Tag: David Fravor

Oregon’s Annual UFO Festival is Just the Place to Channel Your Inner Green Man

by Helen Soteriou                      March 30, 2019                       (dailymail.co.uk)

• On May 16-19, the 20th annual McMenamins UFO Festival will take place in McMinnville in Yamhill County, Oregon, featuring marching bands, garish floats, and a wine-tasting billed as ‘Close Encounters of the 3rd Vine’. The highlight of the festival is the costume parade, a colorful spectacle of tinfoil outfits and spaceships.
• The festival attracts believers in extraterrestrial life, alien abductions, out-of-body experiences, and close encounters, as well as non-believers who come to enjoy the spectacle. As Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville, says, “It’s the one weekend when locals feel it’s OK to let their freak flag fly.”

• The UFO festival began after a local farmer, Paul Trent, photographed an alleged UFO hovering around his farm outside McMinnville. Now known as the ‘The Trent Sightings’, his two photographs, taken on May 11, 1950, have passed into UFO legend. (see photo below)

• This year’s speakers at the 600-seat auditorium in the community center include Bob Lazar who worked on the ‘reverse-engineering’ of crashed/captured alien spacecraft at Area 51, and Commander David Fravor, a retired Top Gun Navy pilot, who in 2004 encountered an oblong-shaped “tic tac” craft hovering above the Pacific Ocean.

• Where else can you join an alien parade, dance in the streets, attend a lecture from an ex-intelligence officer and end the day with sipping pinot noir with ET?

 

All the ingredients of a small-town carnival are in place: marching bands, garish floats, a costume parade, candy floss. Flamboyance and fanfares. But here, in the deepest corner of Oregon on the north-west coast of the United States, it might help if you believe in aliens.

This is the home of UFO Fest, held in the small town of McMinnville in Yamhill County.
Each May, McMenamins Hotel in Oregon stages its celebration of the extra-terrestrial: the world of abductions, out-of-body experiences and close encounters.

                     Paul Trent UFO photo

Many of the 20,000 who attend the three-day festival — and you can still get tickets — are firm believers in alien life, often referred to as ufologists; others, the doubters and the sceptical, come to enjoy the spectacle. In McMinnville’s Main Street, locals and out-of-towners, believers and non-believers, mingle. No one falls out.

As Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville, says: ‘It’s the one weekend when locals feel it’s OK to let their freak flag fly.’

This year will see the 20th anniversary of the festival, which began after a local farmer, Paul Trent, photographed an alleged UFO hovering around his farm outside McMinnville. Now known as the ‘The Trent Sightings’, his two photographs, taken on May 11, 1950, have passed into UFO legend.

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The UFO Community Still Believes — and Science is Starting to Listen

by Chabeli Herrera                March 19, 2019                   (orlandosentinel.com)

• Over the past two years, scientists, politicians and professionals have increasingly been willing to touch the taboo subject of UFOs and perhaps lend a little credence to those who still believe.

• In December 2017, the New York Times reported that the U.S. had funded a secret, $22 million project to study UFO claims from 2007 to 2012. Declassified video taken in 2004 by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets off the coast of San Diego showed a craft with no apparent propulsion moving at alarmingly fast speeds. Navy pilot Commander David Fravor who witnessed the Tic Tac-shaped craft told the Washington Post that it was “something not from Earth.”

• Harvard’s astronomy department chair, Avi Loeb, along with colleague Shmuel Bialy, wrote in a publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters that an interstellar object seen passing through our solar system called Oumuamua “is a lightsail, flowing in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment.” Loeb theorized that, “Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.”

• NASA’s Ames Research Center scientist Silvano Colombano went on record recently to suggest that NASA and the scientific community should be more open-minded in its approach to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. NASA is preoccupied with finding biosignatures through its Center for Life Detection Science than interested in analyzing alleged UFO sightings.

• MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) does analyze UFO sightings. It has 3,500 members in 42 countries. Barbara Stusse, 80, has been coming to MUFON meetings for three years. She says that her mother saw a UFO in 1947. In 1965, she read about Betty and Barney Hill and “believed it”.

• Kathleen Marden is MUFON’s director of experiencer research. She was 13 years old in September 1961 when her Aunt Betty Hill and her Uncle Barney Hill saw a UFO in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There were two hours they couldn’t account for, and Barney was sure he’d seen eight to eleven figures dressed in black shiny uniforms that were “somehow not human”. Under hypnosis, the Hills related how they were abducted and physically examined inside the UFO. “They examined their hands, they took their shoes off, they examined their feet, they did tests on them that appear to be testing their nervous systems, as well,” says Marden. She has written about the government’s ‘tampering’ with the Hill case. But lately Marden has seen a recent shift in the credence that people give to the UFO phenomenon, with the 2017 New York Times article being the turning point.

• Trish Bishop of Kissimmee, Florida, relates her story of March 2013 at dusk when she saw a tall, muscular man wearing a formfitting tan colored uniform, boots and gloves was lingering in her backyard at the edge of a forest. But his face wasn’t human. His eyes bulged far out of their sockets. His jaw was over-sized. And his skin was white as chalk. Paralyzed with fear, she pretended not to watch the man while she called for help on her phone. Then man appeared to be climbing invisible steps. When he was about 10 feet off the ground, he turned his back to her and pulled himself up “into a UFO?” she thought — and he was gone. After four years, she got the nerve to report the incident to MUFON.

• The challenge with UFO and alien sightings has always been the lack of evidence. Bishop said she was too scared to take a photo of her alien. Little to no consequential evidence exists in other cases. University of Central Florida psychology professor Alvin Wang thinks that people project their predisposition to believe in conspiracy theories, and seek out others who reaffirm that belief. “[T]hey get …confirmation support, when they are members of UFO believers community,” said Wang.

 

He appeared as if a hologram at first — then solid — suddenly there and clear as you or I, at the edge of the forest behind Trish Bishop’s home in Kissimmee.

It was a Thursday in March 2013, the glow of the afternoon tucking in for the day behind the trees. He stood tall, at least 6-foot-3, perhaps 220 pounds and certainly muscular, wearing a formfitting tan colored uniform, boots and gloves. He lingered by the crape myrtle tree in the middle of the backyard.

When he turned around, it was his face, she remembers, that stopped her.

Bulging eyes jutting so far out of the sockets that Bishop wondered whether he could close them. Skin white as chalk.
And a jaw so large, it dispelled any notions the government worker had of the visitor being human.

“If you compare a human jawbone to his, we would be a chihuahua to a pit bull,” Bishop said.

Paralyzed with fear, she watched as what she believed to be an alien appeared to climb invisible steps, stopping often to snatch glances at her from where she sat on her back porch, fumbling with her phone to appear as though she couldn’t see him.

Her finger was pressed on the number “9” to dial for help.

When he was about 10 feet off the ground, he turned his back to her and pulled himself up — “into a UFO?” she thought — and was gone.

Bishop sat stunned. “I’ve got a freaking alien in my backyard,” she thought.

It would be four years before she told anyone her story, before she’d discover the Mutual Unidentified Flying Objects Network, a nationwide organization 50 years old, and file her report under case number 84886 with the local Florida chapter.

But she worried: Who would believe her?

These days, more people than you’d think.

Across restaurants and meeting rooms in the United States, MUFON groups still gather every month to discuss cases like Bishop’s with the enthusiasm that once gripped the nation during the Cold War, when UFO sightings still made a splash on the front page.

The Space Coast group, made up of some former NASA employees and engineers, has 118 members, the largest in the state. Across the U.S. they number 3,500, with additional offices in 42 countries.

For many years, they were alone entertaining UFO theories. No more.

In the past two years, scientists, politicians and professionals have increasingly been willing to touch the taboo subject and perhaps lend a little credence to those who still believe.

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Top Five Pilot Encounters With UFOs

by Robbie Graham                   September 27, 2018                (mysteriousuniverse.org)

• Cases of pilot encounters with UFOs stand among the most credible and dramatic ever recorded. Here are five of the most compelling:

1. Japan Airlines – On November 17, 1986, daytime, at 35,000 feet over northeastern Alaska, Japanese Airlines Boeing 747 cargo plane en route from Paris to Tokyo suddenly found itself facing two pairs of squarish arrays of pulsating “amber and whitish” lights each the size of a commercial jet, side-by-side, hovering directly in front of the aircraft. The objects lit up the cockpit where Captain Kenju Terauchi could feel heat on his face. Then the pilot noticed a third much larger “mothership” UFO eight miles away, toward which the two bright UFOs were heading. All of this was confirmed by radar at Anchorage flight control and a nearby Air Force base. After a half hour, the UFOs were gone. Years later, an FAA investigator publicly testified to a CIA cover-up of flight data relating to this event.

2. Frederick Valentich – On October 21, 1978, at 7:12 pm, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich vanished while was flying a Cessna 182L light aircraft over Australia’s Bass Strait. Just before his disappearance, Valentich had advised Melbourne air traffic control that he was being orbited by a large shiny craft with a green light 300 meters above him. Then he made is final statement, “[the] strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.”  This was followed by a metallic scraping sound. No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found.

3. Thomas Mantell – On January 7, 1948, 25 year old WWII vet Captain Thomas Mantell of the Kentucky Air National died while in pursuit of a UFO. The UFO was 300 ft. in diameter, white with a red border at the bottom. Against orders to break off pursuit, Mantell chased the UFO and got close enough to it to radio that the object was “metallic,” and of “tremendous size.” Then he lost consciousness, and his plane spiraled to the ground and crashed.

4. The ‘Tic Tac’ UFO – On November 14, 2004, (over the Pacific Ocean, off of the coast of San Diego), around noon on a clear day, the USS Princeton of the US Navy’s Nimitz carrier battle group instructed a pair of unarmed FA-18F Navy jets to intercept a radar blip. When pilots David Fravor and Jim Slaight reached the position, they noticed a disturbance in the ocean water below them, and then an object hovering 50 feet above the disturbance. The pilots described the UFO as resembling a large bright white “Tic Tac” (the breath mint) between 30 and 46 feet in length, with no visible engine or exhaust. As Fravor descended toward the object, it began to ascend, mirroring the Navy jet’s maneuvers. Then the UFO accelerated and was gone in two seconds.

5. Alderney, England – On 23 April 2007, Captain Ray Bowyer was flying a routine passenger plane from Southampton, England, to Alderney in the Channel Islands. For fifteen minutes, he and his passengers watched two very large, cigar-shaped UFOs, each a mile in length and emitting a brilliant yellow light, hovering stationary about 55 miles away. Peering through binoculars, Bowyer could distinguish their solid form. The plane flew to within 12 miles of the objects before the pilot flew away and landed. Another aircraft also confirmed the sighting.

 

If you’ve never done any research on the UFO topic, you might be forgiven for thinking that the only people who see them are hicks with worrying family trees; certainly this is the stereotype that has been perpetuated by Hollywood. In reality, however, UFOs are reported by men and women from all walks of life, and from all social and economic backgrounds: from burger-flippers to bankers, sex-workers to surgeons, pot-washers to politicians. With this in mind, it should come as little surprise that those who spend their working days in the skies above us also see their fair share of anomalous aerial phenomena. Indeed, cases of pilot encounters with UFOs stand among the most credible and dramatic ever recorded in the history of this enduring enigma.

Here are five of the most compelling…

#5. Alderney Sighting, 2007

Captain Ray Bowyer got the fright of his life on 23 April 2007 while piloting a routine passenger flight from Southampton, England, to Alderney in the Channel Islands. Over a 15 minute period, he and his passengers witnessed two UFOs so large and imposing that Bowyer–a pilot with 18 years of flying experience–wanted nothing more than to land his aircraft as soon as humanly possible “and have a cup of tea.” Typical Brit.

Bowyer’s aircraft gradually converged on two stationary, cigar-shaped craft, each emitting a brilliant yellow light. To the naked eye, the objects appeared unnervingly large, despite initially being some 55 miles away, and Bowyer would later estimate that the two mystery craft were each up to a mile across. Bowyer also viewed the objects through 10X magnification binoculars, through which he could distinguish their seemingly solid form, which grew clearer still as his aircraft drew nearer to them.

Bowyer would later recall: “I found myself astounded but curious, but at 12 miles’ distance these objects were becoming uncomfortably large, and I was glad to descend and land the aircraft. Many of my passengers saw the objects as did the pilots of another aircraft, 25 miles further south [a plane near Sark, which confirmed the presence, general position and altitude of the first object from the opposite direction].”

The encounter was thoroughly investigated but remains unexplained. Bowyer conservatively maintains that what he and his passengers witnessed was “definitely nothing from around these parts.”

#4. USS Nimitz Radar/Visual Encounter, 2004

At around 12:30 EST on November 14, 2004, an operations officer aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton contacted two airborne US Navy jet fighters from USS Nimitz, instructing the pilots to change their course and investigate an unidentified blip that was showing up on the Princeton’s radar. The first fighter aircraft was piloted by Commander David Fravor, with his weapon systems officer in the back seat. The second jet was piloted by Commander Jim Slaight.

The weather conditions that day were near perfect: blue sky, no cloud cover, calm sea. When the jet fighters–both FA-18F Super Hornets–arrived at the site of the radar blip, the crew of four could see nothing untoward in the air. Below them, however, on the surface of the sea, they noticed an area “the size of a Boeing 737 airplane with a smoother area of lighter color at the center,” as if the waves were breaking over a large object just under the surface. Moments later, the crew noticed a strange object hovering erratically some 50 feet above the disturbance in the water. Both pilots later described the unidentified object as resembling a large bright white “Tic Tac” between 30 and 46 feet in length, with no visible engine or exhaust plume.

As Commander Fravor started a circular descent towards the object, it began ascending along a curved path, keeping a safe distance from the F-18 and mirroring its trajectory. Fravor then attempted to plunge his fighter below the object. No chance. The UFO accelerated “like a bullet from a gun” and was lost from his sight in less than two seconds. The nature and origin of the object remain a mystery (at least officially).

In 2017, Fravor spoke publicly about his “Tic Tac” encounter as part of a broader and ongoing public initiative to draw attention to the Pentagon’s shadowy UFO study program (now allegedly shut down), officially titled the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP).

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