Three military bloggers are convinced they have evidence of a top-secret military aircraft flying in the skies above Texas.
Steve Douglass and Dean Muskett have two photos showing a triangular object with unmistakable vapour trails accompanied by two other planes, taken on 10 March of this year.
Along with Aviation Week's defence expert, Bill Sweetman, they claim this is the first instance of such an event since grainy photos of the Lockheed U-2 were taken in Britain in the 1950s.
Three of us here—myself, Graham Warwick and Guy Norris—concur that the photos show something real. Guy and I have known Steve Douglass for a long time, and know that the reason that he sees (and monitors by radio) unusual things is that he spends time looking for them. Here is Steve's account of one of his better radio intercepts. This is more than a random image.
The photos tell us more about what the mysterious stranger isn't than what it is. The size is very hard to determine, for example, although the image size at contrailing height suggests that it is bigger than an X-47B. However, the basic shape—while it resembles Boeing's Blended Wing Body studies or the Swift Killer Bee/Northrop Grumman Bat unmanned air system—is different from anything known to have flown at full size, lacking the notched trailing edge of Northrop Grumman's full-size designs.
After listening to radio chatter at the time of the incident they also conclude the aircraft is not a drone adding the risks of sending up three unmanned aircraft would be too great.
For an idea of what it could be they look to current gaps in the US Air Force's fleet.
They point to the retirement of the F-117 six years ago leaving a gap for an aircraft equipped with "electro-optical targeting and laser guidance".