The best book you never read ...

The best book you never read ...

My live aviation scanner feed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Texas mystery aircraft also photographed over Kansas

(C) Jeff Templin
click to enlarge 

KSN: — Jeff Templin is a amateur photographer. He says he’s seen it all until now. While taking pictures of wildlife back in February, something caught his eye. He said it looked like an unusual contrail.

“Right over the city, clear as a bell,” said Templin. “Anyone that was looking up would have seen it. You don’t usually see military or even civilian aircraft’s jets that leave contrails making those kind of severe departures off of the given route.”

Templin says the aircraft made several; severe 180 degree turns in the sky in the shape of an “S”, even more unusual.

“Absolutely silent, no sound,” he said.

So he snapped a few photos and took it home.

“When I put it on my computer and processed them, I was surprised to see this triangular shape that is not like anything you typically see,” he said.

Templin says he’s a big fan of air planes, so there was no doubt what he saw wasn’t….we’ll you know.

“It was one of ours or at least man made for sure, so unidentified yes, but alien, no,” he said.

We reached out to several aviation experts, including McConnell. The base told us they were unable to identify the aircraft. They did say it could be a B-2 Bomber, but couldn’t confirm it. And if it was, it wasn’t one of theirs.

There are several theories out there on the internet of what the object could be, but for now the aircraft in the sky remains a mystery.

PS: Puttering around in PS and reversing the values and you can see the back edge. I think the ghost of Jack Northrop is smiling. - Steve Douglass

UPDATE:  Stay tuned,I'm working on getting access to the raw images.

Enhanced frame - click to enlarge. 
click to enlarge.

click to enlarge

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leaked video shows al Qaeda meeting

Washington (CNN) -- A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn't know about it or couldn't get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won't comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda's crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The video started appearing on jihadist websites recently, drawing the attention of U.S. officials and global terrorism experts. U.S. officials say they believe it's authentic.

The video shows al-Wuhayshi addressing more than 100 fighters somewhere within Yemen, Cruickshank said, a restive nation on the southwestern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. The al Qaeda leader, he said, is "taking a big risk in doing this."

But he doesn't mince words about his mission.

In a speech to the group, al-Wuhayshi makes it clear that he's going after the United States, saying "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"

U.S. officials believe the highly produced video is recent. With some fighters faces blurred, there is worry it signals a new round of plotting.

"The U.S. intelligence community should be surprised that such a large group of al Qaeda assembled together, including the leadership, and somehow they didn't notice," said Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst.

There is good reason to worry.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP, is considered the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate. The CIA and the Pentagon have repeatedly killed AQAP leaders with drone strikes. But the group is now emboldened.

"The main problem about this group is that it has a bomb maker who can put bombs on to planes that can't be detected," Bergen said.

That bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, is believed to be responsible for several attack attempts against the United States, including the failed 2009 Christmas Day underwear bomber attack in Detroit.

Al-Asiri doesn't appear in the video. He remains in hiding, and intelligence experts say he and other AQAP leaders have gone back to using couriers to communicate to avoid detection. That makes it even harder to figure out what al-Wuhayshi may order next.

But the terror group leader's goal is clear, Cruickshank said.

"His message to the United States," Cruickshank said, "was very much the same as (former al Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden's: 'We're coming after you.' "

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that leaks tied to Yemen have affected U.S. intelligence collection, but he said he couldn't say whether U.S. intelligence knew about the meeting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Marathon Bombing remembered - communications from that day.

On this the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing I thought I'd post this recording of the police/fire communications at the time of the bombing.

It's hard to listen to, but It's important to remember the absolute chaos inflicted on Boston, since time has the tendency to dull our minds to the terror two people inflicted on one of our great American cities.

But this recording isn't just about the bombing, it is a testament to the police, fire and emergency crews  who despite the incredible chaos  ran toward the explosions and not away from them. .

Huge respect goes out to our first responders, firemen and women and police who risk their lives daily so others might live.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

It's baaaaacck - Skyquakes rocking California.

Was that an earthquake, or an ordinary sonic boom, that rattled Southern California on Wednesday afternoon — or was it the return of Aurora, the nation’s long-rumored, never-confirmed, some-say-mythological super-secret, super-fast spy plane?
Whew. Steady now, X-Files folks.

First, here’s what The Times reported: About 1 p.m. Wednesday, folks from Malibu to Orange County felt what many assumed was an earthquake. For example, Scott Conner, who lives in Malibu, said the shaking was so intense that it almost toppled one of his computer monitors. “I thought it was the biggest quake I’ve ever been in…. This thing was big, big,” he said. “The whole house just lifted.”
Nope, said famed Caltech seismologist Kate Hutton. No earthquakes were reported in the area during that time. “It’s not an earthquake. It’s probably an offshore sonic boom,” Hutton said.

Correct, said the Navy, which confirmed that an aircraft flew faster than the speed of sound as part of an exercise with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan about 50 miles off the coast.
Not so fast, said Malibu’s Conner, sticking to his quake story: “I’ve been around air force bases. I know what sonic booms are. There was no boom either,” Conner said.

Which is where I come in, me and my theory: Call it “the Aurora Anomaly” (I don’t know why, it just sounds cool).

READ THE REST HERE:,0,1377864.story#ixzz2ynImnMw2

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flying triangles and B-2s over Amarillo. What's the USAF up to?

Ever since the images of three mystery aircraft that Dean Muskett and myself photographed near Amarillo were published, I have been deluged with requests for more information and images from the press and the general public.

The comments on various websites and forums have been interesting a well, ranging from the ridiculous, "It's the mother ship from Zeta II Reticuli) to the scoffers "Steve Douglass is a fraud and a phony) and to the educated, "I know aircraft and these are not B-2s." 

With the admission that Whiteman AFB had no B-2s flying that day and also (since the original article was published) that the Edwards B-2 test bird was also not flying, the mystery deepens. If they were admittedly not B-2s - what were they? 

Sorting through the hundreds of e-mails and comments I personally received, a pattern of sightings of these aircraft have emerged and I have a pretty good idea where they are based but it's something I'm not going to reveal until I have definitive proof.

And just when the hub-bub had slowed down, something interesting happened yesterday. At least two and possibly three times yesterday a 3 ship formation of B-2s flew over Amarillo.

One around 3 PM (which was witnessed and photographed by a friend of mine) and then again (by myself) while I was at my grandson's ball game. I even watched as they did a very wide turn,  went to the north with one of the B-2s coming over again flying the same track. Call sign monitored was "REAPR" flight.

So what is the Air Force up to? Why the sudden rash of B-2 overflights over my city? 

1 ship of REAPR flight turning to go over Amarillo again. He made a wide circle around 7:30 PM and followed the same track as before - but by the time he flew over it was too dark to photograph.

Is this some kind of nod to us Interceptors - that the schedulers at Whiteman slipped into their flight training planning to see if they'd be noticed? A sly joke? Or is it something else - are they conditioning us with so many B-2 overflights that other flights of the mystery aircraft will go unnoticed?
One ship of REAPR flight to the west of Amarillo, pulling a long contrail. Once he came over again it was too dark to get a pix even at 1600 ISO

As one of my friends remarked (his photo below) "Just saw another flight of B-2s heading east. That's more sightings in one day then I've had in the 2 1/2 years that I've lived here. I will say that's not a very nice trick to play on somebody. When I first looked up and saw them, they were just black triangles. Wasn't till I got my camera that I could tell they were B-2s. Got me all excited thinking maybe our mystery aircraft came back."

Photographed 4-8-2014

One thing was for sure, they were noticed and once again my phone was deluged with texts and calls alerting me to what I already knew that several billion dollars of B-2s were flying over Amarillo, something very unprecedented and not to mention very expensive.

"Mystery aircraft formation - photographed 3-10-14

That said, the overflight did provide a good reference to compare Dean and my mystery aircraft to. It's even clearer now the aircraft we photographed were not B-2s. The sweep angle (and as pointed out in the original post) the trailing edge are completely different from a B-2.

From personal observation it was also easier to gauge size. I'd say our mystery aircraft was about two-thirds the size of a B-2.

click to enlarge

In closing the mystery aircraft remains a mystery and I have a new quest to get better images from where I think it might be based. 

Soon I will publish the raw images for anyone to analyze, but until then only select images will be released as they are still being scrutinized by aviation and forensic photography experts. Below are a few enhanced frames that you can use to compare to the B-2 I photographed yesterday.

photographed 4-8-2014

Mystery aircraft CLICK TO ENLARGE

Again, inquiries have been made to Whiteman AFB Public Affairs office. Stay tuned for their reply. 

-Steve Douglass

UPDATE: I just received this reply, not quite as friendly as the last one.


Thanks for your query. For this and any future queries regarding this issue, as a matter of operational security, we will not discuss flight schedules and flight paths.


John M. Cooper
1st Lt, United States Air Force
Chief, Public Affairs, 509th Bomb Wing
Whiteman AFB, MO

UPDATE: Since the publication of this post I've received many photos showing the (what seems to me) elaborate display put on by Whiteman's B-2s over West Texas.

Apparently the very public show was witnessed by a lot of West Texans, the normally invisible bomber doing it's best to be seen by as many people as possible, pulling long contrails in the clear blue skies.

The display worthy of the Thunderbirds was seen from Roswell, New Mexico to Midland to Amarillo- the same apparent area where the mystery aircraft were spotted. 

Normally B-2 pilots do everything they can to avoid making contrails, but not in this case.
In conclusion B-2 pilots have the ability and the means to detect if they are producing a contrail. It's then just a simple matter of finding the altitude and humidity levels in the atmosphere where contrail formation can be managed. 

I'll let you draw your own conclusion why the B-2s obviously wanted to be seen over West Texas on 4-8-14.

-Steve Douglass

UPDATE: So let's do the math. LINK

Based on computations (for current published figures) to operate a single stealth bomber on training mission, considering fuel, maintenance, RAM upkeep, etc, it costs the American taxpayer on average $169,313.00 per hour to fly the B-2.

Considering that at least three B-2s were spotted over the Texas/New Mexico area for at least six hours, which does not account the trip back to Whiteman AFB (only loiter time over Texas) the USAF spent close to $4 million on their training sort'e, coincidentally through the same corridor that Dean, Ken and myself spotted the mystery aircraft.

If they had just given us the cash I'm sure we'd all be glad to recant and redact what we photographed.

PSS: Another REAPR flight of three B-2s flew over Amarillo today at around 3:00 PM.

(C) Todd Cason

More B-2 photos taken over Amarillo yesterday April, 11, 2014.

(C) R.B.

(C) R.B.

(C) R.B.

(C) R.B.


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