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

markus

Active Member
It’s worth noting that neither Fravor nor Dietrich had any weapons. Fravor wasn’t attacking it. The only plausible explanation for his maneuver was to get closer to the object for an ID. And getting closer, for whatever reason, proved difficult.
Exactly, 8-10 seconds isn't even enough time for it to prove difficult.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
What are the hypotheses to explain the tic tac "ping-ponging" when Fravor spotted it? Some kind of reflection? Microsaccade?
 

markus

Active Member
Do you remember where he did that?
It was here:

Source: https://youtu.be/aB8zcAttP1E?t=6885

01:55:42
You know, and you got to remember when the situation report comes off the ship, that's like third hand. So we tell someone, they tell someone, that person has to write it up. So there's all kinds of inaccuracies in it. But then there's the unofficial official report that's actually pretty well written, there's some errors in it, but it was you know, I didn't help write it, I just did. And he did a really good job of researching it and figuring out who's who in the zoo and the players.
I don't know if he ever specified what those errors are (and I don't think he'd know if the location of the USS Louisville was one of them anyway), but getting the location of the USS Louisville wrong (and thus the entire relevance of it to the investigation) would seem like a larger sort of error than Fravor is suggesting here.
 
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Alphadunk

Active Member
I don't know if he ever specified what those errors are

One of the most glaring errors I've noticed is the summary insisting the pilots saw an "object" beneath the frothing water whereas Fravor has asserted, very specifically, many many times he saw no object beneath the water.
 

folly4

Member
One of the most glaring errors I've noticed is the summary insisting the pilots saw an "object" beneath the frothing water whereas Fravor has asserted, very specifically, many many times he saw no object beneath the water.

I don't think that matters. Fravor says the disturbance looked *just like* something was under the water. Like a sea mount, or a plane just under the surface.
 

Alphadunk

Active Member
I'm well aware of what Fravor says. It's a discrepancy regardless of whether or not you think it matters. The summary doesn't line up with the pilot's testimony and I don't think we should take either account as the final source of truth.
 

folly4

Member
I'm well aware of what Fravor says. It's a discrepancy regardless of whether or not you think it matters. The summary doesn't line up with the pilot's testimony and I don't think we should take either account as the final source of truth.
I'm saying that particular discrepancy seems insignificant. Whether something is an object 10 ft underwater or looks like and object 10 ft underwater is essentially a moot point, and sounds more like a point of corroboration between witnesses to me. That there was some disturbance at/near the waters' surface that drew eyes down to it seems to be the key point.

There are far greater discrepancies here.

But maybe the water disturbance was completely made up? Or it existed, but has been conflated into the Tic Tac objected, when it was actually "5NM" west as one report says?
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
That report had the only mention of Haze being present. Everyone discounted it because of that, saying the witnesses all said it was a perfectly clear day and no one mentioned haze.
And then Mick asked Alex and she confirmed there was Haze
 
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markus

Active Member
I hope she's still willing to talk to Mick, as there are certainly some things I would very much like to see clarified, but I think we should now tread carefully what to ask and how. I guess the best possibility could be if @Mick West can still have another session with her at some point, as that format certainly worked, and collect a few of our high priority questions for consideration?
I'm giving this a bump in attention. If nothing else, it's useful to collect whatever remaining outstanding questions we have that could be answered by the key witnesses.
  • Did the object blink out of existence, or did someone actually see it move really fast towards the horizon? Did they just lose sight of it because of the haze, as the event summary says?
  • Was the USS Louisville near the area of the sighting? Is it possible to reconcile the reassurances Dietrich received with the executive report?
  • Was anybody in Fravor's flight aware of Kurth's presence in the area? Did they make radar/radio contact? Could they see his plane in their SA pages or something?
What else? Should this be its own thread?
 

TopBunk

New Member
Not saying it is this, but a hobby RC helo - much like contemporary quad drones - can move in impossible unpredictable angles, left, right, back forward with almost no perceptible acceleration like this (from 2006). Would it be possible to see rotors, rotor wash or the tail of something small like this from say more than a few hundred metres? I can barely even make them out in this video shot from maybe tens of metres away.
Source: https://youtu.be/3TZ0ExC0OSQ?t=22
 
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Parabunk

New Member
I'd very interested to hear your full theory. I'm working on my own. As time allows. :)
Here it is now:
https://parabunk.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-uss-nimitz-tic-tac-ufo-balloons.html

Unfortunately I didn't have the time to open up my reasons why I choose to believe some things over others and so on. I'm trying to add those later but it's unlikely I have the time at least before the next weekend.

I nevertheless wanted to put my thoughts out in the open asap in hopes they help in the now active conversations and in case some conversation opportunities arise with the witnesses. Which is also why I felt the need to explain there why I'm doing this.

If the the balloon started high, and Dietrich thought it was low and fast in a straight line because of GoFast-esque parallax perception...and then Fravor engaged aggressively almost immediately and also misjudged it as low, then I think all the pieces roughly fit without much total elapsed time at all.
I think the combination of Fravor's 5 minutes and Dietrich's 10 seconds works fine for a balloon that actually rose from low to high altitude during those minutes. But Dietrich needs to have misjudged altitude like you said.

We know they just talked with each other and both seemed to maintain their estimates. Fravor's version just doesn't fit to 10 seconds or so. I think we have to believe their timelines.

It's moving erratically from his (mis)perception. The illusion could be very immersive. Completely persuasive for 8-10 seconds.

Notice Dietrich, as far as I'm aware, never attributes any sporadic ping pong ball type movement to the Tic Tac BEFORE Fravor aggressively engages it. It's going in a straight line for Dietrich, and then it moves when it "reacts" to Fravor.

That's VERY different from Fravor's story: Right when he sees the Tic Tac above the disturbance, Fravor says, it's displaying the back and forth erratic movements. I honestly don't think we need to account for these pre-aggressive-engagement erratic movements anymore. I think a tethered balloon (perhaps to a submarine) fits some of the data for the ping pong ball movement and water disturbance...but I don't see much reason anymore to actually believe this was nearly as prolonged an encounter as Fravor made it in his story over the years.
I believe Fravor and Dietrich were describing different types of erratic movements that happened at different times.

For Fravor's case the key is his TTSA interview, where he describes it as "not fast". The erratic part wasn't that it was fast like a ping pong ball, but that it lacked inertia when it instantly changed direction on otherwise relatively slow movements. It can be explained with tethering.

Dietrich on the other hand talked about nonsensical angles. It can be explained by an oblong balloon tumbling in the higher altitude winds.

Obviously, one of the difficult parts of doing these cold case investigations is parsing out what is true and what is false from the eyewitness accounts. It's hard to do. It intuitively feels right to account for every single thing Fravor and Dietrich say.
True and it would be much easier if we had third account for comparisons. But I think that we need to have some kind of explanation or justification for not taking something into account as well.

I choose to ignore many things that Kevin Day has said as they directly conflict pretty much everything else. I think that's a good enough reason, and also that there's a bit of an elephant in the room with his stories.
 

folly4

Member
I understand where you're coming from but if we're going to start selectively believing some parts of the testimony, but not all, and some parts of the summary, but not all, I'm not sure we're making any real progress towards identifying the object. At that point we're just selectively accepting certain facets of the tale to move us towards the prosaic explanation most people here desire. I don't think it holds muster to accept, without question, the 8-10 second assertion from Dietrich but then discount her assertion about the erratic movement.
I appreciate your sentiments, but I think trying to account for every single portion of eyewitness testimony might be doing more harm than good in our search for the truth.

We really only have Fravor. Dietrich appeared to agree with him on 60 Minutes...but know she doesn't agree with him.

We should be very careful is discounting testimony. And we should guard against privileging any given viewpoint.

But we just saw (last week) a great example of how Fravor's testimony was VERY wrong. Why would now go back to believing all the rest of his testimony is right?

We haven't even heard from one of the WSOs at all. We have limited info from Jim Slaight. We've have very from Douglas Kurth.
 
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Alphadunk

Active Member
But we just saw (last week) a great example of how Fravor's testimony was VERY wrong. Why would now go back to believing all the rest of his testimony is right?

The obvious retort is that maybe Dietrich is wrong and Fravor is right! :) Totally agreed with you on the accounts from the WSOs and Kurth. I fear we'll never get a resolution to this case which is pretty disappointing.
 

folly4

Member
The obvious retort is that maybe Dietrich is wrong and Fravor is right! :)

Could very well be. I 100% agree.

At the moment, I think Dietrich is very believable. But it's mostly just my instinct. Prone to all sorts of bias.

I think the salient point is the accounts are different and mutually exclusive, such that it becomes rational and necessary to dismiss somebody's eyewitness testimony.
 

markus

Active Member
Can you elaborate?
We know that Fravor said it was 5 minutes, and Dietrich said it was 10 seconds. It could be Fravor is very wrong (and it took 10 seconds), it could be Dietrich is very wrong (and it took 5 minutes), it could be both are very wrong (and it took neither 10 seconds nor 5 minutes), or it could be Fravor chased the object for about 5 minutes and Dietrich only noticed it for about 10 seconds (her proposed reconciliation), in which case neither would be very wrong.

I haven't heard a convincing argument against her reconciled version, so I'm happy to provisionally believe it at least until we get more info from either Slaight or Lt. [redacted] (Fravor's WSO). But really all we do know for a fact is that their accounts differ.
 

folly4

Member
We know that Fravor said it was 5 minutes, and Dietrich said it was 10 seconds. It could be Fravor is very wrong (and it took 10 seconds), it could be Dietrich is very wrong (and it took 5 minutes), it could be both are very wrong (and it took neither 10 seconds nor 5 minutes), or it could be Fravor chased the object for about 5 minutes and Dietrich only noticed it for about 10 seconds (her proposed reconciliation), in which case neither would be very wrong.
This is fair.
I haven't heard a convincing argument against her reconciled version, so I'm happy to provisionally believe it at least until we get more info from either Slaight or Lt. [redacted] (Fravor's WSO). But really all we do know for a fact is that their accounts differ.
Here is where we disagree.

The proposed reconciliation is possible, but I think it's obvious post hoc bullshit, and does not fit Fravro's account at all. He makes it clear in every re-telling that Dietrich saw all 5 minutes (from a 2nd perspective), and they were all 4 talking on the radio from merge plot forward. They were all experiencing and viewing it together. That's what Fravor says.

Dietrich's 2nd perspective of Fravor's 5 minute encounter is the guarantor of his account. And he sometimes says as much when he's telling the story.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member

jackfrostvc

Active Member
For what it's worth, along with David Kirk the USS Louisville sub commander. I also contacted the then director of SCORE.
She replied , but all I got from her about the incident was: "I don’t have any information on the sighting".

I did reply and asked if she knew anyone I should talk to that may know, but got no response to that question

1624244080075.png
 
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Domzh

Active Member
you should FOIA all documents of the navy regarding live shooting and electronic warfare drills and training that were filed within 10-18 november 2004

if thats too broad add: "AND mention the uss louisville OR nimitz strike group"
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
I have a document that lists the total number of different types of exercises they conducted each year in the SOCAL Range Complex
It references two documents (I think we want the FY05 one) that may have the details of the exercises conducted the year we are interested in . But I cannot find the doc on the internet
So if there is anyone here who's google and wayback machine etc etc skills are decent, you might want to try and find the following

Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) Operations Summary Report for Fiscal Year 2004, Officer In Charge, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, dated 3 August 2005.

Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) Operations Summary Report for Fiscal Year 2005, Officer In Charge, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, dated 9 November 2006.
 

Theferäl

New Member
I'm not sure if it's been posted here before, but I found this 270-page PDF document yesterday put together by the Scientific Coalition for Ufology. It seems to a useful summary of the various accounts and timeline as far as are known:

Nimitz Naval Encounter

What particularly interested me were the additional details apparently provided by Jim Slaight, Dietrich's WSO, in a telephone interview he seemingly gave in February 2018 to a retired Naval Captain, Tim Thompson. I'd not seen or read these before. He reaffirms the general details of the encounter as given by Fravor and also describes the appearance of the object itself, including a 'heat wave' type effect that affected its visible sides:

Opera Snapshot_2021-06-20_233113_www.info-quest.org.png

Opera Snapshot_2021-06-20_233353_www.info-quest.org.png

He also claimed that the object appeared to move towards Fravor's F-18 at one point but then "changed course" and began to circle around the jet. It then "stopped and hovered for a moment or two" before "darting off horizontally at a slight upwardly inclined angle". Slaight also said that he believed the object was under some sort of "intelligent control" based on its movements and knew of no current technology that would account for its acceleration.

Unfortunately the link given in the PDF to Slaight's full interview no longer works.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
I know this is repeating the point, but if you read the testimony by Douglas Kurth. And the timing of his fly over, circling and heading off as the disturbance cleared when he looked back. Marry that with the disturbance also clearing according to Fravors testimony when he looked back after the object shot by.

I cannot see many other logical conclusions other than the Tic Tac was Douglas Kurth's jet. Especially since there is no mention from Fravor or Alex about seeing Douglas.


Analogy,

4 people around a circle look to the centre and see a bear.
1 person is at the centre of the circle and sees no bear
The 4 people don't see a person
The 1 person in the centre sees 4 people around him

Conclusion: The 4 people have mistaken the person in the centre for a bear.


"As Cheeks approached the spot he was being vectored to, Princeton advised him to stay above 10K as the section of Super Hornets were approaching the target. His radar picked up the FASTEAGLE two-ship, but no other contacts. A moment later Princeton directed him to “skip it” and return to the ship. Since he was so close, he decided to fly over the action and sneak a peek.

The sea was calm, almost glassy smooth and it was late morning on a beautiful SoCal day. Perfect conditions. As Cheeks flew over the spot he saw a disturbance on the surface of the ocean. A round section of turbulent water about 50-100 meters in diameter. It was the only area and type of what he called, “whitewater” describing that it looked as if there was something below the surface like a shoal or what he’d heard a ship sinking rapidly would look like.

He overflew the disturbance and circled back in the direction of Nimitz without ever seeing what caused the water to froth. As he turned away, which happened to be the moment the Super Hornets converged on the location, the whitewater cleared and the ocean surface returned to its smooth state. The spot of the previous disturbance was completely indiscernible."

Source: https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/x-files-edition/
 
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Theferäl

New Member
I know this is repeating the point, but if you read the testimony by Douglas Kurth. And the timing of his fly over, circling and heading off as the disturbance cleared when he looked back. Marry that with the disturbance also clearing according to Fravors testimony when he looked back after the object shot by.

I cannot see many other logical conclusions other than the Tic Tac was Douglas Kurth's jet. Especially since there is no mention from Fravor or Alex about seeing Douglas.



"As Cheeks approached the spot he was being vectored to, Princeton advised him to stay above 10K as the section of Super Hornets were approaching the target. His radar picked up the FASTEAGLE two-ship, but no other contacts. A moment later Princeton directed him to “skip it” and return to the ship. Since he was so close, he decided to fly over the action and sneak a peek.

The sea was calm, almost glassy smooth and it was late morning on a beautiful SoCal day. Perfect conditions. As Cheeks flew over the spot he saw a disturbance on the surface of the ocean. A round section of turbulent water about 50-100 meters in diameter. It was the only area and type of what he called, “whitewater” describing that it looked as if there was something below the surface like a shoal or what he’d heard a ship sinking rapidly would look like.

He overflew the disturbance and circled back in the direction of Nimitz without ever seeing what caused the water to froth. As he turned away, which happened to be the moment the Super Hornets converged on the location, the whitewater cleared and the ocean surface returned to its smooth state. The spot of the previous disturbance was completely indiscernible."

Source: https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/x-files-edition/
Wouldn't Kurth's jet have appeared on Fravor and Dietrich's radar?
 

Alphadunk

Active Member
Yeah I think the Kurth hypothesis is totally valid if that's your final conclusion. There isn't enough data available to us to rule it out but, unfortunately, there isn't enough data to prove it without a doubt either. Despite Kurth's assertion that he was above Fravor & Dietrich there is really no other good explanation for the "object" other than Kurth's jet or something unknown outside the control of Naval personnel. I don't think the missile or balloon hypotheses hold any weight and I haven't seen anyone put together a convincing argument for either of those things.
 

Domzh

Active Member
in the aatip report kurth said he never saw the other FA18 with his eyes. if he was above them and the disturbance he would have seen them.

go through the mentioned altitudes.

kurth was advised to stay above 10k feet. fravor and dietrich came in at 25k feet.
we dont know if kurth decided to fly closer over the disturbance and increasing the vertical gap even more or if he staid at 10k.

even if he stayed at 10k he was 15k below the fasteagle crew.

he saw them approaching the merge plot on radar when he was already there.

they did not get any pings at all.

he left when the disturbance cleared.
fravor said the object left when the disturbance cleared.

kurth went back to his cap point, he was stationed on the same ship as fravor, the nimitz. so i believe we can strongly assume they have the same cap point.

i have shared footage of an f18 with mist over it that looks like a tic tac and that stays there for maybe a second. that was the only issue with this hypothesis assuming fravor could misidentify an f18 for a tic tac for several minutes.

however, we now know that the whole tic tac encounter only lasted 8-10 seconds, so this can become very possible all of a sudden.

dont forget fravor and dietrich had no radar pings and no targeting pods or other sensors. only their eyes, at a distance.

kurth was part of the red team during training. its possible his fa18 wasnt providing data link ID because of this reason.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Did Dietrich see the tic tac ping-ponging as Fravor described? If she did, then it was at the start of the encounter, not at the tail end.
 

TopBunk

New Member
Did Dietrich see the tic tac ping-ponging as Fravor described? If she did, then it was at the start of the encounter, not at the tail end.
Been working on a list of who said what and when (it's a work in progress!) might be helpful for keeping track of things?
Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sTW-kCaSXcw7aoI_XRt1n-JcjVvbdSwS08lwV_0hHFA/edit?usp=sharing


More thought in the thread: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/eyewitness-variance-in-mass-ufo-uap-sightings-a-database.11829/
 

markus

Active Member
Here is where we disagree.

The proposed reconciliation is possible, but I think it's obvious post hoc bullshit, and does not fit Fravro's account at all. He makes it clear in every re-telling that Dietrich saw all 5 minutes (from a 2nd perspective), and they were all 4 talking on the radio from merge plot forward. They were all experiencing and viewing it together. That's what Fravor says.

Dietrich's 2nd perspective of Fravor's 5 minute encounter is the guarantor of his account. And he sometimes says as much when he's telling the story.
In either case, some witness accounts have to be discarded. If we accept Dietrich's original version that the encounter took 10 seconds, we'd have to discard almost the entirety of Fravor's account (to an extent that would be difficult to explain in terms of memory errors and would likely require assuming he's actively lying), all recorded altitudes (a 10,000 feet descent in less than 10 seconds is not plausible), the whole thing about 'circling' (there's simply no time to do that within 10 seconds), etc. If we accept Dietrich's suggested reconciled version, all we have to discard is simply the idea that she had a bird's eye view of the whole encounter. The main memory error in this case would be in the order of events. Dietrich "kept high cover" right as Fravor cut across the circle, but it got pushed earlier in reports.

Personally, I find it more likely that Fravor has a misperception of the level of agreement between the officers involved (they probably wouldn't contradict him openly, and especially Dietrich being so junior would be likely to believe Fravor's version over her own) than that he inflated a 10 second encounter into 5 minutes. Unless he's actively lying.
 
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Alphadunk

Active Member
I think people were so quick to jump onboard with Dietrich's 10 second estimate just because it goes a long way towards invalidating Fravor's story. If someone else involved popped up and said "No, it was closer to 5 minutes" I don't think you'd see so much enthusiasm accepting that narrative.
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
I think people were so quick to jump onboard with Dietrich's 10 second estimate just because it goes a long way towards invalidating Fravor's story. If someone else involved popped up and said "No, it was closer to 5 minutes" I don't think you'd see so much enthusiasm accepting that narrative.
I agree. The duration of the encounter (from Fravor first laying eyes on the tic tac to both pilots seeing it disappear) was probably somewhere between. The Vegas odds on the time span (if they were placed) would probably favor something like a couple minutes to account for the disparity in testimonies. Dietrich doesn’t publicly dispute Fravor’s recollection of what took place during the encounter, which entails more maneuvering than you’d likely see in a 10-second span.

Could it have been 10 seconds? Yes. Could it have been 5 minutes? Yes. Was it more likely somewhere in between? I think so. But without another witnesses’ testimony it is impossible to tell.
Not surprisingly, the metabunk community seems to emphasize Dietrich’s 10 seconds, while the UFOs subReddit community definitely emphasizes the five minutes.

EDIT: Kevin Day could be a third source for the duration of the encounter as he would at least have a sense of the time that passed between the merge and the alleged reappearance of the target at the cap point. I can’t recall him ever being asked about that specifically, though.
 
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Itsme

Active Member
Did Dietrich see the tic tac ping-ponging as Fravor described? If she did, then it was at the start of the encounter, not at the tail end.
At 3:10 in this interview:
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
And this is the probem with cases that rely solely on eywitness testimony, based on memories more than a decade old. Whose memory to believe? (Probably nobody's -- not to say anybody is lying, but people's memories are fallible, as are the impressions that created them in the first place.)
 

Itsme

Active Member
And this is the probem with cases that rely solely on eywitness testimony, based on memories more than a decade old. Whose memory to believe? (Probably nobody's -- not to say anybody is lying, but people's memories are fallible, as are the impressions that created them in the first place.)
Or you can try to eliminate this "memory noise" by searching for common patterns among eye witness testimony instead of trying to dissect a single one. James M. McCampbell, director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) from 1975 to 1993, tried to do so in this book. His remark about UFO flight patterns (published in 1976):

Source

This matches quite well with the accounts of Fravor and Dietrich.

I guess details like exact duration, time of day, direction of travel etc. will not be retained accurately. On the other hand, so-called flashbulb memories tend to get more accurate with proximity and personal involvement, see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashbulb_memory
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Or you can try to eliminate this "memory noise" by searching for common patterns among eye witness testimony instead of trying to dissect a single one.
You can try. But in cases where witnesses discussed what they were witnessing, during and after the event, and are aware of another witness's statements more recently,and where there is (or in this case, was) a power dynamic in play, there are other potential sources of common patterns.

There'd be more value in that in cases of multiple INDEPENDENT witnesses of the same incident. But we don't have that here.
 
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