Re: Discussion Forum Archive

Message posted by Krispy Kreme on July 25, 2010 at 16:27:47 PST:

Ok, I was kinda waiting for Peter to weigh in on Aurora again before I shared this. First, I have no opinion on "Aurora" one way or the other, except that Peter's opinion is to be highly regarded in such matters. But here's "my Aurora story" ...
This was in the summer of 2005. I had been doing an all-nighter at my office NE of Atlanta, getting a project wrapped up. I heard a LOUD sonic boom, and went outside to see what it was. I've heard a lot of sonic booms over the years, mostly F-15s, but this was an unusually loud one, or so it seemed after being up all night.
So I get outside, see that it's just a few minutes after sunrise, so 5:30 or so, and there's a perfect donuts-on-a-rope contrail. Again, I've seen plenty of fluffy contrails in my day, but this was unique in my experience: perfect donuts, evenly spaced and well-defined, through which was threaded an otherwise normal-looking trail, IIRC. I ran back inside & grabbed my crappy point & shoot camera, but in the 30 seconds or so it took to do that, the contrail had disintegrated to the point of being not so interesting. But I did snap a picture.
I went back to work, thinking nobody's going to buy my "I seen one o' them Auroras, and that's why my report isn't ready" tale, so WTH.
Later I was staring at my useless donut contrail photo, trying to see what could be learned from it, and I realized there was enough treeline, office building, etc. in the photo to try to establish a flight path. Which I did, and discovered that the contrail was perfectly aligned with the (long) runway at Robins AFB, south of Macon, GA. Which is roughly 100 miles from where I took the photo.
I've done some work at Robins and know the layout of the base pretty well. There is a more or less secluded area on the 'far' side of the runway, which was originally used for a SAC bomber unit and its accompanying nuke storage. Nowadays it's used for J-STARS and a tanker unit.
So my conclusion is that something unknown to me, which at the risk of sounding snotty means something rare &/or classified, for some reason flew into Robins for a pre-dawn landing. Maybe it had problems and Robins was a divert option. It could have been kept over on the more private side of the base until it could fly out or be loaded onto a C-5 or something.
So, what was it? How should I know? It was something unusual, really loud, that most definitely left a funky contrail. And that's all I know.

In Reply to: Re: Discussion Forum Archive posted by Peter Merlin on July 25, 2010 at 14:51:28 PST:


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