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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Jun > Jun 17

Re: Blimps - Thompson

From: Paul Thompson <MrApol@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 14:58:24 EDT
Fwd Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 23:39:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Blimps - Thompson

 >From: Alfred Lehmberg <Lehmberg@snowhill.com>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@virtuallystrange.net>
 >Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 08:02:55 -0500
 >Subject: Re: Blimps

 >Assuming these objects over Los Angeles in 1942 were Japanese
 >Terror Blimps (JTBs), where did they get the non-flammable
 >helium necessary to keep them in the air?  Hydrogen blimps would
 >have handily exploded in the well documented onslaught of
 >American guns.

I've not been following this particular debate, but as a long
time airship aficionado, I can tell you that hydrogen filled
airships do not explode when hit by ordinary munitions. Solid
bullets and shrapnel do not have sufficient heat to ignite
hydrogen in contained balloonets; you need explosive or
incendiary rounds such as the Brock or Pomeroy rounds developed
to combat WW 1 Zeppelins. Ordinary ammunition just pokes holes
in gas cells, creating leaks but not fire.

 >The Germans had given up on blimps as a result of not being able
 >to acquire helium from the United States just a few year prior
 >to 1942, and if the Germans (with greater resources) couldn't
 >get the stuff, how did the Japanese, with a much _smaller_
 >sphere of necessary resources and raw materials, get an
 >abundance of it? Moreover, if these helium (of necessity)
 >balloons or JTBs were the objects actually sighted over LA, why
 >didn't they rain death and destruction on the city when they had
 >the chance? The only damage incurred, by report, was
 >embarrassingly self inflicted with the shrapnel resulting from
 >the shells exploded on the surface of the mystery object and
 >falling dangerously back to Earth.

Zeppelins are not "blimps." A blimp is a lighter than air ship
whose shape is dependent on gas pressure. A Zeppelin has a
metallic framework to maintain its shape no matter how much
lifting gas it contains.

Helium is found almost exclusively in natural gas wells in the
US (some, I think, in wells in the Caucasus as well, in the
former USSR).  The US refused to sell Germany helium after the
Hindenburg tragedy in 1937.

Japanese Fu-Go balloons were inflated with hydrogen. They did
not start arriving over the US until much later. (As above, a
hydrogen balloon does not unfailingly explode when pierced by a
simple bullet. You need an incendiary round).

One bit of trivia you might find intriguing is the German
"Aphrodite" balloon. This was a small gas filled balloon,
launched from U-boats. It was a radar decoy, coated with
metallic paint and festooned with strips of metal foil. It was
designed to confuse Allied aircraft and warships hunting U-boats
with radar. I've never heard of the Japanese using such devices,
but the concept is simple and the technology easy to effect.....

Paul Thompson

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