Recent news reports have blamed strange sonic disturbance from London to New York on the secretive Aurora project, so it seems timely to recap on what the Aurora project actually is, and whether it’s a real project at all.
We can’t know whether the strange booms heard from Aberdeen to Devon really do originate from a military test vehicle, but at least we can look at the facts. My gut says that if you were testing something top secret you wouldn’t be flying it anywhere near a densely populated island such as ours though. Some so-called experts have been quoted saying that the noises sounded like a “pulse detonation engine”, but seeing as no one (as far as we know) has ever built one it would be difficult to believe such a statement to be true.
What is Aurora?
The Aurora, if it exists, is an ultra top secret aircraft that has been being developed in the US since the 90s. The Blackbird, which many will be familiar with, was capable of flying at 2242 mph – Mach 3.35, but this beast was retired in 1998. It seems unlikely that the US wouldn’t want to plug that hole in it’s armory with a new creature. The Aurora is supposed to be able to hit over 8000 mph – Mach 11.8. That’s some pretty incredible stats, but without any official pronouncement of it’s existence or any physical evidence, how has such a craft been brought to the conspiracy theorists table?
Unlike most conspiracy theories, no one is surprised that the military are making things without telling us. Most people would be surprised if they weren’t trying out new technology. That’s their job. So they’re making things that many of us couldn’t dream of, they have almost unlimited cash and some of the brightest minds in the world. They are bound to make something pretty epic. I mean, the blackbird is still a pretty awesome sight to behold. So what’s the evidence for Aurora?
The Aurora legend was born in 1990 when Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine ran an article that reported on a mysterious entry in the 1985 US budget, where $445 million were attributed to “black aircraft production” under the name Aurora. The magazine predicted that it may be a budget for a series of exotic craft, not just a single type, but the legend was born.
By the late 80’s aerospace industry observers were pretty confident that the military had the know how to make a replacement Blackbird that could hit mach 5, but nothing was made public. Then in the mid 90’s, sightings started to be reported in California and the UK.
In August 1989, engineer Chris Gibson was working on a jack-up barge in the North Sea. He reported a black isosceles triangle being refueled by a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker and shepherded by a pair of F-111s. What makes this sighting all the more important is that Gibson wasn’t just some semi-drunk hick in the desert, he had served in the Royal Observers Corp since 1980. The Royal Observers Corp were an award winning aircraft recognition team, so if anyone was going to recognise it, it was him. This sighting became public in 1992 and the British Defence Secretary at the time, Tom King, was quoted as saying:
“There is no knowledge in the MoD of a ‘black’ programme of this nature, although it would not surprise the relevant desk officers in the Air Staff and Defence Intelligence Staff if it did exist.”
That’s kind of how I feel about the whole thing.
At RAF Boscombe Down in 1994 there was a US military aircraft accident and a plane came down. USAF aircraft flooded the base and crash site workers were shielded from witnessing the impact site by fire trucks and tarpauline. The wreckage was flown back to the US two days later. This story gives us no more details than we had already, but at least it points to US secrets, so secret they had to secrete them from the UK’s military.
In 1991, U.S. Geological Survey sensors in southern California recorded a series of unusual sonic booms. Sonic booms were picked up by their equipment every so often so they were used to hearing them, but these weren’t attributed to anything that had actually been flying about that day. They reported that the booms were stronger than others they’d recorded in the past. A NASA sonic boom specialist poured over the data in 2006 and his findings were that the booms were generated at around 90,000 ft at Mach 4 – 5.2.
Steven Douglas, in 1992 brought us probably the most famous bit of “evidence” for a stranger, faster type of craft in the format of a “donuts on a rope” contrail. The photo below was also associated with distinctive sounds –
“strange, loud pulsating roar… unique… a deep pulsating rumble that vibrated the house and made the windows shake… similar to rocket engine noise, but deeper, with evenly timed pulses.”
Douglas also intercepted some radio transmissions from pilots with call signs like Dark November and Dark Star, which sound brilliant/cool, but that’s not any kind of evidence on it’s own.
In 1994, Bob Lazar, a controversial figure that allegedly worked at Area 51, said he saw the Aurora from the bus he was on in Groom Lake Nevada. He described a loud roar and square exhausts. He was told that the craft was powered by liquid methane by his supervisor. (Bob Lazar is certainly not a universally trusted source though, he has made the claim that he was a physicist at Area 51 and has talked at length about things he has seen. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult to verify details about him, even things as simple as which schools he went to. He’s an article in himself though so I’ll leave that for another day.)
In the same year Chuck Clark, an Area 51 expert from Rachel, Nevada camped out as close to the base as he could get one night (which isn’t very close). He was confident no one would expect him to be there as it was a freezing night and he was confident not to be spotted as he was wearing thermal protection so he wouldn’t be observable to infrared. He claims to have watched the craft and filmed it and described it thus
“…..a sharp delta with twin tails about a hundred and thirty feet long. It taxied out of a lighted hangar at two-thirty A.M. and used a lot of runway to take off. It had one red light on top, but the minute the wheels left the runway, the light went off and that was the last I saw of it. I didn’t hear it because the wind was blowing from behind me toward the base.”
Chuck (and I find it hard to trust anyone called Chuck but I know that’s my problem not his) also claims to have filmed this event. When asked about the tape he says he has it locked away. He is only interested in capturing UFO footage and feels that secret aircraft are a legitimate military endeavor and he won’t willingly break the secrecy. How convenient.
So there’s nothing concrete, but to me it seems more than likely that the government is working on new aircraft. In the same way that they are probably working on new types of gun, new armored vehicles and new chemical weapons. The US military has to stay at the forefront of technology if it wants to keep stealing natural resources from poor countries and sticking it’s beak in where it’s not wanted. Whether Aurora is a single craft or a fleet of weird crafts is unknown. How is it powered? What does it look like? We’ll have to wait and see. Most reports are that sightings have decreased since the 90’s, maybe they’ve hit a technical problem, or a financial problem. Or maybe they’ve just realised that they don’t need technology that advanced to destroy pretty much any other country on earth, so they’re having a nice rest?
Here’s a short video which shows the two most compelling bits of evidence… it’s not much but…..