Jeffrey Scott Shapiro asks in a recent WSJ op-ed ('UFOs May Be Earthly And Dangerous', p. A 13):
"Have space aliens been visiting Earth? That’s the wrong question to be asking about UFOs—or, as they’re now officially called, unidentified aerial phenomena or UAP."
After noting that "Many of the sightings took place in restricted airspace during military exercises" he references the May, CBS’s “60 Minutes” episode which "re-examined those videos and explored the possibility that the UAP were of extraterrestrial origin". However, he writes:
"It’s likelier, though, that they’re of terrestrial origin and are a definite threat to national security."
From which point on, Shapiro - like so many others before him- engages in terrestrial chauvinism and the mental provincialism I'd earlier written about, e.g.
The difference here is that Shapiro really pulls out all the techno-stops to try to prove the UFOs recorded are not actual physical objects, but rather laser-generated holographs. Oh, yeah, and they're deliberately and maliciously created by foreign actors / adversaries to confuse our military pilots and probe defenses. Got that?
Thereby ascending to new levels of terrestrial myopia and provincial poppycock. To lead us into this balderdash he points out:
"In fact the UAP task force’s assessment doesn’t mention is that in 2018 the U.S. Navy registered a patent application for “a method where a laser beam is configured to generate a laser-induced plasma filament (LIPF), and the LIPF acts as a decoy to detract a homing missile or other threat from a specific target.”
Adding for good measure:
David Hambling described the technology in a May 2020 Forbes piece titled “U.S. Navy Laser Creates Plasma ‘UFOs.’ ” It creates “phantom images with infrared emissions to fool heat-seeking missiles,”
He wrote. “The laser creates a series of mid-air plasma columns, which form a 2D or 3D image . . . similar to the way old-style cathode ray TV sets display a picture.”
From these citations and the fact that "many of the sightings took place in restricted airspace during military exercises" Shapiro concludes the actual UFOs (UAP) are really the laser-generated artifacts of craft to harass and used to confuse our pilots and test our defenses. And lo and behold they're not emanating from alien civilizations but right here on Earth. Thus we are dealing with:
"a laser that generates a holographic image to confuse fighter pilots and their sensors during aerial combat. The patent is pending, and the technology may or may not be operational. But a foreign adversary may already be using something similar and testing the U.S. response. In 2017 Russia claimed it had achieved “next generation” laser plasma weaponry."
So what? The Russkies and Putin have recently claimed a lot of fantastic stuff including hypersonic missiles that can reach the U.S. in five minutes. But no aeronautical engineer I've spoken to believes it, most consigning it to "Putin beer talk". But evidently it has its uses in putting together this laser holograph distraction thesis of Shapiro.
Shapiro seems hooked on this laser holography explanation given the ability of the observed craft to: “maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion.”
Adding: "The laser plasma technology could explain why some captured images of UAP are grainy, why the mysterious “objects” move erratically at lightning speeds, and why pilots never see them launch or land. It would also explain why they keep appearing in restricted airspace during warplane exercises."
Only much later in his piece does Shapiro note the major gap in his overthinking fantasy - which is the assessment’s assertion that “most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects given that a majority of UAP were registered across multiple sensors, to include radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapons seekers, and visual observations.”
In other words, we are not talking about any kind of laser- generated optical effects such as a 2D or 3D holograph. We are talking about actual three dimensional objects, physically substantive and doing the observed aerodynamic maneuvers on their own. No one is pulling any hidden strings. The Nimitz pilots testimony indeed shatters this foolishness one time, as they noted (60 Minutes) that they observed the UAP craft zooming into the water and coming out of it. I submit there is no way in hell a holograph does this.
Faced with this buzz -killing reality, Shapiro actually imagines that instead: "the laser plasma technology can produce enough particles to resemble a physical object on radar or that there is in fact a physical object being detected, whether it is the UAP itself or a drone projecting an image."
Of course this is fanciful nonsense. For the same reason that his laser-induced plasma UFOs are nonsense. In effect, he is overlooking that in any such production laser-plasma instabilities can arise that scatter significant fractions of laser energy or divert it into superthermal (“hot”) electron populations via Landau damping of the resulting electron plasma waves (EPWs).
Given a collisionless plasma, the Vlasov-Boltzmann equation will apply, for which the governing equation is:
v ¶ f x/ ¶ x - q(s)/m(s) [¶ j/ ¶ x · ¶ f s/ ¶ v] = 0
And said dissipation can be attributed to Landau damping and this may be the most common form to also excite a shock that incites incoherence in the plasma. This incoherence would destroy any "plasma UFOs" way before they show up on a Navy pilot's target screen or indeed, any radar. Or "produce enough physical particles" to imitate a real craft crashing into the sea then emerging again. Shapiro speculates such technology "may or may not be operational". I can assure him at the scales of energy needed to pull off this "confusion" for dozens of different objects at different rates of speed, g forces etc, it is not.
Recall in Landau damping - given the energy balance equation:
S Etot = ½ E1 w + E1 k = ½[ ½ eo | E1|2] + ½ r | ṽ|2
as ṽ increases, ½ eo | E1 |2 (the laser energy) decreases. Thus, as the decrement associated with ¶f(v)/ ¶ v decreases, the electron plasma wave amplitude (and E1 w) decreases. Among the most important parameters here is the Landau damping rate of the associated E-field (E(t) = exp (g L t)), e.g.
g L = (p/ L) w e 3 / k 2 [g' (v f )]
Where L denotes the scale length, w e is the electron plasma frequency, k is the wave number vector and v f is the phase velocity.
In plain lingo, Shapiro's plasma holograph UAPs misdirecting pilots have about as much validity as Neal deGrasse Tyson's electronic system "glitches" being the UAP.
Shapiro writes after his imaginative stretch:
"It is possible there are different explanations for various UAP sightings. Some may be attributable to sensor anomalies while others may be real. Some may be attributable to a foreign adversary, and some may be of another origin."
Yes, sonny, and that other origin is more than likely of extraterrestrial origin. Why can't you deal with it instead of concocting even more ludicrous terrestrial explanations? Well, we know why: it is explained in the paper:
Sovereignty and the UFO - Alexander Wendt, Raymond Duvall, 2008
I.e. that admitting the UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin is impossible for the human ego to accept. It would mean Homo sapiens is in an inferior technological place, a non-starter. Given Shapiro has clearly succumbed to this "UFO taboo" it means his focus must be on terrestrial threats, so he writes:
"While many questions remain about UAP, it’s clear that someone has achieved air dominance or wants the U.S. to think they have."
Well, yes, and that some one is effectively an alien civilization and they're rubbing their existence in our faces but we're too dense or myopic to see it. But leave it to Jeff to overthink like many of his predecessors:
"In other words, UAPs have repeatedly demonstrated their capabilities to U.S. fighter pilots in restricted airspace, possibly as part of a strategy to undermine the U.S. military’s confidence."
Nope. There's no evidence at all that this is the case, other than Shapiro's plasma UFO ruminations, which I showed don't hold ballast. The energy 'leak' via Landau damping, is simply too much with too many attendant (wave) instabilities to sustain the holographs in the form needed to fool Navy pilots at great distances. Hence, there is no "strategy" from any earthly foreign power - using trick plasma holographs - to "undermine military confidence.". It's all in Shapiro's paranoid head. But that doesn't stop him from ruminating further:
" Whatever its origin and intention, that “someone” is determined to get our attention at great risk. That should be enough to conclude that UAP are a threat to national security."
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