The Navy already admits to seeing "unidentified aerial phenomena." Now five Navy veterans are adding to the story with details about longer video footage and two mysterious visitors, Fox News reports. In a private group chat with Popular Mechanics, the veterans tell their version of what happened on the USS Nimitz in 2004—a "UFO" or "UAP" encounter that's supported by video and acknowledged by Navy officials. Among the details:
- Former Petty Officer 3rd Class Gary Voorhis was on the USS Princeton, a cruiser in the Nimitz carrier group, when onboard radars were recalibrated due to "clutter" and "ghost tracks." Then the tracks became "sharper and clearer," he says. "Sometimes they'd be at an altitude of 80,000 or 60,000 feet. Other times they’d be around 30,000 feet, going like 100 knots. Their radar cross sections didn't match any known aircraft..."
- "The reason why I say they're weird [is] because they were appearing in groups of five to 10 at a time and they were pretty closely spaced to each other," Princeton Operations Specialist Senior Chief Kevin Day says in a YouTube documentary. "And they were 28,000 feet going a hundred knots tracking south."
- After nearly a week of strange radar returns, Day was allowed to send aircraft to intercept them. That led to an "unofficial executive summary" by VFA-41 Squadron Commander David Fravor describing the apparent visitor as "an elongated egg or a 'Tic Tac' shape with a discernible midline horizontal axis" running roughly 46 feet long.
- A later flight by another F/A-18 produced video footage, about a minute of which was published by the New York Times in 2017. But Voorhis says he "definitely saw video that was roughly 8 to 10 minutes long and a lot more clear."
- Where is it now? Petty Officer Patrick "PJ" Hughes says his commanding officer and two unknown people took the hard drives from the Nimitz. Voorhis has a similar account of "two guys" arriving by helicopter on the Princeton and taking the data recordings. "They even told me to erase everything that's in the shop—even the blank tapes," he says.
- But Fravor isn't so sure. He tells The Fighter Pilot Podcast the tapes were likely recorded over by mistake. He also smells a lie: "There's still groups of people making stuff up, like someone came out on ours and was talking about, he's like, I saw the whole video, the whole video is like 10 minutes long and it was doing all this," he says on Joe Rogan's podcast.
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