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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by dashdespatch
They SHOULD have noticed they were off when they received the Bethel VORTAC beacon.
The ADIZ is monitored, and that portion at least at the time was restricted airspace to civilian aircraft. But somehow, no one noticed them going through it.
Originally posted by Drunkenparrot
Interestingly, this was not the first major incident between a KAL airliner and Soviet Air Defense. Are you familiar with Korean Air Flight 902?
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.
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.
NOTE OF INTEREST
July 8, 1993
ICAO-released documents confirm KAL-007 shot down over international waters in the Tatar Straits
The June 12, 1993 release in Montreal of reports and support documents by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has provided a wealth of information for serious investigators of this ten-year-old tragedy. One of the most startling is the conformation, from data within the supplemental report from the Russian Federation, that the plane was attacked shortly AFTER it exited Soviet airspace.
This conclusion stands in contrast to the official ICAO report's explicit statement (page 61, paragraph 3.39) that "it was not possible to determine the position of KE 007 at the time of the missile attack in relation to USSR sovereign airspace." There are good reasons why ICAO could not do so, but there are other ways of doing so.
The official ICAO report's uncertainty over the position of the airliner at the exact moment of the attack is based on several factors. First, the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) was not recording Inertial Navigation System (INS) parameters such as the airliner's exact latitude and longitude, but was only recording aircraft engineering data (switch positions, control surface status, etc.) and measurements (such as sensed barometric altitude). The actual flight path had to be reconstructed later based on aircraft simulator runs which strove to match simulated data results with observed radar track and other data. And secondly, the exact moment of the missile hit was not measured directly although it was inferred from DFDR readings.
However, the Russian Federation revised supplemental report (also released by ICAO on June 14) provided the missing piece of information, which the ICAO may not have seen during the writing of its report: the exact latitude/longitude of the airliner at the moment of attack. The given figures (page 10 of the Russian report) are 46¡46'27"N141¡32'48"E: On page 18 of the ICAO report there is a detailed map ("Chart 4") of the region of the Tatar Straits, Moneron Island, and the west coast of Sakhalin, on which is plotted the location of the wreckage, the search areas, and the internationally-recognized 12-mile limit of territorial waters. To plot the Russian-provided attack position on this map it is necessary to interpolate a latitude scale, which is easy to do since the latitude and longitude scales are related by a factor equal to the cosine of the latitude. Once this is done, the precise attack point can be plotted.
The point is 13.4 NM off the coast of Sakhalin, measurably (albeit only slightly) outside of Soviet airspace. The attack thus took place in international airspace over the waters of the Tatar Strait. The aircraft flew approximately 2.3 NM through international airspace before being hit, on a course of 246¡ magnetic (254¡ true). At a speed of 310 knots ( NM/hr) this would have taken about 30 seconds.
In conclusion, the lost airliner had been in international airspace for about half a minute before it was attacked by the Soviet jet fighter.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by JimOberg
The account that I find most interesting is when the Soviet commanders order a second SAR effort, with every boat and helicopter in the area. If the plane impacted and shattered, why send MORE SAR resources to the area?