What is going on with UFOs in the NY Times and Politico?

There’s a story in today’s NY Times - Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program and a story in Politico - The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs. It seems like UFO stories are pretty faddish, and there was a spate of them in the 1990s (and of course before that in the 1950s-1970s) so maybe we’re just due for the fad to come back.

But there is a fascinating story of an encounter with F/A-18s in 2004 where cameras captured some interesting-looking UFO footage. I’m not inclined to believe an outer-space-alien explanation for this phenomenon - the distances and time involved in interstellar travel reduce the chance of such a visit dramatically.

What do folks think - the return of an old fad? Is that a mischaracterization and there’s something different about the reports now vs. the reports in the 1990s or the 1960s? Believe there’s a Truth Out There? Just another odd finding that probably lead to inconclusive government reports which are very unsatisfying because the phenomenon isn’t repeatedly observable? Something else? Really just interested in random opinions on this, I don’t expect us to be able to nail down anything definable.

Gee, a story like that could damage the NY Times credibility. :smiley:

I wouldn’t call those “UFO stories.” They’re stories about the government wasting millions of dollars on something stupid, mainly because a few senators happened to be UFO buffs.

That’s a pretty fair assessment. There’s weird things in there (I think in the Politico story linked above) about ‘modifying buildings to hold potential artifacts’ which sounds like a pretty good grift if you can get it. It remains to be seen whether anyone other than the Blink182 guy is a true believer instead of a scam artist, I guess.

And given the secrecy involved it is unclear what possible value such a program could be. Any alien life capable of travelling between stars to come here and observe us, mutiliate our lifestock, or otherwise harass or enslave us is going to have technical capabilities and understanding of physics which is vastly beyond anything we can imagine or prepare for, and it would take a broad collection of scientists and engineers across many disicplines to have any hope of even evaluating and deconstruct their technology, much less to anticipate it. If the aliens come “to serve man” or steal our critical reserves of Mountain Dew Code Red there is little we could expect to do stop them.

These stories are about secretive earmarks to favored political contributors to do something that has little practical merit with no oversight. However, I’ll point out that Robert Bigelow is a verifiable space enthusiast (plowing much of his real estate fortune into Bigelow Aerospace which is building inflatable habitat modules) and alien conspiranoist, as is Harry Reid. I have no doubt that both actually believe in the value of this effort, and putting money into a UFO thank tank it is certainly no more wasteful than burning up billions of dollars in Afghanistan for programs and infrastructure the Afghans can’t afford to maintain but there would seem to be little need for the secrecy other than to conceal the fact that the program amounts to little more than third rate would-be science fiction writers spinning out unoriginal ideas on the government dole.

Stranger

Funny that this should show up now, when probably every other media outlet is inundated with stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood et al.

In 04, the majority of people own camera’s were still using Film, video capture was VCR. Since then, the amount of image capture devices has gone digital with multi mega pixel, and billions of them out there. And no more UFO pics. Since the F-18 has now had a previous classified capability revealed, and apparently is a dandy sky writer, what those pilots saw ,may require a bit more scrutiny.

My opinion, is that if anything its psyops programs that your supposed to see just enough of. This is obviously classified to some degree, but most if not all major US cities have radialogical detectors for human terrorists smuggling nukes in. The fact that some bug eyed monster is flying a jalopy over a major population center and they don’t register at least a false positive, would infer that the vehicle is at least terrestrial in origin.

That someone is flying low observable A/C is no longer science fiction, since the Have Blue project.

So basically I want to see tentacles and multi limbs, and green chicks with huge boobs, before I believe that they are among us.

Goth Chicks no longer cut it.

Add Declan to the list for anal probing…

Pilots see stuff in the skies all the time. I mean, all the time. None of them ever seem to land or crash and do damage in inhabited areas or come down to building level so they probably are either atmospheric effects or optical illusions, or, at the end of spectrum of possibility, spycraft from other countries. How many of our spy planes get shot down and revealed?

If I were the military and cared about pilots being distracted or even endangered in flight, I might take a fraction of a thousandth of a percent of my annual budget and investigate the phenomena. If I were a Senator I might demand that they do so. It makes lots of sense.

The term UFO was in fact invented by the military in Project Blue Book, to get away from the (totally misleading, ridiculous, and unfortunate) term “flying saucers,” and deliberately focus on the fact that sightings were unknown until they could be identified. Were any actually identified as alien spacecraft? No. That’s still true.

As for why now, the OP is one of the majority who don’t pay attention to a subject until it suddenly hits the news. UFO studies and sightings are regular, continual, and much discussed. Is this supposed to be a government plot to distract attention away from other issues? That is as unsupported a notion as alien spacecraft buzzing the earth. Get a grip.

You see, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue he didn’t stride up on the beach. He docked his ships in a remote bay and he and his men sneaked around mutilating a goat or two and kidnapping the natives to probe them.
And they did this for 70 years.

Not too plausible? But that’s exactly what the UFO buffs are claiming.

Classified capability? Are you thinking of the ATFLIR pod that was used to take the video? Forward-Looking InfRed sensors aren’t really classified; they’ve been in use by the military since the 1960s. It’s one of those Cold War technologies that has filtered into a lot of civilian uses like search-and-rescue, police work, HVAC efficiency evaluation, and so on. I’m sure this one is better than the ones made in the 1960s, but I don’t see any evidence of classified capabilities revealed.

This doesn’t seem to logically follow? Why would a bug eyed monster’s jalopy have to be radioactive? They can’t have non-nuclear-powered drones, areocycles, or zepplins? It was also out to sea rather than over any population center. More interestingly, if psyops, then whose psyops and for what purpose?

It wasn’t really low-observable - it was picked up by radar from a Navy ship on multiple occasions, and as you can see from the IR video, is really warm compared to the background. There doesn’t seem to be an effort of stealth from whatever it is.

I would imagine they aren’t among us. Possibly human-built craft? Some sort of fake? Atmospheric phenomenon that is poorly understood and seldom seen? There doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to conclude which of these might be the best alternative.

Pttf, I worked for our alien overlords in Automotive, you dont scare me.

Culturally speaking, the 80’s are coming back and can be seen in various forms of pop culture. I’ll take old fads that are returning for $200 Alex.

Sorry that was a Whoosh, was speaking of the recent sky writing by naval aviators

It follows that any interstellar vehicle will have a reactor, if any aircraft of extra terrestrial origin exists. For us to go beyond the moon and go off into the wild black yonder to Mars, that ship will have some sort of nuclear reactor. Did’nt some city have something like five glowing lights flying around its airspace, not too long ago, so over ocean flights cannot be solely their purpose.

Regarding psyops, simply put its a means to transfer money from a known program, into a black program. The military says they spent 22 mil on research, but did the GAO see where every penny went too.

Senator, these images were taken from the USS Yorktown, here are the stills, and here are the thermals. Its not ours and this is beyond any power on earth.

Senator opening the wallet, okay George , how much and don’t tell me where its going.

If its human, its corparate. Something like that does not get built in Seattle and not have someone notice it. I would put more money on a military black program, than extra terrestrial. But your mileage may vary.

Oh, well now I’m going to have nightmares.

I used to work with a guy who believed in UFO’s. And by that I mean alien spacecraft that visited the Earth.

He said he had seen one. He was driving down the highway and he saw a bright dot of light in the sky that was moving around in a way that no airplane could move. He said this was proof that it was an alien spaceship.

I asked him how he knew it wasn’t an angel. Or a dragon. Or Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. He said what I was saying was ridiculous; he didn’t believe in any of those things.

I pointed out that he had seen a bright light in the sky. The only reason he had for believing it was an alien spaceship rather than a dragon was that he had a pre-existing belief that alien spaceships were real and dragons weren’t. But the actual evidence was equal for either possibility.

Hey, some people like the anal probing, especially if there’s tentacles involved.

Sorta like this? :smiley: (SFW)

I am now totally convinced that UFOs are not real. Trump would have Tweeted about them by now.

My latest theory is that some bored DOD contract programmer has slipped a UFO Easter Egg routine into fighter heads up display software.

Before the inauguration, I had the thought that Trump’s first official act would be to be taken to Area 51 and shown the alien bodies. But while he goes for conspiracy theories, those don’t seem to be the kind he likes.

Well we are assuming that Rocketman was kimmy, it really could have been anyone.

Between the video, which was uploaded originally after the incident was deleted at the govt’s request and then now its been reuploaded by the govt on an as is basis. I’m making a huge assumption, that the original video showed an operational test of the Aurora spy plane. Reading the comments on the three websites quoted, plus a reddit thread in /r/military, that stated more or less that the naval aviators were dialed in and not prone to exageration, and completely professional. It further explained the limitations of the sensors, that for the militarys purposes the image quality would have been good enough, but its obviously just a bit better than the pie pan photo.

That investigative agencys of the US govt visited the battlegroup and went over all sensor logs of five ships, plus the fast attack sub louisville, and all the aircrews that were involved. Furthermore, the Nimitz battlegroup was at GQ for four hours according to a former sailor that was stationed on the Nimitz at the time.

What I have not heard and is curiously missing, is that at no time did the Nimitz launch a fighter sweep beyond the ready cap, nor did the attached Tico attempt to light up the target and simply just tracked it. Given the observed flight and hover capabilities of the contact, if it was of human origin, then it was the aurora.

That the pentagon released the video leads me to think that this was aimed at Kimmy or its about to come out of the shadows and begin daylight operations.