The Question of Air Friction Surrounding Hypervelocity UAPs

We have all seen the videos and absorbed  accounts of the same phenomenon, which in fact is a series of phenomena compounded into a single perceptual experience. The visual weirdness of seeing an airborne object without wings or propellers, yet clearly moving under its own power, is strange enough to eclipse perception of several other anomalies that would often accompany this experience.

One common but little-discussed component of these sightings is a discomfiting lack of atmospheric side effects in UFO/UAP sightings. In particular, the absence of inertial and thermal effects in these fast-moving craft has been reported but rarely explored. The movement of objects through air is a complex phenomenon that involves the interaction of various forces. One of the most significant forces that affect the motion of objects is air friction. Air friction, also known as drag, is the resistance that air exerts on an object as it moves through it. This force can significantly slow down the speed of an object and reduce its efficiency. If an object in our atmosphere moves at 24,000 mph (as reported in one U.S. Navy incident1), the heat generated from the extreme air friction between the craft and the air surrounding it should be incredibly high. Let’s do some math.

There is a known formula2 through which one can determine the outside temperature in contact with an aircraft, also known as stagnation temperature:

T0= [Tstatic]+(([U fluid fluid]^2))/(2*[Cp])

Applying this equation, an object moving at 24,000 mph within earth’s atmosphere will have an immediate outside temperature at the vicinity of the craft equalling 103,049 ºF due to air friction. More often, the velocity of these craft have been retroactively calculated at around 2,400 MPH, which puts their immediate outside temperature at over 10,300 ºF. We don’t know what metal or compound the skin of these craft is composed of, but iron or stainless steel, when heated to above 900 °F, glows to a red color. The color of heated iron changes predictably (due to black-body radiation) from dull red through orange and yellow to white, and its coloration can be a useful indicator of its temperature. Non-stainless steel glows red-orange at 2,192 ºF. However, even at 2,400 mph, the craft observed would have had an immediate temperature that is 8,000 ºF hotter than that, yet there was no discernible infrared measurement or visual observation to verify a change in temperature or external skin color. One logical conclusion is that these craft are flying in a manner that avoids friction altogether, and we should speculate as to how this can be made to happen in the parameters of known physics.

One possible focus of analysis involves the aerodynamic features of the craft itself. Firstly is the craft’s shape; a teardrop shaped craft, for example, will generate less friction than a square shaped one, since the former bears a pointed front that helps to break the air molecules, with a gradual widening towards the back to reduce turbulence and drag). Another factor that affects air friction is the surface texture of an object. A smooth surface reduces air friction by allowing air to flow smoothly over it. Rough surfaces, on the other hand, create turbulence and increase drag. Therefore, objects that need to move through air at high speeds are typically designed with smooth surfaces.

Beyond a flying craft’s aerodynamic features, however, lie the atmospheric conditions that affect its air friction. Since friction is a force that resists the motion of an object when it is in contact with another surface (i.e., air), reducing the amount of contact between both surfaces, air and craft, is (however intractable to our physics) a possible cause of frictionless flight.

In this scenario, the craft “pushes away” the surrounding air by means of another medium, in the same way as a magnet can repel an object with the same polarity. Incidentally, oxygen is a very stable molecule and it has no apparent magnetic properties, so magnetic forces would not “push away air” in most temperatures. However, oxygen is paramagnetic, and in extremely low temperatures, it will be attracted to (or repelled) by a magnetic force. (See this visual demonstration of liquid oxygen caught in a magnetic field):Liquid oxygen caught in a magnetic fieldA flying craft could simultaneously lower  its surrounding air temperature and exert a magnetic force of the same polarity, in which case, the craft would experience negligible friction because the surrounding air molecules would not actually make contact with the craft.

Ionization is another means for reducing friction. Ionizing the atmospheric air creates a region of lower pressure because the produced ions are absorbed by the electrostatic field of the atmosphere.3  Indeed, numerous experiences of people who have witnessed UFOs in close proximity report hearing electrical crackling sounds, smelling ionization in the air, and feeling the effects of electrical charges, such as hair standing up on their heads. With sufficient ionization, air pressure would be lowered, and thus air friction is reduced proportionally.Incidentally ionization can also explain levitation, given that

[t]he earth is constantly bombarded by radiation from outer space that interacts with atoms in the atmosphere to create a scattering of secondary ionizing radiation that ensures that the atmosphere is weakly conductive and constantly charged with new ions. This way, the earth with its atmosphere looks like a charged spherical capacitor. The total potential difference from the surface of the earth to the top of the atmosphere is about 400,000 Volts. The air above the surface is positively charged, while the earth’s surface charge is negative. But because the air is not a perfect insulator, there is an electric current density continuously flowing to the earth’s surface of only 10-12 A/m2, that adds up to 1,800 A at any time, considering the total surface of the earth. That is a power of 700 MW.3

It is worth noting from the foregoing (emphasis added) that an object with negative ionization will naturally repel the surface of the earth, although I will treat this more deeply in a future article.

(1) See the account of Navy radar operator OS1 Kevin Day at minute 7:00 in episode S1 E2: Raining UFOs of the investigative series Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation . See also Youtube.

(2) The equation is as follows:
Stagnation Temperature = Static Temperature+((Velocity of Fluid Flow^2)/(2*Specific Heat Capacity at Constant Pressure))

This formula uses 4 Variables
Stagnation Temperature – (Measured in Fahrenheit degrees here) – Stagnation Temperature is defined as the temperature at a stagnation point in a fluid flow.
Static Temperature – (Measured in Fahrenheit degrees here) – The Static Temperature is defined as the temperature of the gas if it had no ordered motion and was not flowing.
Velocity of Fluid Flow – (Measured in MPH) – Velocity of Fluid Flow is the distance travelled by a fluid per time i.e. meter/second (fluid below can refer either to a fluid or gaseous medium):
Specific Heat Capacity at Constant Pressure – (Measured in Joule per Kilogram per K) – Specific Heat Capacity at Constant Pressure means the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of a unit mass of gas by 1 degree at constant pressure.

(3) See Power from Air Ionization, Julio C. Gobbi1, 2019.

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