Tag: Gary Voorhis

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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The Tic Tac UFO Witnesses

Listen to “e173 The Tic Tac UFO Witnesses” on Spreaker.

Article by Tim McMillan                          November 12, 2019                           (popularmechanics.com)

Popular Mechanics magazine and website recently assembled five former sailors who served with the USS Nimitz carrier group and witnessed first hand the Navy’s November 2004 encounter with ‘tic tac’-shaped UFOs, one hundred miles off of the coast of San Diego. Gary Voorhis, Jason Turner, P.J. Hughes, Ryan Weigelt, and Kevin Day were all featured in the documentary film The Nimitz Encounters.

• In November 2004, Gary Voorhis was a Petty Officer 3rd Class on the USS Princeton guided missile cruiser on a routine training exercise. Voorhis was a six year veteran having served two combat tours. They were getting the “kinks out” of the ship’s new Spy-1 Bravo radar system. Voorhis was told by radar techs that they were getting “ghost tracks” and “clutter” on the radars. As a system technician, Voorhis was concerned about a possible malfunction. The air control systems were re-calibrated. But the ghost tracks were only clearer. Said Voorhis, “Sometimes they’d be at an altitude of 80,000 or 60,000 feet. Other times they’d be around 30,000 feet… Their radar cross sections didn’t match any known aircraft. …No squawk, no “IFF” (Identification Friend or Foe).”

• Kevin Day was the Princeton’s Combat Information Center Operations Specialist Senior Chief. It was his job to protect the airspace around the strike group. Day noticed strange radar tracks near San Clemente Island. But they were appearing in “groups of five to ten at a time and they were pretty closely spaced to each other,” said Day. “[They] were 28,000 feet going a hundred knots tracking south.” Ryan Weigelt remembers Senior Chief Day’s name being called over the comms.

• In the meantime, Voorhis was watching the highly precise radar returns. He would plot the UAP’s position, run up to the bridge, grab a pair of heavily magnified binoculars, and could faintly see the UAPs hovering there in broad daylight. [T]hen all of a sudden,” says Voorhis, “in an instant, they’d dart off to another direction and stop again.” “At night, they’d give off a kind of a phosphorus glow and were a little easier to see than in the day.”

• By November 14th, the strange returns had been continuously showing up for close to a week. With an air defense exercise scheduled for that morning, Day convinced his commanding officer to let him direct aircraft to attempt an intercept of these anomalous radar returns. Squadron Commander David Fravor was sent to engage with what Fravor would later describe as “an elongated egg or a ‘Tic Tac’ shaped” flying object, 46 feet long.

• Voorhis, Day, and the rest of the Princeton listened to the live comm chatter, as the UAPs effortlessly evaded the two fighter jets by demonstrating “an advanced acceleration, aerodynamic, and propulsion capability.” Outmaneuvered, Fravor and his wingman returned to the USS Nimitz. Another F/A-18 was sent to the intercept point. Lieutenant Chad Underwood would record the infamous “tic tac” video which would be released by ‘To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science’ and the New York Times in December 2017.

• While delivering supplies to the ship’s Signal Exploitation Space, former Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Turner happened to see a video display of the tic tac object which was not part of the brief video released to the public. (see FLIR1 video below)  Said Turner, “This thing was going berserk… It made a maneuver, like they were chasing it straight on,… then this thing stopped turning, just gone. In an instant. The video you see now, that’s just a small snippet in the beginning of the whole video. But this thing, it was so much more than what you see in this video.” Weigelt and Voorhis confirmed that the video they watched was far longer – 10 minutes – and clearer than the released version.

• Petty Officer Patrick “PJ” Hughes job on the Nimitz carrier was to secure inside a safe the hard drive data recorders from the airborne early-warning aircraft, the E-2 Hawkeye, which contains the plane’s operational software and recorded data that the aircrew sees during flight. He was unaware that the Hawkeye had encountered the tic tac UFOs. Hughes was visited by his commanding officer and two unknown individuals who ordered him to give them the data recordings for the AEGIS system, and then they left. He was told that the ship’s advanced Combat Engagement Center along with the optical drives with all the radio communications had been wiped clean. Voorhis remarked, “They even told me to erase everything that’s in the shop—even the blank tapes.”

• Weigel reports that the two unknown individuals wearing generic flight suits also visited the USS Princeton, went to the Admirals Quarters and posted a guard at the door. Pilot David Fravor has acknowledged that his squadron’s video tapes of the “Tic Tac” intercept had mysteriously vanished. But he never saw any ‘unidentified’ personnel removing data recorders and conducting an investigation, and he himself was never interviewed. Fravor calls all of that “bullshit”.

• The enlisted witnesses were disappointed to hear Fravor suggest some of their accounts are inaccurate. They all stand by their experiences, and also support Fravor’s account. Paco Chierici, a former F-14 pilot and the person credited with first sharing the news of the Nimitz UAP encounter in a 2015 Fighter Sweep article, had this to say: “The combination of those aviators, the Princeton Aegis Radar operators, and the E-2 crew convinced me beyond a doubt of the veracity of the story.” “I know those people and how that world works. There is no way it could have been fabricated or misinterpreted.”

Popular Mechanics was able to locate a previously unknown witness who was with the Nimitz carrier group in 2004, but asked to remain anonymous. He says he was an Operations Specialist aboard the USS Princeton. Says this witness, “What really made this incident alarming was when a Blackhawk helicopter landed on our ship and took all our information from the top secret rooms.” “We were all pretty shocked and it was an unspoken rule not to talk about it because we had secret clearances and didn’t want to jeopardize our careers.”

• Since none of the witnesses or pilots involved say they were ever interviewed at the time, it appears the most significant concern for the ‘two unknown individuals’ who showed up after the incident was the ship’s electronic data. Nick Cook, the former aviation editor for Jane’s Defense Weekly, says there are a number of reasons why personnel might have boarded ships and seized electronic data. “It could mean it was sensitive information.” But in Cook’s opinion it is unlikely this was some sort of classified test or exercise. Says Cook, “It would be so against the norm of my experience with how the black world conducts testing.” Cook also says that it’s possible, but not likely, that the “Tic Tac” was some type of classified drone. “I searched for 10 years, and never found any compelling evidence that the type of technology exists.” “In the balance of probabilities, I don’t think it’s ‘ours’.”

• This is a portion of the Executive Summary filed on the Nimitz encounter.

 

 

The five men share an easy rapport with each other, playfully ribbing one another while also communicating a deep sense of mutual respect. It’s clear they all share the bond of having once served in the armed forces. Yet for Gary Voorhis, Jason Turner, P.J. Hughes, Ryan Weigelt, and Kevin Day—assembled together (right) in a private group chat by Popular Mechanics—something much bigger ties them together beyond simply serving in the U.S. Navy.

These men also share a connection of being witnesses to one of the most compelling UFO cases in modern history: the Nimitz UFO Encounters, an event that the Navy recently confirmed indeed involved “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Largely overshadowed by a grainy black-and-white video, and a former Topgun fighter pilot eyewitness, these veterans offer new and intriguing details on what occurred with the Navy’s Strike Carrier Group-11 as it sailed roughly 100 miles off the Southern California coast in 2004—details that a former career intelligence agent who investigated the Nimitz Encounter while at the Pentagon can neither confirm, deny, or even discuss with Popular Mechanics.

Ultimately, these five men—the “other” Nimitz witnesses—could be key to understanding an event that a leading aviation defense expert says “likely wasn’t ours.”
So whose was it?

                  image of “tic tac” ufo

THE INTERCEPT

Stationed on the USS Princeton, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, as the Nimitz carrier group went underway in early November 2004 for a routine training exercise, this would be the last time former Petty Officer 3rd Class Gary Voorhis would set sail aboard a Navy vessel.

Having already done almost six years in the Navy, including two combat tours, Voorhis was ready to transition to life outside the world of passionless grey metal hulls and vast leavening seas.

“The group was going to be deploying in a few months and there was a bunch of new systems, like the Spy-1 Bravo radar,” Voorhis tells Popular Mechanics. “It was really about getting all the kinks out.”

While chatting with some of the Princeton’s radar techs, Voorhis says he heard they were getting “ghost tracks” and “clutter” on the radars. For Voorhis, the Princeton’s only system technician for the state-of-the-art Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) and AEGIS Combat System, news of these systems possibly malfunctioning was especially concerning.

Fearing the ship’s brand new AN/SPY-1B passive radar system was malfunctioning, Voorhis says the air control systems were taken down and recalibrated in an effort to clear out—what’s assumed to be false radar returns.

“Once we finished all the recalibration and brought it back up, the tracks were actually sharper and clearer,” Voorhis says. “Sometimes they’d be at an altitude of 80,000 or 60,000 feet. Other times they’d be around 30,000 feet, going like 100 knots. Their radar cross sections didn’t match any known aircraft; they were 100 percent red. No squawk, no IFF (Identification Friend or Foe).”

Sitting in the Princeton’s Combat Information Center (CIC), Operations Specialist Senior Chief Kevin Day was tasked with the critical role of protecting the airspace around the strike group. “My job was to man the radars and ID everything that flew in the skies,” Day said in the documentary film The Nimitz Encounters.

On or around November 10, 2004, roughly 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, Day began noticing strange radar tracks near the area of San Clemente Island. “The reason why I say they’re weird [is] because they were appearing in groups of five to 10 at a time and they were pretty closely spaced to each other. And there were 28,000 feet going a hundred knots tracking south,” Day said in the documentary.

In another YouTube clip, Ryan Weigelt, the former Leading Petty Officer and power plant specialist for the SH-60B “Seahawk” helicopter, recalled the tone aboard the missile cruise at the time.

“Senior Chief Day, his name, was being called over the comms, no bullshit, every two minutes.” Weigelt said. “I recall hearing something, like a big, real-world scenario was going on, but I just didn’t really understand.”

While Day and the Princeton’s air traffic controllers continued to monitor the strange radar returns, Voorhis says he began to take the opportunity to use the ship’s advanced tracking systems to catch a glimpse of whatever these objects were.

“When they’d show up on radar,” Voorhis says, “I’d get the relative bearing and then run up to the bridge and look through a pair of heavily magnified binoculars in the direction the returns were coming from.” Describing what he saw during the daytime, Voorhis says the objects were too far off to make out any distinguishing features, however, he could clearly see something moving erratically in the distance.

“I couldn’t make out details, but they’d just be hovering there, then all of a sudden, in an instant, they’d dart off to another direction and stop again,” Voorhis says. “At night, they’d give off a kind of a phosphorus glow and were a little easier to see than in the day.”

 

2:45 minute “FLIR1” video of “Tic Tac” UFO off of San Diego in 2004 (‘To The Stars Academy’ YouTube)  

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