That Time the U.S. Navy Had a Close Encounter With a UFO

The New York Times on Saturday reported on a mysterious interaction between the U.S. Navy and what could only be called UFOs. The sighting, which took place in 2004, involved a U.S. Navy Aegis cruiser, seven Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighter jets, and a pair of unknown objects. The sighting, which was rumored but unsubstantiated for a decade remains unexplained to this day.

According to the Times , in 2004 two F/A-18F (twin seater) Super Hornets from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz were flying 100 miles off the coast of San Diego when a nearby U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser, the USS Princeton , contacted them and asked what weapons they were carrying. The Super Hornets replied they were carrying dummy AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles that could not be fired.

“Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you,” replied the USS Princeton ’s radio operator. According to the Times : For two weeks, the operator said, the Princeton had been tracking mysterious aircraft. The objects appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering. Then they either dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up. The Super Hornets flew to investigate the last known location of the object and to their surprise, found two objects. The first was large and just below the surface of the water, causing the water to churn. The second object hovered just 50 feet above the water, moving erratically.

The second object suddenly rose up and flew towards the Super Hornets, with one pilot. Commander David Fravor, saying it appeared it was rising up to meet him. The Hornet turned towards the object to meet it and the object peeled away, accelerating, “like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Fravor later said.

The Super Hornets conferred with the USS Princeton and were vectored to a CAP point 60 miles away. Within seconds, the pilots were told by the Princeton that radar had picked up the object already at the CAP point. By the time the Super Hornets arrived however the object had already disappeared.

Meanwhile, the The Aviationist points to a 2007 post from Above Top Secret (a site for discussing classified government programs) that seems to describe the incident in greater detail. The posting appears to be an excerpt from Carrier Air Wing 11’s event summary for November 14, 2004. CVW-11 EVENT SUMMARY
14 NOVEMBER 04
EVENT SUMMARY 110/100, 303/305, 401
FAST EAGLES 110/100 UPON TAKE OFF WERE VECTORED BY PRINCETON AND BANGER (1410L) TO INTERCEPT UNID CONTACT AT 160@40NM (N3050.8 W11746.9) (NIMITZ N3129.3 W11752.8). PRINCETON INFORMED FAST EAGLES THAT THE CONTACT WAS MOVING AT 100 KTS @ 25KFT ASL. FAST EAGLES (110/100) COULD NOT FIND UNID AIRBORNE CONTACT AT LOCATION GIVEN BY PRINCETON. WHILE SEARCHING FOR UNID AIR CONTACT, FAST EAGLES SPOTTED LARGE UNID OBJECT IN WATER AT 1430L. PILOTS SAW STEAM/ SMOKE/CHURNING AROUND OBJECT. PILOT DESCRIBES OBJECT INITIALLY AS RESEMBLING A DOWNED AIRLINER, ALSO STATED THAT IT WAS MUCH LARGER THAN A SUBMARINE. WHILE DESCENDING FROM […]