On November 14, 2004, multiple US Navy pilots operating off the USS Nimitz strike group, which included the USS Princeton, were conducting drills in the Pacific Ocean approximately 100 miles south of San Diego, California. The pilots were asked to investigate unusual aircraft activity, or anomalous aerial vehicles, sighted via radar. USS Princeton senior radar operator Kevin Day reported that he had seen some 100 AAVs during that week at an altitude of 80,000 feet or higher, which is considerably higher than commercial or military jets typically fly. After searching for possible mechanical and technology error, the radar team confirmed that everything was operating correctly. Thereafter, they recorded the UAPs descending with incredible, and impossible (given our technology) speeds. The strike force decided to investigate directly.
US Navy Commander David Fravor was among a group of pilots who responded. Fravor, who has come forward in multiple interviews after a long period of silence, reported that he saw, both via instrumentation and via direct visual contact, an approximately 40-foot-long white, oval object hovering above the ocean. Fravor’s group was followed by Navy pilot Chad Underwood and a second group of pilots. Underwood was able to film one of the objects, which he dubbed the Tic Tac, with a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera on the wing of his aircraft. FLIR detects infrared radiation, or thermal radiation from a heat source, to create an image for the pilot within the cockpit and for video recording. Underwood’s video is widely referred to as the FLIR video. Underwood did not directly see the object.
Ten years later, during 2014 and 2015, pilots from the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group had a similar interaction with similar craft. In this case, the incidents occurred off the East Coast of the United States. The pilots in these incidents also recorded cockpit instrumentation video via infrared camera, producing what are known as the GIMBAL and GOFAST videos, one of which includes compelling audio of the excited and incredulous pilots. The pilots’ interaction with the unidentified craft in these cases was via instrumentation. The three videos were leaked in 2017 to extraordinary media attention. In 2020, the videos formally declassified and released by the Department of Defense.
There has been a wide range of explanations on the origin of the sightings, including drones, fabricated infrared signals and confusion over physical observation. Numerous skeptics have debunked the videos themselves, providing terrestrial explanations for the origin. Nonetheless, other elements, including the visual sightings, have not been convincingly debunked. One other item to consider is the coincidence of the Mexican pilot UAP sightings in March of 2004, roughly paralleling the original 2004 Nimitz sightings.
The three videos together: Here.