Declassified video may be best evidence yet of UFOs
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Last week, a story surged in the media that may serve as the best evidence yet that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. While most UFO claims are easily explained as natural phenomena, or as hoaxes, or simply lack supporting evidence, this claim isn't easily dismissed. The claim is that in 2004, U.S. Navy aviators observed a UFO off the coast of San Diego. The incident was filmed, and investigated by the Pentagon. And it is now public, sparking a host of questions.
Infrared footage from the camera suggests the video is authentic.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - According to the story released by the Department of Defense (no less), a U.S. Navy cruiser, the USS Princeton had spent two weeks haplessly tracking bogeys that would appear at 80,000 feet, then drop to 20,000 feet and hover. A bogey, in military parlance, is an airborne object that hasn't yet been confirmed as hostile, but doesn't appear to be friendly. The objects were out of the ship's reach until the USS Nimitz, which was preparing for a deployment, received its fighter wing.
As soon as the F-18F Super Hornets were operating, the USS Princeton radioed Navy Cmdr. David Frevor, and his wingman, Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight with a "real world vector," asking the pair what weapons they had onboard. The pilots replied they had only dummy missiles on their planes, but they were sent to intercept one of the objects anyway.
Cmdr. Fravor began a spiraling descent to get closer to the object, which then climbed to meet him. Fravor's fighter pilot instincts kicked in, and he pulled his nose toward the object to intercept it. That was when the object flew away, and the chase began.
In one minute, the object flew 40 miles to a new point. The pilots were able to track the UFO on infrared camera for a short time. They also observed there were other objects in the airspace around them. By the time they reached the point where the object was last seen, 40 miles away, the object had disappeared, moving at an unnaturally high rate of speed. The two jets returned to the Nimitz.
Fravor said of the object, "I have no idea what I saw. It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s. I want to fly one."
After submitting his report, and being made fun of by his shipmates, his superiors did not investigate further.
In addition to the sighting, video footage of the encounter has also emerged online. That video was released by intelligence officer Luis Elizondo, who released a cache of content from the Department of Defense's "secret vault" which includes raw video of encounters between fighters and what they call, "Anomalous Aerial Vehicles." The cache of footage includes Cmdr. Fravor's video.
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As it turns out, the Pentagon operated a secret program to investigate such phenomena between 2007 to 2012. The program, known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, was funded at the request of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and spent an annual budget of $22 million. By 2012, with no results to show, the program was allegedly canceled at Reid's request.
Such a program has practical value. Secret military projects around the world are often responsible for many unexplained UFO sightings. For example, U-2, OXCART, and SR-71 flights out of Groom Lake in Nevada (a.k.a. Area 51) were responsible for many UFO sightings in the 1950s and 1960s. It is likely that similar projects today still result in unintended sightings by the public and military personnel. And when foreign entities test their projects, these accidental sightings and reports can provide valuable information on what is being developed.
So what makes this claim so extraordinary? For one, it happened. Rather than a made-up hoax, Commander Fravor's incident was documented by multiple sources. It was also investigated by the Department of Defense, which saved video of his encounter. The video is remarkable, and does not appear to be faked.
The incident could be a hoax, but it hasn't been debunked so far.
As for the pilots seeing a secret military project, that doesn't appear to be the case. For example, observers on the USS Princeton observed multiple objects on multiple days. Cmdr. Fravor observed the object moving erratically above the water. What would be the purpose of erratic movement? The object was not alone, so why would the military be testing multiple craft at the same itme? And why would the object rocket away without any signs of propulsion?
Ultimately, there are more questions than answers.
The story and the video could still be a hoax, although if so, it is remarkably good and elaborate.
For now, we are left to wonder. Cue the X-Files theme.
Here is an excerpt from the official report:
FAST EAGLES 110/100 UPON TAKE OFF WERE VECTORED BY PRINCETON AND BANGER (1410L) TO INTERCEPT UNID CONTACT AT 160@40NM (N3050.8 W11746.9) (NIMITZ N3129.3 W11752.8). PRINCETON INFORMED FAST EAGLES THAT THE CONTACT WAS MOVING AT 100 KTS @ 25KFT ASL.
FAST EAGLES (110/100) COULD NOT FIND UNID AIRBORNE CONTACT AT LOCATION GIVEN BY PRINCETON. WHILE SEARCHING FOR UNID AIR CONTACT, FAST EAGLES SPOTTED LARGE UNID OBJECT IN WATER AT 1430L. PILOTS SAW STEAM/ SMOKE/CHURNING AROUND OBJECT. PILOT DESCRIBES OBJECT INITIALLY AS RESEMBLING A DOWNED AIRLINER, ALSO STATED THAT IT WAS MUCH LARGER THAN A SUBMARINE.
WHILE DESCENDING FROM 24K FT TO GAIN A BETTER VIEW OF THE UNID CONTACT IN THE WATER, FAST EAGLE 110 SIGHTED AN AIRBORNE CONTACT WHICH APPEARED TO BE CAPSULE SHAPED (WINGLESS, MOBILE, WHITE, OBLONG PILL SHAPED, 25-30 FEET IN LENGTH, NO VISIBLE MARKINGS AND NO GLASS) 5NM WEST FROM POSITION OF UNID OBJECT IN WATER.
CAPSULE (ALT 4K FT AT COURSE 300) PASSED UNDER FAST EAGLE 110 (ALT 16KFT). FAST EAGLE 110 BEGAN TURN TO ACQUIRE CAPSULE. WHILE 110 WAS DESCENDING AND TURNING, CAPSULE BEGAN CLIMBING AND TURNED INSIDE OF FAST EAGLE'S TURN RADIUS. PILOT ESTIMATED THAT CAPSULE ACHIEVED 600-700 KTS. FAST EAGLE 110 COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH THE RATE OF TURN AND THE GAIN OF ALTITUDE BY THE CAPSULE. 110 LOST VISUAL ID OF CAPSULE IN HAZE.
LAST VISUAL CONTACT HAD CAPSULE AT 14KFT HEADING DUE EAST.
NEITHER FAST EAGLES 110 OR 100 COULD ACHIEVE RADAR LOCK OR ANY OTHER MEANS OF POSITIVE ID. FAST EAGLE 100 WAS FLYING HIGH COVER AND SAW THE ENGAGEMENT BY FAST EAGLE 110. FAST EAGLE 100 CONFIRMS 110 VISUAL ID; 100 LOST CONTACT IN HAZE AS WELL.
CPA OF ACFT 110 FROM CONTACT 4000-5000 FT.
Expert analysis of the video can be found here.
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