2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’ | World Defense

2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’

Khafee

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2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen’
By HELENE COOPER, LESLIE KEAN and RALPH BLUMENTHAL
DEC. 16, 2017

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David Fravor, at his home in Windham, N.H., is a former Navy pilot who says he was “pretty weirded out” by an unexplained episode over the Pacific. His story has captured the attention of a Pentagon program investigating U.F.O.s. CreditM. Scott Brauer for The New York Times

The following recounts an incident in 2004 that advocates of research into U.F.O.s have said is the kind of event worthy of more investigation, and that was studied by a Pentagon program that investigated U.F.O.s. Experts caution that earthly explanations often exist for such incidents, and that not knowing the explanation does not mean that the event has interstellar origins.

Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight were on a routine training mission 100 miles out into the Pacific when the radio in each of their F/A-18F Super Hornets crackled: An operations officer aboard the U.S.S. Princeton, a Navy cruiser, wanted to know if they were carrying weapons.
“Two CATM-9s,” Commander Fravor replied, referring to dummy missiles that could not be fired. He had not been expecting any hostile exchanges off the coast of San Diego that November afternoon in 2004.

Commander Fravor, in a recent interview with The New York Times, recalled what happened next. Some of it is captured in a video made public by officials with a Pentagon program that investigated U.F.O.s.

“Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you,” the radio operator said, according to Commander Fravor. For two weeks, the operator said, the Princeton had been tracking mysterious aircraft. The objects appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering. Then they either dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up.

The radio operator instructed Commander Fravor and Commander Slaight, who has given a similar account, to investigate.

The two fighter planes headed toward the objects. The Princeton alerted them as they closed in, but when they arrived at “merge plot” with the object — naval aviation parlance for being so close that the Princeton could not tell which were the objects and which were the fighter jets — neither Commander Fravor nor Commander Slaight could see anything at first. There was nothing on their radars, either.

Then, Commander Fravor looked down to the sea. It was calm that day, but the waves were breaking over something that was just below the surface. Whatever it was, it was big enough to cause the sea to churn.

Hovering 50 feet above the churn was an aircraft of some kind — whitish — that was around 40 feet long and oval in shape. The craft was jumping around erratically, staying over the wave disturbance but not moving in any specific direction, Commander Fravor said. The disturbance looked like frothy waves and foam, as if the water were boiling.
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Commander Fravor began a circular descent to get a closer look, but as he got nearer the object began ascending toward him. It was almost as if it were coming to meet him halfway, he said.

Commander Fravor abandoned his slow circular descent and headed straight for the object.
But then the object peeled away. “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said in the interview. He was, he said, “pretty weirded out.”

The two fighter jets then conferred with the operations officer on the Princeton and were told to head to a rendezvous point 60 miles away, called the cap point, in aviation parlance.

They were en route and closing in when the Princeton radioed again. Radar had again picked up the strange aircraft.
“Sir, you won’t believe it,” the radio operator said, “but that thing is at your cap point.”
“We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point,” Commander Fravor, who has since retired from the Navy, said in the interview.

By the time the two fighter jets arrived at the rendezvous point, the object had disappeared.

The fighter jets returned to the Nimitz, where everyone on the ship had learned of Commander Fravor’s encounter and was making fun of him.

Commander Fravor’s superiors did not investigate further and he went on with his career, deploying to the Persian Gulf to provide air support to ground troops during the Iraq war. But he does remember what he said that evening to a fellow pilot who asked him what he thought he had seen.
“I have no idea what I saw,” Commander Fravor replied to the pilot. “It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s.”
But, he added, “I want to fly one.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/unidentified-flying-object-navy.html
 

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Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program
By HELENE COOPER, RALPH BLUMENTHAL and LESLIE KEAN
DEC. 16, 2017

WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.
Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.

For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.

The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.

On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

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Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, has had a longtime interest in space phenomena.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times
Working with Mr. Bigelow’s Las Vegas-based company, the program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.


Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft — including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.

Mr. Reid, who retired from Congress this year, said he was proud of the program. “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” Mr. Reid said in a recent interview in Nevada. “I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”

Two other former senators and top members of a defense spending subcommittee — Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, and Daniel K. Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat — also supported the program. Mr. Stevens died in 2010, and Mr. Inouye in 2012.

While not addressing the merits of the program, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at M.I.T., cautioned that not knowing the origin of an object does not mean that it is from another planet or galaxy. “When people claim to observe truly unusual phenomena, sometimes it’s worth investigating seriously,” she said. But, she added, “what people sometimes don’t get about science is that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained.”

James E. Oberg, a former NASA space shuttle engineer and the author of 10 books on spaceflight who often debunks U.F.O. sightings, was also doubtful. “There are plenty of prosaic events and human perceptual traits that can account for these stories,” Mr. Oberg said. “Lots of people are active in the air and don’t want others to know about it. They are happy to lurk unrecognized in the noise, or even to stir it up as camouflage.”

Still, Mr. Oberg said he welcomed research. “There could well be a pearl there,” he said.

In response to questions from The Times, Pentagon officials this month acknowledged the existence of the program, which began as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Officials insisted that the effort had ended after five years, in 2012.

“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” a Pentagon spokesman, Thomas Crosson, said in an email, referring to the Department of Defense.

But Mr. Elizondo said the only thing that had ended was the effort’s government funding, which dried up in 2012. From then on, Mr. Elizondo said in an interview, he worked with officials from the Navy and the C.I.A. He continued to work out of his Pentagon office until this past October, when he resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition.

“Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue?” Mr. Elizondo wrote in a resignation letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

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Pentagon officials say the program ended in 2012, five years after it was created, but the official who led it said that only the government funding had ended then. CreditCharles Dharapak/Associated Press

Mr. Elizondo said that the effort continued and that he had a successor, whom he declined to name.

U.F.O.s have been repeatedly investigated over the decades in the United States, including by the American military. In 1947, the Air Force began a series of studies that investigated more than 12,000 claimed U.F.O. sightings before it was officially ended in 1969. The project, which included a study code-named Project Blue Book, started in 1952, concluded that most sightings involved stars, clouds, conventional aircraft or spy planes, although 701 remained unexplained.

Robert C. Seamans Jr., the secretary of the Air Force at the time, said in a memorandum announcing the end of Project Blue Book that it “no longer can be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science.”

Mr. Reid said his interest in U.F.O.s came from Mr. Bigelow. In 2007, Mr. Reid said in the interview, Mr. Bigelow told him that an official with the Defense Intelligence Agency had approached him wanting to visit Mr. Bigelow’s ranch in Utah, where he conducted research.
Mr. Reid said he met with agency officials shortly after his meeting with Mr. Bigelow and learned that they wanted to start a research program on U.F.O.s. Mr. Reid then summoned Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye to a secure room in the Capitol.

“I had talked to John Glenn a number of years before,” Mr. Reid said, referring to the astronaut and former senator from Ohio, who died in 2016. Mr. Glenn, Mr. Reid said, had told him he thought that the federal government should be looking seriously into U.F.O.s, and should be talking to military service members, particularly pilots, who had reported seeing aircraft they could not identify or explain.

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Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October. He resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program. CreditJustin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

The sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command, Mr. Reid said, because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized.

The meeting with Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, Mr. Reid said, “was one of the easiest meetings I ever had.”
He added, “Ted Stevens said, ‘I’ve been waiting to do this since I was in the Air Force.’” (The Alaska senator had been a pilot in the Army’s air force, flying transport missions over China during World War II.)

During the meeting, Mr. Reid said, Mr. Stevens recounted being tailed by a strange aircraft with no known origin, which he said had followed his plane for miles.

None of the three senators wanted a public debate on the Senate floor about the funding for the program, Mr. Reid said. “This was so-called black money,” he said. “Stevens knows about it, Inouye knows about it. But that was it, and that’s how we wanted it.” Mr. Reid was referring to the Pentagon budget for classified programs.


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Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid, received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth. CreditIsaac Brekken for The New York Times

Contracts obtained by The Times show a congressional appropriation of just under $22 million beginning in late 2008 through 2011. The money was used for management of the program, research and assessments of the threat posed by the objects.

The funding went to Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program.
Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes. In addition, researchers spoke to military service members who had reported sightings of strange aircraft.

“We’re sort of in the position of what would happen if you gave Leonardo da Vinci a garage-door opener,” said Harold E. Puthoff, an engineer who has conducted research on extrasensory perception for the C.I.A. and later worked as a contractor for the program. “First of all, he’d try to figure out what is this plastic stuff. He wouldn’t know anything about the electromagnetic signals involved or its function.”

The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.

“Internationally, we are the most backward country in the world on this issue,” Mr. Bigelow said in an interview. “Our scientists are scared of being ostracized, and our media is scared of the stigma. China and Russia are much more open and work on this with huge organizations within their countries. Smaller countries like Belgium, France, England and South American countries like Chile are more open, too. They are proactive and willing to discuss this topic, rather than being held back by a juvenile taboo.”

By 2009, Mr. Reid decided that the program had made such extraordinary discoveries that he argued for heightened security to protect it. “Much progress has been made with the identification of several highly sensitive, unconventional aerospace-related findings,” Mr. Reid said in a letter to William Lynn III, a deputy defense secretary at the time, requesting that it be designated a “restricted special access program” limited to a few listed officials.

A 2009 Pentagon briefing summary of the program prepared by its director at the time asserted that “what was considered science fiction is now science fact,” and that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies discovered. Mr. Reid’s request for the special designation was denied.

Mr. Elizondo, in his resignation letter of Oct. 4, said there was a need for more serious attention to “the many accounts from the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond-next-generation capabilities.” He expressed his frustration with the limitations placed on the program, telling Mr. Mattis that “there remains a vital need to ascertain capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.”

Mr. Elizondo has now joined Mr. Puthoff and another former Defense Department official, Christopher K. Mellon, who was a deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, in a new commercial venture called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science. They are speaking publicly about their efforts as their venture aims to raise money for research into U.F.O.s.

In the interview, Mr. Elizondo said he and his government colleagues had determined that the phenomena they had studied did not seem to originate from any country. “That fact is not something any government or institution should classify in order to keep secret from the people,” he said.

For his part, Mr. Reid said he did not know where the objects had come from. “If anyone says they have the answers now, they’re fooling themselves,” he said. “We do not know.”
But, he said, “we have to start someplace.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html
 

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https://coi.tothestarsacademy.com/gimbal

@khafee

What is your opinion bro ?

At 0:03, in the first radio transmission, we hear one of the pilots state that it is “a [expletive] drone” aircraft.

At 0:06, upon further observation, a different observer calmly states, “There is a whole fleet of them. Look on the ASA (radar display).” The first observer responds with “My gosh!” It is important to note that the ATFLIR has only a single object in its display. The radar is simultaneously providing the pilots a picture of the larger air space, where they are tracking multiple targets.

At 0:11, it is noted that “They are all going against the wind. The wind is 120 knots (138 mph) out of the west.” We can see that the speed and altitude of the object is unusual for any drone-type aircraft. On that information alone, the likelihood of an entire fleet of drones capable of operating under this scenario is highly improbable and would require resources only few nations could afford.

In the midst of this exchange, the sensor is switched from “white-hot” to “black-hot.” The imaging of the object is now much clearer. It has a distinct shape: a distorted oval with small protrusions from the top and bottom. The object’s opaque aura is now also very distinct: a “cool” glow that extends about a body thickness around the entire object. There appears to be no observable flight surfaces or exhaust plume, nor any typical components usually associated with conventional aircraft.

“Look at that thing, dude.” The observer is clearly surprised at what is being seen.

At 0:24, the object makes a small, but very sharp, altitude change, possibly indicating it may be operating in a vacuum environment. Its direction and speed remain unchanged despite the continuous 120-knot headwind it is encountering.

“That’s not [unintelligible] is it?”

At 0:27, the object begins a series of distinct rotations and changes orientation by almost 100 degrees. Its orientation is now perpendicular to the horizontal plane despite the headwinds. This maneuver is executed in a manner that is inconsistent with current principles of aerodynamics, and possibly indicative of a vacuum environment. As the video concludes, the object's orientation and performance seem to defy current principals of physics to include atmospheric resistance and normal aerodynamic forces. During the orientation change, it also slows to a near stop, but does not change altitude.

One observer states, “Look at that thing!”

Another observer says, “It’s rotating.”
 

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@khafee

What is your opinion bro ?

At 0:03, in the first radio transmission, we hear one of the pilots state that it is “a [expletive] drone” aircraft.

At 0:06, upon further observation, a different observer calmly states, “There is a whole fleet of them. Look on the ASA (radar display).” The first observer responds with “My gosh!” It is important to note that the ATFLIR has only a single object in its display. The radar is simultaneously providing the pilots a picture of the larger air space, where they are tracking multiple targets.

At 0:11, it is noted that “They are all going against the wind. The wind is 120 knots (138 mph) out of the west.” We can see that the speed and altitude of the object is unusual for any drone-type aircraft. On that information alone, the likelihood of an entire fleet of drones capable of operating under this scenario is highly improbable and would require resources only few nations could afford.

In the midst of this exchange, the sensor is switched from “white-hot” to “black-hot.” The imaging of the object is now much clearer. It has a distinct shape: a distorted oval with small protrusions from the top and bottom. The object’s opaque aura is now also very distinct: a “cool” glow that extends about a body thickness around the entire object. There appears to be no observable flight surfaces or exhaust plume, nor any typical components usually associated with conventional aircraft.

“Look at that thing, dude.” The observer is clearly surprised at what is being seen.

At 0:24, the object makes a small, but very sharp, altitude change, possibly indicating it may be operating in a vacuum environment. Its direction and speed remain unchanged despite the continuous 120-knot headwind it is encountering.

“That’s not [unintelligible] is it?”

At 0:27, the object begins a series of distinct rotations and changes orientation by almost 100 degrees. Its orientation is now perpendicular to the horizontal plane despite the headwinds. This maneuver is executed in a manner that is inconsistent with current principles of aerodynamics, and possibly indicative of a vacuum environment. As the video concludes, the object's orientation and performance seem to defy current principals of physics to include atmospheric resistance and normal aerodynamic forces. During the orientation change, it also slows to a near stop, but does not change altitude.

One observer states, “Look at that thing!”

Another observer says, “It’s rotating.”
images.jpg

01.jpg



Could be this?
 

Atalay

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Yes. Erich von Däniken wrote interesting books about traces of extraterrestials in South America and Egypt. Later we were informed that comparable pyamides where also found in the region of Xi'an in China.
.....
Professor Shahul Hameed

Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We cleaved them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Quran 21:30)

Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills. (Quran 42:29)

The word dabbah denotes any sentient, corporeal being capable of spontaneous movement; it is contrasted here with the non-corporeal, spiritual beings designated as angels. (Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Quran. England: Book Foundation, 2003, 449)

It is reasonable to suppose that Life in some form or another is scattered through some of the millions of heavenly bodies scattered through space.” (Ali, Abdullah Yusuf, The Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, Ad-Dar Al-`Arabiah, Beirut, 1938, 1314).

So one day, if scientists come forward with solid proof for the existence of extraterrestrial beings, it should not be a surprise for Muslims.
 

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Pentagon Spent $22 Million on UFO Research, Reports Say
The Kansas City Star
17 Dec 2017
By Bryan Lowry

The Pentagon spent millions of dollars investigating reports of unidentified flying objects, according to reports from The New York Times and Politico.

The $22 million Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program began in 2007 after its funding was pushed by Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who retired this year, according to The Times. Reid has long had an interest in the phenomenon of UFOs.

Much of the money spent on the endeavor went to an aerospace firm owned by billionaire Robert Bigelow, a longtime friend of Reid, according to The Times. Bigelow told CBS's 60 Minutes in May that he was absolutely convinced that aliens exist and that UFOs have landed on Earth.

The Times noted that the Defense Department had never before acknowledged the existence of the program, but officials now say it was shut down in 2012.

Politico said the program is getting attention this year because of the October retirement of Luis Elizondo, a career intelligence official who ran the program and reportedly told Defense Secretary James Mattis in his resignation letter that the Department needed to take the program's research more seriously.

"We were trying to take the voodoo out of voodoo science," Elizondo told Politico.

Elizondo told of sightings by Navy pilots of aircraft that were able to make maneuvers that should not be aerodynamically possible, but complained that military leaders were not taking the threat seriously.

"If a Russian 'Bear' bomber comes in near California, it is all over the news," he said. "These are coming in the skies over our facilities. Nothing but crickets."

Despite funding for the program ending in 2012, Defense officials have continued to research UFOs during the past five years, according to anonymous officials quoted by The Times.

Reid told the Times he was proud of his role in creating the program.

"I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going," he said. "I think it's one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I've done something that no one has done before."

This article is written by By Bryan Lowry from The Kansas City Star

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/12/17/pentagon-spent-22-million-ufo-research-reports-say.html


http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article190169484.html
 

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Head of the Pentagon’s secret ‘UFO’ office wanted to release 3 unexplained videos
BY JOBY WARRICK
The Washington Post
DECEMBER 17, 2017
UPDATED DECEMBER 18, 2017

WASHINGTON
Just before leaving his Defense Department job two months ago, intelligence officer Luis Elizondo quietly arranged to secure the release of three of the most unusual videos in the Pentagon’s secret vaults: raw footage from encounters between fighter jets and “anomalous aerial vehicles” - military jargon for UFOs.

The videos, all taken from cockpit cameras, show pilots struggling to lock their radars on oval-shaped vessels that, on screen, look vaguely like giant flying Tic Tacs. The strange aircraft - no claims are made about their possible origins or makeup - appear to hover briefly before sprinting away at speeds that elicit gasps and shouts from the pilots.

Elizondo, in an internal Pentagon memo requesting that the videos be cleared for public viewing, argued that the images could help educate pilots and improve aviation safety. But in interviews, he said his ultimate intention was to shed light on a little-known program Elizondo himself ran for seven years: a low-key Defense Department operation to collect and analyze reported UFO sightings.

The existence of the program, known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, was confirmed officially for the first time Saturday by a Pentagon spokesman. The acknowledgment came in response to media inquiries, which were generated in part by a start-up company Elizondo has joined since retirement. The private company specializes in promoting UFO research for scientific and entertainment purposes.

Current and former Pentagon officials confirm that the Pentagon program has been in existence since 2007 and was formed for the purpose of collecting and analyzing a wide range of “anomalous aerospace threats” ranging from advanced aircraft fielded by traditional U.S. adversaries to commercial drones to possible alien encounters. It is a rare instance of ongoing government investigations into a UFO phenomenon that was the subject of multiple official inquiries in the 1950s and 1960s.

Spending for the program totaled at least $22 million, according to former Pentagon officials and documents seen by The Washington Post, but the funding officially ended in 2012. “It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DOD to make a change,” Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson explained in a statement.

But officials familiar with the initiative say the collection effort continued as recently as last month. The program operated jointly out of the Pentagon and, at least for a time, an underground complex in Las Vegas managed by Bigelow Aerospace, a defense contractor that builds modules for space stations. It generated at least one report, a 490-page volume that describes alleged UFO sightings in the United States and numerous foreign countries over multiple decades.

See Video here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article190316799.html
Navy pilots say unidentified aerial phenomenon 'going against the wind'

GIMBAL is the first of three US military videos of unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) approved for public release. The footage shows what was on display in the cockpit for the pilots of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Neither the Pentagon nor any of the program’s managers have claimed conclusive proof of extraterrestrial visitors, but Elizondo, citing accounts and data collected by his office over a decade, argues that the videos and other evidence failed to generate the kind of high-level attention he believes is warranted. As part of his decision to leave the Pentagon, he not only sought the release of videos but also penned a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis complaining that a potential security threat was being ignored.

“Despite overwhelming evidence at both the classified and unclassified levels, certain individuals in the [Defense] Department remain staunchly opposed to further research on what could be a tactical threat to our pilots, sailors and soldiers, and perhaps even an existential threat to our national security,” Elizondo said in the letter, a copy of which was provided to The Post.

The first public revelations of the program came in a video conference aired in October by To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences, the firm Elizondo joined as a consultant after retiring from his Pentagon job. The New York Times and Politico reported the existence of the program on their websites Saturday. The Washington Post conducted several confidential interviews over two months with Elizondo and Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence who also is an officer of the private firm.

Documents provided by the former officials included letters of support by former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a key backer of the initiative who helped secure funding for the program and sought to ensure a high degree of secrecy. Elizondo said knowledge of the program was limited, even within the Pentagon itself. He said the program had multiple enemies at senior levels of the department, from officials who were either skeptical or ideologically opposed to AATIP’s mission.

“I was honored to serve at the DOD and took my mission of exploring unexplained aerial phenomena quite seriously,” Elizondo said. “In the end, however, I couldn’t carry out that mission, because the department - which was understandably overstretched - couldn’t give it the resources that the mounting evidence deserved.”

It is difficult to draw conclusions about the nature of the unidentified vessels from the videos alone. Experts generally urged caution, explaining that reported UFO sightings often turn out of have innocuous explanations.

A retired Navy pilot contacted by The Post who was involved in a 2004 encounter depicted in one of the videos confirmed that the images accurately reflected his recollection of the events. The pilot would only speak on the condition of anonymity.

Elizondo, a 22-year veteran of the department who has held top security clearance and worked on secret counterintelligence missions, said he chose to join the private venture because he believed it was the best way to continue the work he was unable to complete as a government employee.
“I left to find an environment where investigating these phenomena is priority number one,” he said.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article190228164.html
 

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Experts cannot explain this UFO video captured from a navy helicopter
BY LISA GUTIERREZ
JANUARY 10, 2017


ufo.jpg

Video Here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article125629429.html
On Nov. 11, 2014, a Navy captain and technician were on a routine daytime patrol mission flying north along the Chilean coast, west of Santiago, and filmed an unidentified flying object. CEFAA

After two years of study, Chilean authorities have declassified and released a nine-minute video of a UFO filmed from a navy helicopter in 2014.

Navy officials admit: They can’t explain what the video shows. A commercial airliner? A weather balloon? A drone?

On Nov. 11, 2014, a navy captain and technician were on a routine daytime patrol mission flying north along the Chilean coast, west of Santiago, The Huffington Post reports.

They spotted an unidentified object hovering in the clouds, so they tracked it, from 40 miles away, and tried unsuccessfully to communicate with it.

The navy captain on the helicopter described the object as a “flat, elongated structure.” The technician said it was “white with a semi-oval shape on the horizontal axis.”

The object hovered in the clouds, then moved across the sky emitting what looked like some type of gas.

The video, which has been called “chilling” in some headlines, has generated buzz among UFO followers and believers, some of whom believe the video shows a bona fide alien UFO.

“This is the first time that an unidentified object was caught on a high-quality video for over nine minutes and two expert witnesses saw it,” notes Heavy.com.

“Ars Technica (tech experts) reviewed the video and could not be as skeptical as they typically are. They said it ‘falls far short’ of providing definitive, concrete proof of aliens, but was very well-documented, made by credible Navy experts, and deserved additional consideration.

“Considering how difficult-to-impossible it would be to see this with the naked eye, is it possible objects like these travel in the sky more than we have any idea but we just can’t see them? Because it was invisible to radar, there’s really no way to know.”

The video’s quality is noteworthy because photographs and videos of UFOs are so often bad that good-quality ones are often dismissed as fake.

“I believe in UFOs, but why are all videos and pictures blurry, shaky, and overall crappy?” a Reddit user once asked the online community.

Blame it on technology, or lack thereof, for most of us.

“Virtually every UFO photo and video in existence features blurry, poorly defined shapes that look more like sonar images and less like alien spaceships,” notes The Paranormal Analyst, a website founded in 2013 to investigate paranormal activity.

“In fact amateur skeptics frequently ask whether UFO, or more to the point aliens, are real, why do we only have these blurry photos?

“The explanation is simple. These phenomena are often being recorded with consumer-grade cameras and equipment. We are speaking about airborne objects miles away from the eyewitness. Some of these objects move at great speeds, others are poorly lit. All these factors make it very difficult to record a good UFO photo or video.

“If you want further proof try to record a video of an airplane flying though the air with a handheld camcorder. You’ll see similar results. Unless we are lucky enough to have a witness with a commercial grade camera and a telephoto lens at the ready to record the UFO, we shouldn’t expect much more than blurry evidence.”

It just so happened that the Chilean helicopter had a “commercial grade camera” on board.

The technician, testing a WESCAM MX-15 HD Forward Looking Infra Red camera, immediately aimed it at the object and zoomed in, according to The Huffington Post.

They tried to communicate with it, but when they got no response they reported the sighting to nearby radar stations. Radar couldn’t pick up the UFO even though it detected the Navy chopper.

The Chilean government agency CEFAA, which investigates UFO sightings, spent two years looking into the incident. A group of military experts and other professions couldn’t reach a conclusion about what the object was.

They’re stumped.

“We do not know what it was, but we do not know what it was not,” CEFAA director General Ricardo Bermudez, told investigative reporter Leslie Kean.

Bermudez interviewed the airmen who saw the UFO and said he “was very impressed by these witnesses. They were highly trained professionals with many years’ experience, and they were absolutely certain that they could not explain what they saw.”

Pic Above
An unidentified flying object filmed in November 2014 by the Chilean navy appears to leave a trail of smoke or some type of gas behind it. From YouTube

http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/world/article125631409.html
 

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Navy pilot describes 2004 encounter with UFO off San Diego coast
BY ABBY HAMBLINThe San Diego Union-Tribune
DECEMBER 18, 2017

SAN DIEGO
A Navy pilot says he encountered a mysterious aircraft off the coast of San Diego in 2004 and confirmation – and video – from the Department of Defense has kicked talk of UFOs and the possibility of alien life into overdrive.

The New York Times shared an interview with now-retired Cmdr. David Fravor on Saturday amid breaking news that, for the first time, a spokesperson confirmed that a program to research UFOs existed at the Pentagon.

Fravor's encounter was one the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program was investigating, according to reports by Times and The Washington Post.

This is what Fravor says happened. He and another pilot were with the USS Nimitz training in F/A-18F Super Hornets about 100 miles out in the Pacific Ocean when someone on the Navy cruiser USS Princeton contacted them by radio about mysterious aircraft.

The ship had been tracking objects that were described as being white, 40 feet long and shaped like Tic Tacs that would appear suddenly 80,000 feet up, then descend toward the ocean and hover at 20,000 feet before dropping out of radar range or blasting back up.

The ship and the pilots worked together to track one of the aircraft and when Fravor got close enough to examine one, it peeled away.

"It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," he told the Times. "I have no idea what I saw."

The video was made public by the Department of Defense thanks to intelligence officer Luis Elizondo who says he wanted to shed light on the secret program that analyzed UFO sightings. A DoD spokesperson told the Times that the program – which was funded by Congress with tens of millions of dollar annually – ended in 2012.

"It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change," a Pentagon spokesman, Thomas Crosson, said.


http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article190442119.html
 

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Five Reasons to Be Skeptical about that New York Times UFO Story
Even if you want to believe, here’s where the paper’s reporting on the Pentagon’s secret UFO program falls short.
By Stephen Pope
December 20, 2017


That New York Times story about a secret government UFO program and close encounters between Navy airmen and unexplained flying objects over the vast Pacific Ocean reads like a science fiction story.

Which was how the paper wanted it.

Scratch beneath the veneer of the borderline-sensationalist reporting and we’re left with many more head-scratching questions than answers.

The eyewitness account of former F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot David Fravor is certainly intriguing — and yet he wasn’t even a part of the original Timesstory, which focused on the money trail behind the UFO hunting effort and interviews with those who are “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that UFOs have visited Earth.

The Times story touched off a flurry of breathless reporting by media outlets around the world, most of which seem to have failed to notice that the Times’ original reporting has some major problems with it. Here are the five of the most glaring.

1. The Pentagon didn’t release those UFO videos, an official connected to a Las Vegas company who resigned in October did.
The New York Times story makes it seem as though the release of the videos came from high-level government officials, glossing over the information that the disclosures were actually spearheaded by an official who led the Pentagon's relatively small UFO hunting program and who has since resigned to join a Las Vegas company called To the Stars Academy of the Arts and Sciences that is seeking private funding for more UFO research. That’s a major distinction that most in the media appear to be ignoring since the original Times report appeared.

2. The Pentagon UFO program’s prime contractor claims to possess mysterious metal alloys that exhibit mystical powers — but won’t show them to anyone.
Bigelow Aerospace, another Nevada-based company, which received most of the Pentagon funding for the UFO research project, reportedly collected mysterious alloys from UFOs that physically affected people who interacted with them. Never mind there are obvious conflicts of interest between Bigelow Aerospace’s billionaire founder Robert Bigelow and his friend, former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who pushed for the $22 million in funding for the government’s UFO program in the first place — what we want to know is, why all the continued secrecy surrounding these alloys and other UFO findings?

3. One of the authors of the Times article wrote a book about UFOs and doesn’t even work for the paper.
After its UFO story appeared in its Sunday edition, the Times divulged that one of the bylined authors wasn’t an employee of the paper but rather is a UFO hunter named Leslie Kean who has written a book on the subject with a forward by John Podesta, another well-known UFO conspiracy theorist who used to throw “X Files” viewing parties in the White House when he worked there during the Clinton years. In fact, not only did Kean help write the article, she was the one who pitched the story to the Times in the first place. At best, shouldn’t she merely have been interviewed for the story? Why was she permitted to be a part of the writing and vetting process?

4. In one of the videos, a Navy airman says “That's a [bleeping] drone.” Why are we doubting him?
In the only UFO video released with pilot audio accompanying it, a Navy airman describes the object he is following as a “drone.” The object does not appear to do anything particularly unusual in this video. Nobody claims that the object did anything unusual. The Pentagon won’t even say where and when the video was shot. Was it a drone?

5. There are plausible explanations for these videos and eyewitness accounts. Where is the rest of the evidence?
Far from proving that our planet has been visited by aliens in aerodynamically advanced space craft, the videos and eyewitness accounts that emerged in the Times story and elsewhere merely provide a starting point for further investigation and inevitably lead to more questions. That’s what makes all of the secrecy and intrigue still surrounding this story so frustrating for the public. The New York Times has dangled this carrot in front of the world, and now leaves us all wondering if the people who claim to know more will ever divulge that information, or merely continue to direct us to the “Donate Here” buttons on their websites.

https://www.flyingmag.com/five-reasons-to-be-skeptical-about-that-new-york-times-ufo-story?cmpid=enews122117&spMailingID=32350971&spUserID=NTkyOTc2OTI2NTUS1&spJobID=1182688712&spReportId=MTE4MjY4ODcxMgS2
 

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U.S. Navy Pilot Reported ‘Near Miss’ With UFO Off East Coast
Navy pilots in recent years have discussed seeing “strange objects” with no visible engines or exhaust plumes flying up to 30,000 feet in the air.
05/27/2019
By Dominique Mosbergen

A pilot with the U.S. Navy almost collided with an unidentified flying object during a mission near Virginia Beach in late 2014, according to a New York Times report published Sunday. The UFO, which the Super Hornet pilot said resembled a “sphere encasing a cube,” was one of many “strange objects” reportedly seen by Navy pilots in the skies over the East Coast between the summer of 2014 and early 2015.

Pilots said they reported these inexplicable sightings to Navy leadership.

The flying objects “had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds,” several pilots told the Times. The objects were seen performing maneuvers “beyond the physical limits of a human crew” like turning instantaneously, the pilots said.

No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects were extraterrestrial, and experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents. But the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy. ‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects
— NYT Science (@NYTScience) May 27, 2019
Some of the sightings described by the Times have been reported on before. A declassified military video made public last March showed two Navy pilots being caught off guard after a flying object without a wing, tail or exhaust plume crossed their path in 2015.

“Wow! What is that, man?” one of the pilots is heard saying in the clip. “Look at that flying!”


The Times’ article comes a month after the announcement of the Navy’s new UFO policy.

The Navy said in April that it was updating and formalizing the process by which pilots can report unidentified or unauthorized flying objects. It did not believe that aliens had intruded into U.S. airspace, a Navy official told CNN at the time, but the Navy said in a statement that it had received “a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years.”

“These kinds on incursions can be both a security risk and pose a safety hazard for both Navy and Air Force aviation,” the statement said. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the USAF takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”

Lt. Ryan Graves, a Navy pilot who said he’s seen these strange flying objects with his own eyes and has reported them to his superiors, told the Times that safety concerns were raised among members of his squadron following his colleague’s close call with the UFO in 2014.

They feared that it “was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision, he said.

As the Times noted, neither Graves nor any of the pilots interviewed by the paper wanted to speculate as to the source of these flying objects. As one pilot quipped, “we’re here to do a job, with excellence, not make up myths.”

Some of the pilots’ stories will be included in a new six-part History Channel series about the mysterious UFO program run by the Pentagon. “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation” is slated to air beginning Friday.

The Times’ article comes a month after the announcement of the Navy’s new UFO policy.

The Navy said in April that it was updating and formalizing the process by which pilots can report unidentified or unauthorized flying objects. It did not believe that aliens had intruded into U.S. airspace, a Navy official told CNN at the time, but the Navy said in a statement that it had received “a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years.”

“These kinds on incursions can be both a security risk and pose a safety hazard for both Navy and Air Force aviation,” the statement said. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the USAF takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”

Lt. Ryan Graves, a Navy pilot who said he’s seen these strange flying objects with his own eyes and has reported them to his superiors, told the Times that safety concerns were raised among members of his squadron following his colleague’s close call with the UFO in 2014.

They feared that it “was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision, he said.

As the Times noted, neither Graves nor any of the pilots interviewed by the paper wanted to speculate as to the source of these flying objects. As one pilot quipped, “we’re here to do a job, with excellence, not make up myths.”

Some of the pilots’ stories will be included in a new six-part History Channel series about the mysterious UFO program run by the Pentagon. “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation” is slated to air beginning Friday.


 

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Multiple F/A-18 Pilots Disclose Recent UFOs Encounters, New Radar Tech Key In Detection
A major upgrade in fighter jet radar tech seems to have been key in detecting and tracking bizarre objects flying in military training airspace.


By Tyler Rogoway
May 27, 2019
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In a major breakthrough in what could be the most fascinating story of our time, five U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet crewmen have recounted a number of incredibly strange encounters with unidentified flying objects off the East Coast of the United States. Two of the pilots went on the record. The surreal craft they encountered had performance that defies known propulsion and aerodynamic capabilities, and are described as looking like something akin to special effects you would have seen in a sci-fi movie circa the late 1980s. The pilots' accounts also point to a major sensor upgrade on their aircraft that made the presence of these craft even detectable at all.

What's even more important is that these events took place as recently as 2015, over a decade after the now famous Nimitz incident with the so-called 'Tic Tac' craft occurred. This is all coming to light—at least officially—just weeks after the U.S. Navy said it is changing its procedures for its service members reporting unexplained phenomenon in their operating environments.

The War Zone had recently published an in-depth expose about the Navy's procedural changes, a number of other revelations surrounding the Tic Tac incident, and more recent developments, that concluded that the phenomenon is indeed real. That hard to swallow fact has huge implications, regardless of the objects' origins.

Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been in the Navy for a decade has come forward after talking to the Navy and Congress about the events he and his squadron mates witnessed between 2014 and 2015. In a New York Times article published on May 26th, 2019, Graves described how strange craft would appear in their training airspace and persist there not for minutes, but many hours, or even days at a time.
“These things would be out there all day... Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”
The persistence of these craft was in no way the strangest thing about them. Beyond being able to drop tens of thousands of feet in a matter of a second or two and possessing flight characteristics that are unobtainable with known technology, the unannounced visitors looked like nothing else on the planet. But before we get into all that, let's rewind to how all this began and talk about a very important detail that was largely glazed over in the New York Times piece.

Graves and another pilot who was willing to disclose his identity—Lt. Danny Accoin—were both Naval Aviators serving in Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11), the Red Rippers, based out of Naval Air Station Oceana near Norfolk, Virginia. Strange anomalies started showing up on their Super Hornets' radars in 2014, while they were out on training maneuvers in the vast warning areas off the Atlantic Coast between Virginia and Florida.


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Skyvector.com
You can see the massive warning and military operating areas that lay off the southeastern seaboard of the United States. All of those large dashed boxes are areas that can be restricted for military training. These swathes of ocean and sky are critical to national security as they let aircraft, and vessels in some cases, operate far from the civilian population in a similar manner as they would on deployment. This includes flying at supersonic speeds for fighter aircraft and using powerful sensors and electronic warfare gear that may interfere with daily life near populated areas.


According to Graves, Naval Aviators really began noticing the objects in their training areas after a major technological leap in air combat capability was fielded across much of the U.S. Navy's combat aircraft inventory. It's a technology that isn't detailed in the New York Times' report, but one we talk about here constantly at The War Zone—Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.

Before the mid-2000s, Navy tactical fighter aircraft were equipped with mechanically scanned array (MSA) pulse doppler radar systems of varying capabilities and power outputs. So-called 'legacy' F/A-18AC/D Hornets were largely equipped with the AN/APG-73 radar. This was a very capable MSA fire control radar with multiple air-to-air, air-to-ground, and synthetic aperture ground mapping modes. Still, it was developed based on 1980s technology, as the vast majority of the fighter radars in service with U.S. military aircraft were at the time.

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AN/APG-73 MSA radar on a legacy Hornet.

Even the earlier batches of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets delivered in the first half of the 2000s were equipped with this same radar set. But as production of the Super Hornet matured, the AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar was installed in place of the AN/APG-73. It became operational on a handful of Super Hornets in 2007, with the number of Navy fighters equipped with it slowing growing larger ever since. Today, it is commonplace across the Navy's Super Hornet and Growler fleets. Also, a diverse array of older aircraft, including the legacy Hornet and even the B-52 Stratofortress, are now being back-fitted with modular AESA radar sets, breathing new life into older airframes.

The AN/APG-79, and other AESA radars like it on fighter aircraft, offer a huge leap in capability in virtually every respect. This included a massive improvement in reliability as a steerable radar dish is no longer needed with electronically scanned arrays. Mechanically scanned arrays have to quickly sweep in all directions physically and even under heavy G forces and buffeting, and they have to survive crashing down on a carrier deck after missions over and over. So, migrating to a system with few moving parts was a massive coup in terms of reliability for Navy fighters.

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The AN/APG-79 installed on a Super Hornet.

In addition to better readiness, and more importantly, the AN/APG-79's resolution, range, speed of scan, simultaneous tracking, and target discrimination abilities are drastically improved over its predecessor. Even the ability to operate in air-to-air and air-to-ground modes at the same time has been introduced. In addition, advanced software and processing that interprets what the more sensitive radar 'sees' provides a higher quality end product to Super Hornet crews, resulting in dramatically improved situational awareness.

All this means that AESA equipped fighters can see farther, better understand what was being detected, and have a hugely enhanced ability to see detect objects flying low over surface clutter. Even small or low observable (stealthy), or slow-moving targets, or those that attempt to hide in the 'doppler notch' of a threatening fighter's radar by flying perpendicular to it, have a tougher time eluding detection and engagement when facing opposition fighters packing AESA radar sets.

With all that being said, apparently, this same leap in sensor technology also lifted the curtain, so to speak, when it came to detecting UFOs flying near Navy fighters while on training missions.
The New York Times writes:
The pilots began noticing the objects after their 1980s-era radar was upgraded to a more advanced system. As one fighter jet after another got the new radar, pilots began picking up the objects, but ignoring what they thought were false radar tracks.
“People have seen strange stuff in military aircraft for decades,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We’re doing this very complex mission, to go from 30,000 feet, diving down. It would be a pretty big deal to have something up there.”
But he said the objects persisted, showing up at 30,000 feet, 20,000 feet, even sea level. They could accelerate, slow down and then hit hypersonic speeds.
Lieutenant Accoin said he interacted twice with the objects. The first time, after picking up the object on his radar, he set his plane to merge with it, flying 1,000 feet below it. He said he should have been able to see it with his helmet camera, but could not, even though his radar told him it was there.
A few days later, Lieutenant Accoin said a training missile on his jet locked on the object and his infrared camera picked it up as well. “I knew I had it, I knew it was not a false hit,” he said. But still, “I could not pick it up visually.”
At this point the pilots said they speculated that the objects were part of some classified and extremely advanced drone program.
But then pilots began seeing the objects. In late 2014, Lieutenant Graves said he was back at base in Virginia Beach when he encountered a squadron mate just back from a mission “with a look of shock on his face.”
He said he was stunned to hear the pilot’s words. “I almost hit one of those things,” the pilot told Lieutenant Graves.
The pilot and his wingman were flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach when something flew between them, right past the cockpit. It looked to the pilot, Lieutenant Graves said, like a sphere encasing a cube.
The last part is somewhat mind-blowing. Basically, he describes a geometric cube with a translucent sphere of some sort around it. Like I said in the opening of this piece, this sounds like some special effects object from season one of Star Trek The Next Generation, not a craft being reported in detail from a highly-trained Navy fighter pilot that flew right by it. Apparently, others appeared to be spinning in mid-air like tops and were captured by the Super Hornet's AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting pod. The now famous 'gimbal video' was supposedly recorded on one of the Red Rippers' training missions:


After this near miss, the Red Rippers were officially spooked. What was something of a novelty and mystery, became a flight safety issue. They filed an official safety report.

The New York Times continues:
The near miss, he and other pilots interviewed said, angered the squadron, and convinced them that the objects were not part of a classified drone program. Government officials would know fighter pilots were training in the area, they reasoned, and would not send drones to get in the way.
“It turned from a potentially classified drone program to a safety issue,” Lieutenant Graves said. “It was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision.
What was strange, the pilots said, was that the video showed objects accelerating to hypersonic speed, making sudden stops and instantaneous turns — something beyond the physical limits of a human crew.
“Speed doesn’t kill you,” Lieutenant Graves said. “Stopping does. Or acceleration.”
Asked what they thought the objects were, the pilots refused to speculate.
We have helicopters that can hover,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We have aircraft that can fly at 30,000 feet and right at the surface.” But “combine all that in one vehicle of some type with no jet engine, no exhaust plume.”
Lieutenant Accoin said only that “we’re here to do a job, with excellence, not make up myths.”
The squadron deployed to the Middle East in March of 2015, and according to the pilots interviewed, the encounters off of the southeastern coast of the U.S. ended not long after.

As for the Navy's strange public announcement that they were changing the reporting procedures for these types of encounters, their position is the same as it was weeks ago, with the New York Times quoting Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher as such:
“There were a number of different reports,” he said. Some cases could have been commercial drones, he said, but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this. So the intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace.”
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Red Ripper F/A-18F.

We examined this peculiar move by the Navy and the odd timing of it in great detail in my last article on the subject, and this series of events likely had something to do with it. Regardless, with all this in mind, what can we take away from these new on the record revelations?

First off, they are a huge deal. We are talking about two more Navy fighter pilots on the record and another three talking to The New York Times on background. And this was not some account that occurred a decade or more in the past, this was just a couple years ago. Yet what strikes me the most is that once again, this series of encounters occurred in tightly sanitized airspace over the ocean where the military does its most advanced and complex training and testing, just like the Nimitz's Tic Tac incident many years earlier on the west coast. In that case, the gear and personnel involved were also preparing for a major deployment.

Yet what the New York Times doesn't seem to firmly drill down on enough is that we are now getting first-hand accounts that describe a major upgrade in radar technology as being a catalyst for actually detecting and tracking these mysterious objects. Much of my last piece was dedicated to the little known fact that back in 2004, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group was executing very complex and highly integrated training prior to deployment with Cooperative Engagement Capability technology installed on its ships and aircraft. This was the first time this game-changing suite of sensor fusion and data-link technologies was ever integrated into an operational Carrier Strike Group. As a result, multiple accounts definitively state that its unique, 'fused' sensor data was confiscated after the Tic Tac incident culminated in a number of close encounters.

Taking the recent information about the radar upgrade on the Super Hornets into account, it adds a new facet of plausibility to the Nimitz/Tic Tac events. The higher fidelity radar telemetry data Cooperative Engagement Capability provided, like the introduction of AESA fire control radars on Navy fighters not long after, may have allowed for the detection and documentation of these objects like never before. Whether that was by design or by chance remains unknown.

These two facts—the encounters occurring in secure military airspace off the continental U.S. coastline and the presence of advanced, highly capable radar systems in both series of incidents—is compelling, to say the least. As we stated in our last piece on the subject, these areas and the gear present in them during the encounters would make for very attractive testing conditions for undisclosed aerial capabilities. When it comes to the object's strange appearance, making something as alien looking as possible is probably a good thing for deniability and unconventional camouflage purposes. Even the testing of sensors under real-world conditions against such a craft using various guises could be beneficial.

As for near collisions, they have happened among military aircraft operating in highly controlled airspace where both parties are being helped by air traffic controllers. As such, the near miss doesn't seem like an outright disqualifier for these objects belonging to the military, or a military, as the pilots seem to think. And it's not like the presence of totally unknown aircraft that could be a threat to the safety of other aircraft hasn't occurred even in highly trafficked airspace that is patrolled by alert fighter aircraft. We have broken three major stories about just that in just the last 18 months, one of which is unprecedented in its level of documentation.

I do have to stress that this is not the explanation we are giving for these incidents, but it is one that has to be taken into account, especially considering the similar circumstances at hand.

General knowledge of the aforementioned events that occurred off the east coast in 2014 and 2015 is not necessarily new. Many of us who have kept very close tabs on these developments have known about the sphere and cube craft description for some time, and that a number of encounters happened in this area long after the Nimitz event in 2004. Our good friend Danny Silva reported on the broad strokes of this story days before the New York Times piece was published via dissecting an interview with Commander David Fravor, the lead Super Hornet pilot that had the close-up encounter with the Tic Tac in 2004. Silva also blogged about Fravor's description of what the east coast pilots saw back in January. What is new is the level of detail offered and the fact that five pilots talked to The New York Times about this and two were on the record.

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NAS Oceana is one of two Navy master strike fighter bases, the other being NAS Lemoore in central California. Many squadrons call NAS Oceana home. It would be suprising to hear that these encounters happened with the Red Rippers alone. In addition, multiple huge Marine Corps and USAF bases are also located in the region and use the same airspace.

The fact of the matter is that we still don't know much about these strange events. For instance, was this a community-wide event? In other words, were multiple squadrons at NAS Oceana experiencing similar incidents? The AN/APG-79 was fairly common by 2015 among Super Hornet units. If not, why only the Red Rippers? They are just one of many fighter squadrons based at NAS Oceana—along with dozens of other Marine Corps and USAF Squadrons based in the region—that also use the airspace for training. Some of those units are equipped with more advanced aircraft types than the Super Hornet, such as the F-35 and F-22. These aircraft also have AESA radars. Did they spot similar phenomena during this period of time?

In addition, why did it take a near miss to report the presence of these craft? Was it a cultural and professional issue, or something else?

Now stepping back even further, it is very interesting we are hearing of this now. The steady drip, drip, drip of information starting with the disclosure of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) in December of 2017 has been peculiar, bordering on downright questionable, to say the least. It is also just days before To The Stars Academy, the quasi-research/entertainment corporation put together by Blink 182 rocker Tom DeLonge and now filled with impressive resumes from the intelligence and aerospace sectors, including the ex-head of the AATIP program, has the first episode of its highly touted new program on the History Channel premiere. You can read more about the strange circumstances surrounding these disclosures in my last piece on the topic.

Regardless, this report moves the ball forward in a major way and underscores, once again, the reality that the limits of aerospace engineering and propulsion, at least as we understand them, have been exceeded by someone or something. As I wrote last month:
The main revelation is that technology exists that is capable of performing flying maneuvers that shatter our perceptions of propulsion, flight controls, material science, and even physics. Let me underline this again for you, the Nimitz encounter with the Tic Tac proved that exotic technology that is widely thought of as the domain of science fiction actually exists. It is real. It isn't the result of altered perception, someone's lucid dream, a stray weather balloon, or swamp gas. Someone or something has crossed the technological Rubicon and has obtained what some would call the Holy Grail of aerospace engineering.
This reality is very hard to process for many. There is always an out for some in the form of claiming an odd impromptu conspiracy or some hollow explanation that doesn't pass muster beyond the first paragraph, but in the end, it happened. As uncomfortable as that fact is, it's reality. So, we need to use this event as a lodestar going forward when it comes to evaluating and contemplating what is possible and where truth actually lies.
We are working this story from multiple and highly unique angles. Stay tuned for some truly exciting developments.

 

Khafee

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Navy confirms, but can't explain strange 'aerial' objects in 3 videos
By Nicholas Sakelaris
SEPT. 19, 2019


Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has acknowledged what appear to be unusual flying objects in footage from three separate military videos, saying they show "unidentified aerial phenomena" moving at high speeds.

All three videos were recorded by F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets -- two in 2015 and one in 2004. The Navy refers to the sightings as UAP, not UFOs.

"The three videos show incursions into our military training ranges by unidentified aerial phenomena," Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher said in an emailed statement. "The Navy has characterized the observed phenomena as 'unidentified.'"

The 2004 footage, taken from an aircraft assigned to the USS Nimitz, shows an oblong object accelerate out of view of the sensor. In another, an object moves against the wind at high speeds. The last video shows a UAP over water.

The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a group that examines unidentified objects and alien life, contends the videos were made public through a declassification review process.


The oldest video was released in 2007, but the Navy said it doesn't know how the others were made public.

"These videos are copies of official Navy footage taken by Navy personnel conducting training missions in controlled military airspace," Gradisher said.

Gradisher said the UAP seen in the videos could potentially be drones.

"All of this is about incursions into our training ranges by what we're calling UAPs," Gradisher told The Washington Post. "These incursions cause a hazard to the safety of our aviators and the security of our operators, and that's what the Navy's investigating, these range incursions."

 

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