Navy F/A-18 Pilot Shares New Details About UFO Encounters During Middle East Deployment
by Tyler Rogoway June 10, 2019 (thedrive.com)
• Ryan Graves is a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot stationed in Virginia Beach who is one of a handful of Navy personnel who spoke with the New York Times recently about seeing UFO’s off of the East Coast of the US in 2014/2015. In the ‘To The Stars Academy’ produced “Unidentified” docu-show on History Channel, Graves hinted that he routinely saw similar UFOs when his unit was deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in early spring of 2015.
• Graves corresponded by email with Tyler Rogoway of ‘The War Zone’ website to further clarify the record. Graves wrote that while deployed with USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group in the Mediterranean Sea, “we had less time to explore the (UFO) phenomena, … where it was such a daily occurrence we essentially only gave them enough thought as to avoid hitting them.” “I did occasionally see radar signatures that performed in ways that were consistent with our experiences back home, though at a significantly reduced rate.”
• When the carrier group reached the Persian Gulf, Graves related that, “It is very congested airspace…” But “I do distinctly remember seeing radar contacts that were very similar (to the UFO contacts off of the Virginia coast), if not the same, but again, significantly reduced in volume and inconclusive.”
• While there are parallels between the UFO events Graves and his squadron experienced back in 2014 and 2015 off of the Virginia coast, and the Navy’s encounter with the notorious ‘Tic Tac’ UFO that occurred with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group off the Pacific Baja coast in 2004, there is a possibility that these events expose secret and highly exotic technology belonging to the US military or even its adversaries. We have only scratched the surface. There is no definitive explanation for these incidents at this time.
As part of our ongoing and in-depth coverage of the military’s increasingly publicized encounters with UFOs, we want to share with you exclusive correspondence between F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot Ryan Graves and The War Zone. Graves is one of a handful of Navy tactical jet aircrewmen that recently stepped forward regarding a near constant string of encounters with UFOs while training off the southeast coast of the U.S. between 2014 and 2015. In the message, he answers our question regarding statements that the mysterious craft followed his unit while on cruise to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. There was some discrepancy on this issue, with the New York Times first reporting the encounters stopped shortly after the unit and its air wing left on deployment in early Spring of 2015, while further testimony from Graves teased in short promotional clips for To The Stars Academy’s History Channel show Unidentified implies that they continued while the unit was deployed abroad.
Graves has allowed us to share his correspondence with The War Zone in an attempt to better clarify the record. Note that this email was written informally between two people with an understanding of military and air combat topics and jargon, so a bit of decoding is in order. When Graves says “AC” he means aircraft. When he mentions ‘Whiskeys’ he is talking about blocks of restricted military operations airspace or warning areas off the coast of America’s southeastern seaboard. The ‘med’ is shorthand for the Mediterranean Sea.
With that said, his letter reads:
I enjoyed your episode on the War College podcast. You seem to have a strong understanding of many of the systems we have in the jet as well as the bigger picture of how the AC integrates into the carrier strike group as a whole.
I wanted to answer a question you seemed to have. During my discussions on the hill and pentagon, I broached the subject regarding whether the UAP’s were limited to the Whiskey’s by VA Beach and our strike group, or whether they followed us in theatre.
It is a difficult question to answer. While flying in the med during the transit, or while operating in the gulf, the workload we have is significantly higher and we had less time to explore the phenomena, especially at this point where it was such a daily occurrence we essentially only gave them enough thought as to avoid hitting them.
However, to answer your question, in the med I did occasionally see radar signatures that performed in ways that were consistent with our experiences back home, though at a significantly reduced rate.
In the gulf, it is more difficult to answer. It is very congested airspace, there is much more air traffic than one would expect, both friendly and otherwise, especially as we go through the straits. There was a handful of times that I had a moment to focus on externals to the mission while transiting inbound and I do distinctly remember seeing radar contacts that were very similar, if not the same, but again, significantly reduced in volume and inconclusive.
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