This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Weeks after the Pentagon published its official version of three videos purported to show UFOs, we can now read reports from Navy pilots who’ve encountered unidentified flying aircraft in other incidents, including some over the Atlantic Ocean. The Drive has acquired eight hazard reports via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. They’re all from U.S. Navy pilots, all describe interactions with weird objects in the skies high above America’s east coast.
A hazard report is standard Navy paperwork, filed when a pilot has a potentially dangerous encounter in the sky. The Navy tracks these reports to build a picture of what’s going on in U.S. airspace and what dangers a pilot may face. Seven of the reports come from F/A-18F Super Hornets from 2013 to 2014. The last comes from an EA-18G Growler. All took place above the Atlantic Ocean. Crucially, none of the reports come from the GOFAST, GIMBAL, or FLIR videos, but they do shed light on the routine nature of encountering weird objects in the sky.
According to one report, on March 26, 2014 a Super Hornet pilot encountered an “unknown aircraft appeared to be small in size, approximately the size of a suitcase, and silver in color." There were no aircraft authorized to be in the airspace at that time and the Navy had a hard time tracking the object on its radar. “The object was so small it was almost impossible to detect with the naked eye at range...This presents a significant safety concern.”
A little under a month later, on April 23, another Super Hornet encountered two unidentified flying objects. The Navy couldn’t identify the objects nor determine who was controlling them, but the report’s tone is one of exasperated concern. Although this report is primarily submitted for tracking purposes, it is only a matter of time before this results in a [midair collision,]” the report said. “This was the squadron’s second occurrence in the last then months. The operation of [unmanned aerial vehicles] and other aerial devices must be properly coordinated and communicated to keep aircrew informed and safe.”
All eight reports are similar. A pilot encounters something in the sky, tracks it for a bit, and then it’s written up as a hazardous incident in a report later. In one report, the pilot visually identified the object as a red weather balloon, but couldn’t track down who the balloon belonged to. In another report, pilots encountered a quad copter drone with serial numbers or other identifying features.
On the surface, it would seem that the Navy is encountering and writing up UFOs constantly. It’s become so mundane as to be part of a routine report.
But other incident reports have proven more difficult to get ahold of. According to The Drive’s reporting, after a UFO buzzed Super Hornet pilots of the USS Nimitz in 2014, an intelligence officer sent a full report of the incident to a Navy Base in San Diego via secure email. The officer who received the email deleted it and failed to forward the report up their chain of command.
It’s weird that none of the incident reports, hazard reports, or other paperwork around the high profile incidents of Navy encounters with UFOs related to the videos it has published have come to light—and not for lack of trying. Motherboard and other outlets have filed Freedom of Information Act requests about these incidents and haven't gotten much back. Over the past two decades, Pentagon pilots have witnessed a lot of strange stuff in the sky and they haven’t been quiet about it. So where is the documentation?
There’s still plenty of explanations for the strange footage we’ve seen that doesn’t involve extraterrestrial intelligence. When the Pentagon released its videos, it said it was doing so “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real.”
The opposite has happened. The more information that’s unearthed, the weirder things get, and the harder it is to believe the Pentagon isn’t hiding something. Whether that’s technological secrets, information about an advanced weapon’s program, or evidence of visitation from the stars is anyone’s guess.