Friday, 7 December 2007

Aircraft Pilots Prone To Spatial Disorientation Illusions!!

J. Allen Hynek, the pro-UFO astronomer who pioneered the UFO Classification system, wrote in his book, “The Hynek UFO Report” that, “Commercial and military pilots appear to make relatively poor witnesses.”

That certainly seems to go against the grain as reports from pilots are often held in a much higher regard than of an average person. One has to look no further than the recent NPC with commercial and military pilots from many countries giving their testimonies to various UFO sightings and encounters which they had personally experienced.

After watching the recent Press Conference and reading all of the witness testimonies, I'm firmly of the belief that Pilots make considerably better witnesses to aerial phenomenon than the average man on the street. But the following article certainly provides food for thought regarding Pilots and their subsequent UFO sightings.

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Pilots' “Out-of-body experiences” responsible for more than a quarter of fatal air crashes!!

Some pilots will suffer the illusion that they are sitting on the wing of their aircraft watching themselves in the cockpit, according to an extraordinary official report released in Australia . Every pilot will at some stage lose all sense of direction, height and speed, drawing attention to spatial disorientation (SD) – one of the most common factors in plane crashes, according to a report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Aviation medicine specialist Dr David Newman said 90 to 100% of pilots experienced SD, which have been linked to between 15 and 26 per cent of fatal crashes worldwide. Dr Newman drew attention to the illusion suffered by some pilots who gained the impression of sitting on the wing looking at themselves flying the aircraft, but there were other dangerous misconceptions including a feeling that the plane was falling when it was merely slowing down.

Pilots should be aware they will experience spatial disorientation (SD), says an aviation expert. Another effect of SD was a false sensation of the aircraft rolling and another illusion suggesting the plane was flying straight ahead when it was actually turning. Drawing attention to the "sitting on the wing" illusion, Dr Newman added:

"The knife-edge illusion gives the pilot a sensation that the aircraft is precariously positioned in space and extremely sensitive to control inputs."

Pilots Prone To Spatial Disorientation Illusion

But he also referred to what he called the, "Giant hand illusion" which gives the pilot the sensation that the aircraft is, "Intolerable of control inputs and seemingly immovable in the air, as if held aloft by a giant hand."

The illusions, he said, often occurred when pilots were not busy while flying the plane. Victim of SD: The plane John F Kennedy Jr piloted crashed into the Atlantic Ocean

"While seemingly bizarre, these illusions are generally associated with high altitude flight where the pilot has a relatively low level workload……Under such 'fish bowl' conditions, the brain can wander and generate these strange illusions."

Dr Newman's report said pilots should be aware they will experience SD sooner or later:

"If a pilot flies long enough as a career or even a hobby there is almost no chance that he or she will escape experiencing at least one episode of SD."

"Looked at another way, pilots can be considered to be in one of two groups: those who have been disorientated and those who will be……The specialist said he issued the warning so that pilots could take measures to reduce the impact of SD by flying when fit. They should not fly under the influence of alcohol or medications, which increase awareness of spatial disorientation illusions.”

Source: Daily Mail (Richard Shears)

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