FWD: [UASR] FWD: (FT) Sunday Snail Skunkworks Article (1 of 2)
- Posted by : "Terry W. Colvin" <fortean@...>
(from The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 1.8.99)
THE OUTER LIMITS
Rohrabacher's beef is that a vast number of American tax dollars are being
spent on commercial aerospace projects - especially in the space field -
that already have a direct, but hidden, equivalent in the black world.
"If we have a functioning technology in a black program, we should not be
spending billions of dollars on a similar program that's visible to the
public," Rohrabacher says. A likely example of this duplication, he
maintains, is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's X-33
The X-33 is a demonstrator vehicle being built by Lockheed Martin for a
satellite launcher that will take off like a rocket and land like a plane.
If it works as advertised, its operating costs will be a fraction of the
Space Shuttle's, which it is due to replace.
Last year, Rohrabacher wrote to Clinton requesting that the administration
declassify secret projects that perpetuate this overlap in spending. The
project which overlaps with the X-33, he believes, is "Aurora", a black
program of mythical proportions to a hard-core of "watchers" who scour
budget books, as well as the skies, for evidence of topsecret defence
Aurora is perceived to be a "family" of very fast high-flying aircraft, the
most sophisticated of which can effectively fly through space in the same
way that the X-33 is designed to. It was first spotted in 1987 as a
mysterious line-item, consuming several billion dollars in that year alone,
in the reconnaissance section of the air force's budget request. Several
eople claim to have seen it since the late '80s, the best apparent sighting
coming from a trained Royal Observer Corps "spotter" who saw a huge wedge-
shaped aircraft overflying the North Sea oil-rig on which he was working in
If Aurora exists - and Congressman Rohrabacher is fairly sure it does - it
can most likely cross the Atlantic in something under 45 minutes. As yet,
Rohrabacher has had no response to his letter to Clinton and, if history is
anything to go by, he may have a long wait.
The trail now led west, to the vast expanses of Nevada and the mythical
nexus of black world aerospace development - the US Air Force's Groom Lake
testing facility, otherwise known as Area 51.
For the past 45 years, Area 51 has been a test centre for topsecret
aircraft such as the U-2, the Blackbird and the Stealth Fighter. In more
recent times, it has also become a mecca for UFO watchers convinced the US
Government is testing captured alien spacecraft there.
One of the first individuals I met on the road to Area 51 was Bob Widmer, a
former head of design at General Dynamics Convair, now in his 80s. Late in
the '50s, Widmer worked on an extraordinary spyplane design for the CIA
that was codenamed "Fish". In the end, Fish lost out to its rival,
Lockheed's Blackbird, but for a reason that has never been altogether
explained, the details of Widmer's design remain top-secret, long after the
Blackbird fleet was consigned to air museums across America.
Could it be that Fish, whose general characteristics sound resoundingly
familiar today, was actually a secret prototype for the Aurora?
We may never know. Widmer was forced to burn almost all the plans for Fish
and was told by the CIA to take the details of the project to his grave.
And few Americans have ever disclosed their black world activities.
Area 51 is encased within a closed-off piece of government land the size of
Switzerland, so gazing into it is impossible unless you're prepared to
scale some of the peaks on public land - the nearest of which is about 40km
away - that give a restricted view on to its desolate runway, scattered
hangars and buildings.
occasionally, watchers see something strange hovering over the base, but
Groom Lake, which is 160km north of Las Vegas in the midst of the desert,
is the kind of place where you see what you want to see; where one man's
UFO is another man's Stealth Bomber.
>From pieces of the puzzle painstakingly gathered by black worldinvestigators such as Alaskan Mark Farmer, for whom the study of classified
programs is an all-consuming hobby, we know enough about the realworld
activities of Groom Lake not to have to credit extra terrestrials for what
"They do business differently at Area 51," Farmer says, speaking from his
vantage-point near the base. "Out here we enjoy all the rights and
privileges of citizens under the US constitution. But if you pass that
borderline, all that ends."
There is substantial evidence that the US Air Force has tested something
like Aurora at Area 51 in recent years and that it is now working on a new
generation of stealth aircraft there. Stealth technology was originally
developed late in the '70s as a means of shielding aircraft,from radar, but
it is now moving into a whole new realm of sophistication. Before he
retired last year the US Air Force's head of acquisition, Lt-Gen George
Muellner confirmed they were experimenting with technology to make aircraft
invisible to the human eye.
one method is to coat them with a "smart skin", not dissimilar to the
liquid-crystal displays used in laptop computers, that would mimic the
plane's background, chameleonstyle. From above, the aircraft would blend
into the ground or the sea; from below, it would take on the same colour as
the sky, making it all but disappear into the ether.
Muellner justifies the need for black programs on the grounds it is still a
dangerous world, despite the demise of the Soviet Union.
"The technologies that are developed in the black world need to be
continued to be matured, and when the time is right brought forward in the
form of weapons systems to maintain our technological edge," he says.
The Pentagon, unlike other national defence institutions, has never been
constrained by what scientists say is technologically possible or
impossible - and it has the resources to turn its dreams into reality.
Given Area 51's recently acquired infamy (thanks to its starring role in
the blockbuster movie Independence Day) it is likely that America's most
sensitive military technologies are now being tested at some even more
discreet location deep within the closed-off Nevada complex.
If the truth is out there, it's probably way too distant now for anyone to
tell whether it's a flying saucer or their tax-dollars out for a spin.
(end of part 2)
Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean@... >
Home Page: < http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/8832 >
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