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"Sightings: UFOs" Transcript

Op1:  "Figure out what it is? This time..."

Op1: "It's a helicopter."

F:  "Ahhhh..."

Op1: "That's why it's so slow."

F: I thought it looked kind of

F: "It's not much more than
a round dot, but it looks
different than most I've seen."

Con:  I show an aircraft heading North pretty fast.

Op1: "I got a helo."

F:  At eleven?

Op1: Yeah, can't figure out where he's at on this thing.

Con:  "Be advised...We're filled to capacity"

Op2:  "What is that?"

Op1:  "I don't know.  No idea... 

Op1: ...A helo?"

F:  "Looks like one.  It's way up high now.  It's going like straight up!"

Op2:  "It's a balloon, isn't it?"

Op1:  "I don't know what the hell that is."

F:  "I think it's a helicopter."

Op2:  "That ain't no helo! Forget it. Where' he at on here?"

F:  "It's straight up."

Op1:  "I'm on it!"

F:  "Oh, OK."

Op1:  "But what the hell is it?"

Op1:  "I'm going to lose it in the sun."

Op2:  "I don't even know what it is."

F: "It's weird looking."

Op2:  "What is it Jim?  That's outta here. Where's it come from?"

Op1: "Way down there."
My Transcript

Op1:  "Right by you"

F: "There now?"

Op1: "That's the usual(?) return."

Con:  Copy 9-1. Its signature (?) they don't want to say at this time."

Op1: "It's a helicopter."

F:  "Ahhhh"

Op1: "That's why it's so slow"

F: "Moving (?) kind of strange!"

F:  "It's not much more than a round dot, but it looks different than most ...I find (?)."

Con:  "Copy 9-1. Show helicopter one one zero... Helo (?) headed North  at this time."

F:  "You know if they (?)  got something?"

Op1: "I got a helo."

F: "That a helicopter?"

Op1:  "Yeah, can't get a result on this thing."

Con:  "Now past (?) five point two five two ...up with the country." (??)

Op2:  "I don't know what the hell that is!"

Op1:  "That's a helo, isn't it?"

Op2:  "What is that?"

Op1:  [Exasperated] "I don't know!! ....No idea! ..???"  [simultaneous talking with controller]

Con: "Data on helo(?)  ... flight level 5-'O'... ??? ...9-1 (?) 4."

F:  "A helicopter..."
[simultaneous talking]

F:  "Looks like one.  Right up high now. It's going like straight up!"

Op1: "It's a balloon, isn't it?"

Op2:  "I don't know what the hell that is, man!"

F: "I think a helicopter."

Op1:  "That ain't no helo!  ...Forget it! ...Any data on him?"

F: "Straight up, boy!"

Op1: (Annoyed) "All right!" (?)

F: "Oh, OK."

Op1: "Well what the hell is it?"

Op2:  "I'm going to lose it in the sunlight right now."

Op2:  "Call sign?"

Op2:  "That's not a balloon."

F: "Call sign?"

Op1: "Uhhh, he doesn't know what it is."

Op:  "Say if you have an altitude?" (??) [Garbled]

Con: " In feet's eleven thousand."

F:  "It's weird looking!"

Con:  "'Jerry' answer--it's not at Com/Con."

Op: "What are you doing ...on him?" (?)  [simultaneous talking with controller]

Con: "Now clearing (?) Southwest"

Con: "Now West."

F"See him?"

Con:  "Clear, now clear, now clear" (?)

F:  "See him?"

Op1: "What is it Jim? I don't know how it got in.  Where'd it come from?"

Op2: "From way down there."
Martin Powell Transcript


Con:  "[unintelligible]  ... point zero at this time."

M:  "It's a helicopter."

F: "Ahhhh"

M: "That's why it's so slow."

F:  "Might be some kind of debris."

F:  "It's not much more than a round dot, but it looks different to most dots."

Con:  "[unintelligible] ..two one zero level, okay...heading North at this time."

F: "Got any ideas what it is?"

M:  "I got a helo."

F: "You've got a helicopter?"

M: "Yeah - can't get a result on these things!"

Con:  "[unintelligible]... two five two ...[unintelligible]"

M:  "I don't know what the hell that is - that's a helo, isn't it?"

M: "[chuckle] What is that?"

M:  "I don't know! ... I've no idea!"

Con:  "[unintelligible] ... flight level ... [unintelligible simul- taneous talking]"

F:  "Looks like one.  Right up high now, goin' like .. straight up!"

M:  "It's a balloon, ain't it?!"

M: "I don't know what the hell that is, man."

F:  "I think it's a helicopter."

M:  "[unintelligible] ... forget it! ... data on him."

F: "Straight up, boy."

M: "I'm outta here!"

F: "Oh, OK."  

M:  "What the hell is it?

M:  "... I'm gonna lose it in the sun."

M:  [unintelligible]"

F:  "Call sign?"

M: "Err ... I don't even know what it is!"

F: [unintelligible]

M: "Must be at eleven thousand feet a minute." (?)

F:  "It's weird-lookin'!"

M: [unintelligible]

[? Door creaking]

Con: "[unintelligible] northwest"

Con: "North-west." (?) 

F: "See him?" (?)

Con: "[unintelligible] ...non-flare, non-flare" (?)

F:  "See him?" (?)

Nellis S-30 UFO Transcripts

The following is a comparison of three different transcripts of the Nellis S-30 UFO video, one from the book "Sightings: UFOs" by Susan Michaels (from the TV program Sightings), another by Martin Powell (from his website), and one compiled by myself.  The soundtrack is noisy and of low fidelity.  Sometimes the range operators are talking simultaneously.  It is often difficult to make out what is being said.  Powell indicates unintelligible sections as such, whereas I use multiple question marks "???" On my and Powell's transcripts, more questionable interpretations are indicated using question marks in parentheses (?). Despite much garbling, there is still general agreement on many parts of the transcript, as I have highlighted in boldface and blue.   

Note that Powell lacked the first and last few seconds of the video, and these portions are missing from his transcript.  The Sightings book also left out station call signs and other encoded speech to make the transcript more readable.  Powell and I, however, have chosen to leave in the jargon as best that we can interpret it.  Sometimes this provides valuable information corroborating our interpretations of other data. 

E.g., towards the end of the video, an external controller states that "Jerry" answered that central Communications & Control ("Com/Con") couldn't ID the object.  The strange "Jerry" turns out to be the name of a complex of Nellis Range sites listed on a USGS topo map about a dozen miles West of the S-30 site.  This again demonstrates that the video was indeed shot on the Nellis Range near where Powell and I place it.  Earlier, an external controller indicates that the object was headed north. Powell and I both agree that the object was on a northward track.  At the same time, the controller may be calling out an azimuth (110 deg.) from another station.  A short time later, he may be stating that the object has just passed "5 point 2-5-2." which may provide the identity of this station.  Also on the USGS is another complex of stations called "Pits," about 10 miles West of S-30.  "Pits 2" is shown to be at 5253 feet.  Thus the controller may be saying that the object had just passed due East of "Pits 2." This information about direction can be coupled with the S-30 directions to triangulate object positions.  This together with object distances derived from the S-30 video can also serve to doublecheck the exact S-30 position, which agrees closely with that derived by Powell and myself using the elevation angle of Black Mountain in the background of the S-30 video. Yet another doublecheck of position is provided late in the video by a controller calling out the absolute altitude of the object as 11,000 feet.  At this moment, my calculated altitude relative to the S-30 site is about 5800 feet.  Thus the S-30 site should be at an elevation of about 5200 feet, which is again where Powell and I place S-30.

Overall it can be said that the range operators were obviously puzzled by the strange appearance of the object, at first assuming it was probably a helicopter ("helo") because it was initially moving so slowly (calculated at 30-50 mph).  Later one of them wondered if it might be a balloon.  But as the object got closer and its strange shape became more obvious (plus its ability to shoot up almost vertically and travel at very high speeds), the operators quickly began to reject the conventional explanations.  Then we see comments like, "That ain't no helo... Forget it!", "It's weird looking!", and "What the hell is it?"  Also note the various comments indicating that central control didn't know what it was either.  At the end, one range operator wonders how the unknown object managed to get into this highly restricted airspace.

I have also added comments about portions of the transcript in the right hand column.  This also includes other significant events occurring on the video, such as the physical appearance of the object, its calculated distance, speed, acceleration, angle of climb, etc.

The S-30 female range operator heard in the audio is indicated by "F".  In my transcript and the Sightings transcript, two male S-30 operators identifiable by their voices are indicated by "Op1" and "Op2."  Unidentifiable male voices are indicated by "Op."  In the Powell transcript, all S-30 male operators are simply indicated by "M."  In all transcripts, controllers probably external to S-30 are indicated by "Con."  Op2 may be named "Jim" and seems to be handling the S-30 camera tracking, as suggested by his comment about losing the object in the sun.  He also seems to be handling inquiries to central control about the object's identity, such as requesting it's call sign.

Noisy picture, first usable frame

Radar return shows noise

Perhaps response to previous inquiry about ID. Still checking ID.

Speeds 30-50 mph during this time.

Initial distance ~10 miles. 

Over radar domes in background
Begins right angle turn and starts to rapidly approach camera -- accelerates from ~60 mph to ~660mph in ~10 secs. ~3.6g (~170mph/sec) max acceleration

Max approach speed = ~660

Start of good radar track.

~5.8g max deceleration (~275 mph/sec)

Start of climb; camera switches to automatic mode ('A')

Object headed North. "110" may be azimuth at another site (Pits 2, 5252) mentioned again below. Can be used to triangulate object position.

Camera switched back to manual mode ('M')

End of good radar track--flatline

Rapidly approaches again
~3.4g (~160mph/sec) acceleration

Max. speed ~560mph

Object has just passed due East of another site, possibly Pits 2 site at 5252 feet, 10 miles to the West. Also object at ~5.2 miles range.

White "globe" visible on top

Slows to about 125mph.  1.15x camera zoom 

Multi glowing side-lobes appear.
Starts rapid acceleration to 700+ mph (~9.2g, 430 mph/sec acceler.)

El: 5.0 deg.
Indicated radar range: 9.14 Km

Acceleration: ~9.2g; ~200 mph/s

Above cloud layers.

Visual angle of climb ~60 deg.
1.3x Zoom (1.50x overall)

Speed rapidly dropping, now ~150 mph.

Visual angle of climb ~60 deg.

Slows again to ~120 mph (145 avg)

Lost in sun

While waiting, asks central control for object ID registration.

Emerging from sun; only 3 miles away; avg speed: ~140 mph

So what's the call sign ID?

Operator 2 still trying to find out.

Calculated alt. = ~11,000 feet (corroborates calculation method)

Now only 2.5 miles distant

Final answer:  Communication & Control (Com/Con) couldn't ID it. "Jerry" site is 12-13 miles West on USGS topo map.

Camera servo tracking motors?

May be asking if anyone in central control was still trying to figure out what this thing was.

Azimuth = 251 (WSW)

Azimuth = 258 deg.

Azimuth = 270 deg = due West = closest approach (~2.0 miles)

Entry onto range is highly restricted.
Object continues northward at ~220 mph at ~12,700 feet.

For audio file in MOV format (~500K) with my transcript and superimposed data, go to end of transcript.  (Requires Apple Quicktime plug-in)

You may also want to follow transcript while viewing almost complete video.  However, it is missing about the first 4 seconds and last 5 seconds of the transcript.
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