Recreating the Gimbal's "Fleet" on the SA Page with Sitrec

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's my plan for the fleet, based on what should be the most authoritative description available.
slide formation.jpg
Source: Persistent Detection of Non Participating Aircraft by USN Tactical Aircraft ~ Ryan Graves, AIAA AV21
  1. Initialize the five fleeters so they are space roughly like this to the front of the Gimbal - using the SCL/40 and the icon size as a rough indicator of scale
  2. Initial velocity is equal to the Gimbal, so they all move together
  3. They move with constant velocity
  4. At ~28 seconds give each a slightly different turn rate to the left (maybe ramp it in) so they swing around "with some radius of turn"
  5. Keep them each turning for a total of 180°
  6. Let them continue back the way they came
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Added a "fleet", as described above.


I really don't see how the broad "radius of turn" about-face of the fleet is possible without them going several thousand knots. Which seems like the type of thing that would have been mentioned.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Added a "fleet", as described above.


I really don't see how the broad "radius of turn" about-face of the fleet is possible without them going several thousand knots. Which seems like the type of thing that would have been mentioned.
We are only seeing a portion of the event. So we can't assume those movements happened exclusively during the time recorded in this video.

If such extreme movements had happened during the video we would certainly hear comments (screams?) by the crew.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We are only seeing a portion of the event. So we can't assume those movements happened exclusively during the time recorded in this video.
Graves said the fleet completed the turn during the video. BEFORE the Gimbal object was even turning.

SA showed diamond formation in front of Gimbal, turn 180 G followed in line.jpg
 

dimebag2

Active Member
Can you explain how they would see this on the SA while locking on a random distant jet in the FLIR? How a bogus radar return could go from left to right, stop and reverse direction, following the exact the lines of sight of a distant jet locked by error? Only a very weird technical glitch can explain something like this, and there is zero evidence for it. All cases can be solved by invoking instrument error, with zero evidence.

I see you're focusing on the 20Nm-radius SA, discussions about Immelmann maneuver, ... are you slowly letting the distant jet scenario go?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Can you explain how they would see this on the SA while locking on a random distant jet in the FLIR? How a bogus radar return could go from left to right, stop and reverse direction, following the exact the lines of sight of a distant jet locked by error? Only a very weird technical glitch can explain something like this, and there is zero evidence for it. All cases can be solved by invoking instrument error, with zero evidence.
We don't know what was seen on the SA, that's what we should establish before trying to explain it.
I see you're focusing on the 20Nm-radius SA, discussions about Immelmann maneuver, ... are you slowly letting the distant jet scenario go?

Not at all. I'm focusing on the SA because it is the only thing being used to justify the 10NM scenario, but when you look into it in detail it becomes increasingly bizarre and implausible.

As you know I've made the "fleet" somewhat adjustable, and added a "MAP" display, and a graph for the speed of the fleet. Can you make it do what you think Graves described?
https://www.metabunk.org/sitrec/

(Note the SCL, DCNTR and N-UP buttons all work. Scale number doubles when decentered, but it's the same scale, SCL is the distance from the plane icon to the top of the compass rose)
2022-05-19_14-45-10.jpg
 

dimebag2

Active Member
Two things that would make it look like more like what he describes :

- have the objects closer to each other
- have a turn that starts earlier. We don't know how long they tracked them, and it could be that the 34s of the FLIR video are only the end of it, when the fleet has already made the horizontal turn, and the object is waiting for them before reversing direction and following them.

You assume everything happened in the 34s of the video. We can only speculate here, hope R. Graves will chime in.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Two things that would make it look like more like what he describes :

- have the objects closer to each other
- have a turn that starts earlier. We don't know how long they tracked them, and it could be that the 34s of the FLIR video are only the end of it, when the fleet has already made the horizontal turn, and the object is waiting for them before reversing direction and following them.
Give it a go:
2022-05-20_10-03-35.jpg

Until Ryan chimes in, can we get something that matches these?

Timeline of the maneuver on the SA.jpgKevin Rose Show - Fleet Radius of turn.jpg


Unsure of distance between objects.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
With distance between objects of 0.5Nm.

Having a slightly positive heading for the 10Nm trajectory helps too (and it is in fact more consistent with the apparent change in size).

No need for acceleration of the fleet.
Doesn't really match the target "stopping and waiting" followed by a "gimbal shift" though, does it?
 

dimebag2

Active Member
I think the match is not bad. Much better than a distant plane with lines of sight following the trajectory of bogus radar returns.

By the way, the "glance" was in fact 10-15min of debrief watching the tapes. A glance compare to hours-long debrief they can have sometimes. As he clarified in Marik's interview last week.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
I think the match is not bad. Much better than a distant plane with lines of sight following the trajectory of bogus radar returns.

By the way, the "glance" was in fact 10-15min of debrief watching the tapes. A glance compare to hours-long debrief they can have sometimes. As he clarified in Marik's interview last week.
It's a bad match of Graves' description. The only thing that matches is that the fleet objects nominally have a radius of turn. In this simulation, that turn is completed in only about two seconds, which does not seem to accord with Graves' description of the fleet beginning a turn, turning similar to an aircraft ("biting into the air"), and completing the turn.

Furthermore, that turn radius looks to be about 1/10th of the distance between the objects, or 0.05 NM (~300 feet), which if completed in only two seconds, works out to something like 23 G's...pretty amazing. The evidentiary bar that physical objects made such a turn is a bit higher than a fine-tuned interpretation of an eyewitness account from several years ago.
 

dimebag2

Active Member
This holds with half the rate of turn (25).
The turn can only start at 10sec in Sitrec so it has to be a sharp turn. But the turn could have started earlier than that.

Evidentiary bar is also very high for bogus radar returns happening right when the pilots lock on a random plane in the distance (with huge choppy glare, etc etc... and the random plane LoS mimicking the path of the bogus radar returns on the SA :rolleyes:). This scenario is just completely absurd to me (and to Ryan Graves and the WSO who was in the F-18, apparently), and it goes well beyond pilots error. But that discussion belongs in another thread.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
We don't know how long they tracked them, and it could be that the 34s of the FLIR video are only the end of it, when the fleet has already made the horizontal turn, and the object is waiting for them before reversing direction and following them.
I may have missed something, but I don't recall anyone claiming that the 'fleet' was visible on the FLIR system. Ryan Graves refers specifically to radar tracks on the SA page, not to IR. There may have been some spooky Heisenberg business going on: if you can see something on radar, you can't see it on IR, and if you can see it on IR, you can't see it on radar!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Furthermore, that turn radius looks to be about 1/10th of the distance between the objects, or 0.05 NM (~300 feet), which if completed in only two seconds, works out to something like 23 G's...pretty amazing. The evidentiary bar that physical objects made such a turn is a bit higher than a fine-tuned interpretation of an eyewitness account from several years ago.
I need to add a g-force graph. Not today though.

The turn can only start at 10sec in Sitrec so it has to be a sharp turn. But the turn could have started earlier than that.

I had it at 10 seconds as the narrative really didn't seem to suggest they were turning from the start. I've changed it to 0 seconds
https://metabunk.org/sitrec/

I really don't see how this fits with the object initially following and then stopping and waiting from the beginning of the turn. In your 10NM straight-line track, the "stop" is both barely (I'd say not) detectable, and only a few seconds, near the end of the video.

slide formation.jpg
 

dimebag2

Active Member
With a slow turn rate starting after 4s, it looks like this :

Source: https://youtu.be/9P3H3sZMsuE


I don't know exactly what he calls a stop, it's pretty obvious the fleet could not turn while the object stopped 1-2 sec. I guess the stop is including the slowdown while the fleet is turning. Anyway, that's how it looks on Sitrec.

Something to consider is that the object never appears to stop because the F-18 is is both turning and getting closer. I don't know how that works but they may have a way to isolate the target's trajectory, and remove the F-18 motion.

EDIT: nevermind, your MAP button shows the flight path so the stop is visible there
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
EDIT: nevermind, your MAP button shows the flight path so the stop is visible there
Note that's MY map button. The real-world one actually shows a map. I just repurposed it to show the tracks.

And there's not even a "visible" stop there. There's a tiny straight line.

2022-05-20_17-25-03.jpg

Graves does mention "airspeed bands." What do those look like? Could they indicate a "stop"?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Graves does mention "airspeed bands." What do those look like? Could they indicate a "stop"?
Do you have a quote in context? I don't think he is referring to something visual on the SA. I think you need to place the cursor over a target to see speed and angels. He probably meant "bands"="ranges". "We noticed the objects were usually moving at airspeed ranges between mach x and mach y"
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Do you have a quote in context? I don't think he is referring to something visual on the SA. I think you need to place the cursor over a target to see speed and angels. He probably meant "bands"="ranges". "We noticed the objects were usually moving at airspeed ranges between mach x and mach y"
It's from the AIAA talk
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Yes, but how did he know this? What was observed on the SA page?
On the SA page you can normally select targets to see their speed (in mach) and angels (altitude in k of feet).

See number 1 on the screenshot below from https://wiki.hoggitworld.com/view/F/A-18C#HAFU_Symbology

That's an unknown (onboard identification) + hostile (offboard identifciation) contact that is flying at mach 0.7 at 10k feet.

All it takes is a couple of actions on the HOTAS buttons to get this in an instant (and they probably have this on their headmounted displays nowadays for all contacts in sight.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
On the SA page you can normally select targets to see their speed (in mach) and angels (altitude in k of feet).

See number 1 on the screenshot below from https://wiki.hoggitworld.com/view/F/A-18C#HAFU_Symbology

That's an unknown (onboard identification) + hostile (offboard identifciation) contact that is flying at mach 0.7 at 10k feet.

All it takes is a couple of actions on the HOTAS buttons to get this in an instant (and they probably have this on their headmounted displays nowadays for all contacts in sight.
Mick is asking for specifics, we all know what the SA is for. What exactly did Graves see on the SA recording he saw for GIMBAL?
 

gtoffo

Active Member
Mick is asking for specifics, we all know what the SA is for. What exactly did Graves see on the SA recording he saw for GIMBAL?
That's not public and it is classified.

What I am showing above is what AT A MINIMUM was available to them based on what is publicly available from the old F/A-18C system manuals and sims.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
That's not public and it is classified.

What I am showing above is what AT A MINIMUM was available to them based on what is publicly available from the old F/A-18C system manuals and sims.

How do you feel about Graves hinting at and providing tantalising glimpses at this classified data?

He's drawn a diagram of the formation, that's not in the manual, that's specific to the case he's also said some specific things about what he apparently, saw on the recording seems odd to me, where is the line?
 
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dimebag2

Active Member
I had a chance to join an interview of Ryan to ask a couple questions about the SA, and get a few clarifications.

First, the fleet started to turn early in the video, with a conventional (not extraordinary) rate of turn. The 180deg turn obviously did not happen in the 2-3 sec when the Gimbal object stopped.

Second, the stop of Gimbal was seen on the SA through the target aspect indicators. For the fleet they showed a gradual radius of turn. Gimbal kept going straight while the fleet was turning, but then its target aspect indicator went all over the place (north/south/east/west) for a few seconds on the SA, which is the signature of a stationary object (or an object with no horizontal acceleration -> vertical U-turn). This "stop" coincides with the very end of the video when the object rotates. It answers this :

I really don't see how this fits with the object initially following and then stopping and waiting from the beginning of the turn. In your 10NM straight-line track, the "stop" is both barely (I'd say not) detectable, and only a few seconds, near the end of the video.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
So he is saying there was a good track via radar from GIMBAL during the portion we see in the video?
 

dimebag2

Active Member
Can you quote what he actually said?
Here are a couple about these 2 points:

"The formation made that turn to the left [on SA] , the formation broke apart to a degree and got much
more scattered. They kinda formed back after the 180-deg turn, and that is when the Gimbal object
reversed direction"

"The velocity vector was pointing north, south, east, west, and we were like what's going on here? And the vector steadies out facing the opposite direction. And we were like, what just happened there?"

So he is saying there was a good track via radar from GIMBAL during the portion we see in the video?
Yes of course, he has said that many times on Twitter I think. The WSO too when he testified in front of Senate staff members (see redacted transcript below).

1657219764057.png
Source :
https://www.theblackvault.com/docum...merge-about-uap-encounter-briefing-breakdown/
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here are a couple about these 2 points:

"The formation made that turn to the left [on SA] , the formation broke apart to a degree and got much
more scattered. They kinda formed back after the 180-deg turn, and that is when the Gimbal object
reversed direction"

"The velocity vector was pointing north, south, east, west, and we were like what's going on here? And the vector steadies out facing the opposite direction. And we were like, what just happened there?"
Graves previous said the Gimbal object was doing a "racetrack pattern". Did he describe that?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
"The formation made that turn to the left [on SA] , the formation broke apart to a degree and got much
more scattered. They kinda formed back after the 180-deg turn, and that is when the Gimbal object
reversed direction"

"The velocity vector was pointing north, south, east, west, and we were like what's going on here? And the vector steadies out facing the opposite direction. And we were like, what just happened there?"
It's very frustrating he can't be more clear about what happened. What exactly does "that is when the Gimbal object reversed direction" mean? Previously he said it "stopped and waited". For how long? What were the positions of the fleet and the object at various positions?

He said it stopped and waited for them to pass. How long did that take? and after that it rotated.

He won't draw a diagram, telling me it might get him in trouble. So we are stuck with this vague set of different accounts.

Here's a very simple question for him. At what point in the video is the Gimbal object "stopped" from the SA perspective?
 

dimebag2

Active Member
I think he doesn't want to create false memories, there is a level of details we ask he simply cannot answer. Plus reluctance to discuss classified instruments of course.

What is clear is that the object's stop coincides with the end of the video, as he's said so many times.

In his AIAA talk he says it stopped momentarily and almost immediately proceeded in the opposite direction. I don't think he will tell us "it stopped for two seconds between 0'27 and 0'29", if you expect that level of detail. But it's clear the stops on SA is at the end, not beginning or middle of the vid. And it stopped for a few seconds ("momentarily"). It was all consistent when we talked.

Now make of that what you want, I personally think at this point we have a very good depiction of the event, including what was seen on the SA.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
And again if they had a stable track on the GIMBAL object, why no SLAVE on the ATFLIR? Why no correlation with the track like we see in Go Fast? Why the confusion about the L+S?
 

dimebag2

Active Member
You ask him, I haven't followed closely all this stuff about the L+S. I think he and others have already answered about how unboxed L+S does not mean the target in FLIR is not the L+S.

We asked him again and he's adamant there is no confusion on what the target was.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
You ask him, I haven't followed closely all this stuff about the L+S. I think he and others have already answered about how unboxed L+S does not mean the target in FLIR is not the L+S.

We asked him again and he's adamant there is no confusion on what the target was.
Where has he answered this?
 

dimebag2

Active Member
I remember he said in our discussion that L+S is used as a designation among them, not a strict reference to the L+S mode. In other words they would call a locked target the L+S even if the L+S mode is not set up.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What is clear is that the object's stop coincides with the end of the video, as he's said so many times.
No, he hasn't. He said it:
"suddenly stopped and waited for the wedge formation to pass"

and
"The GIBMAL object was stationary (as seen in the video) as the turn was executed"

and (at AIAA)
"as the lead formation began a turn, the Gimbal came to a stop"

You are now saying that the fleet turn started at the beginning of the video.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
But there's no such thing as a "locked target" that I can find at all in any reference material to the RADAR system in the F/18 etc, there are tracks in the computer and you can designate one track the L+S and this is the closest thing that there is to a "locked target"
 

dimebag2

Active Member
No, he hasn't. He said it:
"suddenly stopped and waited for the wedge formation to pass"

and
"The GIBMAL object was stationary (as seen in the video) as the turn was executed"

and (at AIAA)
"as the lead formation began a turn, the Gimbal came to a stop"

You are now saying that the fleet turn started at the beginning of the video.
I'm not saying anything, I'm sharing what I got from a short exchange. Why didn't you ask all these questions yourself when you talked with him ?
 
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