Moon mistaken for a UFO

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  • #2
BobG
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When the old BMEWS sites at Thule and Clear first came on line, radar signals bouncing off the Moon were interpreted as unidentified objects that were possibly incoming missiles. They used the same basic work around to eliminate the false returns for the nearly 40 years that system was in operation.

BMEWS officially stood for Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, but the more popular interpretation was Bewildered Men Existing Without Sex.

I'm not sure about this guy's explanations of the bangs that would sound when one of the transmitters went. We never had a capacitor blow while I was up there, but maybe they replaced the original ones. The Klystrons tended to blow fairly often and they sounded just like a gunshot, which was good in a way. The console operators knew to check their consoles immediately to figure out which transmitter blew.

We didn't have static electricity problems in the control rooms by time I was up there, either. On the other hand, the static electricity in the dorm rooms was horrible.
 
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  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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Since there is obviously no mystery, moved to GD.
 
  • #4
Danger
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I remember also back from the old days when a flock of geese was interpreted by NORAD as an incoming missile attack. I can't recall whether or not they realized their error before scrambling interceptors.
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I once had a physics professor that had a list of near launches of nukes caused by things like flocks of birds. IIRC, there were about twenty examples between the 60s and 80s.
 
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  • #6
Danger
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Makes one think twice about who's finger is on the trigger.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Makes one think twice about who's finger is on the trigger.
He was part of a movement to stop the deployment of systems that would automatically launch on detection. I don't know if these systems were even installed.
 
  • #8
Danger
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Which 'he' do you refer to?
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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Which 'he' do you refer to?
The Physics Prof.
 
  • #10
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So the guy was unable to identify the moon, and then confused it with an UFO? :tongue:
 
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  • #11
Danger
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The Physics Prof.
Sorry, Ivan. Since that came on the heels of my post, where I was scared garbageless about W having his finger on the button, I didn't realize that you were still referring to the prof.
 

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