Identify this UFO and Win a Book

The first of the following fireball photos is legit, taken by a NASA satellite early yesterday morning. The other photos, allegedly taken by people in the Southern United States, were posted online at the same time, supporting their authenticity. The question here is: What's in them?

Next, two quick videos, way better than the usual could-have-been-a-Frisbee blurs on UFO vids. [Source is the American Meteor Society, which we'll get to in a few seconds]

The American Meteor Society received over 150 such reports from people in Georgia, Bama and the Carolinas. Whatever it is was going 14,500 mph, which is pedestrian by the standards of meteors, which average 160,000 mph. Hence NASA officials speculated that Russian SL-6 Rocket parts—from the Cosmos 2196 missile early warning system—reentering the atmosphere. As such space junk breaks apart, it indeed creates fireballs, according the American Meteor Society. But is it just me, or does "Russian SL-6 Rocket parts from the Cosmos 2196 missile early warning system" have a little too much specificity for speculation about space junk. Is this the 21st century version of "It was just a weather balloon"?

Use the form below to share your theory, if you have one. If it turns out you're right, or your response is otherwise good, you may win a free copy of one of my books.

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P-38 vs. Dragster

The 2012 Sacramento Air Show featured a race between a Lockheed P-38 Lightning and a jet dragster. The P-38, a fighter aircraft that first flew in 1939, has a cruising speed of 275 miles per hour. The jet dragster, a car propelled by a jet engine, tops out at 300 mph, and goes from 0 to 60 in just one second. Who won?

Let's go to the videotape.

This P-38 photo is gratuitous

This P-38 photo is gratuitous

Good Blackbird News

Over the past year, I've posted photos of the awesome US Space and Rocket Center's A-12, one of nine still in one piece—albeit barely in this case.

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People who saw the photos took to social media to vent. If ever someone asks what good that does, you can cite this case. Space Center officials told me that a corporate benefactor has just stepped up. Later this summer, the Blackbird will receive a grade-A restoration and placement at the Space Center a lot better than a crumbling parking lot and temporary fence and a bomb on a cart for no reason. Here's the plan so far:

Here's a comparable fixture, at CIA HQs in McLean, VA.

More to come…

Related Links: SR-71 Blackbird, Once a Spy

Rustbird 2015

Up at the singular US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville today, and, of course, visited the A-12. She's looked better.

The Blackbird is the greatest plane in history, as well as one the greatest inventions [read why here]. So what's to become of this one?

In 2014, the Space Center unveiled a plan to turn the plane into signage [you can read the plan here], not unlike CIA HQs' Blackbird. But they need half a million bucks is the thing.

Let me just get this out of the way: Made of titanium, the Blackbird doesn't rust, by the way, though the ferrous metal in the radar-absorbing paint and rivets does. So we're talking a fresh coat of paint needed to remedy the superficial problem. The bigger issue is one faced by preservationists everywhere: After you preserve it, what the heck do you do with it? I would love to start a Blackbird Museum—if it were sustainable, but, as much as I love the BBird, most people only know as the Blackbird as the smaller version of the Raven. And readers ask me if that 2,400-mph spy plane in my novel Once a Spy is real.

Please hit me with your thoughts via the below email form, or in the comments.

UPDATE 6-15: I've just received word from the Space and Rocket Center that, thanks to contributions from Blackbird fans, among others, the A-12 will be restored later this summer. I'll write another post re: that when I have more info.

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Related Links: SR-71 Blackbird, Once a Spy