The New York Times reports Sunday on an bizarre incident that they say proves further investigation into so-called “unidentified flying objects” is warranted: an encounter between two Naval pilots and an “object” that “outran” their F/A-18F Super Hornets.
According to the NYT, the pair of pilots were on a combat exercise about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego when a Naval destroyer in the area radioed them for help, saying they’d been tracking what appeared to be an unidentified aircraft in their vicinity. The crew suggested the pilots check it out.
There was only one problem, according to the report: the “aircraft” didn’t operate the way a typical, off-course foreign fighter jet might.
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.
When the two pilots reached their rendezvous point, the Times reports, the “aircraft” appeared to have vanished.
But then, they looked down.
Hovering 50 feet above the churn was an aircraft of some kind — whitish — that was around 40 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.
The pilots say they accelerated toward the object, then broke off when the object dashed away. “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” one of the pilots said in the report, adding that he was “pretty weirded out.” The destroyer eventually picked up the object on its radar again, less than a minute later — but 40 miles from where it had been.
“It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s,” the pilots reported.
According to the NYT, the “unidentified flying object” reports are coming to light now as the Pentagon releases what can only be described as its “X-Files,” a years-long investigation — the brainchild of now-retired Rep. Harry Reid — to compile various military reports of UFOs under one roof, and one investigator. The Department of Defense claimed it discontinued the program back in 2012, but the Times reports, it lives on, albeit in a stripped-down capacity.
The Times report even includes video, though of a different UFO encounter.
Experts the Times spoke to from NASA and elsewhere caution that just because something is “unexplained” or “unidentified” does not necessarily mean it is “alien” (at least in the sense that it comes from somewhere beyond Earth). But leaders of the commission say they compiled enough reports of fast moving, unidentified “aircraft” that it’s worth keeping options open.