Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article regarding a series of videos released by the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that depict unidentified flying objects, recorded by ATFLIR equipment aboard Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets. In a separate interview, one of the pilots, Commander David Fravor, offered his own account of one of these encounters with a UFO off of the California coast.
During a November 2004 training mission 100 miles off of the coast of San Diego, Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight, piloting F/A-18F Super Hornets, were contacted by the Navy cruiser USS Princeton, asking if their planes were armed. The Princeton was reporting the presence of mysterious aircraft — something that they had apparently been tracking for two weeks — and instructed Commanders Fravor and Slaight to investigate.
Princeton reported that the objects suddenly appeared at about 80,000 feet, and then rapidly descended to 20,000 feet where they stopped to hover, then disappeared from radar entirely. Arriving at the objects’ last known position, the pilots were unable to spot anything, both visually and on radar, until Fravor spotted an object just below the surface of the water, with the waves washing over it.
He saw a 40-foot oblong object, whitish in color, moving about 50 feet above the surface in an erratic fashion. Fravor began to descend to get a closer look at the object, but it began to move toward him, as if to meet him halfway. Fravor changed his heading to directly intercept the unknown craft, but it abruptly left. "It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said, and that he was "pretty weirded out."
Fravor and Slaight were then instructed by the Princeton to proceed to a rendezvous point 60 miles away, but en route, the Princeton reported that they had re-acquired radar contact with the strange objects, in the most unlikely of places: the strange visitors were now at the rendezvous point.
"We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point," according to Commander Fravor. However, by the time Fravor and Slaight arrived at the designated location, the objects had disappeared. The pilots returned to base aboard the USS Nimitz, but their superiors didn’t investigate the incident.
"I have no idea what I saw," Commander Fravor explained to a fellow pilot that had later asked him about his encounter. "It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s." But, like any fighter pilot worth his salt, Fravor admitted, "I want to fly one."