SECRET ADVANCED VEHICLES DEMONSTRATE TECHNOLOGIES
FOR FUTURE MILITARY USE
Advanced secret aircraft developed at highly classified
government facilities in the Nevada desert over the last decade are
demonstrating and validating new technologies for the U.S.'s future
fighters, bombers and reconnaissance platforms.
Although facilities in remote areas of the Southwest have been
home to classified vehicles for decades, the number and
sophistication of new aircraft appear to have increased sharply over
the last 10 years, when substantial funding was made available for
"deep black" projects.
Vehicles now flying from these well-guarded sites include both
manned and unmanned hypersonic-capable aircraft designed to perform
strategic reconnaissance and other, less conventionally defined
missions. The classified fleet also comprises a number of large-
winged concept demonstrators that evolved into the Air Force's B-2
bomber and the Navy's A-12 next-generation attack aircraft. Several
vehicles, though, appear to incorporate technologies that outstrip
those now employed by engineers charged with developing more
traditional, current-generation aircraft.
A number of these aircraft have been seen and heard repeatedly
by ground-based and airborne observers in the western U.S. over the
last few years. Based on about 45 reports provided by people who
have seen, heard or had access to the advanced aircraft, there now
appear to be at least two - but probably more - distinct types of
* A triangular-shaped, *quiet* aircraft seen with a flight of
Lockheed F-117A stealth fighters several times since the
summer of 1989. This may be a demonstrator or prototype of
the General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas A-12. Navy officials
recently noted that full-size test models will soon be
"exposed to public view" during testing, suggesting that
predecessors of the A-12 are already flying.
* A high-speed aircraft characterized by a very loud, deep,
rumbling roar reminiscent of heavy-lift rockets. When
observed at medium altitude, this aircraft type often makes a
pulsing sound and leaves a thick, segmented smoke trail or
contrail. Lighting patterns indicate the aircraft is on the
order of 100+ ft. long, but no reliable description of a
planform has been reported to Aviation Week & Space
* A high-altitude aircraft that crosses the night sky at
extremely high speed. Normally, *no engine noise or sonic
boom is heard*. The vehicle typically is observed as a
single, *bright light* - sometimes pulsating - flying at
speeds far exceeding other aircraft in the area, and at
altitudes estimated to be above 50,000 ft. Such aircraft have
been reported by both ground-based and airborne observers.
This may be the same vehicle as the one characterized by a
loud, pulsing noise when flying at lower altitude and slower
...These primary types of "black" aircraft appear to employ
relatively conventional propulsion systems, although more advanced
than those available to the "white" world. In addition, there is
substantial evidence that another family of craft exists that relies
on *exotic propulsion and aerodynamic schemes not fully understood
at this time*. Data pertaining to this type of vehicle are being
studied by Aviation Week and several consultants.
The variety of highly classified "black world" aircraft ha
prompted industry experts to suggest that the term "Aurora," which
has been used in reference to a purported new classified hypersonic
aircraft, may be inappropriate. Instead, Aurora may be one of
several code names, all referring to a class of aircraft designed
for multiple missions.
A line item identified as "Aurora" in a Fiscal 1986 Procurement
Program document dated Feb. 4, 1985, supposedly was simply one
"site" for B-2 bomber funds when that program was highly classified,
according to a government official. Listed under the "Other
Aircraft" category, "Aurora" was projected to receive sharply
increased funding. The Fiscal 1986 budget request for Aurora - $80.1
million - jumped to $2.272 billion in Fiscal 1987, according to the
Several of the secret aircraft believed to be based in Nevada
may be experimental or prototypes. At least one type has advanced to
the production and deployment phases, and may be capable of
hypersonic flight, according to officials who have been closely
associated with classified programs at several Nevada test sites in
recent years. One senior official said, "We don't really do anything
strictly for experimental reasons. There's usually an operational
twist." Several of these people had hands-on experience with a
number of the classified vehicles.
Although prevented from discussing specific projects, these
individuals said, "There are bigger and better things out there,"
referring to aircraft based at the Nevada test locations...
...Knowledgeable government officials, charged with oversight
and funding of military programs, however, continue to be extremely
skeptical of reports about secret hypersonic aircraft based in
Nevada. One respected official said he is confident that there is no
such thing as a class or family of high-speed aircraft code-named
Aurora, either in name or in fact.
Industry experts who have worked on "deep black" programs,
however, believe that it would be highly unusual for all but a very
few political officials to have access to or knowledge of these
programs. History has shown, they maintain, that elected officials
and their staffs are poor security risks. Sensitive information,
they say, will invariably be leaked through these channels if it is
perceived politically advantageous to do so. *
The preceeding article was quoted only in part. It was much
too long to quote in its entirety. I suggest that you find the
Oct. 1, 1990 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology for it
is a fascinating article. This is the first time they have even
admitted to any unusual activity at the Nevada test site other
than earlier sightings of F-177As.
Be sure to read the next message for another article pertaining
to the same thing from the same issue.
MULTIPLE SIGHTINGS OF SECRET AIRCRAFT
HINT AT NEW PROPULSION, AIRFRAME DESIGNS
Multiple reports from well-qualified observers lend substantial
credence to the existence of numerous secret aircraft flying from
remote bases in the southwestern U.S., regardless of the political,
funding or technical arguments against that probability.
Over the past 13 months, large, triangular wing-shaped aircraft
characterized by a relatively quiet propulsion system have been the
objects of at least 11 sightings near Edwards, AFB, Calif., and one
near Fresno, Calif. These are supported by additional reports of
similar vehicles seen and heard around remote central Nevada
communities near government ranges operated by the Energy Dept. and
the Air Force.
Possibly prototypes of concept demonstrators of the Air Force
B-2 or Navy A-12, the fairly flat, triangular-shaped vehicles have a
rounded nose, rounded wingtips and probably no vertical tail
surfaces. The flying wings' trailing edges may be slightly curved,
but definitely are not sawtooth-shaped like those of the Air Force's
B-2 bomber, according to reports received so far. One ovserver in
Nevada described the shape as "like a manta ray."
Key sightings include:
* A daytime observation near the Tehachapi mountains (about 30
mi. northwest of Edwards AFB) in early May verified this
craft's triangular shape. Numerous earlier sightings had
been at night, although several were under a near-full moon
that provided enough illumination to identify a large,
triangular planform. The Tehachapi report noted that the
aircraft was light-colored, but had a dark area near the
center of the trailing edge, presumed to be the engine
* On the night of May 3, 1990, a quiet aircraft matching the
triangular description was reported by five different
observers over a 4-hr. period. One or more of the aircraft
made multiple passes over Tehachapi, Mojave, Lancaster and
Palmdale, Calif., during this time.
* A triangular aircraft also has been seen flying with
multiple-ship Lockheed F-117A flights. Typically, the stealth
fighters fly alone, spaced about 8-10 min. apart - a general
pattern that has characterized F-117 operations since they
were first observed in California in mid-1989.
However, on several occasions, the larger, traingular aircraft
appeared on the same general flight path as the F-117As. It was seen
after about three or four of the stealth fighters had passed, yet
was ahead of another three or four. It has been spotted repeatedly
over the northern end of the Antelope Valley, near Edwards AFB and
Mojave, Calif., as well as in central Nevada.
This vehicle is quiter that the F-117As - which already are
substantially quieter than an F-15 or F-16 - and definitely larger.
It normally displays a lighting pattern similar to that of the F-
117s - single amber lights under the wingtips and a red beacon near
the nose - but can be distinguished by its characteristic hushed
engine noise and larger planform.
All observer descriptions of the triangular aircraft correlated
closely, and the observer who reported seeing the vehicle before
sunset sketched a top view. That sketch matched descriptions of
similar vehicles supposedly seen in Nevada-based government hangars
several years ago and flying in military operating areas nearby...
...A totally separate, distinctly different type of aircraft
seen and heard in California and Nevada over the last year is
characterized by a loud, very deep, rumbling engine noise, At times,
the exhaust noise is punctuated by a slow-frequency (about 1 Hz.)
pulsing sound, which has prompted observers to call this aircraft
the "pulser." The aircraft also produces a sausage-link-shaped smoke
trail or vapor contrail when it is pulsing. This vehicle is not
the triangular-shaped aircraft discussed earlier, and may be capable
of hypersonic speeds.
At other times, however, the aircraft exhibits a more
continuous noise without the pulsing characteristic. Observers are
confident it is the same type of aircraft, based on its distinctive
deep, loud roar.
There have been multiple reports of "pulser" flights,
* The first, in July, 1989, at about 3 a.m. near Edwards AFB,
Calif. The vehicle was at medium altitude, flying very fast
and exhibiting the characteristic pulsing sound. The
"pulser's" position was marked by a *white glow*, rather than
a distinct point of light.
* An early evening takeoff from Edwards AFB on Oct. 18, 1989.
* Multiple reports of an aircraft having a deep, pulsing roar
flying over central and eastern Nevada during the early
morning hours throughout the past year.
* Eight separate reports of an aircraft exhibiting the same
characteristics, always flying on a northerly heading near
Mojave, Calif., between midnight and about 5 a.m. It was
typically at lower altitude and slower speeds than when first
seen in July, often had a slower pulsing sound and displayed
only two position lights.
* Six reports of an extremely fast-moving vehicle in southern
California's skies, ranging from Santa Barbara on the Pacific
coastline to near George AFB at the eastern end of the
Antelope Valley. These aircraft typically were flying at very
high altitude, were seen as a *single bright light*, and
seldom changed direction. Speed changes have been observed,
and, on occasion, a pulsing red or white light was seen.
Whether these so-called fast movers also are the "pulser"
aircraft is not known.
A Santa Barbara observer estimated the aircraft crossed "some
350 mi. of night sky off the Pacific Missile Range bases in about 6
min." (about 3450 mph!) One Aviation Week & Space Technology editor
estimated a similar aircraft - seen as a bright point of white light
- required less than 20 sec. to transit about 70 deg. of sky...
...On Oct. 18, 1989, the "pulser" apparently took off from
North Base, an airfield at the north end of the Edwards AFB complex
primarily devoted to classified programs. The noise from that
takeoff was described as extremely loud, with a deep, throaty rumble
that shook houses 16 mi. away, drawing residents into the street.
One observer claimed the noise compared with that of Saturn 5 rocket
tests conducted at Edwards AFB in the 1960s and 1970s.
Although no lights were seen, the deep, vibrating roar
continued for about 5 min., and its source appeared to be climbing
steeply to the north. "Your eyes tended to follow the noise;
something was climbing at a very steep angle," one observer noted.
Residents of surrounding communities reported that the sound "was
like the sky ripping," and was unlike anything they had heard in the
Edwards area for years.
The same pulsing, very loud, rumbling type of engine noise has
been reported by multiple observers in central Nevada as well. It
typically was heard in the early morning hours and was described as
having a 1-2 Hz. pulse rate. One Nevada-based observer said tha same
pulsing aircraft departed from the Groom Lake range and flew over a
nearby community as recently as Aug. 6. It was "the loudest thing
I've ever heard. It wasn't breaking the sound barrier, but it was
rattling the window!" *