by Tyler Rogoway June 20, 2019 (thedrive.com)
• It was recently reported that US Navy Super Hornet aircraft pilots out of Master Jet Base NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA detected UFOs off of the East Coast multiple times on radar during the period of 2014/2015, and one pilot even had a virtual close encounter with one of them. (see article here) But what about the rest of the many Super Hornet squadrons based at Naval Air Station Oceana, not to mention the E-2 Hawkeye squadrons from nearby NAS Norfolk (Virginia)?
• It turns out that the presence of mysterious UFOs in the airspace off America’s East Coast was so pervasive that it was common knowledge among local flying units. The majority of the Super Hornet squadrons and the E-2D Hawkeye squadrons equipped with the same next-generation radar were having the same experiences. It literally became such a common and nearly everyday occurrence that Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers from the base would talk about it informally with regularity.
• After an official safety report was filed when one of the Hornets almost hit “a translucent sphere with a cube structure suspended inside of it”, ‘Notices To Airman’ (NOTAMs) were posted regarding the potential dangers posed by unknown aerial vehicles. Other East Coast squadrons came forward to report that there were many more such encounters with UFOs/UAPs, all with the exact same description of translucent objects.
• This underscores just how taboo this topic was to military aviators. The fact that these types of events could have been so pervasive, yet kept so hushed-up outside of Navy tactical aircraft aircrew circles, provides good evidence as to why the Navy had to officially change is procedures for its personnel reporting such strange incidents. We are definitely entering uncharted territory when it comes to this long shunned and abused topic.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the most recent known spate of UFO encounters with U.S. Navy pilots—those that occurred off the southeastern seaboard of the United States between 2014 and early 2015—pertains to how persistent they actually were. We know Super Hornet aircrews from Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11), the Red Rippers, detected unknown objects multiple times on radar and one aircrew even had a close encounter visually with one of them, but what about the rest of the many Hornet squadrons based at Naval Air Station Oceana, not to mention the E-2 Hawkeye squadrons from nearby NAS Norfolk? We have the answer to this question and it is remarkable.
A source with knowledge of the events has made it clear to The War Zone that presence of the mysterious objects in the restricted training airspace off America’s east coast was so pervasive that it was largely common knowledge among local flying units. They noted that the majority of the Super Hornet squadrons equipped with AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars—you can read all about this technology and how it was key in detecting these objects in our exclusive piece on the subject—at the time were having the same experiences, as well as the crews flying the new E-2D Hawkeye with its incredibly powerful AN/APY-9 radar suite. It literally became such a common and near everyday occurrence that Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers from the base would talk about it informally with regularity.
But that doesn’t mean formal action wasn’t taken. Beyond filing an official safety report after one of the jets almost hit one of the unidentified objects—described eerily as a translucent sphere with a cube structure suspended inside of it—Notices To Airman (NOTAMs) were posted regarding the dangers potentially posed by unknown aerial vehicles flying in the same military operating areas that aircraft from NAS Oceana frequented for training. This action was taken by the base’s command leadership as they couldn’t figure out how else to address the bizarre issue and its perceived threat to their aircrews’ safety.
We have since filed Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests for copies of these NOTAMs, as well as documents regarding how the decision to file the NOTAMs was made at the command level.
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