Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Airships returning to prominence

Our military is about to party like it's 1869.

That is not exactly a bad thing, rather it's an interest in being cost effective.  Last August, the Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) took flight for the first time.  This airship built by Northrop-Gruman, is claimed as being the "world's largest, most-persistent lighter-than-air optionally piloted aircraft" (you can find that PR quote at the link.)  For intelligence gathering on a budget, nothing beats an airship.  This one can hover about three miles over an area for up to three weeks while carrying thousands of kilograms in camera and spy gear.

As I alluded to in that opening sentence, airships designated for military use are not a new concepts.  Rather, the concept is being rediscovered for its money-saving value.  These sorts of developments have been going on for quite a while now, such as with the Walrus for example.

Okay, I love The Beatles too, but get that song out of your head for the time being.  The Walrus is a planned airship that would be designed to carry enormous loads of supplies at dramatically lower costs than our current methods.  The fact that it is airborne is of additional value as it can clear other obstacles to resupplying troops in the field, such as what happened in remote areas of Afghanistan. You could also see the Walrus being helpful in a Joplin, Katrina, or Sandy type situation.  But before you get any grandiose ideas of steampunk-style "battle airships," the military does have one issue stacked against its blimps: a worldwide helium shortage.

While intriguing in and of themselves, these airships are of immediate interest to me for other reasons.  Undoubtedly, many sightings of UFOs are actually these airships.  For example, in the 1997 Phoenix Lights incident, many witnesses described seeing a massive, black, physical craft that was completely silent and had an underside that moved in waves like a fabric.  Taking a look at the ventral side of the Walrus, I can see a potential match.  Where this explanation departs from witness accounts is the reported speed of the UFO.  I'm not sure these airships could even be capable of the stop and go speeds described.

Black Triangles are another common form of UFO.  These likewise would make for good fits with airships.  That is to say in a handful of cases but certainly not in all.  The US military has undoubtedly been testing these airships, sometimes in populated areas, and a few of them have no doubt been classified prototypes.  This could go a long way in explaining a great many things.

Many.  But not all. 

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