Or are the military experimenting with high energy artificial ball lightning, pushing them round the sky somehow, there are a fair few experimental stealth aircraft up there as well, the aliens from mars line is good cover for experimental aircraft, anyway, aliens would never get through the Van Allen belts, A shuttle got to 350 miles up, 650 down from the Van Allen belts proper and the high levels of radiation worried them !
Geoff, I agree with you about the military enjoying the UFO cover stories to hide secret operations. That said, I can think of a few examples that are difficult to explain unless our technology really has leapt ahead. Sorry to duplicate what has already been said about the Van Allen Belts, but I couldn’t resist adding to it:
The Van Allen Belts have been poorly explained by the mainstream, causing widespread confusion and even convincing some people we didn’t go to the Moon. There are two main belts. First, there is the inner belt from about 1000 to 6,000km above Earth’s surface (It can occasionally dip as low as 200km in the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly’ region allowing radiation levels to cause concern for the International Space Station astronauts). This inner belt around the Earth does not extend to known regions of higher latitudes so the Apollo flight trajectories were engineered to bypass it completely.
Second, there is the outer belt extending about 13,000-60,000km above Earth’s surface. Apollo astronauts were forced to travel through this at high speed (about 40,000km per hour) keeping the radiation exposure time to about 30 minutes. Using figures from the source below it seems a typical Apollo Moon mission exposed the astronauts to around 3rads (30 milliSieverts) (3,000 milliRems) total dose. The maximum dose for a six month International Space Station seems to work out at about 2 rads (20 milliSieverts) (2,000 milliRems). Some countries use 5 rads (50 milliSieverts) (5,000 milliRems) as the maximum extra yearly dose allowed for workers in the nuclear energy industry. The average yearly dose received by us at the Earth’s surface is 0.35 rads (3.5 milliSieverts), (350milliRems).
Humans have also made a significant impact upon the Belts, through older programs of nuclear testing. From something sounding like a plot from a sci-fi disaster movie, while carrying out nuclear tests in the early 1960’s before they were banned, humans temporarily created a new belt in the area between the Inner and Outer Belts. This temporary belt eventually dissipated, but was active during the time of the Apollo missions and like the Inner Belt, needed to be avoided.
Wikipedia seems to disagree with my radiation level of around 3 rads for the Apollo missions and states the total radiation received by the astronauts varied from mission to mission but was measured to be between 0.16 and 1.14 rads.
A Zond 5 spacecraft with two tortoises on board was launched on 14 September 1968 by the Soviet Union. The Horsfield’s tortoises were sent on a circumlunar voyage along with wine flies, meal worms and other biological specimens. These were the first animals in deep space and the first inhabitants of earth to travel around the moon. The capsule overshot its terrestrial landing site but was successfully recovered at sea on 21 September. The animals survived but suffered some weight loss, proving the Van Allen Belts were passable.