Imagine a TV series which is a cross between Time Team and Car SOS. They turn up at a place and try to decide, based on some dusty tyre tracks and use of a metal detector (finding a tiny scrap of metal), what car was there recently. They can then tell where the car was made and who drove the car.
That's basically the premise for UFO Hunters
which is often on Blaze at 7am. So if you're awake at 7am with plenty of time to spare, and you're fed up with Piers Morgan on ITV, or Naga Munchetty on BBC, then it's either UFO Hunters on Blaze or Cheers on Channel 4. Fortunately I have the boxed set of the latter, thus I have watched some bits of the UFO Hunters, but eventually I decided that the running repeats of drug smuggling at airports in Oz and NZ on Pick TV are less guffaw-provoking when eating corn flakes.
There was one recently (S2 Ep11) which mentioned the 2006 O'Hare International Airport UFO sighting, which has a wikipedia entry
At approximately 16:15 CST on November 7, 2006, federal authorities at Chicago O'Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over Gate C-17.
Witnesses described the object as completely silent, 6 to 24 feet (1.8 to 7.3 m) in diameter and dark gray in color. Several independent witnesses outside of the airport also saw the object. One described a disc-shaped craft hovering over the airport, stating that it was "obviously not clouds." According to this witness, the object shot through the clouds at high velocity, leaving a clear blue hole in the cloud layer. The hole reportedly seemed to close itself shortly afterward.
According to the Chicago Tribune's Jon Hilkevitch, "The disc was visible for approximately five minutes and was seen by close to a dozen United Airlines employees, ranging from pilots to supervisors, who heard chatter on the radio and raced out to view it."
The FAA stance concludes that the sighting was caused by a “weather phenomenon” and that the agency would therefore not be investigating the incident. According to astronomer Mark Hammergren, weather conditions on the day of the sighting were right for a "hole-punch cloud", an unusual weather phenomenon.
It got me thinking that, having thoroughly debunked saucer-shaped vehicles as being totally non-viable for flight, what about just zooming up and down ?
Before looking at how aircraft such as the English Electric Lightning
climb to great heights, I wondered if there's a simpler way using a lighter object - basically a hoax.
How to make a hoax
A saucer-shape "1.8 to 7.3 m" in diameter can be bought online made of plastic (see my other posts). The problem is, how to get it to rapidly ascend. Well if I hung it from a helium balloon that's high up above the clouds, supended by several thousand feet of clear nylon rope so the saucer is below the clouds, and put a motor-driven winch just beneath the balloon, then all I need is a remote control and .....woosh ....it's gone through the clouds. Clearly, doing this above an airport would be far more difficult than just that basic idea, but read my other posts about crop-circle hoaxers and it's by no means impossible to get some clever bods onto it.
I'm not saying it was a hoax (I think the FAA are correct about weather phenomena) but when you start to think about the difficulty of rapidly ascending a craft heavier than a large piece of plastic (plus the weight of the rope), it all starts to become poppycock - unless e.g. "anti-gravity" does exist.
Without "anti-gravity", the difficulties are
1. keeping the craft both rigid and lightweight
2. having a propulsion mechanism which produces "thrust" (either directly as in a rocket/jet-engine, or indirectly as with a propeller)
3. the propulsion system being able to sustain maximum thrust for the duration of the climb
4. the craft being able to carry the weight of the fuel required
It's #3 which is actually the problem.
English Electric Lightning (and other contemporary aircraft) climbing
We've probably all seen the Lightning taking off and going straight into a vertical climb as in this example
But it doesn't sustain vertical for long because soon after takeoff, the nose gets lowered for rapid acceleration to 800 km/h before initiating a non-vertical climb at a rate of approximately 100 m/s. Around 4 km the Lightning would reach Mach 0.87 (1,009 km/h) and maintain this speed until reaching the tropopause at 11 km in under 3 minutes. To climb further, it then accelerates to supersonic speed and then resumes the climb.
This 10 minute youtube documentary
gives a comparison of the Lightning with the U2 spy-plane and Concorde.
However, the world record was set in 1975 by a McDonnell Douglas F-15A-6-MC 72-0119 Streak Eagle
which reached 98,425 ft (30 km) in 207.8 seconds.
Note also that, during launch, the first stage (S-IC)
of the Saturn V fired its engines for 168 seconds (ignition occurred about 8.9 seconds before liftoff) and at engine cutoff, the vehicle was at an altitude of about 42 miles (67 km), was downrange about 58 miles (93 km), and was moving about 7,500 feet per second (2,300 m/s) i.e. the Saturn V (and the Shuttle) did not maintain a vertical flight profile either.
Thus you can see that, without some kind of "anti-gravity" mechanism, using the only known propulsion systems in our atmosphere, it is not feasible to ascend rapidly and silently, and if using a jet engine, not without the means to obtain lift from conventional wings.
Regarding "anti-gravity" there's several areas to go into, in particular Reactionless Drive mechanisms (reactionless as in not pushing or reacting against something else i.e. ignoring Newtonian physics) and Negative Matter. But I'll leave it all for a few days.