A leaked Pentagon report has revealed new details about the UFO encounter that shocked Navy fighter pilots above the Pacific.
The 2009 report does not bear any date or agency logo, but four officials confirmed that it was written as part of a Pentagon program with input from multiple agencies, KLAS reported.
The Las Vegas news station obtained the unclassified report while visiting Washington, DC for a debriefing arranged by former Senator Harry Reid.
The report reveals stunning new first-hand accounts of the November 14, 2004 encounter, which was documented in video that emerged in December of last year.
The incident unfolded as the Nimitz carrier group was conducting training exercises off the coast of southern California and Mexico ahead of a deployment to the Arabian Sea.
Beginning around November 10, the USS Princeton, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, made multiple radar contacts with what the report calls an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle (AAV).
The senior chief fire controlman on the Princeton, which was equipped with ultra-advanced AN/SPY-1 multifunctional phased-array radar, reported that the AAV appeared from above 60,000 feet – the radar’s scan ceiling – and descended ‘very rapidly’ to about 50 feet above the surface of the ocean.
They would hover for a short time and then depart at high velocities and turn rates demonstrating advanced capabilities, the senior chief said.
The senior chief, who had 17 years of experience in fire control on cruisers, said he never obtained an accurate track on the AAV, because they exhibited speed consistent with a ballistic missile, but the radar was set to air intercept mode rather than ballistic missile tracking mode.
Then on November 14, the Princeton again detected an AAV around 11am and called it in two F/A-18 Hornets that happened to be returning to the USS Nimitz from a training exercise.
An E-2C Hawkeye surveillance plane was also operating in the area and attempted a radar contact on the AAV, but made only intermittent contact as was unable to gain a track.
The skies were clear and blue with unlimited visibility that day, and the sea was calm, according to the report.
The first fighter jet to investigate, a USMC single-seat F/A-18C, flew within five to 10 nautical miles of the AAV’s location, but could not see it. Instead, he reported seeing a circular disturbance in the water about 50 to 100 meters in diameter. It reminded the pilot of something rapidly submerging in the ocean, like a submarine.
The report hypothesizes that ‘it is possible that the disturbance was being caused by an AAV but that the AAV was “cloaked” or invisible to the human eye.’
The Marine pilot was called off after the controller asked a plane carrying ordnance to respond, which he was not. When he returned to the USS Nimitz, his intelligence officer asked him if he’d seen the ‘supersonic Tic Tac’.
The next jet to respond was a Navy F/A-18F piloted by Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight, who made visual contact with the AAV that they have since publicly discussed, corroborating the report.
Fravor also spotted a disturbance in the water, almost as if it were boiling. But this time, hovering above the disturbance was a strange object.
The object was shaped like an elongated egg or a “Tic Tac”, according to Fravor, and was ‘holding like a Harrier’, the jump jet that can take off vertically.
Slaight, whose name is redacted from the report, described it as ‘solid white, smooth, with no edges. It was uniformly colored with no nacelles, pylons or wings.’
He described the exterior of the object as ‘like it had a white candy-coated shell, almost like a white board.’
When Fravor attempted to make a close pass of the object to attempt visual recognition, the object appeared to react, realigning its axis to point at the approaching plane. The AAV then ascended quickly and departed at supersonic speed.
When Fravor and Slaight returned to the Nimitz, the sailors in the intelligence center donned tin-foil hats to greet them, asking eagerly about their ‘UFO flight’.
Later in the day, another plane made the video that has since been released, according to the report.
Around 3pm, another Navy F/A-18F tracked a remarkable object on FLIR, which Fravor’s plane had not been equipped with.
The pilot said he couldn’t confirm whether he had tracked the same object seen by Fravor and Slaight, because he never made visual contact, only tracked it through FLIR.
The report notes that the USS Louisville nuclear fast-attack submarine was operating in the area, and detected no unusual undersea activity over the duration of the incidents.
The incident was filed in a regular training mission report and it is unclear if it was reported up the chain of command, the report finds.
The aircrews involved made and kept a copy of the FLIR recording, but were subjected to a ‘high level of ridicule’ over the incident, the report found.
Whatever the AAV was, the report stresses that it was ‘no known aircraft or air vehicle currently in the inventory of the United States or any foreign nation.’
Former Senator Reid, now recovering following cancer surgery, and others have urged Congress to create a new Pentagon program to study similar incidents as a matter of national security.
Another highly classified version of the leaked report was also written, but it is unlikely to ever be released.