First, the study limited its scope to UAP reports between November 2004 and March 2021 from military pilots — mostly Navy pilots — whom ODNI considered reliable witnesses. Astonishingly, they found 144 such reports, but only one they could account for (but added that they could rule out more sightings with more data). Eighty of these reports were supported by electronic sensors (i.e., radar, infrared), which proved not only that the reports were authentic, but also that the UAP was a real solid object (rather than an illusion or a thunderstorm cloud). Eighteen of the drones flew or moved at speeds that could not be explained by existing technology.
Perhaps more disturbing, most sightings occurred near military installations or training and testing sites. If the witnesses were military personnel, we would think the same. But is that the only reason? Eleven of the drones nearly collided with military aircraft. Could it be an attack? Warning? Test the capability of the aircraft? ODNI must have wondered about that too. They warn that these UAPs are a potential threat to national security.
Just under two weeks before Thanksgiving, 2004, Carrier Strike Group 11 was training off the coast of southern California when the radar on the missile cruiser USS Princeton detected some 14 anomalous aerial vehicles (AAV) – yet another term for UFOs – uniformly spread out over 100 miles and was deemed a threat to the exercise. Two F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters from the carrier USS Nimitz – who had also picked up the AAVs on radar—were dispatched to the nearest object, guided by an E-2 Hawkeye airborne radar.
Once they had reached the intercept point, the F/A-18’s radar could not detect the AAV. Nor were they electronically jammed. That’s when the F/A-18 crews noticed a disturbance on the surface of the ocean below them, and flying just above the frothing disturbance was a white oblong object shaped like a “Tic-Tac” mint. Under its belly were what looked like two appendages. It was 40-50 feet long, 10-15 feet wide. There were no wings or engine heat or exhaust. It was moving erratically, instantaneously changing directions like, as one F/A-18 crewmember described, a ping pong ball bouncing off invisible walls. One of the F/A-18s descended to get a better look, but the object anticipated that and kept its distance. When the F/A-18 tried to intercept, the AAV shot away. The pilot, CDR David Favor, said: “And it takes off like nothing I’ve ever seen. It literally is one minute it’s there and the next minute it’s like -poof – and it’s gone.” Favor points out that an aircraft flying at Mach 3 will still be visible for 10-15 seconds. “This thing disappeared in a second, it was just gone.”
Shortly afterward the object returned and was videotaped. It was later determined that there was no submarine at the location of the water disturbance or any other known cause. From the video and radar information, it was calculated the object was moving 282,000 mph with a g-force of 12,823. No human could survive such g-forces, nor any aircraft survive the air friction at that speed. At that velocity there should have been noise when the object broke the sound barrier and the friction should have created a fireball. And yet the object was tracked by 3 highly sophisticated radar systems (from the Princeton, Nimitz and the E-2 Hawkeye) at different radar frequencies supporting the contention that this was a physical object and not a weather phenomena such as temperature inversion.
Shortly after the incident, the recordings of the radar, ship logs and other electronic proof was confiscated and it wasn’t until 2017 when a small portion of the evidence was declassified and released to the public. A careful analysis came to the conclusion that the “Tic-Tac” was not an “aircraft of any known type,” had “no aerodynamic air-frame, no obvious means of reactive propulsion, [and had] acceleration characteristics beyond human endurance and air-frame structural capability.”
Mike West, a former video-game designer and UFO skeptic, said the “Tic-Tac” is simply glare on the camera lens. The movements it makes? Simply the sweeping motions of the camera as it tries to keep a visual lock on the “glare.” West also said it could be due to the parallax effect, where stationary objects appear to move when it is actually the viewer moving. The problem is that the video is supported by reliable eyewitnesses who saw it with their own eyeballs. David Fravor, one of the pilots who saw the “Tic-Tac,” said it was not an illusion, and not glare. “It’s funny how people can extrapolate stuff who’ve never operated the system,” he said. Even the Navy, who has every reason to accept West’s theory, say the images are real and simply characterize the “Tic-Tac” as “unidentified.”