Commander David Fravor Faking UFO Encounters in California Desert


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But is it possible this was all just a result of David Fravor and his buddies messing with them?

that is interesting because my first (middle and last) thought when the operator asked them if they had live ammo on their planes during the Nimitz episode, was that they didn't want them to freak and accidentally shoot a comrade or drone they were using to "test" their reactions.

Fravor: Yes, yes I did. But I'm not the only one who did it but. Like I said we have a sick sense of humor. So some things are explainable because I guarantee there were phone calls made on some of the stuff that we did.

And then when they got back to base everyone was making fun of them by playing ET videos. hhmmmm….
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at 00:49:00 in the Joe Rogan Interview

Fravor: there's some things are explainable, because I got asked to tell this so,
because we're kind of, I have a sick sense of humor at times. So like I said I had all these quals [qualification flights] we used to fly, they don't do it right now because it's a little bit dangerous, but we used to fly night-vision goggles low altitude in Hornets, all right? So when you put on night-vision goggles they amplify light like a lot.

So you can see a campfire like 50 miles away. So we used to do it, the good spots were down in like, El Centro California there's a range that, there's some bombing ranges. But people go camping in the Superstition Mountains which is a kind of north and west of Imperial by, I forget what it is, the springs, it's real pretty, in a desert it'll come to me in a minute.

So we even go out at night flying around on goggles and you'd see a campfire and you go: "oh UFO time" and then you get the airplane going about 600 knots and then you pull the power back to idle so you can't hear it and you get zinging towards the fire. Well you turn the lights are all down because we're in restricted area so we can do that and there's lights on it that you can only see if you're on night-vision goggles.

So the other airplanes can see us but no one else can see us. Then you go zinging at it and then right when you get to the campfire you pull the airplane into the vertical yes stroke the afterburners, you
let them light off, you count to three to pull them off ,and then you just go away. Instant UFO reporting.

[Mimics camper giving a report] "I'm sitting out in the desert it's all quiet and all of a sudden there's a [loar?] there's lights in the sky and they go away and it's gone."

Rogan: You would do that just to fuck with campers

Fravor: yes

Rogan: How rude

Fravor: Yes, yes I did. But I'm not the only one who did it but. Like I said we have a sick sense of humor. So some things are explainable because I guarantee there were phone calls made on some of the stuff that we did.

Rogan: And I guarantee you're not the only one who's ever done that

Fravor: Oh, I know I'm not yeah I'm not that creative but it's just you know you think about it you go because people go I saw this or I saw that because I've got stuff like that and I go yeah I used to create stuff like that just not tell them

[... conversation changes to Mexican UFO sighting that was actually Oil Rigs]
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It's not often you get the explanation of a UFO before the report. But I was wondering if we could actually track this down in reverse. Unfortunately vague on time, other than some years ago. Perhaps use the time of the Nimitz incident as a starting point, 2004?

Location is fairly precise:
So you can see a campfire like 50 miles away. So we used to do it, the good spots were down in like, El Centro California there's a range that, there's some bombing ranges. But people go camping in the Superstition Mountains which is a kind of north and west of Imperial by, I forget what it is, the springs, it's real pretty, in a desert it'll come to me in a minute.
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Superstition Mountain, California is a small ridge in the middle of a desert area to the South of the Salton Sea. It seems popular with dirt-bike and ATV riders, as it's really not far from town.
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It's not really labeled in Google Maps, but shows up if you search for it (not the one in Arizona). There's a "VooDoo Rock Garden" ATV area there.
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Here's one report that fits reasonably well, from 1997:
Occurred : 6/15/1997 18:00 (Entered as : June 1997 18:00)
Reported: 1/9/2017 5:09:20 PM 17:09
Posted: 1/12/2017
Location: Borrego Springs, CA
Shape: Circle
Duration:20 minutes

Superstition Hill UFO Sighting. Summer 1997. I went camping off of Old Kane Springs Road, Borrego Springs, California, just south of Highway 78, and north of El Centro in the Anza Borrego Desert BLM lands. Arriving just before sundown to meet up with a friend who had arrived earlier in the day.

My friend carried on and on about unmarked gun metal blue jets flying very low passes at very high speed over the area since early afternoon. I did notice jets flying upon arrival but it wasn’t surprising since I knew the Navy’s proving grounds (mysteriously called Superstition Hills) was just a mile or so southeast of our campsite. You could see the chalky white hills slightly poking up from the desert floor with commercial air traffic from El Centro Airport in the background.

After setting up my tent and popping a beer we enjoyed talking and watching the full moon rise from the southwest as El Centro’s plane traffic was visible to the southeast. Within 15 minutes of sundown, out of the blue, two gun metal blue F18s whizzed over us at extremely high speed and extremely low--lower than I’ve ever seen. And they came around again, criss-crossing each other in the skies at least three more times. My friend went bonkers, proclaiming he wasn’t a liar and I couldn’t argue with him. This was amazing and I ran to get my binoculars.

With binoculars readily in hand I chased them around the sky as my friend frantically searched for his pair. At one point, the two jets lined up together side-by-side very low bearing southwest towards the direction of Table Mountain easily zooming directly overhead at over 400 mph. On approach, they split up and disappeared over the first set foothills. My friend was still searching for his specs as I watched, totally stunned, as a large glowing presence rising from them where the planes disappeared. I had no idea what I was witnessing as the entire side of Table Mountain lit up and then I freaked – small red orbs started to manifest below the whitish glow.

As the glow grew brighter these red orbs crested the mountain in formation of a huge clock. The lights continued to rise together in a fixed circular formation until an entire ‘clock’ formation was visible. In the middle of the clock of red lights, a nebulous blob glowed brightly when all of a sudden, two smaller red lights at 4 and 7 split away and flew off in opposite directions at enormous speed, disappearing over and around Table Mountain. I surmised they were the jets I had just seen, but it was hard to tell. The shimmering red orb clock formation then rose up over the crest entirely in view and disappeared over another ridge and the lights dimmed into darkness. The hillsides went back to normal moon lit desert and I was screaming aloud that this was the wildest thing I have ever witnessed. But then it got wilder.

The strange giant ‘clock lights’ had appeared and then disappeared into the mountain landscape in less than a minute – all occurring as my friend finally found his binoculars in a futile attempt to zero on the subject of my pointers. All he could make out was the glowing mountains, but I excitedly recounted in detail what I had just seen. We relayed the experience to one another for perhaps 10 or 15 minutes as we scoured the sky and landscape with our binoculars. We got tired of looking with the binoculars and grabbed another beer to begin settling into camping, when very casually my friend suddenly pointed about in 70 degree ups towards the southerly sky and said, “what the *** is that?” I looked to where he was pointing but I couldn’t see anything. I was looking past it! The moon was full and bright and not a cloud in the sky, a billion stars, and right there about 1000 feet off the ground was an “invisible” moving object. It was very nebulous with no hard visible edges. Within or perhaps attached to it were a random arrangement of lights in varying brightness – virtually indistinguishable from stars in the sky. It was insane we could not make out the actual shape. This nebulous blob of sparkly lights appeared to about 2000 feet off the ground and about 2000 feet away – perhaps the size of a smallish blimp. It was also totally silent. We grabbed our binoculars, if you looked directly at it, it essentially disappeared into the background. You could really only see it if you looked to the side or below or above it, reminding me of how we were told to view Andromeda by looking to the side of it, allowing our peripheral vision to ascertain the galaxy. This was! clearly some form of cloaking technology, but the shape of the cloaked craft was indiscernible.

Moving extremely slowly from the northwest to the southeast, at various points it would just stop in the air, hovering silent, and discharge what appeared to be a bunch of flashbulbs going off in random order as if it was trying to blend into the sea of stars behind a full moon night sky. We continued watching this “cloaked” air machine for at least 15 minutes. It moved ever so slowly stopping at least three more times to “impersonate the night sky” light show as it moved over Superstition Hills and stopped again. We noticed at this point there were no more jets; in fact, El Centro’s plane traffic had completely stopped with only this smallish nebulous sparkly cloud in the southeastern sky. We wondered aloud if the Navy had told the airport to hold off takeoffs and landings.

We were actually getting bored of watching it through our binoculars when all of a sudden it took off like a streak of light towards the southeast edge of El Centro. It had to have moved at several hundred miles an hour – or faster - from a dead stop and then made a dead stop right at the edge of Highway 78 about a mile southeast of us. All this time is moved so slow, it was stunning how it suddenly moved and stopped so fast.

While we stood there trying to process what this hovering nebulous sparkly blob thing was, it made another light show and suddenly in a blink of an eye it streaked away disappearing into the horizon towards the Yuma proving grounds. We couldn’t make any sense of it but I’ll never forget it. A minute or two later the El Centro air traffic started up again.

I was a skeptic of UFO stories until this happened. Was this aliens? I don’t know but if it was, given the earlier presence of the F18s and their accompanying the ‘mother ship’ as it lifted over the mountains, the U.S. Navy is definitely in cahoots with them.
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Quite a detailed account involving a bunch of different things. But is it possible this was all just a result of David Fravor and his buddies messing with them?
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Fravor told a more detialed version of this story before, in a 2018 audio interview with Jeremy Corbell.
I included Fravor's prank in this article on UFO hoaxes by military pilots.
“I’ll tell you- so I flew night vision goggles, okay? You know when you’re a pilot, you gotta grow up, but you don’t have to grow up? Sometimes, we can be a little bit childish, ‘cause you’re 34 years old and you’re flying super-cool jets, and even if you are 25 when I started flying a real jet, it’s just fun, and it’s cool, and it’s a great job.So, we would fly around - I had a NVG O qual. So we would fly around at 200 feet at night with no lights on. ‘Cause we’d be in the warning areas where we’re allowed to do that. So we can technically fly around with no lights on. So, we would. And then we’d see - you can see campfires ‘cause people are below us camping. You can see campfires from way, way away. ‘Cause the goggles will pick up that light from way, way, far away.

So we would get going really fast, and then we’d pull the power back to idle, so we’d go zinging over the top of these campfires. And then you just light the afterburners and pull up. And you’d leave ‘em on for a minute, then turn ‘em off. So think about - You’re sitting on the ground, got a nice campfire, it’s a pretty starry night, and you don’t hear anything. The all of a sudden, there’s a loud roar, there’s fire above your eyes, you're like, ‘Oh, my God,’ and then the fire goes out, and there’s nothing there. ‘What is that?’

… So when you do that, we always think, God, they’re crazy. Well, maybe they are not crazy, and can you explain it? Now, if there was real investigation… they could track and say that there was an airplane in that area doing low training, and he was just messing with you, but if people never report it, then they’re going to think for the rest of their lives that they saw something you can’t explain.”
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Makes you wonder about the Cash-Lundrum UFO case:

"A few minutes later on the winding roads, the witnesses saw what they believed to be the same light as before, but thought it was now much closer and brighter. They said that the light came from a huge diamond-shaped object, which hovered at about treetop level, and that its base was expelling flame and emitting significant heat."
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Obvs the description in total if remembererd accurately and honestly doesn't really fit.
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Brand new here...
I missed Fravor talking about his hoaxing activity on Rogan's video, must watch it again. To be honest I did get a little bored by it after a while, possibly because I'm an affirmed skeptic and have a low tolerance for BS. It explains a lot and although he thinks it funny, and that he's not the only pilot to indulge in such activity, the hoaxing serves only to distract. It plays into the minds of the shouty 'true believers' out there thus perpetuating the cult-status and their penchant for anything other than fact. And of course, lining the pockets of the 'experts' like Corbell et al.
As an aside, I'm new to Metabunk, glad to have discovered the site. Thanks to Mick and others on here for a bit of sanity and objectivity...