A story published on April 23, 2019, on the website of POLITICO, described new guidelines set out by the U.S. Navy for its pilots and other personnel to report Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAPs), which is what is called UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects in popular culture.
The Navy told POLITICO, "There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years."
"The Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft."
A UAP and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets play cat and mouse
In late 2017, both POLITICO and the New York Times reported on an office that had been set up within the Defense Intelligence Agency to study UAPs. It was called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, and was run by a man named Luis Elizondo. During that reporting, the puzzling 2004 case of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group came to light.
The carrier group, which was operating off the coast of San Diego, California, had for two weeks been tracking UAPs. One day, it got lucky when it happened to have three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets up in the sky just when the UAPs showed up.
The three fighters caught up with a UAP as it was hovering mere inches above the ocean surface, and churning up a considerable amount of water.
Catching sight of the fighter jets, the UAP rose almost instantaneously to a height of 12,000 feet, where it and the fighters began a game of cat and mouse. Luckily, it was all caught on video by Raytheon Corporation's Advanced Targeting Forward Look Infrared (ATFLIR) sensor on one of the jets:
Last year, Commander David Fravor, the pilot whose voice can be heard on the above video, appeared on Fox News where he described the encounter. When asked where he thought the craft came from, Fravor said that it was, "something not from this world."
November in Chicago is cold and cloudy but apparently, not boring
On the afternoon of November 7, 2006 at Chicago's O'Hare airport, a United Airlines employee was pushing United Airlines Flight 446 back from the gate when he looked up and saw a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering above.
The man radioed Flight 446's flight crew who also saw the craft. Eventually, twelve airport employees were observing the craft, as well as witnesses from outside the airport.
Apparently, having seen their fill, if you've ever been to Chicago in November, or been to O'Hare Airport, you know what I mean, the craft shot upwards through the clouds at such a high rate of speed that it left a clear blue hole in the cloud layer.
Initially, both United Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) denied the existence of the sighting, until the Chicago Tribune newspaper filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. That unearthed a call made by a United Airlines supervisor to an FAA manager in the airport tower concerning the UAP.
March in Phoenix is much more pleasant than November in Chicago
On the night of March 13, 1997, a man in Henderson, Nevada reported seeing a huge V-shaped object with six lights that was heading toward Arizona.
In Paulden, Arizona, a former police officer saw a V-shaped cluster of reddish or orange lights overhead. He watched until the lights disappeared over the horizon. Next, the police switchboard in Prescott, Arizona lit up with callers reporting a V-shaped cluster of lights flying overhead.
Prescott resident Tim Ley and his wife Bobbi observed the craft pass directly over their heads, before it began heading straight for Phoenix. Witnesses in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, watched the object pass directly over them, while in Phoenix, truck driver Bill Greiner observed the lights and said, "Before this, if anybody had told me they saw a UFO, I would've said, 'Yeah and I believe in the Tooth Fairy.' Now I've got a whole new view, and I may be just a dumb truck driver, but I've seen something that don't belong here."
Also observing the lights in Phoenix was a former Air Force pilot named Fife Symington.
As a former pilot, Symington knew the lights were unusual, and his observation would carry a little more weight since, at that time, he was Arizona's governor. Symington went on to say, "I'm a pilot and I know just about every machine that flies. It was bigger than anything that I've ever seen. It remains a great mystery."
In response to the U.S. Air Force's claims that the lights were flares, Symington responded. "... it couldn't have been flares because it was too symmetrical. It had a geometric outline, a constant shape."
My personal experience
Early one morning, I took our dog outside to do his business. Everything was quiet in the rolling hills outside a western U.S. city. I was standing facing due south and not paying attention to much of anything, when the rays of the sun rising to my left struck something in the sky, and reflected back down to me. Looking up, I saw an oval-shaped craft hovering motionless in the sky.
At first, I thought it was an airplane flying at such an angle to me that it appeared stationary, but then I recognized it for what it was. While the dog nosed along the ground, both the craft and I remained motionless for several minutes. Then, at a dizzying speed, the craft made two zig-zags in the sky, drawing a "W" open to the east, and it came to rest more directly overhead.
Are we alone in the Universe?
That afternoon, I reported my experience to MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. MUFON is the oldest and largest civilian UFO investigation and research organization in the world. Their stated goal is to answer the age old question: "Are we alone in the universe?"
MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) was started in 1969 by groups located in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, and the "M" originally stood for Midwest. MUFON began cooperating with the Center for UFO Studies located at Northwestern University, and run by former Project Blue Book director Dr. Allen Hynek.
By 1971, MUFON had developed a Field Investigator's Manual, and in the late 2000s, it developed a computerized Case Management System (CMS), which allows anyone to report a UFO incident anywhere in the world. Currently, the case management system contains over 80,000 entries.
Click the "News" tab on MUFON's website, and you can read dozens of recent UAP cases reported by ordinary citizens. They are chilling in their "ordinariness". Currently, MUFON has a membership of over 4,000, publishes an online journal, and has trained more than 500 field investigators. On July 26 - 28, 2019, at the Hotel Irvine, Irvine California, MUFON will host its annual symposium. Scheduled presenters include Stanton Friedman.
In May 2019, the History Channel is starting a six-part series on the UAP phenomenon that will be presented by Luis Elizondo., the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. It comes on the heels of another show that aired on the History Channel entitled, "Project Blue Book."