This Plane Doesn't 'exist'... Aurora Top Secret...
The original story goes something like this: four decades ago, the U.S. military conceived a next-generation reconnaissance plane project to replace the aging and expensive-to-maintain SR-71 Blackbirds. The government studied proposals for a manned, hypersonic, stealth spy plane capable of traveling at a speed of up to mach five. The concept, which allegedly reached a program cost upwards of two billion dollars by the late 1980s, was subsequently shelved, never again to be revisited.
This plane doesn't 'exist'... Aurora Top Secret...
But there is a problem with this narrative: though it is true the SR-91 does not exist as a serial product, it is still not clear if the plane ever even existed as a design concept. The government has consistently denied that such an aircraft was ever built. To date, there is no hard evidence that an SR-91 prototype took flight. There was a series of alleged sightings in the early 1990s of a plane thought to be the Aurora, but not one of these has been corroborated. The purported evidence includes reports of tremors around the Los Angeles area; while these quakes could very well have been caused by military aircraft operating out of the Area 51 facility in Nevada, there is nothing to suggest that the plane in question was an SR-91 prototype. In another famous 1989 sighting over the North Sea, witnesses possibly mistook a B-2 Spirit for what they believed to be an SR-91; the Spirit was a recently-introduced bomber that somewhat matched the triangular shape described in eyewitness accounts.
From all of this I concluded that yes, we had Aurora prototypes being developed over decades, but with the fall of the USSR, did not need a fleet of them, so just continued development with little need for secrecy. Why else would such aircraft be flown over metropolitan Albuquerque in broad daylight, over a period of at least 15 years, if not to let our adversaries know we had such advanced planes if we ever needed them?
Explore the history of the U-2 spy plane program with Lyon Air Museum (opens in new tab). Read more about UFO hoaxster Bob Lazar with How Stuff Works (opens in new tab). Discover the many Area 51 pop culture references in this YouTube video from KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas (opens in new tab).
And who the heck lets people drive motorcycles along the taxiway? Or even onto the runway, if the last shot is to be believed. Some stupid headbutting (not that I think that doesn't exist among fighter pilots, but I don't think it's this bad) and the terrible romance subplot. Much like Pearl Harbor, I'm not going to belabor the flaws there. I'm a naval enthusiast, not a film critic. Also, I'm noting that there don't seem to be any Marine pilots in the background. I suppose the Corps never flew F-14s, but I'd be surprised if they didn't send F-4 pilots to TOPGUN, at least before the F/A-18 showed up.
Our civilian rep, callsign "Charlie". Why does a civilian have a callsign? Also, what's with the PhD in astrophysics? I'm not saying it's impossible (Norman Friedman has a physics PhD and was an expert on the Soviets in this era) but it's not exactly connected. (Christine Fox, the inspiration for Charlie, was given the honorary callsign "Legs", but I don't think she had a PhD.) "The F-5 doesn't have the thrust-to-weight ratio that the MiG-28 has." What the heck are the Soviets doing with their transports? Or is it supposed to do Credible Sport? Also, this is not the sort of thing you do in a hangar, because SCIFs are a thing if you're talking about classified stuff. Also, this is not the sort of conversation you have in the middle of a mission brief.
OK. Maverick just made the first kill. At least they used an appropriate weapon, but the Sidewinder's warhead is pretty small, and why did it home in on the wing root, anyway? Also, the Sidewinders and Atolls both seem to have pretty smoky motors, but I can't say for sure that it's wrong. Now it's Iceman's turn. "I've got radar lock, good tone, taking the shot." First, what happened to Fox? Second, why do you need radar if you're using a Sidewinder? Also, that missile you just fired was a Sparrow, not a Sidewinder, and there's no way it will work at the range you're at. Assuming it works at all. And if you were using a Sparrow, why did you need a tone? Also, way too much damage from a hit. Planes are not made of nitroglycerine. Also, please note that at one point, we see flashes from each wing root as one of the F-5s fires. I don't know of any plane with dual gatling guns, except maybe the AC-130. And then we have another Sparrow at close range. At least this one missed. And then Maverick uses another Sparrow right after we get a tone (THESE ARE NOT THE SAME THING!) and this one hits. There's the last hit and the remaining MIGs leave. And they just let them go. This might have been acceptable under Carter, but Reagan is in charge now, and the ROE are different. Also, did you people forget about the Phoenix missiles? Or how many slots a Tomcat has? 2 Sparrow/2 Sidewinder loadouts are the sort of thing you fit to a normal CAP, not to the backup you'll send out if there's trouble. Particularly because they're on the Enterprise and "Crazy Bob" is in command.
"One of the disadvantages of a Diver," she said quietly within him,"is that we can only talk to each other by contact. A Psi could see ourthoughts radiating out like an aurora, but we can't. We travel this waywhen two Divers are together, which isn't often, so that we both thinkof going to the same place. If we do get separated, come back hereimmediately and we'll start again."
"You'll find colonies are usually several generations behind, but let'snot be too hasty," she said. "We can have a look around later. First,let's see if we have the right planet and get this envoy matter out ofthe way. Down through the dome, here."
"When we first undertook that project," one or all of them said,"your system was entirely unpopulated. On the third planet, we found,however, roughly humanoid apes in isolated caves and by selectivebreeding we succeeded in making that species into a housing identicalwith those we use on this planet. Unfortunately, only the less stableminds of the Galaxy were prepared to live quite so far out and weeventually lost touch. Is the same housing still used?"
It is wasted energy. Thousands in Darfur are being murdered. Billions in China live as slaves of their government. A Cuban dictator holds his people hostage and a madman threatens the nuclear extinction of the Jewish peopel in Israel. Add famine, AIDs, and poverty to the list and you'll see that while there is racism in America still, our current problems don't even rank in the top 10 worst travesties of our generation. The bottom line is that pretty much EVERYONE in America still has a better opportunity than 95% of the rest of the planet. We need to stop blaming our parents, discrimination, reverse discrimination, poor role models, and so on for our perceieved problems. There is no shortage of positive role models of every skin color in America. So, point your kids towards one of them, no matter what your color is and start focusing on the less fortunate in this world. It is ok to discuss racism and continue to make progress, but it cannot be allowed to consume our entire perspective on life when there is so much more to be accomplished in our short lives.
But how can we teach our children to love the planet if they cannot learn to love themselves and live with each other? And how meaningful can the future of this planet be to people who are rotting in prison, desperately trying to survive while going through a daily gauntlet of injury and insult, fearing the night because of gang violence, fearing their brothers will die before they're 18 and sisters will be machine-gunned in their beds, and that there is no future worth having because nobody cares about you because of the color of your skin, or that you have to listen to your father tell you what to do in case the police pull you over so you won't get shot. It's awful damned difficult to care about the planet's future when you have no future.
I disagree. The planet doesn't mean as much if I am shot dead driving while black or can't get a car because I can't get a job. Green is not at the top of my priority list when I as a educated black man without a criminal record is constantly reminded of just how black and unwanted I am in America.
Bravo! Environment is getting overlooked every time! I love the metaphore of the plane, as it is exactly so! I firmly support this as no.1 agenda, all the "passengers" here need to support it as well!
I totally agree with Lou. We need to install from a very young age into our children that they are great and beautiful and can do anything that their heart desires. That they are the only ones that can make themselves happy and it doesn't matter what anyone else may say or do to try and bring you down. That they are the captain of their own ship and can take it where ever they please. That is the only way we will ever make this world a better place to live. 041b061a72