The 2004 USS Nimitz Tic Tac UFO Incident - Executive report

LasVegasNow.com I-Team / George Knapp just published a new article including a "Confidential report" that "analyzes Tic Tac UFO incidents".

Tic Tacs everywhere

The article tries to link all the TTSA UFO videos together, as if they would all be the same kind of targets, despite the fact they do not even look the same:
Since the Pentagon's release of three UFO videos, armchair experts have speculated that maybe the objects are birds or balloons or something mundane.
Until last year, Elizondo ran AATIP, a secret Pentagon assignment that quietly evaluated UFO incident reports. He chafes at the armchair experts who claim the Tic Tac was a balloon or bird, a mistake by the pilots or a technical glitch.
There's no reason to assume the 2004 Nimitz Tic Tac had anything to do with the Gimbal and Go Fast targets, which were probably filmed during Comptuex 2015 on the other side of the country. The Go Fast video in particular shows a target with a size of a large bird and is consistent with one in every way, and is still being marketed by the TTSA with obviously incorrect information of low altitude and so on.

It seems like an disingenuous attempt to defend those earlier releases, instead of admitting the mistakes the TTSA and/or AATIP has made.

What report?

The article describes the report as:
in-depth report prepared by and for the military
Elizondo is not authorized to release such information, but the I-Team obtained some of it anyway. Earlier this year, we made a whirlwind trip to Washington for a debriefing arranged by former Senator Harry Reid. While in D.C., the I-Team obtained copies of unclassified documents related to the UFO encounters, including the Tic Tac. The analysis was compiled in 2009 with input from multiple agencies.
The analysis report is not dated and has no logo, but four separate people who are familiar with its contents confirmed to the I-Team it is the real deal and was written as part of a Pentagon program.

Another highly classified version was also written but is unlikely to ever be released.
The contained Google Maps picture and quotations from external sources are consistent with it being written in 2009.

The report is most likely the same that Eric Davis was describing on Phenomenon radio in January:
this document is just basically a summary investigation report of the Nimitz encounter and I was doing a summarizing, the witnesses, the data, the background information, and summarizing witness statements. And so basically the front page is just the executive summary and the key assessments. And so we got that as a part of our subcontract work to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies work on being able to help them analyze these encounters and see if we can figure out what they are, who they are, where they're from. And so we were doing the physics on these things and so we were given this information as a matter of information sharing because this is an Intelligence Agency program contract so we're getting it, we're getting a copy and it's not classified. It's basically an unreleased version on regular paper. It's not under stationery. I'm sure that the program office of origin probably has a classified version of it in their archives. It might be just for official use only. Basically my reading of it is it looks like it's official use only because it doesn't contain sources and methods or anything of a higher level that requires higher classifications
He also already read the contents of the first page in that program. Linda Moulton Howe has also talked with Eric Davis over the phone and via email on January before that, and told the following details:
Eric Davis explained to me that the Nimitz investigation was authorized by somebody other than Luis Elizondo and that the other individual who wrote the analysis of the Tic Tac UFO was at the time a gs-15 working in naval intelligence
...
"the report was written on blank document template and not on Navy or DoD stationery in order to keep it from getting classified so it could be easily shared with Bigelow Aerospace and us at the Institute in Austin and with other Navy investigators or the leadership"
...
Dr. Davis emailed back, okay I just talked to the author of this still classified and not released Nimitz Tic Tac encounter report. He cannot be publicly identified because he is still an employee of the DoD and his work involves warfare and intelligence which are highly sensitive in his job. He told me the copy of the Nimitz report that we acquired here from Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies known as BAASS, because we at the Institute for Advanced Studies and Earth Tech in Austin we are the BAASS subcontractor in the analysis of this video. The Tic Tac analytical report was authored by the navy analyst and he did the actual investigation work and the writing of the report on behalf of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Assessment Program manager at the DIA, which is the Defense Intelligence Agency, so that's involved too. The DIA classified that Tic Tac UFO report, says Dr. Davis, but the DIA program manager facilitated the transfer of an unclassified version of the report to Bigelow Aerospace, which shared it with Hal Puthoff and me, the subcontractor at Earth Tech and the Institute.
...
So we cannot release this report under any circumstance because all of us still have security clearances and we have to abide by the DoD's classified information security rules. We are also not the official owner of this report, so we don't have the authorization to release it to the public. However, I am authorized to publicly discuss or read only the executive summary and the key assessments on page 1 of the report.
...
The key assessments were not written by an intelligence analyst. They are the assessments that were made by the F-18 fighter pilots themselves.
David Fravor has also confirmed the "unofficial investigation" was done in 2009:
Fravor, who retired from the Navy in 2006, later shared the story with his wife and children, and some others who’d ask. But nothing really came of it until 2009 when a government official he declined to name contacted him while doing “an unofficial investigation.” Fravor declined to give more details about the official, but said he was later contacted by Luis Elizondo, an intelligence officer who ran the secretive program at the Department of Defense that was just disclosed.
The FighterSweep article from 2015 states:
However last month when I called Dave to refresh my memory before sitting down to write this bizarre encounter, he informed me that the video had been removed from YouTube.  He told me that a government agency with a three letter identifier had recently conducted an investigation into the AAVs and had exhaustively interviewed all parties involved.

All of the seven flight crew, including 6 aircrew from VFA-41 and Cheeks from VMFA-232.  The Fire Control Officer and Senior Chief from Princeton, and the radar operator on the E-2.  They even queried the crew of the USS Louisville, a Los Angeles-class Fast-Attack submarine that was in the area as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group who reported there were no unidentified sonar contacts or strange underwater noises on that day.
The author of that article, Paco Chierici, however told me that:
For some reason the investigation concluded a few weeks before I wrote my article. It was conducted almost ten years after the incident. No explanation was given for the gap.
I wrote this account a few years ago after reading the Defense Department report.
I didn’t include names of those who didn’t want to be included, or I couldn’t reach for comment.
He also called it a NIS report, and clarified that to mean "Naval Investigative Service", but that can't be right, since NIS changed its name to NCIS in 1992. I'm guessing there has been some misunderstanding and he has read this same report from 2009. I'm trying to confirm if that is the case.

Luis Elizondo was strangely evasive when asked when that investigation happened:
Interviewer: Your program actually interviewed the pilots, right?
Elizondo: Yes sir.
Interviewer: And you evaluated the case. Do you know was there any initial investigation that happened back in 2004 or you actually took the case originally as the first party.
Elizondo: I can't answer precisely when an investigation was actually launched, a very comprehensive investigation, but unfortunately I'm not at liberty to give the precise time or by who did it. I believe that information may still belong to the government, so I have to be cautious of that.

Style of the report

The general style of that report is not really that of a detailed investigation trying to find explanations, but more like a collection of witness accounts with the emphasis on the supposedly unexplainable aspects of it, with aircraft and instrument descriptions copied directly from Wikipedia and manufacturer marketing materials. Not exactly what one would expect from official DoD investigation reports or such.

The article states that "Navy's initial report was buried" and "Five years later, a more comprehensive assessment was compiled but was never made public and has been seen by few, even inside the Pentagon." This report could very well be just a combination of those earlier "buried" reports, augmented with some stuff copied from Wikipedia and elsewhere. The reason it has "been seen by few" might simply be that it was basically an internal AATIP working document summarizing what they found from actual official earlier documents and it was just sent to their (sub)contractors.

Visual contact

The report describes the visual contact, especially as described by David Fravor, who is the only pilot whose name is shown in that version of the report. However, for some key parts, the description seems to be less detailed than the account Fravor has given in November 2017. Those parts include the exact maneuvers Fravor and the object made and the report also omits the descriptions of the conversations and turns they made after they lost the contact and before Princeton informed them the object had supposedly flown to their CAP position, making it sound like that movement had been near instantaneous.

The report also indicates Fravor didn't use his "helmet's recording capability", which typically "is not practical" "because of the large amount of head movement". It seems likely there won't be any additional footage except for the FLIR footage.

FLIR tracking

The report indicates the FLIR footage was taken several hours later and confirms the crew that took it didn't see it visually and couldn't even confirm it was the same object.

It also mentions "As LT [hidden] watched the object it began to move out of FLIR field of view to the left. LT [hidden] made no attempt to slew the FLIR and subsequently lost situational awareness to the object.

Based on my earlier analysis of the video, that movement out of the view was most likely caused by the camera, not by any extreme acceleration.

Radar contacts

This has to be the most interesting statement in that report:
There was a live fire exercise conducted by the USS Louisville during the period of and in the vicinity of the AAV sightings; however, the weapon in use did not match the flight profile or visible characteristics of the AAV.
It looks like an obvious clue that might explain at least some parts of the encounters. How close was it to that location and time? Were those close on all of the (three) occurrences the AAVs were detected by the radar? Which parts of the "flight profile" it didn't match, and which parts it might have matched? Did it for example match to this part:
AAV exhibited Ballistic Missile Characteristics in reference to its appearance, velocity, and indications on the radar. Since the radar was in the mode to handle Air Intercept of conventional aircraft it never obtained an accurate track of the AAVs and was quickly "dropped" by the radar meaning it was eliminated by the computer to reduce the amount of clutter on the radar, as any other false target is handled. If the radar were set up in a mode for Ballistic Missile tracking they likely would have had the capability to track the AAV.
Oddly, that report doesn't attempt to give answers to such questions, or state the reasons why. It rather seems to try to brush off that part by stating:
Additionally any live fire would have been coordinated throughout the CSG and all air traffic would have been well aware of the launch and operation of the weapon system. Aircraft would not have been vectored for the intercept of a US Weapon in-flight.
But they apparently were vectored towards the same location "during the period". Could it be that the "ballistic part" on radar was caused by that weapon, and that part was already over when the intercept happened, and the craft that was seen there was something else? Was that even considered?

It's similarly strange that the report states:
The Meteorological Officer (METOC) onboard the Princeton provided a briefing that discussed a high altitude weather phenomena where ice crystals can form and be detected by the AN/SPY-1.
So was there some sort of assessment if that might have had something to do with what was observed? It's strange the report doesn't mention anything else about it.

It was also mentioned that:
The AAVs would descend "very rapidly" from approximately 60,000 feet down to approximately 50 feet in a matter of seconds. They would then hover for a short time and depart at high velocities and at turn rates demonstrating an advanced acceleration (G) capability.
How accurately could they detect those, if they "never obtained an accurate track of the AAV"?

Also, how likely is it that the altitudes reported by the radars were somehow erroneous, if the detection altitudes of two radars didn't seem to match?
He did not see the object on his radar (raw video) until the USS Princeton directed the contact and gave the E-2 the general direction to steer its radar. LT [hidden] initially thought the return was a wave because in a high sea state (4 or greater) the E-2C RADAR can actually detect the waves. Additionally, the target was so low and the return was so faint that without the inputs from the USS Princeton the return would have been missed/ignored. This was even more interesting because the USS Princeton initially reported the target to be at 15,000-20,000 feet MSL. Due to the intermittent radar return from the target, velocity was unavailable.
There seems to be a whole lot of red flags and unanswered questions in that report.

How many Tic Tacs?

The report tells us:
The USS Princeton on several occasions detected multiple Anomalous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs) operating in and around the vicinity of the CSG. The AAVs would descend "very rapidly" from approximately 60,000 feet down to approximately 50 feet in a matter of seconds. They would then hover or stay stationary on the radar for a short time and depart at high velocities and turn rates. On 14 November after again detecting the AAV, the USS Princeton took the opportunity of having a flight of two F/A-18Fs returning from a training mission to further investigate the AAV.
They were detected three separate times during the week operating off the western coast of the United States and Mexico. The Tactical Air Officer onboard the Princeton could not identify the radar contact and given the high speed and altitude was perplexed. 
So was there just a single AAV on multiple occasions or several at a time? Those descriptions seem to indicate there were multiple of them, and then again they describe only "the AAV" or "the radar contact".

Update: According to Dave Fravor, "there was like a dozen of them" (apparently at the same time according to radar):
These things would come down, there was like a dozen of them, they'd go and they'd come down, they'd hang out like 20,000 feet for a few hours and then they'd go straight back up
-- David Fravor in an interview on March 15, 2018.

Location

According to the report, the "visual and sensor contact with the AAV" happened "30 nm off the Baja Mexico Coast", and there's also a map for that location. However, Fravor stated they were flying longer than that from their CAP towards the west to intercept it. That would put their CAP over Mexico. The location given in the report also doesn't match that given in the navy event log. Hence the location given in the report is most likely incorrect.

EA/jamming indications?

The FighterSweep article contains the following information:
The WSO first picked up a contact on the radar around 30nm away while it was operating in the RWS scan mode.  He checked the coordinates and it was indeed hovering at their precise CAP point.  He attempted several STT locks, to no avail.  Later, in the debrief, he explained that he had multiple telltale cues of EA.

The target aspect on the track file was turning through 360 degrees along with some other distinct jamming indications.  In the less precise scan mode, the return indicated that the object was, in the WSO’s words, “A few thousand feet below us.  Around 15-20K– but hovering stationary.”  The only movement was generated by the closure of the fighter to the CAP location.

The WSO resorted to the FLIR pod on board, slaving it to the weak track the RWS mode had been able to generate.
However, according to the report:
LT [hidden] was controlling the radar and FLIR and attempted multiple times to transition the radar to Single Target Track (STT) mode on the object. The radar could not take a lock, the b-sweep would raster around the hit, build an initial aspect vector (which never stabilized) and then would drop and continue normal RWS b-sweep. When asked, LT [hidden] stated that there were no jamming cues (strobe, champagne bubbles, "any normal EA indications"). It "just appeared as if the radar couldn't hack it." The radar couldn't receive enough information to create a single target track file. The FLIR, in L+S slave, pointed in direction of the initial track flies as the radar attempted lock.

Implications for the AATIP

If this report was done by/on behalf of the AATIP, it seems to be the first piece of UFO investigation we have seen that was done while the program was officially active. Yet, even that investigation seems to have been "unofficial" and certainly looks like one.

It looks more and more like the whole AATIP (even that name) was more or less unofficial. The AAWSAP call for proposals seems to describe a program for trying to imagine future technology, not one for investigating UFOs. The advanced propulsion etc. papers by Puthoff and Davis also seem to be about the former. Was the AATIP an unofficial program inside an official one, run by people doing unofficial UFO investigations, while they were actually supposed to have been doing something else?

Comments

  1. I definitely don't know the answer to all of this, but I'd bet my million dollars that it is something that can be explained & Earthly - rather then the answer that everyone on Reddit wants to hear, that it was a flying saucer from another world piloted by aliens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been suspecting for some time it might have more in common with a Harrier than aliens. That disturbance in water sounds like something thrust vectoring or lift fans could generate.

      If those radar returns or their connection to what was seen visually is now suspect, the rest of the incident would be easier to explain with something like that.

      In my mind the big question really is how much detail they could have seen of that craft if they were some 4000-5000ft from it on the closest point (according to the navy event log) and could only use their eyeballs, lacking the FLIR?

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