So what is the truth and whom do we trust to tell it? In principal, any evidence that is documented by the military and government agencies worldwide are more highly regarded as they uniformly follow procedures and guidelines to rule-out logical explanations and have the resources to assess multiple possibilities.
The topic of UFOs often arrives in a bag filled with cliches and skepticism. At its heart, however, is a simple term, the acronym: Unidentified Flying Object. A term created by one of the director’s of Project Blue Book, US Air Force Captain Edward Ruppelt in the early 1950’s. The definition of a UFO is merely an aerial object or sighting that has not yet been identified. However, once all logical explanations have been ruled-out, from unusual atmospheric phenomena to weather balloons, the UFO term takes on an entirely different meaning as unexplained aerial phenomenon. Yet with all our technological advances and social media reporting, a common question today is; How is it that we still do not have definitive proof that these unexplained UFO phenomena truly exist? At least not that we know of… Or has the stigma of UFOs clouded our ability to remain open to the possibilities? Has our limited knowledge and understanding of the universe caused us to arrogantly ignore the compelling new evidence that continues to rise with each reported event?
UFOs arguably tread through an ebb and flow of believability and popularity. According to a global study by Glocalities, some 61% of the 26,000 surveyed believe in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations. A HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 48% of all adults in the U.S. are open to the idea that extraterrestrial spacecraft are observing the Earth. In an older U.S. survey by Kelton Research, some 80 million Americans believe UFOs are real. News reports of UFOs catch our attention, but are quickly reduced to Internet and social media fodder that are typically trivialized and dismissed by skeptics. Of course the entertainment industry has the power to breathe life back into topics such as UFOs by making them part of the everyday conversation, bringing about re-emergence of questions asked surrounding real events and demanding better conclusions for those events that left us confused and concerned. While the discussion about the belief in god has slowly decreased in recent years, the issue of believability of UFOs continues to increase. Rarely waning long in popularity, UFOs maintain a hold on our interest, and as more voices give validity to whether or not we are alone in the universe, we greedily listen and allow the stigma of believing in little green men to wash away. We look for truth and find some assurance knowing even the U.S. government has also acknowledged UFO existence, to some extent, all along.
So what is the truth and whom do we trust to tell it? In principal, any evidence that is documented by the military and government agencies worldwide are more highly regarded as they uniformly follow procedures and guidelines to rule-out logical explanations and have the resources to assess multiple possibilities. The problem is whether or not this data is then made available to the public. So we are left with individuals and organizations, short on funds, who carry the burden of finding, investigating and reporting what is experienced. The need for evidence of UFOs does not end at the US border, but rather crosses through every country and culture.
In seeking to find out more about a couple of the most compelling UFO events in recent time, I was fortunate to make contact with and interview three highly qualified scientific and engineering professionals that were involved with confidential investigations for these extraordinary events. They agreed to do my interviews as long as they remained confidential. Each UFO event was huge in the landscape of UFOlogy and has been the subject of continued scrutiny, not on whether the events actually happened, but rather what is being done with the evidence.
In 2004, Commander David Fravor, a Navy pilot with the USS Nimitz investigated reports by the USS Princeton of several unidentified flying objects manuevering over the San Diego coastline. Of interest was that the objects had no recognizable flight mechanisms, nor was utilizing any known means of propulsion. Commander Fravor reported the object flew in a manner and pace that could not be of a human-made aircraft. How easy to discount Fravor except Fravor and members of his crew hold 15 years of experience each and declare that what they witnessed could not be of this world.
One of the consultants on the team analyzing the data and video collected from the incident explains, “The bogeys were verified by various Naval support at sea, airborne Navy pilots, as well as ground radar defense support that documented only fragmented and curiously intermittent radar signatures. The contacts were made over the course of a couple of days.” This consultant reports that there were several private aerospace contractors and six private consultants, in addition to several defense department investigators, utilized in the assessment of the data and video footage.
Ten years later, in 2014, Chilean Navy members reported an encounter off the coast of Santiago. A Chilean Naval helicopter crew on routine maneuvers witnesses a flying object 50-60 kilometers from them, yet the object had no signature from onboard radar. Confused by lack of the radar presence, a Captain contacted two primary military ground radar facilities, both were also unable to obtain a signature of the UFO. Having encountered other UFOs in the region, the military also ruled-out other commercial and private aircraft.
What makes the 2014 case even more intriguing is that a new Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) surveillance system, typically used for intelligence collection and reconnaissance, enabled the Chilean Naval crew to capture special video images of the object that radar could not. Also captured was an unknown discharge which occurred indifferent to the motion and movement of the object. While blurry objects are often the standard for UFO proof, the Chilean Navy’s new infrared video images now provided another layer of evidence that not even traditional radar could produce.
A year before in Chile, a similar UFO was reported by witnesses in the Collahuasi mining area. One former police officer says while he did not witness the 2014 event, he did witness the Collahuasi UFO in 2013. Because of his personal eye-witness encounter, he was called in to review footage and provide feedback on an investigation that was being conducted on the 2014 event. The former police officer explains that not only were there several witnesses to the flying object in 2013, along with muliple photos and video, but there were additional reports of major energy disruptions, witnesses with radiation burns and missing persons coinciding with very low hovering of the UFO. The former police officer described the Navy’s video as giving a fascinating perspective, visually showing aspects of the environment and the UFO that could not normally be seen with the naked eye. Furthermore, he confirmed that it looked identical to the UFO encounter in Collahuasi.
On October 25, 2017, a curiously intermittent UFO radar signature was documented by Oakland, California’s air traffic control center in the airspace above Northern California traveling close to Mach 1, flying outside registered flight plans, with no collision avoidance transponders and not responding to any radio communication. A separate control center estimated a speed faster than Mach 1, but that would suggest the UFO was capable of sonic speeds without producing a sonic shock wave. Military air defenses had been passively tracking the object until it reached Oregon airspace where it manuervered into busy air traffic corridors, permanently disappearing from all radar. This caused military air defenses to scramble two F-15 interceptor fighters from McChord Air Force Base in Washington to investigate. While the UFO no longer had a radar signature it was now more visible to pilots in the busy flight corridor who reported the object flying on the edge of visual range. By the time the F-15s arrived at the last visual coordinates of the UFO, it was gone, leaving only hesitant reports from commercial and private pilots. It would be an understatement to say that the event was chaotic and inexplicable to all involved.
A similar, but shorter, UFO encounter took place four months later on February 24, 2018 in the skies above Southern Arizona involving commercial and private aircraft. On this particular afternoon, a commercial pilot reported to air traffic control an unidentified aircraft flying above them headed in the opposite direction. The unidentifable aricraft exhibited none of the conventional characteristics of aircraft today, had no collision avoidance transponders and was not responding to radio communication. Ground control in turn contacted other nearby commercial and private aircraft to visually confirm the unknown aircraft, which they did. While commercial and private aircraft confirmed the UFO visually, multiple radar tracking, including Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) could not acquire a radar signature. Ground control was in the process of alerting military air defenses when pilots reported the UFO ascending quickly moments before visual was lost. A variety of rational explanations were quickly ruled-out, including weather balloons, drones, illicit air craft and top secret test aircraft, the UFO apparently exhibiting no known means of propulsion.
As a result of the 2017 and 2018 events, independent comprehensive investigations were conducted, though it is unclear if they were government or private sector operations. A highly-respected aerospace engineer that was part of the teams formed to assess evidence of these events described the meticulous scientific analysis that was conducted as well as the long list of corporations and government agencies that participated in the assessment. Corporations and agencies participated either because of their involvement in the actual event or to offer investigative resources. Reportedly, among the private sector corporations included Raytheon, General Atomics, Aeronautical Systems and Northrup Grumman. The government agencies include the FAA’s Office of investigations, North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to name but a few. Additionally, nine private consultants also participated in every phase of the investigation, four of those specialists reportedly were; Aerospace Engineer Hugh Coleman, Physicist Bruce Maccabee, Physicist Walter Innes and Anomalist Christopher Chacon (who was also involved with both Chile UFO investigations, according to the former Chilean police officer). The participation of such agencies as the NGA could be to supply geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), especially flight-tracking of aircraft or objects, both in real-time or past/pre-recorded, to ascertain possibile points of origin, flight course and/or a destination. The aerospace engineer described the objective of both investigations were to assess all evidence (witnesses, footage, radar data, satellite imagery, etc.), rule-out possible explanations (drones, secret experimental aircraft, unusual atmospheric phenomena, aircraft conducting illicit activities, etc.) and to ascertain the true nature of each event, formulating conclusions to identify the unknown aircraft. The aerospace engineer further noted how painstaking measures were taken to keep these investigations and their conclusions confidential. But with so many investigative bodies, how could any investigation remain completely secret for long?
In 2017, it was disclosed that as the result of ongoing credible UFO sightings, the government was funding a $22 million-dollar program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) secretly operated out of the Pentagon from 2007 to 2012. With the support of Senators Harry Reid and Ted Stevens, the objective of the program is to investigate UFO sightings with a particular emphasis on those incidents that can be considered a national security threat and/or are in anyway involving the U.S. military. And while other countries also have their own classified UFO government programs, many of those declassifying and releasing reports to inform their general public, the U.S. government’s AATIP maintained a high level of secrecy. So much so, that the reported former head of the program, Luis Elizondo, made complaints to superiors that the level of secrecy hindered their work and program objectives. Though the program supposedly shutdown in 2012 when funding was cut off, it has been reported that various parts or divisions of it still operate, confidentially conducting UFO investigations, as well as performing other duties for the Defense Department. While the 2004/San Diego coast event was supposedly one of the cases investigated by AATIP, the classified investigation previously mentioned in this article was reportedly done independent of that program. Additionally, the 2017/Oregon and 2018/Phoenix events were all conducted outside of any known programs, and certainly suggests that there may in fact be a new clandestine model for dealing with UFO’s that allows the program to operate without oversight, congressional or otherwise, perhaps black budget funded or even privately funded.
While AATIP officially ended in 2012, the former head of the program, Luis Elizondo, as well as many outspoken proponents of the disclosure of UFO evidence, have reported that government agencies are well aware of the ongoing UFO phenomena but continue to do nothing. However, the secret indepth investigations still being conducted suggests something else going on. While confirmation of government involvement with UFOs trickles into our media/press at times, it is difficult to decipher what the true objectives are of such involvement, nor whether the disclosure really has some other agenda, as with misinformation. If there is indeed some sort of clandestine program operating with all the resources and logistics to conduct full-scale investigations and research of UFO events, it should be no surprise that every aspect of it would remain clandestine so as to not impede their operations or compromise their power to do with their conclusions as they feel appropriate.
So whether these UFOs are in-fact secret next-generation aircraft technology (from the U.S. or a foreign power) or extraterrestrial in origin, if a new covert program is overseeing the collection and assessment of UFO events, we may never know what was behind these and so many other countless incidents as the evidence and results of investigations conducted will continue to remain confidential for the foreseeable future. All we can do is continue to independently collect and document the experiences, researching and analyze each event with whatever means and resources we can access, and most importantly, continue to ask questions over and over again until the truth is finally disclosed.