A family of four began seeing a very large 3 3transparent bubble of ball of light (about 10 feet across) 3 3in early Augest. Other witnesses began to see the object at3 3close range. 3 3 3 3None of the witnesses have felt threatened by the object but3 3they felt that they were being observed. 3 3 3 3It will hover near them (as close as 10 feet away), just 3 3above the ground, and then zoom away. 3 3 3 3Case is still under investigation. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3OREGON CASE: August 15, 1992, 12:07 a.m. Duration of the 3 3sighting was 15 seconds at close range, 2 hours total visual3 3sighting. 3 3 3 3A triangular-shaped object with lights, emitting no sound, 3 3was sighted slowly flying South East. The object turned and3 3flew over Salem Airport in an easterly direction, to a spot 3 3over the Cascade Mountains, and remained there for one hour.3 3 3 3The object then flew north towards Mt. Hood. After reaching3 3the mountain, it turned and flew back to the original 3 3position and remained there for another hour. 3 3 3 3Case is under investigation. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Louisiana 3 3Date:............ 1980 3 3Location:........ 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3In 1980, a house-sized bright red ball came down from the 3 3sky to near water level in a large coastal bay, then slowly 3 3circled a Corps of Engineer's dredge and shrimp boats in the3 3bay before zipping away. The ship's radios went dead while 3 3the UFO was nearby. but exploded with talk as soon as the 3 3UFO disappeared. A complete report was allegedly sent to 3 3the Coast Guard. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Louisiana 3 3Date:............ April, 1990 3 3Location:........ 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3April 1990. Two Boy Scout Leaders were putting up a tent 3 3near a small lake after arriving at a campground near 3 3midnight. A light moving above the treeline across the lake3 3was assumed to be an airplane until it crossed the lake and 3 3stopped less than 50 yards away. It was reported to be the 3 3size of a fist at arm's length, it hovered for maybe a 3 3minute in complete silence before moving off rapidly down 3 3the shore of the lake. The incident was immediately 3 3reported to the camp ranger who remembers them as being very3 3frightened. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Louisiana 3 3Date:............ April 1992 3 3Location:........ Shreveport 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3April 1992. A 41-year-old college graduate, his nephew and 3 3his nephew's wife were in his yard in Shreveport about 11:003 3a.m. when the man noticed three bright objects coming from 3 3the east, north and west moving at an astonishing speed 3 3towards a spot in the sky in the south. 3 3 3 3The objects came to a complete stop in the sky and remained 3 3at a standstill for two or three minutes, and then 3 3disappeared. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Louisiana 3 3Date:............ October, 1992 3 3Location:........ Amite River 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3October 1992. A college graduate in his mid-thirties was 3 3putting out the garbage around 8:30 p.m. when he noticed a 3 3strange white light an estimated 2 to 4 miles NE of his 3 3home, approximately over the Amite River. 3 3 3 3The light appeared to be 400 to 500 feet high and about 100 3 3to 200 feet above it was a red light, both stationary. 3 3 3 3Realizing there was no tower in that area and that the 3 3lights did not resemble an aircraft or helicopter, he moved 3 3around the house for a better view. During the 3 3approximate five minutes that he watched, the red light 3 3twice suddenly jumped to a position well to the left of it's3 3location over the white light, remained there a few seconds,3 3then jumped back to it's original position. Shortly after 3 3it's second move, both lights suddenly disappeared. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ July 15, 1992 3 3Location:........ Webster County, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3 3 3Two MUFON Field Investigators and four other witnesses 3 3observed a craft in rural Webster County as 12:30 AM. The 3 3craft was observed at a distance of less than 100 yards for 3 3approximately one minute. The craft was moving at a slow 3 3walk pace about five feet above the ground. The craft 3 3disappeared slowly as if it were "going through a door." 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3 3 3State:........... Oklahoma 3 3Date:............ August 25, 1992 3 3Location:........ Durant, Oklahoma 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3 3 3On Tuesday, August 25, 1992, a Durant resident called the 3 3Oklahoma MUFON State Director at 11:30 p.m. and stated that 3 3herself and a number of witnesses were watching a brightly 3 3lit object to their west and had been doing so since about 3 311:00 that night. She described in detail what they were 3 3seeing. 3 3 3 3The first witness observed the object when he had gone to 3 3bed. The time was 10:51 p.m. He looked out the west window3 3of his home which was open with the shades up. 3 3 3 3When he first saw the object, he thought it was a plane. 3 3But when it moved fast, from one position to another, behind3 3a tree to another opening between the trees, he then 3 3realized that it was not a conventional aircraft. It moved 3 3too fast too quickly to be an airplane. 3 3 3 3The couple had company over, and the husband (first witness)3 3yelled for the others in the house to watch the object. He 3 3said that it jumped to the right and stopped, swung like a 3 3pendulum back and forth, and then stopped motionless. 3 3 3 3The others came to the bedroom to see the object, then 3 3proceeded to move outside. Witness number 2 (wife) saw the 3 3object and described it to be about 1 1/8 inches across at 3 3arms length (a circular oval template was used to judge the 3 3size of the object). She saw it when it was angled towards 3 3her and saw a portion of the bottom of the object, which was3 3described as darker. 3 3 3 3According to her statement, the object was conical with 3 3light rays emitting down from the bottom edge. It was 3 3shaped like the top of a bullet - pointed at the top, then 3 3extending down and outward to form an umbrella shape, but 3 3more of a pointed umbrella shape. It was flat on the 3 3bottom. No protrusions were noticed. She said that she 3 3could see the shape when she looked to the side of the 3 3object. She had glasses on and they are corrected for 3 3nearsightedness. 3 3 3 3Witness number 3 entered the husband's bedroom as the 3 3husband stated" You ain't going to believe this, but this is3 3not a star. That is something else." 3 3 3 3The light was moving in an erratic manner. When the husband3 3went outside and regained sight of the object, it appeared 3 3as a definite conical shape. Unlike the wife's report, 3 3which stated that the object was all white, the husband 3 3reported three colors - blue on top, yellow in the middle 3 3and white on the lower third. 3 3 3 3The husband's account and drawing indicated a more elongated3 3object with basically the same shaped top (more like an 3 3artillery shell). His account indicates that at arms 3 3length, the object was about 3/4 inches wide and about 1 1/83 3inches tall. It is possible that they were watching it 3 3change shape. 3 3 3 3Each witness was interviewed separately. 3 3 3 3Witness number 2 described the light emitted by the craft 3 3resembled an inverted gas flame on a kitchen range. The 3 3bottom was darker than the rest of the craft, but her report3 3indicates the object must have either been tilted slightly 3 3or was higher when she looked at it than when witness number3 33 saw the shape. She stated it was a pendulum motion or 3 3possibly rotated. 3 3 3 3Witness number 4 stated that she was not wearing 3 3prescription glasses at the time of the sighting, as she was3 3required to wear them normally, but she could see the light.3 3She corroborated what the others had said. 3 3 3 3They were asked if they had read any material on UFOs, they 3 3all replied they had not. When asked if they watched TV and3 3seen any of the Unsolved Mysteries, Hard Copy, etc. shows on3 3UFOs they all replied yes. 3 3 3 3The witnesses were credible, each having a college 3 3background, and had nothing to gain from the report. Based 3 3on what was said and the statements of each person, the 3 3evidence looks reliable and valid. 3 3 3 3(Note: This case is similar to a case in September, 1976, 3 3that occurred in Tehran City, Iran.) 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ March 27, 1992 3 3Location:........ Conway 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3A couple were driving from their rural home to the town of 3 3Conway, MO, when, at approximately 11:00 AM, the woman saw a3 3silver disk approaching from the North. 3 3 3 3As the couple watched the object from their car, the disk 3 3made a 90 degree turn to the West, stopped abruptly, and 3 3hovered for a few moments, and then accelerated almost 3 3instantaneously, disappearing into the West. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ April 01, 1992 3 3Location:........ Springfield 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3A 33-year old Springfield woman was awakened in her bedroom 3 3at 1:10 AM to witness a disk-shaped object with red lights 3 3around the bottom rim just outside her window. 3 3 3 3The witness felt herself being pulled toward the window by a3 3"force." She glanced at her bedside clock and saw that it 3 3was 1:10 AM. The next recollection of the witness is that 3 3she awakened with a jolt in her bed and that the time was 3 33:10 AM. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ Early April, 1972 3 3Location:........ Northview, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3A woman and her two small children were driving home near 3 3Northview, MO, when, as they rounded a curve they witnessed 3 3two red balls of light hovering above the road. The woman 3 3slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the lights. The red 3 3balls flew up and over the car and disappeared. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ Late May, 1992 3 3Location:........ Marshfield, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3A Webster county woman was driving alone on a rural road 5 3 3miles south of marshfield, MO, when her attention was drawn 3 3to a large red light in the northwest sky at just above 3 3treetop level. She pulled over to the side of the road and 3 3stopped, watching the light. As she stopped, the light 3 3became discernible as an object and dropped slowly behind 3 3some trees and out of sight. She described the object as 3 3oval in shape, approximately 30 feet by 60 feet, glowing red3 3and noiseless. The object was less than one-quarter of a 3 3mile away from the witness. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ Mid July, 1992 3 3Location:........ Marchfield, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3Two men near Marchfield, MO, witnessed a large ball of light3 3maneuvering in the sky. As they watched, the light 3 3separated into twelve lights which then flew off to the west3 3in formation. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ Mid July, 1992 3 3Location:........ Marchfield, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3A Marchfield woman witnessed two silver disks through a 3 3break in the clouds following a thunderstorm. The disks 3 3appeared to be quite large and disappeared rapidly to the 3 3south. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY ZDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD? 3State:........... Missouri 3 3Date:............ Late July, 1992 3 3Location:........ Springfield, Missouri 3 3Case Description: 3 3 3 3 3 3A Springfield woman reported two robed creatures in a vacant3 3field near her home. The creatures had amber eyes and 3 3appeared to have a computer-like apparatus which one was 3 3operating. The creatures glided over the ground without 3 3apparent effort. 3 3 3 3=END= 3 @DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY FMail 0.92 * Origin: * On Topic? What's that? <*> Fidonet UFO Moderator (1:123/26.1) ** EOF ** ============================================================================ NOTE: Sometimes mail will bounce going to my uucp address (bilver!), so the best way to contact me is via my main Fido point (1:123/26.1) or p1.f26.n123.z1.FIDONET.ORG!Don.Allen That's the MUFONET HQ BBS - 901-785-4943 (14.4 baud) You can also find me on ParaNet and on the Fido UFO echo as I'm the Moderator. One uucp-Fido gateway I'm aware of is: 1:369/11 - The Branch Office Don -- <*> Don Allen <*> 1:363/81.1 - Fidonet #1 - Homebody BBS dona@bilver.uucp - Internet 1:363/29.8 - Fidonet #2 - Gourmet Delight 88:4205/1.1 - MUFON Network 1:3607/20.2 -- Odyssey - Alabama UFO Net NSA grep food: Aviary, Ed Dames, Los Alamos - Majestic - Jason - RIIA - UN From dona@bilver.uucp Sun Mar 14 21:39:19 1993 From: dona@bilver.uucp (Don Allen) Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors,alt.conspiracy,sci.skeptic Subject: FILE: AURORA articles Date: 11 Mar 93 14:25:50 GMT Organization: W. J. Vermillion - Winter Park, FL [ A user on the Fido UFO echo posted this series of Aurora articles which I found interesting..perhaps you will too - Don ] To conserve bandwidth, I eliminated the separate headers and have separated the articles by "***********" . Have fun ;-) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- AREA:UFO Mon 1 Mar 93 13:25 By: Jim Doyle To: All Re: Aurora Spy Plane --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The following appeared in the February 28, 1992 issue of Janes Defense Weekly on Pg 333: "Mystery contact may be Aurora" by: Bill Sweetman Mounting evidence suggests that the US Government has secretly developed and deployed a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft, probably as a replacement for the SR-71. A Royal Air Force air traffic controller tracked a target leaving the NATO RAF base at Machrihanish, Scotland at an estimated speed of Mach 3 last November, according to 'The Scotsman' newspaper last week. Another witness heard an extremely loud jet noise near the base around the same time, it said. In the USA, highly supersonic aircraft believed to be operating from Nevada have been detected and tracked by seismological sensors installed by the US Geological Service (USGS). The booms were first recorded in June last year. Machrihanish in one of the most remote bases in Europe, located near the tip of the Kintyre peninsula in Western Scotland. Recent base modernization and a rumored association with the F-117 Stealth Fighter lend credence to the new reports. Meanwhile, the California booms are the first substantial corroborated evidence of unidentified supersonic aircraft operating over the USA. On at least four occasions, sonic booms have registered on some of the 220 sensors across Southern California, from the Los Angeles basin to the eastern edge of the Mojave desert, according to Jim Mori, a USGS seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. The incidents were recorded in June, October, November, and late January. The seismologists estimate that the targets were flying at speeds between Mach 3 and Mach 4. So far all the tracks have been headed north and east over the Los Angeles basin, pointing directly to southern Nevada, 500 km away. Most secret US Air Force activities, including the large flight test base at Groom Lake, are within the Nellis range in Nevada. Since the range is only 8 min from Los Angeles at such speeds, the targets were presumably decelerating as they crossed the coast. The USGS first noticed that its seismographs could detect sonic booms when they registered space shuttle landings at Edwards AFB, California. Mori says the wave-forms detected in the latest incidents are characteristic of a smaller vehicle than the 37 m long shuttle orbiter. Neither the shuttle nor the single SR-71B which NASA maintains in flight status were operating on the days the booms were detected. Reports that USAF is developing hypersonic aircraft in undisclosed 'black' programmes date back to the mid-1980s. In early 1988, the New York Times reported that a Mach 6 stealthy reconnaissance aircraft called Aurora was being developed to replace the SR-71, which was retired in early 1990. More recently witnesses in Nevada and California have reported hearing extremely loud or 'pulsing' noises caused by unidentified aircraft. Drawing Caption: Is this Aurora? Artists impression of a Mach 6 reconnaissance aircraft incorporating ejector ramjet engine fuelled by liquid methane or hydrogen. Stealth would be maintained through ceramic radar absorbent material able to withstand the fierce temperatures encountered at hypersonic speeds (Julian Cook) Drawing shows 2 aircraft from 10 O'clock low. Highly swept delta planform, with 2 long rectangular engine ducts underneath and twin verticals. It is not an all-body design. It's probably a blended body but it's too hard to tell, because a top view is missing. ******************************************************************************* Here are a couple of recent reports: NEW 'PULSER' SIGHTINGS "Donuts-on-a-rope" contrails produced by an unknown high-speed, high-altitude aircraft have been reported throughout the U.S. and Europe, suggesting the classified "pulser" is no longer confined to a test range (AW&ST May 11, p.62). In late January, a similar contrail--described as a "coiled spring"--was seen over Scotland behind a very fast aircraft flying east to west. The distinctive contrails have been spotted during daylight hours over Portland, Ore.; Washington Dulles International Airport, Va.; Denver, Colo.; and Edwards AFB, Calif. Observers said the main plume appeared to be connected directly to the aircraft, which was so high its shape could not be determined. Typical jet contrails become visible at some distance behind an aircraft as moisture in the exhaust condenses. The pulser's rings or "donuts" appeared to grow out of and encircle the plume a few seconds later. Propulsion experts have suggested the "pulser" may be powered by a ducted rocket, or a hybrid of a pulse detonation engine. COMBINED CYCLE POWERPLANT "DOUGHNUTS ON A ROPE" contrails produced by unknown high-speed, high-altitude aircraft may be the result of a Pratt & Whitney powerplant program aimed at developing what the company calls an "impulse motor". The engine is believed to be a combined cycle powerplant that integrates conventional gas turbine and rocket technologies. Such a powerplant would be capable of operating from a ground takeoff up to speeds approaching Mach 6. [ and of course that is the magic "Aurora" number! :-> ] The unusual contrail could be the result of running the powerplant off its narrow design point, according to U.S. propulsion experts. Officials have suggested that in the past, impulse engines have been located at Edwards AFB, Calif., and at government facilities at White Sands, N.M. [ both of these are excerpted from July AW&ST issues ] ************************************************************************** This article appeared in the Daily Breeze (LA) 8/25/92 Mystery Craft Spotted by Jetliner By Ken Leiser THe cockpit crew of a London-bound 747 reported a close encounter with a fast-moving aircraft near a Southern California Air Force Base earlier this month, but federal officials said Monday that the mysterious second craft never showed up on radar screens. A United Airlines crew reported seeing what appeared to be a missile or a Lockheed SR-71 type of airplane in airspace above George Air Force Base near Victorville, said Fred O'Donnell, spokesman for the FAA. United flight 934 was en route to London from LA on August 5 when the alleged sighting occurred,O'Donnell said. A United spokesman said today that the pilot did not report a near collision and couldn't say whether the airline will follow up the investigation. An account that appeared in this week's edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology said the "unusual aircraft" passed beneath the jumbo jet within 500 to 1000 feet at a high rate of speed, leading the crew to conclude it was supersonic. "There is really nothing to investigate," O'Donnell said. When controllers at the LA radar center were told of a close call, they couldn't find a second radar target on their screens. The sighting was near the soon-to-be closed George Air Force Base, by a spokesman there said all aircraft were removed from the base at the end of June and any munitions have been packed away. He referred further inquiries to the Pentagon. "We're done. We're down," said Air Farce Captain Jim Tynan. George Air Farce Base is about 55 miles south of Edwards Air Farce Base and was a training area for pilots of the F-4G WIld Weasel, an aircraft whose mission is to eliminate surface-to-air missile sites. Dottie Spiegelberg, chief of media relations at Edwards, said the sighting was reported in the airspace that military officials monitor, but "there was nothing on (base radar tapes) but the United Airlines flight." O'Donnell said the desert airspace is not restricted, but it is used for military operations. However, none was in progress that day, he said. **************************************************************************** RECENT SIGHTINGS OF XB-70-LIKE AIRCRAFT REINFORCE 1990 REPORTS FROM EDWARDS AREA William B. Scott/Lancaster, Calif. A large aircraft having a planform reminiscent of the Air Force/North American XB-70 supersonic bomber of the 1960s has been seen flying on the U.S. East and West coasts over the last two years. Two recent detailed reports of large, light-colored, XB-70 like aircraft - one in Georgia and the other in California's Mojave desert- provided new data that reinforce past sightings near Edwards AFB, Calif. Since September, 1990, residents of Mojave, Calif., and workers at Edwards AFB have seen a large, delta-shaped, light-colored aircraft flying in the area. A total of five separate sightings of this vehicle has been reported to AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY. Observers said they first saw a large, primarily delta-shaped aircraft at night during the summer of 1990. On Sept. 13, 1990, and Oct. 3, 1990, the same type of aircraft was seen flying near Mojave, Calif.in the late evening. Mojave is about 16 naut. mi. northwest of Edwards AFB. The dusk sightings yielded descriptions and sketches of the aircraft planform, nose and main landing gear door locations, leading edge tile-like patterns, and lightings layout. Observers consistently reported a red light beneath the nose, amber lights near the delta's wingtips, and a white light between the main gear doors. Engine noise associated with the aircraft seen on Sept. 19 was described as a low-pitched rumble. However, noise from two chase aircraft - one was an F-16, the other was not identified - may have combined with that of the large aircraft, distorting the latter's sound. Afterburner flames from twin exhaust ports located under the wing trailing edge and immediately outboard of the aircraft centerline during the Oct. 3 sighting. CLUES ABOUT POSSIBLE MISSION A similar aircraft was seen in April, 1991, at about 11 a.m., flying north of Edwards AFB at an estimated altitude of 5,000-10,000 ft. An observer said it was large - dwarfing an F-16 chasing it - and was light colored, possibly white. Independent sightings this year produced detailed sketches that correlate well with earlier ones and provide additional clues about the aircraft's possible mission. The first sighting this year was near Atlanta, Ga., on May 10. Glenn Emery, now a writer associated with Cable News Network, said a large, unidentified aircraft was flying eastbound at about 5 p.m. Because its size was unknown, its altitude was difficult to judge, but was estimated to be 10,000-15,000 ft. The vehicle was clearly higher and faster than the airline traffic descending for landing at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. It was not leaving a contrail. He described the aircraft's planform as large, somewhat like an XB-70, but with a large forward wing or canard. Its dual engines were "extremely noisy", producing a deep-pitched, perioding beating sound, he said. Suggestions that he had seen the British Aerospace Concord or a Beech Starship were discounted by Emery, who said the shape, size and sound were inconsistent with either of those aircraft. Another sighting, on July 12 at 11:45 p.m., occurred near a Lockheed-operated radar cross section (RCS) test range in the Mojave desert. Described as an "XB-70-like" shape, the aircraft tuned its landing lights on while at fairly high altitude, then descended quickly, following an S-pattern flight track. It made a final turn at about 200 ft. above a road, crossing less than a mile in front of a motorist who had watched its descend. Ambient noise masked any sounds from the aircraft. Bright moonlight illuminated the aircraft's upper surfaces, giving the observer a good look at the planform during the turn. The aircraft rolled out, presenting a side view as it descended and landed at a private Helendale airport adjacent to the Lockheed RCS test facility. Located about 15 naut. mi. southwest of Barstow, Calif., Helendale Airfield's three runways are close to civil pilots on current aeronautical charts. However, Lockheed aircraft still land there when shuttling personel between its Burbank site and the RCS facility. Although weather was clear and calm at the Helendale field that night, several thunderstorms were reported in the Las Vegas area and through the highly classified range complexes in central Nevada. Based on observer reports, this unidentified aircraft's features include: # Large size, estimated to be close to 200 ft. in length. Observers near Edwards AFB said the vehicle "dwarfed" F-16 chase aircraft. # A large aft section with a clipped-delta platform. A narrower, blended fuselage extends from the delta's vertex forward to a clear-canopied cockpit and sharp nose. The main delta section has a prominent, raised spine along the top centerline. Upward-canted vertical fins rise at each outboard tip of the delta planform. # A prominent dark line extending longitudinally along part of the aft raised section. At the aft end of the line, just ahead of the trailing edge and between the engine nozzles, a broken visual pattern was seen, but observers could not describe it. # A forward wing or canard of fairly long spane. The canard, possibly used only for takeoff, landing and slow-speed regimes, may pivot or sweep aft for internal stowage during high-speed flight (Some observers reported a dominant canard, while others did not recall, suggesting it can be stowed). # Dual rectangular engine exhaust nozzles at the aircraft's trailing edge. # Light-colored top and bottom surfaces, with dark leading and trailing edges. Although the propulsion system is unknown, observers have reported a "very loud, low-pitched roar" with a rhytmic beat to it. They did not hear a series of detonations, which have been associated with high-speed "pulser" vehicles that create "donuts-on-a-rope" contrails * With this article, there is an artist's composite of the craft. * The caption reads: "The aircraft configuration suggests a variety * of mission roles, including carriage and high-speed launch of * an unmanned vehicle into orbit". [AW&ST, August 24, 1992] In the same issue, there are two other related articles: UNITED 747 CREW REPORTS NEAR-COLLISION WITH MYSTERIOUS SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT, by Michael A. Dornheim/Los Angeles. SECRET AIRCRAFT ENCOMPASSES QUALITIES OF HIGH-SPEED LAUNCHER FOR SPACECRAFT, by William B. Scott/Lancaster, Calif. **************************************************************************** SECRET AIRCRAFT ENCOMPASSES QUALITIES OF HIGH-SPEED LAUNCHER FOR SPACECRAFT, by William B. Scott/Lancaster, Calif. Sightings of a large aircraft in Georgia and California during the last two years have raised new questions about whether the vehicle is a high-speed replacement for the Lockheed SR-71. It is not known if the "XB-70-like" aircraft is the vehicle popularly referred to as "Aurora" or the "pulser" that leaves "donuts-on-a-rope" contrails. Its size, configuration and features suggest the aircraft may have multiple missions. Observer descriptions, discussions with industry experts, and Aviation Week & Space Technology analyses suggest that the large aircraft could be the first of a two-stage system designed to launch small payloads into orbit. Released at Mach 6-8 from a raised section on the aircraft's aft deck, an unmanned vehicle could accelerate to orbital velocities, then release a small satellite in space. It also could remain in the atmosphere or fly a suborbital flight path, carrying its own suite of reconnaissance sensors. This concept, at present, has not been confirmed by any U.S. government agency or military service. However, aeronautics and space experts agreed the concept has considerable merit, particularly for orbiting payloads essential to national security. Such a two-stage-to-orbit concept is hardly a new one, having surfaced as a candidate U.S. launch system in the 1950s. It also is the basis for Germany's Saenger design. Advancements in strong, lightweight and heat-tolerant materials--as well as breakthroughs in hybrid propulsion systems--may have made the two-stage concept attractive for limited-weight, critical payloads. According to William R. Laidlaw, a former vice president of advanced systems for North American Rockwell and current founder/CEO of Aerotest, early studies defined the characteristics of such an aircraft. He said a high-speed, air-breathing launch vehicle would tend to be long, with a high fineness ratio; have a broad, delta planform; probably have wingtip-mounted vertical fins; use a multi-cycle propulsion system capable of reaching the Mach 6-8 regine, and be large enough to carry adequate hydrogen, methane or other advanced, high-energy, cryogenic fuel. EARLY STUDIES CONSISTENT Aviation Week analyses are supported by possibly related events and deduction, such as: X A long, slender aerodynamic shape with rounded chines was loaded into an Air Force C-5 transport at Lockheed's Burbank, Calif., "Skunk Works" facility on the night of Jan. 6. Estimated to be 65-75 ft. long and 10 ft. high, it was light-colored and had a distinctive, blended-shape aft cross section. The C-5 departed Burbank at 11:15pm PST and was cleared to Boeing Field near Seattle, Wash. X A quick-reaction project to develop a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle would have been highly attractive to the Defense Dept. after the shuttle Challenger accident and a subsequent series of expendable launch vehicle failures in the mid-to-late 1980s. A concerned Defense Dept. may have embraced a means of assuring access to space, especially if it were an on-demand, flexible launch system. X Air Force officials who canceled the SR-71 program said "satellites can do the job" of strategic reconnaissance. That position appeared to ignore the predictable and inflexible nature of satellites' fixed orbits. A high-speed aircraft/spacecraft system that could orbit a small satelliite carrying a suite of reconnaissance sensors and communication equipment would overcome that detraction, however. If the second-stage vehicle were fairly "stealthy," the satellite could be launched covertly into any orbit at the most desirable time. This approach also would preclude risks associated with in-atmospere aircraft overflying hostile areas. X Several spacecraft manufacturers have developed small satellites--or "small-sats"--that would be compatible with a two-stage launch system. Until recently, none would acknowledge they had built any, though (AW&ST June 15, p. 94). TRW, Ball Aerospace and others may have developed a stable of covert flexible spacecraft that can be configured with a variety of sensors, then launched into orbit on short notice. X Senior National Aero-Space Plane program engineers have admitted privately that their studies indicate a two-stage-to-orbit system is technically feasible and would be more economical than a single-stage system. "Given what we know now, we'd prefer to go with a high-speed aircraft and launch something from it to get into orbit," one engineer said. This concept would save about one third the fuel weight required of a single-stage NASP system, he said. X Several years ago, the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory's "Beta" program was based on a two-stage-to-orbit system that uses a "Concorde- like" vehicle to launch a "miniature delta-shaped" craft into space, an engineer familiar with the effort said. For reasons still unclear, the aircraft was not built, he said. HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS A high-speed, two-stage launch concept is a logical descendant of the M-12/D-21A system Lockheed's Skunk Works developed under the A-12/YF-12/SR-71 "Blackbird" programs. A version of the Central Intelligence Agency's A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, the M-12 was designed to carry and launch a single 12,000lb. D-21A ramjet drone at 80,000 ft. and Mach 3. Two of the M-12 "motherships" were built. The A-12--originally designated the A-11 by Lockheed--was a single-seat predecessor of the two-man SR-71. It first flew in April, 1962. The YF-12A, designed as a Mach 3 interceptor armed with air-to-air missles, provided valuable flight test data for the follow-on SR-71 aircraft. All three Blackbird models had similar external planforms. Although one aircraft was lost during a test, several D-21A drones were launced from the M-12 at speeds over Mach 3, proving that high-speed separation is feasible. Another experiment demonstrated that the D-21A drone could operate its engines while still attached to the carrier aircraft, augmenting M-12 thrust during acceleration to high launch speeds. The drone engine was fueled from the M-12's tanks during this phase. Financial analysts recently concluded that "Aurora" and other classified programs at Lockheed grew from $65 million in 1987 to $400 million last year, and could reach $475 million by 1993, according to Lawrence M. Harris, a Kemper Securities analyst. Harris estimated that "Aurora" could be operational in 1995, and may have made its first flight in 1989. Employment at Lockheed's Advanced Development Co. has fluctuated somewhat in recent years, but, now at 4,600 employees, has remained higher than can be explained by residual TR-1, F-117A and F-22 work. ************************************************************************** This info was posted by fellow Blackbird fan: Dean Adams! It looks like we have a "second wave" of Aurora news! ------ 12/04/92 Wall Street Journal, page B-6: "Evidence Points to Secret U.S. Spy Plane" Magazine Suggests Aircraft Has Flown Mach 8 for Years by Roy J. Harris Jr. (nice illustration) The WSJ article is a preview of a Janes Defense Weekly article to appear in next week's edition of the magazine. The article is on this sighting. The article describes a sighting in August of 1989 from a North Sea oil rig,of a perfect 75 degree swept triangle planform, seen with a KC-135 and 2 F111s,as it flew over the oil rig. The sighting lasted for 90 seconds and the sky was hazy. The sighting was by 30 year old Chris Gibson, formerly a member of the now-disbanded Royal Observer Corps of volunteer aircraft spotters. Mr. Gibson said that he couldn't make out much detail of the mystery aircrafts underside, but he knew it was unusual. It wasn't until he recently saw a drawing of a putative hypersonic aircraft design that matched the perfect triangle shape, that he nearly "spat his coffee out all over the floor". -------------------------- LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Lockheed Corp. has built a secret spy plane capable of cruising as fast as eight times the speed of sound, a representative of a British defense trade publication said Friday. The wedged-shaped plane, dubbed Aurora and carrying a price tag of $1 billion, may have been flying since 1985 and may be the source of a series of earthquake-like rumbles that have been occuring for more than a year in California, according to an article due to be released next week in Jane's Defence Weekly. The article, authored by Bill Sweetman, calls its findings a ``tentative analysis.'' Richard Stadler, a spokesman at Lockheed's Aeronautical Systems unit in Southern California, declined comment on the article and said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of the plane. Mark Lambert, editor of Jane's, said that the article is based in part on an interview with an oil worker who, while a member of the British volunteer aircraft spotter organization Royal Observer Corps, claimed he saw a strange triangular shape fly over a remote part of the North Sea three years ago, escorted by a U.S. KC-135 tanker and two U.S. F-111 bombers. Lambert said the worker, Chris Gibson, later saw a rendering of the Aurora in a magazine and recognized it as the one he saw three years ago. ``There is a whole lot of contributary evidence to suggest its existence,'' Lambert said. Lambert said Lockheed's Advanced Development Co., nicknamed the Skunkworks and located in Palmdale adjacent to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, is the most likely prime contractor of the Aurora. ... Aerospace experts quoted in the article also said that such a plane could be powered by liquid methane. The article said Rockwell International Corp.'s Rocketdyne division, headquartered in the Santa Susana Mountains north of Los Angeles, is the likely builder of the Aurora's engines. Lockheed and Rockwell worked together on a losing bid to build the plane that eventually became Northrop Corp.'s bat-shaped B-2 stealth bomber. Rockwell has admitted it performs work on classified aerospace programs, but has declined further comment. The article noted that the name ``Aurora'' first appeared in 1984 as a defense budget line item next to the SR-71. On several occasions over the past year, California residents have reported feeling what seemed to be small earthquakes, but representatives of the US Geological Survey have said in response no earthquake was responsible and that a supersonic aircraft was the likely source. ***************************************************************************** SECRET PLANE SAID TO FLY 5,280 MILES PER HOUR by Associated Press LONDON - The U.S. Air Force is operating a new generation of secret spy planes capable of reaching eight times the speed of sound, Jane's Defense Weekly said Friday. In a report, prepared for next week's issue, the military affairs magazine said the triangular shaped planes have been in service since 1989. "We've been working on this report for about three years," Jane's editor, Paul Beaver, said in a telephone interview. "The evidence has grown overwhelming - all we need now is a photograph to prove that it exists." Beaver quoted the report as saying that the $1 billion plane, dubbed Aurora, could reach cruising speeds as great as Mach- 8 - or 5,280 mph and more than 2 1/2 times the official world record. The defense establishment continues to deny the existence of Aurora, be said. There was no immediate comment from Pentagon officials in Washington. The Pentagon announced in 1990 that it was retiring its super- sonic spy plane, the SR-7l Blackbird, and would rely for its future high-altitude surveillance on orbiting satellites. But Jane's technical editor, Bill Sweetman, who compiled the article, reported that the so-called "hypersonic" Aurora operates mainly at night and incorporates the latest radar-evading "stealth" technology. Sweetman, an expert in high-technology aircraft, maintained the Pentagon story about satellite spying was a smokescreen. Beaver said Sweetman reported extensively on the U.S. Air Force's stealth fighter and bomber programs before they were made public and has written a book on the development of stealth technology. A Mach-8 plane would be able to reach any point on the globe in less than three hours. Such a plane, fueled by liquid methane, would be of potentially greater use than high-resolution images from orbiting satellites that can take 24 hours to arrive over the subject, the report said. Beaver said Sweetman based his conclusions on pieced-together data, including strange sounds reported above air bases in Nevada and California, multibillion dollar spending on classified research projects and the sighting over the North Sea of a wedge-shaped aircraft under fighter-bomber escort. Chris Hudson, 30, a trained aircraft observer, told Jane's that while working as an oil-drilling engineer in the North Sea in 1989 he saw a bizarre wedge-shaped plane flying between two conventional F-111 fighter-bombers and a Hercules tanker. Sweetman believes this was the first sighting of Aurora. Beaver said the sighting can be linked to mysterious sounds heard by aerospace professionals near military airfields in California and Nevada that are characterized as a "low-frequency, high-ampli- tude pulsing." Sweetman said in his article that he believes the U.S. aero- space giant Lockheed, which produced the F-117 stealth fighter, is the most likely manufacturer of Aurora. "Lockheed's financial figures have indicated a continuing, large flow of income for 'classified' and 'special mission' aircraft," he wrote. The Lockheed Advanced Development Co. developed the previous generations of U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Both designs flew high-altitude spy missions undetected for years - in the U-2's case until Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia and captured in 1960. Though the report places Aurora's first flights in 1989, Beaver said he considered it unlikely that the plane was used during the Gulf War. ***************************************************************************** FYI, here is a nice list of recent "black" articles: [1] Aviation Week (AW&ST) Dec. 18, 1989, pp. 42-43, A VISTA issue, discussion of 'pulser' sightings and of possible mach 6 aircraft program named 'Aurora.' This is probably the first AW&ST reference to Aurora. [2] AW&ST, Jan. 8, 1990, p. 74, letter to the editor reporting sighting of mach 6 aircraft off California Coast. [3] AW&ST, Oct.1,1990, pp. 20-23, two articles dealing with technology and possible sightings of 'black' aircraft, with artist's conceptions. [4] AW&ST, Dec. 24, 1990, pp. 41-43, a VISTA issue, article on advanced aircraft technology. [5] AW&ST, October 28, 1991, pp. 68-69, article on pulse detonation engine engine technology (possible Aurora propulsion). [6] AW&ST, Nov. 11, 1991, pp. p. 15, News Breaks Dep't, short report on accoustic/seismic tracking of two high speed aircraft at mach 3 over coastal S. California. [7] Jane's Defence Weekly (JDW), Feb. 29, 1992, report of RAF ATC radar tracking an aircraft departing RAF-NATO Machrihanish, Scotland at mach 3. [8] AW&ST, March 9, 1992, pp. 66-67, report of sighting of possible 'black' aircraft near Beale AFB, Calif. [9] AW&ST, May 11, 1992, pp. 62-63, report of sightings of high speed air- craft and interceptions of possible associated UHF radio communications. Includes photographs of 'donuts-on-a-rope' contrails. [10] AW&ST, July 6, 1992, p. 13, Industry Observer Dep't, more reports of sightings of 'donuts-on-a-rope' contrails. [11] AW&ST, July 20, 1992, p. 13, Industry Observer Dep't, report on 'impulse motor,' another possible Aurora propulsion mechanism. [12] Flight International, July 22-28, report of possible magnitude of Lockheed Advanced Development Company's (aka Skunk Works) revenues derived from 'black' programs. [13] AW&ST, Aug. 24, 1992, pp. 23-25, report and technical analysis of XB-70-like aircraft sightings in Edwards AFB area. Includes artist's conception of aircraft. This issue also contains on p. 24 a widely- quoted report of a near-collision of a UAL 747 with a mysterious supersonic aircraft. [14] The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 1992, p. B6 (Midwestern Edition), summary of to-be-published JDW article on possible 1989 sighting over UK North Sea waters. Includes artist's conception diagrams. [ ] highly classified triangular reconnaissance aircraft supporting the F-117As, designated TR-3A (AW&ST, June 10, 1991, pp. 20-21). *************************************************************************** [My thanks to Dean Adams for posting this] Plane Mystery Gains Speed, Hits 5,500 Miles an Hour By John Mintz Washington Post Staff Writer Mysterious rumblings in the California desert, staggeringly swift bright lights in the night skies over Nevada, a strange whooshing roar over Scotland and unexplained entries on Lockheed Corp.'s financial books all have an explanation, some aerospace enthusiasts say: The United States is developing a supersecret spy plane. Defense Department officials have denied it for years, and members of Congress who presumably would know say it's not so. But there is a growing consensus in the subculture of mystery aircraft-watchers - not loonies who talk of Venusian visitations, but defense industry journalists, market analysts and engineers - that the Pentagon is testing a new generation of ultra-fast aircraft that can travel up to Mach 8, eight times the speed of sound, or about 5,500 miles per hour. The world speed record is Mach 3.2. These scientists and obsessed individuals for years have trafficked in the latest news of sightings of things zooming around secret installations such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, puffs of smoke resembling "donuts on a rope" and word of radio transmissions to unknown craft landing in California. They even count cars in the parking lots of California defense contractors to devine whether a company's known projects could account for all the employees there. Now comes a new report in a defense industry publication throwing in with the speculators: Britain's Jane's Defence Weekly carried an article this week speculating that the U.S. Air Force has a secret fleet of new spy aircraft. This next-generation plane, according to the report, has a liquid-methane engine that is halfway between a rocket's and a jet plane's, costs $1 billion each and is a follow-on to the SR-71 Blackbird, a venerable spy-in-the-sky retired in 1990 after 28 years of service. The Jane's article, by veteran aviation writer Bill Sweetman, recounted an intriguing development: a British oil drilling engineer named Chris Gibson said that in 1989, while aboard a North Sea drilling rig, he spotted an arrowhead-shaped plane he had never seen before streaking across the sky. Gibson, an experienced aircraft observer, kept the sighting to himself until recently, when he sketched the mystery craft for Jane's. The drawing looks like others in Aviation Week and similar industry publications that for years have speculated there is a successor to the SR-71. Other experts say that if such a craft were indeed flying over the North Sea, it could buttress the idea that such a plane is "operational," meaning it has gone beyond the prototype and test stages. But some analysts point out that at the speeds at which the new plane is thought to fly, it would be difficut to restrict a test drive to U.S. airspace. A hypersonic trip from California to Japan would take only an hour, and nowhere on the planet would be more than three hours away. "A mysterious, fast-moving shape in the sky has been scaring sheep in the Mull of Kintyre (Scotland) and rattling windows in Los Angeles," said a July article in London's Sunday Telegraph asserting the existence of a new hypersonic aircraft. At night it visits a secure Scottish airfield guarded by U.S. Navy SEALs, "before stealthily streaking back to America across the North Pole," the paper said. Jane's said it believes the spy plane has been flying tests since about 1985 and has been operational since 1989. Air Force officials have denied such reports for years, with more pointedness than the "I-have-nothing-for-you-on-that" nondenial denials used in reply to queries about other classified subjects. "The Air Force has no such program, period," said Capt. Monica Aloisio, an Air Force spokeswoman. Yesterday she also denied a suggestion in Jane's that the Air Force would lie to cover up the secret plane. "Air Force public affairs doesn't knowingly participate in any disinformation programs," she said. But Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), a member of the Armed Services Committee who led congressional opposition to retiring the SR-71, said this week that the Pentagon's trickiness in denying secret programs over the years gives people pause. So with each flurry of reports like the one in Jane's, he calls the CIA and senior Defense Department officials "to make sure I wasn't being hung out to dry." "They answer me from all quarters there is no such program," Glenn said. "Everybody in CIA swears up and down there's no such program. I think they're telling me the truth." He said he used to wonder about those denials, because the Air Force's 1990 retirement of the SR-71 did not make sense. Air Force officials said satellites are more cost-effective for reconnaissance, but Glenn said planes such as the SR-71 are far superior. Spy planes, he said, are more maneuverable and can get to a target more quickly than satellites. Further, an adversary can often calculate when a satellite is making its once-every- few-hours sweeps and hide secrets on the ground. "The only way doing away with the '71 made sense," Glenn said in an interview this week, "was if you had a (spy plane) follow-on," which the Air Force has always denied. Glenn said he was also intrigued by the suggestion in the Jane's article that the supposed new plane is so secret that Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney has designated it a "waived program," meaning only the chairmen and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate military committees would have been told of its existence. If true, Glenn is being kept in the dark by his own committee chairman, Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). Glenn said he called Nunn's staff this week and was told Nunn has not misled him on the subject. Glenn said that under the Senate's "rules of engagement," a direct question to a colleague must be answered straight. There are other indications suggesting there is no new spy plane. In the 1991 Persian Gulf War, for instance, field commanders were distressed at what they believed was inadequate photo reconnaissance by U.S. satellites and the some subsonic spy aircraft. The Pentagon considered reactivating the SR-71, but rejected it, government officials said. "If they'd had this (new spy plane) operational," said William E. Burrows, author of a 1987 book entitled "Deep Black: Space Espionage & National Security" about space-based military projects, "they would have used it" in the gulf. Ernest Blazar, who is writing a book on the SR-71, said industry sources told him the Pentagon planned a second-generation Blackbird that died in 1990 when the SR-71 was withdrawn from service. John Pike, director of a space policy project for the Federation of American Scientists, a nonprofit research group that favors disarmament and opposes government secrecy, contends as do other nongovernment experts that secret airplanes may exist but may have multiple missions operating as, say, spy planes and spacelaunch vehicles. Speculation about a possible successor to the SR-71 heated up in 1984, when an entry in the defense budget mentioned a $2 billion, two-year "Aurora" project. Pentagon officials said it was not a spy plane, but journalists became suspicious when, a year later, "the Aurora line item vanished as mysteriously as it had first appeared," said a report by the Federation of American Scientists. Jane's still uses that name for the supposed project, but Blazar said if a new spy plane exists, it would be code-named "Senior Citizen." A number of Wall Street defense industry analysts have said for years they think Lockheed - which built the SR-71 - and other companies are involved in the spy plane business because Pentagon money going to the firms does not square with the aircraft work the companies acknowledge. A Lockheed spokesman referred questions about the matter to the Pentagon. Proponents of the spy plane theory also cite earth rumblings in southern California that some U.S. Geological Survey scientists have speculated are sonic booms caused by unknown aircraft. There have been eight such booms in the last 18 months, all on Thursdays between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. In a 94-page report published in August, the federation said "a certain measure of agnosticism continues to be appropriate" in discussing mystery aircraft. The report noted that in recent years, as the number of sightings of supposed secret Pentagon aircraft increased dramatically in the western United States, sightings of unidentified flying objects also rose there. Both groups of eyewitnesses typically cite bright lights in the sky or strange noises, the report said. "The number of reports (of mystery aircraft) and their consistency suggest that there may be some basis for these sightings other than hallucinogenic drugs," the report said. But it warned: "There is no exit from this wilderness of mirrors."