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Radar Invisible 747 BA-009 (1982)

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posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:00 PM
June 24, 1982 British Airways flight 009 entered an ash cloud subsequently loosing all four engines. They managed to turn around and make an emergency landing after leaving the cloud and restarting the engines.

While watching the documentary about this incident, I noticed somthing a little interesting.

At 5:50 into the video, the First Officer (co-pilot) tells ground control that they are turning back to the airport. The controller states, "...we can not see you on radar...".

Google Video Link

Also on the Wiki listing:

On the flight deck the crew attempted to contact Jakarta for radar assistance, but could not be seen by Jakarta, despite their transponder being set to 7700, the international "general emergency" code.

When this incident started (upon entering the ash cloud) they describe what looks like St. Elmo's Fire. Again from Wiki:

St. Elmo's fire (also St. Elmo's light[1]) is an electrical weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge originating from a grounded object in an atmospheric electric field (such as those generated by thunderstorms or thunderstorms created by a volcanic explosion).

So, is this evidence of an electrical field making a large aircraft invisible to radar? I think it is strange no further investigation was done on the fact that the plane was lost to radar. The crew and ground was clearly surprised by this. I can understand the transponder not squawking, or it not being picked up, but not the radar signature of the aircraft itself. It should be noted that the ash was not picked up on radar because it was dry, and had no moisture to be picked up by radar.

Any further thoughts on this from minds smarter than mine? Could some kind of electrical field be used to make an aircraft completely invisible to radar?

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:21 PM

I think it is strange no further investigation was done on the fact that the plane was lost to radar.

The way I know our Government they did, or are.
In the last few years I have saw/read alot of eyewhitness reports of dissappearing aircraft

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:39 PM
Well they were flying through (or attempting
) a cloud of volcanic ash!!! ie pulverised rock!! Is it any wonder Radar could not see them?

And even when they are out of the cloud they could still be invisible to any radar which transmits from the opposite side of the cloud.

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:52 PM
Primary airport surveillance radars (located at the airport) have a range of about 40-60 miles. Secondary surveillance radars, the ones that interrogate transponders, have a range in the neighborhood of 100 miles. Long range radar may not have been available.

Mount Galunggung is about 100 miles from Jakarta. It is likely that the plane was simply out of range.

[edit on 4/24/2009 by Phage]

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:53 PM
Besides the radar reflectivity of pulverized rock, (basically a rock chaff cloud), the passage at high speed through the ash cloud created huge amounts of static electricity, essentially enveloping the aircraft in a "bubble" of electromagnetic energy. Since radar energy is simply a different frequency, it did not allow the radar waves to see the aircraft....IMHO (plus 30K+ hours of flight time)

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by habu71

If that were the case, stealth would be a fairly simple matter to produce.

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 05:33 PM
The ash did not show up on radar, apparently because it contained no water droplets, therefor nothing to return a radar signature.

That it acted as 'chaff' is an interesting idea. However, chaff reflects radar, making a little 'blip' disappear in a sea of 'noise'.

But I agree with hypothesis that somehow the electrical bubble surrounding the aircraft somehow made it invisible to radar. And I put forward this video as inadvertent evidence that it 'may' be possible.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was the Philadelphia experiments. I am certain that the military made more advanced discoveries in this area, they have just kept it well hidden (as they probably should).

Thank you for all the replies so far..good food for thought from all.

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