Marisa Herman of Newsmax interviewed Brandon J. Weichert about the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) encounters that have been plaguing the US military in recent years…
A widely anticipated report on unidentified aerial phenomena may not prove Earth is being visited by little green men, but it could reveal something far more troubling: the U.S. badly trails adversaries like China and Russia in hypersonic technology.
An unclassified version of the intelligence report is set for release to Congress by June 25. The White House on Friday said the report is not yet finalized; but senior administration officials briefed on the report are already dishing about what’s inside.
The report, which examined more than 120 sightings – mostly by Navy pilots during the past two decades – only determined whatever the airmen saw was not clandestine U.S. tech, according to The New York Times.
So, while pilots didn’t accidentally stumble on any covert U.S. operations, the report doesn’t rule out Russia or China as a source for the apparently experimental tech.
One senior official told the newspaper that some intelligence and military officials are concerned the sightings may have caught an adversary testing hypersonic technology.
That theory doesn’t surprise Peter Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board focused on protecting the U.S.
“They are far ahead of us,” Pry said of China and Russia. “We are just starting to work on hypersonic weapons.”
Nick Pope, a high-profile former investigator of UFOs for the U.K. Ministry of Defense, said the biggest takeaway from what’s leaked from the report so far is one major UAP theory may have been eliminated.
The three working theories about the tech’s origins included: (1) U.S. technology, (2) foreign adversary technology, and (3) extraterrestrial tech.
“These leaked conclusions are both intriguing and disturbing,” Pope said. “A key takeaway seems to be that few – if any – sightings are attributable to U.S. black project technology. That was probably the easiest part of the study, because while the details of such programs are highly classified, someone somewhere in the intelligence community can always say whether or not the U.S. has such technology.”
He added: “The possibility that some of what’s been going on might be attributable to Russia or China is disturbing, and U.S. and British spy chiefs need to step up their efforts to assess the current level of technology these nations possess when it comes to aircraft, missiles and drones – particularly with regard to hypersonic technology.”
Hypersonic means aircraft, missiles, rockets, and spacecraft that can reach speeds faster than Mach 5, which is close to 4,000 miles per hour. Most designs for hypersonic tech involves a rocket-powered flight to the edge of space followed by a weapon delivery vehicle “skipping” like a stone along the upper reaches of the atmosphere in order to travel vast distances in minutes.
After completing its “unpredictable” route to the target – unlike an intercontinental ballistic missile, which follows an arc path – the vehicle then reenters and strikes with, according to Pry, “close to perfect” accuracy.
In some of the reported UAP sightings, military pilots reported seeing objects that outperformed anything in the known U.S. arsenal. The objects – which have been described in varying ways, including as triangles and “acorn” shapes that could resemble published renderings of a hypersonic reentry vehicle – were said to be able to break the sound barrier without causing a sonic boom, defy the laws of physics, and remain perfectly still in areas of high wind.
Pry said hypersonic weapons are not only fast, but stealthy. Because they are able to fly on a flat trajectory and “skim” along the top of the atmosphere, he said they aren’t as easily detected by warning radars.
As they quickly skim across the top of the atmosphere, he said they become enveloped in super-heated gas, which also makes it much more difficult to pinpoint where they are located when the opposition tries to intercept it.
“They are flying too fast, too low, and because of that heat bubble they travel in, we can’t get a precise lock on them to intercept them,” Pry said.
While Russia claims to already have nuclear armed hypersonic tech, Pry said the kinetic energy from the reentry vehicle alone would wreak havoc.
It’s no secret, however, that China and Russia both have hypersonic capabilities in their war chests. Both nations have proudly displayed their capabilities and are continuing to develop and improve the weapons.
The South China Morning Post reported on May 31 that a Chinese physicist was quoted as saying a new wind tunnel to be unveiled in Beijing will put China “about 20-30 years” ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to hypersonic tech.
Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher Han Guilai said in an online lecture that the JF-22 wind tunnel will be capable of simulating flights at up to 10km per second, which equates to about 30 times the speed of sound, the South China Morning Post reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is infamous for chest-beating pronouncements while touting his nation’s newest weapons. Putin publicly announced a hypersonic warhead named the “Avangard” several years ago.
Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst and author of “Winning Space,” estimates that Russia and China are about 3-7 years ahead of the U.S. in some aspects of hypersonic technology.
“Both Beijing and Moscow have identified this as a key strategic weapon system that the Americans have ignored for too long,” he said. “Now we are paying attention to it, but we are coming from behind.”
He said the Defense Department’s program is slow moving, which has allowed China and Russia to leapfrog the U.S. when it comes to having access to functional hypersonic systems.
While it is unclear if the UAP sightings are indeed hypersonic craft, he said “every American should be concerned that our military is behind in the hypersonic race.”
At the end of May, the U.S. Navy announced it conducted its first live-fire test – not of a hypersonic weapon, but of a hypersonic missile’s motor. The motor will be used in the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike offensive hypersonic missile and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, according to Defense News.
“The first stage SRM will be part of a new missile booster for the services, and will be combined with a Common Hypersonic Glide Body to create the common hypersonic missile. Each service will use the common hypersonic missile, while developing individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land,” a Navy news release said. “This successful SRM test represents a critical milestone leading up to the next Navy and Army joint flight test, which will take place in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022, and ultimately the fielding of the CPS and LRHW weapon systems.”
Pope said if the reported UAP sightings had been U.S. tech it would have been great news because it would have meant the U.S. is “at the forefront of aerospace technology as one would hope and expect.”
That the report seems to suggest otherwise is troublesome.
“This seems to say we aren’t and there’s something out there, wherever it comes from, whether it’s the Russians or the Martians that puts us in a poor second place,” he said. “And the U.S. should never be in a poor second place.”
Experts agree that the report will likely be unable to provide a concrete answer when it comes to determining the origins of the UAPs.
“The bottom line is they don’t know,” Pope said. “And there might not be a single solution.”
Of all the reported sightings, he said it is likely that some do represent emerging hypersonic technology out of Russia or China. But that doesn’t mean all of the sightings fit that bill.
“Who’s to say it isn’t the Russians and the Martians?” he said – partially joking.
Sean Cahill, who served in the Navy from 1995 to 2015 and was an eyewitness to the so-called “tic tac” UAP events seen by the USS Nimitz Strike Group in 2004, said some of the sightings have demonstrated technology that far exceeds what hypersonic tech is capable of.
In some instances, military pilots have described seeing objects accelerate instantaneously, not register on radars, and go from the air to the water – without making a splash – and then zoom to space. These capabilities exceed what any known technology is capable of.
Pry agrees it’s unlikely all the UAP sightings are hypersonic weapons. Reports that the UFOs could turn on a dime and go in and out of the water don’t match up to the weapons’ capabilities.
“Hypersonic warheads can’t do right-angle turns,” he said. “Their maneuverability is much more limited than that.”
If indeed the technology is emanating from China or Russia, unbeknownst to the U.S. intelligence community, Cahill said it would be a “ridiculous intelligence failure.”
He called it “incredibly worrisome” to think U.S. adversaries have access to technology that the best and brightest physicists predict is still decades away – if not longer.
“If the Chinese or Russia possess this tech, we are in a lot more trouble than we think we are,” Cahill said.
Pry said the existence of aliens may actually be the more comforting of the remaining explanations for UAPs.
“It’s hard to believe, but maybe it’s easier to believe than we are being visited by aliens from outer space for some people,” he said. “If it’s true, let’s hope the aliens do come visit us to save us.”