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Mystery aircraft over California: the Mackbolin sighting

XP67_Moonbat

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This was a hot item on ATS about a week ago. But I don't think that's a Blackbird though. Some posters over there speculated it could be a Saab Draken but I don't think that's it either. No telling what this could be.

Though now that you mention it, Van, my father told me, two years ago, he saw a Blackbird leaving Biggs Army Airfield. His company does contract work at Biggs and Ft. Bliss so he's in the area the entire day. I showed him an SR-71 model and he said yes, that's the type of plane he saw leaving Biggs. I informed him Blackbirds haven't been in operation since the mid to late 90's. But he still insists he saw one to this day.

As for me, seeing is believing.

I'm sounding like an ATS poster now. Sorry to go off topic for a moment
 

angmhalp

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The Test Pilot's School at Mojave Spaceport in the Antelope Valley of Southern California has operated several SAAB Drakens. But the rear of this "item" has no extended rear nozzle like the Draken. Does anyone know which end of California it was seen?
 

Trident

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To be honest it looks a bit like an F-111 with its wings fully swept. Any Aussies in the US at the time in question?

EDIT: You know, this angle-ish: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Australia---Air/General-Dynamics-F-111C/1351561/L/
 

Racer

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LowObservable

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Draken Schmaken. And a Pig doesn't look like that unless you're viewing at a very shallow angle below the tail... otherwise, you see the gloves extending the leading edge line to the forebody sides.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Well that's what I'm saying. It's not a Draken or SR-71. Neither have canard-like structures that are on the forward part of this craft. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm just quoting what the guys on THAT OTHER WEBSITE think it is. We, however, know better.
 

LowObservable

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No offense meant at all... Everyone here knows what a Draken looks like.
 

ChuckAnderson

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Hi Everyone!

Could it possibly be this "Switchblade" design???


Chuck
 

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aim9xray

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Has anybody considered that it might be a RAF Tornado GR.4 flying out of China Lake?

Just wondering.
 

sferrin

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aim9xray said:
Has anybody considered that it might be a RAF Tornado GR.4 flying out of China Lake?

Just wondering.

I don't see a vertical tail anywhere.
 

CFE

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It doesn't resemble any known aircraft. If the notches in the front of the plane are intakes, it must have some huge honking engines. Of particular interest are the apparent red markings. But my inclination is towards this pic being a hoax.
 

Orionblamblam

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d3e270d4-db29-4d5a-8d1c-7621de59663a.Large.jpg


I gotta go with Tornado:

156089331wvitxq_th.jpg
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Edited for brightness/contrast and scaled up only.
 

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Berekhat

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sferrin said:
aim9xray said:
Has anybody considered that it might be a RAF Tornado GR.4 flying out of China Lake?

Just wondering.

I don't see a vertical tail anywhere.

If it had just pitched it's nose down, you couldn't see the tail. This would also account for it apparently being so broad and stubby. The slightly expanded view shows a pair of square,black shapes just where you would expect the intakes to be.

Even the 'notch' at the rear looks right, because the elevators would be pitched down for such a manoeuvre.
 

flateric

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I just want to say that if I've ever pictured something like this, I'd upload original size photo to prevent all the talks of fakes and photoshopping.
 

sferrin

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Berekhat said:
sferrin said:
aim9xray said:
Has anybody considered that it might be a RAF Tornado GR.4 flying out of China Lake?

Just wondering.

I don't see a vertical tail anywhere.

If it had just pitched it's nose down, you couldn't see the tail. This would also account for it apparently being so broad and stubby. The slightly expanded view shows a pair of square,black shapes just where you would expect the intakes to be.

Even the 'notch' at the rear looks right, because the elevators would be pitched down for such a manoeuvre.

so where are the nozzles? They should be sitting right where the notch is.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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is it it me or does any one else see some type of canard-like structures near the nose of the craft, blurry as it may be?

Now I just tried something with the little Tornado picture above. It's a little rough for an experiment but I simply rolled the chair I'm on back a distance to where the to where the Tornado could start to look a little blurry too.

But it wasn't quite a match for our mystery bird. I could still tell both pics apart.
 

ChuckAnderson

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ChuckAnderson said:
Hi Everyone!

Could it possibly be this "Switchblade" design???


Chuck

Hi Everyone!

Here's a few more views on that "Switchblade" design. To me, the tail on the aircraft in the photo and the tail on the Switchblade look very similar.

Chuck
 

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robunos

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i know it _can't_ be, because it was never built, but it don't half look like an F-108 Rapier...

cheers,
Robin.
 

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mz

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I thought of the F-108 Rapier too because of the wingtips seeming to have less sweep. But it could be just an illusion.

The Tornado is very close too, and the F-111 quite too.

B-1 or Mig-23 don't fit the shape at all really. F-14, dunno.

What other swing wing craft are there? I was thinking the unswept tips might be the tail sticking out with extreme wing sweep.
 

Avimimus

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At least its not a Draken ;D
The tornado looks right doesn't it? :eek:
 

Sundog

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It looks Klingon to me.

My point being
a) Either it's a fake or
b) There isn't enough information to determine what it is, or may be.

...and finally, the same as many of you, I thought F-108 when I first saw the apparent cranked arrow wing planform. I thought Tornado as well, when I first saw it, but the nozzles are too far forward of the trailing edge, and to get the "cranked arrow" look, the wing of the Tornado would have to be over swept, which just isn't happening on the Tornado.
 

flateric

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With Overscan's editing, thing now looks wery LoFlyt'ish...and if we will recall what LoFlyte was a testbed for...
 

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r16

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ı am on truly thin ice here and probably Flateric's posts above are far more true than my suggestion but I remember reading accounts of an USAF swingwing aircraft that was done in black to replace F-111 and it was reported to be flying from Cannon AFB . Now that there has been alot of suggestions on Tornados and F-111s , it is the first thing that came to me.
 

frank

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Ha ha! XF-108 was my first thought!


robunos said:
i know it _can't_ be, because it was never built, but it don't half look like an F-108 Rapier...

cheers,
Robin.
 

BAROBA

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Maybe a stupid idea...
Try to find out what the red markings/paintjob is on the bottom of the plane.
Could it be an American flag?
Similar to this?
http://www.defenselink.mil/transformation/images/photos/2005-10/Hi-Res/051023-F-1287F-061.jpg

I am also not convinced about the double delta that most people seem to see, I think that the white parts are part of the paintjob. So the wing are more like a delta.
my 2 cents
 

mz

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Ah, didn't think the white parts would actually be fuselage. So it's possible it doesn't have huge inlets but instead delta all the way.
There's also the F-16XL that fits this pattern somewhat.
 

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CFE

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r16 said:
ı am on truly thin ice here and probably Flateric's posts above are far more true than my suggestion but I remember reading accounts of an USAF swingwing aircraft that was done in black to replace F-111 and it was reported to be flying from Cannon AFB . Now that there has been alot of suggestions on Tornados and F-111s , it is the first thing that came to me.

That was the "A-17" or "AX-17" story, which evolved into "Switchblade" over the years. There really wasn't any credible evidence to support the claim. And having been to Cannon, I can say that it's almost farcical to imagine a squadron of secret jets being kept there. It's a tiny base situated near a tiny town (as opposed to a big base that's far from civilization.) Besides, the F-111 mission was given to the quite able Strike Eagle, and Cannon was handed over to an F-16 wing (soon to be replaced by a spec ops wing.)
 

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robunos said:
i know it _can't_ be, because it was never built, but it don't half look like an F-108 Rapier...

cheers,
Robin.

Interesting......(Assuming this not someones wild prank :mad: ::) )

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e338/Hyperwarp/Junk/uknp.jpg
 

r16

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after CFE's answer , r16 finds himself under the ice and tries to remember how Slyvester Stallone did it on Cliffhanger...
 

flateric

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Muxel is asking a hard question - why opsec aircraft should finally start daytime operations? What an urgent need for such surprising appearence? Osama Landcruiser reportedly seen moving at Pakistan border? Or we close for Senior Shmenior declassification date? What were the reasons for Nighthawks to ban night operations and start flying over Tony Landis & Co. at early 90s?
 

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Sorry folks, but in the enclosed images I still continue to see a VG jet powered aircraft with two engines (two trails are barely visible).
It could be a lot of aircraft ranging from F14 to Tornado, passing for much esotics F111 and Su24.

Nothing to worth all these posts.
Of course it is my opinion....
 

TomS

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archipeppe said:
Sorry folks, but in the enclosed images I still continue to see a VG jet powered aircraft with two engines (two trails are barely visible).
It could be a lot of aircraft ranging from F14 to Tornado, passing for much esotics F111 and Su24.

I agree that this is probably a VG aircraft; the light areas seen in the enhanced pictures nicely corespond to the trailing edge of a swept VG wing. I would accept twin engines, though I'm not totally convinced.

Problem is, neither the F-14 nor the Tornado show the pronounced notch at the traling edge seen in this picture. The long-wing F-111C or G with wings fully swept would more or less match that trailing edge profile. However, I can't find any aspect from which the F-111 would show the pronounced "shoulders" at the wing root seen in this image--at full sweep the wing gloves are a straight extension of the wing leading edge.
 

archipeppe

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TomS said:
Problem is, neither the F-14 nor the Tornado show the pronounced notch at the traling edge seen in this picture. The long-wing F-111D or G with wings fully swept would more or less match that trailing edge profile. However, I can't find any aspect from which the F-111 would show the pronounced "shoulders" at the wing root seen in this image--at full sweep the wing gloves are a straight extension of the wing leading edge.

Yep, could it be some version of Mig 23/27??
 

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