Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"99 Balloons"??

This is coolbert:

"for the ten year period beginning in 1945, it would have been better if the U.S. did not have an intelligence agency [CIA]" - - Richard Helms - - former director, CIA.

[what Helms means is that during that ten year period the intelligence agencies of the U.S. were NOT able to answer basic questions demanded by policy makers, planners, decisions makers. NOT ONLY unable to answer the basic questions, but were deceived on a massive basis by the communist security services through a series of clever and well planned deception plans.]

Here is just one example of American incompetence during that ten year period.

Project Skyhook and an offshoot thereof, WS-119.

Large, massive unmanned balloons, orbiting the earth at the altitude of 100,000 feet. Carrying a gondola with photo reconnaissance cameras inside. Designed to "float" over denied territory [Soviet Union and China]. Taking pictures that would later be recovered and processed to develop badly needed intelligence on the main adversaries the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

WS-119 was AT BEST only slightly nominally successful.

Between 10 January and 6 February [1956], a total of 448 balloons were launched, and resulted in 44 successful camera gondola recoveries.

For all those missions, only a small percentage [less than 10 %] were successful. By that is meant, "floated" over the Soviet Union, took pictures, the gondola recovered, the pictures process, intelligence developed.

Control was barely minimal. The balloons floated where ever they wanted to [where the wind currents took them]. NOT over areas targeted in most of the cases.

Until the advent of the high-flying U-2 reconnaissance "spy" aircraft, NO good intelligence came out of the Soviet Union for the ten year period starting in 1945? Finally, when the U-2 began to fly and DID bring back photo-reconnaissance of superlative quality, were American planners, policy and decision makers finally able to "sort things out".

And, here is the Soviet ANSWER to the WS-119 program. The Myasishchev M-17 "Mystic" The Soviet counter-part to the U-2, but much more. Was designed originally to SHOOT-DOWN those high flying balloons, using a dorsal firing gun to do so!!

"first known as the M-17. Its life began in 1978 when Soviet engineers searched for ways to intercept American unmanned reconnaissance balloons."

" (high altitude balloon interceptor) designed originally as high-altitude aircraft with a dorsal gun turret, to shot down US reconnaissance balloons floated over the USSR after WWII."

Developed, but NEVER did take to the air until 1982 [long after the balloon program had been terminated] !!?? And when finally in production [?], built only in limited numbers and then finally relegated to the scrap heap except for a select few aircraft used for upper atmosphere measurements.

[it should be noted, and has been suggested by a whole host of "experts", that many sightings of UFO [alien spacecraft] beginning around 1947 were actually observations of high-flying balloons of the Skyhook variety!!]




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