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Haha, that's a good one. "intelligent space debris"
Originally posted by newcovenant
reply to post by RUSSO
Exactly. Here are a few different people offering perspectives on the video above and a second NASA UFO capture that may actually be new to the thread. Not only does the above "alleged ice particle" make an extreme right turn and take off quickly, it pauses mid space for just a moment.
Nasa insisted it was "nothing" but stopped live feed after that.
Originally posted by newcovenant
reply to post by JimOberg
You were right about "hard" that stuff is so technical. I couldn't make sense of your links.
Didn't NASA know that stopping live feeds altogether after this was going to raise some suspicion? If it was so much ado about nothing what made them do that? Eventually we'd have got used to seeing things jettison off at right angles like that and it would be hardly remarkable. We are (were) paying for the space program and outside of covert defense movements we deserve to see what our money is doing for us out there. It just doesn't figure.
From: James Oberg
To: Dr. Jack Kasher -- Open Letter
Re: STS-48 Visual Phenomenon
It's always been my belief that the chance -- however remote -- that claims of extraterrestrial contact may be valid oblige any curious person to pay more than a little attention to any evidence presented by serious researchers. In parallel, and even if such claims have no real validity, I am fascinated by the mental processes that can lead rational, intelligent, educated people to such claims. In recognition of that obligation and in response to that fascination, I've spent many hundreds of hours on the discussions of the STS-48 zig-zag lights and to the many extraordinary interpretations associated with them.
Since it seems clear to me, based on my experience and analysis, that these videos show nothing at all extraordinary for a space flight, and that the principal proponents of all extraordinary interpretations remain unaware of relevant information and practices associated with investigating such phenomena, I've reached the conclusion that my "duty to science" has been fully served and no further effort is warranted on my part on this case. Most of my efforts to elucidate, and assist investigators in their understanding of this phenomenon seem fruitless. I've published a few articles and one 6-page report. There's plenty of other promising research awaiting my attention.
I can and will respond conversationally -- in person, or electronically -- regarding this case, and I'm not hesitant about expressing my own assessments, but I've reached the point of diminishing returns -- in fact, no returns at all -- on any more in-depth research. So, enough!
All the objects on the screen look to me to be small, nearby sunlit debris, shuttle-generated, probably ice flakes from RCS jets, dump ports, the main engines, or elsewhere (possible other types of shuttle generated debris include payload bay flotsam, tile or spacer or liner fragments, etc.). They become visible to the wide-open camera when they become sunlit by moving out of the shuttle's shadow, shortly after sunrise when the ground below is still dark and hence does not activate the camera's auto iris to close down. Gas from an RCS jet (a vernier jet fires for one second at the time shown, and the flash is a sporadic by-product of the jet's firing) pushes them onto new paths (they only change direction during the time of the jet firing).
The main object is not in or behind the atmosphere, although it does appear close to (yet measurably BELOW) the horizon line (and, yes, I know which one is the airglow line, too). If the object had been in the atmosphere, as many have claimed, its observed path would curve at first due to atmospheric refraction. The absence of any curving is evidence for the object being between the atmosphere and the shuttle. As I said, I interpret its appearance to its becoming sunlit by moving out of the shuttle's shadow, and since this umbra extends only about 1-2000 ft down sun, the object is probably much closer yet. I believe all your geometric analyses of great range and speed (including the assumption that the object would have to have been accelerated to plume terminal velocity) are invalid. The object's motion shows three phases: pre-burn drift, burn acceleration, and post-burn drift (with perspective foreshortening at greater range), and attempts to perform a curve fit over the latter two phases with a single equation are unjustified -- so the implications are baseless.
To repeat regarding the RCS jet burn duration: your assumption that the flash coincides with the full burn, while reasonable based on earthside analogs, is actually false. The visible flash of an RCS/OMS jet burn is a result of propellant ratio mismatch and is characteristic of the early or late phases of the burn (for OMS burns, as an example, the 'flash' lasts about half a second but afterwards, even as the OMS engines continue to burn, the flame is invisible -- as videotapes and crew reports confirm). For shorter RCS burns, the thrust can continue even when the flash is absent. So your assumption of burn duration -- and your belief that other "experts" (e.g., this "Anania" who doesn't show up in any local phone directory) have performed an adequate review of the report -- is erroneous, as are all deductions based on it.
Since you asked, let me tell you briefly how I see the "live TV" issue. The video from a shuttle goes to a TDRSS link, then down to NASA's White Sands station (sometimes it can go direct to one of a handful of ground sites -- Goldstone, Merritt Island, and I think Bermuda), over what is called the "FM Downlink". This frequency channel is used during launch for engine data, and in orbit is used either for TV or for data recorder dumps. Meanwhile, normal VOICE signals are digitized on the standard telemetry data stream and are unreadable to amateurs (however, during EVA and during launch/landing, easily monitored UHF frequencies are used "in the clear"). The voice signals are peeled off the telemetry at White Sands, and together with the video are then bounced to Goddard via another communications satellite. At Goddard the "NASA Select" program is assembled, which involves decoding the video/voice, adding in feeds from JSC or MSFC, displaying announcements, etc. That "NASA Select" video is the one retransmitted -- I think in less than ten seconds -- via the open transponder, for worldwide viewing and videotaping.
The White Sands to Goddard satellite link is the source of the controversy over scrambling. It often used to be in the clear, but apparently for the reasons Jenks described (medical, privacy, DoD experiments) it would be flipped back and forth to encoded. Last I heard, they decided just to keep it encoded and save the time and effort to flip back and forth, since the non-encoded stuff was to be reprocessed and rebroadcast almost immediately on 'NASA Select'.
Now, the image of some NASA official sitting with his/her hand over a red button in case UFOs swim into view is, in my personal view, pretty ridiculous. There is such a button, but if you ask the press folks, as far as anyone can recall it's never been used to cut off views of naked frolicking astronauts, or slipped curses, or body parts tumbling through wreckage, or of anything else. You certainly can pursue this idea with the people involved -- but it's probably more convenient to cling to the conjured image of a "UFO patrol" lookout with grim-lipped determination to hide the truth from the taxpayers. I slip over into sarcasm. . . . After all, they slipped up on STS-61??
And the claim that somebody heard the crew say, "What IS that?" also fails: it's not on the video, and nobody has ever provided actual time or the frequency channel of the alleged reception. It's a myth. I know your Nebraska MUFON associate insists he mailed that info to me long ago, but I have his letters and it's not in them. Where IS it? Meanwhile, if you want quotable NASA technical data on STS-48 including telemetry records of the actual jet firing, you'll have to go in the front door and persuade them it's worth their trouble. Since STS-48 UFO buffs have branded them as hiders and falsifiers, I'm sure they'd be delighted to bend over again and be helpful to you.
Anyhow, I've used up my allowance of free advice on this subject and you'll just have to get along without me (and I also refer to Beckjord's enthusiasms, and to Hoagland's video report of 1992, and to Carlotto's in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, too -- you didn't monopolize my time, far from it). As I've said tongue in cheek, you and I perhaps cooked up this report together as an "intelligence test" for world ufologists to see if they could be taken in by some invalid technical-sounding argumentation. I am not impressed with the level of physics knowledge of the players on the extraordinary side of this issue. Your comments on "laminar flow" at the May 1, '93 Omaha con were very illuminating regarding the limits to your familiarity with these admittedly highly specialized topics -- but since I'm not in the one-on-one free tutoring business, look for technical help elsewhere!
STS-48 - Science Battles Wishful Thinking
By Jim Oberg
Special to ABCNEWS.com
As humans explore space, it's reasonable to imagine that other beings in the universe are doing the same. Encountering explorers from other planets have been a staple of science fiction for decades.
Videotapes from space shuttle missions have persuaded some folks that NASA astronauts have already encountered alien visitors.
On the space shuttle mission STS-48 in September 1991, a TV onboard Discovery spotted moving white dots suddenly changing direction when a flash of light appeared. Although nearby debris frequently appears on shuttle videos, the combination of flares, streaks and changing directions grabbed imaginations.
Answering a congressional query the following month on behalf of a curious constituent, NASA had four Houston experts - including one astronaut, astronomer Karl Henize - examine the videos.
"The objects seen are [Discovery]-generated debris, illuminated by the sun," they reported. "The flicker of light is the result of firing of the attitude thrusters on [Discovery], and the abrupt motions of the particles result from the impact of gas from the thrusters."
That didn't wash for some viewers, who believed they were seeing alien visitors or Star Wars-like battles.
[*Nearby drifting debris has been hit by jet pulses on other shuttle flights. Here's an example from STS-63 in February 1995. (RealVideo)]
Enthusiasm for the UFO interpretation of space pictures isn't restricted to a narrow band of crackpots, as any Web search demonstrates. Mainstream writers and major TV networks also promulgate these misinterpretations.
Aside from enhancing the public's paranoia about government cover-ups, it can have a poisonous effect on public support for space exploration if a substantial portion of voters becomes convinced by such theories that space experts, astronauts and scientists are lying to them.
Such space tapes are no surprise to NASA; the agency shrugs them off as just one more phenomenon of space flight.
The STS-48 images were being collected as part of an ongoing NASA study of unusual lightning.
The project was coordinated by NASA scientist Otha "Skeet" Vaughan, in Huntsville, Ala. He has collected and analyzed about 500 hours of tapes over two decades of shuttle flights, probably watching more space video than anyone else.
Vaughan, who retired from NASA last month, said such dots appear frequently. "They're an ordinary part of space flight," he says. "It's obviously just more shuttle debris."
Astronauts aboard the STS-48 mission agree.
Mission specialist Mark Brown says ice formed on the shuttle's main engine bells after the remaining fuel was dumped in space.
"These crystals would break free of the engines and float around the shuttle," he says. "When illuminated by sunlight they looked like small diamonds floating in space, disturbed only when the maneuvering rockets fired - the plumes from the rockets would hit them and send them off in different directions."
Shuttle co-pilot Ken Reightler says: "We saw a lot of this on STS-48 because we had a dump nozzle that was leaking." The same nozzle leaked on the shuttle's next mission and "created the same shower of ice particles - but this time apparently no one misinterpreted them as UFOs."
[*Space shuttles are often surrounded by clouds of small ice particles from dumped water or leaking jet thrusters. (RealVideo)]
Small particles flaking off manned spacecraft have been around since John Glenn saw "fireflies" outside his capsule in 1962. Apollo astronauts saw them so often they were nicknamed "moon pigeons." A NASA study in 1971 traced them to propellant leaks, water dumps, pyrotechnic separation and other ordinary events.
Yet claims for an extraordinary interpretation of the STS-48 images persist, coming from respectable and seemingly rational people. Jack Kasher, a physicist from Nebraska, has published an exhaustive analysis showing why they cannot be debris. "The only feasible explanation," he concludes, "is that they actually were spacecraft out in space away from the shuttle."
Mark Carlotto, an imaging specialist in Massachusetts, published a 1995 report in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, claiming that "beyond a reasonable doubt" the objects could not be explained as known phenomena.
Two factors - sunlight and the steering-jet pulses - explain the videotape.
The shuttle TV cameras observed lightning on the night side of Earth. But as the shuttle circled toward the day side, it rose into sunlight even while the camera remained fixed on the still-dark horizon behind it. So objects near the shuttle suddenly become illuminated - and it's precisely at sunrise that the most famous "shuttle UFO videos" show the appearance of these dots.
The autopilot normally fires the shuttle's steering jets to keep the craft on course. Telemetry readouts from STS-48 show exactly such a jet firing at the time of the mystery pulse.
Space junk and thruster gas are a lot less exciting than alien visitors and space battles, so the popularity of UFO explanations for such videotapes will persist. But if recent studies prove anything, it is that the less one knows about space flight, the more likely one is to swallow the idea of space shuttles spotting UFOs.
Originally posted by Titor86
reply to post by predator0187
It's just debris man. There is a cloud of **** floating around our planet these days. Note they all move in the same direction in orbit and show no real signs of intelligence or agenda.
Locked in orbit, still great footage though
Originally posted by JimOberg
I'd appreciate any critiques and suggestions on my disproofs of the notorious 'five proofs' from Dr. Kasher. I'd also appreciate any insight about how a guy who was a college perfesser can make such schoolboy howler algebraic errors.
..AND how twenty years of review by 'top ufologists' could have failed to notice ANY of them.edit on 10-5-2011 by JimOberg because: add
Originally posted by newcovenant
So here is my real question:
Do you, Jim Oberg, know of any credible reports of ET related UFO activity?