The Space Review: A NEMESIS in the sky: PAN, MENTOR 4, and close encounters of the SIGINT kind

PAN/NEMESIS satellite

Here’s an interesting story from 2016 about spy satellites. Amateur satellite spotters determined that the “PAN” satellite of the U.S. Government were tiptoeing up next to geostationary commercial communications satellites so they could vacuum up the signals being relayed through them. Speculation is that PAN was able to triangulate the position of satellite phones used by terrorists, enabling drone strikes.

This would make a fun new hobby.

After launch, the enigma became even bigger. PAN was placed in a geostationary orbit and observations by amateur satellite trackers (including this author) from Europe and South Africa revealed very unusual behavior. Every few months—usually once every six months—PAN moved to a new position. In a mere four years time, it moved at least nine times to various longitudes scattering between 33 and 52.5 degrees east (see my blog post “Imaging Geostationary satellites, and PAN’s past relocations”). This costs fuel, and it is something you normally do not do with a geostationary satellite, as liberally spending fuel drastically shortens the satellite’s operational lifetime. In late 2013, the relocations suddenly stopped and PAN has remained at longitude 47.7 degrees east. This active stationkeeping at this longitude means it must still be operational, although the satellite obviously has ended its previous roving state. All very mysterious! What was this spacecraft doing?

Source: The Space Review: A NEMESIS in the sky: PAN, MENTOR 4, and close encounters of the SIGINT kind

Tom Dundon, king of subprime auto loans

Tom Dundon

The local paper is singing the praises of the new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Dundon. WRAL Sports Fan The News and Observer’s Luke DeCock and Chip Alexander lauded the “self-made billionaire” in an adoring story today:

Dundon, 46, has no background in professional sports but knows how to operate a successful business and already has analyzed much of the Hurricanes’ organization and operation. He also likes to win.

Let’s talk about this “self-made billionaire” who “knows how to operate a successful business.” Dundon’s successful business was Santander Consumer Holdings USA, the subprime auto lending arm of the Spanish bank, Santander. Dundon founded the business and ran it until July 2015, when he stepped down just as the regulatory heat was being turned up on Santander. Santander Consumer is in the subprime auto loan business, making what some say is 1 out of every 5 loans. For those of you who didn’t see the film The Big Short or slept through the 2008 recession, America’s economy was nearly ruined by the kind of loans lenders like Santander made.
Continue reading

Got Robocalled? Don’t Get Mad; Get Busy. — Krebs on Security

Several times a week my cell phone receives the telephonic equivalent of spam: A robocall. On each occasion the call seems to come from a local number, but when I answer there is that telltale pause followed by an automated voice pitching some product or service. So when I heard from a reader who chose to hang on the line and see where one of these robocalls led him, I decided to dig deeper. This is the story of that investigation. Hopefully, it will inspire readers to do their own digging and help bury this annoying and intrusive practice.

Source: Got Robocalled? Don’t Get Mad; Get Busy. — Krebs on Security

Burglars enter her home. Cops take an hour to get there.

Imagine being on your own with these guys for almost an hour

Yesterday evening one of my neighbors found herself in a terrifying situation. Three would-be burglars had targeted her home and two of them had just quietly entered through her back door – while she was home! If her very large dogs hadn’t alerted her and scared them off she could’ve found herself face to face with these young men.

She did what any panicked homeowner would do – she called 911 and waited for help to arrive.

And she waited. And waited. And waited.

Two strangers had just entered her home while she was inside and the first Raleigh police officer did not arrive until a full fifty minutes later. By that time the intruders trail had gone cold, too cold for the K9 unit to track them. Officers were apologetic, telling her the department is understaffed.

My neighbor said later that the dispatcher misclassified the break-in as a “Level 2” incident, meaning the officers didn’t even get dispatched until 20 minutes after the incident. Even so, if it takes 30 minutes to round up enough officers to respond to a B&E that is far too long.

No one should have to wait this long for assistance in a life-threatening emergency. This is completely unacceptable. If the Raleigh Police Department is this understaffed then the City of Raleigh needs to get this fixed.

I know the Council recently approved raises for our first responders. Has that boosted recruitment? Why or why not? What else can the city do to ensure the safety of its citizens?

I can’t imagine what I would’ve done had this happened to me. The City of Raleigh needs to do whatever it takes to get more officers in the Raleigh Police Department and to keep happy the ones who are there now. What we have now puts everyone’s safety at risk.

Neighbors will be asking the Raleigh City Council next month to allocate more resources towards our police.

I-Team Exclusive: Sen. Reid discusses UFO study | LasVegasNow

Former Senator Harry Reid discusses his Pentagon UFO study project.

Did anyone notice what just happened here?

1. The U.S. Government has confirmed it has been studying UFOs.
2. This study has been quietly supported at some of the highest levels of government.
3. A video of a compelling UFO encounter has just been officially released by the U.S. Government.
4. One of the highest ranking former members of Congress didn’t run away from these events but proudly claimed them.
5. In spite of all this, the world didn’t end. People didn’t run for the hills. Mostly everyone shrugged.

These are all remarkable events and unthinkable even a few years ago. If all the people who made this happen escape without being publicly crucified we may see more of these disclosures.

Is society becoming ready to accept the truth of other life in the universe?

The existence of the UFO study was first reported by the I-Team back in October. That’s when a high-ranking intelligence officer in charge of the program quit to take a job with a private company.

Over the weekend, news of Harry Reid’s role in the study surfaced in news reports. The senator gave his only on camera interview to the I-Team’s George Knapp.

Harry Reid’s interest in UFOs dates back to 1989 because that is when George Knapp first had conversations with him on the topic.

In the years since, Reid quietly collected more information, met with scientists, intelligence officials, and other experts, and finally authorized a study that was carried out by a company created by a Las Vegas billionaire.

Since the story broke on Saturday, Reid has been bombarded with media requests, but he gave his only on camera interview to the I-Team.

The release this weekend of videos recorded by military pilots is unusual because, officially, the U.S. government stopped collecting information about UFOs back in 1969, when the Air Force canceled Project Blue Book. But in the decades since, pilots and others continued to encounter technology that is beyond anything known on earth.

Source: I-Team Exclusive: Sen. Reid discusses UFO study | LasVegasNow

Navy pilot recalls encounter with UFO: ‘I think it was not from this world’ – ABC News

I’m still fascinated by this story of retired Navy F-18 pilot Dave Fravor intercepting a UFO off of San Diego in 2004. I admire this guy’s courage in sharing the story.

His statement, along with the official video, illustrates just one of many, many similar encounters that have taken place but were never publicly shared.

Retired Cmdr. David Fravor spent 18 years as a Navy pilot, but nothing prepared him for what he witnessed during a routine training mission on Nov. 14, 2004.

“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,” Fravor told ABC News. “I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.”

Source: Navy pilot recalls encounter with UFO: ‘I think it was not from this world’ – ABC News

Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program – The New York Times

In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.

Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.

or years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.

The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

Source: Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program – The New York Times