We derive physical constraints on interpretations of “highly maneuverable” Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) based on standard physics and known forms of matter and radiation. In particular, we show that the friction of UAP with the surrounding air or water is expected to generate a bright optical fireball, ionization shell and tail - implying radio signatures. The fireball luminosity scales with inferred distance to the 5th power. Radar cross-section scales similarly to meteor head echoes as the square of the effective radius of the sphere surrounding the object, while the radar cross-section of the resulting ionization tail scales linearly with the radius of the ionization cylinder. The lack of all these signatures could imply inaccurate distance measurements (and hence derived velocity) for single site sensors without a range gate capability.

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