posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 10:55 AM
I apologize if there was any change to the general direction of the thread, as I only read the first 15 or so pages before I decided I was going to
step in. I have not even bothered checking the mainstream news outlets for any kind of update. I'm hoping that what I present is still relevant.
First off, my experience in this field is minimal. I'm still at school, 5 months away from commissioning as an officer in the USAF as an Air Battle
Manager. I have not been exposed to much of the physics of missile weaponry nor do I have access to any classified material pertaining to the incident
off the California coast. Being earmarked to be an ABM does however expose me to what our full capabilities are, as well as that of those we consider
"major players" on the world stage.
What I will say is that, based on the knowledge I have acquired, the training I have received, and my own intuition, is that it is almost certainly
not a missile. Rather than having proof that it was an aircraft, I will try to explain why I feel it cannot be a missile.
1) Origin can never be certain. By this I mean, "whodunnit". Asserting that it was the Chinese is just as plausible as asserting that we were simply
test-firing our own missile/missile-defense systems. You cannot pin this on anyone specifically.
2) If you continue to believe it was the Chinese, I would have to ask - why would they? Yes, they sneaked up on us and presented themselves in the
middle of a Naval exercise, which was embarrassing. Launching a missile however, right off the coast of the US no less, regardless of the direction it
is intended to take, is political suicide. We would not keep it quiet and ignore the incident for fear of embarrassment. I would not go on to say that
we'd go to war right there and then, but there would be a lot of backlash. A LOT. The Chinese do not have the ability to wage an all-out war with us
(this is a whole 'nother argument I'm willing to get into in another thread), so why would they risk it? What could they possibly have to gain?
3) Assuming we skip 1 and 2 and say the Chinese did fire a missile and it was intercepted, I find it hard to believe that all that would happen is
that it would be knocked off course and slowed down a little. Assuming the interceptor came from the ocean (and dubiously seemingly close to the
missile launch site), I would say that it can't be a PAC-3. It would have to be one of the Standard missiles from the Navy that would be able to
intercept a speeding missile. Generally, Naval missiles are not designed to down ballistic missiles, but assuming they could - they all use either
contact fuses or kinetic projectiles. Both of which would have led to much serious damage to any kind of missile. The only aids a ballistic missile
has would have to do with avoiding detection or radar lock altogether. If it was enough to knock it off course and slow it down, it should have been
enough to down it completely. And in the real world, we never EVER fire just one missile at what we think may be a ballistic missile. We would send up
enough to make sure that whatever defenses the ballistic missile has are overcome (chaffs/decoys/etc).
I do not attempt to say that we are impenetrable, nor do I mean to take away from the capability of the Chinese. I do not even feel confident in
saying it is a plane. I do not know - a lot of my AF buddies were stumped. But the idea of the Chinese launching a missile off our coast as a show of
force is ridiculous. The other times they've done it were in their own territory, and it's usually of a defensive nature, meant to tell us: "if you
get near us, we can do this to your carriers; if you fire this, we can shoot it down". This was not as comprehensive as I would have liked it to be,
but that is simply due to my lack of preparation and knowledge of this issue as well as my eagerness to just jump in.