Lockheed Martin, in coordination with the US Air Force, has been working on the development of a replacement for the venerable SR-71. The new plane is rumored to be a hypersonic craft capable of flying at speeds up to 4,600 mph. And now there’s an interesting image to back up the rumors, one captured by Google Earth.
The image has gone viral after it was found by a conspiracy theorist. “[The Image] comes a day after Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunk Works unit said it had already finished making the radical hypersonic update of the long-retired Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane,” The Daily Mail reports.
The news broke on the YouTube channel SectureTeam10. The world of YouTube conspiracy theory, though, is filled with rivalries, though, and Lions Ground (a rival channel) claims the image is faked.
“According to Lions Ground, SecureTeam10 has been raking in an estimated £600 ($745) a day by posting fake videos that ‘outsmart UFO believers’,” DM reports.
The video was posted by Tyler Glockner. The craft, Glockner claimed, was designed by someone with a “main foothold in designing aircraft engines that are widely used in civilian and military aviation.”
“What you’re seeing is a very secretive object… I haven’t been able to work out what it is,” he added. “It is no public aircraft that has been disclosed. You can see that this thing looks like a hypersonic aircraft or spacecraft.”
The images do resemble the drawings of the SR-72 from Lockheed Martin. The SR-72 is a spy plane that is rumored to have strike capabilities, too.
The top speeds should exceed Mach 6, which is twice the acknowledged top speed of the SR-71.
Those who are skeptical of the spy-plane claims argue that what the image captures is actually a boat.
“It honestly looks like one of those racing jet boats”, YouTube user ‘Kody Read’ writes.
“It looks like a powerboat I live next to the ocean seen this shape before and it is next to swamp land and water,” wrote ‘Jamie Lynn’.
Or it could actually be the SR-72, and not a conspiracy (or a boat). “Jack O’Banion, Vice President of Strategy and Customer Requirements, Advanced Development Programs for Lockheed Martin, let slip at a conference the unmanned aircraft has already been made,” the Mail concludes.
O’Banion spoke at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum and talked about the digital images of the plane. “Without the digital transformation, the aircraft you see there could not have been made,” he said. “Talking about speed, you’re talking about hypersonics, aircraft that operate above Mach 5.”