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The Road to Area 51

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2009-03/45879002.jpg

    http://www.latimes.com/features/la-mag-april052009-backstory,0,3355162.story
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2009 #2
    Interesting photograph. Wonder what parts these trucks were transporting
     
  4. Apr 8, 2009 #3
    Disk-like fuselage. 2000 plus mph. Are there images of this craft anywhere, Ivan?
     
  5. Apr 8, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    You know as much about it as I do; in fact more because I haven't read the article yet. :blushing: Being that it's the LA Times, I just posted it.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2009 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Apr 8, 2009 #6
    Also look at the A-12A Avenger..

    http://www.ausairpower.net/000-A-12A-USN-3.jpg [Broken]

    http://www.ausairpower.net/A-12A-Avenger-Ventral-1.jpg [Broken]

    Yeah...looks kinda like a flying saucer. Case closed :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Apr 8, 2009 #7
    Those pics exaggerate the disk-likeness of the fuselage. I googled more images and got this:

    http://www.paperlessarchives.com/OXCART_aircraft_on_the_ramp_at_Groom_Lake_Area_51_in_1964._There_are_ten_aircraft_in_the_photo__the_first_eight_are_OXCART_machines__and_the_last_two_are_Air_Force_YF-12As.jpg [Broken]

    The flying triangles are more convincing as UFO report generators.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Apr 8, 2009 #8
    On the Wiki article for area 51 there is a picture that says "Photography Prohibited" apparently someone must have not listened to that rule.:rofl:
     
  10. Apr 8, 2009 #9
    I just don't understand why the government allows detailed satellite imagery of area 51 and all of the other military facilities on google maps!
     
  11. Apr 8, 2009 #10

    mgb_phys

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    1, The satellites are French
    2, anybody capable of learning anything from the pictures have their own satellites
    3, It's a conspiracy to distract you from all the secret stuff they store at Area 52
     
  12. Apr 8, 2009 #11

    russ_watters

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    Just in case you guys didn't totally get it, to clarify, "Oxcart" was the codename for the replacement for the U-2. The A-11 was the 11th design revision. The final design revision was A-12, which was then later given the designation... RS-71. Due to a typo and an incorrect announcement, the designation was later changed to SR-71.

    A lot of that is in the CIA link...
     
  13. Apr 8, 2009 #12

    russ_watters

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    Whether you see a flying triangle or disk may depend on the viewing angle and sun angle. Note that while the wings are relatively flat, the fuselage is curved and might not reflect light well if illuminated from below.
     
  14. Apr 8, 2009 #13
    1. A foreign ally like France is not going to publicize top secret US military intelligence information. Even if such an event were to occur against the wishes of the US, Google is a US company subject to US laws and they can't publicize top secret US military intelligence without getting in a load of trouble either. So if the satellites are French, that makes no difference.. the fact that they are up there on Google means that it's perfectly OK with the US military, and that's the surprising thing...

    2. Anyone with a pair of eyes can learn something from an image! But these aren't just "any images," they are already geo-registered and in many cases detailed enough to show precise locations used to store airplanes, nuclear submarines, etc. Anyone who wanted to launch a "pearl harbor" style attack could just be silently taking all this into account. In addition, knowing the building layout could be very useful in plotting any kind of attack...whether it be infiltration/theft/espionage.

    I don't think that the citizens would be incredibly offended if the government mandated that all militarized regions be completely blacked out on Google maps -- in fact considering the highly militaristic post-911-paranoid attitude that is prevalent, I think this would be comforting to a lot of people. There's just no reason to take that sort of risks with a nations security.

    By your logic, the government might as well just declassify everything, on the grounds that any worth opponent has probably infiltrated their deepest ranks with spies already. The reality is, that's easier said than done. I doubt that every would-be terrorist organization owns their own satellites taking high quality images over US military zones (and there is a lot of mathematical image processing that needs to be done to geo-register those images as well), and by giving away this kind of information as freebies, it could be enabling them.

    3. If this last bullet point is any indication that you weren't being entirely serious with the first 2 points, then let my responses to the first two be an indication that your humor slipped entirely under my radar!
     
  15. Apr 8, 2009 #14
    Junglebeast, what a great pic of the B2!

    But that bomber was not built or tested at Area 51. The testing flight path may have taken it over Area 51, but that was classified information. From what I know, it was tested over the Calif desert. I used to work on that program, and when ever I got the call saying a plane had just landed from a test flight, I always wondered how many UFO sightings had been reported over the last two hours..... :D
     
  16. Apr 9, 2009 #15
    I suppose as long as the shape you see is unconventional and going by at 2000 mph you'll be unsettled.
     
  17. Apr 9, 2009 #16

    f95toli

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    The satellites in question are using technology that is ancient compared to the kind of technology that is used in modern military/intelligence satellites.
    There are LOTS of spy satellites in orbit that can take images with much better quality than anything published by Google. This has been the true for a long time now meaning everyone has adapted to it.
    You can therefore be sure that if something can be seen on the Google maps it is either because it is not secret, or someone wants it to be seen.
     
  18. Apr 9, 2009 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    If it was going 2000 mph and close enough for observers to make out the shape, you would never see it.
     
  19. Apr 9, 2009 #18
    How close would it have to be to make out a shape (as discussed by Russ)?
     
  20. Apr 9, 2009 #19

    russ_watters

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    You'd probably be disappointed with spy satellite photos. The atmosphere makes it very difficult to get much better resolution than what you see in Googlel Earth. They aren't reading license plates from space.
     
  21. Apr 9, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    One would have to get into the resolution of vision, but it's a moot point because anything going that fast would be at a very high altitude.
     
  22. Apr 9, 2009 #21

    turbo

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    We might all be surprised. When I went back to college a bit in the mid-70's to take some courses specific to where I "thought" my career was headed, I took a course in photogrammetry and map-making, and the instructor (who had worked for a time in image analysis) passed around some de-classified images that were probably already a decade or more old. The images were of a Soviet defense plant, and it was very easy to tell how many men vs women were heading to work that morning, and not just because of the coloration of babushkas worn by the women. In over 30 years of further development, with advances in adaptive optics and image enhancement, it's pretty certain that the capabilities of our spy satellites have improved. Anybody that thinks that the outward-looking Hubble ST is the most advanced optical instrument in orbit is probably not working from this kind of perspective.
     
  23. Apr 9, 2009 #22

    mgb_phys

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    Adaptive optics doesn't help as much but image enhancement does.
    Looking down through an atmosphere phase screen near the object is much easier than looking up through one near the telescope.
    It's like looking through frosted bathroom window by putting your eye upto the glass compared to pressing the body upto the glass and looking at it from a distance
     
  24. Apr 9, 2009 #23
    The reason I'm asking is because of this line from the article:

     
  25. Apr 10, 2009 #24

    russ_watters

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    It is tough to tell, but not inconceivable a commercial pilot flying in the same direction could get a decent look at an SR-71, for 30 seconds or so (12 miles of motion at a 1500 mph separation rate), from a (vertical) distance of 5 miles or so.
     
  26. Apr 10, 2009 #25
    The lighting, I think, is critical to visibility: how well it reflects the sunlight.

    George Gamow asserts, in one of his popular books on physics, that the relativistic effect of length contraction could never be discerned with the naked eye for the same reasons that you can't see bullets in motion. I posted that once, and a clever respondent pointed out that tracer rounds are perfectly visible. Indeed, we've all seen actual footage of them in WW II air battle documentary films.

    The visibility or invisibility of fast moving objects is the result of many parameters. (The fascination and dazzle of SR results from statements about what observers would see. Tracer bullets aside (they're fast, but nothing close to relativistic speeds) I doubt any relativistic effect could ever be seen with the naked eye, and this fact considerably squelches any excitement or uproar people feel upon first being introduced to the subject.)

    Anyway, if we suppose it to be a good reflector this craft would represent a gigantic tracer bullet, and would present quite an amazing and bewildering appearance.
     
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