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Photo That Lead to the Declassification of the F-117a

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posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:54 AM
I watched a programme on the discovery channel the other day about flying saucers being tested by the USAF and it talked about the development of the F-117a. It said that it was declassified because this black-project-hunter guy crept into Nellis Range or where ever and took a photo of the F-117 from beneath while it was still classified, he then leaked this to an aviation magazine or something.

If you cant tell already I cant quite remember the specifics of the story and I didnt believe it when I first heard it but they then had an interview with the guy and showed the photo that just showed the beneath of the nighthawk and a chase plane with suprising clarity.

I was wondering if anyone else had heard this story, what people think of it and where I can find this photo? When I saw it I just thought, what did the top air force brass think when they saw that photo!?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 04:20 AM

Originally posted by gfad
I was wondering if anyone else had heard this story,...

Yes, I heard this story numerous times, but it has been a long time since I saw that alleged pic.

... what people think of it...

Must have been quite a shock for the Soviets. I bet they knew the intention of this aircraft from the first second. In the end the plane would have been revealed sooner or later anyway, so I think this "conspiracy-like" publicitation wasnt exactly bad for its Wonderweapon faim.

...and where I can find this photo?

Sorry, I recently searched for it, too, and couldnt find it.

When I saw it I just thought, what did the top air force brass think when they saw that photo!?

Just a guess:" Damn, where have the good McCarthy times gone when the media wouldnt have dared this crap?"

Alternatively: "OK, stop the faked F-19 model production immediately, noones gonna fall for the desinformation campaign any longer..."

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 10:23 AM
I'll try to find the aviation & space weekly that it was in - It was a grainy photo taken from about half a mile away... almost a perfct side shot of the F-117 and chase plane....

Ill try and see if i can find it, scan it in and then place it on file shack or some thing....

LMAO though that the guy was sat inside the Tonapha test range just watching them cruise around!

Oh your in luck, here you go people.

mods if this is wrong ( I know rules have changed but am unsure of what to do! please change as you see fit...many thanks, Greebo)

[edit on 28/4/06 by MadGreebo]

[edit on 28/4/06 by MadGreebo]

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 06:44 PM
Cool pic but not the one shown on the discovery channel programme. This one showed the underbelly of the F-117 ie. clearly showed the triangular shape. Infact I think I remember the photographer talking about the plane flying directly over his head and him just shooting wildly and not knowing what he had captured until he developed them.

What was your source for the photo above?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:49 PM
The Department of Defense declassified the existence of the F-117A and released a single photo on 10 November 1988. As far as I can tell, no photos by civilians appeared until 1989.

The Los Angeles Times ran an article on 29 April 1989 headlined "Flights of 'Stealth' Planes Spotted in Desert." It claimed that residents of Mojave, near edwards Air Force Base, had seen "flocks of the Air Force's most secret [F-117A] fighter jets" flying overhead during daylight hours. The article did not include photos. Sometime later, a Mojave schoolteacher took a grainy photo that showed a single F-117A banking away. It was widely published in various newspapers.

James C. Goodall and Tony Ray Landis visited Tonopah Test Range on 24 August 1989. "This was the first time I ever saw an F-117A," wrote Goodall in F-117 Stealth in Action (Squadron/Signal Publications, 1991). They approached the main gate and told the security guards that they were planning to take photos from just outside the TTR boundary. The guards helpfully provided some information about the morning's flight schedule.

They took a series of photos that showed the F-117A flying in the company of a T-38 chase plane. The shots were somewhat fuzzy because of the distance but were better, in many respects, than the photo released by the DoD. Some images showed the airplanes from the side and others were taken from below, providing the first good view of the planform. The T-38 provided a good size reference. These photos were published in the 4 December 1989 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.

I don't believe any civilian photos of the F-117A were published prior to declassification.

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 02:17 PM
Oh gfad I know the picture your on about, but can I find it? not at all.....

I'll do a dig and a bit of a net troll till I can either come up with it or admit defeat... lol.

If any one else can dig it'll be appreciated!

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 04:43 PM
I think it was that one with the F-117 silhouetted against the full moon, wasn't it?

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 06:09 PM
I actually posted about this in another thread on a different subject but talked about this (4th post down):

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 08:08 PM
The actual reason for disclosure was that they were going to be flying it during the day doing some training with other units. They couldn't fly it during the day without someone noticing and getting good pics of it, so they released some blurred, purposely altered pics to hide certain features, and disclosed it to the public.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 05:47 AM
ShadowHawk, which one photo did the USAF release? And how much longer until they released another one? I think the photo shown on the show was the one you are talking about.

It wasnt taken at night though, in reply to a couple of posters, it was a perfect daylight shot.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:31 AM
I believe the very first released photo of the F-117 was this one below, the misinterpretation of which led to some badly mis-shaped general arrangement drawings being published which showed, amongst other things, a much shallower wing sweep angle than it is in reality.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 08:31 PM
Yes, waynos, that is the photo released by the DoD. I don't know that it was altered in any way. It always looked to me as if it was a still frame taken from a movie. I think I may have seen some of it in a film/video that was shown at the rollout of the final airframe at Palmdale on 12 July 1990.

The DoD announcement and photo release took place on 10 November 1988.

In the spring or summer of 1989, one blurry in-flight photo of the underside on one of the airplanes was published in newspapers and magazines. So far, I have only found one article in my files from August 1989.

AW&ST published more civilian photos in December 1990.

The Air Force hosted a public unveiling of the airplane itself at Nellis AFB on 21 April 1990. Thousand of people and new media attended the event.

In 1990, Lockheed released a series of outstanding photos of the F-117A in flight and on the ground at Tonopah Test Range. These were the first really clear official photos released. They were widely published.

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