G. E. Valley
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Par G. E. Valley, Membre du Comité de Conseil Scientifique, Bureau du Chef d'Etat-Major, Force Aérienne des Etats-Unis
Le rédacteur a étudié des résumés de synthèse et commentaires touchant aux objets volants non identifiés, qui furent transmis par le renseignement de l'Air Force. Ces remarques sont divisées en 3 grandes parties :
Les signalements peuvent être regroupés comme suit :
En général, il est noté que peu, sinon aucun des signalements indiquent que les objets observés produisent quelque bruit ou interférence radio. Pas plus qu'il n'y a d'indications de quelque affectation de matériel ou de dommage physique aux objets observés.
Ce rapport considèrera princiaplement les rapports des groupes 1 et 2.
Ici, il y a 2 problèmes : d'abord, combien peut être déduit concernant la nature des objets d'après les seuls calculs géometriques ; ensuite, combien peut être déduit si, en plus, il est supposé que les objets obéissent aux lois de la nature telles que nous les connaissons.
Concernant le 1er problème, on peut indiquer ne peuvent être déterminés précisement que des ratios de longueurs, et des taux de changement de tels ratios. Ainsi, l'échelle et la taille de tels objets ne peuvent être déterminés ; et il est notable que des signalements de taille des objets observés sont d'une large variabilité. Cependant, les angles, tel que l'angle sous-tendu par l'objet, peuvent être observés. De même il existe un accord honnête entre plusieurs observateurs sur le fait que le diamètre des objets du groupe 1 est d'environ 10 fois leur épaisseur. Bien que la vitesse ne puisse être déterminée, la vitesse angulaire le peut, et en particulier la fréquence de flottament pourrait, en principe, être déterminée.
Tout ce qui peut être conclu sur l'échelle et la taille des objets, d'après les seules considérations géometriques, est que :
Maintenant, il est évidemment de première importance d'estimer la taille et la maisse des objets observés. Ceci pourrait être possible dans une certaine mesure s'il est permissible de supposer qu'ils obéissent aux lois de la physique. Les objets n'auant pas été observés produisant de quelconques effets physiques, autres que le cas dans lequel un nuage fut évaporé le long de la trajectoire, il n'est pas certain que les lois de la mécanique, par exemple, seraient suffisantes.
Mais en supposant que les seules lois mécaniques sont suffisantes, alors l'exemple suivant est une preuve suffisante qu'au moins une longueur pourrait, en principe, être déterminée : supposez un simple pendule était observé suspendu dans le ciel ; alors après avoir observé sa fréquence d'oscillation, nous pourrions déduire sa longueur précise des lois de la mécanique.
Ceci suggère que quelque chose pourrait être déduit du mouvement flottant observé de certains des objets du groupe 1. Supposant que nous connaissons la fréquence angulaire et l'amplitude angulaire de ce mouvement flouttant (ils peuvent être mesurés en principe d'après un film). Alors dans des buts de calcul supposons l'objet comme étant de 30 pieds de diamètre, comme étant aussi rigide qu'une aile normale d'un appareil de 30 pieds d'envergure, à construire d'un matériau du ratio poids-solidité optimum et comme étant une structure de la plus efficace des conceptions. Il est maintenant possible de calculer comment l'objet doit être lourd pour simplement rester rigide under the observed angular motion. Let the calculation be made for a plurality of assumed sizes 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 -- up to say 200 feet, and let calculated r1mass be plotted versus assumed size. The non-linear character of the curve should indicate an approximate upper limit to the size of the object.
If, in addition, it is assumed that the flutter is due to aerodynamic forces, it is possible that more precise information could be obtained.
The required angular data can probably be extracted from the witnesses most reliably by the use of a demonstration model which can be made to oscillate or flutter in a known way.
Summary -- PART II, Section A
Geometrical calculations alone cannot yield the size of objects observed from a single station; such observation together with the assumption that the objects are essentially aircraft, can be used to set reasonable limits of size.
Section B -- The possibility of supporting and propelling a solid object by unusual means.
Since some observers have obviously colored their reports with talk of rays, jets, beams, space-ships, and the like, it is well to examine what possibilities exist along these lines. This is also important in view of the conclusions of PART II, Section A, of this report.
Method I -- Propulsion and support by means of "rays" or "beams".
By "rays" or "beams" are meant either purely electromagnetic radiation or else radiation which is largely corpuscular like cathode-rays or cosmic-rays or cyclotron-beams.
Now, it is obvious that any device propelled or supported by such means is fundamentally a reaction device, it is fundamental in the theory of such devices that a given amount of energy is most efficiently spent if the momentum thrown back or down is large. This means that a large mass should be given a small acceleration -- a theorem well understood by helicopter designers.
The beams or rays mentioned do the contrary, a small mass is given a very high velocity, consequently enormous powers, greater than the total world's power capacity, would be needed to support even the smallest object by such means.
Method II -- Direct use of Earth's Magnetic Field
One observer (incident 68) noticed a violent motion of a hand-held compass. If we assume from this that the objects produced a magnetic field, comparable with the Earth's field, namely, 0,1 gauss, and that the observer found that the object subtended an angle Q at his position, then the ampere-turns of the required electromagnet is given by:
|where R is the range of the object.|
For instance, if R is one kilometer and the object is 10 meters in diameter, then ni ~= 1 billion ampere-turns.
Now if the object were actually only 10 meters away and were correspondingly smaller; namely, 10 cm in diameter, it would still require 10 million ampere-turns.
These figures are a little in excess of what can be conveniently done on the ground. They make it seem unlikely that the effect was actually observed.
Now, the Earth's magnetic field would react on such a magnet to produce not only a torque but also a force. This force depends not directly on the Earth's field intensity but on its irregularity or gradient. This force is obviously minute since the change in field over a distance of 10 meters (assumed diameter of the object) is scarcely measurable, moreover the gradient is not predictable but changes due to local ore deposits. Thus, even if the effect were large enough to use, it would still be unreliable and unpredictable.
Method III -- Support of an electrically-charged object by causing it to move transverse to the Earth's magnetic field.
A positively-charged body moving from west to east, or a negatively charged body moving from east to west will experience an upward force due to the Earth's magnetic field.
A sphere 10 meters diameter moving at a speed of one kilometer per second would experience an upward force of one pound at the equator if charged to a potential of 5 x 10^12 volts. This is obviously ridiculous.
It has been proposed, by various writers, perhaps first by H.G.Wells, that it might be possible to construct a means of shielding a massive body from the influence of gravity. Such an object would then float. Recently, there appeared in the press a notice that a prominent economist has offered to support research on such an enterprise.
Obviously, conservation of energy demands that considerable energy be given the supported object in order to place it on the shield. However, this amount of energy is in no way prohibitive, and furthermore it can be gotten back when the object lands.
Aside from the fact that we have no suggestions as to how such a device is to be made, the various theories of general relativity all agree in assuming that gravitational force and force due to acceleration are indistinguishable, and from this assumption the theories predict certain effects which are in fact observed. The assumption, therefore, is probably correct, and a corollary of it is essentially that only by means of an acceleration can gravity be counteracted. This, we can successfully do for instance by making an artificial satellite, but this presumably is not what has been observed.
Several unorthodox means of supporting or propelling a solid object have been considered, all are impracticable. This finding lends credence to the tentative proposed assumption of Part II, that the objects are supported and propelled by some normal means, or else that they are not solids. No discussion of the type of Part II, Section B, can, in principle, of course, be complete.
1. The observations may be due to some effect such as ball lightning. The writer has no suggestions on this essentially meteorological subject.
2. The objects may be some kind of animal.
Even in the celebrated case of incident 172 where the light was chased by a P51 for half an hour and which was reported by the pilot to be intelligently directed, we can make this remark. For considering that an intelligence capable of making so remarkable device would not be likely to play around in so idle a manner as described by the pilot.
In this connection, it would be well to examine if some of the lights observed at night were not fire-flies.
3. The observed objects may be hallucinatory or psychological in origin.
It is of prime importance to study this possibility because we can learn from it something of the character of the population; its response under attack; and also something about the reliability of visual observation.
One would like to assume that the positions held by many of the reported observers guarantee their observations. Unfortunately, there were many reports of curious phenomena by pilots during the war -- the incident of the fire-ball fighters comes to mind. Further, mariners have been reporting sea-serpents for hundreds of years yet no one has yet produced a photograph.
It would be interesting to tabulate the responses to see how reliable were the reports on the Japanese balloons during the war. There we had a phenomenon proven to be real.
It is interesting that the reports swiftly reach a maximum frequency during the end of June 1947 and then slowly taper off. We can assume that this is actually an indication of how many objects were actually about, or, quite differently, we can take this frequency curve as indicating something about mass psychology.
This point can be tested. Suppose the population is momentarily excited; hew does the frequency of reports vary with time? A study of crank letters received after the recent publicity given to the satellite program should give the required frequency distribution.
It is probably necessary but certainly not sufficient that the unidentified-object curve and the crank-letter curve should be similar in order for the flying disks to be classes as hallucinations.
A large-scale experiment was made at the time of the Orson Welles "Martian" broadcast. Some records of this must persist in newspaper files.
Since the acts of mankind most easily observed from a distance are A-bomb explosions we should expect some relation to obtain between the time of A-bomb explosions, the time at which the space ships are seen, and the time required for such ships to arrive from and return to home-base.
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