Three weeks gone now since the release of a detailed investigation of arguably the most significant UFO footage of the modern era. Yet, not a peep about it in the mainstream press. Can you believe that? Could this be part of a pattern? Hmm.
OK, let’s just dispense with the obvious (again): When it comes to The Great Taboo, The New York Times, The Washington Post and pretty much every corporate watchdog in the Fourth Estate are reliable no-shows unless being spoonfed press release-sized pre-chewed culturally acceptable talking points. But maybe it’s unfair to single out the institutions; no mortal is immune to the evolutionary shift that is reprogramming -- right now, even as you read -- the universal attention span for minimal capacity. Who among you can hang, seriously, be honest, with a technical, 162-page multi-disciplinary analysis of a high-strangeness event– even if it was captured by an airborne government surveillance camera? But of course you'd watch the video, who wouldn't? That's why one would think somebody, somewhere, might’ve broken from the mainstream flock and at least posted the footage, just for the easy bounce in traffic. It’s not every day we get a chance to see a taxpayer-financed video of a UFO outperforming our coolest toys.
On Aug. 19, a week or so after the Aguadilla news broke, Forbes magazine announced how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had approved back in April Boeing’s design of a “transformer-like process for converting the drone into a small submersible vehicle when it hits the water.” Superficially, it sounds a lot like what happened over Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, on the evening of 4/25/13. That’s when a Customs and Border Protection plane tracked the night-flying UFO with thermal imaging and recorded about two minutes' worth of action. Hurtling erratically along at anywhere from 40 to 120 mph, no transponder, and apparently forcing the 16-minute delay of a FedEx flight due to its proximity to a local airport, the gizmo went for a shallow dip in the Caribbean -- and averaged 82.8 mph. Underwater. Nearly twice the speed of most submarines and torpedoes.
Boeing’s designs on developing a “rapid deployment air and water vehicle” for the U.S. Navy include wings, stabilizers and propellers while aloft, and detachable components in its submersible configuration. But those sleek schematics on paper don't much resemble the vaguely spheroid, boxy-looking amorphous thingamajig that buzzed commercial/residential landscapes in Puerto Rico. And, unfortunately for Boeing, the plans it submitted to the USPTO don’t call for its Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) to split apart as it emerges from the water to become two separate flying vehicles. Looks like whoever invented the Aguadilla UFO beat Boeing to that nifty trick at least two years ago. That’s got to be a bummer, because the team that studied the Customs and Border Protection video -- they call themselves the Scientific Coalition for Ufology -- could detect no means whatsoever of propulsion for the UUV.
So guess what? If I’m the Navy brass, I’m saying Look, guys, China's working on supercavitation technology that can propel a sub at the speed of sound, so screw the Boeing specs, give me one of those Aguadilla UUVs so I can double my coverage and beat the snot out of anything that tries to chase me in the water. Fortunately for all parties, the media is keeping its distance from this one, so nobody has to get embarrassed or agitated in a public manner.
In the meantime, with or without the press, with or without institutional science, research on this curiosity continues. Here’s a radar rehash of that event, conceived and posted by UK researcher Rob Jeffs. Because no radar pingbacks registered on the UFO – too small? below the coverage? stealth? – its precise location during the sequence is inferred by the CBP plane's flight pattern. Jeffs' narration is self-explanatory, and it’s worth a look:
“It’s intriguing because the video appears to show some interaction with the water, which would place the object at ground level – at least at the end of the sequence,” adds Jeffs in an email. “But it’s also frustrating because while the video provides information that a UFO case wouldn’t usually include, it also raises additional questions, for instance, how the infrared camera operates.”
Bingo. If only. SCU team member Larry Cates is a mathematician with a background in systems analysis and hardware development. He got hooked on the UFO mystery after studying MUFON's radar post-mortem on the 2008 Stephenville incident. Among other things, Cates fired off FOIA radar requests for SCU, shortly after the footage was leaked, apparently by a federal employee, in 2013.
“There’s still more analysis to be done. For instance, most of us were pretty naïve about infrared when we started this project two years ago, trying to figure out what’s normal in an infrared video." That path ended at the gates of the technology that acquired the UFO footage -- Wescam MX-15D's thermal optics. “We went through a learning curve and then we bumped up against trade secrets and need-to-know issues.”
So imagine if NASA or NOAA or any government agency other than DoD brought transparently funded curiosity to bear on Aguadilla. Imagine if they issued press releases to The Times or The Post or NPR or Amy Goodman or Dr. Sanjay Gupta or Jimmy Fallon or take your pick, and gave them all permission to cover the story.