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By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/4/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We have a good guess of what these mysterious craft are.

Two photographers have shared pictures of what they say may be a mysterious plane belonging to the United States, which they photographed on March 10. The images are fueling speculation that the aircraft are a new as-yet unannounced version of stealth aircraft.

A close up of the mysterious craft spotted flying over Amarillo, Texas on March 10.

A close up of the mysterious craft spotted flying over Amarillo, Texas on March 10.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/4/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Sr-72, spy plane, phantom ray, march 10, photograph, UFO, stealth, B-2


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's definitely a plane, there's no doubt about that. Beyond that conclusion, it's all educated guesswork, making these craft official unidentified flying objects (UFOs). What is known is that three aircraft, all with a distinctive triangle shape, overflew Amarillo, Texas on March 10, and they were captured on film.

Who is the patron saint of aviation?

The mysterious aircraft were captured in this fleeting photograph.

The mysterious aircraft were captured in this fleeting photograph.


Photographers Steve Douglass and Dean Muskett took the pictures and posted them to the internet asking if anyone could identify the planes. However, instead of being told right away they had captured a flight of stealth bombers, based in Missouri, nobody had any clue what they were looking at except that nobody could identify the mysterious UFOs. Right away speculation turned to the rumored SR-72.

An enhancement of the image shows their distinctive triangle shape.

An enhancement of the image shows their distinctive triangle shape.


Could it be the SR-72?

The SR-72 is the long storied successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. The SR-71 was an ultra-fast jet capable of flying across the United States in under three hours. A normal airliner takes six hours to complete such a journey.

The initial guess was that they were stealth bombers, but the shape doesn

The initial guess was that they were stealth bombers, but the shape doesn't quite match.


The SR-71 was conceived in the 1950s and flew through the 1990s when it was finally retired from service, replaced with high-tech spy satellites.

The SR-72 is under development by Lockheed Martin but is said to be years away from serviceable use. Lockheed Martin itself says such a plane would be able to cross continents in one hour, but that they won't be in service until at least 2030.

The SR-72, is in development, but won

The SR-72, is in development, but won't enter service until at least 2030.


So if the triangular objects are not stealth bombers, and they're not SR-72s, then what are they?

Could they be a new kind of secret aircraft?

One important clue lies in the speed at which the aircraft were traveling. According to Douglass, the craft were not flying fast at all, but rather at about the same speed as a regular airliner. Drone aircraft tend to fly at such speeds and much slower.

The Boeing Phantom Ray has been in flight testing since 2011. The Phantom Ray could be what was capt

The Boeing Phantom Ray has been in flight testing since 2011. The Phantom Ray could be what was captured by the photographers.


Our guess is that the craft are actually unmanned drones, under testing and development for future use. A close candidate, based on their profile, is the Boeing Phantom Ray, or a derivative of it. That craft is an unmanned vehicle which could potentially be used as a strike bomber. The Phantom Ray may simply be in a new phase of testing which involves formation flying and long distance flights.

The Phantom Ray has the right shape and matches what was captured on March 10.

The Phantom Ray has the right shape and matches what was captured on March 10.


Regardless of what the craft were, we can be assured that the military is always working on the next generation of aircraft and we will know only long after the craft are in service. Such secrecy may intrigue or even annoy us, but it is key to how the United States remains at the cutting edge of defense technology.

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