Unidentified Flying Object (UFOs) were encountered by a US Navy squadron, almost on a daily basis for months, according to a former US Navy fighter pilot. These sightings also translated into a near collision, at least once, the former pilot added.
According to Lt Ryan Graves, in 2014, his squadron the VFA-11 “Red Rippers”, began picking up the presence of unexplained objects in the training area off the coast of Virginia.
“It was almost as if the sun was shining a flashlight (on the UAPs),” Lt Graves was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“We were trying to figure out what the heck these things were. We were seeing them pretty much daily. We would go out there and they would be out there in the morning, they would be out there in the evening,” he told the paper.
“These things were pretty much always out there. That would range from two to three of them, to six or seven.”
Lt Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot, is now leading an effort to encourage reporting of sightings, and advocating for scientific study of what the military calls Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs).
Last year, Congress held its first hearing into UAPs for 50 years, and the Pentagon has received 350 new reports in the last two years, 171 of which remain unexplained.
During the hearing at the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, top Pentagon intelligence official Ronald Moultrie said that through “rigorous” analysis, most UAPs can be identified.
“Any object we encounter can likely be isolated, characterised, identified and, if necessary, mitigated,” Moultrie said.
One such incident from 2004 which has no explanation involves the fighter pilots operating from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. They reportedly encountered an object that appeared to have descended tens of thousands of feet before stopping and hovering.
In another incident, shown publicly for the first time on Tuesday, an object can be seen on camera flying past a US Navy fighter jet. The object remains unexplained.
“There are a small handful [of events] in which there are flight characteristics or signature management that we can’t explain with the data we have available,” said Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence at the hearing. “Those are obviously the ones that are of most interest to us.”
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