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Groom Lake scanner audio (Janet and Boris)

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posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 01:19 AM
A stereo file. Left channel is VHF Groom tower and control
(approach/departure).Right channel is the old Groom UHF tower. I think
the function of this frequency has changed of late, perhaps with planes
now being equipped with VHF and UHF radios. Callsign of the month is
BAMBI for the Janets. The military flight uses the BORRIS (16, 67 and
69) and RAMROD callsign. Borris 16 had some interesting computer problems:

This is a mono recording of just the military frequency.

Back to stereo again. There is an odd rerouting of a Janet (Bambi 18) to
the north to get it out of the way of the testing. Borris 16 lands using
drogue chute. Even though Borris 16 had landed, some testing is still
going on, so it is assumed more than one test plane was in the air.

Mono recording of the VHF tower and clearance frequency. Borris 67 lands
with a drouge chute. There is talk of "high key" and "low key", which is
usually for simulated flame out, but I suspect it has a different
meaning here. Borris 16 doesn't land at Groom. Later, there is a Borris
61 callsign, which eventually lands at Groom. Bambi 69 has a minor
warning light issue. "Crater" is now being used as a fix. This is
assumed to be the Sedan Crater on the Nevada Test Site.

To play ogg, use: (mac, linux, windows) (windows) (windows)

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 05:19 AM
reply to post by gariac

Interesting information(is this recent or old audio?),thanks for the post,I'll have to research this,thanks.~Jkrog

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by jkrog08

The date is embedded in the file name, i.e. 06272008, or 6/27/2008. The base will fly some assets during the day. Nothing secret of course.
has some daylight photographs of planes being tested at Groom Lake. There was a rumor about what appeared to be the F117 on base was actually a supersized F117. This theory was pulled out of someone's arse since I showed via the pixel size that what was flying at Groom Lake was just a plain F117, i.e. it was standard size. Always use caution when someone can't produce photographic evidence. There is no shortage of so-called experts.

FWIW, the tanker used in the Boris test was a KC-10 out of Travis AFB. Over the Nellis range, they have their own refueling tracks that are not documented, well at least in public documents. I witnessed refueling of a B2 while camped at the Cedar Pipeline ranch. They used a white KC10 for that job. I have a reliable report of a track over the Monitor Valley near the Tonopah Test Range. In the Boris recording, you can hear the planes switching to the Bluebird frequency, which is the range's unpublished tanker frequency.

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:51 AM
Very cool recordings. Some of the terminology I recognize as a pilot, but some is rather obscure:

'nose cold' - I believe means weapons are disarmed, or could mean aircraft radar is off.

'rtb' - return to base

'mission yellow' - Usually means that the aircraft is under duress or has experienced some system failures. Usually refers to degraded capability, which makes sense given the computer failure.

'ToT' - This one was confusing. In helicopters we call this 'turbine outlet temperature' but the context here was different. I also found a reference in Navy flight simulation that refers to 'Transfer of Training'... who knows?

Found these on a NASA Dryden site in reference to X-15 flights (L/D is lift/drag ratio):

The bothersome effects of decreasing values of L/D were beginning to plague test pilots of advanced
fighter jets. While making flameout approaches and landings, in low L/D configurations, pilots were
having some difficulty in judging vertical velocities and distances, resulting in some damage to the
aircraft. Knowing that the X-15 would have even lower L/Ds, High-Speed Flight Station engineers
initiated a series of studies on analog simulators and on jet aircraft configured to match the L/D of the
X-15 in the landing configuration.

High key
High key is the location (altitude, airspeed, and heading) at the end of the boost-glide where a spiral
turn is initiated over the intended touchdown point. This locator is at a sufficiently high altitude to
prevent overshoots and undershoots and to establish adequate time and distance required for low key

Low key
Low key is that point in the descent from high key, opposite the intended touchdown point, where the
final turn is initiated. In the final turn, position and speed are established for the approach, flare, and


[edit on 7/8/08 by emsed1]

[edit on 7/8/08 by emsed1]

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:18 AM
Third recording - 'ToT' is Time on Target

"X-ray off" - Maybe radar or sensors? Is this the same as 'nose cold'?

Speed - One of the Boris flights says he is 27 miles from the starting point and will be there in 3 minutes which is 9 miles/minute or 540 miles/hour (450kts).

It's also interesting that the janet Bambi flights are using VFR approach and departure. I always thought multiengine jet flights were pretty much always IFR and controlled but these guys are making visual approaches and departures.

Just wierd to hear a controller tell an airliner to squawk VFR.

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:42 AM

Finally made it through the tapes. Excellent post Gariac!

It sounds like Boris 61 wants to be a showoff, requesting 'unrestricted climb'.

I wonder if these are F-22s doing AESA radar testing? The high key and low key landings along with chutes is strange though.

Boris 1-6 sounds very clear on the radio until he starts his 'run'. You can hear the wind noise start to build as he counts down. The chase plane also seems to have increased wind noise.

Another possibility is that they are simulating a boost-to-glide landing that might be necessary for.. um... a really fast 'airplane' that has a low L/G ratio.

I assume these are conventional fighters since each Boris flight has one pilot apparently and they are fueling from a conventional tanker. With the computer reboot/reload problem it seems more like Gen 5 testing rather than an f-16 or something.

So, maybe F-22s or F-35s doing some cool stuff?

Even if it was a mundane day of maneuvers, the tapes were cool to listen to!

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 12:28 PM
reply to post by emsed1

The final leg to Groom Lake is generally VFR, though they still are required to squawk. Squawk codes are in the format of 033x, where X is a single digit. I have a recording of a IFR landing. I still have more audio to upload.

TOT is probably time of test. I believe nose cold is related to a transponder being on or off. (I'm not 100% on this.] If you fly in close formation, having more than one transponder on at a time can be a problem for ATC. [This refers to the 1090Mhz transponder.] Under normal ATC, there is sufficient separation between aircraft that in turn would separate the response of nearby transponders, but this is not true in formation flying or with a chase plane.

Given the screwed up way ATS logs threads, you have have missed this scanner audio.

ATS tends to list the most popular threads, and the most popular threads are nearly always stupid beyond belief. [Aliens, so-called workers at the base, etc.] Often the useful threads (actual research) gets lost in the pile of fecal matter posts.

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by emsed1

This low key and high key are often heard at bases during simulated flame out training. I've heard this at both Groom when I photographed the F117 flying and at Nellis. I assume SFO training is part of the required proficiency training. I will admit the number of times I've read the description, the meaning doesn't really register with me.

In any event, if this is a test aircraft, I would assume proficiency training isn't part of the program. Test pilots are a different breed than your typical driver. IIRC, you can only be qualified for two types of aircraft at any one time in the USAF if you are a "regular" pilot. This is to prevent the pilot from making instinctive but wrong (for the plane type) responses to situations. There was an Airbus accident over NYC a few years ago where a pilot pressed a peddle in the wrong direction for the particular aircraft (OK for say a Boeing bird, but wrong for airbus). Stuff happens....

posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 02:47 PM
I tried the 'wrong pedal' Airbus thing with a cop one day when I was driving my Honda to work.

I don't think he bought my story that I had just landed an Airbus and I was used to the brakes being on the right.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 01:51 AM
Just an FYI, Boris could be a Russian plane, i.e. Su-30.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 11:09 PM
Gariac: Do you monitor military frequencies often, or did you just come across these? I was just curious what equipment you were using. I plan on listening to the recordings as well!

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 11:27 PM
These are some great audio clips, they really give you a feel for air operations in the area. Just listening to the first one as I reply now, am looking forward to the rest. Thanks for the post!

posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 03:39 PM
reply to post by desertdreamer

The Groom Lake frequencies are unpublished. Hey, they hardly admit the place exists. However, it doesn't take much work to find the VHF frequencies. One technique is to bandscan VHF, and lock out each frequency once you identify it. Eventually, you will find Groom VHF tower/clearance, VHF approach/departure, and VHF ground. Ground will be hard to find since they speak very little on it. Tower and approach can be found in a day. The UHF frequencies are substantially harder to find since the band is so wide.

I maintain a frequency list, though the name changes as I update it.
I am one of the moderators on hidesertscan on yahoogroups, where I post updates from time to time. Depending on your location, there is probably a military scanning forum. I never found one for the Nellis range, but I know people that monitor it, so I get frequencies from trusted sources as well as what I find myself. My list has frequencies that:
1) were found in military documents
2) were found by me bandscanning
3) were overheard on scanner audio that I recorded
4) were heard from people that know that they are doing

Regarding hardware, I maintain a list of scanners that handle military air:

The recordings you heard were from an Icom r7100 and R8500. Granted a bit overkill for the job. My preference is to use scanners that have a recorder (line) output, which produces cleaner audio. The Groom Lake recordings were done with antennas built for the particular frequency. Unless you are on Tikaboo, it is hard to get the audio from planes on the ground without a good antenna. However scanning aircraft in the air can be done from a simple whip antenna.

The stereo recordings are real time in the sense that when you hear two conversations at the same time, those conversations WERE happening at the same time. However, if there is a gap between conversations, it is remove as explained below.

I record the audio on Zoom H2 using SD memory cards.
You can also record on a notebook computer using the "scanner recorder."
If you use the scanner recorder, it takes out the gaps. If you use the Zoom H2, you need to remove the gaps with software. This can be done with the beta version of Audacity.

posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 03:49 PM
Excellent information gariac! I appreciate it! I am a licensed HAM, I use my Icom Mark706IIG and am able to listen to military bands. I am building a new house and am planning on getting some more hardware for Mil scanning, thanks for the rundown!

posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 11:52 PM
reply to post by desertdreamer

The 706 is double conversion on AM. I suppose that will be OK in a rural area, but I'd suggest getting something with triple conversion when you get settled.

posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 02:11 AM
More audio. ILS landings are rather unusual at Groom. I've never detected the localizer or glideslope frequency.

Interesting reporting point "Warren"

posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 08:46 PM
What's the field elevation at Groom Lake?

posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 03:02 AM
reply to post by emsed1

It is around 4430ft from the Topo map. I may be able to get a better number. If so, I'll post it here.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 09:22 PM
"Nose Cold" means radar off or to standby mode with no emissions.

Originally posted by gariac
Just an FYI, Boris could be a Russian plane, i.e. Su-30.

You're probably right on the money. I'd be interested to know if there were any F-22's operating from Nellis at that time.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 10:15 PM
Wow- thanks to the OP for posting these and to emsed1 et al for such wonderful contributions. I'm afraid I have nothing valuable to contribute, just a hearty "thank you".
I eat this stuff right up!

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