posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 10:53 PM
Originally posted by starviego
It is a fact that a US 'ferret' satellite(1982-41C) was passing over that exact area at the time of the shootdown, and it is a fact that the
incident provided an data bonanza for the military intelligence agencies. The space shuttle "Challenger"(STS-8) which had been launched in a
first-ever nighttime lift-off 36 hours before, was also very close. Also unique was part of the shuttle's cargo: a four ton 'dummy' payload,
ostensibly needed to test the shuttle's mechanical arm. This payload purportedly had the same dimensions as some communications antennas.
As so often happens in life, "it is a fact" is almost invariably a clue that the following assertion is a wild-ass guess without any evidence to
support it, requiring the bluff to bamboozle the weak-minded. In this case, it certainly was, and was exposed and debunked the year after the
shootdown, in a link on the page I cited a few messages up.
Since I wrote it, copyright isn't an issue. Here's the first half:
THE key to "Mann's" thesis lies in two observations, that a 1964 penetration of East German air space was coordinated with an American "Ferret"
electronics eavesdropping satellite, and that the 1983 Korean airliner penetration followed a similar coordinated scenario with the Space Shuttle
"Challenger," then orbiting Earth. I believe that careful, precise analysis can show that neither of these claims has any validity.
The alleged 1964 analogue: Mann refers (page 45) to the satellite launched on January 19, 1964 which "was recognized as having the orbital
characteristics likely to be associated with Ferrets." Actually, the launching carried twin payloads into space, which were given the international
identifiers "1964_02B" and "1964._02C," and Mann never makes clear which of the two he is referring to. (See Note 1.) Earlier Mann had cited an
article in Spaceflight magazine by Anthony Kenden, in which Ferret satellites were described. Wrote Mann "the orbital characteristics of Ferret-type
satellites are well understood" _ yet the orbits of l964_02B and 1964_02C (see below) are distinctively not of the type described by Kenden as
Ferrets, and Kenden's published list of Ferrets, in the reference cited by Mann himself, does not list either object as a Ferret.
The orbits of 1964_02B and 1964_02C are in fact characteristic of quite another type of satellite. The published figures are 797 by 820 m with an
inclination of 99 degrees (that is, retrograde with an inclination of 81 degrees). (See Note 2.) This is a special kind of orbit called "sun
synchronous," in which precession (shift) of orbital plane matches precisely the movement of the Sun through the ecliptic, resulting in a constant
orbital plane orientation relative to the Earth-Sun line; consequently this creates repeatable lighting conditions in the regions over which the
satellite flies. Mann shows that he is familiar with this concept, but fails to mention that such an orbit is utilized almost invariably and
exclusively by both Soviet and American satellites devoted to visual observation, such as photoreconnaissance, earth resources, or weather satellites.
And in fact the l964_02B and 1964_02C satellites are clearly listed in reference books (such as the works of the late Charles Sheldon of the
Congressional Research Service in Washington, DC) as military weather satellites. Kenden concurs, and wrote to me that "I have no reason to doubt
that they were anything but P-43 weather satellites."
Indeed there were Ferret satellites in orbit in that era, but Kenden's article quite authoritatively describes them as orbiting Earth with
inclinations of either 72 or 80 degrees. Sheldon denotes the
former as US Navy Ferrets and the latter as Air Force Ferrets. Mann may have attempted to produce matches between the real Ferrets and the aircraft
penetrations. Having failed to do so, he
then possibly tried all other military satellites and found a random "hit". Given a dozen candidates, the odds are at least ten to one that ONE of
them will he near any arbitrary point on Earth in any arbitrary time interval; this coincidence is relevant to the issue of the later Soviet
"Ferret-D" claim as well, as we will see shortly.
Yet Mann claimed (page 45) that "the possibility of all this happening by sheer coincidence appeared calculably remote _ about 200 to 1 against in
terms of the satellite being where it was by chance." This ex post facto computation has all the probative value of the old proverb about shooting an
arrow into the side of the barn, and then going up and painting the bull's eye around it. Any satellite position is improbable a priori; but Mann did
not define his criteria of a "hit" a priori and stated the odds wrongly. What he should have addressed was whether or not the odds were overwhelming
that no satellite would be within range.