Talk:Unidentified flying object

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what bout roswell???

It's in New Mexico. Is that the information that you were looking for? --Edgerunner76 08:33, 11 January 2008 (EST)
New Mexico. The official state of RationalWiki, in fact! Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:40, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Deceive Inveigle Obfuscate

Contents

[edit] rewrite

This needs to be completly rewrote, the current version is nonsense and the category is stupid. --210.51.51.24 05:40, 12 January 2008 (EST)

Please make your case with suggestions, abunchofnumbers, and better yet, register an anonymous yet snarky user name so we can get to know you better! And by the way, it's "rewritten". We prefer our random abunchofnumbers editors to add rather than subtract things from articles. Especially if they improve them... humanUser talk:Human 05:44, 12 January 2008 (EST)
OK, I got a username. Anyway I think it should be more serious and less insulting, because thats stupid and immatue. --45,26,193,115 06:14, 12 January 2008 (EST)
What your username? And, OK, the "farmer" part is kind of the lulzy sort of thing we like here at RW - but, and this is a big but - any informed additions, especially if well-written, and especially if cited reasonably well, are totally welcome. PS, thanks for playing here on talk. humanUser talk:Human 06:25, 12 January 2008 (EST)
Bunch of numbers - you think we should take this weirdness "seriously"? How would one do that?--Bobbing up 06:47, 12 January 2008 (EST)

[edit] Template-

So how exactly does this article suck so bad as compared to any other given RW article? PFoster 17:24, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Yes, I have thought about that. I would say that this article is especially pathetic and stupid. --Bouncybears 17:52, 13 January 2008 (EST)
How, exactly? Have you any specific examples? PFoster 17:53, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Well the redneck s#it is so stupid and immature its blows me out of my mind. And the USAF crap must be sarcastic, and if its not then it makes me laugh anyway because its such a stupid argument. --Bouncybears 18:02, 13 January 2008 (EST)
I'm getting the feeling that you are humour-impaired. Those sections are what are commonly referred to as "jokes," son.PFoster 18:05, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Yes i know the redneck thing is a joke, and its a stupid one at that. But what about the USAF thing? If its a joke, then i don't get it. --Bouncybears 18:07, 13 January 2008 (EST)
there's an old line about explaining a joke - it's a lot like dissecting a frog: you might learn a little bit, but the frog tends to die. Besides that, *you* not getting a joke is no reason to make up a template about the article being of poor quality, and then leave it on the article while doing very little to improve the situation. PFoster 18:11, 13 January 2008 (EST)

I rewrote the intro so it is a bit clearer what we are talking about. And that's not a "redneck", it's a "fahma". And "ufology" does tend to be the province of cranks and assorted nutcases, or at least the overly credulous. So it deserves a bit of mocking.

The USAF jokes, of course, mock the mockers ;)

By the way, one of the more famous alleged close encounters "happened" just down the road in Exeter. And by the way more, I just rewatched CE of the 3rd Kind, hilarious that they used Devil's Mountain because 1. it's on the Wyoming license plate, and 2. out there on teh innertubes somewhere teh assfly itself made a complete fool of himself arguing it was carved by the Great Flood waters receding. humanUser talk:Human 02:26, 14 January 2008 (EST)

[edit] too lazy to make funny vandalism file

Bunchanumbers (87.2.63.182) changed the opening line to say "An Unidentified Flying Object is a flying saucer with no license plate." on 1/14/08. humanUser talk:Human 14:56, 14 January 2008 (EST)

[edit] For really weird shit:

See this site Pinto's5150 Talk 21:45, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Also great example of crank magnet; it's ostensibly about UFOs but there's the requisite YouTube immigration rant as well as Illuminati stuff. (The blog revealing Provo's Illuminati leader has been taken down - OMG THEY GOT TO HIM!) --Pere Ubu (talk) 15:11, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Carl Sagan's book

Carl Sagan wrote about UFO's in his last book, The Demon Haunted World. Do you think this should be added to the article? It's a great read, as I'm sure many here know. Alecwh 20:11, 27 November 2008 (EST)

I'd rather be me than Carl Sagan (especially since he is dead and I'n not) but should I add my UFO encounter to the article? All in favor raise your hands. Carptrash 20:41, 27 November 2008 (EST)
I don't know about the article, but it would fun to read it here on the talk page... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:17, 27 November 2008 (EST)
Well I will look around for what I wrote that night and see if I can find it. Carptrash 10:26, 28 November 2008 (EST)

[edit] Kenneth Arnold

Is there a reference to say that he saw a meteor? Wikipedia has a very brief mention of it but it's refuted as being "too slow" (which is true, these things fly damned fast). I don't think we should just say that as an outright fact when it's just one of the theories as to what Arnold actually saw and not the best one at that. It's certainly true about the shape he described them as as being far from saucer like http://www.altereddimensions.net/images/aliens/KennethArnold.gif Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:27, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

He saw several objects, describing them as roughly crescent-shaped. Birds and planes have been proposed as explanations but after 60 years, and with no pictures or other witnesses, we'll never know for sure. The meteor breaking up is interesting, but wouldn't more than one person have seen it? — Unsigned, by: Totnesmartin / talk / contribs
On Tot's last point, well, not necessarily. (I say this without knowing the details, obviously if this was over, say, Manhattan, other people would be expected to see it). ħumanUser talk:Human 19:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
First person who can be arsed to dig out Mt Ranier area population statistics gets a free rub with a long-eared jerboa. Totnesmartin 23:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
It's in the middle of fucking nowhere. National park, glaciers, stuff like that. Good place to hallucinate, though. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:13, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
The pilot seat of a plane is never a good place to hallucinate! Totnesmartin 10:51, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] JANET

Heard a good abbreviation to mention, but I have no idea where it came from -- googling it doesn't work. JANET = "Jets Are Not ExtraTerrestrials"... anyone know? EVDebs 07:23, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

You won't find earth people quite the easy mark you imagine. This sonic transducer, it is some kind of audio-vibratory physiomolecular transport device?

You mean...?

Yes, Brad, it is something we ourselves have been working on for quite some time, But it seems our friend here has found a way of perfecting it - A device, which is capable of breaking down solid matter, And projecting it through space, and who knows, perhaps even time itself!

You mean he's gonna send us to another planet?

Planet, Shmanet, Janet! You'd better wise up, Janet Weiss You'd better wise up, build your thighs up You'd better wise up

And then she cried out:

Stop!

Don't get hot and flustered Use a bit of mustard

You're a hot dog, but you'd better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter

You're a hot dog, but you'd better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter

Totnesmartin 10:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I am so sick of your straw man arguments Totnesmartin. Ace McWickedi9 10:56, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
What you are sick of is the fact that most people reject evolution. Totnesmartin 11:08, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Greetings, earth being. We are from Proxima Centauri. We come in peace, and bear gifts of complete arse.

Sorry Prox, I know you meant well but the argument you linked to is pure garbage. Theoretically yes, a rotating craft as seen in (eg) 2001 or Babylon 5 could house a variety of beings, but this has nothing to do with UFOs. Space stations of that size have never been reported in the UFO literature. Circular objects, yes, loads, but not big enough to achieve the centripetal-action-as-fake-gravity effect. The whole thing depends, if I may add, on the idea that UFOs are alien craft of some sort, which, while a popular theory, has no evidence to support it. And I've gone on far too long on a topic I normally stay away from on RW. Totnesmartin 18:21, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Not to mention that any craft with no obvious high velocity emissions would obviously be built by somebody who has a fair mastery of gravity in the first place. So why would they need something so crude as a big spinny wheel for their comfort? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:32, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually it's | not quite as simple as it might appear anyway. --BobNot Jim 18:41, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Most compelling UFO cases

What are some UFO cases you find compelling or even plausible? Not in a "that was an alien ship" way but in a "damn, that's messed up" way. — Unsigned, by: Ryantherebel / talk / contribs

I saw a leaf blow up off the ground back into a tree the other day. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess that works. Template:Ryantherebel
I've never seen anything myself. Everything else is eyewitness testimony, which is the most worthless form of evidence in science, so I'd say I know of no such compelling cases. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 16:03, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Possibly lenticular clouds. They're definitely not spaceships but they make me think that there's some very impressive stuff in nature. Scarlet A.pngbomination 16:06, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd focus on cases where a lot of unrelated people said they saw the same thing. As well as "official" ones with radar data etc. Basically that one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_UFO_wave Sen (talk) 23:28, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Air Force Test Planes

There is a reasonable argument that some sightings were or air force test planes like the Blackhawk spy plane and the first stealth fighters. The performance of these were so different from common aircraft of the time that a sighting would seem strange. Hamster (talk) 23:21, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Even "common" aircraft can do some pretty weird things, according to my retired Air Force buddy (was talking about recent local air show) - like balance in place with the jet then accelerate rapidly straight up. And the people who can do these things are rather known for doing them even when it's not on their "flight plan". ħumanUser talk:Human 01:40, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Credible Witnesses

I note that in our effort to debunk the 99.999% of all bullshit that surrounds this topic we leave out the .001 percent of genuine wierdness that surrounds UFO phenomenon. There have been numerous credible witnesses (ranging from Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper to President Jimmy Carter) to The 2006 O'Hare UFO sightings. Additionally, Project Blue Book, which was the last officially Air Force Investigation reported that there were 706 events which they admitted denied plausible explination. So perhaps we should give credit where credit is due and actually mention this in the article...actually, maybe i should just do it now--BenB (talk) 15:30, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

There was a report on Reuters on Sept.15 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS166901+15-Sep-2010+PRN20100915 I'm wondering how I could work this in to the article-I'm reading up and want to wait until the press conferenceNietzscheflake (talk) 22:07, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, there are of course some weird ones. The Phoenix Lights spring to mind. AceDrumcode 22:21, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Ugh. I hate to be just pasting links, but... In the recent thread in the Bad Astronomy forum that discussed the 5 cases picked by Cracked, the discussion turned to "credible witnesses". [1] There is also a short thread about the "UFOs and nukes" press conference: [2]. It seems that at least some of the people attending are "usual suspects" whose claims have been known for a long time.--ZooGuard (talk) 06:21, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
The thing about "credible" witnesses is that, while they may be at low risk of just making shit up, they're still human, and at the same risk of misidentifying things, leaping to conclusions, having their brains fill in the gaps where their senses are lacking. There is no amount of credibility that makes you immune from this. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we sort of cover this in the intro when we say:
  • Barring omniscience, there will always be some things in the sky that humanity cannot identify.
There may well be credible witness to things which will never be explained as we lack sufficient evidence. I have no problem with that - it's life. The problem is jumping from that to the green men.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:35, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Very true. It's all well and good saying things can be unidentified, but, that's all it is, we just haven't figured out what was the actual cause. It doesn't mean it was any particular potential explanation. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:28, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure I read somewhere that Carter's sighting was Venus? http://cohenufo.org/Carter/carter_abvtopsec.htm This claims to be Carter's original form for NICAP Scherben 01:04, 24 November 2011 (UTC) Scherben

[edit] Jerusalem UFO

What are the thoughts on the Jerusalem sighting? I find the footage interesting, but suspicious...thoughts? — Unsigned, by: Saladin / talk / contribs

Does it look familiar?
I haven't looked into it in details, but at least one of the videos that are passed around is a hoax that has been created to validate the "original" video. (It's a pan over a still image, a night panorama of Jerusalem, with an "UFO" pasted on top with something like Adobe After Effects. It's a method often used by The Faking Hoaxer for example.) --ZooGuard (talk) 18:42, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Here's a thread at the Skeptics Guide to the Universe forum. The second video is the one I'm talking about.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Wrong

I saw a UFO once. Talsley (talk) 14:35, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

So did I. ADK...I'll annihilate your nitrogen! 14:45, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
The why is this article so skeptical? Talsley (talk) 14:53, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Shhhhh! Do you want to get all of our minds wiped? Just leave the article as-is, for the safety of us all! (ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 22:54, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
The article accepts that Unidentified Flying Objects exist, though it points out that some of them are no so "unidentified" any more. It's certainly skeptical about the possibility that they are controlled by creepy alien monsters.
The tone seems to be as described here. --BobSpring is sprung! 12:35, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I've witnessed a fair number of unidentified flying objects. That said, my location is notable for being near an international airport, has an air base not far away and a Boeing VERTOL plant equidistant between my home and said international airport. Hence, the objects aren't much of a mystery, save as which facility they came from.Wzrd1 (talk) 17:16, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Oberth and Tehran

I've removed the latest BoN addition from the "Genuine Weirdness" section:

Many other prominent heads of state, astronauts and highly reputable scientists, such as Dr. Hermann Oberth, the "father of modern rocketry" have publicly stated their belief in the UFO phenomenon, in the case of Oberth, he concluded that UFOs are extra-terrestrial.<ref>http://spaceflare.com/#quotes</ref>

USAFE document regarding the 'Tehran Incident' - http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/ufo/now_you_see.pdf - To this date, an unexplained encounter with a UFO. The document was sent to the Whitehouse, CIA, heads of the U.S armed forces amongst others.<ref>http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/ufo/us_gov_iran_case.pdf</ref> Later declassified after a lengthy battle.

Oberth was not a witness, nor did he have some insider info. He got involved into the "UFO debate" in the 1950s/60s and was defending the "extraterrestrial hypothesis". Probably warrants a mention in the ufology article. The "Tehran Incident" also deserves a separate article.

The section "Genuine Weirdness" section itself is rather credulous and needs to be rewritten. Perhaps it can be turned into a section about the "reliable observer" trope.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:51, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree. "Credible witness trope" seems a far better section. You need to determine the difference between someone who isn't in a position to lie and someone who isn't in a position to make a mistake. Airline pilots aren't weather experts, weather experts don't know aircraft. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:25, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


[edit] What proportion

Of 'UFOs' are 'obscure technology' (would anyone coming across the subject of [3] unexpectedly know what they are looking at?) 82.44.143.26 (talk) 16:41, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] The UK government must be hiding something!

What was it really like working on UK's 'X-Files' ? Even Tony Blair was briefed. Proxima Centauri (talk) 20:11, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, they are. The US had SR-71's fly out of some UK military fields over the years. There were other, then classified aircraft operating out of those same fields as well. It comes down to , "Wow, did you see that weird airplane?" "No and neither did you, it isn't there and forget about what you didn't see."Wzrd1 (talk) 03:31, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] "There are more things in heaven..."

Including remote-controlled, helium-filled shark balloons.--ZooGuard (talk) 06:17, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Fourmilab's take

While the following idea seems to require the admittedly unlikely premise that a substantial part of UFO sightings do not have a mundane explanation, it's certainly quite unorthodox and thought-provoking, as well as (as the author emphasises repeatedly) actually testable: Fourmilab explains flying saucers as of genuinely extraterrestrial origin – however, not (usually) as craft, the idea being that the UFOs are ... *drumroll* ... the extraterrestrials themselves! (Unintelligent ones, though.) --84.151.141.110 (talk) 16:39, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Quantum this, quantum that... also, Trevor Constable postulated that UFOs might be living creatures 40 years ago. SophieWilder 18:44, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
True, the idea is not that new, but the way he got there is interesting.
Have you found any specific flaws in his argument?
My impression of John Walker so far is not that of a crank or woomeister; his grounding in math and science seems to be too solid for that (note that he's not an engineer – unless software engineers count too, in which case Eric S. Raymond would probably be the poster boy). Again, he is careful to present testable propositions, so if anything, he's a maverick throwing bold hypotheses out there that may well just be plain wrong, rather than not even wrong. But I haven't completely made up my mind about him; I do sense a slight ESR vibe about him, admittedly, not least because he's libertarian too (even an anti-abortion libertarian) and has a Cornucopian, anti-environmentalist bent from what I've seen. --84.151.141.110 (talk) 00:26, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Having glanced at it I find the following initial propositions:
  1. Life is quantum. (status: undemonstrated)
  2. The same quantum thing that drives life will also unify the quantum and relativistic worlds. (status: completely unjustified speculation)
  3. For no apparent reason this "may" allow: Communication across spacelike-separated intervals, faster-than-light travel and access to the zero-point energy of the vacuum. (status: utterly completely unjustified speculation based upon the previous completely unjustified speculation)
He goes on from there to make his seemingly confident predications - which I honestly can't be bothered to go thorough in detail a they are based on nothing at all. It's like saying: The Moon may be made of cheese, there may be oxygen on the moon, therefore there must be lots of mice on the moon. "There must be lots of mice on the moon" is, in fact, a testable hypothesis - but that don't make the previous speculations scientific.(This analogy could be better)--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:26, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Airships

Have airships/dirigibles been 'the cause' of any UFO sightings? (They do make a 'peculiar sound' if they happen to fly over one.)

There are probably explanations for 'most claimed UFOs' (artificial satellites, meteor(ite)s satellites, 'planes, helicopters, weather balloons' meteorlogical phenomena, (and possibly a combination of the last with any of the former) etc but there seems to be a residuum of 'not yet explained/insufficient information.' There is no proof or disproof that (a) sentinent aliens exist elsewhere (b) they have achieved viable interstellar travel (as distinct from our interplanetary travel + 'messages in a bottle'), and (c) are not observing us in a neutral fashion (anyone for InterStellarSafarisAreUs?). 171.33.222.26 (talk) 17:59, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Will add 'military and other research projects', 'creative and other misinterpretations/visual illusions', airworthy sleeping equipment [4], hoaxes of various sorts and 'the monster from the id.' 82.44.143.26 (talk) 17:39, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] CIA says: UFOs were us

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-28143994

[edit] Operação Pires

In a 1970's night at then-dictatorial Brazil, the government decided to hunt on some strange lights that soared throughout the skies of São Paulo and, most extensively, of Rio de Janeiro. The operation, nicknamed 'Operação Pires' by the secret service, involved fighter jets following soaring white light blobs that did appear on radar, only for them to simply vanish from both sight and radar. It was declassified a few years ago, and the records were made public. One of the country's most widely known magazines, Superinteressante (Editora Abril), dug on the archives and made an extensive article about it. It seems to be a little hard to find data on it on the web (the only reliable page on it I've found is from another widely-known magazine, but from another publishing house, Editora Três' IstoÉ Independente, yet it is just too shallow; you can find it here (in Portuguese, obviously). I do have a copy of that Superinteressante, though; if anyone thinks it's postworthy I can look for that edition, scan the article for proof's sake and translate it. Cheers! 191.180.228.123 (talk) 03:50, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Amateur astronomers and UFOs

Assuming UFO sightings are of extraterrestrial origin, the group that should report them more than any other (at least per capita) would be amateur astronomers, since they watch the sky much more than other people... yet they actually make very few UFO reports.
—From the article

'Nuff said. Too many years to count playing to be a sort of Mr. Sulu and besides a shooting star that scare the hell out of me of how unexpected and bright was nothing, zero, nada, zilch at least in the skies (on the ground is another topic). Even if being glued to the eyepiece most of the time surely helps. --Panzerfaust (talk) 07:25, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

You think it be the guys in the space station to report anything. "NASA... We have a UFO requesting to dock. We said yes." 2d4chanfag (talk) 08:00, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Simpler. These equations from projectrho.com (I had them saved away, so don't know where exactly are), that show how far away we'd detect a ship with our current technology:
Rd = ( 17.8E6 * sqrt( Ms*As*Isp*(1-Nd)*(1-Ns) ) ) * (sqrt(0.04 * π)) where: Rd = maximum detection range (kilometers) Ms = bogey spacecraft mass (tons) As = bogey spacecraft acceleration (G) Isp = bogey drive specific impulse (seconds) Nd = bogey drive efficiency (0.0 to 1.0) Ns = bogey "stealth efficiency", i.e. fraction of waste energy which can be magically shielded from enemy detectors. (0.0 to 1.0) π = 3.141593...
Realistically, Ns is 1.0 and Nd according to what I've saved varies between 0.95 (chemical rockets) and 0.50 (ion drives).
On a ship going the equivalent of silent running, the equation is:

Rd = 13.4 * sqrt(A) * T^2 where: Rd = detection range (km) A = spacecraft projected area (m2 ) T = surface temperature (Kelvin, room temperature is about 285-290 K)

Have fun inputting numbers and let me know if you want this included in the article to look for references.
(PS: The closest thing I remember to have seen to an UFO was an unexpected star in the field of a faint and elusive galaxy, that did not appear in the chart I prepared. Back to the computer to check it, simply turned out to be an asteroid) --Panzerfaust (talk) 13:17, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
For those of us that don't speak astronomer — from how far away could we detect a ship with our current technology? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Depends on its own technology, perhaps :) 85.234.92.172 (talk) 15:55, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
We didn't see the ChelyabinskWikipedia's W.svg asteroid coming, so there could already be hundreds of small spaceships nearby without our knowledge. And if they are disguised as asteroids, we may never know. --Cmonk (talk) 19:01, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this I know (though good points regardless). I'm only asking because Panzerfaust seemed to know what the hell he was talking about when he pasted a bunch of astronese jargon and proclaimed it indicated how far away we could detect a ship from. Maybe he was just pulling a Hegel and/or I just don't even suspect that I lack the education to accurately determine what's even going on in this thread. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:58, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Here's the page: Detection - Atomic rockets. That's where I got the formulae and looks quite real -leaving aside sci-fi technology an alien probe could lie out there disguised as a small, car-sized or less NEARWikipedia's W.svg that nobody gives a damn about, following us and scanning Earth with passive sensors every time it flies by-. As you say is perfectly conceivable even if, of course is a bit like Russell's teapot
We may have failed to spot the Chelyabinsk meteor simply because -correct me if I'm wrong- we don't have a big network of telescopes scanning the entire sky and looking for all NEARs, down to small ones as that -for all the mess it left behind, is nothing compared the serious damage that [the ones mentioned here] could cause-. With the stuff we've astronomers are more concerned with those that could cause damage in regional or even global scales and searches are concentrated on the EclipticWikipedia's W.svg or areas close to it. Anything on highly inclined orbits, even with amateur astronomers helping professionals, could evade detection and give us a nasty surprise.
Anyway, my point is that, if that page is correct, we'd be able to detect ships whizzing around across the Solar System with our current technology assuming we knew where to look or had methods to scan the full sky (not to mention those that come here). Of course this assumes they'll not have sci-fi tech --Panzerfaust (talk) 22:12, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Would a "whizzing" ship stay around for long enough to be detected? (continuous multispectral high-resolution full coverage of the sky is a lot of data to process) If we didn't know about our own probes (like Voyager), would we be able to detect them? If I had to design a space probe to quietly observe an alien world, I would retrofit an asteroid with the required equipment and put it in orbit close to the target, so it would be pretty much impossible to identify even if detected (no engine signature if solar powered, nothing special about the shape or the trajectory). In other words, I think it is more likely that a stealthy alien observer would look like an asteroid instead of using some advanced cloaking technology (but if it needs to abduct people, I don't know).
According to Wikipedia, we failed to detect the Chelyabinsk asteroid "in part because its radiant [point of origin in the sky] was close to the Sun", but I agree that if we had more advanced monitoring capabilities, then we would detect more objects. However, "There are about 1 million near-Earth asteroids about 40 meters in diameter—of which about 1 percent have been discovered" (sourceWikipedia's W.svg). --Cmonk (talk) 23:38, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Multi-spectral high-resolution full coverage of the sky is, yes, a lot of data to process, but it does not seem very much beyond our capabilities and if it has not been started is sure for lack of interest (no politician is able to think beyond the next elections and as usual we'll only react when the mess is done, even indirectly -an idiot who confounded an event as Chelya... whatever with a nuke-). As for Voyager, it would be very difficult to detect -it's not accelerating now, nor most other probes at least under their own impulse (slingshots do not count), and I don't know the temperature of its RTG but it don't think it would be too high especially knowing there're at best a couple of years before the probe runs out of energy and most of its systems have been shutted down-.
As for the asteroid probe (I often thought similar ideas), there're ways to refine it: the thing could communicate in narrow band (very hard to detect if one does not know what's looking for) with a relay located in the outer Solar System, and for more security when it was in the opposite side of the Sun respect to us or whatever. Since something so small would have a very chaotic orbit thanks to the planet's gravity maybe it could have a sort of equivalent to the Alien's facehugger -a small Von Neumann rocket that would look for a suitable asteroid to transform into another probe-. Needless to say, the thing would work just for looking from above, not for in-situ observations on the planet's surface and much less to carry specimens to the mothership (gravity is a very hard mistress after all). By the way, having a radiant close to the Sun so we could not see what was coming would only work for relatively close bodies -something that came from interstellar distances would have to move very fast to be able to hide that way-, so fast in fact that it would be impossible (faster that the speed of light) --Panzerfaust (talk) 23:15, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
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