Ex-Air Force members: These stories will convince you UFOs are real
There’s no question that the world has an ongoing fascination with UFOs. Although reports of sightings are often met with derision– as delusions of people who wear “tin-foil hats” – there is no doubt that many people have seen something unexplained whizzing through the sky. So the question becomes – are UFOs real?
According to Luis Elizondo, former military intelligence officer and past head of the Pentagon’s now-defunct Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), they just might be.
They do exist . . .
“I think we’re at the point now where we’re beyond reasonable doubt that these things exist,” Elizondo said. “We know they’re there – we have some of the greatest technology in the world that has confirmed their existence.”
Though some label UFOs as alien spacecraft, the term merely describes aerial objects that defy explanation. One possibility is that they represent technology deployed by a hostile human source, so it’s impossible to say for sure that UFOs are harmless, Elizondo said.
Evaluating the potential threats posed by UFOs should, therefore, involve the collaboration of leaders around the world, remarked Elizondo, who left the Pentagon in 2017 and is now a director of global security and special programs at To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a private agency pursuing evidence of UFOs.
UFOs or UAPs
UFOs are also known as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs. The U.S. government has been collecting reports of these enigmatic objects since the 1950s in the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, from 1952 to 1969, and through the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a federal agency that compiled witness accounts of UFO encounters from the 1950s through the 1980s.
One of the most famous cases of UFO sightings happened to pilots assigned to the USS Nimitz on November 14, 2004, over the Pacific Ocean. Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight were on a routine training mission 100 miles out into the Pacific when the radio in each of their F/A-18F Super Hornets crackled. An operations officer aboard the U.S.S. Princeton, a Navy cruiser, wanted to know if they were carrying weapons.
“Two CATM–9s,” Commander Fravor replied, referring to dummy missiles that could not be fired. He had not been expecting any hostile exchanges off the coast of San Diego that November afternoon.
“Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you,” the radio operator said, according to Commander Fravor. For two weeks, the operator said, the Princeton had been tracking UFOs. The objects appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering. Then they either dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up. The radio operator instructed the pilots to investigate.
Melding merge plot
The two fighter planes headed toward the objects. The Princeton alerted them as they closed in, but when they arrived at “merge plot” with the object — naval aviation lingo for being so close that the Princeton could not tell which were the objects and which were the fighter jets – neither Commander Fravor nor Commander Slaight could see anything at first. There was nothing on their radars, either.
Then, Commander Fravor looked down to the sea. It was calm that day, but the waves were breaking over something that was just below the surface. Whatever it was, it was big enough to cause the sea to churn.
Hovering fifty feet above the churn was an aircraft of some kind — whitish — that was around forty feet long and oval in shape. The craft was jumping around erratically, staying over the wave disturbance but not moving in any specific direction, Commander Fravor said. The disturbance looked like frothy waves and foam, as if the water were boiling.
Commander Fravor began a circular descent to get a closer look, but as he got nearer the object began ascending toward him. It was almost as if the UFO were coming to meet him halfway, he said. Commander Fravor abandoned his slow circular descent and headed straight for the object.
But then the object peeled away. “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said in the interview. He was, he said, “pretty weirded out”.
Cap point catch
The two fighter jets then conferred with the operations officer on the Princeton and were told to head to a rendezvous point sixty miles away, called the cap point, in aviation parlance. They were en route and closing in when the Princeton radioed again. Radar had again picked up the strange aircraft.
“Sir, you won’t believe it,” the radio operator said, “but that thing is at your cap point.”
“We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point,” Commander Fravor related. By the time the two fighter jets arrived at the rendezvous point, the object had disappeared.
The fighter jets returned to the Nimitz, where everyone on the ship had learned of Commander Fravor’s encounter and was making fun of him. Commander Fravor’s superiors did not investigate further and he went on with his career, deploying to the Persian Gulf to provide air support to ground troops during the Iraq war.
However, he does remember what he said that evening to a fellow pilot who asked him what he thought he had seen.“I have no idea what I saw,” Commander Fravor replied to the pilot. “It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s.”
But, he added, “I want to fly one.”