Former Navy pilot describes bizarre encounter with aircraft with 'no plumes, wings, or rotors' that outran his fighter jet

  • Commander David Fravor recently spoke to The New York Times about an encounter he had with a strange aircraft over the Pacific Ocean in 2004. 
  • He said the whole thing "weirded" him out. 
  • Fravor's account came on the heels of another Times report that the Pentagon spent $22 million in recent years on a shadowy program to investigate UFOs.


Commander David Fravor's colleagues made fun of him after learning he encountered what appeared to be a UFO during a standard training mission off the coast of San Diego in 2004.

Fravor was in his F/A-18F fighter jet when a radio operator asked him to investigate a mysterious, white floating object hovering over the sea, he told The New York Times. He made a beeline for the 40-foot, oval-shaped object. But as he approached, it changed course and disappeared.   

"It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," he told the Times, adding that he was "pretty weirded out," and that although he had no idea what he saw, all he could tell was that "it had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s." 

Fravor's bizarre account comes on the heels of another Times report on a secret government program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was reportedly established in 2007 at the request of then Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. From 2008 through 2011, the Pentagon spent $22 million on the program to research and investigate UFOs and the potential threats posed by them, according to the Times. 

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A Russian SU-27 Flanker aircraft banks away with an RAF Typhoon in the background. RAF Typhoons were scrambled on June 14, 2014, to intercept multiple Russian aircraft as part of NATO's ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.

Photo courtesy: RAF/Ministry of Defense/Crown Copyright

A Russian Su-35 Super Flanker soars through the clouds.

Photo courtesy: Aleksander Markin/www.flickr.com

Two RF-4Es of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force patrol above Japan.

Photo courtesy: Japan Air Self-Defense Force/Wikimedia

Israeli F-16s fly low and fast inside the Ramon Crater in the Negev Desert in Israel.

Photo courtesy: Israeli Defense Force

An Israeli air force F-15I maneuvers away after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Nevada's test and training ranges.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Kevin Gruenwald

A Dutch F-16 takes off.

Photo courtesy: Reuters

Two Israeli air force F-15s fly in Nevada's Red Flag aerial-training operation in 2004.

Photo courtesy: TSGT KEVIN J. GRUENWALD, USAF via Commons

An Iranian Su-24 waits to take off from Mehrabad International Airport for a training flight.

Photo courtesy: Shahram Sharifi

A Russian Su-30 glides through the air during a test flight.

Photo courtesy: Aleksander Markin

Russia's new T-50 prototype tests its engines in flight.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia Commons

An Indian air force SU-30K Flanker lands following a simulated combat mission with US Air Force F-15 Eagles deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown

An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies with naval camouflage.

Photo courtesy: Todd Miller

An F/A-18, belonging to the VFA-122 "Flying Eagles" based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, and flown by the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), blends seamlessly into the desert background.

Photo courtesy: Todd Miller

A US Navy F/A-18C Hornets of the Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-125 "Rough Raiders" flies in formation flight out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, with an unusual tiger-stripe camouflage.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

An attack squadron VA-72 Blue Hawks Vought A-7E Corsair II aircraft of the commander, Carrier Air Wing, flies homeward after a deployment in the Persian Gulf area during Operation Desert Storm.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Navy

A formation of F-4 Phantom II fighter aircraft display their unique camos in formation during a heritage-flight demonstration.

Photo courtesy: USAF - MSgt Michael Ammons

OV-10s from the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron show off their woodland camouflage at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

Photo courtesy: USAF Official Photo

A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons with various camouflage schemes fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Range on June 5, 2008.

Photo courtesy: USAF

A Douglas A-1E Skyraider warbird, painted as "AF 132-683" of the South Vietnamese air force, in 2008.

Photo courtesy: Fly-by-Owen via Wikimedia Commons

US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft from Marine Attack Squadron 513 at Yuma Marine Corps air base, in Arizona, fly in formation during Operation Desert Shield.

Photo courtesy: SSgt Scott Stewart, USAF

A B-52 Stratofortress from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron leads a formation of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force F-2s from the 6th Squadron, US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, and a US Navy EA-6B Prowler from the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 over Guam on February 10, 2009.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

An F-15C-27-MC Eagle with naval camouflage from the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Air Force

An F-16 Fighting Falcon, showing aggressor paint scheme, disconnects from a KC-10 Extender after being refueled during a Red Flag-Alaska exercise on April 22 and is ready to reengage friendly forces.

Photo courtesy: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jonathan Snyder

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Those who urge the government to expend more time and money on investigating UFOs point to Fravor's encounter as an example of the type of incidents that are worth looking into.

UFO enthusiasts believe the government is covering up the truth of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Ever since the famous Roswell incident of 1947, in which a flying disc-shaped object crashed at a ranch in New Mexico, they've been clamoring for the government to release all of its classified UFO documents.  

"It occurred to me that it wasn't a scientific problem, but a political one," Stephen Bassett, the first and only person to register as a UFO lobbyist on Capitol Hill, told The Washington Post in 2015. 

Once the truth is revealed, he added, you will see "more transparency, more communication among countries, an age of reform."

On Saturday, Bassett excitedly tweeted about the news of the Pentagon's secret program, calling it "significant."  

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See Also:

SEE ALSO: The Pentagon spent $22 million on a shadowy program to investigate UFOs

DON'T MISS: Britain’s most notorious UFO case happened at a US airbase and it’s still a complete mystery

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