Military report reveals more strange details on ‘UFO’ sighting
By Mike Wehner, BGR
May 25, 2018
UFO sightings are a dime a dozen these days and they have been for a while, but back in December, the New York Times released the results of an investigation into the US military’s monitoring of UFO claims and came up with something totally wild. It was a video released by the Pentagon that shows US Navy pilots tracking the movements of a totally unexplainable aircraft. Now, a local news team from Las Vegas has obtained a military report that offers even more details on the sighting and the story is somehow becoming even more bizarre than it already was.
The report explains in great details how a US Navy aircraft carrier played a strange game of hide and seek with multiple Anomalous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs) that demonstrated flight characteristics that should be downright impossible to pull off.
The sightings began on Nov. 10, 2004, and lasted for several days. The objects would appear on the carrier’s radar systems for short periods, seeming to hover still, and then fly off at high speeds.
Confused by exactly what was going on, the crew decided to investigate. When the object appeared again a few days later, a pair of F/A-18Fs was directed to check out the strange signals. The result is the now-famous video showing the “Tic Tac”-shaped UFO cruising along at incredibly high speeds and making rapid changes in altitude.
In the new report, the object is described as “solid white, smooth, with no edges” and being “uniformly colored with no nacelles, pylons, or wings.” The report says the object was estimated to be about 46 feet long. By comparison, the F/A-18 fighters that were trailing it measure around 56 feet long, meaning that whatever it was that the Navy spotted could feasibly hold one or more human-size individuals.
The pilot said they never felt as though the object was a threat, but the report notes that the AAV seemed to react to the presence of the jets, “demonstrating an advanced acceleration, aerodynamic and propulsion capability.”
Throughout the several days of seeing the object come and go, the Navy says it may have demonstrated the ability to “cloak” and disappear to the human eye. Its rapid descent from 60,000 feet to just 50 feet before disappearing also made officials consider the possibility that it was capable of operating underwater,effortlessly moving from the air to the sea at will.
The latest insights into a 14-year-old UFO incident “prepared by and for the military,” according to KLAS-TV investigative reporter George Knapp, read like the dry first chapter on the beginning of a new era. That’s probably wishful thinking from a malcontent exhausted by the predictability of despair. On the other hand, a mere glimmer of an alternative future is worth a little applause. Or at least a Mexican dog dance.
Count ‘em: 13 single-spaced pages of a wonkishly detailed narrative about what happened during an unscheduled military rendezvous with a cosmic hot rod off the coast of southern California in November 2004. Included is an itemized rundown of every feature of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG-11), as well as profiles of tracking hardware wired for astonishing capabilities. (The AN/SPY-1 phased array radar system, for instance, can scan for more than 100 targets simultaneously and, as Knapp put it last Friday, is “capable of detecting a golf ball at 100 miles.”) And nothing sounds more official than the clutter of arcane acronyms, none more significant than AAV – Anomalous Aerial Vehicle.
This “Executive Summary,” which Knapp said was compiled in 2009, revisits the mystery that CSG-11 found itself confronting over a six-day period five years earlier when AAVs, UFOs, UCTs, UAP, EFOs or whatever we’re calling them these days decided to introduce the U.S. Navy to its limitations. In three separate incidents, the AAV easily outpaced/outmaneuvered the fleet’s attempts to make the intruder’s license plate. “Given its ability to operate unchallenged in close vicinity to the CSG,” concluded the summary, “it demonstrated the potential to conduct undetected reconnaissance, leaving the CSG with a limited ability to detect, track, and/or engage the AAV.”
The centerpiece of the encounter, as we all know now, is the so-called Tic-Tac video, showcased to great effect in December by the New York Times. Approximately 46 feet long, the breath mint-shaped UFO effectively evaded every approach by carrier fighters, eluded radar, showed evidence of invisibility cloaking, reversed course at a bone-sloshing angle, and plummeted within “a matter of seconds” the height of two Mount Everests stacked atop each other. Navy pilots got halfway decent glimpses of Tic-Tac only after it appeared to slow down to let them catch up. Also: Tic Tac and/or something associated with it churned the otherwise glassy ocean surface below into what looked like water displacement. Then it beat our warplanes back to their original vector point.
Tyler Rogoway, the War Zone defense industry reporter who has raised the bar in this field over the past couple of months with stellar FOIA work on two recent U.S. incidents, is unambiguously impressed with the quality of the witnesses and the overall level of detail in the accounting.
“Regardless if you think the AATIP program was totally legit or some type of elaborate misinformation mechanism dreamed up in the darkest corners of the defense-industrial complex,” Rogoway wrote on Tuesday, “during that week in November of 2004, something totally strange did indeed occur. And it didn’t just happen in a blink of an eye, it happened over days, with the object in question being examined by a multitude of the U.S. Navy’s front-line sensors as well as by the human eye of one of the best-trained and reliable observers one can imagine.”
A worthy debate over the provenance of the documents is ongoing. Between now and whenever the authenticity issue is resolved, the military’s characterization of the intruder(s) – “no known aircraft or air vehicle currently in the inventory of the United States or any other foreign nation,” “advanced aerodynamic performance,” “advanced propulsion capability,” and “possibly … a highly advanced capability to operate undersea completely undetectable by our most advanced sensors” – is making an implicit but revolutionary concession: not only can’t we compete with Tic Tac, the thing appears to be mocking our illusions of absolute control.
Meanwhile, conversations generated by the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, unmasked by the Times late last year as the Pentagon’s erstwhile UFO research project, continue their incremental migrations into the mainstream of the public arena.
Last month, Politico celebrated the addition of space news coverage by sponsoring a bipartisan discussion joined by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), and Mary Lynne Dittmar, advisor to Donald Trump’s space policy council on behalf of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. In a pleasantly surprising move, the Politico moderator asked them to weigh in on the recent UFO dustup. Both pols advocated for hearings before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. “Look,” Bera added, “if you want to boost our C-Span ratings, a lot of people would be really interested.”
Gee. Wonder why nobody ever thought of that before? Maybe it’s time to trot out of some of 2016’s greatest disappointments and ask once again: Could The Great Taboo become a campaign issue? Raise your hand if you thought three years ago that Trump could ever get elected president. And what role does the veracity of these Tic Tac documents play in moving forward? After all, they are, ahem, devoid of government imprimatur or release dates. There are no signatures or code numbers to tell us where this buck stops. And those familiar with the secret sharers are playing it close.
Leslie Kean, co-author of The Times piece, says her team reviewed the documents last October, and their accounting was essential to convincing them to pursue the AATIP story. “We … were given them by confidential sources who provided them to us under the agreement that they were for us only and not for public release,” she states. “We don’t release documents provided in this way.”
Mr. Knapp isn’t spilling the beans, either. “The report has never been ‘released’ in a formal sense,” he writes in an email. “I can’t say how anyone else got a copy, but mine was leaked, as opposed to being released. I obtained it— along with other materials– back in March. My plan all along was to write a couple of news stories to air in May, which allowed me enough time to verify the contents and also to put together a few news reports to air on KLAS. My primary audience is the viewing public of Las Vegas, not the UFO community.”
So what’s going on backstage? Whoever is controlling this material appears deeply conflicted. Or maybe there’s a fissure in the bureaucracy, or whatever passes for containment walls these days. Given the halting, piecemeal release of documents and videos, which might’ve packed an even bigger wallop were they all bundled together in December, it’s pretty clear that that no one is really in full command of this storyline, at least not yet. And in these fact-challenged times, maybe that’s not an entirely bad thing.
“ 'Oh my god! Oh my god! I’m engaged, I’m engaged! S***!' He’s screaming on the radio.”
Excerpts from the podcast testimony of radar operator Kevin Day, former senior chief petty officer aboard the USS Princeton, relaying the words he heard in real time from an F-18 pilot in hot pursuit of what may turn out to become the best-documented military UFO challenge ever. Day was being interviewed by Air Force veteran John Burroughs at KGRA.
“I found out later this thing did a barrel roll around him,” Day recalled during a two-hour Q&A last week on Phenomenon Radio Live. “And just basically kicked his butt in a dogfight.”
This is a new-witness angle to what’s being called the Nimitz Tic Tac incident of 2004, an update to the story broken by the New York Times last December. Day said he was in charge of air defense for the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group as it conducted training exercises 80 miles off the coast of San Diego. And he was on duty in the second week of November when a pilot with the elite “Black Aces” captured the now-famous Tic Tac-shaped UFO with an infrared gun camera.
But Day wasn’t the only Navy veteran to spill the beans last week about what he saw. On Wednesday, “Extraordinary Beliefs” podcaster Jeremy Corbell bagged a 23-minute interview with an operations specialist who would give only his first name, Trevor. During nearly week-long interactions with the furtive UFOs, Trevor was watching the radar scopes aboard the Nimitz’s Combat Direction Center, the inner sanctum of the entire task force. Early on, he described watching high-flying blips dart across his grid in jerky movements that sound (to De Void, anyway) like a cursor on a computer screen. Trevor said he “couldn’t tag it” because the thing(s) “kept jumping around.”
But the news peg here is Trevor’s claim about what he didn’t see on radar. The day after the F-18s returned from their intercept mission, colleagues, including officers and a pilot, invited him to check out gun-cam footage that had been downloaded into the Secret Internet Protocol Routing Network (SIPRNet) system. This anomaly looked nothing like the Tic Tac. This was your classic flying saucer – flat below, rounded dome on top. The video resolution was sharper than the Tic Tac. Furthermore, when they slowed the action down, frame by frame, the UFO disappeared in sequential frames before reappearing in others. “And then boom,” says Trevor, “it was gone.”
Again, what set these new accounts into motion was the Times’ original reporting six months ago. And what ultimately led to Day’s interview is an enduring public appetite for more info on the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, the $22 million UFO research initiative described by the NYT.
Less than two weeks ago, during a Society for Scientific Exploration conference in Las Vegas, engineer and research insider Hal Puthoff reminded listeners there were 38 related papers logged by the Defense Intelligence Agency, prepared by contractors as part of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Project during 2007-12. Two of those broad theoretical reports, written in 2010, one by Puthoff himself (“Acquisition Threat Support”), went public in May.
But those were tame compared with the May release of yet another paper addressing the Nimitz incident specifically. Though its author was anonymous and it bore no government markings, the summary was detailed enough to create a firestorm of Internet speculation over who wrote it.
Known for co-authoring a bangup radar analysis the 2008 Stephenville Incident as well as bringing critical scrutiny to the infrared UFO footage shot by airborne federal Customs agents over Puerto Rico in 2013, Robert Powell had been keeping an eye on the Nimitz story long before the Times’ coup. Working leads for volunteer researchers called the Scientific Coalition for Ufology, Powell located crew logs and started reaching out to potential Tic Tac witnesses. He recorded an interview with Kevin Day in either late December or early January; Trevor (“that’s his actual first name, he’s real,” Powell says) never replied to his email.
Powell kept his SCU teammates looped in, aiming to publish a fuller accounting of the Nimitz thing online in August. But with the legitimacy of the “executive summary” of the Tic Tac being hotly contested, one of the SCU members jumped into a cyberdebate and speculated the author might’ve been the hitherto unknown Kevin Day – and dropped Day’s name in the middle of it. Powell issued a WTF to his colleague, who deleted the post. By then, it was too late. Alternative media was hot on Day’s trail.
“Once witnesses start going public,” Powell explains, “they start getting contaminated. The more they tell their stories, they begin to change. It’s weird how the mind works.”
Powell said he heard some contradictions between what Day told him several months ago and what he told Burroughs. For instance: Did the UFO(s) drop from 28,000 feet to sea level within the snap of a finger, as Day said last week, or did it/they go from 80,000 feet to 28,000 feet, as he told Powell? There are other discrepancies, most of them minor. “It wouldn’t matter to most people – this thing happened and that’s all they care about,” says Powell. “But the inconsistencies can create openings for debunkers to say it never happened.”
And what about Puthoff? Best known for his government research into the quantum mechanics behind things paranormal, the Vice President of Science and Technology for the To The Stars Academy was a key character in the Times’ scoop. On June 8 in Vegas, among other things, Puthoff openly discussed the AATIP’s research into a very specific sample allegedly recovered from a UFO years ago. It was a “multi-layered bismuth and magnesium” artifact that early investigators couldn’t get to bond in the lab; furthermore, it served no discernible function.
“Well, years later, decades later actually, finally our own science moves along,” Puthoff told his audience. “We move into an area called metamaterials, and it turns out exactly this combination of materials at exactly those dimensions turn out to be an excellent microscopic waveguide for very high frequency electromagnetic terahertz frequencies.”
De Void isn’t sure what that means, exactly. But how is this not interesting?
Two days after co-authoring the Times piece on the AATIP, veteran reporter Ralph Blumenthal wrote how the story “has dominated the most emailed and most viewed lists since.” He reiterated the point on MSNBC a day later, saying “This is probably the most watched and looked-at story the New York Times has run in a long time, because people are fascinated by the subject.” Queried by the network host about what kind of UFO material the Pentagon experts had investigated, Blumenthal replied, “They don’t know, they’re studying it, but it’s some kind of compound they don’t recognize.”
That was six months ago. Where is the New York Times followup today? Are they really walking away from a story they started? Because?
Given the readership market for this information, as described by Blumenthal, this isn’t just bad journalism. This is a bad business decision.
Trevor was watching the radar scopes aboard the Nimitz’s Combat Direction Center, the inner sanctum of the entire task force. Early on, he described watching high-flying blips dart across his grid in jerky movements that sound (to De Void, anyway) like a cursor on a computer screen. Trevor said he “couldn’t tag it” because the thing(s) “kept jumping around.”
The DeVoid article has a couple of links that are worth checking out. The one below is to "Extraordinary Beliefs" and features an interview with the person who says he's the radar operator on the Nimitz who first reported UFO activity.
One interesting thing to note is that in the video of the unidentified object, as the video was reviewed in slow motion frame by frame, it disappeared and then reappeared in a new spot, as if it “skipped” a few frames as it accelerated. If true, this seems to suggest that something more than anti-gravity or exotic propulsion technology is at play here. Possibly something related to the manipulation of spacetime is involved. Just a thought...
Long ago I wrote a piece on Martin Caidin’s telekinesis experiments, which he was running out of his home in Gainesville. His targets were positioned on grid squares lying flat on a table. The table was located in a small and specially designed airtight room, with no visible ventilation system, behind a single locked door and a large viewing window. The targets looked like tiny stationery spindles balancing little umbrella-shaped discs of tin foil.
Caidin’s bio was formidable. I’d read some of his WWII books when I was a kid, so he occupied iconic space in my head years before I met him. I visited him in Gainesville after five University of Florida science professors, multiple disciplines, told me they’d seen his experiments and that none could figure out how he was doing it.
Caidin’s second-floor target room was a good 12 steps or so away and around the corner from his study, so he couldn’t see what was happening inside it. From that inner sanctum, he would shout out a coordinate – e.g., “D3!” – which directed my gaze to D3. More times than not, I watched the foil on the targeted space begin to wobble in the correct square. That was for starters.
Sometimes Caidin would call out “clockwise!” or “counterclockwise!” and I’d watch it respond as if following orders. I couldn’t be in two places simultaneously to see if he was manipulating a remote-control doodad from his desk (he invited me to inspect it for wires and buttons before we started). But he was also taunting – “Look, no hands!” – as I backed away from the viewing-room window and angled over to see Caidin waving his open palms. The academics were luckier. They came with numbers, one keeping a guarded eye on Caidin while the other(s) observed events in the target room.
“Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity” — Sigmund Freud/CREDIT: simple.wikipedia.org
I hadn’t thought about this since forever, until the other day when I got a link to a new Wikipedia entry called "USS Nimitz UFO Incident". It was the Skeptical-with-a-capital-S version of the increasingly compelling Tic Tac infrared UFO footage from 2004. The third graph, which touted a hot-off-the-press May-June ’18 Skeptical Inquirer article by Joe Nickell — including backup from ideological wingman James McGaha — told me all I needed to know. At least it had the integrity not to feign objectivity; for blockheads who still didn’t get it, the second major subhead in the Wiki piece read “Skeptical analysis.”
With 25 (!) footnotes, the Wiki entry borrowed most liberally from (surprise!) Nickell’s SI screed titled “Navy Pilot’s 2004 UFO: A Comedy of Errors,” sauteeed with such relentless speculation it sounded almost urgent. Nickell took an especially gratuitous swipe at the observational and professional skills of now-retired Commander David Fravor, a Top Gun pilot whose “first military assignment for the U.S. Navy’s F-18 Super Hornet” had — despite 14 years flying warplanes — “obviously rattled him,” Nickell writes.
According to Nickell, Fravor didn’t know what a submerging submarine looked like. He didn’t know a drone when he saw one. And, upon reviewing the Tic Tac video shortly after it was filmed by another pilot in the squadron, Fravor couldn’t tell that the UFO’s abrupt departure from the viewfinder “was likely caused by the plane’s banking while the camera stopped at the end of its sweep,” Nickell informed readers.
Finally, he declared, “most of the carrier group’s personnel at the time regarded Fravor’s response as laughable. Major McGaha and I regard the entire incident not as evidence of an extraterrestrial encounter but as a comedy of errors involving the pilots.”
Nickell’s smear job also contained a reference to “former Scientologist and parapsychologist” Hal Puthoff, working with “a fringe-ideas group called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science.” De Void will pause here because De Void’s own bio could open with “former volunteer for Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) …” and that would be accurate. Even though it was and is one of the many disgraceful mistakes I’ll carry to my grave. But it also made me wonder if the capital-S Skeptics had done a number on Puthoff, the quantum physics investigator whose remote-viewing research at Stanford Research Institute led to CIA funding.
Though the Wiki profile states Puthoff left Scientology in the 1970s, that affiliation is mentioned way up high in the second graph. And there’s an extensive discussion on Puthoff’s work with controversial/alleged spoonbender Uri Geller. And that’s what caught my eye. It included two footnotes citing magician James Randi, who a) famously nuked Geller’s claims to psychic powers on Johnny Carson 40 years ago, and b) posted a $1 million reward for anyone who could successfully authenticate their own psychic powers.
Baffled by Caidin’s TK results, I asked if he’d ever consider accepting Randi’s million-dollar challenge. Caidin said no, Randi was a showboat and a fraud who would never give up the money. Randi, Caidin said, always insisted on controlling and rigging an experimental environment for failure.
Randi lived just a few hours away from Caidin, in south Florida. I called the guy and said he should make the drive up; if he could expose Caidin on Caidin’s home turf, that would make an even better story.
But Randi was too omniscient for that. He said he didn’t need to waste gas to understand what was happening in Gainesville. Caidin, Randi said, was making his targets move with an assist from eddy currents, residual pockets of unstable air. He said they can linger for days in a supposedly sealed environment. I asked how Caidin was able to steer those eddy currents with such precision, but Randi didn’t have time for it, Caidin was faking and that was that.
I don’t know if Caidin was faking or Geller was faking or whether Randi is a visionary or a manipulative blowhard. What’s beyond dispute is, if you Google “Hal Puthoff” or “Nimitz UFO,” the first references that pop up in both cases are Wiki entries filed by these capital-S Skeptics. Clearly the intent here is to discourage further inquiry by perpetuating the illusion that science inhabits a world of binary choices, in a wretched extension of the overheated political climate driving so many of us to tune out for our own mental health.
Since the Wiki post went up, new witnesses to the Nimitz incident have been slowly emerging, and they’re sharing stories that make the Skeptics’ accounting a lot more suspect. As Fravor stated in a provocative interview last week with Linda Howe, when it comes to approaching the evidence with an open mind, “If we’re all done learning, then let’s just stop – but I would like to say there’s a lot that we don’t know, and we need to keep doing it.”
Why are some people so uncomfortable with ambiguity? And why are these same people compelled to rush to judgement on a zero-sum game of their own design by disparaging incomplete data? There’s got to be a name for this, but it isn’t science.