Mission Patches
Their Source and Meaning

Burntheships' Collection
Member of AboveTopSecret.com
(Edited and Additions by Pegasus)

Still classified Minotaur 

Still classified Minotaur 

Minotaur is a still-classified program undertaken by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs division, the Skunk Works. Although Minotaur remains obscure, rumor holds that the airframe shares a "family resemblance" with another Skunk Works program called Minion and may have served as a technology demonstrator for that program.

SOURCE:  http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.12.htm

Does this pertain to The Minotaur missile program?

October 2009

A flaw with the new Minotaur 4 rocket has led to an indefinite delay for the debut blastoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, military officials said.

SOURCE: Lompoc Record

Northrop Night Stalker II 

Northrop Night Stalker II 

There is no publicly available information about Northrop's "Night Stalker II" program. The numeral II suggests a "Night Stalker I," which remains equally obscure

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.13.htm

Perhaps this from the mid 80's?


An early model, built around the CH-47D airframe brought into service with the Night Stalkers in the mid-eighties. Initially lacking many of the refinements added to later birds, many MH-47Ds have been steadily improved with better engine control systems, refueling probes. All of the 11 MH-47Ds once in the 160th SOAR inventory have now been upgraded to MH-47G standards. 

SOURCE: http://nightstalkers.americanspecialops.com/helicopters/mh-47.php

Seekers Flight Test 

Seekers Flight Test 

This patch is from the flight test of an unknown aircraft or system conducted by defense contractor Scaled Composites, based near Edwards Air Force Base in Mojave, California.

Scaled Composites became widely known in October of 2004 when the company won the "X-Prize" after launching its "Spaceship One" aircraft to an altitude above 328,000 feet twice in fourteen days.

The company does a significant amount of classified work for the Department of Defense. Jobs listings on Scaled Composites' web site indicate that the company prefers to hire workers in possession of a "DOD Secret Clearance."

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.14.htm

Star Wars? 

From 2003 Test Succsessful


Advanced Technology Observation Platform
Atop Furtim Vigilans Flight Test Team 


The letters ATOP on this patch stand for "Advanced Technology Observation Platform," whose first flight was on October 28, 1990.

The Latin phrase Furtim Vigilans translates as "Vigilance Through Stealth."

No further information about this patch or program is known. Officials at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base claim that the program depicted "isn't one of ours."

On October 28, 1990, a new aircraft made its first flight. It was not reported in Aviation Week, or indeed anywhere else, because it was secret - a black program. Now, apparently authentic patches have surfaced, thanks to the ever vigilant Flateric over at Secret Projects, identifying the Advanced Technology Observation Platform (ATOP). 

SOURCE: Aviation Week

USAF Special Projects 

USAF Special Projects 

The Air Force Special Projects Office was also the "A" Division of the National Reconnaissance Office, based at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. The organization was charged with overseeing all Air Force satellite intelligence programs

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.16.htm

The Strange Case of the Black Unmanned Aircraft at Kandahar


Mysterious Unmanned Aerial Aircraft at Kandahar

Reports are coming out of Afghanistan this spring about sightings of a large reconnaissance aircraft unlike any previously known to the military aviation industry. Rumor has it that this aircraft has also been seen by U-2 pilots flying high altitude reconnaissance missions over Iraq. With remote, Taliban controlled areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan inaccessible to ‘boots on the ground’ intelligence, the United States and NATO rely heavily upon aerial reconnaissance using (U)nmanned (A)erial) ((V)ehicles . When aircraft designation includes (C)ombat then it is weaponized, can release bombs and is not restricted to surveillance. UAVs are very different than predator drones, whose sole mission is to take out a target.

SOURCE: The Strange Case of the Black Unmanned Aircraft at Kandahar

Alone and On The Prowl

Prowler, Desert Prowler
Alone and On The Prowl

Notice the Latin Numerals
IX - 9
XI - 11 

This is one of two patches known to be associated with a black Lockheed Martin Skunk Works project named "Prowler" or "Desert Prowler." The project was active as of late 2005.

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.17.htm

The Desert Prowler is not an immediate relative of the Polecat technology demonstrator tested in 2006. The latter incorporated advanced aerodynamic and structural features for a future long-range, very high-altitude UAV, while Desert Prowler is more conservative. 

A photograph of the Beast of Kandahar, the classified stealth UAV first reported in April, has emerged on a blog linked to left-wing French newspaper Liberation. 


The photo confirms that the previous artists' impressions were largely accurate. The jet has long, slender outer wings, spanning as much as 80 feet, mated to a stouter, deeper centerbody with a pointed nose. One important detail:  the over wing fairings are not B-2-like inlets, but cover some kind of equipment - satcoms on one side, perhaps, and a sensor on the other. 

SOURCE: Aviation Week

Desert Prowler 

Desert Prowler 

A second patch associated with the classified "Desert Prowler" project. Again, the collection of five-plus-one stars may represent the classified operating location at Groom Lake, Nevada, also known as Area 51.

The meaning of the other symbols on this patch is unclear.

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.18.htm

The 6th Joker's wraith image from the album cover was used on a flight test patch for the Lockheed Skunk Works' Black Ops Desert Prowler program. It features the wraith with added red eyes, surrounded by six stars with the words "Desert Prowler, Alone and on the Prowl."

SOURCE: Wikipedia

The symbol of The Wraith is said to have originated with the The Wraith: Shangri-La,
an album by Insane Clown Posse.


The Wraith, which represents the sixth Joker's Card, is in essence the grim reaper, or death. According to the group's mythology, upon your death, the Wraith takes you to either Shangri-La (heaven) or to Hell's Pit (hell). In The Wraith: Shangri-La, the ICP guides the listener as The Dark Wraith takes the listener upon an exhibition of heaven (while he may change his mind and try to pull you out of heaven), whereas in the group's ninth studio album, Hell's Pit, The Pure Wraith takes the listener on a voyage through hell. 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wraith:_Shangri-La

Think your description of the wraith was spot on.

Sneeky Pete

Another patch from an obscure Scaled Composites project; the symbolism is unclear. The name Pete may refer to Scaled Composites test pilot Peter Siebold. 

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.19.htm

A little about Peter Siebold


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher

TENCAP is an acronym for Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities, a collection of programs that involve developing tactical (battlefield) applications out of reconnaissance satellite capabilities (which are normally thought of as strategic).

"Special" almost invariably means "black" or highly classified. The phrase Oderint Dum Metuant is usually associated with Caligula, the first-century Roman emperor whose name became synonymous with depravity, madness, and tyranny. It translates as "Let them hate so long as they fear." 

SOURCE: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/24/paglen.php

The Cutting Edge Warfare Center
Special Projects Division


Based at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, the Space Warfare Center's mission is to evaluate the performance of space and missile systems, integrate space systems into military operations, and train space systems operators.

One can assume that the Special Projects Division performs similar functions for "black" space systems.

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.21.htm

NRO - Snakes
Numquam Ante  numquam Iterum


A National Reconnaissance Office program patch, whose referent remains entirely obscure. The Latin inscription translates as "Never Before, Never Again."

SOURCE: http://www.naderlibrary.com/icouldtellyou.54.htm

NOTE: The Three Vipers -
The Three Blue Stars -
The Eight White Stars -

And the tail of the vipers wraps around the Earth 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Pegasus Research Consortium distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
~ MENU ~ Burntheships ~ Page Four ~

Webpages  © 2001-2016
Blue Knight Productions