Pilots, both commercial and military, have been seeing weird things happening up in the sky for a very long time. The problem has always been that if you were heard talking about it, you’d be written off as some sort of loon and your career might well be over. That kept most of them from discussing or investigating anything anomalous that they might have come across. Now the United States Navy is putting a stop to those practices because there have been too many unidentified encounters with what appear to be very advanced aircraft and they want to get to the bottom of it. (Washington Post)

A recent uptick in sightings of unidentified flying objects — or as the military calls them, “unexplained aerial phenomena” — prompted the Navy to draft formal procedures for pilots to document encounters, a corrective measure that former officials say is long overdue.

As first reported by POLITICO, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis since 2014. Recently, unidentified aircraft have entered military-designated airspace as often as multiple times per month, Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for office of the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Citing safety and security concerns, Gradisher vowed to “investigate each and every report.”

He said, “We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.”

We can take exception with at least one part of this report. If you ask around with the people who have been looking into this for a while, they don’t have “a recent uptick in sightings.” What they have is an uptick in pilots being willing to talk about it. This has been going on for a while now.

Perhaps this story is finally going to get some more attention. After the federal government and the military came forward in December of 2017 and released video of an “anomalous aerospace threat” encountered by some of our Navy pilots, the media covered the story for about a week. And then it simply disappeared. How something like that wasn’t seriously investigated further was a mystery to me, but according to the sources cited in the WaPo article, some of the pilots have grown upset over the lack of attention.

But now, the Navy is planning to do full investigations of all such reports. They’ll have quite a backlog to work through, though. After that initial admission, the Pentagon released another video in March of last year. Do you recall the one that’s often referred to as the “white tic tac” incident? It was something the size of a bus and shaped like a tic tac, with no visible wings or exhaust ports. It somehow managed to drop down from the stratosphere, hover about fifty feet above the ocean, and then take off at a speed that left two F-18s (capable of doing nearly Mach 2.5) in the dust. Here’s some cockpit video of it.

It’s not just military pilots who have been seeing things they can’t explain. Last winter a group of commercial airline pilots flying over Ireland all reported some “bright lights” passing them which couldn’t be identified. (CNN)

Chatter between airline pilots and Irish air traffic control focused briefly on the sightings, with at least four aviators confirming that they’d seen the phenomenon.

The exchange began when one pilot asked Shannon air traffic control if there was nearby military activity. When the air traffic controller replied in the negative, the pilot said that she had seen something moving “so fast.”…

A pilot on Virgin Flight 76 added that his flight crew had seen “two bright lights at 11 o’clock (which) seemed to bank over to the right and then climb away at speed.”

Turn on your audio and listen to the various airline pilots discussing this encounter over the radio and asking what the heck just passed them “at incredible speed.”

One aviation expert interviewed for that article tried to write it off as meteorites. But as far as I know, meteorites don’t tend to “bank” in midflight and then climb in altitude once they enter the atmosphere.

I’d really like to see some more information released on all of this activity. I’m not saying it’s extraterrestrials (though nobody can rule that out, I suppose) but it’s definitely something. We don’t have the technology to build anything capable of the flight characteristics these pilots are reporting. Or at least we’re not admitting to having that technology. If it’s some black bag experiment out of Skunkworks, fine. But what if it’s not ours? Have the Chinese or the Russians made some huge technological leap ahead of us? If so, wouldn’t we want to know?

Kudos to the Navy for taking this seriously. Now let’s see how transparent they want to be about whatever they find.