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Details of the Department of Defense Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification £16.5million secretive programme investigating the threat posed by UFOs was revealed this weekend.
According to a report from the New York Times, the US Government-funded programme investigated reports of UFOs between 2007 and 2012, including the mysterious Nimitz case of November 2004.
Now one of the navy pilots involved in the Nimitz case has spoken about what happened.
Cmdr David Fravor and Lt Cmdr Jim Slaight were two pilots each in an F/A-18F super hornet on a routine training mission 100 miles out over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego when it happened.
Mr Fravor, from Windham, New Hampshire, said they were asked by radio from the USS Princeton navy cruiser if they were carrying weapons, but the planes only had two dummy missiles.
The radio operator then told them: “Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you,” he said.
Mr Fravor said it was at the end of a two-week period when the Princeton had been tracking mysterious aircraft that appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, before shooting down towards the ocean.
They stopped at 20,000 feet and appeared to hover, before dropping off range or heading back upwards.
Radar footage and an actual photograph of the bizarre UFO.
Mr Fravor said he looked down to the water and saw waves breaking over an object below the surface.
What’s more, hovering about 50 feet above this was a white UFO, about 40 feet long and oval.
He said: “The craft was jumping around erratically, staying over the wave disturbance but not moving in any specific direction.”
The water appeared below as if it were boiling.
He launched a “circular descent” to look more closely, and it started to fly up to meet them.
He headed straight at it, before it veered off.
He said: “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you.
“I was pretty weirded out.”
The pilots were ordered to fly to a rendezvous 60 miles away, but on the way radar picked up the UFO again.
The radio operator said, according to Mr Fravor: “Sir, you won’t believe it, but that thing is at your cap (rendezvous) point.”
Mr Fravor said: “We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point.”
But, when they got there it was gone.
The pair said its movements simply defied physics.
Their superiors carried out no further investigation at the time before the case…
So what did Mr Fravor believe he saw?
He said: “I have no idea what I saw. It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s.
“I want to fly one.”
Details of the encounter first emerged in October when former Blink 182 frontman Tom DeLonge released details of the case at the launch of his To The Stars Academy which is crowdfunding for cash to research the UFO phenomenon.
Chris Mellon, who served for almost 20 years in the US federal government in a series of national security positions roles under presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, and is now part of the academy made the first disclosure.
The ex-national security chief, who had high-level clearance, was on a committee with oversight of all Department of Defence (DoD) special access programmes, spent a decade on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and also work on classified projects at Area 51 in Nevada.
He said the Nimitz, a five billion dollar warship with a crew of thousands, was operating at the time, escorted by the USS Princeton, an Aegis class cruiser.
Mr Melon said: “The pilots are astonished to see the object suddenly reorient itself toward the approaching F-18.
“In a series of discreet tumbling manoeuvres that seem to defy the laws of physics.
“The pilot’s capture gun camera footage and infrared imagery of the object.
“They are outmatched by a technology they’ve never seen.
“Clearly this is not an experimental US aircraft, but whose is it?
He said the incident should now be looked at in more detail.
He said: “The chairman of the Armed Services Committee and his counterparts and other congressional oversight committees can easily request a briefing to confirm the veracity of this story and the existence of other events of a similar nature.
“Congress has every right to review the documents generated by this event and request briefings by the military personnel involved.
“If the oversight committees have not already been briefed on this event and others like it they clearly should be.
“How else can they adequately assess threats to our forces ad our military requirements?”
The Government-funded investigation into reports of UFOs ran between 2007 and 2012 under
military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring.
Mr Elizondo, who is also part of Mr DeLonge’s academy, said that the effort secretly continues and that he has a successor, whom he declined to name.