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No. 103: Jan-Feb 1996

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Anomalous Radar Echoes And Visual Phenomenon

Band-shaped 'ghosts' seen on radar off the east coast of Africa
Band-shaped "ghosts" seen on radar off the east coast of Africa.
November 16, 1994. Eastern North Atlantic. Aboard the m.v. City of Durban. Enroute from Le Havre to Capetown. As seen by three of the ship's officers:

"At 2230 UTC the observers noted on both the 3-cm and 10-cm radars, as well as visually, a wave or band-like phenomenon shown as a succession of 'bands' approximately 4 n.mile long with a uniform separation of about 0.8 n.mile.

"The bands appeared as if they were precipitation but on passing through one of them nothing was observed nor were there any other particles [i.e., no wind-blown dust], seeing as the vessel was off the West African coast at the time. The bands themselves caused a rippling effect on the sea surface of roughly 150 m wide, giving an otherwise calm sea a black appearance beneath them on what was a well moonlit night. Although the phenomenon looked like rain bands, the observers could not give an otherwise definite solution for it."

(Herring, R.M.; "Radar Echoes," Marine Observer, 65:170, 1995)

From Science Frontiers #103, JAN-FEB 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss