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stealthskater.com/PX.htm#Chica note: because important web-sites are frequently "here today but gone tomorrow", the following was archived from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Rainbow on April 22, 2008. This is NOT an attempt to divert readers from the aforementioned website. Indeed, the reader should only read this back-up copy if the updated original cannot be found at the original author's site.
"Project Rainbow" is the name commonly given to 2 separate United States secret military projects in the 20th Century, both concerned with stealth and radar invisibility. One is considered a conspiracy theory while the other appears to be factual. At least one recent anonymous writer in the UFO/conspiracy underground has linked the 2 projects, though this is by no means considered a mainstream viewpoint. 1. The near-mythical 1943 Philadelphia Experiment is denied by all official sources and considered fictitious by mainstream historians but remains a major element of UFO lore. The Philadelphia Experiment is claimed to be variously an attempt at radar invisibility, optical invisibility, or physical teleportation of a US Navy ship with results ranging from deaths, insanity, disappearances, time travel, and "fusion" of bodies with material objects to extraterrestrial or occult contact. The legend of the experiment -- like that of the Roswell UFO crash -- has developed through multiple fictional and non-fictional publications in the late 20th Century. See the main Philadelphia Experiment article for more detail.
2. A project in the 1950s' United States Air Force stealth technology program involving wires and ferrite cores mounted on the fuselage of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft. This Project RAINBOW is attested by mainstream historians of military technology. The project was considered a failure at the time, though it may have influenced later developments in stealth technology.
From Lockheed Stealth (Sweetman 2001): Consequently, only a few months after the first mission, Lockheed started a project to reduce the U2's detectability by radar primarily by long-range, low-frequency early-warning radars working in the 65-85 megahertz (MHz) range. 2 approaches were tested. Under Project Rainbow, a prototype U-2 was fitted with an elaborate system of thin-gauge wires, supported by nonconductive poles (first bamboo and later fiberglass) around the wing and tail and stretching to the nose and fuselage. The wire formed a perimeter, standing off from the leading and trailing edge of the wing by about a foot. The wire carried precisely spaced ferrite beads. The Rainbow system -- also known as the "trapeze" -- was designed to create a radar echo that would mimic the echo from the airframe but half a wavelength out of phase, so that it would precisely null the natural echo.
The second approach was nicknamed "wallpaper". A flexible plastic material containing a layer of printed circuits, it was glued to parts of the U-2's fuselage, nose, and tail.
From unpublished book Gone Dark by W.B. Smyth, excerpted on www.aetherometry.com (not considered a mainstream publication) [StealthSkater note: archived at doc pdf URL-doc URL-pdf ]: [W] I'm laughing because I think that this is the main reason why intelligence people got alarmed by the Allende tale. RAINBOW had become -- in the meantime -- a joint Navy, CIA, and Air Force effort at radar camouflage. Remember, the CIA/USAF flights of the Lockheed U-2s over the Soviet Union -- SIGINT [sic] and ELINT missions they were called -- beginning August 1955? [J] Yes ?? [W] That was part of "Operation Soft Touch". There was a problem with it, however. It could not be implemented unless U-2s could be made invisible to Soviet radar. It seemed to be working in the beginning. But not too well because, as you may recall, Powers got shot down in November of 1956! So in great alarm, more resources were thrown into RAINBOW when the 54/12 group met in early 1957 (19) with President Eisenhower, Chief of Staff USAF [Major] General [N.] Twining, CIA Director [A.F.] Dulles [sic], and his two sidekicks -- his Deputy Director of Operations [USAF] Brigadier General [C.P.] Cabell who had earlier created the national UFOtracking radar network, and his Deputy Director of Plans [R.] Bissell. Bissell was also placed directly in charge of managing the U-2 program. Anything that would have had to do with radar invisibility or RAINBOW would have highest priority and greatest sensitivity. It's been said that when Bissell despaired of getting more sophisticated electromagnetic camouflage for his U-2s, he came up with the notion that the right canvas (he called it "the right wallpaper") would do the trick. So the Allende tale was sensitive also because of its timing with reference to the ongoing RAINBOW efforts to make the U-2 plane invisible. Officers at the ONR would be quite concerned with the possibility that the book -- with its annotations -- contained some sort of cipher that could pass highly-classified information under the wire. They wouldn't want to be blamed for anything that could hinder what had by then become Bissell's pet project. References Bill Sweetman, Lockheed Stealth, Zenith Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1940-5. Gone Dark excerpt on www.aetherometry.com (retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Rainbow)
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