- Dec 19, 2006
- Reaction score
Most likely this was probably a "Bird of Prey" type aircraft developed in the late eighties to help test and prove the technologies that would be used in the ATF program -- e.g you're going to have to have some way of testing the RAM and such being developed for YF-22/YF-23 full scale development; but you need something capable of cruising supersonically for hours on end to truly stress the material -- and the SR-71 is just too damn expensive to operate.Artie Bob said:For me, the most credible evidence was the report coming from Cat-Tech in the early 1990s. There were reports of small tremors from the inland empire that occured quite regularly (same day of the week. Thursdays, IIRC and about the same time in the morning). When queried, the Cal-Tech seismology group replied the tremors were not seismic, but rather shocks from an aerial vehicle. Every supersonic aircraft apparently has its own "footprint" and this did not match any type previously identified by Caltech. Because of the multiple number of seismic detectors, the vehicle could be tracked. It approached the area from the SW, descending near Catalina Islandand across the Southern California area, the track pointing to central Nevada. This data also allowed Cal Tech to estimate the size and weight of the object. All this information was reorted in the Pasadena local newspaper, but there were never anty follow-up stories. IIRC, I clipped the article and have it somewhere.
So it's possible they put together a very cheap, naturally stable supersonic cruiser out of the types of materials expected to be used in the ATF program, in much the same way they put together "Bird of Prey", and flew it during that time period to generate a mass of modern materials information on the effects of sustained supersonic flight (all the data on this is 30+ years old and from the Mach 3+ regime of the SR-71 and B-70; and is different than the regime the ATF would fly in).