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Aliens & UFO's

‘Wow, what is that?’ Navy pilots report Unexplained Flying Objects

© Tony Luong for The New York Times

Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean
The New York Times

“These things would be out there all day,” Lt. Ryan Graves said. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”

The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.

“These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”

In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were videotaped, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.

“Wow, what is that, man?” one exclaims. “Look at it fly!”

No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects were extraterrestrial, and experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents. Lieutenant Graves and four other Navy pilots, who said in interviews with The New York Times that they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in training maneuvers from Virginia to Florida off the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, make no assertions of their provenance.

But the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy, which earlier this year sent out new classified guidance for how to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.

(Above) Videos filmed by Navy pilots show two encounters with flying objects. One was captured by a plane’s camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2015. That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released. The second video was taken a few weeks later. Credit U.S. Department of Defense

Joseph Gradisher, a Navy spokesman, said the new guidance was an update of instructions that went out to the fleet in 2015, after the Roosevelt incidents.

“There were a number of different reports,” he said. Some cases could have been commercial drones, he said, but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this. So the intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace.”

The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”

© Adam Ferguson for The New York Times
Navy pilots from the VFA-11 “Red Rippers” squadron aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in 2015. The squadron began noticing strange objects just after the Navy upgraded the radar systems on its F/A-18 fighter planes.

The program, which began in 2007 and was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time, was officially shut down in 2012 when the money dried up, according to the Pentagon. But the Navy recently said it currently investigates military reports of U.F.O.s, and Mr. Elizondo and other participants say the program – parts of it remain classified – has continued in other forms. The program has also studied video that shows a whitish oval object described as a giant Tic Tac, about the size of a commercial plane, encountered by two Navy fighter jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.

Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the possibility of an extraterrestrial cause “is so unlikely that it competes with many other low-probability but more mundane explanations.” He added that “there are so many other possibilities – bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight.”

Lieutenant Graves still cannot explain what he saw. In the summer of 2014, he and Lt. Danny Accoin, another Super Hornet pilot, were part of a squadron, the VFA-11 “Red Rippers” out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., that was training for a deployment to the Persian Gulf.

Lieutenants Graves and Accoin spoke on the record to The Times about the objects. Three other pilots in the squadron also spoke to The Times about the objects but declined to be named.

Lieutenants Graves and Accoin, along with former American intelligence officials, appear in a six-part History Channel series, “Unidentified: Inside America’s U.F.O. Investigation,” to air beginning Friday. The Times conducted separate interviews with key participants.

The pilots began noticing the objects after their 1980s-era radar was upgraded to a more advanced system. As one fighter jet after another got the new radar, pilots began picking up the objects, but ignoring what they thought were false radar tracks.

“People have seen strange stuff in military aircraft for decades,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We’re doing this very complex mission, to go from 30,000 feet, diving down. It would be a pretty big deal to have something up there.”

But he said the objects persisted, showing up at 30,000 feet, 20,000 feet, even sea level. They could accelerate, slow down and then hit hypersonic speeds.

Lieutenant Accoin said he interacted twice with the objects. The first time, after picking up the object on his radar, he set his plane to merge with it, flying 1,000 feet below it. He said he should have been able to see it with his helmet camera, but could not, even though his radar told him it was there.

A few days later, Lieutenant Accoin said, a training missile on his jet locked on the object and his infrared camera picked it up as well. “I knew I had it, I knew it was not a false hit,” he said. But still, “I could not pick it up visually.”

At this point the pilots said they speculated that the objects were part of some classified and extremely advanced drone program.

But then pilots began seeing the objects. In late 2014, Lieutenant Graves said he was back at base in Virginia Beach when he encountered a squadron mate just back from a mission “with a look of shock on his face.”

He said he was stunned to hear the pilot’s words. “I almost hit one of those things,” the pilot told Lieutenant Graves.

The pilot and his wingman were flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach when something flew between them, right past the cockpit. It looked to the pilot, Lieutenant Graves said, like a sphere encasing a cube.

The incident so spooked the squadron that an aviation flight safety report was filed, Lieutenant Graves said.

The near miss, he and other pilots interviewed said, angered the squadron, and convinced them that the objects were not part of a classified drone program. Government officials would know fighter pilots were training in the area, they reasoned, and would not send drones to get in the way.

“It turned from a potentially classified drone program to a safety issue,” Lieutenant Graves said. “It was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision.

What was strange, the pilots said, was that the video showed objects accelerating to hypersonic speed, making sudden stops and instantaneous turns – something beyond the physical limits of a human crew.

“Speed doesn’t kill you,” Lieutenant Graves said. “Stopping does. Or acceleration.”

Asked what they thought the objects were, the pilots refused to speculate.

“We have helicopters that can hover,” Lieutenant Graves said. “We have aircraft that can fly at 30,000 feet and right at the surface.” But “combine all that in one vehicle of some type with no jet engine, no exhaust plume.”

Lieutenant Accoin said only that “we’re here to do a job, with excellence, not make up myths.”

In March 2015 the Roosevelt left the coast of Florida and headed to the Persian Gulf as part of the American-led mission fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The same pilots who were interacting with the strange objects off the East Coast were soon doing bombing missions over Iraq and Syria.

The incidents tapered off after they left the United States, the pilots said.

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Aliens & UFO's

Ancient Astronomical Code Found on Alien Mountain in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a team of astrobiologists and exogeologists led by Dr. Aravinda Ravibhanu Sumanaratna, while examining the famous “mountain of aliens”, discovered forgotten and previously unknown ancient petroglyphs, which, according to researchers, are closely related to astronomy.

 Photo: CCF-Polonnaruwa / EASL
Photo: CCF-Polonnaruwa / EASL

Scientists have already published their report in a specialized journal entitled “Encoding on Mount Danigala in Sri Lanka”, and Ancient Origins briefly tells about the discovery.

In a letter to this publication, Dr. Sumanaratna of the South Asian Research Department of Astrobiology and Earth Sciences writes that his team was the first to discover petroglyphs associated with Neolithic humans in Sri Lanka.

The discovery was made in the caves of Mount Danigala, which is revered as a sacred site. In the world, it is better known as the “Alien Mountain”, since it was allegedly observed over it many times by UFOs. For scientists, this mountain is of great interest, since petroglyphs have been found in its depths before.

In the new study, the team describes both previously unknown petroglyphs and engravings found in the 19th century by British officer Fossett. However, scientists have forgotten about them for more than a century. The petroglyphs are located in Edakkal Cave on the western slope of the mountain. Overall, they are comparable to other similar archaeological sites in Sri Lanka.

Ancient authors engraved both geometric patterns and primitive images of people with weapons in their hands, animals and plants. The drawings are tentatively dated 5500-4500 BC. Scientists point out that this is the first time that “special types of symbols” were linked to each other.

They write that in the cave almost all the available space was covered with petroglyphs. The largest of them are 7.5 meters long and five meters high. Researchers believe that some randomly carved sets of geometric symbols are in fact an ancient “glue code” representing the “lost astronomical counting system.”

However, this is just a hypothesis, and it is possible that it was put forward to attract tourists to this region. Nevertheless, the work deserves attention if only because the petroglyphs of Mount Danigala are still poorly understood. Given the practice of other ancient peoples around the world, some of these images may indeed have astronomical connotations.

Note that there is still debate in the scientific community regarding the period of settlement of Sri Lanka. Recent discoveries indicate that humans may have arrived here about 300,000 years ago. Some believe that this could have happened 500 thousand years ago. However, the age of the oldest human site found near the Danigala Mountain is about 125 thousand years.

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Aliens & UFO's

David Fravor, a Former US military pilot spoke about the encounter with a UFO

Former US Navy fighter pilot David Fravor said he saw a UFO in 2004. He told Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Lex Friedman what a flying object looks like.

Fravor stated that he and his colleagues saw an object resembling a tick-tock shape on a clear day. Then they carried out a monitoring mission in the region, where they had previously recorded anomalies.

“I saw lights in the sky and they went out,” the pilot said. The words of the ex-military were broadcast by Fox News.

When the military tried to catch up with the alleged UFO, it disappeared. According to the former pilot, the object was behaving aggressively. It disappeared, changed altitude and blocked the radar.

“This is technically an act of aggression,” added Fravor.

Earlier, the US Department of Defense created a working group to investigate unidentified flying objects. The Pentagon has repeatedly reported that it has spotted UFOs. For example, in April 2020, the agency published several videos showing small drones moving at a fairly high speed.

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Aliens & UFO's

Prince of Liechtenstein: How one of the richest rulers in the world launches millions to search for UFOs

Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

The Prince of Liechtenstein is considered one of the richest rulers in the world. His family’s fortune exceeds $ 7.6 billion, and his personal fortune is $ 4 billion. And this despite the fact that during the Second World War, his relatives lost almost 90 percent of their possessions around the world. 

The monarch tries to live modestly and help his subjects: he repairs roads at his own expense and annually opens the doors of his castle, inviting people to breakfast. He also spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on UFO research. 

Prince-winemaker

“The prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, lives in a castle located on a rock in the Alpine principality. This castle bears his name. 38 thousand subjects call the monarch “Your Grace”, he owns a collection of masterpieces of the Renaissance, he owns two palaces in Vienna. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index , he is included in the list of the 500 richest people in the world,” Bloomberg describes the European ruler.

The princely family of one of the smallest states in Europe is truly fabulously rich. The ruling dynasty owns the private bank LGT Group, founded in 1920, and other types of business: agricultural and forestry in Lower Austria and Styria, energy and wine. Hans-Adam is personally involved in winemaking, however, his vineyard is quite small – only four hectares, where on average about 10 thousand liters of wine are produced per year.

Ballroom of 165 square meters at the Royal City Palace in Vienna
Ballroom of 165 square meters at the Royal City Palace in Vienna
Photo: LIECHTENSTEIN. 
The Princely Collections, Vaduz – Vienna

In addition, the ruling dynasty has a lot of real estate. The exact number of castles and residences is carefully hidden from the public, but only according to official data, the prince and his family have at least ten castles and palaces. Some of them are home to members of the princely family, others are used as museums.

The most beloved are Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein, two palaces in Vienna – Garden Palace and City Palace, a family museum in Lower Austria, six more castles scattered throughout Austria, as well as 76 acres of land in Texas. And this is taking into account the fact that after the Second World War the prince’s family lost almost 90 percent of the possessions – 54 castles outside the principality, in the Czech Republic and Austria.

The princely family has learned to extract money from everything that it touches: the monarch and his relatives rent out their Viennese palaces. For several hundred thousand euros, everyone can rent a luxurious room for a reception, wedding or concert

Most of the time, the prince and his wife spend at the Vaduz Castle, where they occupy the eastern wing. On the outside, this medieval building may seem rather gloomy, but inside it is very comfortable. Here, antiquity peacefully coexists with modernity: beautiful elevators – with spiral staircases, large rooms with air conditioning and Wi-Fi are decorated with tapestries and paintings of the 17th-18th centuries. The cellars are meticulously stocked with cupboards and dishes with Chinese painting, a collection of ancient weapons and armor. The prince said more than once that most of all he loves the picturesque view from the window – of the Alps and the Rhine.

Modesty Above All

The Prince of Liechtenstein was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and attended primary school in the Liechtenstein capital Vaduz. After graduating from the Higher Economic Gymnasium, he worked as a clerk in one of the London banks, the name of which is still carefully hidden. After the internship, the prince went to Switzerland, where he entered the commercial university at the faculty of business and economics.

The knowledge gained was very useful to him later. The prince’s family fortune exceeds $ 7.6 billion, and his personal fortune is $ 4 billion, which makes him one of the richest heads of state in the world. In addition, Hans-Adam owns a huge collection of works of art on display at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna. The collection began to collect the ancestors of Hans-Adam back in the 17th century, now it contains more than a thousand works of great artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Bruegel.

Prince of Liechtenstein Hans-Adam II and his wife Maria at the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle
Prince of Liechtenstein Hans-Adam II and his wife Maria at the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle

This collection is one of the largest in the world, second only to the collection of the British Windsors. The prince speaks about this rather evasively: “Somewhere we have an advantage, somewhere they have. It is very difficult to judge whose collection is more expensive. For me, these are just assets that should generate income. I myself prefer contemporary art. “

Despite the huge fortune, representatives of the princely family do not boast of wealth, trying to live modestly. Thus, the wife of Hans-Adam II, Princess Maria Kinski, herself looks after the garden in the main castle.

There is no Bentley, Bugatti, Maserati, Ferrari or even Rolls-Royce in the princely garage. All family members drive regular Audi without chauffeurs

In addition, Hans-Adam II and his wife raised their children on their own, without teachers and governesses. True, they always had a housekeeper and a nanny who took care of the children when their parents were away. Three sons and a daughter of the princely couple went to an ordinary school in Liechtenstein.

Hans-Adam II married his cousin, Countess Maria Kinski von Whinitz und Tettau, while still a student. Subsequently, the prince claimed that he fell in love with his future wife at first sight, as soon as she entered the room, and from the first minute he knew that they would get married. Marie did not pay attention to the crown prince, because he was five years younger than her. Moreover, then she was in love with another.

Wedding of Hans-Adam II and Maria Kinski von Wchinitz und Tettau
Wedding of Hans-Adam II and Maria Kinski von Wchinitz und Tettau
Photo: Werner Pfändler / RDB / ullstein bild via Getty Image

But the future prince did not give up, and his persistence was rewarded: Marie’s relatives gave permission for their marriage. The wedding ceremony in July 1967 attracted the attention of all of Europe.

Marie ordered a dress from a Parisian couturier – in the Empire style, made of white silk, with embroidery from pearls and beads. Her head was adorned with the Fringe tiara belonging to the Habsburg family. Among the guests are emperors, queens, princes and princesses, representatives of ancient German-speaking nobles. For the subjects of Liechtenstein, the tables were set right on the street – and they were bursting with various dishes. The tradition of treating residents, and there are about 32 thousand of them in the country, has survived to this day. Once a year, Vaduz Castle opens its doors for everyone to have breakfast with the prince. This is how Liechtenstein’s National Day is celebrated.

To rest

As a member of the aristocracy, Hans-Adam constantly emphasizes that he is very close to his people. Among his entourage, they say that the monarch loves to run barefoot in the forest, goes downhill skiing, diving, is interested in archeology and loves science fiction.

The Franco-American ufologist Jacques Vallee published three volumes of diaries called Forbidden Science. In them, he told about a meeting with Hans-Adam II and his family at Vaduz Castle in November 1989. “We dined in a small living room with his wife, sister and two children. Until late at night we discussed UFOs and other paranormal phenomena, ”the scientist recalled.

According to Vallee, the monarch was convinced for many decades that aliens were visiting Earth, so he sponsored international UFO research for many years, spending millions of dollars on it.

The prince told the ufologist that he saw a UFO in childhood, and also that his aunt saw the UFO in Munich in the 1950s. Most of the money was received by American researchers. So, the ruler laid out 200 thousand dollars for a study called “How many Americans were abducted by aliens.”

Facade of Garden Palace
Facade of Garden Palace
Photo: LIECHTENSTEIN. 
The Princely Collections, Vaduz – Vienna

According to the constitution, the prince is the head of state, he represents Liechtenstein abroad and has the right to pardon, his signature is necessary for the entry into force of laws adopted by parliament. In addition, financially, he is independent from the state – he lives on his own funds, and all roads of the principality are repaired on them. Hans-Adam II tried to expand his princely powers, receiving the full support of the population – however, the parliament still retains basic rights.

Officially, Hans-Adam II is still considered the ruling monarch, but he actually retired from business, transferring the day-to-day administration of the state to his son, Crown Prince Alois. He explained his decision as follows: he and his wife usually did not make large state visits, limiting themselves to only modest trips to Switzerland and Austria, but now is the time to see the world.

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