Field investigators for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) are trained to look for natural or man made explanations as they examine each UFO case logged into their witness reporting database (CMS). And many wonder about currently unknown government aviation projects whisking their way across domestic air space masquerading as a UFO.
MUFON STAR Team Manager and Texas Chief Investigator Fletcher Gray is considering that one of those secret projects - headline news August 11, 2011, after its crash - may be the Falcon HTV-2 Project.
Illustration of Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV) 2 reentry phase.Credits: Wikipedia.
Reached in Texas this evening, Gray comments on today's news and how it may reflect on past UFO reports received by MUFON.
"On August 11, 2011, the Falcon HTV-2 project came to an end near the Kwajalein Atolls in the South Pacific," Gray said.
News reports did indicate that the launch took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base located in southern California. The flight path of the launch was over the Pacific Ocean toward the Kwajalein Islands. This would place the craft over the Hawaiian Islands. Information from the witness report leads this Investigator to believe that DARPA didn't conduct a press release until two days after the event. An eyewitness coming fourth validates the reporting system of MUFON being a great research tool for Ufology. The CMS II reporting system aids Investigators to complete their mission statement 'The Scientific Study of UFO's for the Benefit of Humanity.'
"A witness on vacation in the Hawaiian Islands filed the following statement: (MUFON Case 30796 Witness statement reads in part) 'On August 9, 2011 around 10:40 p.m. I noticed it because I was staring right where it seems to appear out of thin air. It was a ball of light that resembled an egg/oval/missile leaving a pretty large trail that glowed just as bright behind it. We watched it cross the sky for about 3-5 seconds when it accelerated and the object itself expanded or glowed brighter and disappeared.'
"The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle is designed to fly anywhere in the world in less than 60 minutes. This aircraft can fly speeds of up to 13,000 mph, and experience temperatures in excess of 3500 F. Research on the Falcon indicates that it is designed to carry a payload for striking capability anywhere in the world. Researching the DARPA web site, it seem that this vehicle used a Minotaur IV launch vehicle to put the payload in flight.
"The HTV-2 has a long history back to test flights as early as 2003. The delta shaped craft has gone through several design changes. One design it had vertical wings located at the rear of the craft for stability. The last three years reports have been filed with MUFON of this design type. The X-37 also has this same design with the vertical tail wing. The X-37 is a deployment vehicle for the US Air Force to deploy satellites since the shuttle program has come to an end. The latest model of the HTV-2 the vertical wings were removed for easy deployment. The body or fuselage is a uni-body type and is shaped like an arrow head.
"Other test projects of this type called Black Swift and the HTV-3 may have contributed to a lot of the sighting reports over the years that may have been filed with MUFON. These test may have been the earliest long range deployment and stability flights conducted by theUS Air Force. It is not known at this time if the HTV-2 can be put into low orbit and maneuvered to it's striking point. Indications are this test flight lost control at Mach 20 and splashed down near the Kwajalein Atolls. This Investigator will follow-up on reports in reference to this type of events as they come in."
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