Tag: David Fravor

An Unmet Threat

 

Article by Christopher Mellon                           February 18, 2020                              (legion.org)

• This article is a plea to the US government written by Christopher Mellon (pictured above), a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Today, Mellon is an adviser to Tom DeLonge’s ‘To the Stars Academy for Arts and Science’ and he serves as a contributor to HISTORY’s television series: “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation.”

• Ever since the days of Project Sign in 1948 and Project Bluebook which ended in 1969, the US Government’s reports on UFOs were designed to debunk UFO sightings and discredit civilian UFO researchers. The government’s only objective was to reassure the public that no case “reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security,” and that there is “no evidence of developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge.” The stigma the Air Force sought to create worked only too well, causing most US military and intelligence personnel to conceal rather than report UFOs – a self-blinding process that resulted in decades of lost data.

• But on December 16, 2017, The New York Times ran a front-page story revealing the existence of a Congressionally mandated Pentagon program to study UFOs. The article was accompanied by two declassified DoD videos obtained by Navy F-18 fighter pilots. The UFOs were seen in broad daylight by numerous Navy personnel and demonstrated revolutionary aeronautical capabilities. These reports were independently corroborated by sophisticated military sensor systems. And a Navy spokesman admitted that the Navy videos were neither a hoax nor secret US test aircraft. They were “UAPs” – ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’. With this short statement, the Navy upended the conclusions of every prior US government examination of the UFO phenomenon.

• There is nothing more compelling than hearing the Navy pilots’ stories firsthand. Navy pilot Commander David Fravor who encountered the ‘tic tac’ UFO off of California in 2004 and Lieutenant Ryan Graves, a Navy pilot who said that the UFOs followed his Navy strike group for months, have expressed how anxious they are to find out what technology these strange craft are using to defy the laws of physics, tumbling through nonsensical angles to maintain a dominant position. In the “Gimbal” video (off of the coast of Florida in 2015) posted by The New York Times, one of the pilots is heard to exclaim, “There’s a whole fleet of them out there!” He was referring to a V-shaped formation of smaller craft approaching the fighters as they observed a larger “mothership” in the video. At close range, these bizarre craft appear to be black cubes, the corners of which are touching the inside of transparent spheres a mere six feet in diameter. There are no discernible air inlets, exhaust, wings, or means of lift or propulsion, yet they have been tracked at supersonic speeds and seem able to remain aloft indefinitely. Fravor’s anonymous female ‘wingman’ pilot noted, “We didn’t stand a chance against it.” Navy F-18 pilots would not say that about any Russian or Chinese fighter.

• This should be taken to heart by DoD officials and Congress. Commander Fravor and his colleagues expect their nation to find out where these things come from, why they are here, and how they work. A handful of senators and representatives on national security oversight committees have sought briefings. Yet an obdurate DoD bureaucracy seems to be making almost no effort to determine the origin of these craft or their means of propulsion.

• If we knew for certain that the Russian or Chinese militaries had leapfrogged the United States technologically, there would be a public uproar for increased investigation and action. Such initiatives were spurred on by the Soviet’s Sputnik satellite in the 1950s and paid handsome dividends with thousands of new patents and the US taking the lead in science and technology. The only response we’ve seen to these UAPs has been the Navy updating and formalizing its reporting process. No major investigations have been launched. There is no indication that DoD or the intelligence community leadership is engaged at all.

• There is still no process for collecting and integrating pertinent UFO/UAP information among the myriad US agencies and departments. At the same time, the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology directed NASA to begin looking for “technosignatures,” i.e.: alien space probes. There is no denying the possibility that some UAPs encountered by our military are probes launched by distant civilizations. Inability to identify the radical UAPs violating our airspace is an ongoing intelligence failure, one that arguably requires written notification to the House and Senate intelligence committees pursuant to Section 502 of the National Security Act of 1947.

• Indeed, there are things we could be doing. Analysts could review archived data of the ‘tic tac’ UFO incident in November 2004 from the Nimitz carrier strike group’s infrared radar system, or the International Monitoring System, or various space-based electronic sensors. Reviews of this kind for incidents occurring off the East Coast since 2015 should also be conducted. Direction from Congress or a senior administration official is all it would take to initiate the process. With little effort or expense, the Trump administration could request a National Intelligence Estimate on “anomalous aerospace threats”. Or Congress could fund an independent civilian panel under the auspices of the National Science Foundation.

• Our government’s failure to thoroughly investigate these UFO anomalies is due to our policymakers prioritizing political expediency over national security. This is a state of affairs reminiscent of the declining Roman Empire when the needs and concerns of troops in the field were largely ignored by self-serving politicians in Rome. Hopefully, support for our troops is one thing that still unites us.

 

On Dec. 16, 2017, The New York Times ran a front-page story revealing the existence of a congressionally mandated program to study unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The article was accompanied by two recently declassified DoD videos obtained by F-18 fighter pilots. On both occasions, the UFOs were seen in broad daylight by numerous Navy personnel, the reports were independently corroborated by sophisticated military sensor systems, and the unidentified aircraft demonstrated revolutionary aeronautical capabilities. For example, some of the craft were observed descending from altitudes above 80,000 feet, then hovering as low as 50 feet above the ocean before accelerating to hypersonic speeds from a dead stop.

     David Fravor

As more information emerged, including the release of another official DoD UFO video, a handful of senators and representatives on the national security oversight committees sought briefings. At this point, the Navy and DoD could no longer conceal the truth.

Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations, admitted that the vehicles in the declassified Navy videos are neither a hoax nor secret U.S. test aircraft: “The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAP. In other words, they might be Russian, Chinese or even alien spacecraft. Whatever they are, they are real, they aren’t ours, and they continue to violate U.S. airspace with impunity.

With that short statement, the Navy upended the conclusions of every prior U.S. government examination of the UFO

                      Ryan Graves

phenomenon, from Project Sign in 1948 to Project Blue Book, which was terminated in 1969. Written when the Cold War was in full swing, these reports were designed to debunk UFO sightings and discredit civilian UFO researchers in order to reassure, rather than inform, the public. It is hardly surprising, then, that despite hundreds of cases defying explanation the Air Force concluded there was “no evidence of developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge” and that no case “reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.”

The only scientist assigned full time to Project Blue Book, astronomer Allen Hynek, expressed his contempt for these findings, calling the project’s statistical methods “nothing less than a travesty” and the attitude and approach within Blue Book “illogical and unscientific.” It is now obvious that the stigma the Air Force sought to create worked only too well, causing most U.S. military and intelligence personnel to conceal rather than report UFO/UAPs – a process of self-blinding that resulted in decades of lost data.

The evidence provided by DoD videos and radar is vital for intelligence analysis, yet there is nothing more compelling than meeting the Navy pilots and hearing their stories firsthand. In my conversations with Cmdr. David Fravor, his excitement was palpable and contagious, as were the fears of his anonymous female wingman when she described the surreal manner in which the UAP seemed to defy the laws of physics, tumbling through nonsensical angles to maintain a dominant position vis-à-vis Fravor’s F-18.

Internet talking heads like to cast doubt on these accounts, proposing spurious theories of ghost aircraft lacking transponders lurking in restricted DoD airspace. Clearly they have not interviewed the pilots and radar operators who encountered these objects at close range. Had they done so, they would find no ambiguity, doubt or confusion. Fravor’s wingman told me, and Fravor agreed, “We didn’t stand a chance against it.” I cannot imagine Navy F-18 pilots saying that about any Russian or Chinese fighter. These sobering words from badass Navy combat pilots should be taken to heart by DoD officials and Congress.

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Witnesses Say USS Nimitz “Tic-Tac” Had Incredible Flight Capabilities, and That’s Not All

 

Article by Micah Hanks                         January 26, 2020                             (mysteriousuniverse.org)

• The ‘FLIR 1’ UFO video taken by Navy aviators assigned to the USS Nimitz carrier group which captured an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’, now commonly known as the ‘tic tac’ UFO, is one of the most widely-discussed UAP instances of the modern era. In November 2004, these objects were tracked on radar over the course of several weeks. Former Petty Officer 3rd Class Fire Controlman Gary Voorhis reported seeing the UFOs through binoculars from the top deck of the USS Princeton in the carrier group.

• Voorhis and former Lead Petty Officer, Ryan Weigelt, who watched the ‘tic tac’ UFO on the AN/SPY-1 Bravo radar aboard the USS Princeton, described the “otherworldly maneuverability” of the objects. The UAP could go “up, left, down, forward…at any speed it wanted to go.” “[I]t would move sharp to the right, sharp to the left, up, down, any particular direction it wanted to go. It had no rudders, no props, no jet plume. You couldn’t tell which side was the front and which side was the back, except that you’d just assume that which way is going forward is front. But you can’t even assume that, because it would just move sideways.”

• Voorhis and Weigelt noted another eerie characteristic of the ‘tic tac’ UFOs. When Navy pilot Commander David Fravor and the Navy jet accompanying him were alerted via radio that the object had reappeared, they were given a “cap point” location to reach. Fravor told the New York Times, “We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point.” Somehow, the UFO was aware of the designated cap point location and got there first. Could the operators of the ‘tic tac’ UFO have had foreknowledge or other access to this information? Was it able to decode the Navy’s highly encrypted communications?

• Various accounts of these UFOs indicate that they possess capabilities far beyond anything that the US military has, or any other military for that matter. While these UFOs have not made any overt offensive actions against Navy jets, it is a concern that these mysterious objects have such highly advanced performance abilities. Just how much information does the US military have on these UFOs? What steps is the military taking to identify and learn more about these UFOs? We don’t know.

 

“Up, left, down, forward… any way it wanted to go, at any speed it wanted to go. Which was hard for your brain to kinda wrap around at first.”
This was how Gary Voorhis, former Petty Officer 3rd Class Fire Controlman aboard the USS Princeton, described the behavior of an unidentified flying object that was tracked and observed across multiple systems during a 2004 Naval incident off the coast of California. The events described here, commonly known today as the USS Nimitz UFO incident, have become one of the most widely-discussed instances involving unexplained aerial phenomena of the modern era.

       Ryan Weigelt
                   Gary Voorhis

A number of key factors have contributed to the attention this incident has gained, which include the involvement of multiple witnesses, and more fundamentally, that it had been a military encounter with obvious national defense implications. Also contributing to the interest it has received had been footage obtained with the help of the Raytheon ATFLIR targeting pod systems employed by the Navy, as well as observations by radar operators and other technicians in the Navy’s Strike Carrier Group-11. All of these sources provided information about the operational capabilities of the craft, which has since been popularly likened to a bus-sized, flying “tic-tac”.

Gary Voorhis and Ryan Weigelt, both of whom served with the Carrier Group-11 at the time of the incident, related a number of unique details to me during a recent interview I conducted with them about the incident. Voorhis, as described earlier, had been a Petty Officer 3rd Class Fire Controlman aboard the USS Princeton, and was one of the system technicians for the Cooperative Engagement Capability and AEGIS Combat systems, which included the AN/SPY-1 Bravo radar. Weigelt, a former Leading Petty Officer, had been the power plant specialist of the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter at the same time.

One of the key elements that both men shared with me in our interview had been their recollection of seeing the now-famous intercept attempt led by Commander David Fravor, a former commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (and, notably, the officer to first compare the object or aircraft’s shape to a “tic-tac”). Fravor was accompanied at the time of the intercept by his weapon systems officer and two other pilots.

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The Navy Has a Secret Classified Video of an Infamous UFO Incident

 

Article by MJ Banias                        January 10, 2020                         (vice.com)

• In response to a FOIA request submitted by Christian Lambright, the US Navy says that it has ‘briefing slides’ that are classified TOP SECRET and videos classified SECRET, under Executive Order, pertaining to the “Nimitz Encounter” ‘Tic Tac’ UFO video taken in 2004 off of San Diego (see 2:45 minute video below) and two other UFO videos taken off of the East Coast in 2015, which were released to the public in late 2017 and early 2018. The Original Classification Authority has determined that the release of these newer materials would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.

• But the Navy also possesses a video classified SECRET for which the Office of Navy Intelligence is not the Original Classification Authority. Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough told Motherboard “The Department of Defense, specifically the U.S. Navy, has the video. As the Navy and my office have stated previously, as the investigation of UAP sightings is ongoing, we will not publicly discuss individual sighting reports (or) observations.” “We do not expect to release this video.”

• Last November, Popular Mechanics reported that several original witnesses of the Nimitz incident saw a longer, higher resolution video of the UFO encounter. A Petty Officer who served on the USS Princeton (part of the USS Nimitz carrier group), Gary Voorhis, said that he “definitely saw video that was roughly 8 to 10 minutes long and a lot more clear.” However, Navy pilot Commander David Fravor has stated that the longer video probably does not exist.

• Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon staffer who ran the Pentagon’s ‘Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program’(AATIP), resigned in 2017, and along with ‘To The Stars Academy’, was instrumental in releasing the ‘Tic Tac’ and the other two UFO videos, said that due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement he made with the government, he was “not able to comment further on the existence of a longer video”. But Elizondo did say that “people should not be surprised by the revelation that other videos exist and at greater length”

• Luis Elizondo remarked that straightforward messaging does not seem to be the Pentagon’s strong suit. In (December) 2017 the New York Times ran the story about the $22 million AATIP Pentagon UFO program which Elizondo ran. The Pentagon has repeatedly changed its story since then. In September of 2019, the Navy confirmed the videos contained footage of “unknown aerial phenomena”. Last month, a Pentagon spokesperson said that AATIP had nothing to do with UFOs. “The Pentagon has a long history of sometimes providing inaccurate information to the American people,” says Elizondo. “I can only hope that the inconsistent message is due to the benign results of a large and cumbersome bureaucracy and not something more nefarious like a cover-up or deliberate misinformation campaign.”

 

The Pentagon has Top Secret-classified briefings and a Secret-classified video about an infamous UFO incident, the U.S. Navy said in response to a public records request.

              Susan Gough
                        Luis Elizondo

The files concern the 2004 encounter between the USS Nimitz and strange unknown aerial objects. In 2017 and 2018, three videos of bizarre aircraft taken by Navy pilots from their fighter planes made national news. In December 2017, The New York Times ran a story about Navy pilots who intercepted a strange object off the coast of San Diego on November 14th, 2004, and managed to shoot video of the object with their F-18’s gun camera. In September of 2019, Motherboard reported that the Navy confirmed the videos contained footage of “unknown aerial phenomena.”

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request sent by researcher  Christian Lambright seeking more information on the incident, the Navy said it had “discovered certain briefing slides that are classified TOP SECRET. A review of these materials  indicates that are currently and appropriately Marked and Classified TOP SECRET under Executive Order 13526, and the Original Classification Authority has determined that the release of these materials would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.”

“We have also determined that ONI possesses a video classified SECRET that ONI is not the Original Classification Authority for,” the letter continued.
Motherboard independently verified the FOIA response with the U.S. Navy.

“The Department of Defense, specifically the U.S. Navy, has the video. As Navy and my office have stated previously, as the investigation of UAP sightings is ongoing, we will not publicly discuss individual sighting reports/ observations,” Susan Gough, a Pentagon spokesperson, told Motherboard. “However, I can tell you that the date of the 2004 USS Nimitz video is Nov. 14, 2004. I can also tell you that the length of the video that’s been circulating since 2007 is the same as the length of the source video. We do not expect to release this video.”

2:45 minute FLIR1 ‘Tic Tac’ UFO video from 2004 (‘To the Stars Academy’ YouTube)

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