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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 14

Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 13:32:12 -0700
Archived: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 17:32:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works


>From: Nick Balaskas <nikolaos.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 15:12:58 -0400
>Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 11:50:34 +0100
>>Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

>>>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:40:38 -0700
>>>Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

>>>>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 12:27:36 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
>>>>Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

>>>>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>>>Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 22:27:52 +0100
>>>>>Subject: Re: Boston's Own Robot-Plane Skunk Works

><snip>

>>>>>Isn't that Lonnie Zamorra standing in the background on the
>>>>>right as it lands?

>>>>Not wanting to reopen an old UFO incident

>>>...then pointlessly reopening it.
>I think the three of us, as well as nearly everyone on the List,
>will agree that we can learn a lot more by re-examining old UFO
>incidents such as this one in light of new facts or insights.

Yes, we can learn more about old incidents if actual new facts
or insights are presented. The problem is, Nick, you presented
neither.

>Since the Soccoro UFO landing of 1964 is a key UFO incident that
>most researchers, myself included, present as very compelling
>evdience that the UFO phenomenon is "real" and also has an ET
>explanation too, for this reason it cannot remain untouchable.
>Ufology, like other sciences, is not democratic where the views
>of the majoring are the ones we should all accept or consider to
>be valid.

Had you presented new evidence of an actual 1964 human craft
that was a very good fit (not just one cherry-picked
characteristic) to the description of Zamora's craft then I
would have been all ears. But you can't say, as you did, that
ducted fan craft were somehow a match, when they are not, and
then claim this is worthy information for a new discussion of
the Zamora case.

Besides, this was hardly "new" in any case. It has previously
been proposed that Zamora saw some secret craft that strayed
from White Sands, such as a prototype lunar lander or simulator
(I was reading this stuff over a decade ago), but there has
never been one iota of evidence to ever support this. Blue Book
investigators also tried to dig up something like this back when
it happened in order to debunk the case, but could come up with
nothing.

>Ufology gains attention and respect as a subject of intellectual
>inquiry, not to mention solidifying its status as a science, if
>we are able to question and challenge our most cherished or most
>popular beliefs about UFOs. You did no wrong Gerald by your
>innocent but observant comment (or mischievous quip) and I don't
>need wrong either by reopening this case, even if our friend
>David feels it is pointless to do so.

It is pointless to bring it up again if you are just rehashing
old, fully discredited theories, whether they be ducted fan
craft, lunar landers, or hot air balloons.

>>>>already discussed on
>>>>the List, yes, back in 1964, New Mexico policeman Lonnie Zamorra
>>>>(often pictured wearing glasses) could have seen an early
>>>>prototype of such a powered flying platform that has the same
>>>>flight charateristic as this Boston built 'GoldenEye'.

>>>You mean the "same" flight characteristics like landing and
>>>taking off with a rocket-like roar, followed by completely
>>>silent operation after takeoff,

>>The linked film clip has no soundtrack so we can't tell what the
>>acoustic properties of these aspects of this particular device's
>>flight characteristics were on the day in question.

>You make another very important observation Gerald. All powered
>flying platforms such as the GoldenEye that take-off and land
>vertically are, as far as I am aware of, very noisey. This

And this alone rules out any possible human flying platform as a
explanation of the Socorro case because Zamora reported a huge
roar with flame on takeoff (confirmed by scorched earth and
brush), followed by completely silent operation as the craft
then rapidly accelerated and zipped off into the distance. No
flying platform can do anything like that.

>includes the loud blasts from gas burners underneath hot air
>balloons that I experienced when I once took a ride in one
>across the Ottawa River that separates two Canadian provinces.
>In response to David's comment, except for the occasional firing
>of the gas burners, flying in a hot air balloon was also a
>completely silent operation after take-off too.

And what's your point here - that Zamora saw a hot air balloon
because they can also operate silently? Or was it a ducted fan
flying platform? Or was it some mysterious hybrid platform-
balloon? I have no idea what you are saying.

 >>>then quickly zipping off and disappearing in the distance,
>about 6 miles in under 20 seconds >>(implying supersonic
>speeds)? You mean that 1964 "ducted fan"?

>>What about the 'blue flame' that Zamora reported? I would have
>>thought that was of greater significance as a differentiator.
>On >balance, surely he would have been more likely to be
>mistaken >about the time taken for the craft to disappear into
>the >distance than he would have been to imagine the blue flame?

>David should know better than to make such claims since under
>stressful conditions, witnesses (including police officers) can
>give very different estimates for elapsed time and erroneous
>estimates of distance. In this UFO incident we have only one
>disturbed witness who was seen something out of the realm of
>normal experience, even for a experienced policeman.

Pretty lame dismissal Nick. You sound just like a debunker here.

For one, the craft departed horizontally until it reached the
mountains several miles west of Socorro, then went into a climb
to clear the mountains. Zamora said it faded from view near Box
Canyon, about 6 miles from his position. (According to
conversations I've had with Ray Stanford, there was another
witness who reported the same thing, but who refused to go on
record.)

The point here is that Zamora had well-known landmarks of known
distance to estimate how far away the object was as it
disappeared. He wasn't watching the object fade into the clear
blue sky with nothing to gauge distance with.

Even if Zamora had no such landmarks, it is possible to estimate
from human visual acuity where an object the size of Zamora's
craft might fade from view. E.g., suppose Zamora's white, egg-
shaped craft had a 10 foot circular cross-section. At 6 miles,
it would subtend about 1 minute of arc, still quite resolvable.
Throw in some atmospheric haze and sun glare, and yes, it may
very well have faded at about that distance.

I did some experiments and found that with a lot of haze and
glare in my eyes, about the worst-case fade-out distance would
have been about 3 miles. With very good seeing conditions,
however, Zamora might have seen the object at a distance of 7 or
8 miles. In calculations below for speed, however, I will use
the 3 and 6 mile figures to try to put some bounds on just how
fast the object might have been going as it faded from view.

As to time estimates, Ray Stanford estimated the departure time
(silent flight) to fadeout at about 10 seconds based on his
interviews with Zamora, which seemed a little short to me, but
will be used below. I will also use 20, 30, 40, and 60 second
values that give slower, more "conventional" speeds. I would
think even an excited traffic cop could distinguish between a
minute and maybe 20 seconds time. Studies have also shown that
witnesses tend to be fairly consistent in their estimates of
time, even when they are excited.

To put some numbers on it, here are the average and maximum
speeds of the craft assuming that it had constant acceleration
under the various estimates of distance and time (the maximum
speed would be even greater if the acceleration wasn't constant
and the craft put on a burst of speed towards the end):

6 mile fadeout
Time (sec)     Avg Speed (mph)   Max Speed
10             2160                4320
20             1080                2160
30              720                1440
40              540                1080
60              360                 720

3 mile fadeout
Time (sec)     Avg Speed (mph)     Max Speed
10               1080         2160
20                540         1080
30                360          720
40                270          540
60                180          360

So even in a worst-case, very conservative scenario where the
excited traffic cop in bad seeing conditions got the distance
wrong by a factor of 2 (3 mile fadeout) and the time wrong by a
factor of 6 (or 60 seconds to fadeout), the object was still
traveling when it disappeared, at the very least, 360 miles an
hour. This alone rules out all sorts of conventional human
craft, such as balloons, ducted fan flying platforms,
helicopters, etc. Only very, very noisy propeller-, jet-, or
rocket-propelled craft can go at these speeds.

In less conservative scenarios, the speed would be much greater,
limiting conventional propulsion to jet or rocket. I think
Zamora's distance estimate was close to the mark, based on use
of landmarks and in agreement with human acuity measures. Maybe
the estimated departure time was off by a factor of 2 or 3, but
I seriously doubt 6 times. Under these assumptions, the maximum
speed would have been well in excess of 1000 mph.

Nick, you can use scientific arguments like this to place likely
bounds on speed and thus rule out all sorts of things. I have
done this previously on Updates, which is again why I say it is
pointless to bring up such thoroughly inadequate hypotheses like
ducted fan craft to try to explain the Socorro event.

>I know of
>one RCMP officer who had a similar encounter with a landed UFO
>and its occupants when he approached it alone in his police car.
>This UFO encounter tramatized him so much that he was forced to
>quit his job and even now, decades later, he refuses to make
>this UFO incident (Canada's "Socorro"?) public.

Where is your evidence that even very heavily traumatized
witnesses can't accurately report details? Again you are arguing
like a debunker here using vague, hand-waving argument by
assertion.

>>On reflection (although, in my case, it might be a 'lens
>>flare'), the oddest thing in Nick's response was that seemingly
>>gratuitous comment

>>>>(often pictured wearing glasses)

>>Is there an implication here that all witness statements from
>>people who wear, or often wear, glasses are flawed? As a
>>permanently bespectacled trained observer I would resent the
>>perverse suggestion that my evidence might be discredited in
>>some quarters merely because I have had my myopia tested and
>>corrected.

>As David, who is better qualified to comment on this subject,
>will I think agree that having less than 20/20 uncorrected
>vision will not only disqualify you from certain jobs but may
>also disqualify your expert testimony in a court of law too.

Which is exactly why knowing that Zamora was a traffic cop tells
us a great deal about what his eyesight would have been with his
glasses on and the worst it would have been with them off. There
are standards for vision that apply to policemen in the field,
both for corrected and uncorrected vision.

>Since even people with 20/20 vision do not have such very good
>eyesight through their entire lives, it just gives skeptics one
>reason to doubt and dismiss something they could not otherwise
>explain.

As I have tried to explain over and over again, Zamora's very
_temporary_ loss of his spectacles had no signficant effect on
his report of various important details. And his hugely
important observation that the craft went to totally silent
operation had nothing to do with his eyesight.

I don't follow the comment about how people's eyesight might
deteriorate with old age. What does this have to do with the
Socorro case? Zamora's eyesight wouldn't suddenly age decades
because he was traumatized. I don't think even the skeptics
would be dumb enough to argue that. (Then again, maybe they
would.)

>As a fellow permanently despectacled trained observer, I too
>would be annoyed if my eyewitness testimony (or, if we are
>honest, interpretation) was discounted or dismissed because I
>wore glasses - or that I may not have been wearing them at the
>time.

Well that isn't true either. Witness eyesight is obviously
relevant to what details a particular witness could or could not
have seen, with or without spectacles. What Zamora reported,
however, was well within his vision capabilities with his
glasses on or off.



David Rudiak



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