posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 03:37 PM
It is believed by some that the Aurora project was canceled due to a shift from spyplanes to high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles and reconnaissance
satellites which can do the same job as a spyplane, but with less risk of casualties or loss of highly expensive, sensitive equipment.
Lockheed's Skunk Works has been suggested as the prime contractor for the Aurora. Throughout the 1980s, financial analysts concluded that Lockheed
had been engaged in several large classified projects, but the known projects could not account for the declared net income. Financial analysts at
Kemper Securities have examined Lockheed Advanced Development Company's declared revenues from Black programs:
* Returns for 1987 were $65 million.
* Returns for 1993 were $475 million.
The only declared Lockheed Black Projects are the U2-R and F-117A upgrade programs, and nothing new has been announced between 1987 and 1993. It was
also discovered that the total U.S. budget allocation for Project Aurora for 1987 was no less than $2.27 billion. According to Kemper, this would
indicate a first flight of around 1989. The spread of U.S. Government payments to Lockheed indicate that the aircraft was probably about one-fifth
(20%) of the way through its development program as of 1992, or has been "extensively prototyped." Around $4.5 billion has already been spent.
Chris Gibson sighting
In late August 1989, while working as an engineer on the jack-up barge "GSF Galveston Key" in the North Sea, Chris Gibson and another witness saw an
unfamiliar isosceles triangle-shaped delta aircraft, apparently refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker and accompanied by a pair of F-111 fighters.
Gibson and his friend observed this spectacle for several minutes, until the aircraft went out of sight. Having dismissed the F-117, Mirage IV and
fully-swept wing F-111 as the identity of this unfamiliar aircraft, Gibson drew a sketch of the formation. Gibson was a member of the Royal Observer
Corps (ROC) — and more importantly, had been in the ROC's aircraft recognition team since 1980 — but was unable to identify this aircraft.
When the sighting was made public in 1992, the British Defence Secretary Tom King was told, "There is no knowledge in the MoD of a 'black'
programme of this nature, although it would not surprise the relevant desk officers in the Air Staff and Defence Intelligence Staff if it did
A series of unusual sonic booms were detected in Southern California, beginning in mid to late 1991. On at least five occasions, these sonic booms
were recorded by at least 25 of the 220 U.S. Geological Survey sensors across Southern California used to pinpoint earthquake epicenters. The
incidents were recorded in June, October and November 1990, and late January 1991. Seismologists estimate that the aircraft were flying at speeds
between Mach 5 and 6 (3,300-4,000 mph) and at altitudes of 8-10 km (26,200-32,800 ft). The aircraft's flight path was in a north-northeast direction,
consistent with flight paths to secret test ranges in Nevada. Seismologists say that the sonic booms were characteristic of a smaller vehicle than the
37-meter long shuttle orbiter. Furthermore, neither the shuttle nor NASA's single SR-71B was operating on the days the booms were registered. It is
not definitively known if these events can be tied to the Aurora program or to other acknowledged or secret programs.
Steven Douglas sighting
On March 23, 1992, near Amarillo, Texas, Steven Douglas photographed the "doughnuts on a rope" contrail and linked this sighting to distinctive
sounds. He described the engine noise in the May 11, 1992, edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology as a:
strange, loud pulsating roar, unique... a deep pulsating rumble that vibrated the house and made the windows shake... similar to rocket engine noise,
but deeper, with evenly timed pulses.