Physicist from the University at Albany publishes study on the Nimitz UFO case

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 17 jun 2020 6:08 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 3 nov 2020 10:10 ]
When studying events related to anomalous aerial phenomena, one of the complaints is that the scientific community is not interested in investigating these types of events. CEFAA had access to a study on the “Nimitz” case written by Kevin H. Knuth, Ph. D. in Physics and Associate Professor at the University at Albany, United States, along with two collaborators.
Image of the USS Nimitz carrier and Kevin Knuth, the University at Albany's physicist and main author of the study on the UFO sightings by the US Navy's fighters.

A F-18 Super Hornet fighter like the ones that encountered anomalous aerial objects offshore California, in the Pacific, in 2004.
We present here a compendium of a paper published on December 16, 2019, that works with assumptions based on real accounts provided by people who witnessed Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in November, 2004, on the Pacific offshore San Diego.

The study is entitled “Estimating Flight Characteristics of Anomalous Unidentified Aerial Vehicles in the 2004 Nimitz Encounter” and it was presented at the 39th International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering, which took place between June 30 and July 5 , 2019, in Garching, Germany.

The document was written by Kevin H. Knuth, Robert M. Powell and Peter A. Reali. All three are members of the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU), a group of scientists,  former military, former agents and other professionals who believe that it is justified to investigate the phenomenon in a serious way.

The Nimitz case

According to the authors, over a two-week period in November, 2004, the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group Eleven (CSG-11), which includes the USS Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton, would have detected countless “unidentified aerial vehicles”, UAVs , which is another term they use to refer to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).

The main incident occurred on November 14, 2004, but several days earlier, USS Princeton’s radar operators were detecting UAP on radar at 80,000 feet or higher North of the Strike Group, in the vicinity of the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente, offshore the state of California.

According to USS Princeton’s former operations chief specialist Kevin Day, the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) radar systems detected the “UAVs” in low orbit around the Earth and then fell to 80,000 feet.

These phenomena would have arrived in groups of 10 to 20, then descended to 28,000 and flew South with speeds close to 100 knots.

Witnesses said that the UAVs periodically dropped from 28,000 feet to the sea level (around 50 feet), or under the surface of the sea, in just 0.78 seconds.

Mass, G-force and velocity

Counting with acceleration estimates, the authors used complex mathematical formulas to calculate the energy involved in the acceleration of the UAVs. That required an estimate of the mass of the targets, which the authors did not have.

So they calculated that one of the targets was about the size of an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft, which weighs about 32,000 pounds.

As they were looking for a minimum power estimate, they took the acceleration of 5,370 g and assumed that the UAVs had a mass of 1,000 kilograms.

Then they estimated that the target would have reached a maximum speed of around 46,000 miles per hour during the descent, or 60 times the speed of sound, at a point where the required power reached 1,100 gigawatts, which —always according to the authors— exceeds total US nuclear power production by a factor of more than 10.

Comparatively, largest nuclear power plant in the United States, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona, provides about 3.3 GW of power for about four million people.

“Tic Tac”

On November 14, 2004, the Battle Group was preparing to conduct training exercises.

Two F/A-18F Super Hornets took off from the Nimitz for the air defense exercise to be conducted between 130 and 240 kilometers South-Southwest of San Diego.

Both aircraft, code named “FastEagle01” and “FastEagle02”, had a pilot and a weapons system operator (WSO) onboard. VFA-41 Squadron Commanding Officer David Fravor piloted “FastEagle0”1 and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight was “FastEagle02”'s weapons system operator.

About half an hour after takeoff, Kevin Day, who was operating the SPY-1 radar system on the USS Princeton, detected UAVs entering the exercise area. The exercise was delayed and “FastEagle0” and “FastEagle02” were directed to intercept to one UAV at a distance of 60 miles and an altitude of 20,000 feet.

As the F-18s approached the “merge plot”, which is the point at which the radar could not differentiate the positions of the F-18s and the UAV, Fravor and Slaight noticed a disturbed patch of water, where it appeared as if there was a large object, possibly a downed aircraft, submerged 10 to 15 feet below the surface. 

While observing the disturbance from 20,000 feet above sea level, all four pilots spotted a white UAV, shape like a large cylindrical butane tank, or a “Tic-Tac” candy, moving erratically back and forth, almost like a bouncing ping-pong ball making instantaneous changes in direction without changing speed.

According to the witnesses, the “Tic Tac” object was about the size of a F-18, about 40–50 feet in length and 10–15 feet wide, but had no apparent flight surfaces or means of propulsion, and its motion had no apparent effect on the sea surface, as would be expected from something like a helicopter rotor. 

Commander Fravor went down to investigate and the UFO came up to meet him. They circled around each other, but when Fravor maneuvered closer, the UAV drifted away and was lost in a second. 

Comparatively, Fravor noted that even a fighter flying at Mach 3 takes 10-15 seconds to disappear from sight. Lieutenant Commander Slaight said the UAV accelerated as if it had been “fired from a rifle” and was out of sight in a second. 

In total, the entire meeting lasted five minutes. When the “ Tic-Tac” UAV was lost, the pilots turned their attention to the large object in the water, but the disturbance was gone.

A mystery

After the encounter, the two planes returned to the USS Nimitz, without enough fuel to try to chase the “Tic-Tac” UFO. On their return, they received a call from the USS Princeton in which they were informed that the “Tic-Tac” was waiting precisely at the pre-established point where they had to be to start the aerial exercise. Operator Kevin Day noted that this was surprising, because those coordinates were predetermined and secret. It appeared as if the “Tic-Tac” UFO went intentionally to that location.

“In this paper, we have worked under the assumption that these UAPs were physical craft as described by the pilots. The fact that these UAPs exhibited astonishing flight characteristics leaves one searching for other possible explanations. One very clever explanation suggested by one of the reviewers was that these UAPs could have been generated by the intersection of two or more laser or maser beams ionizing the air, which could create a visual image, an infrared image, as well as a radar reflective region possibly explaining much of the observations”, wrote the authors.

“While such an explanation could explain the visual, infrared and radar observations, it would not be able to explain either the suborbital radar returns from the ballistic missile defense (BMD) radar systems on the Princeton before the UAPs dropped to 80, 000 ft, or the sonar returns when the TicTac UAPs went into the ocean”, they added.

Difficult to conclude 

Towards the end of the paper, the authors state that it is difficult to draw useful conclusions.

“The nature, origin, and purpose of these UAVs are unknown. It is also not known if they are
piloted, controlled remotely, or autonomous. If some of these UAVs are of extraterrestrial origin, then it would be important to assess the potential threat they pose. More interestingly, these UAVs have the potential to provide new insights into aerospace engineering and other technologies”, they wrote. 

“The potential of a serious threat as well as the promise of advancements in science and engineering, along with our evolving expectations about extraterrestrial life are important reasons for scientists to seriously study and understand these objects”, they argued.

CEFAA reproduces part of this study in order to publicize academic research on anomalous aerial phenomena, in this case carried out in the United States, without implying a position that endorses what was pusblished in the document.