UFO Conjectures

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The 1957 RB-47 UFO sighting: explained


The July 17th, 1957 sighting of a UFO or UFOs is touted by some ufologists as one of the best, or the best, evidence for the reality of UFOs.

A full account of the episode may be found at http://www.ufologie.net/htm/rb47.htm

And here some excerpts from the text found at the above web-site:

[The radar on the RB-47] detected electromagnetic signals that were actually emitted by an object itself.

the signal moved up the scope, as it would if the scope was 180° out of alignment.

it had moved up the scope on the right-hand side of the aircraft, it then crossed the path of the RB-47 and proceeded to move down the scope on the left-hand side. In other words, whatever was emitting the signal flew a ring around the RB-47

the pilot, Lewis Chase, saw a light coming in from the left, at approximately the same altitude as the RB-47. At first he thought it was another plane, but it was only a single white light, It then blinked out at a point to the right front of the aircraft.

At 4:39, Chase spotted a huge light to the right front of the RB-47

At 4:40, McClure reported two signals, at 40° and 70°. Chase and McCoid reported seeing red lights at those locations.

At 4:48 AM, radar station Utah requested the position of the signals that McClure was receiving, and they immediately confirmed that their radar had detected the objects at the same location.

As the RB-47 attempted to pursue, the object appeared to stop suddenly. Chase could see that they were gaining on it, and they over shot it. At 4:52 it blinked out, and simultaneously vanished from McClure's scope and the ground radar!

the object suddenly blinked on again, simultaneously reappearing on McClure's scope and the ground radar at 4:52! They began to close to within 5 miles of the object, when it suddenly dropped to 15,000 feet and then blinked out again, once again vanishing from the scopes and ground radar.

it finally faded as they neared Oklahoma City

As one can see, the UFO was not a tangible object visually, but a light source.

Radar on the plane and ground saw the “object(s)” as tangible.

There are other cases similar to the RB-47 episode – the Coyne helicopter incident of 1973 and the 1976 Tehran sighting.

Such sightings, and the RB-47 sighting in particular, are evidence of nothing; well almost nothing.

They are merely (and we use the word “merely” explicitly here) quantum manifestations – not at the usual infinitesimal level but at a macro-cosmic level, as we are argue elsewhere.

The electromagnetic manifestations of the RB-47 incident mimic Dirac’s studies of the electromagnetic radiation light, which produces particle and wave results to observers, which can be measured with radar and other instruments.

And specifically Max Born’s 1926experiments with quantum mechanical probability provide the clue as to what the RB-47 crew experienced:

“The probability amplitude for an electron in the state n to scatter in the direction m provides its own intensity wave…and the absolute value…turns out to be a physical probability of the associated particle’s presence.”

What the RB-47 crew saw and measured (eliciting changes in the light because of the effect of measurement/observation of quantum artifacts) was a quantum manifestation that, for us, represents most if not all “lights-in-the-sky” sightings.

For ufologists to posit the extraterrestrial hypothesis, sometimes subliminally (Clark, Hall, Sparks, et al.) but usually overtly (Friedman) rather than explore the quantum possibilities shows that ufologists are not familiar with what physicists are thinking, especially how quantum may be a reality at local and non-local levels, and manifesting in ways that can be experienced optically rather than only theoretically.

[See Kaku, Susskind, and Greene]

As for flying saucers – the “nuts-and-bolts” sightings, we’ll continue to deal with those as mostly misidentification of secret and not-so-secret military aircraft, or the fabrications of persons seeking to validate their humdrum existences.


  • I wish you guess would take the time to present a basic working definition of what a quantum manifestation is. I'd like to understand what you are suggesting here - but I'm not quite getting it.


    By Blogger MKJessup, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • MKJ:

    A quantum manifestation derives from interactions of the four fundamental physical forces: Gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak, and strong nuclear forces.

    Physicists, as you know from the literature nowadays, show (or attempt to) that quantum reality shows up in the universe, and is visible or measurable, still uncertain in that measurement, but palpable; that is, visible, as in the influence of dark matter on other matter, or when black holes interact with matter that it confronts.

    Quantum no longer is relegated to abstraction or an infinitely small aspect of reality, one that can only be guessed at and not seen.

    Quantum mechanics appears to be the operative function of the manifest universe, the one we can see, not the previous quantum universe that physicists could only theorize about, and examine via equations.

    The field of study about this has, however, been corrupted as Smolin and others decry, by the obsession with string theory, which doesn't produce measurable, as yet, consequences.

    Quantum manifestations are simply the actions that come about because someone observes or measures an event, producing a change in that event.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • Guy(s), the hiccups for me with this theory are:

    1. it DESCRIBES a mechanism reducible to: PERCEPTION effects MANIFESTATION - but doesn't preclude the possibility SOMETHING with capacities beyond our own (at present) DELIBERATELY provoked/engineered the PERCEPTION in order to INDUCE the MANIFESTATION (for reasons known to 'itself').

    - i.e., it debatably 'explains' the radar image but DOES NOT explain the light source;

    2. if PERCEIVING light sources was all it takes to induce quantum manifestations on that scale, then where are the likes of all the anomalous radar images that should be occurring on an incessant basis?

    - or do you in fact know such incessant occurrences to be the norm?

    That said, the only real dispute I have with your idea is your - possibly unintended - tone of assumption that such a mechanism isn't just a perhaps rare possibility but for a fact dispenses with all other competing 'explanations'.

    By Blogger borky, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • Borky:

    Your points are well-taken.

    In the RB-47 incident the "object' was not an object but a light source, and one that also produced radar returns -- exactly what quantum particles are supposed to do, according to Dirac's experiments.

    And the "objects" responses to the crew's observation and the radar measurement do exactly what quantum artifacts do -- when measured. (See John Wheeler about this.)

    We're not suggesting that all UFO occurrences are quantum-oriented, but the RB-47 incident, Coyne episode, and the Tehran event seem to be so.

    We have some others that fit the bill also, and shall put them online upcoming.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • Wow! I thought I'de never read a skeptic push a theory centered around the butchered corpse of a legit science. -You're making Adamski look more credible by the minute.


    By Blogger BoyintheMachine, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • Jason:

    We take it that's not a compliment.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 09, 2007  

  • "Quantum manifestations are simply the actions that come about because someone observes or measures an event, producing a change in that event."

    I am confused since I am not exactly a scholar...no kidding. Are mere observations or measurements able to change things on a macroscopic level? How about the mere act of just thinking about something? I am trying to understand this stuff so please excuse my stupidity.

    By Blogger Rich, at Saturday, April 21, 2007  

  • Yeah, quantum mnifestations that move precisely around a fast moving 650 mph jet, flying on the wings of upper atmosphere wind, over the earth rotating at something 1000 mph in one direction and orbiting the sun at 10,000 mph in another while the Sun moves within the Galaxy at 25,000 mph in another. Quantum maniphestations would be anchored in empty space and would zip by a Jet at something like 18,000 mph undetected in a straight line.

    Meanwhile, in England the same year, an F86 spotted one seen from the ground, was ordered to shoot it down, took a lock on it with his radar firing system and picked up a signal as big as an aircraft carrier but it moved off suddenly from a parallel stationary point at 9700 mph.

    He was warned by Air Force ZDiv Special Security not to discuss it with anyone, and even though these all happened back in 1957 before integrated circuits and advanced power transistors, it was claimed later to have been Radar Mimicry trying to create images that would fool the Russians.

    Sure it was.

    By Blogger COMPAMERICA, at Monday, October 20, 2008  

  • Ummm... I'm actually a Physicist and none of what you said has any meaning. The effects you are talking about (I think anyways; none of this really makes any sense) are incredibly improbable at the macro level in our atmosphere. There are too many variables to do a quick calculation but probably wouldn't ever happen in the age of the universe. The macro effects you are discussing with black holes and the like are special cases.

    By Blogger Joseph, at Saturday, September 25, 2010  

  • Joseph,

    The error of your response is in the opening: "I am a physicist."

    You are constrained by the parameters of your science.

    Thinking way outside the traditional physics box allows our weird, almost insensible hypotheses.

    That's what we do here.

    I know -- that grates on highly intelligent types, like you, but there it is...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 25, 2010  

  • I postulate it to be Tesla derived experiments, perpetrated unknowingly on an experienced crew, from the white and red lights to the speed change and eventual fading also the physical presence could be attributed to a short range controlled mechanism following the plane by radar, one of the no the most underrated and hidden genius, so much so that he stopped experimenting and dismantled everything realizing the potential of destroying everything, giving key plans to CANADA,USSR,USA

    By Blogger A Serf of Logic, at Monday, March 28, 2011  

  • People who pose an argument here that it is evidence of ET is ridiculous. The point that quantum mechanics may have something to do with it is both sound, and plausible. This does not rule out that it IS an ET, but it is far more factually based than just saying "it's a random light, MUST BE ET!!!!"

    That is the kind of step required to believe in a father figure God.

    By Blogger Kirk, at Tuesday, August 09, 2011  

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