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Parlons Futur 22/10/2019 : impression 3D de fusées, design viable de soucoupe volante, et 9 autres news du futur

le début de la newsletter à retrouver ici.

Voici les 11 news dont vous trouverez le résumé au format bullet points plus bas :

  • Nouvelle biographie de l'inventeur Thomas Edison : ce qu'il faut retenir (de The Atlantic)
  • Le progrès technologique (et le e-commerce) contribuent en bonne partie à la très grande modération de l'infation (hausse des prix) (tiré de The Economist) 
  • 3 mesure radicales pour résister et exister face à la Chine et les US 
  • Cette startup veut stocker de l'énergie en levant des blocs de béton 
  • L'impression 3D permet de frabriquer des fusées avec 100 fois moins de pièces ! 
  • Les soldats sur le front sont de plus en plus distraits par leurs écrans : un vrai casse-tête pour nos stratèges militaires 
  • Des ingénieurs prouvent que le design des soucoupes volantes est viable 
  • Des chercheurs inventent un nouveau matériau solide mais compressible, sans faire d'expérience, juste grâce à l'IA 
  • Construire et opérer des éoliennes en passe de devenir moins cher que d'exploiter des centrales au gaz existantes au Royaume-Uni ! 
  • Une IA de Deepmind décrypte d'anciens caractères grecs mieux que les spécialistes humains 
  • Qu'en penser ? L'armée américaine s'associe à une organisation qui enquête sur les OVNIs pour étudier de mystérieuses technologies!! (de Popular Mechanics)

Nouvelle biographie de l'inventeur Thomas Edison : ce qu'il faut retenir (de The Atlantic)

  • Thomas Edison, who birthed the recorded-music industry with its phonograph, was nearly deaf. He built the world’s first film studio, yet had little interest in movies as entertainment.
  • He was a workaholic whose final résumé boasted 1,093 patents and countless inventions—including the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, the alkaline battery, the X-ray fluoroscope, and the carbon-button microphone
  • By the age of 13, Edison had built a one-boy business selling fruits, groceries, and newspapers that netted $50 a week—the equivalent of an $80,000 annual salary today. Nearly all of this money went to buying equipment for electric and chemical experiments
  • Edison was motivated by money from his midwestern boyhood onward, but didn’t care for the trappings of wealth (les attributs de la richesse).
  • The year after inventing the phonograph, Edison built a telephone that surpassed the devices made by its inventors, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, in an official contest of call clarity. The year after that, he achieved semidivine status with his incandescent light bulb. He did all this by the time he was 33, despite almost no prior experience in acoustics, telephony, or illumination technology.
  • While Edison was the first man to bathe a neighborhood in electric light, he relied on direct-current, or DC, technology, which was expensive to run across long distances. Tesla was the godfather of alternating-current, or AC, technology, which uses a rotating magnetic field to more efficiently power a large area.
  • Edison was.not a solitary genius, it was Edison, not Tesla, who recognized that genius loves company.
  • Edison might never have conceived his signature light bulb without Ludwig Böhm, a Bavarian glassblower, or his right-hand man, Batchelor, who carbonized the paper that glowed within the pear-shaped bulb.
  • "It has never, is not now, and never will pay commercially, to keep an establishment of professional inventors,” T. D. Lockwood, the head of AT&T’s patent department, declared in 1885. But as Edison’s team-based success became too obvious to ignore, other companies built similar facilities—and saw similarly magical results.
  • In the early 20th century, AT&T abandoned Lockwood’s position and, after years of occupying aging labs in New York City, in 1941 opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Murray Hill, just 10 miles north of Menlo Park—Bell Labs. That unit went on to patent the transistor, the laser, and the first solar-energy cell.
  • From 1930 to 1965, DuPont’s Experimental Station, in Wilmington, Delaware, developed synthetic rubber, nylon, and Kevlar.
  • The following decade, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center helped design the modern personal computer

     

  • It is hardly an exaggeration to say that almost every important technological invention in the 20th century emerged from just the sort of R&D lab that Edison created

  • Pour ceux qui pensent que le monde n'a jamais autant changé que ces dernières années

    • In 1880, Manhattan had no subway, no cars, and no electric grid; its tallest building was a church. By 1915, New York had a subway system, thousands of cars, the Great White Way (an allusion to Broadway’s newly electric signs), and the world’s tallest skyscrapers, thanks to the development of steel-skeleton construction
    • (sans parler des débuts de l'aviation, de la radio, de l'automobile, du cinéma, du téléphone, entre autres)
Le progrès technologique (et le e-commerce) contribuent en bonne partie à la très grande modération de l'infation (hausse des prix) (tiré de The Economist)
  • Il faut déjà noter qu'on a de plus en plus de mal à mesurer l'inflation car par exemple "even excluding clothing, 44% of online sales in a database produced by Adobe Analytics, a computing company, were of goods that did not exist in the prior year."
  • In 2017 Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve (la banque centrale des USA), wondered aloud if cut-throat online competition might be stopping goods-producers raising prices even in a world of rising demand. Alberto Cavallo of Harvard Business School has found that Amazon’s prices are 6% lower than those of eight large retailers, and 5% lower than on those retailers’ websites
  • In Europe markets’ long-term inflation expectations have sunk to little over 1%
  • There has been barely any cumulative rise in American consumer-goods prices, excluding food and energy, for two decades. Before the financial crisis, inflation as a whole behaved normally because services inflation held up. Today, both goods and services inflation are low
  • Adobe Analytics constructed its own “digital price index” which shows much less inflation than official measures. For example, they find that furniture and bedding fell in price by almost 12% online between January 2014 and June 2019, while the official consumer price index records a fall of only 2.1%.
  • Most consumers today carry devices in their pockets with which they can make a video-call anywhere in the world, access information on any subject and translate languages instantaneously, all for free
  • if consumers derive a greater share of their well-being from things that come free, inflation ceases to be a good measure of the cost of living or of the purchasing power of incomes.
  • They asked 3,000 online participants what they would need to be paid to give up Facebook for a month, offering to enforce the deal for a few randomly selected participants using Facebook features that reveal to friends when somebody last logged on. The median response was $42. About a fifth of users quoted somewhere near $1,000.
  • In another paper Mr Brynjolffson and his colleagues asked consumers what they would need to be paid to forgo free online search engines for a year: the median response was over $17,500.
  • "Armed with trends in data usage and time-use surveys Mr Byrne and Ms Corrado construct a quality-adjusted price index for digital access services that shows prices falling by 21% between 2007 and 2017. The official price index for internet access, by contrast, shows prices up 4.5% over the same period."
  • Mais on devrait tous se réjouir de la faible inflation, voire dans certains cas, de la baisse des prix, right ? Mais alors pourquoi cela stresse-t-il tant les banques centrales ? Car, autre article de The Economist :
    • déjà, ce n'est pas que l'inflation soit très faible en soi qui leur pose problème, mais juste qu'elle est différente des prévisions, ce qui décrédibilisent les banquiers centraux, et qui nuit donc à la stabilité financière
    • ensuite, une très faible inflation induit un cercle vicieux : d'habitude, plus les emprunteurs anticipent une inflation élevée, plus facilement vont-ils accepter des taux élevés, car ils savent que cette inflation, cette hausse des prix va éroder la valeur des sommes qu'ils devront aux créanciers. Si on n'anticipe pas d'inflation ou très peu, on est moins disposé à accepter des taux élevés, on emprunte moins, on consomme moins, on investit moins, ce qui ralentit l'économie et renforce la baisse des prix et de l'inflation, d'où le cercle vicieux.
    • ce ne serait pas un problème en soi si les banques centrales pouvaient baisser encore les taux d'intérêt pour que les gens se remettent à emprunter, à investir, etc. Mais les taux sont déjà très bas, proche de zéro, d'où le stress
    • Au final the Economist considère qu'en dernier ressort, c'est à l'état de relancer l'économie avec l'arme fiscale, les impôts, les subventions, si la baisse de la hausse des prix, voire la baisse des prix induit effectivement un ralentissement de l'économie
  • Cela rejoint cet article que j'avais écrit publié dans les Echos : L'IA nous oblige à repenser nos indices économiques. Les progrès technologiques nous amènent des services gratuits, mais sont-ils pris en compte dans le calcul de nos indices ? Non, c'est pourquoi, entre autres, il faut définir de nouveaux outils pour mesurer l'économie.
3 mesure radicales pour résister et exister face à la Chine et les US
  • il faut que l'Europe se considère comme un pays en voie de développement et adopte ces 3 mesures radicales :
  • 1. A ruthless regulation of real estate markets so as to support massive job creation in proximity services (all backed with a broad social safety net)
    • par exemple en taxant fortement le foncier (et non l'immobilier), en favorisant la construction de logements dans ou proche des centres urbains pour faire baisser les loyers
  • 2. Actively supporting European tech companies as they expand on foreign markets and create a growing number of more productive jobs
  • 3. Forcing European capitalists to allocate money (mostly) to all the above, at the expense of other investments that might be more lucrative over the short term
    • ce qui suppose une forme de dirigisme économique plus prononcé que ce que l'on connaît aujurd'hui
  • ces mesures sont proposées par Nicolas Colin, co-fondateur de l'incubateur européen The Family, réflexion développée dans sa géniale newsletter
Cette startup veut stocker de l'énergie en levant des blocs de béton
  • In the UK, it’ll soon be cheaper to build new offshore wind farms than even to run existing natural gas power plants. This is mirrored by declining prices for renewables around the world.
  • To match supply and demand with intermittent renewables, it seems likely that we’ll need a great deal more energy storage
  • Softbank is investing $110 million in a storage startup called Energy Vault
  • il faut imaginer à terme des grues armer de 6 bras qui hissent des blocs de béton les uns sur les autres jusqu'à 35 étages. L'énergie est ainsi emmagasinée dans la hauteur de placement : c'est quand on fait redescendre le bloc qu'on fait tourner une manivelle reliée à une dynamo : la descente se transforme en rotation qui se transforme en électricité.
  • When complete, Energy Vault expects that each site will be capable of storing 35 megawatt hours and delivering a peak power of 9 megawatts if required.
    • pour se donner une idée, les centrales nucléaires françaises ont une puissance comprise entre 900 et 1500 mégawatts. Une centrale de puissance 1000 mégawatts qui tourne toute la journée aura généré 24,000 mégawatts-heures d'énergie
  • It’s likely also to be cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, at least for the next decade or so. The company expects to be able to sell storage for $150 per kilowatt hours by the time it builds its tenth plant, which is around half of the $280-350/kWh currently required for lithium-ion storage on the grid.
  • Unlike batteries, the storage capacity won’t reduce over time as the unit is “charged” and “discharged,” and so it may well have a longer lifespan than battery farms, 30-40 years.
  • It’s also a highly efficient process, limited mostly by friction. Energy Vault claims that up to 90 percent of the electricity stored can be recovered
L'impression 3D permet de frabriquer des fusées avec 100 fois moins de pièces !
  • a startup called Relativity wants to combine 3D printing and artificial intelligence to do for the rocket what Henry Ford did for the automobile.
  • The Stargate printers will manufacture about 95 percent, by mass, of Relativity’s first rocket, named Terran-1.
  • As a result, Terran-1 will have 100 times fewer parts than a comparable rocket.
  • Its Aeon engine, for instance, consists of just 100 parts, whereas a similar rocket would have thousands. By consolidating parts and optimizing them for 3D printing, Ellis says Relativity will be able to go from raw materials to the launch pad in just 60 days
  • at Relativity’s Los Angeles headquarters and you’ll find 4 of the largest metal 3D printers in the world, churning out rocket parts day and night. The latest model of the company’s proprietary printer, dubbed Stargate, stands 10 meters tall and has 2 massive robotic arms that protrude like tentacles from the machine.
  • Relativity hasn’t yet assembled a full Terran-1 and doesn’t expect the rocket to fly until 2021 at the earliest
  • Relativity thinks it will find its niche : above small satellite launchers but well under the payload capacity of massive rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Ellis says it will be particularly well-suited to carrying medium-sized satellites.
  • The next Stargate 3D metal printer will double in size yet again, which will eventually allow the company to produce larger rockets.
  • the real secret to Relativity’s rockets is the artificial intelligence that tells the printer what to do. Before a print, Relativity runs a simulation of what the print should look like. As the arms deposit metal, a suite of sensors captures visual, environmental, and even audio data. Relativity’s software then compares the two to improve the printing process
  • With every new part, the machine learning algorithm gets better, until it will eventually be able to correct 3D prints on its own. In the future, the 3D printer will recognize its own mistakes, cutting and adding metal until it produces a flawless part.
  • Ellis sees this as the key to taking automated manufacturing to other worlds : To print stuff on Mars you need a system that can adapt to very uncertain conditions,” Ellis says. “So we're building an algorithm framework that we think will actually be transferable to printing on other planets.”
Les soldats sur le front sont de plus en plus distraits par leurs écrans : un vrai casse-tête pour nos stratèges militaires
  • l'avantage : everything from maps with their fellow soldiers’ or the enemy’s locations (think Google Maps for combat) and apps for ordering an artillery strike as easily as calling up an Uber, to a searchable library of military field manuals.
  • l'inconvénient : “We lost almost the entire patrol,” said the lieutenant. “It was horrific.”
  • “We walked right into an enemy ambush,” he continued. “They easily picked my men off, one by one, because they were looking at their screens.”
  • Thankfully, the young lieutenant was not describing an actual firefight from Iraq or Afghanistan. It was a recent live-action simulation that used laser tag-like equipment and new tablet devices that display maps, live drone footage, and other critical information. But if the military doesn’t recognize the threat of soldiers distracted by the buzzes and whistles of the latest technology, real lives could soon be lost.
  • Having served 25 years and two combat deployments to Iraq in the infantry, I’ve watched the societal impact of smartphones infiltrate the military. Now, whether new soldiers at a unit or cadets at the world’s preeminent military academy on a break in training, I see them reach for their phone and escape to a virtual world in any free moment (...). But in war this will get soldiers killed.
  • "There’s even the potential to incorporate artificial intelligence to help soldiers make decisions or offer suggestions into their earbuds—Alexa and Siri go to war. But a distracted soldier that is supposed to be scanning for threats will be a dead soldier."
  • There are many solutions. Major military experiments could include adding more soldiers to patrols whose job it is to monitor these new electronic aids, so that others can maintain security. Heads-up wearable technology may be safer than external screens. And stricter rules should be in place for when devices can be looked at—such as adopting the combat rule that when a patrol wanted to look at a map, it stopped, and one person looked at the map while other people pulled security.
Des ingénieurs prouvent que le design des soucoupes volantes est viable
  • The "All-Directional Flying Object" (ADIFO) is a proof of concept that's the result of more than two decades of engineering work.
  • the aircraft can rapidly push itself sideways in either direction, or quickly rotate while in flight. The engineers believe the disk will be capable of “sudden lateral transitions and sudden yaw (embardées, changements de direction),” in addition to “smooth transitions during subsonic to supersonic flight.”
  • insert image
  • a 1.2 meter operational prototype of ADIFO was released in spring of this year.
  • According to their media guide, “The only limit to maneuverability is the pilot’s imagination.”
  • Next, the researchers want to replace the craft’s small electrical fans with jet engines. After that, they hope to conduct more complex simulations and wind tunnel tests, as well as attempt to demonstrate the updated ADIFO’s ability to travel at transonic and supersonic speeds.
  • the researchers said that a major aircraft manufacturer and a pair of government entities are just a few of those who’ve already reached out to express their interest in the strange little saucer.
  • voir la vidéo du prototype
Des chercheurs inventent un nouveau matériau solide mais compressible, sans faire d'expérience, juste grâce à l'IA
  • Unlike a sponge, this metamaterial is stiff (rigide) until a critical force is reached after which it becomes easily compressible.
  • Researchers at TU Delft have developed a new supercompressible but strong material without conducting any experimental tests at all, using only artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The researcher wondered if it would be possible to design a highly compressible yet strong material that could be compressed into a small fraction of its volume. "If this was possible, everyday objects such as bicycles, dinner tables and umbrellas could be folded into your pocket.
Construire et opérer des éoliennes en passe de devenir moins cher que d'exploiter des centrales au gaz existantes au Royaume-Uni !
  • The new record-low prices mean these new offshore windfarms will also generate electricity more cheaply than existing gas-fired power stations. The only costs these gas plants face are for fuel, operations and maintenance, network access and CO2 emissions, since the costs of construction have already been sunk.
  • The first of these tipping points is when electricity from newly constructed renewables becomes cheaper than from new fossil-fired generation.
  • The second is when it becomes cheaper to build new renewables than to keep running existing fossil-fueled power stations.
  • today’s results show that UK renewables will soon pass the second of two “tipping points”
  • The overriding factor in cost reductions, however, has been the increase in turbine size, combined with a host of other smaller technical developments in turbine design, manufacture, installation and maintenance protocols, according to recent research
  • Larger turbines sweep a larger area and have access to higher, more consistent winds at higher altitude, increasing the amount of time when they can generate electricity
Une IA de Deepmind décrypte d'anciens caractères grecs mieux que les spécialistes humains
  • Given an inscription with missing information, the AI Pythia provides 20 different suggestions that could plug the gap, with the idea that someone could then select the best one using their own judgement and subject knowledge. “It’s all about how we can help the experts,” says Assael.
  • To test the system, the team hid nine letters of a Greek personal name from the AI Pythia. It managed to fill in the blanks. In a head-to-head test, where the AI attempted to fill the gaps in 2949 damaged inscriptions, human experts made 30% more mistakes than the AI. Whereas the experts took 2 hours to get through 50 inscriptions, Pythia gave its guesses for the entire cohort in seconds.

Qu'en penser ? L'armée américaine s'associe à une organisation qui enquête sur les OVNIs pour étudier de mystérieuses technologies!! (de Popular Mechanics)

  • To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, the organization led by former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge, will work with the Army to “characterize” technology under the organization’s control, and then use the tech to improve military vehicles.
  • To The Stars said it has entered into a “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command to advance TTSA’s materiel and technology innovations in order to develop enhanced capabilities for Army ground vehicles.”
  • TTSA describes its contribution to the agreement as “technology solutions” that include “material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage.”
  • The Army will provide “laboratories, expertise, support, and resources to help characterize the technologies and its applications.”
  • “Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities,” said Dr. Joseph Cannon of Army Futures Command in the press release. “At the Army's Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming.”
  • Where did TTSA’s impressive list of technology come from? The implicit answer is: UFOs, also known as Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs).
  • In July, we reported that TTSA acquired “several pieces of metamaterials” sourced from “an advanced aerospace vehicle of unknown origin.”
  • It’s hard to know what to make of all this. The Army obviously thinks there's something worth sticking its reputation out for, but there isn't any evidence available to the public to justify its association with a UFO research group.
  • Cela fait suite, ouvrez bien vos yeux, à la confirmation par la marine américaine (the US Navy) de la véracité de ces 3 vidéos d'OVNIs rendues publiques ces derniers mois (CNN) :
    • USS Nimitz ‘Tic Tac’ encounter : Declassified Video Official U.S. government video of a 2004 UFO encounter, taken aboard a Navy fighter jet from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. (voir la vidéo)
  • USS Roosevelt ‘Gimbal’ encounter: Declassified Video Official U.S. Navy video of a 2015 UFO encounter, taken aboard a Navy fighter jet from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, off the eastern seaboard, near the Florida coast. (voir la vidéo de 43s)
  • USS Roosevelt ‘GoFast’ encounter: Declassified Video Official U.S. Navy video of a 2015 UFO encounter, taken aboard a Navy fighter jet from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, off the eastern seaboard, near the Florida coast (voir la vidéo de 36s avec les commentaires des pilotes)
  • Le vénérable New York Times lui-même avait publié cet article en mai 2019 : Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects
    • The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.
    • “These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”
    • In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were videotaped, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.
    • No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects were extraterrestrial, and experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents. Lieutenant Graves and four other Navy pilots, who said in interviews with The New York Times that they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in training maneuvers from Virginia to Florida off the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, make no assertions of their provenance.
    • But the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy, which earlier this year sent out new classified guidance for how to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.
    • “There were a number of different reports,” he said. Some cases could have been commercial drones, he said, but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this. So the intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace.”
    • The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”
    • the Navy recently said it currently investigates military reports of U.F.O.s, and Mr. Elizondo and other participants say the program — parts of it remain classified — has continued in other forms. The program has also studied video that shows a whitish oval object described as a giant Tic Tac, about the size of a commercial plane, encountered by two Navy fighter jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
    • The pilots began noticing the objects after their 1980s-era radar was upgraded to a more advanced system. As one fighter jet after another got the new radar, pilots began picking up the objects, but ignoring what they thought were false radar tracks.
    • “People have seen strange stuff in military aircraft for decades,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We’re doing this very complex mission, to go from 30,000 feet, diving down. It would be a pretty big deal to have something up there.”
    • But he said the objects persisted, showing up at 30,000 feet, 20,000 feet, even sea level. They could accelerate, slow down and then hit hypersonic speeds.
    • Lieutenant Accoin said he interacted twice with the objects. The first time, after picking up the object on his radar, he set his plane to merge with it, flying 1,000 feet below it. He said he should have been able to see it with his helmet camera, but could not, even though his radar told him it was there.
    • A few days later, Lieutenant Accoin said a training missile on his jet locked on the object and his infrared camera picked it up as well. “I knew I had it, I knew it was not a false hit,” he said. But still, “I could not pick it up visually.”
    • At this point the pilots said they speculated that the objects were part of some classified and extremely advanced drone program.
    • But then pilots began seeing the objects. In late 2014, Lieutenant Graves said he was back at base in Virginia Beach when he encountered a squadron mate just back from a mission “with a look of shock on his face.”
    • He said he was stunned to hear the pilot’s words. “I almost hit one of those things,” the pilot told Lieutenant Graves.
    • The pilot and his wingman were flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach when something flew between them, right past the cockpit. It looked to the pilot, Lieutenant Graves said, like a sphere encasing a cube.
    • The incident so spooked the squadron that an aviation flight safety report was filed, Lieutenant Graves said.
    • The near miss, he and other pilots interviewed said, angered the squadron, and convinced them that the objects were not part of a classified drone program. Government officials would know fighter pilots were training in the area, they reasoned, and would not send drones to get in the way.
    • “It turned from a potentially classified drone program to a safety issue,” Lieutenant Graves said. “It was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision.
    • What was strange, the pilots said, was that the video showed objects accelerating to hypersonic speed, making sudden stops and instantaneous turns — something beyond the physical limits of a human crew.
    • “Speed doesn’t kill you,” Lieutenant Graves said. “Stopping does. Or acceleration.”
    • Asked what they thought the objects were, the pilots refused to speculate. “We have helicopters that can hover,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We have aircraft that can fly at 30,000 feet and right at the surface.” But “combine all that in one vehicle of some type with no jet engine, no exhaust plume (panache de fumée).”

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