What better way to gauge how well the tech is working than by crowdsourcing the sightings?
What's the range of a cell phone signal? The signals from the cell towers will be aimed parallel with the ground. There is going to be an inverse square relationship with the signal strength and distance. A stealth plane is also more likely to be up way high too. The more signals there, the more populous the area, the more likely that a plane would be even higher. How many signals are needed for a disturbance to be noticed/tracked?
Maybe if the stealth plane was 50,000ft or lower, but considering comercial traffic usually flies up to 39,000ft, and some private traffic at 45,000ft, you probably won't find stealth aircraft below 50,000ft.
F-117 service ceiling was 45,000 ft according to Wikipedia - B-2's is 50,000ft. Ironically, the B-2 has some design compromises to allow it to operate at low altitudes for penetrating strikes, as stealth wasn't quite as trusted when it was being designed - and low altitudes allow operating below the horizon from radar installations. (The B-21 renderings look like they've dropped those compromises - high altitude penetration only)
I'll agree that using cell phones to detect the presence of stealth aircraft is more than a little dubious, though.
A few years ago in a thread similar to this I discussed and dissected the book. My conclusion was that Cook is mistaken, but given incidents like this, and the fact he later uncovered a black UAV program, I always wonder.
I can easily believe there was a programme researching that. There's been research into all sorts of crackpot ideas, especially in wartime. The film The Men Who Stare at Goats was based on a true story of US military research, and there was WW2 research into death rays after all.
Mistaken, or failed research that was well secreted? It took 30 years for Bletchley Park to leak, despite involving thousands.
Cook now seems to be a defence consultant specialising in climate change.
Another one to add to my impossibly long reading list though. :)
>"Although no evidence of the veracity of Witkowski’s statements has been produced, they reached a wider audience when they were retold by British author Nick Cook, who added his own views to Witkowski’s statements in The Hunt for Zero Point."
The WW2 "Bell" experiment narrative was actually my largest complaint with Cook's book. While it makes for a fantastic story that's pretty much screenplay material, it's very unlikely to be true.
If this existed during WW2 it means it started development way before that. The implications that such level of technological advancement was available at that time, and is still under active funding and development today doesn't add up.
I tend to agree it doesn't fit, but one way of looking at it is, even if highly improbable: the fundamental physics breakthroughs were made back then, and ever since the craft have been updated with modern avionics and electronics suites.
Asking "why the hell" the DOD would be interested in Unidentified phenomenon in its territory goes well beyond sensationalism and straight into stupidity.
Well what else would they call them if they don't fucking know what they are?!
"This, in turn, provides very high fidelity 'tracks' of targets thanks to telemetry from various sensors operating at different bands and looking at the same target from different aspects and at different ranges."
My take from last article:
Let me tell you: fast tracks moving at insane speeds with sometimes-faint signatures are the norm. a perfectly calm sea, esp near shore, can create 100s or a 1000 spurious tracks if automated tools are trusted. The incorrect association of signatures to hypothesized contacts can produce "jumps" in their location, altitude that makes it look like inhuman maneuverability.
Second, the proliferation of small aircraft does bias operators (and algorithms) to assume a real contact from small signatures, esp at low altitudes where noise is greatest.
In a well integrated, multi-vehilce sensor network, a small false positive rate for each individual recognition and classication module produces enough bullshit to trick automated trackers into labelling targets. If we cant assume common sense filtering like "aircraft cant go from hover to mach 3 in one sweep", then the possible associations of sensor data to hypotheses is astronomical, and bullshit propegates.
Its a mess when you integrate so many sensors and systems and try to make sense of the resulting noise.
I'm a former military avionics dude who worked on systems like this, including "black" stuff. I don't believe in extraterrestrials having visited Earth.
Their explanations sound pretty on-target and baffling.
But anyway, they address the concerns you bring up rather well.
I’d need to witness it myself to form any stronger opinions. I do believe the crew people being interviewed are stating what happened to the best of their knowledge.
I've seen all sorts of odd stuff on radar that did not actually exist and was some atmospheric backscatter issue or whatever.
Is this case, based on the public information as presented, there is too much correlating data from disparate systems to write it off.
The logic basically goes that 3M accidentally created a force field in a factory, factories are mostly in China now, so if "running a factory" leads to antigravity tech, China would be the ones to develop it.
As much as "I want to believe", if it's true they're not American, it's quite possible they're not alien, just foreign.
I've noticed a weird kind of racism in some folks who talk about China: they simultaneously think they'll conquer the world and that they can't invent technology on their own.
It's certainly interesting logic to conclude "If it's not American, it must be alien".
That’s just normal racism. Mexicans are too lazy to work, but come here and steal our jobs. Muslims come here to force Sharia Law on everyone, but fail to integrate and keep to themselves. Illegals are using public services for free, but pay taxes using fake information and are criminals. Obama was incompetent, but also managed to build complex shadow government. You can just keep going.
By using a dichotomous framework of stereotypes you can easily make a case against an entire population because if one negative stereotype doesn’t fit a given individual you simple apply the other one.
Racism is taking the non-zero existence of a complaint and extrapolating it to the broader population without caring to get to know the individual people.
Unfortunately, it was probably an evolutionary survival technique that worked thousands of years ago but has pretty disastrous consequences today.
edit, to be clear, what sort of contradictory, no-win steriotypes to chimps have about other chimp groups or did early modern humans have about neanderthals?
Prior to the US having a nuclear program there were papers being published on the possibility of fusion reactions that split the atom. These papers then disappeared during the Manhattan project, signaling that research was happening which was being suppressed.
Is there evidence that China had papers on antigravity research and that such papers have recently stopped being published.
Interesting theory. Considering all the hubbub I've heard about "anti carrier cruise missiles" lately, it could make sense there's an incentive to project strength.
Airport employees, pilots and bystanders have all reported seeing it, but it was dismissed. I remember seeing an interview with a retired Air Force officer who said that nothing's being done about the supposed UFOs is because once you start working on something people will demand results, and if you say we can't do a damn thing about these, your career will be in jeopardy.
China is the new USSR :)
I don’t think that’s true for China, at least not today.
China is contained in South East Asia and poses no ideological threat to the West.
I imagine UFO sightings have proportionally increased and thus the number of ad-hoc reported sightings within the Navy finally crossed the threshold.
It could even be a foreign government or spy agency doing amateur reconnaissance with new tech.
As the article states,
> The lack of a structured procedure and classification system, and the nebulous fear of being stigmatized by reporting things like UFOs [is] something that has long plagued the military and private sectors alike
There is also the nebulous fear of people overreacting whenever you finally decide to implement these common-sense policies. You must be hiding something, even if you were ironically just trying to be more transparent.
I don't mean to sound like a denier. The released IR footage from the same observation period  is incredible and, if real, proves that high-G maneuvers without exhaust or aerofoils exist and we are still lacking some very fundamental understanding about the nature of gravity.
I also found the article to be well thought-out and that it covered most of the most obvious answers without trying to paint a particular picture. I'll have to pay more attention to Rogoway.
Speculating on the shape of the aircraft, would the round tic-tac shape provide the least average air resistance in every direction provided an aerofoil is not needed for flight?
I suspect there are a lot of biases in processing return signals from radar, an expectation of motion like things actually move.
So, if i had the resources of a nation, and some idea of how radar actually works, i could build a device that actually made a steady turn from, say west to north, look like something else.
I know very little about how radar works in the nitty gritty details, but i know a little bit about how our eyes are fooled by optical illusions. dynamically changing color, and maybe some little helper parts that fly away and change color or produce smoke would really mess with my eyes.
it's weird how fireworks always fly right toward you no matter where you stand, right?
Extending that to radar and infrared seems totally reasonable. Also, my eyes have a lot of evolution both adding biases, and ensuring those biases don't mess up very often.
Automated systems don't even have 80 years of engineering effort to accurately represent what's happening.
It's an elaborate disinformation campaign to persuade foreign adversaries to spend money on threats that don't exist. Inflatable tanks and planes of WWII taken to the modern era, long-con fakery facilitated and amplified by social media. NORAD could also vector a large white, odd-shaped aircraft with much separation from commercial traffic with their transponder switched off to seem like that rogue UFO. Throw in some CGI deepfakes to bolster the story. Testimonials about radar tracks with outlandish claims of impossible acceleration sans verifiable evidence to reinforce other-worldly mystique.
Santa Claus isn't real and neither are purported robotic ETs reccying Earth's flora and fauna for an invasion.
I like this theory because it obviates large problems with other theories, ie crossing interstellar distances just to visit us (they were already here), the lack of observed Von Neumann probes when they should be common (now they've been observed), the idea that some earthly nation has managed to develop technology so far beyond all others and keep it secret (nope), etc.
And, defying the known laws of physics isn't impossible, either. We can't even know how much we don't know. That leaves a lot of wiggle room.
> "It came up on our left hand side (rapidly veered) to the north, we saw a bright light and it just disappeared at a very high speed ... we were just wondering. We didn't think it was a likely collision course .. (just wondering) what it could be," she said.
> A pilot on Virgin Flight 76 added that his flight crew had seen "two bright lights at 11 o'clock (which) seemed to bank over to the right and then climb away at speed."
The military wants people to feel no stigma for reporting observations they fail to explain on their own? Good, no problem with that, it is their duty to watch out for such contingencies. And they probably don't see it as their duty to explain and share footage of each and every incident, and the internal conclusions, ... because they don't want others to know their level of alertness, the resolution and sensitivity of their systems, ...
Why is thedrive.com so intent on portraying such events as "unexplainable" by a collection of humans? They are re-creating the stigma by conflating UFO's with the seemingly impossible.
I.e. even if it is "just a sensor malfunction" or "just an optical effect", it is important to the military that the human operators report these deficiencies up the chain of command: if accidental situations can fool the systems and operators (UFO sightings) into seeing things that don't exist, or misinterpreting things that do exist, then obviously:
1. such hallucinations could be artificially induced (think chaff, camouflage, ...) and hence it is important to take note of spontaneously arising confusing observations
2. such hallucinations increase the noise floor and distract from potential true invasions of air space: if you can address and learn from UFO sightings to improve sensor systems, then a true violation of air space requires less work to detect than if it is hiding in a stack of illusory UFO reports
Something like the XQ-58A Valkyrie combat drone or the BQM-167A target drone. Those are unclassified and have performance beyond what most manned aircraft can do. There are probably others that are still classified.
This is what is all about. A UFO is probably not an alien, it is probably a human mistake, an innocent flyer (weather balloon, etc), or a non-expected craft (civilian, enemy, etc). If the military doesnt know about them, isnt trying to figure out which, and isnt improving its ability to determine which, then it is ignoring data and allowing intel and intel training to lapse.
In other situations it might pay off well to have those skills, practices, and policies established.
It's not mysterious, it's not exciting, it's just just military paying attention where it is boring yet useful to pay attention.
The other possibility is some nut job in the administration has a pet project.
This reminds me of something I saw that I never really talked about. Maybe about 7 years ago, I was out bicycling at around 10pm at night outside of Socorro NM (a small desert college town), and to the west I saw a light appear from behind some mountains steadily heading up and north in a slightly curved path. I thought it was a plane or a helicopter until it suddenly disappeared after about 30 seconds. I assumed it turned off its lights or that I somehow misunderstood what I saw, but a minute later, a new light appeared from the same original spot, followed the path again, and disappeared. This sequence repeated maybe ten times. I assume it was some kind of missile test that I saw. The White Sands Missile Range was 10+ miles to the southeast (the wrong direction), though I think I remember there also being other explosive testing ranges nearby to the west. I would love to know what exactly I saw, though I never knew how to go about finding that out even if the information was published somewhere.
Some atmospheric phenomenon that I don’t recall made it appear much closer than it actually was. (He was intrigued enough to talk to a friend who was an atmospheric science professor) In his case the repetition was the chopper flying box patterns to search.
The town was surrounded by various explosives testing ranges. Occasionally everyone would hear the loud thump of a bomb being test during the day. Mythbusters was known for using some bomb range nearby. I'm pretty confident it was some kind of military or scientific test I saw, I'm just mainly curious about the specifics.
First time in early 1990ies, second time it was about 10 years ago.
First sight looked like a formation of lights that moved in sync across the night sky in a straight line. The formation was long, like a long rectangle or long cylinder made of stars. Not too many stars, maybe a hundred. Moving slowly straight in the direction of it's length. I could not tell how far it was, so I can't really judge for the size of it, but it was "flying" higher than the peak of the nearby mountain (which is 1km high and about 10km away), and the lenght was comparable to 1/2 of the south-west ridge of that mountain which itself is aprox. 5-6km long. So the UFO would have to be at least 1km long if it was closer, but it could be many km long if it was further. My family members saw it, as we were on the balcony at home and had clear unobstructed view. I might exagerate about the size of it, but I really did saw it. It could be easily recorded if someone had a videocamera, but we did not. We always had a photo camera at that period but nobody thought about the possibility of taking a picture. We could have tried if we had film, but I don't remember why we did not try. We didn't even talk about the possibility. When you see something like it, it does not occur to you that you might need proof and that nobody will believe. But I don't care, since I saw what I saw. Of course there can be millions of explanations what it was, but there weren't any gived and nobody else mentioned seeing it when we asked around the next day. It could have easily been a formation of airplanes.
The other sight, was when I was by the nearby river with my partner, who did not see the UFO. It was a regular summer night, and something flew across the sky, at extreme velocity, just like a meteorite does. But suddenly right before going out of sight, it changed direction nearly 90 degrees and continued with the same high velocity. It all happened in a blink of an eye, of course it would be very hard to have it recorded.
The point of my stories is that you don't always have a chance to make a recording when you see something strange.
I wonder if it's possible that you saw multiple satellites at once moving in the sky?
I wonder if a meteor could bounce when it hits a denser part of the atmosphere and change direction a bit, and maybe it was only the angle you were seeing it from that made the change in direction look as extreme as 90 degrees?
> I wonder if it's possible that you saw multiple satellites at once moving in the sky?
I have a sketch of what I saw from that period, but it does not have enough details to investigate it now. I would not like to discuss based on false personal memory after such a long time.
Still, I could add (out of my memory of what I saw) is that the lights (stars) were in a long rectangular (or cylindrical) formation, were brighter than the rest of the lights in the night sky (brighter than the rest of the stars). They all moved together in sync (imagine looking at a train painted nonreflective black with randomly dispersed luminiscent dots all over it, they will all move in the same direction and with same speed). I was in central Europe and was looking towards south-west, the objects were moving from the south-west part of the sky towards the south part of the sky.
I don't think that there is big enough probability of having that many satellites in a rather narrow patch of the sky (they can't be on the same orbit, so they would have to be on 100 different orbits and still look to be in the same place and appear as to being part of a big formation).
I think that some optical phenomena would be a better explanation of what I saw. Maybe we were looking at a projection of many starts - but projected from where and how.
Most simple and believable explanation is many airplanes flying in a formation.
>I wonder if a meteor could bounce when it hits a denser part of the atmosphere and change direction a bit, and maybe it was only the angle you were seeing it from that made the change in direction look as extreme as 90 degrees?
Optics (refraction, reflection and parallax effects) can explain such a thing if there was some barrier which was met by the object or was introduced on the line of sight between me and the object.
If if was a meteor (which most of the time you don't see until it hits the atmosphere and starts burning) then it would lightup even more upon hitting something. Plus meteors usually have a trail, which i did not see.
The speed must have been immense, since it crossed the sky in a mere instant. I would expect an even bigger flame and trail with such speed.
I can't recall if it was completely dark at that moment or shortly after sunset, but it was in the evening and I was looking to north - northwest, and the object appeared from the west part of the sky, and exit on the north part of the sky, after changing direction (so it was moving from west to north in the begining and then changed north). This are all aprox directions, just to have it illustrated.
Now, they don't want to say that they have this, but they want other people (like the Russians and Chinese and French) to know that they do have it.
Or at least to make them think that they would like them to think that they have it.
Would you see films like this?
Heck, I read an article in Russian that argued that bows+arrows or catapults/ballistae could be efficient weapons when compared to lasers that you see in SciFi.
It's quite well-produced, and it's probably the only UFO-related film I consider worth watching: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/bob-lazar-area-51-flying-s...
I don’t think anyone serious takes Bob Lazar seriously!
There’s no evidence that The facility that he allegedly worked exists. There isn’t any trace of roads or any infrastructure for it. The location that he gives is right on the edge of the restricted airspace surrounding Area 51, which seems odd for a super secret facility.
There are a bunch of little things. In one interview he mentions seeing an alien through a window in a door. His escort guard tells him not to look. Somehow the government is able to secretly reverse engineer alien technology, but can’t spring for some curtains?
To put it simply, there’s no evidence to support it. He has never been able to produce a sample of any extraterrestrial material nor has he shown that he has any knowledge that is beyond current physics.
Personally, I’m fond of [this idea](http://www.otherhand.org/home-page/area-51-and-other-strange...). Basically that Bob Lazar schmoozed his way into a job at Area 51 due to a chance meeting with Edward Teller. He brought people to watch a classified test (of experimental, but completely terrestrial technology) and got into deep shit over it.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A blurry video and some eyewitness reports are not extraordinary evidence. Humans lie all the time, but very rarely discover new physics.
I agree with others who've suggested this is either a counter intelligence effort or the military is doing something and wants to involve others in "sightings," probably to gauge the success of certain programs. If it's not some sort of clever projection, those UFOs probably have US markings on them. Otherwise, the belief it has something to do with aliens is probably wishful thinking.
I'd recommend listening to John Michael Godier's top 10 lists regarding alien messages, first contact, or SETI  if you want a healthy dose of realism. In particular, his "10 SETI messages that we may not want to receive"  is especially good, even if the first part is rather depressing.
Phones have lenses with wide focal lengths and tiny sensors. You need a very different device to capture small objects far away from you with high resolution.
Seemed like everyone was getting kidnapped a generation ago.
Of course, your comment raises another interesting prospect. Anything of decent quality that claims to be a UFO sighting should be immediately suspect as it may be a professional production.
It's an extraordinary claim, sure, but it isn't impossible that some fraction of UFOs are someone else. "They are here but are not making overt contact" is one potential Fermi paradox answer. The apparent abundance of possibly habitable planets demands some answer here I think.
There are many rational reasons an alien intelligence would avoid overt contact with some being altruistic (prime directive type thinking), some neutral (same reason we decontaminate space probes), and some selfish (we are aggressive and capable of rapid technological progress).
I still stand by my point with cameras. Mobile devices, dash cams, etc., are all vastly prolific. While it's true they don't capture anything far away particularly well, the shear number of these devices ought to suggest that multiple sightings by large groups of people could be corroborated--even if the footage isn't particularly great. But, we're not seeing that.
It may not be impossible these UFOs are other intelligences, but it's exceedingly unlikely. More so when you consider that a non-trivial fraction of those same habitable worlds you mention are, at present, speculative at best and around stars that are unfriendly to life at worst. TRAPPIST-1 comes to mind as an example of worlds directly measured via the transit method: A large number of worlds in a habitable zone surrounding a red dwarf known to be a flare star.
Then there's another consideration. If life is common in our galaxy (or in the universe), far more intelligent beings may simply be uninterested in us--a relatively pedestrian world around a fairly ordinary star with intelligent primates that haven't yet figured out how to leave their home world with any degree of consistency.
On other parts of The Internet it's known as a UFO organisations and other “mysteries of the universe", plus there is the $37.4 million of debt; https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/10/all-the-dumb-things-...
It doesn't surprise me to be truthful. I believe the plurality of so-called "UFO researchers" are selling something. Be it books or speaking engagements.
I confess my opinion may be colored by the fact that I live not far from the Roswell UFO museum.
- At least two radar systems (boat and then plane) registering it
- At least two IR/thermal imaging systems (the two planes') registering it
- At least four eye-witnesses registering something when looking for it (two people on each plane, seeing something large near the water's surface with the Tic Tac coming out and flying around)
- The ship radar registering it again, later, at a location it told the planes to go as procedure (but the planes didn't see it when they got there)
That's not bad. But here are the two extremes of interpretation:
1. Alien visitors are real, and it was an alien craft
2. By a probabilistic lottery, all of these systems happened to fail at the same time (the radar was defective; the IR was defective; the humans' brains were defective, sharing a hallucination), and there was absolutely nothing
I actually think #2 is likelier than #1, which is pretty hilarious. #1 is such a fantastic assertion, especially with our not seeing aliens in space (leading to the Fermi paradox), firmly outside the bounds of our experience. Extremely unlikely combinations of ordinary things happening (tech failure, hallucinations) is within our experience though.
And with there being room inbetween for "maybe there was a whale surfacing at the same time", "maybe it's elite government tech", etc., I have to err on the alien visitor-skeptic side.
>What most don't realize is that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group wasn't just equipped with some of the most advanced sensors the world had to offer, but that it also had hands-down the most advanced networking and computer processing capability of any such system. Dubbed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), this integrated air defense system architecture was just being fielded on a Strike Group level for the first time aboard Nimitz and the rest of its flotilla.
>Our readers are familiar with CEC and the follow-on iterations that have come since, as we talk about the concepts behind them often. At its very basic level, it uses the Strike Group's diverse and powerful surveillance sensors, including the SPY-1 radars on Aegis Combat System-equipped cruisers and destroyers, as well as the E-2C Hawkeye's radar picture from on high, and fuses that information into a common 'picture' via data-links and advanced computer processing. This, in turn, provides very high fidelity 'tracks' of targets thanks to telemetry from various sensors operating at different bands and looking at the same target from different aspects and at different ranges.
>Whereas a stealthy aircraft or one employing electronic warfare may start to disappear on a cruiser's radar as it is viewing the aircraft from the surface of the Earth and from one angle, it may still be very solid on the E-2 Hawkeye's radar that is orbiting at 25,000 feet and a hundred miles away from the cruiser. With CEC, the target will remain steady on both platform's CEC enabled screens as they are seeing fused data from both sources and likely many others as well.
So these 3 paragraphs state:
1. Instead of each platform (plane, boat, ...) relying on only it's own sensors, the platform sensors (radar, IR ...) are automatically sharing their observations across platforms by data links, fusing them into one scene, such that each platform has the eyes and ears of all platforms combined. Obviously only 1 sensor needs to malfunction or misinterpret signals such that they are gossiped across platforms where the operators seemingly "independently" observe the imagination, i.e. data fusion potentially triggers common hallucinations. Regarding the pilots, navigators: I speculate for example this could have been the augmented reality HUD overlay showing the IR feed...
2. the system was "just being fielded", increasing the odds of initial wrinkles in the data fusion system.
3. again the system was "just being fielded", increasing the odds of human operators misinterpreting their display systems as depicting what the sensors of their platform are sensing, since before introduction of sensor fusion this would have always been the case. Human operators would thus more easily fail to realize that their "independent observations" were not in fact independent at all.
No, it doesn't require extraordinary evidence.
Thermodynamics is so fundamental to physics that it is "extraordinary" that anything violating it is correct, i.e. the prior probability of the supposed violation being correct is extremely low, and low enough that we have to consider unlikely alternative explanations, e.g. failures of the research process itself. For non-extraordinary claims, we can assume that the scientists are not lying or insane, but when the prior probability is low enough, these possibilities are no longer ignorable.
The one in question has 1326 characters, which is, I dare say, quite manageable.
What's the TL;DR for WWII? What's the TL;DR for the taxonomy of animal species, or how to run a nuke plant?
Secondly, why would aliens reveal themselves in such a way? Either land on the White House lawn or stay out of sight. This 50 year UFO appearances, with some but not really a lot of witnesses, don't make sense for me.
If aliens are coming here their motives could be anything including irrational or just non-rational.
I've speculated for a while that a "post-singularity" post-scarcity intelligence would get... bizarre... due to lack of hard scarcity constraints. It would just fan out across state space. It would be less Star Trek and more Lexx. Maybe they do make crop circles as interactive art. Maybe they do strange stuff to us to slowly convert us to their religion. Who knows? We can't know.
It is a possibility if those “aliens” are biological humans in possession of technology far superior to anything we have now. Then you’d want to keep it a secret.
 Such as Hawaii, where everything is slightly more expensive.
This is false. In the above example of the Nimitz, we have sighting by two professional pilots, and radar/scanner readings. This is not a lone example.
One of them walked into the wrong hanger once and was face-to-face with a disc type something-or-other that he was not supposed to see, and was basically told "You didn't see that, and don't ever say you did."
One told of several incidents, and one in particular that was rather startling, tracking objects across North America that were going at seemingly impossible speeds and changing vectors in ways that would tear any convention craft apart. They were picked up on multiple instrument arrays across the country.
One was working on advanced propulsion, real science fiction type stuff, but was moved to other projects when he started asking the wrong questions. I'm being deliberately obtuse here.
There are reliable individuals. They aren't crazy, and they aren't conspiracy nuts.
I am convinced that these things are not anomalies, and that they are terrestrial in origin. All but one of my afore-mentioned friends disagree with me. They think they are alien, but this is only their opinion. None of them had any "inside" knowledge that the military is aware of alien craft. But when you are an engineer, and know what's physically possible given our current level of technology and materials science, I suppose I cannot fault them for jumping to that conclusion.
The thing is, calling it "alien" doesn't solve that particular difficulty. If you assume that the things are real, then what they are doing is physically possible. And if it is physically possible, then it is theoretically possible for us to do it. So applying occam's razor, you don't need to invoke aliens. It is far more likely that someone figured it out, especially someones with multi-billion dollar black budgets working over decades with the brightest minds on the planet.