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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 8

Re: The sky over Roswell

From: Ted Viens <drtedv@smart1.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 07:04:39 -0700
Fwd Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 20:10:07 -0400
Subject: Re: The sky over Roswell

> From: Chris Rutkowski <rutkows@cc.UManitoba.CA>
> Subject: UFO Updates: Re: The sky over Roswell (or not)
> To: updates@globalserve.net (UFO UpDates - Toronto)
> Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 15:33:19 -0500 (CDT)

> > Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 12:18:46 -0700
> > From: Ted Viens <drtedv@smart1.net>
> > To: updates@globalserve.net
> > Subject: The sky over Roswell

> > 5th July 1997 Roswell, New Mexico.  The Roswell Alien Crash Street Circus
> > and Road Show was winding down for another day.  Realizing that this

> > The early night was cloudless and the view of the starry skies was as
> > rewarding as could be expected.  As the sun dropped below the horizon,
> > casual glances through the unobstructed northern sky failed to catch the
> > slow glittering sweep of any passing satellite.  Local commuter flights
> > into the Roswell airfield passed nearly at eye level.  The passengers
> > could almost be seen in the dimly lit cabins.  Regional flights passed at
> > twice the altitude.  And twice again as high, a cross country flight
> > could be seen.  The telltale blinking flight lights always betraying the
> > source.  My interest in shortwave listening suffered from the effects of

> > black from east to west.  Sitting on the concrete foundation of the
> > microwave tower, I again glanced straight up when, at the zenith, I
> > finally saw a light moving in the sky.  It resembled closely the
> > brightest stars in size and brilliance.  It passed from directly overhead
> > to the eastern horizon undiminished and unswerving in about a minutes
> > Ho-hum you say. Hum, I thought.  So many plausible common explanations,

> > Isn't science wonderful.  My observation of a distant light moving in a
> > straight line high in the night sky over the Roswell Alien Crash Street
> > Circus and Road Show seemed at casual glance so easily dismissable.  Ah,
> > but bring in the simple tools of hard science and things become
> > perplexing.  The object was self illuminated.  It passed from zenith to
> > horizon in less than a minute.  If in space, it was violating the rules
> > of orbital mechanics much to the distress of Kepler and Newton.  If in
> > the atmosphere, it was exceeding the limits of any known or imagined
> > earth aircraft or technology.  Its movement only showed it to be a
> > powered flight beyond the limits of known science.  What could it be?
> > Beats the pants off me...

> Let me get this straight. You saw a simple NL passing overhead and you
> used a satellite emphemeris program to rule out any satellites. You
> calculated velocities and transit times of an aircraft. You judged its
> luminosity and motion to be unlike anything easily determinable.
>Chris, thanks for the critique.

> Therefore, a "scientific" analysis shows that the seemingly-explainable
> object may in fact be "beyond the limits of known science."
> Alas, hyperbole is one of more useful tools and great weaknesses of the
> narrative style.

> This reminds me of the investigator who said:
> "I know everything there is to know about anything,
> therefore I am an expert."

> Put your pants back on.  :)
> (As it is of a worthy criticism.)

> Could it be that out in the western desert, there are test flights of
> military (terrestrial) aircraft with characteristics unknown to you?
> Could there have been missing data or a glitch in the satellite
> emphemeris, as has been found by some satellite observers on other
> occasions?

It is not a question of familiarity with the actual characteristics of secret
military aircraft.  First comes the observation.  From the observation comes a
range of possible flight characteristics.  These characteristics determine the
level of response.  They can range from known flight characteristics through
just past the rumored edge of secret technology to "Good Golly Miss Molly!"  I
am suggesting that an NL that goes from zenith to horizon in a minute or less
is in the "Miss Molly" range.

Satellite tracking programs are remarkably reliable.  The individual satellite
data (two line keplerian element sets) is generated by NORAD with each line
secured by a checksum.  I get them from a webpage maintained by a NORAD
employee who helped design the algorithyms defining satellite tracking.

> Just because *you* cannot identify it does *not* mean it is an alien
> spaceship, as you imply. That's why serious researchers have a category
> called "Unidentified," in which to put observations of objects without
> a simple explanation.

> Yours was an excellent exercise and shows how complicated UFO
> investigation really is, requiring a lot of time and effort even for
> the most simple cases. You are to be commended for your thoughtful
> approach, but to suggest the UFO was therefore a non-terrestrial or
> unconventional phenomenon isn't *quite* warranted. It might have been
> wiser and more scientific just to concede it was "unexplained."

Thanks for the compliment.  Still, I think your criticism displays some of the
weaknesses in this greater dialogue.  First, I offer my narrative without
claims of position or authority.  It is not government fiat or church edict.
It is offered as a vehicle for both suggesting more study in a specific area
and for receiving studied rebuttal.  Unfortunately, your sweeping dismissal of
the simple science and your inflated portrayal of my conclusions fall somewhat
short.  I would be perfectly happy for anyone to bring me the sat data showing
a satellite passing overhead much faster than my calculated minimum time.
And equally elated to learn of a rumored aircraft that could pass within this
time limit.  Chris, what I think you have failed to grasp is that an NL moving
from zenith to horizon in a minute or less IS in the realm of an
"unconventional phenomenon."

> > A light passes in the sky over Roswell, New Mexico.  Simple science
> > eliminates the possibility of any known technology.  Could it have been a
> > commemorative flight?  I cannot demonstrate what it might have been.  I
> > can only rule out what it cannot be.  Perhaps other easily dismissed
> > distant lights moving in the night sky should be investigated more
> > carefully under the scrutiny of hard science.

> No, I would not agree with the timbre of that last line. This implies
> that dismissal of simple NLs is unwarranted, which may not be true. If
> a person reports to me a NL seen in the vicinity of an airport, and
> said UFO "hovers" while slowly moving off without showing any
> clearly-visible wing lights, it is *still* most likely that the object
> is an aircraft. This would be the case *even if* the witness is
> "familiar" with aircraft. Mistakes and misinterpretations occur. Or, if
> a witness reports an "aircraft on fire, crashing in the field a few
> miles away," it's more than likely a bolide, regardless of how close
> the UFO "appeared." This type of reduction (as well as deduction) is
> gained only through many years experience in UFO report investigation.

This is more a reflex response to the deluge of easily explained NL sightings
than a reply to what I have actually suggested.  Before this incident, I had
agreed with a blanket dismissal of all NL sightings if mearly for their
in ability to  provide any meaningful data.  Then, resulting from a little
scrutiny, I realized that even for a point source moving in a straight line,
there is an envelope of characteristics that rule out ballistic flight or
powered flight with any known fuel source or technology.

Something as simple as a light moving from zenith to horizon within a minute
and without leaving an ionization trail falls within this envelope.  To move
this quickly at orbital altitudes requires the constant lateral acceleration
that a shuttle launch at peak thrust would provide.  At black project flight
levels, this would be in the range of mach 25 to mach 35.  At these speeds,
the aircraft would fly into orbit without a side thrust comparable to the
flight thrust.

The weakness in my report is the lack of hard data.  I did not actually time
the flight of the NL, nor did I bring a poor man's $10.00 theodolite to permit
me to record the AZ/EL at the start and finish of the observation.  And, I
certainly had not thought to coordinate with another observer to permit
triangulation.  Although it felt as though the sighting lasted significant
less than a minute, a minute was the minimum time resolution I felt confident

> "Simple science" may have eliminated the possibility of any known
> technology, but I would offer that you don't know *all* the technology
> out there. Further, "less simple science" may be able to identify the
> object, given enough time and resources.

Again Chris, this is a casual and somewhat flippant dismissal.  I am not
pontificating.  This narrative gives others the opportunity to educate and
enlighten this misguide fool with the hard information that I might be
ignorant of.  This is how I lessen the fact that I "don't know *all* the
technology out there."  Science most complex cannot dismiss the fact that a
distant object moving from zenith to horizon in a minute or less is operating
outside the range of orbital mechanics or publically known flight technology.

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