Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soviet overflights of the USA - UFO reports?

Dear reader

Adelaide has just entered a week of predicted maximum temperatures over 33 degrees C, a rather hot time. So, its book time - time to read; chill out with a nice ice cold South Australian white wine, and do some more thinking.

US overflights of USSR:

Much has been written about the United State's covert surveillance of the former Soviet Union ( e.g. click here.)  The story of balloon (click here ) , U-2 ( click here ) and SR71 ( click here) aircraft overflights  are well known. A question which arose in my mind, was, did the Soviet Union undertake similar covert overflights of the USA?

There are certainly numerous accounts of incursions around the boundaries of US territory (as recently as 2008 click here) , but are there instances where a Soviet device penetrated further into the USA? I did some research on the Internet and found the following: 1. Report of a TU-95 over Langley AFB in 1980. 2. Report of TU-16s over Shymia AFB in 1969. (Click here.)

What of Soviet balloons?

Annie Jacobssen's 2011 book "Area 51" (click here) (UK edition published by Orion. London. ISBN 978-1-4091-4112-9 pp 248-250) tells an interesting story.

Colonel Kenneth B Collins ( see photograph) was one of the A-13 Oxcart pilots for the CIA, based at Area 51 in the 1960's. He relates being woken one morning to fly an unplanned A-12 mission. "...the pentagon had called to say that a Russian reconnaissance balloon was flying across the United States, floating with the prevailing winds in a westerly direction. Collins was to find the Soviet balloon - fast."

Collins had "...direct orders by the Pentagon to "hunt and find" the Soviet weather balloon visually and using radar."

"Flying somewhere over the middle of the continent, Collins briefly identified an object on radar about 350 miles away...he never saw the balloon with his own eyes."

"After Collins returned to base, engineers scrambled to read the information on the data recorder. The incident has never been declassified. Admitting that the Soviets invaded U.S. airspace whether in a craft or by balloon - is not something any U.S. official had ever done. Collins never asked any follow-up questions."

If anyone on the ground had been able to observer the Soviet balloon and reported it as a UFO, then no-one apart from the pentagon would have been able to identify it for what it really was.

Interestingly, an Internet search for information about Soviet balloons over the USA turned up no references.

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