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Unique episode near Cape Canaveral

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posted on May, 12 2010 @ 05:51 PM
Back in 1991, we were getting ready for a launch attempt, I think it was STS-43. One of our jobs prior to launch was to clear the restricted downrange "box" of unwanted tourists getting into the danger area prior to liftoff. We would start that at about 4 hours prior to the scheduled liftoff, and stay out in the box until about 30 minutes prior to launch, when we'd go back to the Shuttle Landing Facility.

On this on particular day, it was pretty hot, and we were already tired of shooing out the intruders. Then we got a call to go to a surface radar contact about 35 miles from the launch site. Because it was a low inclination launch, the box was straight out into the Atlantic that day. The radar controller gave us an intercept coordinate for the surface contact, which was reportedly moving at about 15 knots toward KSC.

As we approached, we didn't see anything, so we called back to make sure we had been vectored to the proper location. The controller said we were right on track, and the vessel was only about a mile away. We still saw nothing. We got to a half-mile out, and still could not make visual contact with the target vessel. We kept on track, and the radar controller told us we were coming up over the target. We saw nothing. The surface was fairly smooth, and even a sub periscope would have left a visible wake at 15 knots. The radar controller reported we were directly over the target, but nothing was there. We circled for 4 or 5 minutes, all the while the radar operator was reporting that we were in the immediate area of the contact. When we still saw nothing, we went on to the next contact, and ended up "escorting" three more vessels out of the box. On the way back in, the radar operator vectored us once more to where he reported he had a solid radar contact with that same "vessel" he had been tracking. Once more, we saw absolutely nothing. We headed in to the SLF and sat down for the launch attempt, that was scrubbed because of some technical problem with the launch vehicle. After the scrub, as we headed back south to Patrick AFB, where the 41st Rescue Squadron was based at that time, the command pilot asked for another vector to the target, but the radar operator reported the target had been "lost."

No one filed any kind of report on the incident, because we didn't know what to report. What do you say about the absence of a vessel in a restricted area?

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 08:08 AM
The key to this was that we had highly sophisticated monitoring capabilities surroun ding the Cape. If someone in a rubber dingy tried to land on the Cape, we would have known about it.

For the radars to detect a very clear radar hit when nothing was there was EXTREMELY unusual. Theoritically, it should be impossible. But impossible or not, that target was monitored by the Cape radar for about an hour, and it went away just about the time the launch was scrubbed.

Pretty weird!

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:19 PM
I realize that not much of anyone seems very impressed by this episode, however, a few days later I was talking to one of the radar controllers that had been present while his colleague had been giving us the coordinates for the attempted intercept. He told me that after the launch scrub, some people came in and wanted to talk to that controller. After about 30 mins, that controller came back, and looked a bit upset. When others tried to find out what had happened, the guy clammed up and wouldn't discuss anything about anything.

Months later, that controller came by one sick call, and when I brought up the subject, he simply answered that he didn't remember it. I tried to bring up some of the details of the event, but he just smiled at me and told me that no matter what I did to remind him, he WOULD NOT remember the event, so I might as well let it drop. Therefore, I let it drop, and never mentioned it until I wrote this thread.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:03 AM
Perhaps a test of some unknown or new technology was tested on you all that day. Thats not unheard of for one agency to allow another to test something without being fully divulged to those involved. This is what it sounds like to me. Thanks for sharing it!!

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 03:48 AM
I presume we're talking a boat by vessel or something in the sea aren't we?

Theres always been lots of talks on here about underwater UFO's or USO's i think the term was. Lots of interesting stories to point to those possibly being real. This could be another.

Good story.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 06:38 AM
Here's the problem: The radar system being used was primarily for surface vessels, while a different radar worked the aerial contacts. These controllers are highly skilled, or they're not working at the Cape. There are underwater sensors, but I can't get into that.

The experienced cotroller reported a strong radar contact, probably twenty feet long or larger. The surface was not choppy at all, so any vessel would have left a wake, even a submarine's periscope. Without going into details, they have a way to specifically identify a periscope versus a true surface vessel. This was, in the controller's mind, clearly a routine surface vessel over twenty feet long.

When we arrived, there was NOTHING!!!! No surface vessel, no periscope, no wake on the surface. NOTHING! Even a totally invisible ship could not avoid the basic physics of volume displacement in water, which at speed, cannot help but leave a wake. There was NOTHING!

And all the while we were visually seeing nothing, the radar controller was raising his voice that we were right on top of it.

If this had happened in Key West, or off Sarasota, etc., I would have simply thought the controller didn't know how to operate his equipment properly. I can guarantee you, that is NOT the case at the Cape!

Because of my position, I knew about most all of the secret projects as the Cape, and some simply blew me away when I first saw them, but I still know of nothing to explain what happened that one day.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:04 AM
If something was hovering just above the surface, not contacting it, would it be safe to assume that it would show up as a surface contact?

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:17 AM
If it was close enough to the water, it could conceivably leave no wake but still apear as a surface contact. Since our altitude was 500 feet, it could have been something lower than our flight altitude. That is one thing that I had thought of. but because of some specific project we had, I can't speculate, except to say that none of our projects had that particular capability.

It could not have been anything that "appeared" invisibile, with seven sets of eyes aboard. It very much had to be literally invisible. If it could be invisible to vision, and was that sophisticated, they should have used existing technology to diguise their radar signature. In any case, none of us ever encountered anything like it again. That is in spite of one of our pilots previously wroking at the Nellis "Auxiliary" airbase for two years.

One other thing: I cannot say which one it was, but there has been a video on this site that I saw that really astounded me, because it was one of the early videos we took of a real project that was supposed to remain "eyes only", yet I saw it here. Previously, I only discussed it in the project area where it was located on the Cape, and no other location on this Earth. I was quite impressed that someone had placed that video on this site.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by Truth1000]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by Truth1000

You wouldn't happen to be referring to the large "disk-shaped" jet craft that were housed in Tampa(Macdill AFB) in the 60's I believe, are you? The ones that the Air Force wanted the military journalist to do a write-up on? I guess you would have noticed electro-optical camoflage and it's signature, so I dunno man. Could it have been a false positive? (trying to go through rational before irrational

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:33 AM
I must be careful here. IF there had been an electro-magnetic optical effect as you described, it would LIKELY have produced a visible effect similar to heat waves on a highway. Nothing of that sort was noted by anyone in my aircrew that day.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:52 AM
Okay so let's put the facts on the table.
1) Hard radar contact; surface. (Most likely not a false return or a result of Florida's weather patterns or the east coast seabreeze.)
2) No visible craft ,boat or otherwise
3) No wake or apparent effect on the environment
4) Contact in excess of 30 minutes?( not sure but would assume as you described your flight path etc.)
5) Contact disappears off of radar screen; with experienced radar interpreter on the ball.

Did this operator during your flight, when they lost contact, say that it took off or it just stopped returning energy? I understand your NDA and if you can't say.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 12:05 PM
As for a timeline, the radar operator spotted a surface return, and about ten minutes later we turned to intercept the surface contact. We arrived at the location in perhaps 10-12 minutes later. The radar operator continued to report a strong surface contact, in spite of the fact that our monitored position and the radar contact's position merged, with us unable to detect anything that could produce a radar contact. After we left the location, we went to three other surface contacts that were real vessels. No other anomalies were noted by either of our helicopters on any of the other radar intercepts that day. We were vectored back to the location identified as the same radar contact, and again failed to make contact. We went back to the SLF, until the lunach attempt was scrubbed. We wanted to go back out and look for the contact, but the radar operator had lost contact just about the time NASA scrubbed the launch attempt.

While we had been waiting for the launch at the SLF, we talked this episode over with the other aircrews, and the radar approach personnel at the Shuttle Landing facility. We had three military helicopter crews, one NASA helicopter crew, who had been flying Hueys back in Vietnam, two STA pilots, three astronauts, and assorted support individuals, all of whom were experienced with the aviation environment. Everyone was interested in what it was, but none of use could come up with a plausible explanation. After we were gone, one of the STAs "just happened" to fly back over that area. During the launch attempt that resulted in the mission launch, everyone was busy speculating about what had happened to us the day before. None of us knew what it was!

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 12:10 PM
Okay...lemme ask this. Did anything seem odd or out of place with the other 3 contacts you intercepted? Boat-type, passengers, ANYTHING.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 01:32 PM
Nothing else seemed odd at all. We were always running fishing boats and tourists out of the downrange box, and all else that day seemed normal.

A few weeks later, the Colonel in command of DDMS (Department of Defense Manager for Manned Spaceflight support) even stopped me after a meeting and asked me to run over the mission with him, because he'd caught wind of it and was interested. I gave him a complete rundown of the entire espisode. He laughed and joked, "I just hope it was on our side."

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 02:03 PM
2 years after your incident a patent is made. Patent 1993 Could have been a test before patent. One of those ships could have been the testbed. Why not test it in a place and at a time where highly trained radar operators will be at full alert?

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]
Sorry about all the edits..IE kept screwing up for the link.

[edit on 15-5-2010 by djvexd]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by djvexd

You have an extremely interesting point there.

posted on May, 30 2010 @ 03:53 AM
I just thought of the same thing---and then read the most recent reply.

The military advantages of such a device seem apparent.

Look at what happened: it generated a significant deployment of resources to location X. In a military conflict it means that such resources will definitely not be near location Y. If you were aboard a USMC landing craft (very dangerous job) that's something you'd really appreciate.

This was just a few months after the first Gulf War.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 08:17 PM
This is a potentially great explanation that we could not explain at the time. Although it is nothing that can be proven, I heard the tone of the voices of the people involved. SOMETHING was up, and we all knew it.

And as was mentioned, these weren't any poorly trained personnel, these were the rescue crews trained to rescue the astronauts, under the most difficult of circumstances. Everyone on both aircraft, along with the ATC/intercept/security officers were all proven, experienced people. If someone were going to look for the best place to test such a system, it would be hard to find a more secure location. Especially at the time of a shuttle launch, with everyone on the highest alert levels.

And that was one of the reasons I have always felt the event was so unique, rather than just a simple misunderstanding between the supporting forces.

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