Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena Conference (AAPC) 2019
Sponsored by SCU
For over seven decades there have been incidents of anomalous and unidentifiable aerial threats having interactions with the US Military. This threat has remained elusive and unexplained and yet persistently present, with incredible cases that defy explanations. A recent announcement in 2017 of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) brought to light, that AAPs, also know as Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), were being seen during US military exercises. In March of 2019, the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU) sponsored it's first conference on the subject of Anomalous Aerospace Phenomena (AAP) in the hopes of bringing together professionals from Redstone Arsenal, NASA, the Military Defense Industry and Academia to discuss how we might progress in studying this elusive phenomenon.
Below you'll find the conference agenda as well as a collection of lecture summaries and videos from our conference presenters. (Presenters views, statements and opinions are of their own accord and do not reflect that of their company or affiliations.)
Friday, 15 March 2019 – Opening Night
Registration Opens 4:00 PM
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Reception
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Opening Remarks
7:30 PM – 8:45 PM – Mr. Luis Elizondo
8:45 PM – 9:15 PM – Q&A
9:15 PM – Closure
Saturday, 16 March 2019 – Full Day
7:30 AM – 8:00 AM – Coffee Service
8:00 AM – 8:15 AM – Conference Opening Remarks
The Government Approach – Threat Assessment, National Security and Science
8:15 AM – 9:30 AM – Dr. Travis Taylor
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM – Mr. Philippe Ailleris
10:45 AM – 11:00 AM – Intermission
11:00 AM – 12:00 AM – Panel (Presenters and others)
12:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Lunch Buffet
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM – Assemble to next Set
2013 Aguadilla Puerto Rico Case Study
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM – Mr. Richard Hoffman and Mr. Morgan Beall
2:15 PM – 2:25 PM – Intermission
2:25 PM – 3:00 PM – Panel (Presenters and others)
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Break
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Happy Hour (conversation & dialogue)
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Dinner Buffet
2004 USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Case Study
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Mr. Robert Powell and Mr. Peter Reali
7:30 PM – 7:40 PM – Intermission
7:40 PM – 9:00 PM – Panel (Presenters and others)
9:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Closing
Sunday, 17 March 2019 – Second Day
Space, Propulsion and Interstellar Travel
8:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Dr. Conley Powell and Dr. Kevin Knuth
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM - Intermission
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Panel (Presenters and others)
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch Buffet
Conference Closing - Where do we go from here?
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM – Closing Discussions
AATIP – Looking Back and Forward
Mr. Luis Elizondo - To The Stars Academy Board Member, Former Program Manager (AATIP), Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, Pentagon
As the former Program Manager for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), this presentation presents a unique perspective about this only recently known program that looked into the military related cases of unknown phenomena and their potential threat to our National Security interests and Aerospace Defense. While the program had its funding lasting until 2012, the program continues at the Pentagon. Announcements about its future role will provide insights that are not commonly known and these directions will help us get to answers that we have all been seeking.
Luis Elizondo, Director of Global Security & Special Programs for To The Stars Academy, is a career intelligence officer whose experience includes working with the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, the National Counterintelligence Executive, and the Director of National Intelligence. As a former Special Agent In-Charge, Luis conducted and supervised highly sensitive espionage and terrorism investigations around the world. As an intelligence Case Officer, he ran clandestine source operations throughout Latin America and the Middle East. Most recently, Luis managed the security for certain sensitive portfolios for the US Government as the Director for the National Programs Special Management Staff. For nearly the last decade, Luis also ran a sensitive aerospace threat identification program focusing on unidentified aerial technologies. Luis’ academic background includes Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, with research experience in tropical diseases. Luis is also an inventor who holds several patents.
A Scientific Approach to Analyzing and Preparing for an Alien Invasion
Dr. Travis Taylor, Department of Defense
The probability of an Alien Invasion of Earth or Humanity in some form or other is currently not a calculable quantity. While Hollywood blockbuster films have used the concept for more than a half century as plot mechanisms, for whatever reason mainstream science has disassociated itself from the topic for the most part. In fact, many mainstream scientists use the so-called "Fermi's Paradox" to "debunk" the idea of alien existence as well as invasion. We show in this presentation that "Fermi's Paradox" is based on invalid and incorrect assumptions and has no scientific basis for describing alien development and population growth. While precisely knowing the probability of an alien invasion is currently beyond human capabilities using modern information about stellar evolution and exosolar planetary formation enables some bounds to be determined. The probability of an alien invasion is in fact a finite value but how big or how small is difficult to ascertain. Realizing that the probability is finite suggests that at a minimum some preparations or, at the very least, investigation should be conducted into what an invasion might look like, how we might respond from civil, military, political, and socioeconomic approaches, and what we should be doing now to prepare just in case. Each of these concepts will be discussed from a scientific methodology with appropriate calculations and simulations.
Travis Taylor has worked on various programs for the United States Department of Defense and NASA for over sixteen years. He is currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, high-energy lasers, and next generation space launch concepts. Taylor is also involved with multiple Human intelligence (HUMINT), Imagery intelligence (IMINT), Signals intelligence (SIGINT and Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) concept studies.
His scientific background includes:
Thesis: Rewriteable magneto-optic compact disk based optical processor
Dissertation: Laboratory simulation of atmospheric turbulence induced optical wavefront distortion
Thesis: Advanced solar and laser sail propulsion concepts for interstellar space travel
Dissertation: Implementing planetary meteor impact craters as high gain radio frequency dish reflector antennas
To obtain his accredited online master's degree in astronomy from the University of Western Sydney in Australia, he built an extra-solar planet imaging instrument in his backyard using a plastic pipe, telescopic camera, and $200 computer.
Detection and Characterization of Anomalous Aerial Objects Using Satellite Data Imagery
Mr. Philippe Ailleris, Project Controller, European Space Agency, SCU
Given the challenges of scientifically studying a phenomenon that is sporadic and unpredictable and the absence of any scientific data collected from reliable instruments, progress in learning more about Anomalous Aerial Objects (AAO) has stalled. It is obvious that to move forward, as in other areas of science, AAO studies require new research methods and innovative tools. The arrival of full, free and open high-resolution data Earth Observations (EO), the continuously increasing amount of imagery available, and the unique abilities and benefits provided by the remote sensing satellites, such as wide area observation and rapid measurement capabilities, offer a unique capability to gather objective data on AAO and therefore represent a promising new line of AAO instrumental research. We will focus on a potential application from the sentinel-2 satellites of the European Copernicus Program, which provide the availability of optical EO data at high temporal revisit (5 days at the equator), a fine spatial resolution of 10 meters, and a very wide coverage (swath of 290 km). The presentation will introduce the current paradigm shift for space based Earth Observations, show that some AAO characteristics could be used for searching for AAO in the Sentinel-2 imagery databases, and describe some spatial and temporal methodologies aimed at directly combining citizen reports with satellite data.
Philippe Ailleris is a Project Controller at the Space Research and Technology Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA), in the Netherlands. He is currently working in the Earth Observation Projects Department, for some satellite missions of the EU Copernicus Programme. Being a French citizen, he has been interested by the UFO topic since his childhood and the creation in 1977 of the French UAP research and information group (GEPAN).
In 2009, he founded the UAP Observations Reporting Scheme Project, which he initiated autonomously under the framework of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. This project is aimed at astronomers and provides a venue for reporting unexplained sightings and contains resource pages documenting possible explanations for those sightings.
His research focuses on the scientific examination of UAP observations and in particular on the methods, equipment and lessons learned from instrumented field studies of UAPs. On this topic, He has presented a poster to the GEIPAN/CAIPAN workshop (2014) and published two research articles:
Firstly, “The Lure of Local SETI: Fifty years of Field Experiments”, in 2011 for the journal of the International Academy of Astronautics. Secondly, "Ufology and Experimental Strategy: What have we learned from Instrumented Missions in the Field?” in 2015 for the Ukrainian Scientific research center for analyses of anomalies ZOND.
Since 2015 he has been actively involved in the development of the UFODATA project, to develop a network of stations to detect and measure the physical characteristics of UAPs.
Ailleris’ latest research project that he is presenting today for the first time focuses on the potential use of Earth Observation civilian satellites as a way to mine for UFO data.
(* Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this SCU presentation is entirely his own and not those of the European Space Agency)
The 2004 USS Nimitz Case Report
Mr. Robert Powell, BS, Chemistry, SCU - "2004 USS Nimitz Case Report"
On November 14th of 2004, the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group Eleven (CSG 11), including the USS Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier and the USS Princeton missile cruiser, were conducting a training exercise off the coast of southern California when the Navy’s radar systems detected as many as 20 anomalous aerial vehicles (AAV). These AAVs were deemed a safety hazard to an upcoming air exercise and the Captain of the USS Princeton ordered an interception with two F/A-18F Navy jets. This paper examines the publicly available subset of these data: Eyewitness information from the pilots and radar operators; Freedom of Information Act releases of four navy documents; and a Defense Intelligence Agency released video taken by an F/A-18F jet using an AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR). The release of all navy records associated with this incident to enable a full, scientific and open investigation is strongly recommended.
Robert has a BS in Chemistry and is a former collegiate debater. He has 28 years’ experience in engineering management in the semiconductor industry. While working at Advanced Micro Devices he has taken numerous internal courses related to device physics, design of experiments, and statistical analysis. He helped Advanced Micro Devices develop its first flash memory technology that is used in today’s flash cards for cameras, PCs, video cameras, and other products. His experience includes managing a state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory and managing a Research and Development group that worked on nanotechnology using atomic force microscopes, near-field optical microscopy, and other techniques. Robert is also a co-holder of four patents related to nanotechnology.
Robert Powell is a Board member of the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU). He was the Director of Research at MUFON from 2007-2017 and created MUFON's Science Review Board in 2012. Robert is one of two authors of the detailed radar/witness report on the “Stephenville Lights” as well as the SCU reports "UAP: 2013 Aguadilla, Puerto Rico" and “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle”. Robert is also a member of the Society for Scientific Exploration, the UFODATA project, and the National Space Society. Robert is active with FOIA requests to various government organizations to obtain information on historical cases and is a co-author of a book published in July 2012: UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry. Robert currently resides in Austin, Texas.
The 2004 USS Nimitz Case Report
Mr. Peter Reali, BS and MA, Electrical Engineering, SCU
On November 14th of 2004, the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group Eleven (CSG 11), were conducting a training exercise off the coast of southern California when the Navy’s radar systems detected as many as 20 anomalous aerial vehicles (AAV). These AAVs were reported to execute flight characteristics that were beyond any known capability of current technology. After extensive investigations into reports and video from the encounters, some basic details of distance and speed measurements were obtained. This data is used to derive the velocity, accelerations and energy requirements to execute these maneuvers. Mathematical calculations were derived and applied, leading to the conclusions that these kinematic characteristics are impossible by currently known physics and refute the argument that these were just miss-identified ordinary civilian or aerial vehicles. Further this phenomenon appears to be of artificial origin and have machine like characteristics that rule out atmospheric phenomenon. The author believes that these results present an existential challenge to our world views and need to be investigated in a serious and scientific manner.
Peter has a BS and MSEE from the University of California Berkeley. He had a long career in Silicon Valley and an electrical design engineer and manager of engineering projects. His specialty was in Telecom- munications and network and information technologies. He has designed systems including mobile telephone control systems, fiber optic ring networks, T1, T3 and Sonnet communication systems. He has done design in digital phase lock loop and network timing synchronization. He has done digital design using FPGA technologies to implement networking equipment. He has led project teams as an engineering manager. Currently he is retired and enjoys photography as a member of the Boise Camera Club, plays blues harmonica with the Boise Blues Society and does research with the Scientific Coalition for Ufology. [SCU ]
Peter Reali is a member of the Scientific Coalition for Ufology [SCU]. He has been a seriously involved member since early 2018 and was attracted to join the SCU due to its serious mission to investigate this phenomenon in a scientific manner. He has done major sections in the SCU's most recent report "A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven's Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle". He has been interested in this phenomenon for many years and has read extensively but not participated in group investigations due to time constraints with his career and the often sensational and unscientific methods employed by most organizations.
Peter has retired to Boise Idaho and enjoys outdoor excursions with fellow members of his camera club.
2013 Aguadilla Puerto Rico Case Overview
Mr. Morgan Beall, BS, Earth Sciences, SCU
This is a case review for a case where SCU obtained a Customs & Border Protection (CBP) thermal video of an unknown that was observed in April 25th, 2013. A flight crew of four took off from the Rafael Hernandez Airport located in Puerto Rico. The video was provided to SCU by another CBP Pilot who asked that it be investigated on a scientific basis. Morgan will provide an overview to the case details.
Morgan Beall has a B.S. in Earth Science from Frostburg State University. He has worked in the field of environmental consulting industrial hygiene and OSHA/EPA regulations for the last 16 years. Morgan
has learned and developed team building skills and discipline both in his field of discipline and in business. Beall now runs his own environmental consulting business and participates in various environmental advocacy efforts in Florida.
Mr. Beall has had vested interest for many years in scientific investigative field of the UAP phenomenon. He has conducted many investigations throughout Florida both privately and publicly through volunteer organizations and independent projects. He was the MUFON State Director for Florida from 2011 to 2017. Morgan was initially accepted into MUFON as a consultant under Star Team SIP program. Now Beall's efforts are focused on the development and growth of the SCU and the promotion of the scientific study of UAPs.
2013 Aguadilla Puerto Rico Case Technical Review
Mr. Richard Hoffman, BA, IT Systems Architect, AMC HQ, SCU
The Aguadilla case involved the analysis of 7,027 frames of a thermal Infrared camera (WESCAM, MX-15) video along with radar data obtained showing unknowns prior to the observation by the Custom Border Protection (CBP) pilots. The video shows a thermal signature uncharacteristic of anything known and appears to split into two similar objects before each one descends into the water. This presentation focuses on the technical details of this case.
Rich Hoffman is a 25+ year Army Information Technology (IT) defense contractor with By Light IT Professional Services. He is a Senior Lead Architect working in the US Army Materiel Command Head Quarters at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama helping to shape the future directions of systems, networks and hosting arrangements used within the Army.
For the past 55 years, since his eighth grade science class and timed with the Lonnie Zamora sighting on 24 April 1964, Rich has been pursuing his primary interest in investigating, researching and lecturing on the subject of UFOs. He even had the opportunity to lecture to the Air Force on the subject at Wright Patterson, AFB.
He previously held numerous positions with these organizations:
MUFON (Field Investigator, State Section Director, State Director, Deputy Director of Investigations, Star Team Manager, Director, Strategic Projects)
Director of Investigations for the Ohio UFO Investigators League, Inc. (OUFOIL).
Field Investigator – Ground Saucer Watch
He has investigated and reviewed thousands of UFO sightings, which include landings, radar cases, animal mutilations and other paranormal mysteries in his tenure. He has delivered hundreds of lectures to service clubs, churches and many other organizations and appeared on numerous radio and television shows (e.g., Phil Donahue Show, Unexplained Files and many more), helped produce the UFO Files episode: Hangar 18 – The UFO Warehouse for the History Channel and appeared in numerous books on the subject.
During his tenure, he has worked with many of the notables in the field of UFOlogy to include a few:
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the former consultant with Project Blue Book and the other projects
MAJ Hector Quintanilla (Former Director of Project Blue Book)
MAJ Donald E. Keyhoe (Former Director of NICAP)
Stanton Freidman (Nuclear Physicist, Author, Lecturer)
Leonard H. Stringfield (Former MUFON Director of Public Relations, Author)
In June 2017, Rich left his position as MUFON Director, Strategic Projects, and Alabama State Director along with other positions within MUFON. He is still a Benefactor and as such is a lifetime subscribing only member. (He gets the MUFON Journal free for Life.)
Recently, he is now supporting a newly forming group called the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU), a coalition of like-minded serious and dedicated scientists and professionals who want to solve the phenomena using truly scientific methodologies and leverage current technologies to do so.
He is also now a member of a team of scientists and engineers working in UFOData, a project within CUFOS. This project seeks to develop a mobile technology platform into hotspot areas that would serve to collect critical data via cameras, sensors, tracking equipment and much more.
A Generalized Optimization Analysis for Interstellar Propulsion Systems
Dr. Conley Powell - B.A. in physics from Berea College, an M.S. in engineering science from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky.
We present a generalized optimization analysis for interstellar propulsion systems. There is an optimum exhaust velocity and an optimum initial acceleration for a given mission. The optimum exhaust velocity increases with increasing distance and propulsion system power/mass ratio, but for flight between neighboring stars, it does not exceed values that can be delivered by thermonuclear propulsion systems unless power/mass ratios exceed ~ 0.5 Mw/kg. The penalty for lower-than-optimum exhaust velocity is relatively small, and there is a point beyond which increasing the power/mass ratio for a fixed exhaust velocity does not do much good. Trip times around 40 years should be attainable.
We do not speculate about propulsion systems outside the limits of clearly-foreseeable technology. Only a fool would doubt that technologies that we cannot imagine will be developed in the ages to come, and that older races possess such technologies (although many distinguished fools have done just that), but it is our purpose here to ascertain what we are sure can be done.
Conley Powell holds a B.A. in physics from Berea College, an M.S. in engineering science from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the technical staff at 4M Research in Huntsville, Alabama. He has been a faculty member at the Space Institute, and has worked at Arnold Engineering Development Center, near Tullahoma, Tennessee; Teledyne Brown Engineering, in Huntsville; BAE Systems, in Huntsville; Analytical Services, in Huntsville; and Davidson Technologies, in Huntsville. He has taught graduate courses in subjects ranging from astrophysics to nuclear engineering. His specialties are space trajectories, attitude dynamics, space propulsion, and numerical analysis, but he has worked in areas as diverse as hypersonic aircraft, gravitational fields, ion beams, nuclear fusion, and interstellar flight. He is writing three textbooks: one on orbital mechanics, one on nuclear rockets, and one on numerical analysis.
Constraints on Societies Engaged in Relativistic Interstellar Travel
Dr. Kevin Knuth, Department of Physics, University at Albany, Albany NY, USA
A sufficiently technologically advanced society capable of arbitrarily fast sub-light travel could take advantage of relativistic effects to traverse the galaxy in a matter of weeks to days proper time (ship time). However, for those that stay at home tens of thousands of years will have transpired during the journey as the effects of the twin `paradox' apply. For this reason, interstellar travelers would necessarily form a breakaway society in which all members travel regularly at relativistic speeds moving into the future at commensurate rates. Such a society would be nomadic in spacetime forgoing a permanent home world, which would require them to set up supply routes to obtain resources and to coordinate meet-up points and times to interact and exchange goods and information with fellow travelers. I will discuss some of the basic constraints that interstellar travel would place on such a society. I will also consider how the arrangement of travel routes would affect the flow of supplies and information, across the societal network. A range of accelerations of spacecraft will be considered, informed, in part, by inferred accelerations of unidentified structured craft (USC) observed on Earth. Ships traveling at accelerations of a comfortable 1g would be able to traverse the galaxy in about 20 years. Ships traveling at higher accelerations of 100g (still less than what is inferred from eyewitness reports) would traverse the galaxy in about 120 days, less time than it currently takes us to get to Mars. There are serious implications for the Fermi Paradox since at any point in time, it is far more likely that any given ship will be traveling to its next destination. The many serious engineering challenges will not be addressed in this presentation.
Prof. Knuth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University at Albany (SUNY), and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Entropy (MDPI). He is a former NASA research scientist having worked for four years at NASA Ames Research Center in the Intelligent Systems Division designing artificial intelligence algorithms for astrophysical data analysis. He has over 20 years of experience in applying Bayesian and maximum entropy methods to the design of machine learning algorithms for data analysis applied to the physical sciences. His current research interests include the foundations of physics, quantum information, inference and inquiry, autonomous robotics, and the search for and characterization of extrasolar planets. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed publications and has been invited to give over 80 presentations in 14 countries.