Texas UFO sightings

This is a discussion on Texas UFO sightings within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; This might be a bit late but wanted opinions on this. The Shuttle Challenger breaks up more than 40 miles ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Texas UFO sightings

    This might be a bit late but wanted opinions on this.

    The Shuttle Challenger breaks up more than 40 miles high over Texas and NASA has thousands of different videos of this happening just in the Texas area and in the Texas portion of the flight path. In fact they recover a lot of pieces of it in Texas, they figure out the camera azimuth/angle and deduce the shuttle's speed and what apparent parts were breaking off and where they broke off at...all from video footage. There is about a 300 page document on the net about their findings.

    F16's chased it?
    Now a UFO is reportedly seen over a town of 15,000 people in Texas and not one photo or video is shot? And what of the other towns in the flight path? And they say F16's were chasing the thing? The only reason F16's would be chasing it is if it was caught on radar. And if was caught on radar then every airport in the flight path would have seen the thing. F16's AFAIK are only operated on a consistent basis now by the Air National Guard and F16 radar can see out to about 80 to100 miles (at least in the de-classified docs). An F16's stall speed is around 140 to 160 knots depending on config. Yet reports of the UFO say it was moving very slow. These two reports conflict. If the object was moving very slow, as slow as some say, no F16 could have chased it b/c it would have been 6 feet under after it deep stalled. If it was moving very fast (another report) then the chance of actually seeing the F16's is next to nil at low level. We've all been to airshows when they do the 'fast' flyby. You have about 1 to 2 seconds to see the jet before its gone. So fast or slow the stories don't hold any water.

    Radar didn't detect it...or did it?
    They say it was a mile long and a half mile wide and yet no radar was ever bothered by it? C'mon. Every radar beam within 200 miles of that town would have reflected off the thing. If we agree F16's were chasing it...then they obviously detected it on radar which means hundreds of radar stations would have picked the thing up. Heck...weather radar would have been blocked by it and shown up as an empty section on the screen or as ground interference. Weather radar beams normally expand 1000 feet for every 10 miles of travel. This means that if the beam hit an object at 30 miles and returned, it would return as a big solid block. There is no more information to display between the beams at that point. This is why storms appear blockier the farther from the radar they are. Weather radar often pickes up aerial returns from birds and planes. One would think if this thing could have been picked up..it would have. This is Texas after all and they have tons of doppler radar sites operated by the NWS. The sightings don't appear too far from Waco which has several airports in the area operating doppler radar that can see well out to around 180 miles in one direction. Doesn't add up.

    I find all this extremely hard to believe and swallow.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 02-04-2008 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    And if was caught on radar then every airport in the flight path would have seen the thing.
    Not really. Airport radar may be capable of proper scanning, but under normal circumstances, it operates purely in transponder mode. Meaning that it sends out a very low-level signal and doesn't bother to check for echoes. Instead, every plane carries a radar transponder that not only tells the radar that something is there, but also the flight number, aircraft type, altitude, speed, and other stuff.

    Doesn't mean that the rest of the stuff isn't nonsense.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
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  3. #3
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I find all this extremely hard to believe and swallow.
    Naturally. As every other single supposed ufo sighting.

    Ufo Sightings share many characteristics of Conspiracy Theories. The most important one being that people reporting the sighting feel in no way obliged to prove it and can easily put themselves in a position where they can't prove it. The construct must only be minimally believable.

    Meanwhile the usual rules are distorted; ufo sightings belong to the realm of fantastic, out-of-science, supra-technology. Every effort of men of science to discredit them can easily be meet with unfounded arguments that appeal even more to the imaginary. "Radar didn't pick because they probably have some technology that absorbs waves or something."

    Human desires, wickedness, mob mentality, a taste for the fantastic, an yet appalling general ignorance, and much more, all come together in my opinion to explain this social phenomena. Just recently we learned that more than half of the British population believes Sherlock Holmes was a real person.

    Science meanwhile tries to explain not only those phenomena it can explain, but also often to study and provide sound conjectures on the possibilities of extra-terrestrial life and the possibility of them being anywhere close by and pay a visit. But the media is less interested, books get less coverage on the media than sightings and people generally don't like to read.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 02-04-2008 at 07:38 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Not really. Airport radar may be capable of proper scanning, but under normal circumstances, it operates purely in transponder mode. Meaning that it sends out a very low-level signal and doesn't bother to check for echoes. Instead, every plane carries a radar transponder that not only tells the radar that something is there, but also the flight number, aircraft type, altitude, speed, and other stuff.
    This is known as the squawk or transponder code. You cannot enter class B airspace without one which is usually around major airports. However, this does not mean the radar cannot pick you up, it simply means your squawk code or ID is not next to the contact and therefore it would be considered and unidentified aerial contact. My brother in law is an ATC and I'm a hobbyist pilot. The tower often asks me if I desire radar service and I usually say no. My squawk then is set to 1200 to signify VFR flight. The tower radar still picks me up but the controller can opt to filter the contacts via some criteria (such as no ident or squawk). Radar at airports will always pick up the contact it just may not be able to distinguish what the contact is. If the radio in the aircraft is not capable of sending either squawk, altitude, or altitude and squawk then the contact is not distinguishable. But I guarantee you if I take my Cessna within 50 miles of Chicago O'Hare airspace they will pick me up and attempt to contact me via a COM frequency. If the radar at major airports did not actively scan this could present a safety risk since any small plane could just wander in unbeknownst to the controller. It is the job of the pilot to follow the FAR's regarding class B airspace transition but what if the pilot does not follow them? Under your scenario the controller would never know about the aircraft.

    But weather radar would certainly pick up an echo from an object a mile long and a half mile wide. As I said weather radar picks up birds from time to time so I'm sure it would pick this up.

    I guess the point is regardless of how we disprove the sightings these things never change. They are always based on circumstantial evidence and those involved would rather believe in Hollywood's version of aliens instead of actually thinking for a bit how an alien race might actually contact us. Whether alien or not it still MUST obey the laws of physics on earth or somehow subvert them. Even with all of our advanced engineering all of our designs are still subject to the laws of physics.

    Why the media insists on trusting eyewitness testimony when it has been proven time and time again in disasters, sightings, crashes, etc, etc. that it is completely unreliable in most cases is beyond me. It just baffles me how people believe this garbage.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 02-04-2008 at 10:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    My brother in law is an ATC and I'm a hobbyist pilot.
    Then I suppose you know more about this stuff. But perhaps the rules for private flight are also different for Austria. I have a friend who's an ATC too.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  6. #6
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    AFAIK the radar will still pick you up, you just will not have an ident.

  7. #7
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Did anyone consider maybe that the space aliens had technology that can avoid our radars?

    Really, when we're talking about potential giant alien spaceships, can we rule anything out? Hell, how do you know you can even take a picture of the thing and how do you know that the F-16s weren't just holograms created by the ship itself! Maybe we were already all abducted and anal probed before they erased that part of our memory! My bum hurts!
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 02-06-2008 at 02:19 PM.
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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Another Russian invention maybe.
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  9. #9
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Did anyone consider maybe that the space aliens had technology that can avoid our radars?
    Yes. I did that on my post.

    Really, when we're talking about potential giant alien spaceships, can we rule anything out?
    Apparently only the fact there weren't any alien ships

    Anyway, more food for thought:

    - If I just state that Jesus Christ is hovering my living room, half the people that believes in UFOs will call me a liar.

    - If I state that God is the invention of weak men, half the people that doesn't believe in UFO will call me a pagan.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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