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(Editor's note: the following message was received by AvWeek and we thought it was worth noting for discussion on the Ares community. It is reprinted here unedited.) Dave:
You would have joined me in going crazy this morning - just after 0630 local as I was entering the traffic circle, directly ahead about 15/20 degrees above the horizon was a spectacular show. Looked like a rocket ship climbing then nosing over and then climbing again. The-conical appearing 'contrail' appeared more as 'fire' than smoke leaving nothing residual. It was awesome. I slowed as much as I could but 20 seconds later when I got to a place where I could pull over it was gone. Damn. Great show. It - not coincidently, perhaps - was in the general direction of Area 51. Hmmmmm. I'd thank the USAF if I thought anyone would acknowledge.
Bill Sweetman comments: Just after some of the first Aurora stories broke in late 1992, I got a letter postmarked in Ridgecrest, Calif. - next to China Lake - describing rocket-like departures seen in the direction of the Nellis test ranges. (Area 51 is about 150 miles northwest of China Lake.) It was signed "Grendel" - which made further investigation tricky in case I met the guy's Mom.
ar99, Oct.15, mystery launch, area 51
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