More great military technology from Lockheed Martin.
This airship is another flying machine that's going to spark off UFO reports.
But who knows? Maybe we'd be right to see something alien in this. Military technology is progressing so fast, I can't stop thinking that maybe Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and the like are getting some help from somewhere or something.
We all know that at least some so-called 'UFO' sightings are actually glimpses of military black projects.
Secret, highly experimental aircraft are almost certainly still out there. But fewer than there used to be. Budgets are tight. The military doesn't spend like a drunken sailor anymore. Military-industrial contractors have to fund their own research.
And overseas customers are far more important than they used to be. The US might be keeping the F-22 to itself, but the F-35 can't survive without lots of foreign buyers.
So these days, a new technology is as likely to end up in a promotional video as in the darkened skies above us.
But I bet that won't stop some of these weird and amazing craft from being mistaken for alien spacecraft.
For example, take Lockheed Martin's Various UAV, which is only at the animated marketing video stage (officially at least. I bet there's one or two flying).
In spite of the swept wings, it's a subsonic craft. Those wings have long chords at the root to accommodate vertical lift fans. It's an amazing piece of kit. But alien it ain't.
For years now I've kept careful records of all the encounters I've witnessed, investigated or had reported to me. I'm going to share a number of these reports with you through this blog, in a kind of sporadic, ad hoc series. And I'm starting with a recent story - one I came across during a recent tour through the South and East while on 'rest leave' from my job.
Case #: 1073
Date: Aug 13, 2008
Location: Algebra, Kentucky
Report type: Verbal report to investigator
Entity type: Triangular craft
A young man, identifying himself as 'Charles' (real name withheld on request), aged 24, approached this investigator at a hospitality establishment outside Horse Cave, Kentucky. He was in an agitated state.
I had been talking with the manager of the establishment and had informed him of my interest in UFOs and unexplained phenomena. The manager called to Charles and told him to relate his own story. It appears, from the comments of other members of the establishment, that he had been doing little else since the event of two nights before.
Following an evening spent at the same hospitality establishment, Charles had been walking to his trailer, about five miles away. He had recently been deprived of the privileges of his driver's licence, for reasons unexplained.
It was a dark night - apparently moonless and with a thick cloud cover.
Charles spotted what he thought was a fire in the distance. Then it vanished. From time to time, he saw the same orange glow appear between trees, apparently on the distant hilltops, but his vision was frequently obscured by the forest. But he became aware that the location of the 'fire' did not seem to be fixed.
He also started to be aware of a strange noise - a deep "rumbling" or "throbbing". He said he found the sound "disturbing" and yet, at the same time, "kinda frisky."
Charles said he then stopped by the side of the road to "relieve the tension." As he stood there, "the sky just seemed to get darker," he said. "I thought it was, you know, gonna rain or something. But then I saw that the sky was moving, and that it wasn't no cloud. I figured it was time to button up and get the hell outta there."
But Charles found himself unable to move. As he stared at the sky he could make out a huge triangular shape, darker than the sky. He estimated its length at 300-400 feet and a similar width at its base. It was impossible to make out any details in the craft itself. But it seemed to emanate a strange force that made Charles tremble, caused a "churning in the guts" and made his hair stand on end.
The craft had nearly passed when a bright orange light appeared at the rear end, "like its ass was on fire." The craft vanished quickly. Charles was so overcome that he collapsed into the ditch by the side of the road.
When was was awoken the next morning, following a brief search by his common-law wife, 'Tina', it was found that Charles' watch had stopped at what he estimated was the precise time the craft had disappeared. He was still weak from the experience and took several hours to gain sufficient strength to revisit the hospitality establishment.
No-one else in the vicinity has reported any sightings.
I noticed a while back that there seem to have been a number of UFO sightings within a fairly small area. I've always kept records of every sighting I've investigated, but for some reason I hadn't thought about how they were distributed geographically. Could there be any significance in this?
I started with the past year's worth of sightings. Quite a few. More frequent than at any other time I can remember. I've added a few older ones, too, sightings that I know are reliable.
As best I could, I marked the location of each sighting on a map. It's not always easy. Sometimes the witness is unsure of his or her location when the event occurs. Sometimes, they tell me, when the event is over, they find themselves in a different place to where they started.
And sometimes, to be honest, I'm not sure how much to trust them.
This is something all UFO investigators have to confront. Among those who claim to have had contact with the unknown, there is a small portion who are liars, a handful who are simple fantasists and perhaps some who are just confused or flaky. It's my belief that most are genuine, but how do you decide where any one witness fits into these categories?
I have to go on instinct. As the Weekly World Inquisitor is ... well, the kind of publication that it is, we probably get more than our fair share of liars, fantasists, and flakes contacting us. I have techniques for weeding them out - obviously I can't say here what they are. But the rest is down to gut feeling.
If I feel the report is from someone reliable, and the information is detailed, the sighting gets a solid dot - the size of the dot representing the significance or importance of the sighting.
In the case of witnesses who seem genuine, but who are unsure or confused, I draw a ring. That ring represents uncertainty of various kinds - of exact location or my reservations about the witness.
The dots and rings are building up. There are more rings than dots. Why is that?
I'm looking for patterns. We are pattern-seeking animals, after all. But I think something is starting to emerge. I haven't finished yet, so more when I've completed the map...
Something is going on.
Strange things are happening.
Out in the desert, weird events are taking place. And that's why the Weekly World Inquisitor is giving me this chance to talk to you directly.
I have always been a seeker of the truth. But the Inquisitor has other needs, other agenda. I always write the truth, but sometimes it doesn't make it into the magazine or on to the website in any form I'd recognise.
I may be going out on a limb here. This could get me fired ... or worse. But I aim to use this blog to tell things as I see it. To convey to you what truths I find, what facts I discover, without the editors mangling my words. I think it will work because no-one here reads the website.
So we'll see ... stay tuned.