, the Ken Arnold
sighting. There are plenty more as you work your way forward 59

Singular moving lights at night are not fair game, Joe. There is
a big difference between a re-entering satellite and a daylight
UFO. I suppose you would have the pilot take the hit rather than
act on instinct in that case though. If he thought it was threat
what would you have him do? No on is claiming lights in the sky
at night without reference points can be readily identified,
particularly ones that are moving.

As for Bowyers, it was disturbing enough for him to remark that
he was glad to get his airplane back on the ground. The numbers
still work out at about 600 feet in length, possibly longer.

You should make a effort to check into more pilot sightings
before you make the same leap as Ian Ridpath re that case. he
tried to apply that to the Manchester encounter.A British
Airways passenger jet had a close encounter with an unidentified
flying object while landing at Manchester Airport in January
1995. "The Boeing 737, flight BA5061, with 60 people on board,
was overtaken at high speed by a wedge-shaped craft as the plane
descended through 4,000ft on the final stages of a journey from
Milan." His contention was it was a meteor 60 or 80 miles up and
away when in fact the visibility was 6 miles in cloud-another
aviation fact he couldn't understand.

Anyway, never mind lights in the sky, stick with the tough ones.
Start with the 3,500 odd cases Dick Haines has at NARCAP.

Don Ledger

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



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