The Pentagon acknowledged a program has been running at least 2007 to 2012 investigating military and other reports of events in an attempt to determine the source of the technology or disturbance as it could be a threat to the country from foreign power or nature. This space is to discuss and debate information released or new reports to poke holes in theories and stay as skeptical as possible as well as being OK to think we don't have all the answers. Please keep this to as much fact as possible in the report and state when you start to speculate. Let's all be respectful of everyone and talk about what we don't know!
I am relocating this discussion from the political new story thread to here. I'll link to the main reporting around the Pentagon release of video and such. I will also put what facts I can find below and update if anything else major comes out.
NPR interview with ex-Pentagon director of the program Luis Elizondo
Vox story when the news broke of the program "one of the program’s aims was to determine whether a foreign power, such as the Chinese or the Russians, were behind the unexplained incidents."
Digg gathering of several stories and sources
USS Princeton was tracking radar anomalies off the southern Pacific coast for 2 weeks
Said anomalies 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.
F-18 jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz were sent to investigate the anomalies
After a brief observation encounter with the Navy pilots the anomalies, said tictac shaped ship accerated like nothing the F-18 pilot had seen before and disappeared.
Leaving to meet at the cap(meeting) point 60 miles away the USS Princeton notified the pilots that the object was already there when they were 40 miles out. When the Pilots arrived it was no where to be found.
Below are excerpts from the NYTimes piece reporting the Nimitz event as collected by the pro UFO To The Stars Academy(very biased towards UFO but compelling none the less) spoiler tagged to save room. As others have pointed out what makes this unique is everything below was offically released government reports of something no one on earth has technology for or is an incredibly unlikely weather event that skilled Navy pilots were unfamiliar with.
The 'Nimitz Incident' Involved A Mysterious Craft Hovering Over Churning Water Then Lurching Away
One of the videos that has been released was taken off the coast of San Diego in 2004 by two Navy fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz. In a detailed report of the Nimitz incident, the New York Times recounts how the pilots, Commander David Fravor and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight, received unexpected instructions from an operations officer on the USS Princeton, a Navy cruiser, regarding some mysterious objects.
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.
Fravor and Slaight approached the reported location of the mysterious craft, and they didn't see anything until they looked down toward the ocean.
It was calm that day, but the waves were breaking over something that was just below the surface. Whatever it was, it was big enough to cause the sea to churn.
Hovering 50 feet above the churn was an aircraft of some kind — whitish — that was around 40 feet long and oval in shape. The craft was jumping around erratically, staying over the wave disturbance but not moving in any specific direction, Commander Fravor said. The disturbance looked like frothy waves and foam, as if the water were boiling.
Commander Fravor began a circular descent to get a closer look, but as he got nearer the object began ascending toward him...
Commander Fravor abandoned his slow circular descent and headed straight for the object.
But then the object peeled away. "It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," he said in the interview. He was, he said, "pretty weirded out."
[The New York Times]
At the instruction of the officer aboard the USS Princeton, Fravor and Slaight headed toward a meeting place (called a "cap point") 60 miles away. Then the Princeton officer radioed again to say that the mysterious object had somehow traveled to the meeting place at an unbelievable speed.
"Sir, you won't believe it," the radio operator said, "but that thing is at your cap point."
"We were at least 40 miles away, and in less than a minute this thing was already at our cap point," Commander Fravor, who has since retired from the Navy, said in the interview.
By the time the two fighter jets arrived at the rendezvous point, the object had disappeared...
Fravor told the Times that shortly after the incident, he told a colleague that the object "had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s."
Chris Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence who is now involved with To the Stars, recently described the features that made the craft in the Nimitz incident so unusual.
At a recent press conference for To The Stars in Las Vegas, Mellon described one of the sightings reported by U.S. Navy pilots: "It is white, oblong, some 40 feet long and perhaps 12 feet thick … The pilots are astonished to see the object suddenly reorient itself toward the approaching F/A-18. In a series of discreet tumbling maneuvers that seem to defy the laws of physics, the object takes a position directly behind the approaching F/A-18. The pilots capture gun camera footage and infrared imagery of the object. They are outmatched by a technology they've never seen."
Most money in this $22 million program went to campaign contributor and UFO investigator Bob Bigelow in Nevada to store materials and research. I don't know enough about him yet to comment.
Harry Reid with a few others kicked off this black money program in 2007 with an earmarked bill and started the program in secret with only a few others in the defense department knowing. They sought to speak to those who have experienced things they couldn't ID. Harry Reid said John Glenn had pushed him to have the Government take a more serious look at unexplained events.
Feel free to correct any of the narrative above and I'll edit this.