Nimitz Tic-Tac Fravor/Dietrich Encounter - Missile Hypothesis

If it would be a missile start then they would see the propulsion of it.
could be after the start then theres no propulsion visible

My first question would be that if it was a missile, with a 5 minute vector plot, as I understand it, that they had radar contact on the object.
So I'd ask what missile could maintain that speed for 5+ minutes, with enough fuel to engage in _some_ maneuvers that replicate some of the common shared descriptions. (the zig-zagging, the altitude changes and so on)
To me, with an average 500mph, that's roughly 40 miles distance in 5 minutes. You'd have to find something with a close thrust/mass ratio that could easily meet and exceed that target. (essentially, it's MPG rating) Even small fins at that speed would account for the changes in it's flight profile.

As to why the fins aren't visible? We'd need to know the distance between the target and the observer to figure out minimum resolution. If you're using something that can't see under a certain length, they won't appear. This could be done by simple math by knowing the distance between the two objects. I know this is basic stuff, but it's something I haven't seen addressed in this thread. You can't build a convincing case based on a shoddy base. This could also provide relative speed which can factor into resolution as well.

My first question would be that if it was a missile, with a 5 minute vector plot, as I understand it, that they had radar contact on the object.
So I'd ask what missile could maintain that speed for 5+ minutes, with enough fuel to engage in _some_ maneuvers that replicate some of the common shared descriptions. (the zig-zagging, the altitude changes and so on)
To me, with an average 500mph, that's roughly 40 miles distance in 5 minutes. You'd have to find something with a close thrust/mass ratio that could easily meet and exceed that target. (essentially, it's MPG rating) Even small fins at that speed would account for the changes in it's flight profile.

As to why the fins aren't visible? We'd need to know the distance between the target and the observer to figure out minimum resolution. If you're using something that can't see under a certain length, they won't appear. This could be done by simple math by knowing the distance between the two objects. I know this is basic stuff, but it's something I haven't seen addressed in this thread. You can't build a convincing case based on a shoddy base. This could also provide relative speed which can factor into resolution as well.
Cruise missile like a Tomahawk.

I think the debate is "is there a known object that could account for most/some of the details of the accounts" of course it probably doesn't match all of them but some of them could be inaccurate, of course we'd be picking and choosing, but sometimes if 90% of it is there then the rest might be down to bad memory or misinterpretation, I don't think we'll ever get to exactly what was seen without more evidence but that's unlikely to emerge.

Odd motion for a missile, seems to shout off at a 90 degree angle

Again, this is in the boost phase. Notice the gigantic unmissable plume coming out of the back of it.

Cruise missiles cannot do this after the first few seconds.

Again, this is in the boost phase. Notice the gigantic unmissable plume coming out of the back of it.

Cruise missiles cannot do this after the first few seconds.

And that would explain the smoke desc around the object in the water , The Tic Tac was just over it
as per the ES

The steam/smoke/churning was spotted around the disturbance in the water, not coming out of the back of the Tic Tac.

The steam/smoke/churning was spotted around the disturbance in the water, not coming out of the back of the Tic Tac.
I said that. They were looking from above from 7km away 24000 feet

In the ufo sections of Reddit, this submerged or whatever object in the water, is largely ignored. But it can be a key factor. Unfortunately it is all so vague and hard to understand what they exactly saw.

In the ufo sections of Reddit, this submerged or whatever object in the water, is largely ignored. But it can be a key factor. Unfortunately it is all so vague and hard to understand what they exactly saw.

Fravor has always maintained he didn't see an object. Just the 'disturbance' that you'd normally associate with an object submerging or waves breaking against a reef.

Fravor has always maintained he didn't see an object. Just the 'disturbance' that you'd normally associate with an object submerging or waves breaking against a reef.
Thanks for clearing that up!

Yes the object is the implied result of the churning, but no one actually saw an object.

Again, this is in the boost phase. Notice the gigantic unmissable plume coming out of the back of it.

Cruise missiles cannot do this after the first few seconds.

1. There are cruise missiles capable of very abrupt turns long after launch.

2. I don't necessarily think the missile that was the Tic Tac sighting made a very abrupt turn. It was a short encounter, per Dietrich. Could have just been some parallax + surprise.

And that would explain the smoke desc around the object in the water , The Tic Tac was just over it
as per the ES

When I first heard the description of the odd radar returns from the Princeton (ie the sudden drops in altitude) it sounded very much to me like potential anomalous propagation. My suspicion is that there was an atmospheric cause. The beam was being unexpectedly refracted & giving erroneous for altitude.

Since I've generally thought that what Fravor & Dietrich saw was not actually what was being shown on radar, I didn't give much thought to there being a potential atmospheric connection with their visual sighting.

Given the location and time of year I had although suspected the disturbance in the water was humpback whales bubble-net hunting.

Yesterday for whatever, my mind went to waterspouts. We typically think of a waterspout as a fully formed funnel but they have multiple stages, one of which includes a 'spray ring' that forms near the surface. As the formation moves across the water, it can be strong enough to leave a wake. Under the right circumstances, I think it's possible that this could give the impression of a longer object.

Original Source

Furthermore, a waterspout itself is essentially just a vapor cloud that forms within the rotating air. What if the conditions were not ideal for the cloud to fully propagate and it did so only along a portion of the funnel?

Say 40' (not that I believe Fravor's size estimates are necessarily reliable) or so long & at a much higher point of the funnel?

Such a vapor cloud could potentially match the described color, general shape, erratic movement & sudden disappearance of the object.

-------

As for the missile hypothesis, I am very leery of that way. Live fire exercises are very tightly controlled for safety reasons. A missile launch would be planned in advance and all the parties in the vicinity would be informed ahead of time. The potential for deadly mishaps is just too great otherwise. This would be a career ending screwup.

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Furthermore, a waterspout itself is essentially just a vapor cloud that forms within the rotating air. What if the conditions were not ideal for the cloud to fully propagate and it did so only along a portion of the funnel?

Say 40' (not that I believe Fravor's size estimates are necessarily reliable) or so long & at a much higher point of the funnel?

Such a vapor cloud could potentially match the described color, general shape, erratic movement & sudden disappearance of the object.
Intriguing. FWIW, a balloon caught up in the vortex would also move in "mysterious ways."

Have a P-800 launch (launch starts around 0:32):

It's kind of obvious when the missile is maneuvering radically (& only possible at low speed just after launch).

1. There are cruise missiles capable of very abrupt turns long after launch.
Such as?

Cruise missiles are generally of two broad categories, subsonic (usually jet propelled, relying primarily on conventional lift surfaces to maneuver) or supersonic, (usually rocket propelled, relying primarily on thrust for extreme maneuvers)...Neither quite fits what we are purported to be seeing.

@JMartJr makes a very good point about the procedures surrounding live fire tests, if this was one, we should be able to get the facts by looking through the records of the courts martial...Someone's head would have rolled for popping a missile in the immediate vicinity of friendly air.

Submarine launche cruise missile (presumably a Tomahawk):

And for armageddonny completeness, a salvo of ICBMs:

The way they hang in the air prior to booster ignition is rather eerie!

And for armageddonny completeness, a salvo of ICBMs:
The way they hang in the air prior to booster ignition is rather eerie!

Is that launch from semi-underwater? Or is the sub fully floating. Must be bloody loud!

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Intriguing. FWIW, a balloon caught up in the vortex would also move in "mysterious ways."

I had also thought of that.

Even a large piece of plastic caught up and spinning could reflect light in ways that could explain Dietrich's description of nonsensical angles.

Such as?

Cruise missiles are generally of two broad categories, subsonic (usually jet propelled, relying primarily on conventional lift surfaces to maneuver) or supersonic, (usually rocket propelled, relying primarily on thrust for extreme maneuvers)...Neither quite fits what we are purported to be seeing.

@JMartJr makes a very good point about the procedures surrounding live fire tests, if this was one, we should be able to get the facts by looking through the records of the courts martial...Someone's head would have rolled for popping a missile in the immediate vicinity of friendly air.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, many missiles do have the ability to maneuver in the terminal phase to help avoid countermeasures. For example the 'pop up' maneuver many sea-skimmer anti-ship missiles perform at the last moment.

JMartJr was quoting my post BTW.

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JMartJr was quoting my post BTW.
There goes my basking in glory...

Source: https://youtu.be/teHaLvY42ao?t=85

Cruise missiles are generally of two broad categories, subsonic (usually jet propelled, relying primarily on conventional lift surfaces to maneuver) or supersonic, (usually rocket propelled, relying primarily on thrust for extreme maneuvers)...Neither quite fits what we are purported to be seeing.

@JMartJr makes a very good point about the procedures surrounding live fire tests, if this was one, we should be able to get the facts by looking through the records of the courts martial...Someone's head would have rolled for popping a missile in the immediate vicinity of friendly air.
Perhaps Fravor was insistent it wasn't a missile? Maybe fighter pilots never see cruise missiles in midflight, and they wouldn't know one?

Jim Slaight & Alex Dietrich thought it was a missile.

Remember, they were vectored 60 miles out at the last minute, into an area where there are all sorts of tests going on all the time.

The argument isn't that pilots and cruise missiles get close to each other often. Not at all.

The argument is that mistakes and miscommunications happen. And once in a great while, they're the type of mistakes and miscommunications that could be fairly consequential.

I had also thought of that.

Even a large piece of plastic caught up and spinning could reflect light in ways that could explain Dietrich's description of nonsensical angles.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, many missiles do have the ability to maneuver in the terminal phase to help avoid countermeasures. For example the 'pop up' maneuver many sea-skimmer anti-ship missiles perform at the last moment.

JMartJr was quoting my post BTW.
They can also loiter, circling above a target, for hours.

And they can turn quickly. See here: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ni...ncounter-missile-hypothesis.11838/post-253955

Maybe fighter pilots never see cruise missiles in midflight, and they wouldn't know one?
I wouldn't expect it to be a common encounter...Mindless, but incredibly determined, aircraft with very large explosive warheads aren't really the sort of thing you'd want wandering about in your patrol area (I'd imagine).

Sea-Breaker looks interesting, but it isn't yet a 'thing', just CGI and it's maneuvers are not particularly radical, it's of the first (subsonic) class of cruise missiles, relying on conventional lifting surfaces to maneuver...It's not even purported to be capable of the sort of radical maneuver described in the various accounts.

Cruise missiles are a pretty bad bet for radical maneuvers all round (there's a clue in the name)...Some of them have neat tricks, like the naval strike version of Kalibr/Klub, which can dump it's aerodynamic lifting body and turn itself into a high-supersonic sea-skimming projectile for the terminal phase (it's also a bit of a 'hide & seek' champion):

I believe some of the more modern air to air missiles, like Meteor, can do some pretty radical stuff, but if one of those babies had been live in his airspace I'm fairly sure he'd have been more than fully occupied popping countermeasures (& ****ting his pants)!

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