Monday, 2 November 2015

NORAD And The UFO Smokescreen

Part 4


In recent months I have established that the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) have been, despite claims to the contrary, involved in the core “UFO phenomenon”. I have highlighted over a dozen pages of legally declassified and officially released US and Canadian military documents that show – in undeniable black and white – that real UFO events have come to the attention of, if not plagued, the staff and systems that make up the formidable NORAD behemoth. This documented evidence is only a sample. There are hundreds more. The first three posts in my series can be found in Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

The Behmouth That Is NORAD         

Even a swift look over the available information regarding NORAD and UFO’s, shows that most of it comes from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Almost nothing new has come directly out of NORAD, or its controlling command NORTHCOM, or any other US or Canadian military command whom have relations with NORAD, since about 1979. I say “almost nothing new” because there have been some exceptions which I will soon detail, but by-and-large the black hole of UFO information has been getting blacker, and very few UFO researchers have attempted to brighten it. And no wonder: Understanding NORAD’s structuring and capabilities is very difficult; grasping their inter-agency relationships with other military components is nearly impossible; and dealing with them is proving to be even harder still. 

Before understanding the current situation regarding NORAD and the UFO phenomenon, I would like to briefly summarise a few things. For starters, NORAD is a “bi-national organisation” of the USA and Canada. Administratively, NORAD is controlled by the USA’s Northern Command (NORTHCOM). However, being a bi-national organisation NORAD is equally woven into the fabric of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). As for NORAD’s actual capabilities and operational mission, rather than me trying to stitch it all together, I would rather rely some of their own statements, or the statements of those who have those who have been associated with NORAD systems. For example, NORAD’s current on-line “fact sheet” states that they are charged with aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America, and, that:

“…Aerospace warning includes the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.”

Another official NORAD statement, this one as part of an April 21st, 2001 press release to CNN regarding air defence, stated:

“One ongoing mission of the NORAD Battle Management Center is to coordinate ‘air sovereignty’ efforts, monitoring every aircraft that enter U.S. or Canadian airspace — some 2.5 million a year. NORAD is asked to investigate aircraft that do not file flight plans, contact ground controllers or identify themselves with transponders”

Chapter 6 of a declassified NORAD Instruction, titled “NI 10-19 Aerospace Reporting System”, states:

“Track reporting provides significant air activity information to the NMCC and CINCNORAD through the NORAD Air Defence Operations Center (ADOC).”

NORAD’s role also extends into space. In a March 2006 thesis, titled “Covariance Estimation And Autocorrelation Of NORAD Two-Line Element Sets”, and written by Captain Victor P. Osweiler for the USAF’s Air Force Institute of Technology, it is stated on Page 4 that:

“The Space Surveillance Network collects data using both passive and active instruments, then forwards the data to the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC) to be catalogued.”

On the 6th of March, 2008, General Victor E. Renuart Jr., who was the then Commander of NORTHCOM and NORAD, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee:

“Space situational awareness is essential to our ability to predict threats from space. Distinguishing a foreign space launch from a missile launch is central to our nation's defense and NORAD requires this space data to determine if North America is under attack. Similarly, the re-entry of a spent rocket body over North America has consequence management implications for USNORTHCOM and NORAD. Having a window from which to view space activities enables us to have an overall picture of the next threat to North America.”

To achieve the extraordinary feat of detecting, tracking and identification of aerial and space bodies over a huge fraction of the planet’s surface, NORAD’s physical assets are made up of an unbelievably complex mix of NORAD-dedicated sensors, as well as a huge flow of data from sensors operated by other military agencies. Here is not the forum to elaborate extensively on such systems. However, it is worth highlighting a couple of examples of how NORAD monitor the skies above, and the examples I have chosen are the North Warning System (NWS) and the Joint Surveillance System (JSS). 

           The NWS is a series of 15 powerful long-range early-warning primary radars which form a 3000 mile, or 4800 kilometre, wide “fence” running from the western edge of the US state of Alaska to Labrador, Canada. The system is tasked with the initial detection and accurate plotting of long range bombers or medium-range cruise missiles, most likely predicted to approach from Russia. Three far flung Regional Operations Control Centers (ROCC) receive raw data from the sensitive receivers for instantaneous activity and threat assessment, plus basic filtering, and the resulting information is transmitted to the NORAD Combat Operations Centre (COC). 

            The JSS is a joint United States Air Force (USAF) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system dedicated to monitoring both civil aircraft movements and military aircraft movements across most of North America. The JSS consists of long-range surveillance radars, chiefly operated and maintained by the FAA, but providing critical communication and raw radar data to both special FAA control centers, as well as three USAF’s Air Combat Command (ACC) Sector Operations Control Centers (SOCC), which in turn pass information to NORAD as needed.

Thus, it is established that NORAD – through its own systems, as well as seemingly everyone else’s – can watch airborne and near-earth space movements with an enviable degree of precision. But does any of this mean that NORAD actually detects and monitors UFO activity? And I mean our sort of UFO activity. No one would say that they do not detect and track UFO’s per se, because the core of NORAD’s mission is unidentified flying objects, and the process of identifying them. However, we, as researchers, are ordinarily interested in the type that can’t be identified. Ever. Since the dawn of the “modern era” of UFO sightings, witnesses to have described the most peculiar, sometimes startling, feats of movement and flight: unexpected deceleration, jolting changes in direction, unbelievable gains in altitude. Surely NORAD must routinely detect these oddities and process associated data for further analysis, just as they would when, say, inbound Russian fighter-bombers come calling? If the systems in place are so advanced, and unusual UFO activity is still on-going today, then NORAD’s classified records must be bursting with perplexing UFO events, plus associated investigations of such events by technical specialists and aerospace intelligence teams, must they not?

After years of studying this conundrum, it appears that it may not be that simple. NORAD surveillance systems, and systems run by other commands which feed data to NORAD as needed, usually have very finite and focused missions or “tasks”. For example, the USAF’s Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) operates the Space Based Infrared Satellite system (SBIRS) who’s satellites detect suddenly formed and fast moving infrared (IR) heat signatures that could correspond to the launch and flight of land based ballistic missiles. However, if the special detection and imaging software allowed all kinds of sudden and quick-moving IR sources (jet afterburners, mid-sized meteorite entries into the atmosphere, etc) to be left unfiltered, and thus appear on NORAD display screens, then Early Warning/Detection Analysts, and even the Battle Staff, at NORAD’s Command and Control would become very weary indeed. In other words, such IR-scanning satellites could have something the size of a house right in front of them and no one would be any the wiser. Below is a mock–up image of the sort of synthetic display screen that functions year-in, year-out, at the NORAD Missile Warning Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. A keen eye will notice that the image here looks like it could be Russian missile launch and flight path region, it was some sort of graphics display test officially released for use in educational material. The bottom line: In this example at least, the all-seeing space-based system creates the below missile tracking screen should potentially be capable of displaying “our” sort of UFO’s, but may be programmed not to want to. 

What about long and medium-range air defence radar? Again, it has become apparent to me that even these systems may very competently filter out the kinds of unidentified objects or odd phenomenon that so perplex us. Targets that are initially picked up but subsequently “lost” due to being weak or “intermittent” are eliminated from what is placed on the Air Combat Operator’s display screen; though, some systems may be set to at least allow a “track file” to be created on such a feeble target, but whether anyone is alerted, much less studies such data, is a different matter. Likewise, any targets that appear ridiculously large or intense can also be disregarded if the system operators so wish, and this means especially localised storm cells will go unseen, which is fair enough because that’s what the USAF Air Weather Service (AWS). Furthermore, although the details are classified, apparently some older NORAD-missioned radar networks will not plot targets that rapidly gain or decrease altitudes at velocities considered far beyond what manmade hardware can achieve; again, this rules out the types of alarming UFO events that so many witnesses have described. Then, on top of all this, any UFO events that are left in the system must be actually dealt with by humans. How many frontline personnel have simply missed the odd, short-lived event that may constitute the truly mysterious? 

In my next blog post in this series I will begin detailing the work of UFO researchers who have tackled NORAD directly. Also, I will begin highlighting how UFO’s are probably dealt with within NORAD systems.


  1. Wasn't there a document "leaked" from NORAD about an incident in May of 1984 regarding a "fastwalker" that one of the U.S. DSP satellites observed coming into the Earth's atmosphere at about 22,000 mph, "maneuvering," and then moving back out into space?


    I don't know if the alleged document was actually leaked or not, but I seem to recall seeing online several years ago a document that showed a kind of "grid outline" of various "fastwalker" reports, supposedly from NORAD, but don't know if it was authentic or not. I've provided a link, above, to the basic story. I assume you were aware of this: what is your opinion as to whether the document was genuine or not, where it may have been leaked from and by who, and whether what is described in the article at the link would qualify as a "UFO" or not.

    I mention this since NORAD, an agency of both the U.S. and Canada, promulgated by treaty, is one of the few U.S. agencies not covered by the FOIA, and I was wondering if you know whether this alleged report, or any others, has ever been subjected to the alternative to the FOIA that researchers sometimes have to resort to, which is a Mandatory Declassification Review [MDR], and if so, what the results of the MDR might have been. Or, if no MDR was ever filed with NORAD, whether you think it might be worth doing to further supplement your NORAD/UFO investigation. I don't know if non-U.S. citizens (I assume you're Australian) can file MDR's or not, but if not, I'd be glad to assist in that process, being a U.S. citizen. Let me know here, or post your email address for further correspondence along these lines.

  2. Note -- better copy of original Dave Kauble article from at:

  3. Further info: Joseph "Joe" Stefula was the source of this story --- here's a link to further info from Stefula (a little more than halfway down the page):