When we think of unidentified flying objects (UFO), we tend to think of aliens, but we must remember that not all UFOs are extraterrestrial.
The U.S. Navy has been reporting UFOs – suspected aircrafts encountered during flights that they can’t recognize or explain. The New York Times has collected some of their stories, including that of Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot. Graves has been with the Navy for 10 years, but in 2014 and 2015, he saw something he couldn’t explain. The Times described the objects seen by Graves and other pilots as having “no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes,” able to “reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds,” and at least one of which spun like a “top moving against the wind.”
Graves said these objects, which appeared between summer 2014 and March 2015, “would be out there all day.”
“Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect,” he added.
Graves and other pilots told the Times that they began noticing strange objects after their decades-old radar system was upgraded. The pilots initially thought they were “false radar tracks.”
“People have seen strange stuff in military aircraft for decades,” Graves told the Times. “We’re doing this very complex mission, to go from 30,000 feet, diving down. It would be a pretty big deal to have something up there.”
Another pilot, Lt. Danny Accoin, maneuvered below one of the objects. He told the Times he was close enough to where he should have been able to see it but could not. A few days later, the object re-emerged, and this time a training missile locked onto it. Accoin said his infrared camera locked on, too.
“I knew I had it, I knew it was not a false hit,” he told the Times. But still, “I could not pick it up visually.”
Finally, a pilot saw one of the objects. Graves said the pilot came back from a mission “with a look of shock on his face.”
“I almost hit one of those things,” Graves said the pilot told him. The pilot described the object as “a sphere encasing a cube,” the Times reported.
Footage from these flights showed objects moving in ways no human could survive, such as acceleration to hypersonic speed and then suddenly stopping.
The pilots made no statement as to whether they believed the objects were alien.
This month has seen several stories about the way the Navy handles such sightings. At the beginning of the month, The Daily Wire reported the Navy was encouraging pilots to report their encounters with unidentified aircraft. A few days later, the military branch suggested it would renege on a promise to reveal reported encounters.
Just last week, the Pentagon confirmed it was still tracking reports of UFOs.
"In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program 'did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena,'" the New York Post reported.