2004 USS Nimitz Tic Tac UFO FLIR footage (FLIR1)

jarlrmai

Senior Member
No he was Vectored by the E-2 Hawkeye/Princeton. I think it's around the 5min mark. The object was on radar for Princeton, E-2 and Hornet SA screens. This means its almost impossible it was a friendly (civ/drone/plane) as they could interrogate the target and get friendly IFF, emissions or fan/rotor count to tell what it was.

The next thing it falls to is foreign craft but it would have to be unknown or the emissions and signature would come up. So it has to be something very new.

The key things are to a address are:

1. They were jammed so it had electronic capability meaning its not atmospheric or junk.
2. If it maneuvered like Underwood said then its under decent propulsion which brings up a whole slew of questions.
3. What size is it? I don't think we have any info on that?

The problem is everything 'unusual' about this comes from Underwood's telling of what happened.
Nothing he says is evidenced by the video.
So why is the video important or unusual? It doesn't show any evidence all we have is Underwood's story, the video is irrelevant as far as any claims of unusual flight goes.
 

Metzgerov

Member
The problem is everything 'unusual' about this comes from Underwood's telling of what happened.
Nothing he says is evidenced by the video.
So why is the video important or unusual? It doesn't show any evidence all we have is Underwood's story, the video is irrelevant as far as any claims of unusual flight goes.
Yep that's why I have been telling Mick etc. for months that analyzing the video is almost worthless at this point.
We are stuck with (3) unremarkable videos with 5-8+ remarkable eye-witness stories.

We can only go so far with what we have. The videos don't show anything definitive either way. We will never see radar data so I feel we are at an impasse unless some breakthrough happens.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Yep that's why I have been telling Mick etc. for months that analyzing the video is almost worthless at this point.
We are stuck with (3) unremarkable videos with 5-8+ remarkable eye-witness stories.

the video was offered as tangible of evidence of their claims. and now we know, it's not evidence of their claims.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Yep that's why I have been telling Mick etc. for months that analyzing the video is almost worthless at this point.
We are stuck with (3) unremarkable videos with 5-8+ remarkable eye-witness stories.

We can only go so far with what we have. The videos don't show anything definitive either way. We will never see radar data so I feel we are at an impasse unless some breakthrough happens.

This is the problem though, it's a story built on the videos but the videos are nothing. If you asked Chad Underwood directly if he thought the FLIR1/F4.mpg video showed anything unusual at all what do you think he would say?

The issue is the people telling us the stories initially told us the videos were evidence and they still do all be it maybe less explicitly. This to me makes their stories seems like embellishments, mistakes or misremembering if not direct lies. The videos once analysed actually make the testimony seems less believable because of the tacit use of the videos to provide support, at 1st explicitly and now, once debunked, seemingly by association with the events we are told in story form.
 

jplaza

Member
I think the bigger thing to discuss is Underwoods comment below:
"When it shot off to the left, immediately aggressively maneuvered my fighter to the left to try to reacquire, and it moved with a velocity that I've not seen. I should be able to reacquire that aircraft or whatever it was."

That is strongly implying he flew the jet, at least at that moment.
Now it could be that the back seat also had controls, it's unclear
I find it weird to try to find the object maneuvering the plane if he was actually the pilot, and even weirder to "vector" the pilot from the back seat, instead of zooming out the field of view and panning to the left.

That would make sense, but not what he said. He should clarify this.
 

Metzgerov

Member
This is the problem though, it's a story built on the videos but the videos are nothing. If you asked Chad Underwood directly if he thought the FLIR1/F4.mpg video showed anything unusual at all what do you think he would say?

The issue is the people telling us the stories initially told us the videos were evidence and they still do all be it maybe less explicitly. This to me makes their stories seems like embellishments, mistakes or misremembering if not direct lies. The videos once analysed actually make the testimony seems less believable because of the tacit use of the videos to provide support, at 1st explicitly and now, once debunked, seemingly by association with the events we are told in story form.
The videos are PART of the evidence. The only psychical evidence they could show us. Put yourself in their shoes. What else can the pilots/operators bring to the table without a court martial?


Nothing in the videos has been debunked or confirmed honestly since we are missing lots of other info (including the whole videos) to make any determination.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
The videos are PART of the evidence. The only psychical evidence they could show us. Put yourself in their shoes. What else can the pilots/operators bring to the table without a court martial?


Nothing in the videos has been debunked or confirmed honestly since we are missing lots of other info (including the whole videos) to make any determination.

You yourself say the videos are "unremarkable." Yet when they were introduced they were supposed to show remarkable things.

Them being part of some sort of evidence of unusually moving craft is just another claim, like all the other claims.

Those claims are being made by the same people who presented unremarkable videos as remarkable.
 

Metzgerov

Member
You yourself say the videos are "unremarkable." Yet when they were introduced they were supposed to show remarkable things.

Them being part of some sort of evidence of unusually moving craft is just another claim, like all the other claims.

Those claims are being made by the same people who presented unremarkable videos as remarkable.
Agreed. I don't remember them being released and proclaiming "remarkable events". If true that is obviously false from what we can see.

Personally I am leaving it open till I see more data or videos etc. I do believe the pilots saw something odd but what that is I cant tell with what we have.
 

markus

Active Member
The problem is everything 'unusual' about this comes from Underwood's telling of what happened.
Nothing he says is evidenced by the video.
More than that, what he's saying is directly contradicted by the video. He says the ATFLIR was slaved to the radar, but the video shows an optical track. He says the object shot off to the left, the video shows that it would be an unbelievable coincidence if that were the case.

Also, the whole 'I wasn't consulted for that report' (referring to the executive report where he was quoted directly saying there were no indications of jamming) is a dog-ate-my-homework level excuse to me. This is an official government report; did they just fabricate an entire statement? Seems highly unlikely.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
No he was Vectored by the E-2 Hawkeye/Princeton. I think it's around the 5min mark. The object was on radar for Princeton, E-2 and Hornet SA screens.
I listened to the whole interview again and read the transcript on page 18 above (which is pretty accurate, but doesn't record the pauses and hesitations which might in some cases affect interpretation), and he doesn't say much of that. At around 9 minutes he simply says that 'we get a vector from the Princeton.' That might be based on a contact by the Princeton's radar, and/or a Hawkeye, or it might just be a follow-up to a report from Fravor and/or Dietrich. He does claim to have had radar contact with the object himself, which he alleges was jammed (though the meaning of the '99.9 RNG' figure on screen is unclear), and of course he recorded part or all of the incident from the FLIR system. (He also says that the object was on his SA system, but I don't know if that would come from the Princeton or from his own sensors.) His comments also strongly imply that he had naked eye observation of the object: 'And so I was like, well, it looks like a big Tic Tac, you know, and it did. Like just kind of this white, oblong, featureless thing', but at a distance of 10 to 15 miles (his own estimate), an object of 40 feet (as stated by Fravor) would be close to the limits of naked-eye visibility. Then he lost track of it (on radar and FLIR) and radioed the Princeton to ask if they could track it. At around 13:50 there is a curious passage where he says: 'Because the Princeton was our controller to begin with if this Tic Tac never existed. [My italics]. And so I immediately got on the radar. I’m like, Hey, where’s this thing? Because I only have a certain scan volume with my radar and my FLIR and this thing is gone. And so I immediately radio the Princeton in [the transcript says 'in', but I think it is probably 'and'] my E2 Hawkeye controller are like, hey, this target, based off my bearing and range, where is it? Where’s it heading? And where is it going? And they’re like, negative radar contact, which means their radars are clean, you know, and they don’t see anything.' (The phrase I have put in italics is so peculiar that I checked the video several times against the transcript, and it appears to be correct.) As far as I can see there is nothing in Underwood's own comments to say explicitly that the Princeton had any radar contact with the object at all. Note that he describes their response to him simply as 'negative radar contact', not 'we lost contact', or anything like that.
Following this passage Corbell summarises what he thinks Underwood has said, as: 'Because what you’re saying is, you were targeted in towards this Tic Tac object using other sensors. The Princeton had this continuous track on it, they send you out, they tell you where to go, you pick it up on your radar, you then slave it over to your optical system, you record all of that, you come back, you put it in, but also when this thing shows these unique displays of movement, the shooting off to your left, you then ask the Princeton. Hey, you have a better radar. Where is it? Where’s it going? What’s going on? They’re like, it’s gone'. Underwood then confirms that this is 'pretty much' what happened, but as shown above it isn't what Underwood had actually said, and 'pretty much' should not be taken as Underwood endorsing every detail of Corbell's interpretation. His main concern seems to be to emphasise his interpretation of the object suddenly 'shooting off' to the left.
 

jplaza

Member
His comments also strongly imply that he had naked eye observation of the object: 'And so I was like, well, it looks like a big Tic Tac, you know, and it did. Like just kind of this white, oblong, featureless thing', but at a distance of 10 to 15 miles (his own estimate), an object of 40 feet (as stated by Fravor) would be close to the limits of naked-eye visibility.
In 2019 he explicitly says he didn't see anything with his eyeballs
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/201...o-q-and-a-with-navy-pilot-chad-underwood.html
No. I was more concentrated on looking at the FLIR. It was inside of 20 miles. You’re not going to see it with your own eyes until probably 10 miles, and then you’re not going to be able to visually track it until you’re probably inside of five miles, which is where Dave Fravor said that he saw it. So, at that point I didn’t see anything with my eyeballs. I was more concerned with tracking it, making sure that the videotape was on so that I could bring something back to the ship, so that the intel folks could dissect whatever it is that I captured.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Chad Underwood appears to be a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin.
Article:
Little did he know he would be deployed with another Lockheed Martin employee, Chad Underwood, a systems engineer at Aeronautics in Marietta, Georgia.

At the end of his interview with Corbell, he says other engineers "are more interested in it than I am."
You'd think that some of them would've set him straight about what the FLIR1 video shows.
Source: https://youtu.be/dKbYwwwePTQ?t=1378
 

Metzgerov

Member
More than that, what he's saying is directly contradicted by the video. He says the ATFLIR was slaved to the radar, but the video shows an optical track. He says the object shot off to the left, the video shows that it would be an unbelievable coincidence if that were the case.

Also, the whole 'I wasn't consulted for that report' (referring to the executive report where he was quoted directly saying there were no indications of jamming) is a dog-ate-my-homework level excuse to me. This is an official government report; did they just fabricate an entire statement? Seems highly unlikely.

Markus it's been beat like a dead horse that he acquired the object on radar and slaved his FLIR to it. The video shows that as well as Underwood and other pilots familiar with the systems. That is done and dusted.

Your second statement is also false in that it looks like BAAS or a 3rd party did this report. Nothing points to it being a GOVT report. Fravor, Dietrich and Underwood all say it has incorrect info. It seems like it was a 3rd party who did this and they were fed the wrong info for whatever reason.
 

markus

Active Member
Markus it's been beat like a dead horse that he acquired the object on radar and slaved his FLIR to it. The video shows that as well as Underwood and other pilots familiar with the systems. That is done and dusted.
The video shows an optical track. L+S isn't boxed and the white bars represent the confidence of the optical tracking system. I don't know who you beat that supposedly dead horse with, but that's what the video shows.
Your second statement is also false in that it looks like BAAS or a 3rd party did this report. Nothing points to it being a GOVT report. Fravor, Dietrich and Underwood all say it has incorrect info. It seems like it was a 3rd party who did this and they were fed the wrong info for whatever reason.
The report was prepared by AATIP, which was a government program, so yes, this is a government report. There being inaccuracies in it is vastly different from entire quotes and pilot statements being fabricated whole cloth.
 

Metzgerov

Member
The video shows an optical track. L+S isn't boxed and the white bars represent the confidence of the optical tracking system. I don't know who you beat that supposedly dead horse with, but that's what the video shows.

The report was prepared by AATIP, which was a government program, so yes, this is a government report. There being inaccuracies in it is vastly different from entire quotes and pilot statements being fabricated whole cloth.
How did he box the target in the FLIR then?
 

markus

Active Member
How did he box the target in the FLIR then?
You see in the gofast video that it's possible to track a target with the ATFLIR only; you just aim the pod at it and the system will initiate an optical track. The radar can then be slaved to the ATFLIR, rather than the other way around. Notice that the 99.9 RNG 99 indication only comes on around 30 seconds into the video, which suggests that this is exactly what happened: the target was acquired optically at first and didn't show up on radar at all until 30 seconds or so into the clip.
 

Metzgerov

Member
You see in the gofast video that it's possible to track a target with the ATFLIR only; you just aim the pod at it and the system will initiate an optical track. The radar can then be slaved to the ATFLIR, rather than the other way around. Notice that the 99.9 RNG 99 indication only comes on around 30 seconds into the video, which suggests that this is exactly what happened: the target was acquired optically at first and didn't show up on radar at all until 30 seconds or so into the clip.
While what you said is possible it isn't what happened in Underwood's case. Underwood said what happened.
He locked the target on radar, he slaved the pod to the radar contact. The 99.9 pops us presumably because of the jamming or other reasons the radar cant track the target. At that point the FLIR is tracking the object.

It's pretty clear. He didn't manually box the target with FLIR like the GOFAST example.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
You see in the gofast video that it's possible to track a target with the ATFLIR only; you just aim the pod at it and the system will initiate an optical track. The radar can then be slaved to the ATFLIR, rather than the other way around. Notice that the 99.9 RNG 99 indication only comes on around 30 seconds into the video, which suggests that this is exactly what happened: the target was acquired optically at first and didn't show up on radar at all until 30 seconds or so into the clip.

It's hard to know exactly what the 99.9 range means in this context there's a few options I can think of but this is at the woolly end of what we know from manuals/sims about how ATFLIR works with RADAR and the MSI track system.

No RADAR target and the system is asked by the operator to show a range which it can't so it shows 99.9
FLIR angle only MSI track (no RADAR correlation) with no range.
RADAR angle only track with un-slaved FLIR but MSI track correlation is made and it decides to show range but no range available as it's an angle only track.

What we know is that the ATFLIR in FLIR1 is not slaved to a RADAR target during the video.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
While what you said is possible it isn't what happened in Underwood's case. Underwood said what happened.
He locked the target on radar, he slaved the pod to the radar contact. The 99.9 pops us presumably because of the jamming or other reasons the radar cant track the target. At that point the FLIR is tracking the object.

It's pretty clear. He didn't manually box the target with FLIR like the GOFAST example.

It's what he says but the actual video shows something different, if the ATFLIR is slaved L+S or SLAVE is boxed, in the video they are not thus it is not slaved.
 

Metzgerov

Member
It's what he says but the actual video shows something different, if the ATFLIR is slaved L+S or SLAVE is boxed, in the video they are not thus it is not slaved.
I need to go look at my documentation but what you said is correct for a LOCKED target. Not sure for a unlocked/donor contact or a jammed contact what symbology shows up. There is virtually no reason he would lie about this. Also to lock a visual target at 15 miles like that...HAHAH good luck.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I need to go look at my documentation but what you said is correct for a LOCKED target. Not sure for a unlocked/donor contact or a jammed contact what symbology shows up. There is virtually no reason he would lie about this. Also to lock a visual target at 15 miles like that...HAHAH good luck.

I've read the documentation a lot. My understanding is as below, I would be interested in any other sources.

There's not really such thing as a "locked target" there are track files from your own RADAR or MSI donated and one can be designated as the L+S target (launch and steer.) The next step is if you designate a RADAR guided missile as live on the L+S target then things change again in terms of the what the RADAR does once the missile is live depending on the missile type, but L+S is your primary target, the one you will be firing on if it goes that far.

Usually the ATFLIR is SLAVED to the L+S where it moves to keep pointing at it, then optical tracking is initiated as well as it is smoother, however the RADAR can keep the camera on the track even if the optical tracking is interrupted by zoom/lens/camera changes. You can initiate an optical only track using the ATFLIR by slewing using the TDS switch and you can initiate it in WFOV or MFOV and then zoom, of course usually if you had a RADAR track you wouldn't do this you'd let the system do it for you.

This is why it's odd that if there was even an angle only (jammed?) RADAR track the ATFLIR is not slaved to it, because then the could have flipped the cameras all he wanted and the RADAR would keep the FLIR pointing at the track, even if the track angle aged I think the ATFLIR would point at the predicted path of the aging track meaning less chance of losing it.

Jamming targets show up on the RADAR with a different HAFU symbol but that means nothing ATLFIR, even if you have no range because of jamming you can slave using angle only tracks. And if you get no bounce from RADAR or updates via MSI donation the track is marked as aging and it's vector is predicted.

ATFLIR is primarily a A/G system and it's use in A/A combat is for visual target ID as some rules of engagement require this.
 

Metzgerov

Member
I've read the documentation a lot. My understanding is as below, I would be interested in any other sources.

There's not really such thing as a "locked target" there are track files from your own RADAR or MSI donated and one can be designated as the L+S target (launch and steer.) The next step is if you designate a RADAR guided missile as live on the L+S target then things change again in terms of the what the RADAR does once the missile is live depending on the missile type, but L+S is your primary target, the one you will be firing on if it goes that far.

Usually the ATFLIR is SLAVED to the L+S where it moves to keep pointing at it, then optical tracking is initiated as well as it is smoother, however the RADAR can keep the camera on the track even if the optical tracking is interrupted by zoom/lens/camera changes. You can initiate an optical only track using the ATFLIR by slewing using the TDS switch and you can initiate it in WFOV or MFOV and then zoom, of course usually if you had a RADAR track you wouldn't do this you'd let the system do it for you.

This is why it's odd that if there was even an angle only (jammed?) RADAR track the ATFLIR is not slaved to it, because then the could have flipped the cameras all he wanted and the RADAR would keep the FLIR pointing at the track, even if the track angle aged I think the ATFLIR would point at the predicted path of the aging track meaning less chance of losing it.

Jamming targets show up on the RADAR with a different HAFU symbol but that means nothing ATLFIR, even if you have no range because of jamming you can slave using angle only tracks. And if you get no bounce from RADAR or updates via MSI donation the track is marked as aging and it's vector is predicted.

ATFLIR is primarily a A/G system and it's use in A/A combat is for visual target ID as some rules of engagement require this.
Yeah I know most all of this but thanks.
Bottom line: The screen in the video doesn't say how he acquired it. We don't see that in the video unfortunately.
We do know he has said numerous times he slaved from radar to FLIR. Why waste energy discussing this portion. Ask a pilot how easy it is to visually acquire a flying object at 10-15mi.

We should discuss what it is not go around in circles about things we already know.
 

markus

Active Member
We do know he has said numerous times he slaved from radar to FLIR. Why waste energy discussing this portion. Ask a pilot how easy it is to visually acquire a flying object at 10-15mi.

We should discuss what it is not go around in circles about things we already know.
He can say it all he wants, it doesn't make it true -- even if he's not lying, it's been almost 17 years. If it was a slaved track, L+S or SLAVE would be boxed. They're not. If it was a slaved track, it wouldn't be lost when he messed with the various modes. But the track was lost, even with the object moving steadily, with no detectable acceleration.
 

ventsyv

New Member
What I find interesting is that Underwood claims that there was radar data. This matches the accounts of others (Farvor, Gary Voorhis, etc) but it's not clear to me who had what.
  • Did Underwood really have radar on the object or was he directed by the Hawkeye / Prinston ?
  • When did he lose radar track? Did Hawkeye / Prinston also lose track ?
  • Did they take any steps to re-acquire? What steps?
  • Did they (and who) re-acquired the object? How long after? How far was from the original encounter?
The interview suggests that the object disappeared from both the ATFLIR and radar. While it makes sense that the ATLFIR lost track due to the zooming (and not being slaved to the radar), it makes no sense why it will drop off radar.

I googled a bit and found an F16 would have an AN/APG-68 radar and the Hawkeye would have a APS-145 type of radar.
The APG-68 range was given to be ~190 miles and the APS-145 ~200 miles.

I wonder what could explain that? Obviously it's speculative but :
  • Could a change is aspect angle cause the radar to lose track (due to smaller cross section)?
  • Could turning on the transponder classify the object as friendly and filter it out ?
  • Could atmospheric conditions cause the radar to lose track like that?
  • Could jamming / electronic warfare cause the radar to lose track?
  • Any other possible explanations?

This is very curious.
 

MclachlanM

Active Member
he has said numerous times he slaved from radar to FLIR.
I don't think he has ever said this, what has been stressed numerous times instead is that he attempted to build a trackfile with the RADAR but it was unable due to jamming, then switched to the ATFLIR where he was able to track it via passive sensors (visually) rather than by slaving it to the active sensor (RADAR).

Here Fravor goes into more detail into how it was acquired on the Fridman podcast, important points to note:
  • Underwood is looking at the target on the AZ/EL RADAR and is being jammed so unable to track.
  • The ATFLIR pod is coupled initially so looking at the same angle as the RADAR.
  • Underwood switches ('castles') to the ATFLIR and sees the object.
  • "and now he's on a passive track because he's not literally sending any energy out, he's just receiving IR energy from the tic tac and then the system itself will track the pixels and the contrast differences [...] and that's what those little bars are on the video" Fravor is clearly saying that the ATFLIR is not slaved to the RADAR but instead tracking it with it's own autotrack function.
Source: https://youtu.be/aB8zcAttP1E?t=5453



The whole point in the repeated explanation of the switch from RADAR to ATFLIR is that the RADAR was unable to track it and that the ATFLIR was, completely the opposite to the RADAR tracking it and the ATFLIR being slaved to the RADAR.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
Metzgerov said: he has said numerous times he slaved from radar to FLIR.

I don't think he has ever said this, what has been stressed numerous times instead is that he attempted to build a trackfile with the RADAR but it was unable due to jamming, then switched to the ATFLIR where he was able to track it via passive sensors (visually) rather than by slaving it to the active sensor (RADAR).

Hearsay isn't useful evidence, and if it's doubted it's unproductive debating it. If person X has actually said something numerous times, let's just see or hear that evidence directly. @Metzgerov: links and quotes please?
 

Metzgerov

Member
I don't think he has ever said this, what has been stressed numerous times instead is that he attempted to build a trackfile with the RADAR but it was unable due to jamming, then switched to the ATFLIR where he was able to track it via passive sensors (visually) rather than by slaving it to the active sensor (RADAR).

Here Fravor goes into more detail into how it was acquired on the Fridman podcast, important points to note:
  • Underwood is looking at the target on the AZ/EL RADAR and is being jammed so unable to track.
  • The ATFLIR pod is coupled initially so looking at the same angle as the RADAR.
  • Underwood switches ('castles') to the ATFLIR and sees the object.
Yes! You explained what I was saying. Flir was slaved to radar "contact". It was slaved to where the radar was looking. I think some of you are mincing my words. He didn't just pick it out of the sky.

Jeez that was a lot of work.

Why does this matter anyway....?
 
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Metzgerov

Member
He can say it all he wants, it doesn't make it true -- even if he's not lying, it's been almost 17 years. If it was a slaved track, L+S or SLAVE would be boxed. They're not. If it was a slaved track, it wouldn't be lost when he messed with the various modes. But the track was lost, even with the object moving steadily, with no detectable acceleration.
Cool. We will just discount anyone's testimony going forward according to Markus.

PS I said FLIR slaved to where the radar sees the jammed contact. I know he didn't have a lock. The FLIR can still be slaved to look to the same location. Which is what Underwood says and the FLIR shows.
 

markus

Active Member
Cool. We will just discount anyone's testimony going forward according to Markus.

PS I said FLIR slaved to where the radar sees the jammed contact. I know he didn't have a lock. The FLIR can still be slaved to look to the same location. Which is what Underwood says and the FLIR shows.
The video shows it was not slaved.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
It could have been initially slaved then unslaved for the video portion. But if this happened it must have happened before the video starts.

My issue is with the what they say the video shows versus what the video actually shows.

The video we see just doesn't seem to represent what people say it does.
 

Metzgerov

Member
It could have been initially slaved then unslaved for the video portion. But if this happened it must have happened before the video starts.

My issue is with the what they say the video shows versus what the video actually shows.

The video we see just doesn't seem to represent what people say it does.
I think your getting hung up on "SLAVED"
  1. The radar was looking at the object and got jammed and couldn't lock.
  2. The FLIR at that time is coupled(slaved) to look the where the radar is looking in the sky
  3. No Lock possible therefore no "SLAVE" symbology on screen
  4. Underwood switchs SOI to FLIR which was "slaved" to look where the radar thought the object was in the sky
  5. FLIR then tracks object
p.s. We don't know if we are missing something before what we see as well.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I think your getting hung up on "SLAVED"
  1. The radar was looking at the object and got jammed and couldn't lock.
  2. The FLIR at that time is coupled(slaved) to look the where the radar is looking in the sky
  3. No Lock possible therefore no "SLAVE" symbology on screen
  4. Underwood switchs SOI to FLIR which was "slaved" to look where the radar thought the object was in the sky
  5. FLIR then tracks object
p.s. We don't know if we are missing something before what we see as well
What you describe is not how the system works

"Lock" isn't a thing, there's either a track or there isn't and it's either designated L+S or it isn't and if there is a track and you slave the ATFLIR to it then SLAVE or L+S is boxed.

If you are actively at that moment asking the FLIR to look at a track then SLAVE or L+S are boxed.
 

GlobularOrb

New Member
I was thinking EA-6B Prowler because its vertical stabilizer and engines don't stick out as much as the Viking's, and it could jam the F-18's radar.
Underwood: [...] And then we started seeing what we call jam strobe lines, strobe lines are vertical lines that show up on your radar that are indications that you’re being jammed.

[...]

Underwood: I did get jamming cues on my radar tape, and you can see cues of jamming on both your radar and your FLIR tape. You know like when Commander Fravor described on your FLIR tape, when you see like 99.9 range to target. That means you’re being jammed.

(Source)
Following up on Agent K's hypothesis that the object in the FLIR1 video is an EA-6B Prowler, it may be helpful to look at the Nimitz Event Summary. The summary lists four events occurring on November 14 2004, Events 3-6 (Events 1-2 are not publicly available, as far as I know). Fravor's encounter with the Tic Tac is summarized in Event 3. The summary for Event 5 is here:

Event 5.2.png
The Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) component of the event (upper page) seems to be a simulated rescue of a downed pilot in a combat situation involving aircraft and helicopters from the following squadrons (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3):

- Fast Eagles: VFA-41 Black Aces (F/A-18F Super Hornets - based off of Nimitz)
- Ravens: VAQ-135 Black Ravens (EA-6B Prowlers - based off of Nimitz)
- Indians: HS-6 Indians (SH-60F Sea Hawks, HH-60H Seahawks - based off of Nimitz)
- Camelots: VFA-14 Tophatters (F/A-18E Super Hornets - based out of Lemoore NAS Califonia)
- Banger: VAW-117 (E2C Hawkeye - NAS Point Mugu California, first deployment with Nimitz in April 2005 as part of OIF.)

The summary describes EA-6B Prowler(s) from the Black Ravens providing jamming for the simulated rescue operation while F/A-18Es (Camelot) performed rescue escort (RESCORT) at 12,000 feet, Seahawk helicopters (Indians) "remained with" the rescue escort, and F/A-18s (Fast Eagles) provided Rescue Mission Command (RMC). (Side note: I'm not sure what exactly "remained with" means in this context.)

In this kind of operation, one would suspect that the jamming would cover a wide area, since the intent is to confound enemy radar systems while the rescue/extraction occurs:

CSAR2.png
Source: Naval Aviation News March-April 1996 p.11. The entire article from pp. 8-13 ("Desert Rescue V") gives a nice background on CSARs.

The point is that the Event Summary describes a complex rescue simulation involving multiple aircraft and helicopters, some of which were providing jamming, likely over a wide area. If true, this would mean that successful jamming would make multiple aircraft and helicopters operating within the training area difficult to detect by radar, and result in either faint returns or no returns at all.

It's not clear from the Event Summary where or when Event 5 took place. Does anyone know what 5B1, 5E1, 5F1, 5A1, and 5A2 mean? The "5" refers to the event number, but the rest is unclear to me. It's also unclear to me whether Underwood would be operating in the same area, or even as part of Event 5. Does anyone know what his FASTEAGLE designation is? Answering these questions could help determine if Underwood captured one of the aircraft participating in this CSAR exercise on his FLIR. In particular, it might provide support (or refute) Agent K's Prowler hypothesis.

Since the exercise also involved Seahawk helicopters, it might make sense to also consider the possibility that Underwood's contact was a Seahawk that was only faintly visible on radar due to the wide-area jamming provided by the Prowlers. Here's what an SH-60 looks like:

avs70_2_01.jpg

If you squint, the landing gear looks like two appendages protruding from the bottom :) I'll leave it to the Photoshop and FLIR imaging experts on Metabunk to try to figure out if a Seahawk could be the object in the FLIR1 video. The best that I can do with my meager skills is point to the following images and say they look vaguely helicopter-ish:

upload_2018-7-9_17-8-7.png

Image source: Kaen's post. Some of the videos posted by igoddard (link) may also be useful. Again, I'll leave it to others to consider the helicopter hypothesis if they think it has merit, I'm just throwing it out there. If it can be ruled out easily, then great, that counts as progress in my opinion. The main point that I wanted to make is just that the Event Summary, and in particular Event 5, may provide clues as to what was going on in the area when the FLIR1 video was recorded.
 

MclachlanM

Active Member
Since the exercise also involved Seahawk helicopters, it might make sense to also consider the possibility that Underwood's contact was a Seahawk
In FLIR we are at 20,000ft and looking 6° up which means the tic tac is unlikely to be a helicopter as generally helicopters don't get that high, the SH-60 Skyhawk has a service ceiling of 12,000ft for example.
 

GlobularOrb

New Member
In FLIR we are at 20,000ft and looking 6° up which means the tic tac is unlikely to be a helicopter as generally helicopters don't get that high, the SH-60 Skyhawk has a service ceiling of 12,000ft for example.
Great, thanks! That's a pretty quick and easy way to cast doubt on the helicopter hypothesis.

Edit: the Event Summary notes that the Rescue Escort was at 12,000 feet, so it's almost certain that the Seahawks were at the same or lower altitude. That confirms your point, so the FLIR contact being a Seahawk seems very unlikely. It also probably excludes the possibility that it was one of the Camelot F/A-18s that were performing the escort, but leaves open the possibility that it was a Prowler or one of the FastEagles...or a balloon, or something else entirely. Whatever it was, if it was in the vicinity of Event 5, then it may have been very difficult to pick it up on radar because of the broad jamming of the Prowler(s), and not because it was actively jamming Underwood specifically.
 
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