Image of the Day: An actual UFO

Credit: Dean Muskett

On March 10, Dean Muskett took this picture of an aircaft flying over Amarillo, Texas. Another aircraft spotter, Steve Douglass, took a second picture showing what appears to be the same aircraft. Experts have examined these images and concluded that we're probably looking at something big, stealthy, piloted, and very very secret, since it's not a B-2 stealth bomber or any other aircraft that anyone recognizes.

The mystery aircraft was flying in close formation with three others, meaning that it's probably manned, because unmanned aircraft don't do that for safety reasons. The profile suggests stealth. And we know it's big because we can estimate the altitude from the contrails. The contrails also tell us that it's got more than one engine, which none of the latest unmanned aircraft with this sort of profile have (the ones we know about, at least). Other people have done some digging, and found that a 50 mile-wide swath of airspace was cleared of all commercial aircraft while these things were flying over Texas, suggesting that nobody wanted other pilots to get anywhere near them.

It's unlikely that these pictures will lead to an identification of the aircraft, because it seems likely that it's classified. The reason to be confident that this is the case is simple: the Air Force had, for example, F-117 Stealth Fighters operational and flying around as of 1983, but the public didn't get to see one until 1989. The fact is that the Air Force is working on very cool stuff, that it keeps secret for good reasons. And while we'll get to see it eventually, we have to deal with a lag of at least five years. Unless, of course, we get lucky and someone snaps a grainy picture from very far away.

Or, you know, it's aliens. (It's probably aliens.)

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Via Aviation Week

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