Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the UK Air Defence Region (Project Condign report, now searchable)

Jim Galasyn

New Member
With the recent renewed interest in UFOs, I revisited the UK Ministry of Defense report, UAP in the UK Air Defence Region, aka, the Project Condign report. Unfortunately, the declassified PDFs from 2006 are scanned, unsearchable images, and in that form, they're not as useful as they could be, so I used an OCR app to convert them to PDFs with searchable text.
I think the Defence Intelligence Staff (DI55) solved the UFO problem with this theory:

11. Aerial phenomena of the type consistent with those reported as UAP, and with exceptional characteristics, certainly exist - but the available evidence suggests that apart from those which can be more easily and satisfactorily explained, they are comprised of several types of rarely encountered natural events within the atmosphere and ionosphere. Some of these are still barely understood. It is clear that they have been reported as exceptional occurrences throughout recorded history, using the language of the times. In this respect the reader is especially referred to Annex A (page A4) for topics covered in Volume 2 Papers 2, 10, 13, 19, 21, 23 & 24 and to Volume 1 Annex C.

12. Considerable evidence exists to support the thesis that the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical, and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere, mesosphere, and ionosphere. They appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically-charged conditions and are observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers. There seems to be a strong possibility that at least some of the events may be triggered by meteor entry, the meteors neither burning up completely nor impacting as meteorites, but forming buoyant plasmas [see the graph below –Jim]. The conditions and method of formation of the electrically-charged plasmas and the scientific rationale for sustaining them for significant periods is incomplete or not fully understood.

13. The key supporting findings are: [...]
  • Dependent on an object’s colour temperature and aerosol density, it may be seen visually; either by its self-generated plasma colour, by reflected light, or in silhouette by light blockage and background contrast. As an electrically-charged, but not ionised, gaseous mass, this may be either visible to the eye but not to radar sensors; or fully ionised and visible to both.
  • Occasionally and perhaps exceptionally, it seems that a field with, as yet, undetermined characteristics, can exist between certain charged buoyant objects in loose formation, such that, depending on the viewing aspect, the intervening space between them forms an area (viewed as a shape, often triangular), from which the reflection of light does not occur. This is a key finding in the attribution of what have frequently been reported as black ‘craft’, often triangular and even up to hundreds of feet in length.
  • The close proximity of plasma-related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person. For this to occur the UAP must be encountered at very close ranges. A probable modulated magnetic, electric or electromagnetic (or even unknown fields), appears to emanate from some of the buoyant charged masses. Local fields of this type (probably either an electromagnetic near-field, or a direct magnetic field) have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining (and later describing and retaining) his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced. Some observers are likely to be more susceptible to these fields than are others, and may suffer extended memory retention and repeat experiences. This is suggested to be a key factor in influencing the more extreme reports found in the media and are clearly believed by the ‘victims’. (Volume 2 Papers 1, 2 and (with experimental results) Paper 2)
  • Those closest to the event but located in vehicles or behind obstacles, appear to be partially or fully screened from the radiated field and any radiant heat. Radiated effects are reported in some very rare instances to be sufficient to cause scorching of human skin and damage to nearby terrestrial objects. (Volume 2, Papers 1,2 & 2)
  • Within the influence of the field, and effectively in its probable near-field discharge path, coupling to vehicle electronic and electrical systems can occur and affect equipment operation. Although this effect has been limited to the temporary malfunction of internal combustion engines and radios within the UK,it is of importance that aircraft equipment could exceptionally be affected for a limited period, according to authoritative open scientific reports from the USA. ...
  • A Russian aerodynamics report shows that an otherwise ‘indistinct, blurred or raggedly-shaped’ charged aerosol formation (often a feature of UAP reports) can be naturally reshaped by the airflow in which it travels to look remarkably like a typically-reported ‘classic UFO’ shape. (Volume 2, Paper 19)

This graph from Volume 1, page 53, clinches the case:
Meteor entry rate and UAP reports in 1996. The correlation between the two signals is 0.62. Graphic: Ministry of Defense, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the UK Air Defence Region, 2000

DI55 computes a correlation of 0.62 for these signals:

53. Correlation Studies - Meteors While it has become clear during investigations that a large number of variables are involved in the consistency of UAP reporting, and it is acknowledged that there are likely to be more meteors misreported as UAPs when, for example, the sky is clear, the weather is fine and warm (inducing more people out of doors in the dark), and when there is a higher forecast meteor activity; further analysis of the reports and correlation with UAP dates, has revealed some interesting facts which may have a direct bearing on at least one possible cause of the unexplained object phenomenon. [...]

60. Some significant 1996 correlation results are plotted at Figure 3-18. The curves show three sets of data, plotted, for convenience, in increments of five days: the UAP rate over each five-day interval, the coincident number of different shower types in the same five-day interval and, finally, the hourly meteor arrival rate forecast within each five-day period. The maximum five-day rate for UAP reports in 1996 was 30 and the lowest was zero. The maximum number of coincident meteor showers was eight. The maximum arrival rate was 143,000 per hour, boosted particularly by ‘Geminids’, ‘Quadrantids’ and ‘Perseids’, each contributing over 100,000 meteors per hour when they were near. Even the least active shower releases 2000 per hour. It should be noted that although not all meteors will approach UK airspace, when the highest density rate is expected then the probability of an increase in UAPreports is clearly present. The objective is to discover whether this is coincident with a correlated increase in UAP reports.

61. From the Figure it is immediately evident from the coincident rise and fall of the curves that there is correlation between the number of meteor showers present and the meteor hourly rate (known as the ZHR). This is expected. The important fact is the correlation between the meteor curves and the UAP report curve The mathematical correlation taken over the year is over 60% (0.62). This is a reliable positive correlation which would probably have been much higher if man-made sources of UAP reports were filtered out. As has been proved, many reports will be due to over 20 types of other natural aerial phenomena, plus man-made phenomena, ranging from lightning and fireworks to laser displays. Perhaps an even more stringent test is that of comparing the actual dates of peak UAP sightings with the actual dates of the meteor peaks, rather than those grouped into 5-day intervals:
Meteor peak ZHR dates compared with peak UAP report dates in 1996. The co-incidence of peak meteor dates and UAP reports is statistically very high and cannot be due to chance. Graphic: Ministry of Defense, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the UK Air Defence Region, 2000
62. Significantly, it is noted in conclusion that the correlation is date-exact on several occasions and nearly so on the others. There seems little doubt, therefore, that natural UAP reports are correlated with high incidence of meteor activity and, from this evidence, it seemed a strong possibility that meteor activity accounts for some UAP reports.

63. It is noted that the co-incidence of peak meteor dates and UAP reports is statistically very high and cannot be due to chance. The fact that sometimes the UAP peak occurs before the meteor peak is not a problem - it is merely that, as the meteor peak date approaches and the entry rate increases, more UAP are seen on adjacent days, than on the peak day itself. This variation could easily be due to the weather (overcast and low visibility) and that (meteor-generated) UAP did in fact occur where there was no one to see them! - or just that the meteorological conditions present in the atmosphere on the meteor peak days was not suitable for plasma formation. The other key factor, of course, is that gaseous body plasmas did not fall within the airspace of the UKADR on that day - or even if the opportunity to form a plasma occurred, it’s subsequent reporting was not viable. The position at which a plasma is eventually formed, assuming a meteor does not burn up or impact after diving, must depend on the angle of entering the atmosphere, the velocity, and the atmospheric conditions (e.g. temperature layers, dust, electrically charged layers, wind). It is clear that an observer noting the falling trail of a meteor may be hundreds of kilometres from its eventual landfall.

64. The final meteor-related investigation was to examine each of the UAP reports on the peak dates to ascertain that they were not merely reported as meteor trails, but more tangible and representative of the exceptional bodies often reported.

RESULT OF METEOR INVESTIGATION

65. The investigation showed that on only 27 occasions out of 1014 UAP events reported for 1995 and 1996 did UAP have ‘trails’, ‘tails’ or were ‘cometlike’ or ‘meteor like’. Many of those with tails were reported not as meteors but as other types of event which happened to have tails. It is concluded therefore that the public are well aware of the difference between a familiar meteor trail and an unusual phenomenon. It is not unreasonable to suppose that, disregarding any man-made objects which were misreported during 1996 (and in other years) there is a high probability that the remaining events were largely due to meteor plasmas. Some may have been due to other atmospheric electrical events such as lightning. The peak reporting periods which coincided with meteor shower peaks were not mistaken reports for falling meteors, but were clearly events which occurred after the plasmas had been formed, were usually at low altitude and exhibited the regularly-seen erratic, bobbing, hovering and climbing motion which would not be mistaken by the public and other credible witnesses. In fact, it is clearly to the public’s credit that they rarely report meteors as UAP.

Since the UAP report was completed in 2000, there's been a lot of research into plasma fireballs and charged dust clouds. The spectrogram of a ball lightning formation was finally recorded in 2014 (Jianyong Cen, Ping Yuan, and Simin Xue, "Observation of the Optical and Spectral Characteristics of Ball Lightning", Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 035001, 17 January 2014).



This gives us an idea of what a "plasma fireball" looks like, so now we know what to look for. Lightning specialist Martin Uman commented, "This one certainly seems to be made of dirt", which would have been vaporized and charged by the lightning strike. A related UAP would be made of meteor dust instead of dirt, but the plasma physics would be similar.

Quite a few videos exist that seem to show such objects in the sky, frequently appearing in threes. This video, taken in 2010, shows a three-core plasma formation from its inception, as it splits from a single fireball. The three plasma balls oscillate as they're pushed and pulled by mutually induced attractive and repulsive forces, and they slowly separate as charge leaks to the atmosphere and the binding field weakens.



Here's another neat video from Carlsbad, CA on April 22, 2019 that was uploaded to the MUFON site, which seems to show a three-core plasma formation rising into the sky until it disappears in the clouds:




Now that we know what to look for, it's not too hard to find similar videos of plasma fireballs. I'll post more on this thread as I discover them.
 
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JMartJr

Active Member
I hate to be the guy who says "balloons," but I'm seeing some balloons with their strings tied together flying over NY, and some Chinese sky-lantern balloons over Carlsbad. Is there some feature that says plasma fireballs that I am missing?
 

Jim Galasyn

New Member
I hate to be the guy who says "balloons," but I'm seeing some balloons with their strings tied together flying over NY, and some Chinese sky-lantern balloons over Carlsbad. Is there some feature that says plasma fireballs that I am missing?
The telltale sign is that the orbs separate over a period of a few minutes. Running with the idea presented by MoD, the plasma fireballs find an equilibrium in an equilateral triangle formation, and as charge leaks to the atmosphere the field that binds them together weakens, and they drift apart. Eventually, they fizzle out, giving the illusion of "zipping away".
 

FatPhil

Active Member
The telltale sign is that the orbs separate over a period of a few minutes. Running with the idea presented by MoD, the plasma fireballs find an equilibrium in an equilateral triangle formation, and as charge leaks to the atmosphere the field that binds them together weakens, and they drift apart. Eventually, they fizzle out, giving the illusion of "zipping away".

Or as the balloons tug on their strings (which are quite possibly even a metallised plastic strip with low friction, because oooh, shiny) from a wide range of different angles as they are buffetted by the wind, they eventually unravel from each other and separate.

Or unknown physics incompatible with everything we've learnt in the last 200 years, and aliens.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
The 'fireball' in the Chinese case was the result of a lightning strike hitting the ground. 'Ball lightning' is allegedly observed in mid air, or even inside aircraft. There is no basis for generalizing from one to the other.
 

Jim Galasyn

New Member
Or as the balloons tug on their strings (which are quite possibly even a metallised plastic strip with low friction, because oooh, shiny) from a wide range of different angles as they are buffetted by the wind, they eventually unravel from each other and separate.

Or unknown physics incompatible with everything we've learnt in the last 200 years, and aliens.
Why is "buoyant plasma fireball" incompatible with known physics? It's quite an active field of study, check out the literature: plasma fireball atmosphere (Google Scholar).
 

Jim Galasyn

New Member
The 'fireball' in the Chinese case was the result of a lightning strike hitting the ground. 'Ball lightning' is allegedly observed in mid air, or even inside aircraft. There is no basis for generalizing from one to the other.
I'll suggest that the reason to generalize from ball lightning plasmas seen near the ground to plasma fireballs seen higher in the atmosphere is their similar behavior and appearance. The MoD theory proposes that plasma fireballs are caused by meteors instead of lightning but otherwise are the same phenomenon.
 

FatPhil

Active Member
Why is "buoyant plasma fireball" incompatible with known physics? It's quite an active field of study, check out the literature: plasma fireball atmosphere (Google Scholar).

Rather than making me search for it, can you please just identify and quote the particular paper that describes plasma balls that are attracted to each other, and repelled from each other, and also bounce off each other, which are the interactions seen in the video in question. If it also suggests that *trios* of balls are a stable configuration then that would support something else said about them upthread.
 

Domzh

Active Member
i dont know.. to me it looks like the MoD did something similar to ufologists tbh..

they looked back and found something that matched. in this case the correlation of meteorites entering the atmosphere and uap sightings. fair enough and as expected.

they now string together a "russels teapot" theory. plasma balls, yay!

They are pretty hard to reproduce. i believe the longest lifetime documented in a lab was able to survive for 20 seconds or so? they also usually should appear at the ground, not mid air or at altitude.

i have never heard about the triangular pattern (i researched the heck out of plasma because i stumbled upon a navy patent to use laser induced plasma as IR missile decoys).

they needed an explanation and they stringed together a semi scientific sounding theory - that really doesnt differ that much from Zorg from Uranus explanations.

Its much more "likely" that:

1) EVERY type of 3 spot lights will form a triangle formation

2) The black gap in between is filled out inside our brains, because humans like to see shapes

3) people are absolutely bad when it comes to estimating distances of spot lights. hence we see super fast or super slow moving objects because of misjudgement
 

Mauro

Active Member
I'm skeptical about any plasma/ball ligthing explanation. Even if I do not discount at all the possibility that such phenomena exist, the evidence is yet slim and they seem to be very rare events (or it would not have taken until 2014 to record one for the first time). From the UK report you quote, it would instead seem rather easy to find visual evidence of "buoyant plasma fireballs" by looking at the proper zone of the sky in coincidence with a meteor shower.

As for the New York UFO, it very much looks as three baloons stringed together.
 
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