Top-secret X-37B spacecraft
A series of mysterious events last week have some wondering if the top-secret X-37B spacecraft is up to something highly unusual. The X-37B is the Air Force’s version of Boeing’s X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle, an unmanned spacecraft similar to a smaller version of the Space Shuttle. On its latest “mission”, the top-secret aircraft launched into space on December 11, 2012 and remained there for nearly two years.
The purpose of its mission is unknown and a highly-guarded secret. However, NASA confirmed that it was scheduled to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base last week. No exact time was given but the FAA notified aviators and mariners that airspace around the base would be closed from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM on October 15, 2014. And then it didn’t land. Suddenly, a series of unusual events occurred including mysterious “tiles” falling from the sky, a tremendously loud boom that was heard over three different states, followed by a debris field captured on Arkansas radar before we finally receive word that the mysterious aircraft landed after dark on October 17. What was the X-37B doing in space all that time and were there problems bringing the top-secret aircraft back to Earth?
Unidentified “tile” falls from the sky
On October 8, 2014, workers at a New Jersey treatment plant were startled by a heavy, metallic object that “fell from the sky”. The 5 inch piece of square “tile” hit a railing with a “loud bang”, ricocheted off a concrete tank, then flipped through the air before hitting the ground, landing about 25 feet from the startled employees.
The workers said there were no planes in the sky at the time. Initially they were afraid to pick up the hunk of metal but eventually they bowed to curiosity and examined the strange object. Noting that the object seemed to be made of ceramic, metal, and rubberlike layers, they took to the Internet in an attempt to find out what the strange object was. According to supervisor Steven Bronowich:
“We went on the website and we looked up space shuttle tiles, and you could see that picture there, it basically matches up with that.”
A Space Shuttle tile seems unlikely of course; the last space shuttle mission was more than three years ago. But if not a Space Shuttle tile, where could the tile have come from? The Air Force’s X-37B, which uses a tile-like protective covering similar to the Space Shuttle’s exoskeleton, was reportedly preparing for descent at the time the object fell from the sky. As for the tile the workers found – it was turned over to the county health department. The FAA took possession of the object shortly thereafter.
Mysterious loud boom heard over three southern states
A few days after the tile fell from the sky, on October 13, 2014, residents across Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana reported hearing a loud boom that “rattled windows”. Linda Stewart told Shreveport’s KSLA TV:
“My couch came up off the floor a little bit. My back wall felt like it was going to cave in. It was so loud!”
Some reports say the concussion was so strong, it shook the ground.
Huge “debris field” picked up on radar
Initially there was no physical evidence correlated with the loud boom but the following day the National Weather Service out of Shreveport announced that they had picked up a mysterious “debris field” on their radar at 4:27 PM – the exact time ArkLaTex residents heard the mysterious boom. NWS says the debris field rose to about 1,000 to 1,500 feet in the air and was visible on radar for two hours.
The National Weather Service noted that there were no storms in the area at the time (they had passed eastward several hours earlier) and that the debris field moved in a direction counter to what would have been expected. They told reporters:
“After the storms passed, winds were coming out of the northwest. In contrast, the debris field can be seen moving east before getting higher into the atmosphere and turning slightly northeast.”
X-37B mission unknown
Tiles falling from the sky, mysterious “booms” heard through three states, and a strange debris field captured on National Weather Service radar – all within days of the period when the Air Force said their top-secret shuttle-like spacecraft was scheduled to land. It certainly leaves us with many open questions. Would authorities really release an accurate date/time that a top-secret military craft was scheduled to land and if so, why would they change the landing window at the last minute? Would authorities admit, publicly, if one of their top-secret aircraft malfunctioned, rained broken parts over the country, or worse – crashed? What was the X-37B doing in space all that time and what happened during its descent to Earth?