Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Strange Track at NORAD Control Center (1973) – My UFO Experience

Artwork by www.theufochronicles.com for the article, Strange Track at NORAD Control Center

"In winter(?) 1973, I was duty officer at a NORAD control center, Murphy Dome AFS, AK. One of my radar techs pointed out to me a strange track he had picked up. I watched it for a while, deciding how we should classify it or not. It's speed was about 2,100 mph, heading about 150 deg. That's significantly faster than any jet plane we had data on in our aircraft recognition manuals.

We knew nothing about SR-71's. It's possible we had detected one returning from Siberia. However, we had the flight plans (secret) for our spy plane missions and normally watched them leaving and returning. Nothing corresponded to this.

The abnormal appearance of the object's radar "paint" was what I focused on. Our (very primitive) computer could create synthetic tracks and superimpose them onto our radar screens along with the (analog) radar. These tracks could be "flown" from a console in another room. They were used to let us perform simulated intercept missions of our jet fighters vs "Soviet" aircraft . Given foul weather, it was often not possible to meet our training requirements for intercepts using real aircraft.

First, the computer simulated "paints" had a recognizably different appearance from real radar "paints" (imposed by the laws of physics). Second, there were "bugs" in the computer software such that it occasionally spontaneously-generated such tracks, with no one at the console.

This particular track did not look either quite like a real radar "paint" or a typical synthetic track but more like the latter than the former. It designated it a "bug" track with slight misgivings.

The thing about such computer generated tracks is that there are no physical limitations on performance. Such a track could fly at mach 20 and make right angle turns, etc. In sensor systems, you are never looking at raw focal plane, etc., data. You are looking at a computer screen at computer processed data. I would always want to know whether a potential UFO appeared simultaneously on multiple sensors and/or was seen with the human eye. I'm a little suspicious that a Chinese electronic component may have found its way into some of our systems and could be a source of some observed phenomena.

Overall, I'm open to whatever hard evidence might show, but as an astrophysicist and amateur astronomer, I spent a lot of time looking at the sky. This one, probably explained, incident is the only one I've personally experienced in a lifetime.

PS: There were a good number of tactical nukes in AK back then. There were never any tracks focused on these. (Our computer system displayed all the integrated tracks from all the radars in the Alaska NORAD region + part of Canada and Siberia.)

Editor’s note: The text in the report above is unedited and presented as it was received. TUFOC has not independently verified the account.

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