Saturday, 27 August 2016


This is essentially the same horsepower as U-2. 

28 September 1949
“45,000 horsepower is required to drive a 25 ton plane 1500 miles an hour (MACH 2.27) at 70,000 feet. … The power requirement would jump to 200,000 horsepower at sea level because of greater air resistance.”
U.S. May Push Efforts to Make Atomic Engine
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Sep 28, 1949;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times
pg. 12

Friday, 26 August 2016


09 January 1946 
English Electric received a contract to produce four prototypes, which received the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) designation A.1; work commenced on the construction of these prototype aircraft in that same year, which were all built on production jigs.
Richard S Leghorn MIT graduate advocates development of high resolution photo reconnaissance of a potential enemy using high altitude aircraft.
05 March 1946
May 1946
NEPA begins
23 February 1947
San Diego Union article declaring a remotely controlled atomic airplane was being built.
24 June 1947
Kenneth Arnold UFO Mt. Rainer flying @ 1700 mph or 2.289060241 Mach. Arnold believes that the craft was remotely controlled.
08 July 1947
The first UFO reports for project sign
July 1947
Pentagon officials were expressing alarm about the flying disk reports
October 1947
In response to Rolls-Royce's difficulties, English Electric elected to have the second prototype modified to use the existing Nene engine in place of the Avon.[6] The implementation of post-war military cutbacks also served to slow development.
20 September 1948
Ramjets being tested in Los Angeles breaking the sound barrier.
February 1949
Project Grudge
13 May 1949
First Canberra Flight
28 September 1949
“45,000 horsepower is required to drive a 25 ton plane 1500 miles an hour (MACH 1.97) at 70,000 feet. … The power requirement would jump to 200,000 horsepower at sea level because of greater air resistance.”
U.S. May Push Efforts to Make Atomic Engine
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Sep 28, 1949;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times
pg. 12
16 October 1949
Caltech scientists on Mount Palomar observe “flying disk” that sets off Geiger counter.
21 February 1951
A British Canberra B.2 flown by Roland Beamont became the first jet to make a nonstop unrefueled flight across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in the United States for USAF evaluation.
22 February 1951
New York Times (1923-Current file); Feb 23, 1951; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index pg. 1

Thursday, 11 August 2016


Thorton, G. (1963). Introduction to Nuclear Propulsion. Nuclear Materials & Propulsion Operation. General Electric Flight Propulsion Laboratory Department, p.60.
The Tory II-A reactor had a power rating of 155 megawatts. This translates to 207,859 horsepower. The J-58 produced 160,000 horsepower giving it 120 Megawatt power rating. If the Tory II-A had the same thrust to megawatt ratio as the 500 megawatt Tory reactors then it had 10,800 pounds of thrust. This is an interesting result in that at 10,800 pounds it is nearly the same thrust as the J-57 used in the first U-2's. The Tory II-A also had similar dimensions to the J-57.

Given the fact that the U2-A only weighed 8 tons (or 3.125 times less than 25 tons); it had the power to go well over Mach 2 at sea level. But since it was flying over 100,000 feet where air resistance is practically nil. The atomic U2-A had the power to travel at 21,642 mph or Mach 32. So, it appears as though what Col. L Fletcher Prouty claimed about the U2 "spy" plane was true. Although he left out the nuclear part. He did make odd claims about the U2 being hydrogen supplemented with a tank approximately the size of a fire extinguisher. He was dog whistling to those in the know about the U2-A being nuclear powered. So, his claims about Gary Powers being set up were true. Because the Soviets did not have the ability to shoot down the U2-A in their wildest dreams.

Interestingly the SNAP 8 reactor was about the size of fire extinguisher.

Specifications (J57-P-23)[edit]

Pratt & Whitney J57 turbojet
Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbojet
  • Length: 244 in (6197.6mm)
  • Diameter: 39 in (990.6mm)
  • Dry weight: 5,175 lb (2,347 kg)



Friday, 5 August 2016

Project SIGN Case Number: 172


1 October 1948 
Project SIGN Case Number: 172 

The third most publicly celebrated UFO case of the Project SIGN period would again involve one of the military’s own personnel. A drama would be played out in the North Central area of the United States. In a sparsely populated area of the country a modern cowboy would face a showdown with an unidentified flying object. This case would be listed in the Project SIGN files as Incident Number 172, and to be commonly known as, "The UFO Dogfight over Fargo." 

Twenty-five year old George F. Gorman of Fargo, North Dakota and a Second Lieutenant in the Air National Guard, was putting in some flying time on a cross-country flight in his P-51 Mustang. It was October 1, 1948 at 8:30 p.m. Lt. Gorman was a few minutes away from an incident that would cause an immediate response from the SIGN team at Wright-Patterson AFB. 

Lt. Gorman was enjoying his flight. He headed west on this clear, crisp autumn evening toward Valley City, North Dakota. Getting night flying hours under his belt would be good, or so he thought. Turning 180º he headed back toward Fargo, ND and began circling the football field, enjoying glimpsing the game from the air. 

As he circled the football field he noticed, to the North, a Piper Cub airplane that was approximately 500 feet lower than his P-51. A few moments later a light traveling from the East toward the West caught his eye. The light is between Hector Airport and the football field. It is moving rapidly. Gorman does not know what the object is and decides to radio the control tower at the Hector Airport. Mr. L.D. Jensen, the Air Traffic Control Operator on duty radios back that the only traffic in the near vicinity of Gorman’s aircraft is the Piper Cub being piloted by Dr. L.N. Cannon and his friend, Einar Johnson. 

At this moment Lt. Gorman decided to investigate the object. Heading his plane toward it he found that the object apparently does not take kindly to close inspections. As Gorman would later relate to Major Paul Kubala of Air Technical Intelligence at Wright-Patterson AFB and Major Donald C. Jones of the 178th Fighter Squadron of the North Dakota Air National Guard in two separate interviews:

"My first reaction was to keep it [the lighted object] in sight and circle with it. At the time the object was making a circle around the city of Fargo at approximately 1000 feet [and] traveling at the same rate of speed as I [was]. Putting it in the light of the city, myself above it, I checked it for wings and fuselage but appeared to have none. I could distinguish the outline of the cub [Dr. Johnson’s Piper Cub] distinctly." 

Gorman described the object as, "a white light with no apparent glare and a clear cut edge…it seemed flat…from 6 to 8 inches in diameter." 

Major Jones asked Lt. Gorman to describe what had been happening during the 27 minutes that Gorman was chasing the object. Lt. Gorman replied: 

"After the initial peel off, I realized the speed of the object was too great to catch in a straight chase, so I proceeded to cut it off in turns. At this time my fighter was under full power. My speed varying between 300 and 400 [MPH]. The object circled to the left, I cut back to the right for a head-on pass. The pass was made at approximately 5000 feet, the object [was] approaching head-on until a collision seemed inevitable. 

The object veered and passed approximately 500 feet or less over the top [of my aircraft] above me. I chandelled around, still without the object in sight. The object made a 180º turn an initiated a pass at me. 

This time I watched it approach all the way and as it started to pull up, I pulled up abruptly, trying to ram the object until [it] was straight up; with me following. At approximately 14,000 feet I stalled out with the object apparently 2000 feet above me circling to the left. 

We made two circles to the left. The object then pulled out away from me and made another head-on pass. At this time the pass started and the object broke off a large distance from me heading over Hector Airport to the northwest at apparently 11,000 feet. I gave chase circling to the left trying to cut it off until I was 25 miles southeast of Fargo. 

I was at 14,000 [feet], the object at 11,000 [feet] when I again gave the aircraft full power [attempting] to catch it in a diving turn. The object turned around and made another head-on pass. This time, when pulling up, I pulled up also and observed it traveling straight up until I lost it. I then returned to the field [Hector Airport] and landed." 

Interestingly, Dr. Cannon and Einar Johnson upon landing their Piper Cub went immediately to the control tower at the Hector Airport and listened to the radio transmissions of Lt. Gorman. Dr. Cannon watched the object through binoculars but couldn’t follow the action as well as he wanted to. When the team from Project SIGN arrived they checked out Gorman’s aircraft with a Geiger Counter. The aircraft showed signs of radiation. Unfortunately, the team would later discard this aspect of the incident. 

As was becoming commonplace among the Project SIGN personnel, the investigation of the Gorman Incident would be an exercise in gross inaccuracies and inconsistent reporting, coupled with an affinity to immediately discount a witness statement because it could cause trouble further up the chain of command. Alfred C. Loedding makes this aspect clear in his memorandum of the Gorman Incident to Colonel Howard McCoy. Portions of his memorandum are transcribed as follows: 

"A review of Lt. Gorman’s statement and facts presented, which were considered highly reliable by interrogation from this Headquarters [MCIAXS – Project SIGN], suggests the following… 

The positive statement that the aerial object sighted by Lt. Gorman was a piloted aircraft is unjustified and may lead to serious complications. Although the object apparently performed in a superior manner and as though human thought was involved, nothing was reported to indicate or permit assumption that the object was an aircraft, as the term is accepted today. 

A check with MCIA personnel involved in this case and Project SIGN disclosed that their concept of the configuration was spherical or "ball-like," furthermore, it was officially reported and recorded as such. Actually, the configuration is round, but flat or "disc-like…This error on the part of the Intelligence Department could cause some serious embarrassment and repercussions. 

…It is recommended that the entire comment 2 from MCIAXS be disregarded and not made a matter of official record of the subject incident No. 172…" 

That Alfred C. Loedding was doing in sending his memorandum to Colonel Howard McCoy was two-fold. It alerted Col. McCoy to the fact that the Project SIGN team were making errors in their reports, but more importantly, that the reports were being doctored to avoid both errors in reporting the intelligence data being gathered and to temper the ardent belief of the SIGN team that these objects were obviously extraterrestrial in nature. Loedding was already astute to the fact that the Pentagon brass were extremely divided over whether the UFOs being reported were advanced technology from Russia or really "space ships" from another planet. It did not take long for Col. McCoy to cover his bases. He immediately requested clarification from Major Donald Jones at the North Dakota National Guard. 

Early cases investigated and/or analyzed by the Project SIGN team or through the use of consultants, left much to be desired as far scientific acumen goes. The members were few; there was little support from the Pentagon for the efforts expected by the SIGN project and cooperation was helter-skelter at best. These cases, Mantell, Chiles-Whitted and Gorman have become classics over the last fifty years. Most of them still cause intense debate among Ufologists, but they represent the cream of the crop as far as the early incidents were considered by both the military and the media. They played well in the newspapers of the time and brought the public insight and some comfort knowing that the phenomenon was being investigated. The fears of war were still in the hearts of the American citizens and the Cold War continued to fuel the feeling that the nation and its people were not safe. 

This small group of men comprising the forces of Project SIGN remained extremely busy with reports of unidentified flying objects pouring into the small office at Wright-Patterson AFB. Although the project was understaffed and under funded, the work of gathering the data from the various sightings continued at a frenzied pace. Even so, the Project SIGN team did make a bold attempt to return to the earlier sighting cases that flooded the Air Force Office of Intelligence at the Pentagon and attempt to gather the data into one place and review the analyses that had gone before under the pseudo project known as SAUCER. 

There is little doubt that the Project SIGN staff was aware that many excellent sightings or cases involving UFOs were never assigned to them. Dr. J. Allen Hynek and other prominent researchers have expressed frustration regarding this aspect for many years. There are many elements of the Project SIGN reports that cryptically signal that more was going on regarding the UFO phenomenon than was being expressed or included in the Project SIGN files. 

Looking back into those earlier years, it is of value to rediscover the incident that actually started the process toward the evolution of Project SIGN. That case has become infamous in the annuals of UFO history. Incident Number 17 in the files of Project SIGN was commonly referred to as the Arnold Sighting. 

A common misconception in the American vernacular came from Incident Number 17. It has always been assumed and reported that Kenneth Arnold coined the term, "Flying Saucers." However, this fact is a misnomer. Although the term was used in newspapers following Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, the term "Flying Saucers" was first used by John Martin, a Texas farmer in 1867. He actually called the unidentified object he saw on a hunting trip, a "Flying Saucer."