Justified & Ancient
- Dec 14, 2014
- Reaction score
- Bury St Edmunds
Is it possible, in the light of the fact that this was a civilian air corridor and not a military one, that Halt was trying to check if the light he had seen was that of an airliner? In fact, acting in a sensible way and trying to rule out possible explanations for the things he and his men were seeing?I was hoping to avoid getting into the messy concept of "flight level." Altimeters derive their readings barometrically (i.e., from air pressure) and calculating an altitude based on the difference between the local (airplane's) reading and air pressure at sea level. There are two complicating factors:
- the altimeters have to be correctly / precisely calibrated for the readings to be trustworthy and ...
- air pressure varies with weather, even at sea level.
Owing to either or both these factors two aircraft may have different altimeter readings but actually be flying at the same altitude (and therefore in danger of possible collision).
'Flight level' is an abstracted analogue or substitute for precise altitude calculated using a standard baseline value for air pressure at sea level (regardless of local conditions). For the gory details see:
FL370 = A standardized abstraction of relative altitude connoting approximately 37,000 feet.
UA37 (Upper Air Route 37; Upper Amber 37) is (or was ... ) a pre-defined ATC north / south route or corridor circa 40 miles east of Bentwaters and used for routing civilian air traffic (by ATC).
Now, having said that ...
I'm pretty confident there's actually no ambiguity in the Watton log entry:
Bearing in mind this is a log entry made at the station receiving a request for information the straightforward and most probable interpretation goes as follows:
- Bentwaters asked for info on aircraft aloft in the area.
- We show southbound traffic on corridor UA37 @ FL370 (i.e., noting the answer, as one does in light of an RFI).
- Bentwaters indicates they've had a UFO sighting (rationale for asking about aircraft in the area).
- Bentwaters is dealing with the sighting (i.e., no further action on our part necessary).