Article by Ryan Browne and Mike Conte May 14, 2020 (cnn.com)
• On May 13th, CNN newly released Navy Safety Center “hazard reports” (see here) detailing potentially hazardous encounters between Navy jets and UFOs, or “unidentified aerial phenomena” as the military has taken to calling them. Such concerns were reinforced when the Pentagon officially declassified videos of three encounters late last month. The newly released reports describe the UFOs as “Unmanned Aerial Systems,” or drones. The reports were obtained through a FOIA request filed by the website ‘the Drive’.
• Videos of UFOs recorded by Navy jet infrared cameras show rapidly moving objects and Navy aviators reacting in awe to them. One report describes an incident from March 26, 2014 states that an “unknown aircraft appeared to be small in size, approximately the size of a suitcase, and silver in color” passed within 1000 feet of a Navy F/A-18 jet. The US Navy pilot “attempted to regain visual contact with the aircraft, but was unable.”
• Another incident report describes an incident from November 2013 in which a Navy F/A-18 pilot “was able to visually acquire a small aircraft. The aircraft had an approximately 5 foot wingspan and was colored white with no other distinguishable features.” An indecent from June 27, 2013 described a Navy jet’s encounter with an aircraft that “was white in color and approximately the size and shape of a drone or missile.”
• But the military has been unable to identify who was operating the drones, presenting a major safety and security challenge to the Navy jets training in the restricted military training airspace off the east coast of Virginia. “I feel it may only be a matter of time before one of our F/A-18 aircraft has a mid-air collision with an unidentified UAS,” a report warned. “In many ways, (drones) pose a greater midair risk than manned aircraft. They are often less visually significant and less radar apparent than manned aircraft.”
• There is also the possibility that the drones could be operated by an adversary such as Russia or China seeking to collect information on US military operations. But the former head of a classified Pentagon UFO research program, Luis Elizondo, told CNN in 2017 that he personally believes “there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.” Elizondo says the UFOs display “characteristics that are not currently within the US inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of.”
• For his part, President Trump called the recently “officially” released Pentagon videos a “hell of a video”. “I just wonder if it’s real,” Trump said.
Washington (CNN) Newly released “hazard reports” detailing encounters between US Navy aircraft and “unidentified aerial phenomena” reveal details about incidents that were thrust into the spotlight when the Pentagon officially declassified and released videos of three encounters late last month.
“The unknown aircraft appeared to be small in size, approximately the size of a suitcase, and silver in color,” one report describing an incident from March 26, 2014, said.
During that encounter one of the Navy F/A-18 jets “passed within 1000′ of the object, but was unable to positively determine the identity of the aircraft,” the report added, saying the US Navy pilot “attempted to regain visual contact with the aircraft, but was unable.”
CNN on Wednesday obtained the Navy Safety Center documents, which were previously labeled “For Official Use Only.” They follow the Pentagon’s official release late last month of three short videos showing “unidentified aerial phenomena” that had previously been made public by a private company.
The reports were first published by the Drive, a website covering auto news and military issues, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The videos show what appear to be unidentified flying objects rapidly moving while recorded by infrared cameras. Two of the videos contain Naval aviators reacting in awe at how quickly the objects are moving. One voice speculates that it could be a drone.
Objects could be drones
The newly released reports appear to share this assessment, describing many of the unidentified aircraft as “Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS),” the Pentagon’s official name for drone aircraft.
According to another incident report from November 2013 a Navy F/A-18 pilot “was able to visually acquire a small aircraft. The aircraft had an approximately 5 foot wingspan and was colored white with no other distinguishable features.”
“Due to the small size, the aircraft was determined to be a UAS,” the report said.
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