A Bevy of Earthly Saucers - The Manmade UFO Controversy (Part 2)

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By Scott Corrales
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic UFOlogy
UFO Digest Latin America Correspondent

A Bevy of Earthly Saucers
By Manuel Carballal
(Translated by Scott Corrales)

by Manuel Carballal - In Memory of Andreas Faber Kaiser
ISBN: 84-89047-23-5

(See part 1 published here:  http://www.ufodigest.com/article/bevy-earthly-saucers-manmade-ufo-controversy

Naturally, all those designs form part of hybrid dirigibles, which manage to remain airborne by the combined use of aerostatic and aerodynamic pressure. Vehicles which underwent little or no development in the past (as far as we know) have currently emerged as a new concept with a promising future. They combine dirigible technologies with others, such as rotating wing vehicles (autogiros, etc.).

The basic role played by these hybrid vehicles would be to cover the requirement of lifting and transporting large loads, including to places lacking a support infrastructure on the ground, at a reasonable cost and with no need of special support. Short-term development studies foresee lift/load capabilities of over 150 metric tons--weights far beyond the ability of helicopters to handle, and unreasonably costly for these due to their refueling limitations.

Studies undertaken by NASA and Goodyear Aerospace have indicated mean savings of about 45% in the total cost of a number of construction projects through the use of cargo lifting and transportation systems belonging to the hybrid dirigible class.

Programs aimed at achieving the full operational capacity of these vehicles have been undertaken since 1980 in the U.S., Canada (the "Cyclocrane", patented by D.C. Associates), France (the "Helicostat," under the supervision of ONERA and SNAIS), and Japan (programs contracted by the Ministry of International Markets and Industry), etc. Some South American nations have also evinced an interest in this kind of vehicle.

A type of mission in which the "hybrids" compete with the modern conventional dirigibles is in the ferrying of cargo or passengers to hard-to-reach areas. These vehicles can make use of aerostatic or aerodynamic support, and the rotors adopt lenticular or discoidal shapes to provide this increased support.

Based on economic analysis studies promoted by the Canadian Ministry of Transportation, it seems that huge savings in transportation to remote areas could be obtained through the use of hybrid VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles. These savings could be considerably increased, since the building of highways and/or railways would no longer be necessary, nor would their rebuilding if they should be damaged by climatological or other causes. In this way, the costs created by having to overcome natural obstacles (such as rivers and canyons) would be eliminated, since no time would be wasted in unloading men and equipment. The available working season would thus be extended in spite of snow, rain, etc.

To cover the kind of mission mentioned above, a number of studies have been undertaken, mostly in the United Kingdom (large metal-covered dirigibles 130,000 m3 in size with elliptical hulls), and Japan (transportation of power-generating equipment to hard-to-reach areas in the islands, supplying the populations found on the numerous islets, etc.) Some African and South American nations--particularly Brazil--have taken an interest in this kind of application, although the results of their studies have not become widely known.

The economic and tactical possibilities of hybrid dirigibles will grant them in the future--maybe even now--a major aeronautical role. But, as is customary, the veil of silence which enshrouds the most state-of-the-art experiments keeps us from learning about the current situation.

Nonetheless, we are aware that some dirigibles are genuine flying saucers, and that airships with a futuristic design can be considered true "earthly UFOs," such as the Vanguard Donut, the Havill Parawing, the All-American Aerocrane, and others.

The dossier on dirigibles put out by the official magazine of the Spanish Air Force which I mentioned earlier, included a photo of one of these innovative hybrid dirigibles. It is a Van Dusen design from Canada. The photo shows a spherical body resting upon a gondola which houses the controls, cargo and fuel. The sphere, filled with helium, can rotate on its axis, producing an added elevating force through the well-known Magnus effect, thus augmenting its airborne capability. The engines mounted on the ends of the rotational axis can spin from 0? to 90? to provide thrust during take-off. This is the classic VTOL hybrid, and I can assure the reader that any observer making a casual sighting of Van Dusen's dirigible would think it far removed from any conventional terrestrial vehicle.

The Revista de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica published in 1981 a news item that went largely unnoticed by most ufologists (with exceptions, such as the late Andreas Faber Kaiser). It concerned the approval given by a British company to the Thermo Skyship project in February 1980.

The Thermo Skyship is a hybrid dirigible with VTOL capability in the shape of a perfect flying saucer. Using liquid hydrogen for its fuel, the airship is covered in carbon fibers and uses helium (due to its light weight) to enable its lifting force.

The same issue of the magazine stated that in August of that year, flight testing of a new flying machine resembling a discoidal UFO had taken place at Edwards Air Force base in California by the NASA Research Center. The device transformed solar power into electricity, which would in turn power a small propeller installed in the vehicle's tail, thus eliminating intermediary batteries.

A Gallery of Earthly UFOs

The list of strange aeronautical artifacts which could be confused with UFOs is practically endless.

Who hasn't heard about eccentric millionaire Malcolm Forbes? His passion for the subject made him build balloons and aerostats in the most dissimilar shapes year after year. From the Kinkakuji Temple to Columbus's caravelle the Santa María, Forbes' balloons have adopted the most capricious shapes. And, of course, he has also built balloons in the shape of a flying saucer, complete with a smiling alien looking out of a porthole.

As far as military technology is concerned, there are numerous unmanned vehicles used for surveillance or espionage which have adopted evocative shapes. An account of all of them, however, would be much too long.

Nonetheless, there exist other kinds of UFOs capable of executing strange maneuvers, achieving breathtaking speeds, and with a more or less triangular appearance, which have been observed by qualified witnesses all around the planet. Many of these craft are directly linked to secret military technology.

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