Was that a Stealth plane?
December 17, 2010 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Was that a Stealth plane? UFO? Anyone see it? On Wednesday 12/15 my SO in Northern Staten Island saw something in the sky heading South from NYC. She said it was a triangle, very fast and she heard no sound like a jet or chopper. No news reports, nothing on Notify NYC. Maybe it was going to McGuire AFB?
posted by jara1953 to Science & Nature (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Stealths are shaped like a triangle. I've had them fly over low, and they do not make any noise.
posted by jgirl at 9:20 AM on December 17, 2010

Sounds like a textbook description of a B-2. Moving fast? Perhaps an F-22.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 AM on December 17, 2010

Seconding the idea that it was an F117. Here's one flying over McGuire AFB: (YouTube link).
posted by chrisamiller at 9:28 AM on December 17, 2010

Seconding the idea that it was an F117.

The F-117 has been retired, which doesn't mean it couldn't have been that, and people still claim to see them every now and again.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2010

There's also the Phantom Ray...although its maiden flight was somewhat on the other side of the country and on the 13th, not the 15th.
posted by samsara at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2010

Well, not to take all the fun out of this, but as someone raised on Staten Island, and who spent a lot of time looking up (hence the alias), the air traffic viewable from the North and Northwest part of the Island, where the Hudson narrows and feeds into the Kill Van Kull on the north shore and then south along the west shore of Staten Island, isn't coming from NYC, but is in actuality heading south over New Jersey to land in Newark airport or take off from it. You can see on this map, how most of the north shore of the Island is really directly south of New Jersey. And just how close Newark Liberty International Airport is to Staten Island. If you zoom out a bit you can see how much to the East NYC is from the Island and also how from the that air traffic would appear to be coming from their but is actually coming over Jersey. My guess is that it was one of the newer corp. jets or smaller commuter planes coming into or out of Newark and the perhaps the sunlight and the smog over industrial Jersey (Elizabeth and Newark), especially with the play of light from the sun going down in the west gave this plane all manner of spectacular "stealthy" triangularity.

S.I. a spooky weird place anyway, I used to see all manner of strange things in the sky. Most of it was pollution and the tears forming in my eyes as I pleaded and with time to move faster, so I could grow up and move the hell off of that forsaken place. But that's another story.
posted by Skygazer at 2:19 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ooh, what an odd place for a Project Aurora^ sighting!

More seriously, it could well have been something like the Dyke Delta^.
posted by dhartung at 11:30 PM on December 17, 2010

Thanks all, SI is in the flight path of 4 International airports and many smaller ones and heliports; and like Skygazer we're always looking up to noises, especially unusual ones. Once in a while we'll see military planes going by, even presidential helicopters and Army choppers are a daily occurance so we know our skies, she's convinced it was a stealth. She was looking East, it wasn't going into EWR but was following the path most choppers do as they head South to NJ. Looking at the map it was heading towards the Jersey shore.

Skygazer: Do you remember hearing the sonic booms in the 60's?
posted by jara1953 at 9:16 AM on December 18, 2010

No, my family didn't move to Satan Island, until 1972, so I can't say I remember anything like that. But I probably would've been thrilled by them. SI was actually a great place in the 60s, I imagine. It saw a steady decline in the 70s though as NYC went into serious financial difficulties and services (the beach Parks, South and Midland, were a burnt out wreck, buses were a joke and waiting an hour was not a rare event at times, which made going to school misery) just tanked on the Island. The 80s, of course, brought better things, but it also brought the over development that turned a place with so much greenery and even farms in places, into an over concretized, over-built with ugly crap houses and bagel stores on every corner, and the attendant Guido culture (I'm Italian so I get to use that word), that took over the place really made the place a spiritual and intellectual wasteland, and let's not forget the landfill and it's meliflous scent covering the Island during the summers. The smell of baking garbage was everywhere.

It was a petty, ugly, racist, ignorant, corrupt and unkind place when I was there, so I don't have any great memories. I still have family there and they've made their peace with it though. It's truly a very strange place, still I think. There are some good people though. A very few, older now who remember what a sweet place it was at some point in the past and continue good work and works.
posted by Skygazer at 12:53 PM on December 18, 2010

Oh, and little known fact. Rudy Guiliani would've never been mayor of NYC if it wasn't for the racist vote on S.I., and the Mosque issue near Ground Zero, also probably wouldn't have been as big a news item if not for the noise from the very same petty racists and dumb as rock morons from Staten Island, many of whom commute on the ferry to work on Wall Street and who see it as their own, in some ways...

/End Derail
posted by Skygazer at 12:59 PM on December 18, 2010

Thanks all.
posted by jara1953 at 5:20 AM on July 22, 2011

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