Stealth fight­ers

Fortean Times - - Letters -

I would like to pick up on some­thing in Ian Sim­mons’s re­view of UFOs, Chem­trails and

Aliens [ FT363:57]. Dis­miss­ing the ‘stealth fighter’ as pos­si­ble cul­prit for the Bel­gian ‘wave’ in 1989, he uses the ar­gu­ment that it was not re­vealed for an­other 10 years. How­ever, it was ac­tu­ally re­vealed by the USAF in 1988, and be­came fa­mous in the Desert Storm in 1991. Sim­mons also dis­misses the no­tion that the F-117 would have been tested “over Bel­gium” (putting to one side that it would take about 25 min­utes for a jet to cross the coun­try – any such stealth jet would merely have been pass­ing through!)

I’m go­ing to put my anorak on now, so bear with me, but in fact it is not at all un­usual for new air­craft types to be tested around the world – a pat­tern that has been re­peated by the F-22 and F-35 jets that have fol­lowed it. Un­til the F-117 was re­vealed, the squadron then op­er­at­ing it and pre­par­ing it for use – part of the 4450th Test Group – was equipped with re­cently re­tired A-7 Cor­sairs to pro­vide them with a ‘cover story’ that they were test­ing new avion­ics and to ex­plain the in­creased air­craft ac­tiv­ity at Tonopah air­field where their F-117’s were based (th­ese only flew at night un­til de­clas­si­fied). In fact, the old A-7’s were fit­ted with the F-117 nav­i­ga­tion kit, and pos­si­bly tar­get­ing equip­ment too, to en­able the pi­lots to prac­tise with it in a less chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment (i.e. in day­light). This is rel­e­vant be­cause A-7’s from the 4450TG de­ployed to RAF Wood­bridge in the late 1980s and there has been a ru­mour ever since that wher­ever the squadron’s A-7’s went, the F-117’s went too. I know about this de­ploy­ment be­cause an old friend of mine went down to Suf­folk to see them (but was un­aware that F-117’s may also have been there). While the 4450TG cer­tainly de­ployed to South Ko­rea in 1984, I can find no men­tion on the In­ter­net of F-117’s be­ing seen – though the psy-ops there re­ported on Wikipedia for the squadron are en­ter­tain­ing read­ing, and wor­thy of the ex­cel­lent Mi­rage Men book... Con­jec­ture I know, but my point is that it can’t be dis­missed that F-117’s weren’t op­er­at­ing in Europe at the time.

Any­way, anorak off again, I am not say­ing what was seen was the F-117, but the as­ser­tion Sim- mons made is a bit slap­dash; I hope this is taken in the spirit in­tended, as I ad­mire his work. Bert Gray-Malkin Por­tishead, Bris­tol

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