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Navy Pilot Who Filmed the ‘Tic Tac’ UFO: ‘It Wasn’t Behaving by the Normal Laws of Physics’

 

Article by Matthew Phelan                          December 19, 2019                            (nymag.com)

• In 2017, the New York Times released a 2004 Navy jet video of a UFO over the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of San Diego as the USS Nimitz carrier group was performing military exercises. Now, the pilot of the F/A-18 Super Hornet who took the infamous video, and who first described it as a “Tic Tac” UFO, Chad Underwood, has come forward for the first time in an interview with New York Magazine’s ‘Intelligencer’.

• Here is the account by Underwood: On November 10, 2004, radar operator Kevin Day reported seeing odd, slow-moving objects flying in groups of five to ten off of San Clemente Island, west of the San Diego coast. At 28,000 feet and traveling 138 miles per hour, they were too high to be birds. The objects would zoom from 60,000 feet to hovering 50 feet above the ocean without producing a sonic boom. Radar operators with the USS Princeton spent two weeks trying to figure out what the objects were.

• Underwood’s commanding officer, David Fravor, eventually made visual confirmation of one of the objects midair during a flight-training exercise. An hour later, Fravor returned and informed Underwood of the mysterious UFO out there. On a second flight to the object’s coordinates, Underwood made his infrared recording of the ‘FLIR1’, aka “Tic Tac UFO – a 40-foot-long, white, oblong shaped craft without exhaust or conventional propulsion, even as it made a surprising dart leftward at the end of the video.

• A former fighter pilot who served on the Nimitz in 2004, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recalled an exhilarating group screening of the FLIR1 video inside the Nimitz’s intelligence center. “There weren’t really a lot of skeptics in that room,” the former pilot said. “We all wanted to fly it.”

• Marine Hornet squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel “Cheeks” Kurth, was one of the pilots who witnessed the Tic Tac UFO, but has remained silent about the incident. He did, however, take a job as a program manager at Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies in Las Vegas, whose owner Robert Bigelow has been a well-known funder of UFO and paranormal research for decades.

• Underwood says he is glad that Dave Fravor told the story on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “That day, Dave Fravor was landing at the same time I was getting my gear on, and we crossed paths just after he’d seen (the UFO).” Underwood told Fravor that the Princeton’s radar was “picking up a specific object that they wanted us to hunt.” Once in the air, “all of a sudden, I got this blip on my radar. …It looked like a ‘Tic Tac’ out there in the sky.”

• “It was inside of 20 miles. You’re not going to see it with your own eyes until probably 10 miles, and then you’re not going to be able to visually track it until you’re probably inside of 5 miles, which is where Dave Fravor saw it.” At that point Underwood was tracking it on the FLIR radar, and making sure that the videotape was on.

• “The thing that stood out to me the most,” said Underwood, “was how erratic it was behaving . …[I]ts changes in altitude, air speed, and aspect were just unlike things that I’ve ever encountered before… in ways that aren’t physically normal. … They have to have some source of lift, some source of propulsion. The Tic Tac was not doing that. It was going from like 50,000 feet to, you know, a hundred feet in like seconds, which is not possible.” “The video shows a source of heat, but the normal signatures of an exhaust plume were not there. There was no sign of propulsion.”

• “[T]his was not a weather balloon — because a balloon, it just ascends and floats from low to high altitude; it doesn’t behave erratically. I mean, it’s just a damn balloon. So that was out of the question.” “It wasn’t — to the best of my knowledge — a cruise missile or any other kind of test aircraft that we possibly may have not known about, just because of the way it was behaving.”

• Once he landed back on the carrier, Underwood saw one of his buddies from a sister squadron and they put the video tapes into the playback machine in the intelligence center. “Those little video cuts— that you see of my FLIR recording — were taken there at the intelligence center,” said Underwood.

• “[P]robably within about 20 minutes or so, I spoke to someone that I assume was from NORAD. I described it exactly as I just told you. I didn’t get debriefed.” Normally “we would get debriefed on it, …and, basically, ‘This is what you saw. Don’t talk about it.’ That never happened, which leads me to think that it was not a government project.” “I’ve got top-secret clearance with a ton of special-project clearances.” But “if it was a government project, I did not (have a) need to know.”

• “I’ve never said that this is what I think it was or speculate as to what I think it was. That’s not my job. But I saw something. And it was also seen, via eyeballs, by both my commanding officer, Dave Fravor, and the Marine Corps Hornet squadron commanding officer who was out there as well.” “It’s funny, seeing your boss’s name and face on the news.” “[E]verything that Dave has put out there in the interviews is absolutely, 100 percent, exactly what happened on that day. And we’re still good friends to this day.”

• “I’ll let the nerds… do the math on what it was likely to be. I just happened to be the person that brought back the video.”

 

In the 15 years since Chad Underwood recorded a bizarre and erratic UFO — now called “the Tic Tac,” a name Underwood himself came up with — from the infrared camera on the left wing of his F/A-18 Super Hornet, he’s become a flight instructor, a civilian employee in the aerospace industry, and a father. But he has not yet spoken publicly about what he saw that day, even now, two years after his video made the front page of the New York Times. As he explained before speaking with Intelligencer, Underwood has mostly wanted to avoid having his name “attached to the ‘little green men’ crazies that are out there.”

                       Chad Underwood

The story of the Tic Tac begins around November 10, 2004, when radar operator Kevin Day first reported seeing odd and slow-moving objects flying in groups of five to ten off of San Clemente Island, west of the San Diego coast. At an elevation of 28,000 feet, moving at a speed of approximately 120 knots (about 138 miles per hour), the clusters were too high to be birds, too slow to be conventional aircraft, and were not traveling on any established flight path, at least according to Day.

In a military report made public by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Day would later observe that the objects “exhibited ballistic-missile characteristics” as they zoomed from 60,000 feet to 50 feet above the Pacific Ocean, alarmingly without producing sonic booms. All told, radar operators with the Princeton spent about two weeks attempting to figure out what the objects were, a process that included having the ship’s radar system shut down and recalibrated to make sure that the mysterious radar returns were not not false positives, or “ghost tracks.”

Eventually, David Fravor, commanding officer of the Black Aces, made visual confirmation of one of the objects midair during a flight-training exercise. An hour later, Underwood made his infrared recording on a second flight. “That day,” Underwood recalls, “Dave Fravor was like, ‘Hey, dude. BOLO.’ Like, be on the lookout for just something weird. I can’t remember the exact terms that he used. I didn’t really think much about it at the time. But once I was able to acquire it on the radar and on the FLIR [forward-looking infrared camera], that’s kind of where things — I wouldn’t say ‘went sideways’ — but things were just different.”

The footage appears to depict what Fravor had identified as a 40-foot-long, white, oblong shape (hence “Tic Tac”), hovering somewhere between 15,000 and 24,000 feet in midair and exhibiting no notable exhaust from conventional propulsion sources, even as it makes a surprising dart leftward in the video’s final moments. Of the three UFO incidents captured by U.S. Navy airmen via infrared gun-camera pods, Underwood’s footage remains unique for its lack of cross talk between the pilots — a fact that has led to some speculation about its authenticity. But “there wasn’t anything on it that was protected,” Underwood’s retired former commanding officer Dave Fravor told Intelligencer. The missing audio, he says, “just didn’t make the copy that was taken from the storage drive.”

A former fighter pilot who served on the Nimitz in 2004, who spoke to Intelligencer on condition of anonymity, recalled an exhilarating group screening of the FLIR1 video inside the Nimitz’s Carrier Vehicle Intelligence Center (CVIC): “Debriefs were usually pro forma in the CVIC, but this one in particular was so odd,” the former pilot said. “There weren’t really a lot of skeptics in that room.” Years later, Fravor told ABC News that he didn’t know what the Tic Tac was, but that “it was really impressive, really fast, and I would like to fly it.” In the CVIC that day, the anonymous pilot told Intelligencer, “We all had that. We all wanted to fly it.”

Of the many people to have spotted or recorded the objects, a handful, like Fravor or Princeton’s (retired) Chief Master-at-Arms Sean Cahill, who reported seeing what appeared to be another grouping of the objects from the missile cruiser’s deck, have spoken to journalists or documentarians. Others have not: Lieutenant Colonel “Cheeks” Kurth, a Marine Hornet squadron commanding officer who was also asked to intercept the Tic Tac, still has not done an on-the-record interview. (Three years after the sighting, however, Kurth did take a job as a program manager at Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies in Las Vegas, whose owner Robert Bigelow has been a well-known private funder of UFO and paranormal research for decades. It was during this same period that Bigelow became a military contractor working on the Pentagon’s once-secret UFO investigation program, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.)

Underwood now joins Fravor, Cahill, and others, in speaking about his experience with the Tic Tac. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Dallas’ AlienCon an Out-Of-This-World Experience for Many Who Believe

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Article by Brian Bethel                       October 24, 2019                      (reporternews.com)

• On October 4 – 6, AlienCon 2019 was held in Dallas, Texas, and it was a sell-out. The curious, the true believers and the downright fanatics all gathered at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to see their favorite UFO researchers and media personalities. Why was AlienCon such a success? Attendee Vanessa Pascher offered, “I think we’ve all had certain experiences, things that just make us wonder.” Have extraterrestrials influenced our past, and what might they mean to our future?

• AlienCon topics included “History of Quantum Consciousness”; “Megalithomania Around The World: Impossible Engineering and Secret Traditions of the Ancients”; “Secrets of a Government UFO Investigator” and “Do ‘Spacetime Portals’ Exist on Earth?” “I like the idea of just opening my mind to possibilities,” said attendee Erica Beach. “I want to expand mentally. I want to be challenged.” “(The speakers) aren’t saying this is one hundred percent fact. But at the same time, this is something you can think about and just make your own mind up.”

• History Channel’s hit television series ‘Ancient Aliens’ (starting its 14th season) was well-represented by co-executive producer Giorgio Tsoukalos, David H. Childress, Nick Pope, Travis Taylor and others who claim that human history has indeed been influenced by contact with extraterrestrial life. Aliens might even be our progenitors, tampering with native animal DNA or outright engineering us for reasons baneful or benevolent, depending on one’s point of view. The show’s alternative interpretation of science and history draws some ire from detractors, such as the Smithsonian, Forbes, the New York Times. As Tsoukalos told a crowded convention hall in a panel discussion, many of the things that our ancestors thought were magic of the gods, are simply an advanced extraterrestrial technology.

• Robert Zamora drove eight hours from Brownsville to attend the conference with his wife, son and daughter. Zamora’s love of UFOs began when a boyhood friend would lend him UFO magazines. “Mathematically speaking, there’s a big possibility that we’re not alone in this universe,” said Zamora. “[T]here has to be life out there. It just might not be what we think of life in normal forms like ours.”

• Bill Genzer and his wife, Cat, won the convention’s costume contest by portraying a wild-haired Giorgio Tsoukalos and his extraterrestrial “girlfriend.” They beat out memory-erasing Men in Black, proton pack-wielding Ghostbusters, ancient Egyptians and a whole Star Wars cantina of extraterrestrial life. Said Cat Genzer, “Mainstream archaeology has said civilization is only 3,000 years old, but what about all of these things that (indicate) that it’s far, far older? … I think it’s time that we started kind of rewriting the history of man.”

• Kiko Salazar and his wife, Christina, came all the way from Brazil, Indiana to attend, and paid $1,300 each for a “Galactic Pass,” which provided meet-and-greets with celebrity guests and a special set of other perks and experiences, including a private panel with headlining guests. “Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have even had a convention like this,” said Salazar. “Being… with like-minded people, it’s just awesome. [I]t’s something we’ll (continue to) do.” Salazar says that he once saw a black diamond-shaped UFO with “big, white lights” silently crossing the Arizona sky in 2001.

• There has been plenty of interest in “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAPs, in the mainstream of late, with the US Navy videos encountering strange objects and the existence of the U.S. government investigation of UFOs under the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. That program’s benefactor, Robert Bigelow told “60 Minutes” in May 2017 that he was absolutely convinced” aliens exist – and that they have come here. These events were frequently mentioned in presentations throughout the weekend.

• Perhaps the most important word to those in current UFO culture is… disclosure. They have the fervent hope that the U.S government and others finally will admit we live in a world in which aliens exist, that we will learn the true nature of our relationship to them, and that the resulting flood of new technologies will help us accomplish tasks from cleaning the oceans to uplifting humanity to its rightful place among the stars. Executive director of Paradigm Research Group, Stephen Bassett told convention-goers that he was expecting announcements to come from major government entities in a relatively few months. “The post-disclosure world is ahead of us,” said Bassett, “… three, four, five, six, seven years from now.”

• Pat Martin of Houston said she decided at age 73 it was time to take a chance, go to a convention, and absorb as much as she could. Martin believes the government “knows something.” She said the entire experience had been well worth it, opening her mind to new possibilities. “There probably are aliens here doing something,” Martin said with a sly smile. “They may be at this convention, who knows?”

 

Brilee Elliott believes in aliens.

“We have this whole universe,” 10-year-old Brilee, of Ohio, observed at AlienCon in Dallas earlier in October. “We just can’t be the only ones.”

In that opinion, she is not alone.

Elliott, her aunt Erica Beach, uncle Derek Watson and hundreds of others crowded into Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for a massive gathering of the curious, true believers and downright fanatics.

AlienCon is ‘More than just cool’

Elliott has given the problem of aliens much consideration.
After coming to realize that aliens were “more than just cool,” she started “thinking about (them) when I was supposed to be in bed.”

She now openly ponders — at her relatively tender age — time-tested enigmas, such as how the ancient Egyptian constructed the pyramids.

“How could do the Egyptians do that without any help?” Elliott asked, echoing an argument some have made for decades on end.

Cue the familiar image of Ancient Aliens’ co-executive producer Giorgio Tsoukalos, whose tremendous mane of hair and unwavering assertion of “Aliens” has become an internet image meme with a seemingly limitless lifespan.

That level of recognition has turned Tsoukalos, along with other “Ancient Aliens” contributors such as “real-life Indiana Jones” David H. Childress, former U.K. Ministry of Defense UFO investigator Nick Pope, engineer/physicist Travis Taylor and a slew of others into virtual rock stars in the outré world of paranormal TV.

Such star-power ensured that AlienCon was a sell-out on an early fall Saturday, and remained crowded through the weekend.

Like many attending, Vanessa Pascher, waiting for a panel by well-known UFO researcher Stephen Bassett to start, said that the show is a “guilty pleasure.”

“But in a sense, I think we’ve all had certain experiences, things that just make us wonder,” she said, adding that she’s had her own share of anomalous experiences that have made her look at the sky and wonder.

Instead, it’s to what extent could such beings have influenced us in the past, and what might they mean to our future.

Such a stance is perhaps natural given the event’s tie-in to the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” program, which carries a thesis that human history has been in ways covert and gross influenced by contact with extraterrestrial life.

At the extreme end, the program entertains the notion that aliens might even be our progenitors, tampering with native animal DNA or outright engineering us for reasons baneful or benevolent, depending on one’s pet theory.
The show attempts to present a sort of puzzle-piece narrative.

Under that umbrella, pretty much anything is fair game, from mysterious Hudson Valley-area structures that imply ancient druids may have traveled to New England, to speculation that the octopus may have come to Earth from the stars, to the implications of liquid water found inside a meteorite, to in-depth examinations of how an alien ship might travel among the stars.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

What We Know About The Army Teaming Up With Rockstar Tom DeLonge’s UFO Research Company

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Article by Joseph Trevithick             October 17, 2019             (thedrive.com)

• In a press release on October 17th, Tom Delonge’s ‘To the Stars Academy’ (or “TTSA”) announced a cooperative research deal with the US Army. They plan to combine their resources in researching metamaterials and other high technology fields that border on the realm of science fiction. It is called the ‘Cooperative Research and Development Agreement’ or “CRADA” and ultimately falls under the Army’s ‘Futures Command’. It will be handled through the ‘Ground Vehicle System Center’ in Warren, Michigan.

• The Army’s Deputy Product Manager for Science and Technology at the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, Dr. Joseph Cannon said, “Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities.” “[W]e look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming.” More specifically, the Army is interested in cutting-edge developments in material science such as active camouflage, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, and beamed energy propulsion.

• The press release mentions “novel materials” possessed by TTSA that could refer to certain ‘metamaterials’ – i.e.: engineered composites that have structural and conductive properties alien to this planet. In a 2018 SEC filing, TTSA reported paying EarthTech International, Inc. $25,000 on a “beamed energy propulsion launch system” and $35,000 for a “material analysis” program which included the “scientific evaluation of materials samples the company obtained through reliable reports of advanced aerospace vehicles of unknown origin.”

• In July 2019, TTSA announced that it had acquired metamaterials as part of its Acquisition and Data Analysis of Materials program, or ADAM. They claim that these metamaterials of unknown origin have been floating around the UFO community for years. The were originally given to paranormal radio host Art Bell, who gave them to Linda Moulton Howe, who passed them along to Tom DeLonge, who sold them to TTSA for $35,000. Earlier this month, TTSA official Luis Elizondo told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that the organization was already conducting tests on these objects.

• It is unclear whether TTSA has actually developed any advanced technology from its research to date, but they do have the resources at their disposal to make the US Army take them seriously. Chief Operating Officer Steve Justice, who is coordinating the effort between TTSA, the Army, and EarthTech International, had previously worked at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works research facility. EarthTech’s founder and President is Hal Puthoff, Ph.D, who is also TTSA’s Vice President of Science & Technology. Puthoff worked for the CIA and the DIA on paranormal research including remote viewing, and has studied UFOs, extraterrestrials, and the Skinwalker Ranch.

• Former Skinwalker Ranch owner and billionaire, Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace has also been affiliated with TTSA since the days of working with Luis Elizondo under the Pentagon’s ‘Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program’ UFO study project and its’ predecessor, the DIA’s ‘Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications’ program. Bigelow is renowned for his interest in UFOs and paranormal phenomena. Under these programs, Bigelow hired Puthoff and Eric Davis, Ph.D. of EarthTech International to author research reports on advanced technology, including virtually all of the topics mentioned in the TTSA press release regarding CRADA. Mainstream scientists have deemed these advanced technologies as “junk science”.

• Under this ‘Cooperative Research and Development Agreement’ no money is exchanged between the Army and TTSA. And there will likely be no end product. The research will only yield studies and reports. So what does DeLonge and his curious group of decorated insiders from the military-industrial complex and the intelligence services expect to get from this partnership? TTSA’s COO Steve Justice said, “While the Army has specific military performance interests in the research, much of the work is expected to have dual-use application in support of TTSA’s path to commercialization and public benefit mission.” TTSA bills itself as a “revolutionary collaboration between academia, industry and pop culture to advance society’s understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications.” This collaboration certainly raises the profile of TTSA which is at the center of a History Channel series on UFOs and has recently announced a new round of stock offers worth up to $30 million. But the Academy’s Entertainment Division is also poised to exploit the potential commercial value of any technology breakthroughs.

 

The U.S. Army has confirmed that it has signed a cooperative research deal with former Blink 182 frontman Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, more commonly known as TTSA. Far better known for its activities investigating reports and sightings of UFOs, which are increasingly referred to as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, this new agreement covers research into metamaterials and other high technology fields that border on the realm of science fiction.

    Tom DeLonge  (Photo by Joby Sessions/Total Guitar Magazine via Getty Images)

On Oct. 17, 2019, TTSA announced the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), which is now part of that service’s Futures Command. The public affairs office at CCDC’s Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC), situated at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, subsequently confirmed to The War Zone that this CRADA exists and that it will be responsible for executing it.

CRADAs are unlike typical contracts and “no money exchanging hands at all” between the Army and TTSA under this present agreement, a public affairs officer at the GVSC told The War Zone. There is also “no articulated deliverable” and if a product comes out of this process, it will most likely be a written study or another similar type of report.

The ostensible goal is for Army researchers to work directly with individuals from TTSA in exploring various high technology developments, sharing resources, and any results. “TTSA’s technology solutions, which leverage developments in material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage, have the potential to enhance survivability and effectiveness of multiple Army systems,” TTSA’s own press release says.

TTSA bills itself as a “revolutionary collaboration between academia, industry and pop culture to advance society’s understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications.” It also has an Entertainment Division that publishes works of fiction about UFOs and the paranormal, serves as the holder of intellectual property rights related to DeLonge’s new band, Angels & Airwaves, and is responsible for merchandising associated with all of these enterprises. The actual origins of the organization are murky, to say the least.

“Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities,” Dr. Joseph Cannon, the Deputy Product Manager for Science and Technology in the Vehicle Protection Systems division of GVSC, said in a statement. “At the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming.”

This reference to “novel materials” strongly suggests that at least part of the CRADA is concerned with metamaterials. This term refers to engineered composites that have properties that do not appear in nature. It is the structure of these new materials, more than their composition that gives them these attributes, including the ability to have unique impacts on electromagnetic waves.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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