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WTF was that refueling

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posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 05:46 PM
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originally posted by: Barnalby
So if there's anything legitimate to the Brilliant Buzzard name, has anyone here considered that it might have been something related to SDI? The time frame would certainly sync up.


That certainly seems to be what EBJet was getting at, in those old threads. The timeline matches up, too.

I remember the last time I looked into SDI, it was said that the main obstacle to space-based missile defense was the prohibitive number of satellites that would need to be on orbit at all times. It would seem a dedicated launch system would be required for that many satellites. What's more, to avoid international outcry over weaponizing space with controversial BMD you'd probably want a secret launch system, too.

That's all well and good but I still can't quite wrap my head around the logistics of a blackstar-like TSTO system, for the reasons mentioned above. I'm left wondering if there was some other role such a system could play.

If the Reagan-era SDI project led to black R&D along these lines, then the "Orient Express" was probably the corresponding expected white world trickle-down tech.




posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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a reply to: wirehead

Wirehead... I looked for that old eye-witness account unsuccessfully today. If I recall it was burried in an odd thread on ATS about UFOs or something. Like who would think to look for information on the Brilliant Buzzard in a thread called WTF Was That Refueling? Maybe the mods could rename this thread to something referencing Brilliant Buzzard sightings?

To paraphrase the account I read, shortly after hearing a sonic boom the eye witnesses observed a plane landing with no sound at Edwards in broad daylight. The poster described it as looking like a small grey space shuttle with an SR-71 type front and stubby rounded features. Down the thread somebody replied that it might have been a Saab Viggen.

I don’t really know what to make of the Hunting the Fast Movers story. It seems like some truth may be sprinkled in with some BS. Perhaps the vehicle that poster described was being carried aloft in tandem with a mothership - they describe it taking off in darkness.

Found this old NASA paper on the BETA 2 TSTO program:

pdfs.semanticscholar.org...

The carrier aircraft in the article looks like a big Mig 25.

Here’s another concept called RASCAL... same water injection idea as above and involving a modified F-106 as the space launch vehicle (super cool):

www.f-106deltadart.com...

Two really interesting things to come out of this thread (other than the sighting) to me are the Brilliant Buzzard-SDI angle and the story in the Steve Douglas article about there having been other B-70s built than the original two prototypes. That’s pretty far fetched, but nonetheless fascinating and not so different than the stories on here of other YF-23-type jets having been flown. Really weird...

deepbluehorizon.blogspot.com...

Wouldn’t the Buzzard have to launch something into space/orbit to be part of SDI? Perhaps the Buzzard is one big anti-sat/ballistic missile interceptor system.

Some other potentially related concepts:

Rutan Black Horse: stargazer2006.online.fr...

Rutan SLC-1 RASCAL: stargazer2006.online.fr...

It would be cool to hear about other sightings of this Brilliant Buzzard aircraft.
edit on 10-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 10:55 PM
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a reply to: TheHans

The aircraft you're describing is best seen here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Also, Black Horse wasn't really Rutan. It was Mitch Burnside Clapp's baby. Mitch is now at DARPA in charge of their hypersonics.



posted on Jul, 12 2018 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Thanks for sharing! It seems TSTO concepts live on. The Black Horse concept is interesting. Sounds a lot like this report from Supercool:

“Hi, I worked at RAF Machrihanish for 18mths back in the 90's I saw some wierd stuff and wondered if anyone wants to know about it before I take the time to type it all in.... During our stay at the base we were told one day to wait at the main gate as no access to the base was allowed on further enquiry as to why we were ignored by a USAF guard. After about 30min I heard an aircraft taking off (not unusual they were taking off all the time). I remember saying to a work colleague “Jesus look at that” the plane had just left the runway turned almost vertical and was gone in a very short time along with the strangest sound. The aircraft that I saw looked like the space shuttle but smaller. I asked the guard what it was and was told it was an “F something”. I have always remembered this as It was very strange and until a few weeks ago surfing the net I decided to look up the same RAF base. The amount of other people that have seen this plane is vast.”

A few questions: Assuming based upon a preponderance of sightings that a large XB-70-like craft exists, and that it’s not launching an orbiter, but something else, what might it’s/their mission and purpose be? ISR, SDI somehow, strike? Why would it be back out flying now after so little reports since the early 00s?

Also, I wonder if anybody has a theory of what the hissing, whooshing sound is generated by that my roommate and I heard as it flew over on approach. There were multiple other reports of this sound back in the earlu 00s as something big landed, but little is left up on the net. My guess was that it was venting some sort of gas prior to an unplanned landing. Maybe it used regenerative ATR (air turboramjet) engines and carried water or something for injection? Perhaps it carries something for cooling that it vents prior to landing?

Could the Mothership be a large flying gas can carrying exotic fuel for not just it, but its payload as well? Might explain some of the reports of a “gaspipe” callsign back in the days.

“Intercepted radio transmissions are equally intriguing. On Apr. 5 (a Sunday) and Apr. 22, radio hobbyists in Southern California monitored transmissions between Edwards AFB's radar control facility (Joshua Control) and a high-altitude aircraft using the call sign "Gaspipe." The series of radio calls occurred at approximately 6 a.m. local time on both dates.”

fairfieldproject.wikidot.com...



edit on 12-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 12:32 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

the xb-70 used disked shaped projectiles that used N2 jets and little flaps



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 03:56 AM
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a reply to: TheHans

And Gaspipe can mean anything. Callsigns have nothing to do with the actual mission of the aircraft.



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 03:58 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

There's a big difference between dropping something, and launching something off the back though.



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 08:02 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This is a really interesting historical article on Pye Wacket (lenticular self defense missiles for the XB-70), profiles of the engineers involved, planned human-rated derivatives, and the notional project Blackstar including a time line. I’ve never seen this article before, and it’s got some great photos, artwork, and plans:

www.astronautix.com...


edit on 13-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 08:04 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Agreed, and as far as I'm aware those lenticular missiles were never actually developed anyway.



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

they may have been dropped, but they were dropped into high supersonic air streams and were precision controlled.

an impressive feat at any time in history.



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: TheHans

very cool stuff, a great collection of info. I havent seen to may people even talk about it, it had so many applications obviously from that page.



posted on Jul, 13 2018 @ 06:31 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

That has never been a problem. The YF-12 was capable of launching missiles quite well, and shot down several targets. But the airflow around the top of the aircraft plays interesting games, especially near the rear of the fuselage, and makes things very interesting when it comes to release.



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 05:56 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Green light
?



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 06:51 AM
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I do find it funny that in threads such as this, when images or peoples confirm what the shape of the aircraft looked like and has been confirmed through deducting what it "isn't", there are always certain members who have been posting on every page that suddenly go quiet




posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: pigsy2400

I always find it funny when people say that something is confirmed when people that are "in the know" don't reply or stop replying. Contrary to popular belief, people that know aren't going to reply to every single comment, or every single description, or every single thread, and the fact that they don't reply doesn't mean anything whatsoever. People are free to choose what they reply to and when they reply to something.



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 08:48 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Agreed, there has been many a thread I have been involved in and have things to say that I haven't. Hell there is at least one now with a response for you Zaph that I haven't responded too, but for various reasons haven't. Sometimes its the practical, work, kids, renovations, social. And at other times its because I choose not too so I dont get into an argument or because I am researching or mulling things over before opening my mouth. As the old adage goes, engage brain before opening mouth. Case in point the F-35, I dont have a lot of time for the program and have been very critical of it in the past and I still have big problems with it, but about 2-3 years ago I stopped arguing with people about it here. There were several reasons why, firstly we were too far down the road for cutting the program to be relevant, secondly I became aware of some of the aircraft's capabilities that had been kept mostly out of the public domain, and thirdly there was for the most part no real 5th Gen alternative for most nations. So what does that mean? Sometimes people dont say things here because they have a reason not to, as opposed to not having anything to say.



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

That's kinda the point I was making.... "people in the know don't say anything, those that do don't know anything.."

It was just an observation I found funny that rings true, as you demonstrated regarding the f35, not an attack...



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: pigsy2400

You would be surprised. People in the know talk a lot more than people think, just not to everyone. I've had all kinds of information dropped on me that you wouldn't believe. Sometimes, you can stumble on things online too, if you look in the right places. The Great Fark Massacre is a great example of that.



posted on Jul, 14 2018 @ 07:33 PM
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posted on Jul, 15 2018 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

Thanks for sharing the info on Responsive Access, Small Cargo, Affordable Launch (RASCAL). It’s odd their renderings feature a single-tail craft with a dorsal launch bay. The risk of a separation collision seems exacerbated by this layout. There are so many concepts online of TSTO-type launch systems for affordable, small satellite deployment. Just today Aviation Week’s podcast on the electrification of aerospace features a similar system (kind of looks familiar with the canards):

m.aviationweek.com...

One thing most of these launchers and related concepts have in common is that they are fairly large B-52, L1011, RASCAL, Stratolaunch, Buzzard, whatever. The higher and faster they can fly the better.

A few themes are jumping out. First, the oddly authoritative wiki on Black Star states that “According to one declassified Rand Corp. report, two of the three vehicles failed to achieve their full flight envelope (i.e. couldn't make orbit), while the third, an "assisted SSTO", did achieve orbital capability.” Either this a fabrication, disiminformation, or perhaps “assisted SSTO” means it gets refueled in mid air like the Black Horse: stargazer2006.online.fr...

That project is consistent with various eye-witness reports including U.K. sightings, and an odd rendering floating around the net of a NASA F-18 escorting such an airframe that I can’t find right now.

The SDI connection seems to be a compelling one: www.stealthskater.com...

“Brilliant Buzzard was most likely intended to orbit small satellites to replace, augment, or reinforce existing satellite systems in wartime. Orbiting imaging or radar recon satellites would be unlikely -- they're just too big. Since 1990, the number of National Security Agency signals intelligence satellites launched has been unusually small. These small (500-1500 pound) spacecraft have in the past "hitched" rides on expendable vehicles launching other defense payloads in place of ballast. NSA tries to lob these little things any chance they can get. Yet there have been very few known to be up in the past 5 years. It is not unlikely that they are being orbited by Brilliant Buzzard --NSA would be particularly attracted to the launch on demand capabilities of the Buzzard, giving them an added element of surprise. This would work particularly well with the Talon Sword program to use satellites as "Wild Weasels" -- guiding HARMs (anti-SAM radar missiles) launched by Prowler aircraft below the radar horizon with direct satellite feeds from NSA SIGINT assets.” There are lots of sightings of a B-70/SR-3/SR-75-like aircraft, including RidgeRunner’s.

Finally, there is the “Aurora” SR-71 successor connection - and who cares what it’s actually called (call it the YF-121a Unicorn Smurf so we don’t have to hear all the “there is no Aurora” stuff). There is an interesting tidbit from the National Interest article (and in others):

“In the late 1990s, journalist Nick Cook of Jane’s Defence Weekly traveled to Lockheed’s famed Skunk Works to interview its head, Jack Gordon, and tour the facility. He later recounted a mysterious incident that left him scratching his head.

“Just before I left the [Skunk Works] building, I stopped in front of a large chart on the wall of the lobby area,” Cook wrote. “I hadn’t noticed it on the way in. It proudly illustrated the lineage of every Skunk Works aircraft since the XP-80. Past the picture of the U-2, past the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117A Stealth Fighter, past the YF-22 and DarkStar, and there was something called ‘Astra.'”

“Sitting at the top of the tree, Astra looked like an ultra-high-speed reconnaissance aircraft,” Cook added, “every pundit’s dream of how Aurora ought to look.”

Cook asked Lockheed’s press representative what “Astra” was, and weeks later was told it was a 30-year-old “concept for a high-speed airliner.”

nationalinterest.org...

So perhaps the YF-121a Unicorn Smurf is Astra.

All of this is pretty consistent with the different ATS threads and ear- and eye-witness reports of strange sonic booms, fast moving maneuvering lights, odd-looking little space shuttles, super XB-70s, etc.

Connecting the dots, maybe the Buzzard was designed as part of the 80s SDI/Star Wars push to launch small satellites in unpredictable-to-the Soviet’s orbits with rapid turnaround times. In addition to this capability, maybe it found new life in the 90s and 2000s post as a launch platform for hypersonic test articles, boost gliders, and suborbital ISR and rapid strike platforms (the F-15 pilot’s sighting). It would seem that post 9-11 there would be renewed interest in rapid strike. Perhaps this is the XB-176 program referred to in that old ATS post with some elements corroborated by Intelgirl:

Anonymous ATS: “Yes! this plane does exist, I was in the USAF, a security specialist, and me and three other men I served with were tasked to guard it, summer of 89... We did get to eat chow with the flight crew. There were 4 of them, pilot, Co-pilot, WSO(weapons systems officer) and NAV. Wore blank flight suits, and were trucked out to the hanger in what I would call space suits...but dark grey in color. Once at chow the pilot mentioned that they "could" go into "space" what I would guess now is Low Earth Orbit, and drop nukes anywhere in the world in 40 minutes. Basically we guarded entry into and out of the hanger... Our rules of engagement was an exchange badge system, unauthorized entry engagement was explained to us as "shoot to kill with extreme prejudice"... did this same thing four times with the bread box...another experimental plane, the other was what I believe to be a 117 but it was camo color, the last one was this plane, XB 176 I think was the designation.”

Intelgirl: “There are things (I will not point at specifically) which you mention in your post that ring true with things I am aware of. Your particular story has factual information that people unfamiliar with projects dealing with national assets on the Nellis Range would not know.”

Maybe today the Buzzard is testing hypersonic technologies in support of the SR-72 program. It was probably built by Boeing with support from lots of other major defense contractors at the time. Maybe it’s our Oregon mystery bird:
www.google.com...

Astra sounds like a Lockheed project and your stereotypical Mach 5, high altitude, air breathing design. Probably nothing to do with the Buzzard but confusing matters. A few other ATS Misc:

“in 1979 I heard about a SR-77 which was a different version of the SR-71. It had ablative shielding for heat protection and it was supposed to be white. It used the same stuff as the X-15 that was white from ablative heat shielding”

There are some real common themes out there among the various reports. At any rate, many have worked on flying launch systems for small satellites. Or, the OP’s sighting could be a Klingon Bird of Prey - but there aren’t humpback whales in TN.

edit on 15-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



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