January 5, 2009
ABC News wants you to believe we are being visited by aliens. In the video here, they say the residents of Salt Lake City are scratching their heads.
However, there is plenty of documentation these supposed alien blimps are in fact surveillance vessels manufactured for Homeland Security. From Engadget:
Lockheed Martin to build High Altitude Airship for homeland security
January 22, 2007
by Darren Murph, posted Jan 22nd 2007 at 9:50AM
Although it’s not exactly shocking to hear of yet another homeland security application that seems to border on Big Brother, Lockheed Martin’s High Altitude Airship could keep an elevated eye on 600 miles of US countryside at any given time, and if all goes as planned, we’ll have 11 of these things floating over our everyday activities by the end of the decade. The HAA prototype is a ginormous airship that measures 17-times larger than the Goodyear rendition we’re all used to seeing above sporting events, and is designed to hover 12 miles above the earth in order to keep tabs on what’s happening below. The airship is slated to be solar-powered and should stay in a geocentric orbit for "up to a year," and if equipped with high-resolution cameras, a single one could cover everything "between Toledo, Ohio and New York City." While Lockheed Martin is thrilled with the $40 million project they’ve been awarded, it’s certainly understandable to get a little worried about how these blimps will actually be used, but a company spokesperson suggested then an entire fleet could actually be used for "border surveillance" — and hey, we need a little help down there anyway, right?
‘Eyes in the sky’ for homeland security
Brock N. Meeks
August 27, 2005
WASHINGTON – Blimps, they’re the next big thing in homeland security.
That’s okay, a lot of people do, says George Spyrou, president of Airship Management Services, whose blimps are leased to the likes of Fuji Film and have been used as air surveillance and security platforms by the New York Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service and the Athens police during last year’s summer Olympic Games.
Although blimps have proven their worth in various security environments from the Super Bowl to presidential conventions, the huge airships aren’t widely deployed because they suffer from bad public relations.
“It’s a perception problem going right back to the Hindenburg disaster when she blew up in 1937,” Spyrou said. “The perception is that an airship is unsafe.” But that’s not true, he says. “They are filled with helium, not hydrogen.”
Purdue Team To Float High-altitude Airship For Weather, Security
April 1, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers from Purdue University are working to develop a high-altitude, helium-filled craft that may hover over the same spot for up to a year for applications in areas such as surveillance, homeland security, missile defense and weather forecasting.
About 10 Purdue researchers are involved in the work, funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
“The concept is to have an airship that flies above 65,000 feet and is geostationary, which means it stays in the same position over the Earth,” said Oleg Wasynczuk, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue who is leading the project with John Sullivan, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics.
Engineers and scientists are working to develop solar cells and an advanced fuel cell to power the craft. They also are developing the aerodynamic design and a control system to help keep the airship steady amid high winds and computer simulations to show how the craft would perform given specific design characteristics.
“To stay geostationary, it must have motors onboard to provide thrust so that it can constantly be reoriented because the wind is blowing up there,” said Sullivan, who is in charge of the portion of the research focusing on developing the ship’s aerodynamic design.
Purdue researchers also are developing mathematical models to simulate the fuel cell’s performance.
Or maybe there are little green men over at Blackwater International, the guys who are fond of clearing intersections with automatic gunfire.
Even Encyclopedia.com filed a report on these airships. But ABC wants you to think they’re alien starcraft.