through some old issues Aviation Week and Space Technology, I
across an article about Aurora titled
Secret Advanced Vehicles Demonstrate
Technologies For Future Military Use. The article mentions what we
already know from the stories that have been leaked over the last
"Remote areas of the Southwest have been home to classified vehicles
decades, and the number and sophistication of new aircraft appear to
increased sharply over the last 10 years, from 1980 to 1990."
Different types of craft are known to fly about in these remote test sites, known in the UFO community as secret bases. The article also mentions black budgets, black projects, as well as the "white" world, where everyone else supposedly lives. Unless, of course, you are an abductee, then you live in a "gray" world - somewhere in-between.
According to Aviation Week, Aurora refers to a group or nest of aircraft projects, or a class of aircraft, and not to one particular aircraft. Funding of the project was supposed to have reached roughly $2.3 billion in fiscal 1987, according to a 1986 procurement document obtained by Aviation Week. That probably explains why the Aurora project was canceled in 1992..
According to an "Exclusive Special Report" published in Military Space in January, 1995, "Aurora was canceled by the 'then-DOD boss Cheney' after he was informed that Aurora vehicles would cost approximately $1 billion per flight article."
Aurora Never Existed?
Quoting Military Space, "In 1993, and 1994, Air Force spokesmen had claimed that Aurora did not exist. The sources said the denials were phrased in the present tense. "You dumb reporters never asked whether it had ever existed," a source told Military Space, adding that the statement was true since the project had been canceled nearly six months earlier."
Due to the wording of this statement, we should carefully consider the many FOIA requests that have been filed about UFOs and government documents, especially the recent GAO investigation into the Roswell incident. Does this mean that if we don't word our questions or requests perfectly - and exactly within the correct window of opportunity - that it's okay for the military and other government agencies to lie to the public?
In light of the Air Force's statements, how should the following statement, also quoted from the same article in Military Space be taken? "... because Aurora did not carry a human crew, G-forces of a much higher load and duration could be sustained by the craft..."
Does this mean that Aurora was only designed for unmanned reconnaissance? If we follow the thinking pattern of the Air Force Spokesmen, this statement could mean that animals or even aliens piloted Aurora. Even the artist's rendition of Aurora in the 1990 Aviation Week article, "based on a composite of descriptions provided by observers," depicts a pilot in the cockpit wearing an oxygen mask. Why would they publish a picture like this if Aurora was an unmanned vehicle?
What Is It?
What we do know about Aurora, according to Military Space's special report and Aviation Week & Space Technology is: Aurora was a super-secret spy plane that was based on technology acquired from the development of the SR-71. It was originally funded in 1982, and although it was misnamed in the press, the military seemed to be comfortable using the term "Aurora" even in 1995.
According to reports from people who saw it, one of the Aurora craft had an unusual triangular shape, and emitted a doughnut shaped contrail. Since it was published in 1990, that Aurora referred to a blanket under which several different types of highly classified experimental aircraft fell, it is not surprising that a new program called High-Altitude Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle has replaced the Aurora project. [As of 1998, these craft are in use.]
Two different types of replacement craft were described in the Military Space article. One craft "will lack the Aurora's stealth defenses, but will cruise at about the same altitudes as Aurora, up to 65,000 feet and for durations in excess of a day."
For information on the new class of sophisticated unmanned spy planes (The Tier Program) see the October 1995 issue of Popular Science. The title reads, Stealth Drone - Dark Star Spy craft: The SkunkWorks' latest Hit. The article begins by stating, "By the time you read this, a few agitated citizens will probably have called Edwards Air Force Base in California to report seeing something in the sky that resembles a flying saucer." It also describes the relatively new Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO) that was formed in 1993 to "put the drone development program on a fast track. -- No matter how you choose to look at it, Aurora is still flying high.
For more information about Aurora and related information, be sure to visit the following sites:
Aircraft Designation letters that specify military bases
"Secret Advanced Vehicles Demonstrate Technologies For Future Military Use," Aviation Week & Space Technology, October 1, 1990, pages 20-21. Published by McGraw-Hill.
"Exclusive Special Report:
Project began decade-long DOD focus on UAVs," Military Space,
23, 1995, Vol. 12, No.2, pages 1, 7-8.
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