Fravor's Hypersonic UFO observation. Parallax Illusion? Comparing Accounts

Mick West

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https://thenimitzencounters.com/2018/09/17/david-fravors-statement/

I've been trying to visualize what's going on here from his verbal description. His initial description of the clock-code seems odd, as he's heading west and making a right turn, but says
Is West six o'clock? Maybe just a random illustration of the direction of turn.

But the interesting thing is:
All of this is the Tic-Tac mirroring him. Now if you've got a featureless object over a mile away, and you don't know how big it is, then it's possible that you misjudge where it actually is. If, instead of being a 47 foot object on the other side of this clock face circle, near the water, it's actually a 23 foot in the MIDDLE of the circle, and HALF WAY to the ocean surface. And it's not moving much. Like a balloon.

Then you'd get the mirroring, the circling, the rising to meet him, and then as he cuts across the circle, the illusion of massive acceleration towards and then past and behind him.
 

Agent K

Active Member
I said this last year, and you agreed.
In the Nimitz "tic tac" encounter, I speculated that the tic tac was a weather balloon, and the pilot, David Fravor, overestimated the range to it and thought it was "mirroring" him by staying on the opposite side of a circle that his jet was tracing, when the tic tac was actually staying in the center of the circle.

Now we even have a decent simulation of it, which I talked about in June.
The film The Nimitz Encounters re-creates the tic tac chase. Here's the part where the tic tac "mirrors" the pilot. Notice how it's hard to tell whether the tic tac is actually moving in a circle or just staying still in the center like a balloon.
Source: https://youtu.be/PRgoisHRmUE?t=1003
 

Mick West

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I figured it would have been discussed before. I was originally trying to compare the different versions of the story, but reading Fravor's version, and trying to visualize it, really brought it home.

It's not just the circling though, it's the rising up as he descends, and then I think it also explains the "hypersonic" departure. It's not that clear from this transcript:
Compare withe the older version of the story:

I think I was thinking of the clock code wrong before. It's essentially a position on the circle described by the clockwise right turn he does, with 12 o'clock being North. He starts at 6 o'clock, heading West, with the object off to his right, the North, at what he thinks is about 12 o'clock, so he continues from 6, all the way around past 12 to 3. The object has been mirroring him the whole time.

Then he decides to fly across. He says: "I’m probably about 60 degrees nose low a little." What is that? 60 degrees down? Why would he do that if " it’s probably about maybe 3,000 feet below us and about a mile across the circle." That's only 28 degrees down.

But perhaps the key thing here is the acceleration. If you think an object is a mile away, but it's only 0.5 miles away, then as you fly 0.5 miles towards it you'd expect it to just get 0.5 miles closer, and 2x bigger. Instead it gets to 0 miles away, and asymptotically larger. The change in expected speed would be incredible, and would seem like, especially as it got closer, to have near instant acceleration, both towards you, and to the side (depending on how far off-axis it was)
 

Mick West

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On Fox News Fravor says:

Source: https://youtu.be/EDj9ZZQY2kA?t=94


Compare with the TTSA account:
This makes sense with the parallax hypothesis. If you think it's a mile away, but it's only half a mile, then when "I cut across the circle, and I get within about a half mile of it, " you will think it's going super fast.
 

Agent K

Active Member
This doesn't explain a couple of things though: the random ping-ponging that Fravor described and the possibility that the other pilot saw the same thing from a different angle.

I discussed this in June.
I might have mentioned this before, but could the Nimitz tic tac have been the same kind of thing [as Go Fast]? Cmdr. Fravor said it "mirrored" him as he circled down and it stayed on the same circle but opposite him. Perhaps it was actually at the center of the circle, and he assumed it was bigger, farther away, and moving. Then, it popped and he assumed it flew off quickly.
But if the other pilot saw them moving in a circle from above, then this explanation doesn't work.

Fravor also said that the tic tac was ping-ponging randomly when he first noticed it, which reminded me of someone who saw planet Venus ping-ponging randomly due to the saccade of his own eyes, in the absence of a stationary background for reference.

The Nimitz pilot report gave a different version of the initial sighting, where "The object appeared to travel at a speed of approximately 300 to 500 knots in a straight line" instead of ping-ponging, but this version is not consistent with a balloon either, and no more reliable than Fravor's version.
 

div

New Member
speed of approximately 300 to 500 knots in a straight line" instead of ping-ponging, but this version is not consistent with a balloon either, and no more reliable than Fravor's version.

with slight turns of plane to left/right, balloon would appear moving to another direction(if it's at half way to surface)
 
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Nesper

New Member
I think the parallax and 0.5 rather than 1 mile away balloon does answer much of Fravor's observations. I'm still puzzled by the wing man's statement as to what she observed from the higher altitude, where there would not be much parallax:

“It was so unpredictable—high G, rapid velocity, rapid acceleration. So you’re wondering: How can I possibly fight this?”
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Nimitz pilot report gave a different version of the initial sighting, where "The object appeared to travel at a speed of approximately 300 to 500 knots in a straight line" instead of ping-ponging, but this version is not consistent with a balloon either, and no more reliable than Fravor's version.
Yeah, that really has very few points of detailed correlation (which is what I was originally trying to figure out here - do the stories match?). After her rather incredible set of mental gymnastics imagining what they might be flying towards, she continues (or rather the interviewer paraphrases) in a very detail-lacking manner compared to Fravor, but with enough detail that you can tell it's not the same account AT ALL.

And where is that picture? It really seems, from this account alone, like the interviewer is paraphrasing the witness statements. There's very little verbatim from "source" (the Female pilot).

However, she did give a version of the story on the History Channel. At the start of Episode 1 of "Unidentified"1. Choppy editing prevents forming an accurate timeline from her statement, and there's even LESS detail than in the paraphrased report. About the most substantive things she says is:

Clearly their stories do not match.
 
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Mick West

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What other stories are there? There's the "Unofficial CVW-11 Air Wing 11 Event Summary of Nov 14 2004"
https://thenimitzencounters.com/201...-11-air-wing-11-event-summary-of-nov-14-2004/

"UNID CONTACT AT 160@40NM (N3050.8 W11746.9) (NIMITZ N3129.3 W11752.8)" translates to (I think):

Unidentified contact on a heading of 160°, 40 nautical miles away at lat/lon 30° 50.8', -117° 46.0'. The USS Nimitz was at 31° 29.3', -117° 52.8'

Those locations:

Metabunk 2019-10-05 07-52-29.jpg

So Fravor says quite specifically:

The initial unknown contact given by this report is literally a point about 40 miles south (assuming everyone talking nautical miles here). This is the CAP point that Fravor, by his own account is already at.

Not much else of detail, but:
But Fravor:
 

Mick West

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Staff member
On "Unidentified", Fravor describes the first moment he notices the TicTac. As he does this, he seems to mime looking down about 30-40° and about due right.

Metabunk 2019-10-05 08-51-37.jpg

Also there, they seem to give a different contact point:
Metabunk 2019-10-05 08-54-36.jpg
Metabunk 2019-10-05 08-55-42.jpg
 

Mick West

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At around 14:30, he says: "We start a right hand turn, and we're going from a clock code, the object is in the middle of the clock, and we're at six o'clock and we are going around in a circle. We get to around 9 o'clock and it's still doing it's little thing moving around this disturbance in the water."

There's more differences, later....
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
This description seems confused. Remember, clock position is a relative positioning. He passes the object and it’s on his six, behind him. So he starts a right hand turn to come around for another pass. That should move the object to his right, which is toward his three o’clock, not his nine.

The object and his aircraft are described at various clock positions throughout, which doesn’t make sense from how I’ve always heard it used.
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Okay, so it sort of makes sense if he’s talking about relative positions within an area of engagement, with the object’s initial position as the origin. Passing it on a line from 12 to 6, Turing right towards nine. But it doesn’t make sense to me that he’d use that system instead of cardinal directions, since I’m not sure how he determined the objects initial absolute heading and how he maintained a conceptual grasp on where it moved relative to initial position. It is also easy to confuse with the normal relative position usage.
 

Mick West

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Coincidentally Fravor was on Joe Rogan today for an extended interview . Let's see if if there's some new useful details (or differences) here.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eco2s3-0zsQ

He starts out agains saying the TicTac is in the center of the circle, which is a little confusing, as later it's at clock positions.

at around 12:05, he says they go all the way around the circle to 8 o'clock before he cuts across.

Metabunk 2019-10-05 16-20-31.jpg

26:30: Fravor: "There's rumors that this video is 10 minutes long. No, what you are looking at is the entire video"

28:23 - making the same old mistake about it shooting off at the end of the video when it's just the change in zoom level and the lack of tracking.

40:40 Mentions "Aura"

49:05 Discusses how he used to silently buzz campers with his lights off to make them think they saw a UFO

At 55:48, Corbell mocks a few theories from debunkers, Joe asks if he means Mick West.

1:06:10 - Again says the video is not ten minutes long, says that's "bullshit" some guy made up. But he has seen "the radar tapes." Says the "men in black" thing seems unlikely.

1:13:45 - Joe talks about people trying too hard to explain things away. Says it's a lazy way to look at things. Mental gymnastics to explain the Nimitz video fly-off

1:46:58 - Fravor describes the Tic-Tac moving, said it knew they were there, jammed the radar.

Auto Transcript: https://podscribe.app/feeds/http-jo...rss/episodes/d9e17c921e16426f9a7ed615813e6b65
 

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Mick West

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Comparing accounts. Supposedly there are four matching accounts. There's

  • Pilot David Fravor (OK-2) aka "Sex"
  • WSO OK-3, aka "Noodle"
  • Female pilot "Source"
  • WSO Jim/James Slaight (OK-1) aka "Clean"
We have seem Fravor and Source's account, and some variants. But what about Noodle and Slaight?

Slaight (Source's WSO) gave an interview here with a VERY vague account:
Metabunk 2019-10-06 16-56-34.jpg
Source: https://youtu.be/AuBIBCW5P98?t=79

(The host then shows the wrong video and says it does not look like a missile. Nobody corrects him. Fravor does not say they were actually heading West)


I can't find any more.
 
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Mick West

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Then there's also the CVW-11 Event Summary, supposedly written just after the event. during a 2009 investigation.

This all seems totally different.
 
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Mick West

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Staff member
Seems like I'm duplicating work again:
https://parabunk.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-2004-uss-nimitz-tic-tac-ufo.html
This contains a very good breakdown of the sources and their differences.
 

Agent K

Active Member
26:30: Fravor: "There's rumors that this video is 10 minutes long. No, what you are looking at is the entire video"

28:23 - making the same old mistake about it shooting off at the end of the video when it's just the change in zoom level and the lack of tracking.

40:40 Mentions "Aura"

49:05 Discusses how he used to silently buzz campers with his lights off to make them think they saw a UFO

At 55:48, Corbell mocks a few theories from debunkers, Joe asks if he means Mick West.

1:06:10 - Again says the video is not ten minutes long, says that's "bullshit" some guy made up. But he has seen "the radar tapes." Says the "men in black" thing seems unlikely.

1:13:45 - Joe talks about people trying too hard to explain things away. Says it's a lazy way to look at things. Mental gymnastics to explain the Nimitz video fly-off

1:46:58 - Fravor describes the Tic-Tac moving, said it knew they were there, jammed the radar.

As I expected, nobody saw the tic tac moving at hypersonic speed. They saw it disappear, and then the USS Princeton's radar saw something appear at the CAP point, according to Fravor.

12:42 - As I'm pulling up, it starts to cross my nose, and it starts to accelerate, and within about less than a second, as I start to pull nose on to it, and it crosses right in front of me, it just goes poof and it's gone. So I call the other airplane, and I said, "You guys see that thing?" And they're like, "Sir, it's gone. We don't see it at all."

13:45 - And they didn't track it. It just appeared. It just shows back up on the radar, and they go, "It's here."

30:35 - And it gets in front of me and just disappears... The thing that we saw disappeared in a second. Just gone... The other airplane is above me looking down, and when it disappeared I said, "Do you guys see it?" And they said, "No, it's gone." It just literally was, "poof."
 

Agent K

Active Member
Yeah, that really has very few points of detailed correlation (which is what I was originally trying to figure out here - do the stories match?). After her rather incredible set of mental gymnastics imagining what they might be flying towards, she continues (or rather the interviewer paraphrases) in a very detail-lacking manner compared to Fravor, but with enough detail that you can tell it's not the same account AT ALL.

One more comparison between the Nimitz report and Fravor's interview with Joe Rogan.

Nimitz report - "The object instantaneously but in a controlled, intelligent manner 'tumbled' into nonsensical angles, that made any engagement by the F-18 impossible."

Fravor's interview at 1:00:57 - "There's a lot of stuff [being claimed] that it flew around and it came around me. It didn't do any of that stuff. The story that I gave you is just relatively benign."

Immediately prior to this at 1:00:20, Fravor talks about his wingman
 
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gtoffo

Member
Then he decides to fly across. He says: "I’m probably about 60 degrees nose low a little." What is that? 60 degrees down? Why would he do that if " it’s probably about maybe 3,000 feet below us and about a mile across the circle." That's only 28 degrees down.

That's absolutely normal. To "cut across" while in a bank with a more manoeuvrable opponent the most effective/aggressive manoeuvre would be to increase angle of bank to invert and drop the nose pulling hard on the stick as gravity and lift will assist you to turn faster.

Something like a low speed Yo-yo manoeuvre which is a basic fighter manoeuvre when circling with a more agile opponent. Perfectly expected that Fravor would take that action when he notices the opponent mirroring him. You will loose altitude compared to the target but that is necessary to "cut the circle" and isn't dictated by where the target is. You go down and then back up just like a yoyo.

Fighter instinct would have dictated that behaviour to avoid ending up in a defensive position with the opponent behind him (remember your guns point forwards and not backwards). Absolutely normal and consistent with the description of the events.


Great explanation of the Low Yo Yo here: Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUgJ_37KJgg
 
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gtoffo

Member
Comparing accounts. Supposedly there are four matching accounts. There's
  • Pilot David Fravor (OK-2) aka "Sex"
  • WSO OK-3, aka "Noodle"
  • Female pilot "Source"
  • WSO Jim/James Slaight (OK-1) aka "Clean"

We also have the CO of Marine Hornet squadron VMFA-232, Lieutenant Colonel “Cheeks” Kurth that was in a single seater F-18 and saw the water disturbance. (not the tic-tac?) Source: https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/x-files-edition/

Also: an E-2 Hawkeye was in the air that day and some reports indicate they saw the object. That would be 5 additional potential witnesses but I don't think any of them is on the record.

However last month when I called Dave to refresh my memory before sitting down to write this bizarre encounter, he informed me that the video had been removed from YouTube. He told me that a government agency with a three letter identifier had recently conducted an investigation into the AAVs and had exhaustively interviewed all parties involved.

All of the seven flight crew, including 6 aircrew from VFA-41 and Cheeks from VMFA-232. The Fire Control Officer and Senior Chief from Princeton, and the radar operator on the E-2. They even queried the crew of the USS Louisville, a Los Angeles-class Fast-Attack submarine that was in the area as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group who reported there were no unidentified sonar contacts or strange underwater noises on that day.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
That makes no sense to me. Common airliners range from ~120ft (A320, B737) to ~240ft (A380, B777). Many submarines are much larger than that.
image.jpeg
 
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gtoffo

Member
That makes no sense to me. Common airliners range from ~120ft (A320, B737) to ~240ft (A380, B777). Many submarines are much larger than that.
Fravor:
"It's about the size of a 737, has the shape of a cross and is pointing to the east"
Minute 9 here (Fravor on Joe Rogan):
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eco2s3-0zsQ

I think he meant subs don't have a "cross" profile. No wings. Initially the pilots interpreted this as an airliner sinking for that reason.

Also interesting from my quote above:
They even queried the crew of the USS Louisville, a Los Angeles-class Fast-Attack submarine that was in the area as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group who reported there were no unidentified sonar contacts or strange underwater noises on that day.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I think he meant subs don't have a "cross" profile. No wings.
A small submarine with wings:
Article:
Deepflight-Submarine-Super-Falcon-Mark-II-2.jpg
The Deepflight Super Falcon Mark II is a 17-foot long two-seater submarine, each seat with its own bubble-glass cockpit for an unparalleled immersive experience. It comes with a set of wings on the side and stabilizers in the rear which make it a very agile vessel and can explore the underwater world to a depth of 400 feet.

A huge submarine with wings that doesn't exist yet:
Article:
Covert shores pic-1--25093.jpg
The vessel will be the largest civilian submersible ever constructed and will be fuelled by a nuclear reactor.
Construction is due to begin in 2020.
It is designed to conduct surveys using very low frequency active sonar which can penetrate the sea floor.
It has been compared by one expert to the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, which is roughly half its size.
This is largely due to the presence of two sets of wing-like sonar receivers that will retract into the ship's hull.
This will allow the Arctic Research Submarine to make images of its surroundings in every direction, according to reports in Popular Mechanics.

I mujst admit I have no idea what kind of submarine that could have been in that observation, but I also don't know much about ocean wave physics or what kinds of things submarines can deploy that could look like wings.

I also think that it's tough to judge the size of anything on the ocean when you don't have a reference to go by; and in fact, the size of that water effect being identified with an airliner could have influenced the perceived size of the unidentified object.
 

gtoffo

Member
I also think that it's tough to judge the size of anything on the ocean when you don't have a reference to go by; and in fact, the size of that water effect being identified with an airliner could have influenced the perceived size of the unidentified object.

Absolutely, but once again: remember those are professionals trained exactly at that. They are Navy pilots flying over water most of their adult life and estimating distance and size very accurately is a pretty basic and required skill for their line of work. Of course they make mistakes as they are human but it isn't very probable.

Regarding the sub: the attack submarine in the area reported no sonar tracks. So now we need both a UAV with next gen tech and a submarine with next gen tech to reconcile the observations.

A solution that would not require sonar tracks would be that the object was creating some kind of rotor/jet wash in the water or affecting the surface in some way causing it to bubble. But nothing was actually in the water.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
They are Navy pilots flying over water most of their adult life and estimating distance and size very accurately is a pretty basic and required skill for their line of work.

If they don't know what the object is or how it is moving, then how can they tell how far away it is and how big it is?

That's not something you can train to do. It's just impossible.

Here's two different tic-tac models hanging in my room. Which one is bigger? Which one is closer?
Metabunk 2020-05-27 09-50-27.jpg
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Also: an E-2 Hawkeye was in the air that day and some reports indicate they saw the object. That would be 5 additional potential witnesses but I don't think any of them is on the record.

That Tic-tac sighting by the E-2 Hawkeye is claimed by US Navy Avionics Technician Patrick Hughes. Hughes was interviewed by Luis Elizondo on Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation - The UFO Cover-up (Series 2, Episode 2). Hughes claims that he later talked to one of the Hawkeye crew members and said that the Tic-tac came up close in formation and that all 5 guys on onboard seen it. Elizondo reveals that when he was at AATIP he had no knowledge of the Hawkeye crewmembers sighting. Hughes also reveals to Elizondo that what he believes was two US Air Force personnel in flight suits confiscated the Hawkeye hard drives. Hughes claims that this hard drive confiscation took place approximately 30 minutes after he had removed the drives from the aircraft. Hughes also claims that he attempted to log the handover in a log book, but one of the US Air Force personnel stopped him and took them away without any log in or receipt.
 
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