Moon of Alabama
made an important catch. As you may have read, the anti-Assad Nusra Front (also known as Al Qaeda in Syria) has battled American-trained mercenaries in Syria -- the guys described as "moderate" and "vetted" by our media. Apparently, there is phone video of Nusra fighters being blasted by "automatic weapons fire." That's the term used by the NYT.
Did that fire come from a drone? Maybe, but that theory has problems...
No drone I am aware of and certainly not the "Predator" are equipped with automatic weapons like machine guns. The Drones carry fire-and-forget missiles or bombs but no drone has the necessarily heavy rotating tower and swiveling weapon holder that would allow the use of automatic weapons. "Automatic fire from the sky" as the reporter describes from the video he has seen can only have come from manned helicopters. Or is there some other explanation that I miss?
If there were helicopters who's birds were these? U.S. or Turkish? Are there more of these flying over Syria and to what purpose? And what would be the Search & Rescue assets that could be used should such a bird come down involuntarily?
Something we are not told about is happening at the Turkish-Syrian border.
Either that, or drones are capable of things that we mere mortals are not supposed to know about.
The M of A story referenced above evinced one interesting comment:
I suspect you're conveniently forgetting Bradley Manning/ WikiLeak's infamous "Collateral Murder" video showing the view from the gun sight camera of a Yankee helicopter hovering in "Silent mode" (whatever that means) in Iraq and slaughtering civilians en mass from 2 to 3 Km away - with deadly accuracy.
Ah. "Silent mode."
Although many people have seen that video, few have asked a should-be-obvious question: Why didn't the victims hear the chopper?
I would love to write a long post about the history of silent aircraft. Unfortunately, I can't: The data is kept hidden from scurvy knaves like me and thee.
But I'm reasonably sure of this much: There were striking advances in this field as far back as the 1960s, possibly earlier. (According to Wikipedia, the first patent
in active noise control was filed in 1934.)
A long time ago -- circa 1980, when I was a not-terribly-political young doofus -- I was told that a military contractor named Bolt, Baranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies) had developed a technology called "antisound." The basic idea was later commercialized in noise cancelling headphones.
As most of you know, loudspeakers come in enclosures because an un
enclosed speaker emits one sound wave in front and the exact opposite wave in back. One wave cancels the other; without the enclosure, the sound is tinny and weak. If you were to amplify the inverse sound wave, you could theoretically cancel out the original noise completely. Theoretically.
This technique works best with noises that are constant or repetitive. But you already knew that, if you own a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
I have reason to believe that the military has been using antisound to silence aircraft since the 1960s. One obvious application: Disguising aircraft used in the exfiltration of paramilitary operatives behind enemy lines.
And that brings us to the topic of invisible
aircraft. Dare ye scoff, ye scoffing scoffers? Scoff no more!
. Also (and this one is really wild) here
We are forever being told that invisibility tech is soon-to-come
. I believe that it is already operational, and has been for some years.
All of which brings us to today's Big Question: What if some "drone attacks" do not actually involve drones? What if the "drone" was actually a very stealthy helicopter?