A former US navy ace has urged his government to investigate UFOs in American airspace, deeming them a threat to national security.
Ex-pilot Lt Ryan Graves, who has told of his own experiences with weird flying objects, is calling on Congress to act.
Lt Graves, who spent more than a decade flying F-18s and was also a flight instructor, says he is speaking out after failing to get answers about concerns that he and his former colleagues have been raising for years.
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“While I was in the navy, myself and others in my squadron had an experience that continues to this day and at first was something that we didn’t have a name for,” Lt Graves told Fox News.
He said that the first contacts were on their radars and their cameras, but eventually “we were seeing these with our eyeballs”.
He added: “Two aircraft from my squadron were flying side by side and one of these objects went right between their aircraft.”
Lt Graves said his colleague described the object as a “dark grey or black cube inside of a clear sphere”.
The former pilot suggested that what was holding back a full debate about the subject were preconceived ideas about the idea of UFOs – or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), as the authorities formally call them.
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“I think they need to separate the idea of something that's unknown” from preconceived ideas such as a “ UFO or ET hypothesis”, he said.
“We need to be able to agnostically, as a media, accept that there is uncertainty and look at it from a first principles approach. Because if we wrap it into all that context about little green men, we’re going to be barking up the wrong tree.”
Lt Graves told Fox that the weird objects could be stationary but could also move at extremely high speeds.
“Eventually we would see these objects proceeding about 0.6 to 0.8 Mach on average, which is about 250 to 350 knots at those altitudes,” he said.
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“And they would be either in some type of holding pattern or seemingly just proceeding in a single direction.”
Whatever the truth is behind the UFOs, Lt Graves said the issue needed investigating.
“It’s either going to be some type of adversarial platform and it’s a matter for national security, or we don't know what it is and it’s a matter for scientific inquiry and curiosity,” he said.
A few years ago, Lt Graves said he saw “unidentified vessels” flying off the coast of Virginia every day for two years.
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And earlier this year, he detailed his experiences in an article for Politico.
“These were no mere balloons,” he wrote.
“The unidentified aerial phenomena accelerated at speeds up to Mach 1, the speed of sound. They could hold their position, appearing motionless, despite Category 4 hurricane-force winds of 120 knots. They did not have any visible means of lift, control surfaces or propulsion – in other words, nothing that resembled normal aircraft with wings, flaps or engines.”
He added: “I am a formally trained engineer, but the technology they demonstrated defied my understanding.”
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