UFO-Forschung - NARCAP technical report No. 19



I am beginning to think that NARCAP is incapable of properly evaluating simple cases. The latest case was obvious to most people familiar with rocket booster in low earth orbit conducting a de-orbit burn or venting fuel. Ted Roe was aware of, and mentioned, the Falcon rocket launch a few hours before the event but dismissed the possibility it was involved. 1 

The actual source of the report

James Oberg documented the event with a report of observations from Western Europe at the time of this sighting.2 According to his report, the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket had performed a burn to de-orbit and crash into the Indian Ocean. This de-orbit burn began at 16:50 UTC. Mr. Oberg documents multiple sightings from various locations with plenty of images and videos. All of these look exactly like those published in NARCAP’s Technical Report Number 19. 

The only discrepancy appears to be that NARCAP stated the event happened at 1733 UTC. This is forty-three minutes after the event. One has to wonder why there is a discrepancy other than Roe got the information wrong or the pilots did not bother to record the event properly (possibly using the time zone for France and not UTC). This makes one wonder how good these reports are if they can’t even get the time correct within a reasonable margin of error. 

NARCAP technical report No. 19

In Ted Roe’s “technical report no. 19”, we once again are missing even the basic data one should be able to acquire through simple interviews with witnesses. Like his “technical report no. 20”, we have no azimuth’s, elevations, durations, or angular size. These are pilots for goodness sakes. They certainly should be able to provide such information. Is there a reason that Roe decided to omit this information or not obtain it? How can something be called a “Technical report” if the basic data associated with the sighting is not even listed? Either this is being done on purpose or Roe just does not feel that such information is necessary to evaluate the case.

Despite having no data to evaluate the case, Roe, in his initial report, completely dismissed any conventional explanation and, in his closing of the technical report , wrote the following:

Based on this UAP’s appearance and luminosity, its flight dynamics, and its movements, and it can be reasonably concluded that: 

  1. This UAP is an object masked by plasma that it is generating.
  2. This UAP flying in an unconventional manner that is not consistent with aircraft and known aerial phenomena. However, its flight dynamics and physical characteristics are consistent with flight dynamics and characteristics of UAP/Lights as described by pilots and other witnesses since before WWII (Roe 2019, et al).
  3. This UAP is a technical device under intelligent control.


This case and UAP description is typical and similar to hundreds of cases reported over, at least, the last 8 decades (Weinstein /NARCAP 2001) The primary difference being that, with the proliferation of cell phones with cameras, aircrews are beginning to photograph and video their observations and incidents. This is the second cockpit photo/video case presented to NARCAP in the last year. This case, and the many hundreds of other aviation cases involving UAP/lights, raises many questions, some of them uncomfortable or even disturbing. 

This incident provides more evidence that UAP are a global threat to safe aviation. The lack of preparation for aircrews, and the failure to collect and analyze data for safety factors are contributing to an unsafe situation. It is unfortunate that global aviation authorities seem to have no interest in examining these cases and are not exercising due diligence to mitigate safety factors. Observations and incidents involving suspected UAP should be very thoroughly examined by the aviation safety research community and science in general.3

The first conclusion about the UAP generating a plasma was obviously incorrect. The second conclusion was based solely on how the pilots and Roe perceived the trajectory of the object4 and not the actual trajectory.


This brings us to a conclusion that Roe makes based on how he had interpreted the information. What Roe fails to understand is that Identified Flying Objects (IFOs) misperceived as UFOs have the same characteristics as UFO reports! If all of the UAP reports are possible IFO reports, one has to wonder if a threat exists at all. In fact, I am unaware of any airplane crash/major accident being caused by a UAP encounter. How serious a threat can they be, if they have never caused any accidents?

The report was quickly removed by Roe once he discovered there was an obvious explanation for the case. The one thing that differentiates science between pseudoscience is that science attempts to prevent mistakes by thorough review BEFORE publishing. If a mistake is published, there is often an effort to publicly admit the mistake and promptly correct it. In this case, the only review seems to have been done by Roe himself. Additionally, over a month has passed and, at the time of this writing, no correction to the report has appeared. There is a Technical Report no. 19 listed on NARCAP’s site but there is no hyper link. To be fair, Mr. Roe did update the video on You-tube but one would think he would publish a formal correction to the actual report on his blog. 

Learning from past mistakes

This is type of error is something that continues to happen in UFOlogy. Videos, photographs, and reports of, apparently, “exotic phenomena” are reported and UFO proponents promote them as evidence of something that deserve scientific study. Unfortunately, they ignore the first step in process. The first thing to do is to check and see if there might be an explanation. For instance, one could see if others also reported the same event. As Oberg demonstrated, there were plenty of such reports made in various forums. It only took a small amount of effort to locate them. Of course, one should look at the evidence critically when it is first presented. In this case, when I saw the video, I immediately thought it resembled videos I had seen of booster rockets venting fuel. Why didn’t Roe, who should be an expert in various phenomena in the sky to help his research, aware of this? Allan Hendry once wrote:

...for a field that is composed of individuals who profess to be intrigued by aerial anomalies, there is widespread ignorance about even the most basic characteristics or sources like meteors, ad planes, and balloons. This ignorance is likely to be a deliberate suppression by each UFO researcher, for reasons that are reflected in the motives they demonstrate for their involvement with UFOs.6

Therefore, Roe either was not educated/familiar with this type of phenomenon or was but ignored it because of his belief in UFOs. Either scenario makes one wonder about Ted Roe’s expertise as a UFO investigator.

Quelle: SUNlite 5/2020

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