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.
Along with the Nimitz footage, two other F/A-18 Super Hornet videos were declassified in 2017 and released to the public. Both were shot by the same pilot from the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt while training off the eastern coast from Virginia to Florida before deployment to the Persian Gulf. A total of 6 seasoned pilots and weapons system operators (WSO) experienced multiple encounters.
The first encounter was in the summer of 2014 when Lieutenant Danny Accoin and his WSO picked up a UFO on radar and Accoin positioned his F/A-18 1,000 feet below the object. He should have been able to spot it with his helmet camera thru his canopy, but was unable to. A few days later, Accoin again encountered the object. This time Accoin got a missile lock on the object, but still could not visually see it. Accoin thought these UFOs were advanced military drones, until another Roosevelt pilot had a near collision.
In late 2014, the Roosevelt was training off Virginia Beach and a pilot – who wished to remain anonymous – was flying with his wingman, 100 feet between them. Then something flew between them that looked like a sphere encased in a cube. It flew so close, an aviation flight safety report had to be filed. If these UFOs were drones operated by the military, Accoin reasoned, they wouldn’t have endangered the pilots with a near-collision. “It turned from a potentially classified drone program to safety issue,” Lieutenant Ryan Graves said.
Then in 2015, the so-called “go-fast” and “gimbal” videos were taken. The objects have “no distinct wing, no distinct tail, no distinct exhaust plume,” Accoin said of the videos. It also shows the UFOs accelerating to hypersonic speed, making abrupt stops and instantaneous turns, something a human wouldn’t survive. “Speed doesn’t kill you,” Lieutenant Graves said. “Stopping does. Or acceleration.”