Hypothesis: Fravor's Tic Tac was Kurth's FA18

Domzh

Active Member
Hey everyone

Statement: This is only a theory. I don't want to discredit anyone and I don't rule out any other explanations. I myself think this theory would be just as crazy, if true, as Zorg from Uranus. If anyone could point at some things that I have misinterpreted or technical impossibilities, please let me know! I actually hope I'm wrong.

I build my theory based upon the "Tic Tac Executive Report" by putting several accounts of what happened into perspective and sync the timeline with the provided information.

English isn't my main language so I apologize in advance for some rough text phrasing.

TLDR:
There were actually three FA18 in the same spot at the same time. The first FA18 of Douglas Kurth should have left before Fravor arrived but decided to check out the disturbance. Douglas was at a lower altitude than Fravor. Douglas did not see an object, looked back to witness the disturbance cease and took off to cap point. Fravor at a higher altitude saw the disturbance and a tic tac shaped object without wings and about the size of his FA18 on top of it. He did a maneuver and descended and noticed the tic tac ascending. The tic tac took off, Fravor couldnt find the disturbance anymore. The tic tac later re-appeared at CAP point. I have explanations for all raised questions at the end of this post.

Timeline of USMC Douglas "Cheeks" Kurth

- The USS Princeton detected anomalous radar signatures, over the same location, on multiple occasions, over the period of multiple days after receiving a radar upgrade.

- The meteorological officer (METOC) onboard the USS Princeton handed out a briefing discussing a weather phenomenon that includes the building of ice particles that could return false radar tracks. Based on various accounts "no one" believed this to be the leading cause.

- On Nov 14 Kevin Day decided to task jets to intercept and ID the AAV

- USMC Douglas Kurth launched from the USS Nimitz to conduct a functional check flight of a single seated FA18 that had recently completed significant maintenance. After 30 min into his flight, he was tasked to check out the AAV location.

- While en route at appx 500 knots groundspeed at medium altitude (15-25000 feet) he gained radar contact of what he believed to be two FA18 that were approaching the AAV. There was no other traffic on the radar. The controller remained him to stay above 10000 feet.

- As he approached he could see a water disturbance when his controller told him to "skip it" and return to his operating area. Since he was close he elected to fly over the water disturbance and see what was causing it. It was the only white water disturbance on the ocean and the visibility was high. He overflew the disturbance, without seeing an object and turned back to north west.

- As he flew away he "looked back" could see the disturbance clearing. He never saw the other FA18. He could never see a source for the disturbance below, above or on the surface.


Parallel Timeline of CMD Fravor & Lt DIetrich

- FASTEAGLE 01 + 02 already airborne got tasked by the USS Princeton to check out the location of the AAV

- CDR Fravor descended to 20-24000 feet and proceeded to the contact. He had no FLIR equipped, his radar was clear and showed no objects. They attempted to acquire the object visually at merge plot.

- CDR Fravor stated the first visual was the disturbance on the water, as he scanned the area he gained visual on the object above the disturbance.

- At this point Fravor detached his wingman FASTEAGLE 02 which held at 20000 feet.

- Fravor descended to 12-16000 feet.

- Fravor stated the object "held like a Harrier" (hovering). His co-pilots report differs from Fravor, stating the object was at appx 500-1000 feet with a speed of 500 knots

- Fravor described it as oblong, white in color and appx 43 feet in size (about the size of his FA18 as he later said in interviews. His estimated distance to the object at this point was appx 14000 feet witch equals 4.3 kilometers!)

- Fravor tried a maneuver to close in with a descent. As he closed in he described it as if the object "recognized us", because it realigned its axis towards them. At this point according to Fravor, the disturbance in the water ceased!

- The object ascended quickly and took off "at supersonic speed" and reappeared at CAP point


What I believed happened:

What if Fravor saw Douglas Kurth' FA18??? Take the disturbance in the water as a reference for time and look where they were based on their testimonies altitude.

They had no radio contact together (the report somewhere stated they had different coms).

Fravor and Dietrich were visible on Kurths radar, instead of "skipping it" Kurth decided to descend and fly over the disturbance to check it out.

At this time Fravor was on top of him and at least 5km / 15000 feet away (possibly more if you add the separation in longitude).

Fravor closed in when Kurth decided to leave AT THE VERY MOMENT WHEN BOTH REPORTED THE DISTURBANCE TO CEASE!

Kurth looked back at the water when he took off! Kurth never saw a tic tac and never visually saw the FA18, yet we have very strong evidence based on the disturbance behavior he was there at the exact same time! An FA18 can fly supersonic! Guess where Kurth was returning back to and where the tic tac went? CAP POINT!


Obvious Q&A:

How can a "highly trained observer and flight instructor" misinterpret an FA18 for a tic tac?


There are countless videos all over the internet misinterpreting a plane for a flying tic tac.
The distance between the observer and the plane in these cases is often appx 30'000 feet (avg. travel altitude of commercial airliners).
When Fravor saw the object, he was appx. 14'000 feet away but an FA18 is smaller than a commercial airliner, so the effect could be the same.
Fravor did not expect another FA18. There is no record of someone telling him about Kurth. Fravor had no radar signals and Fravor could not hear the radio coms between Kurth and his air controller. Sunlight reflections are very likely on a "sunny, beautiful day". I believe we can also assume the likelihood of mist above the disturbance, interacting with sunlight and blurring the object.

What caused the radar signals & disturbance?

The USS Princeton already handed out a briefing discussing a possible weather phenomenon.
Sea smoke, sea devils and tropical cyclones are known phenomena and the north-eastern pacific is especially known for it.
What could have happened here is the beginning of such an event, without actually happening. The mixture of hot and cold air with saltwater could also explain lower temperature and building of ice particles at various altitudes. The FA18 flying through the air could have resolved the disturbance (temporarely?).
Another explanation could be a submarine deploying classified spy drones to test the crews reaction and how they appear on the freshly upgraded radar.
This could have been a secret test before using them against Iran in the same month (November 2004, Arak Nuclear Facility).
This would explain the multiple USS Princeton witnesses accounts of confiscated data tapes and the signing of NDA.

Why would no one say something about it?

At this point, I can only purely speculate.
Fravor was described as being overly excited when he saw the UAP (by Kevin Day who was his air controller).
He was 100% convinced he had just chased an UFO. He was made fun of at the ship initially but things changed when Underwood actually recorded something they believed to be the tic tac.

Kurth never saw the other FA18, I am very confident that both of them had no clue what happened at this time.
When they found out later, Kurth stayed quiet because he almost caused a mid-air collision because he didnt followed orders to "pull it" but decided to stay and check out the disturbance.

Fravor was now the famous UFO chaser, he appeared on TV, podcasts, news shows, documentaries. He always seemed to be extremely overconfident in his testimony leaving absolutely zero room for human error. I highly doubt he would ever have realized what really happened but even if, there is no way on earth of him admitting how his famous UFO was a friendly, misinterpreted FA18. He would look like an absolute idiot.

Dietrich was a junior at this time. Very inexperienced by her own account, she said she was very nervous at this time and was at 20 to 25k feet altitude when everything happened. The first time she ever said something publicly was on the 60min bit iirc? To me she seemed uncomfortable, barely described the object at all and made sure to state it was a long time ago and her memory could be flawed. After this show she reappeared on CNN and this was the first time I have ever heard her describing what happened. She used the exact same words as Fravor, which I believe is just replacing Fravors account with her own vague memory.

Fravors own co-pilot already experienced something different according to the report. I like to believe even if he recognized the object as an FA18, he would stay quite and protect his friend. We experience this quite often in military units, for example Marcus Luttrells overexaggerated story of what happened in "Lone Survivor" to make his friends appear more heroic, while the official report suggests a way less heroic event.

They must have seen the three FA18 on radar?

That's actually something that puzzled me a lot. I have two ideas but must state I have absolutely zero knowledge in how a radar works. So maybe someone with actual knowledge could tell me if this is plausible or impossible.

1. Kurth said he could see the two FA18 on his radar. Fravor said his radar was clear. Is there a possibility because of altitude or simply not checking at the right time that Fravor really couldnt see the FA18? Is it possible that the just heavily maintenanced FA18 was lacking a transponder OR had one installed but disabled by accident (it was a check flight) OR activated but not set to "friendly"? Could this have resulted in an unknown track on the USS Princetons radar, not identifiable as a friendly jet?

2. This could be a reason on its own but becomes way more likely if the transponder theory could be true. The situation in the air was described as quite chaotic by Kevin Day in Mick's interview iirc. What if Fravors encounter, the overall anxiety of everyone involved and the amount of airtraffic to be guided simply resulted in not realizing where Kurth was at this time? I heard how "merge plot" is an effect where the radar cant distinguish between multiple signals at the same spot, could Kurth just have been "hidden" by Fravors radar track? Could this be a plausible - even if unlikely - scenario?


Report: https://thevault.tothestarsacademy.com/tictacreport
 
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Domzh

Active Member
If Fravor saw Kurth as the Tic Tac, then what were both Fravor and Kurth vectored to?
Do you mean why were they send there in the first place?

I answered this in the Q&A "What caused the disturbance?"

- Ice particles in the air as the briefing suggested

or

- Secretly tested drones / US EM warfare tech against the new radar system possibly launched by a submarine
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Fravor did not expect another FA18.
But he is actually an expert (with lots of experience) at identifying distant planes, and has seen countless F/A-18s in different situations.

I think it's highly unlikely he would interpret one as a Tic-Tac shaped object from multiple angles and distances.
 

gtoffo

Active Member
But he is actually an expert (with lots of experience) at identifying distant planes, and has seen countless F/A-18s in different situations.

I think it's highly unlikely he would interpret one as a Tic-Tac shaped object from multiple angles and distances.
Multiply that statement by 4.

And they are not just using their eyes.

This theory is impossible given the procedures and systems involved.
 

Domzh

Active Member
But he is actually an expert (with lots of experience) at identifying distant planes, and has seen countless F/A-18s in different situations.

I think it's highly unlikely he would interpret one as a Tic-Tac shaped object from multiple angles and distances.
i agree its highly unlikely. but i also think its highly unlikely theres no mentioning of the FA18 of Kurth in all these interviews and the timeline and altitude just matches, dont you think theres at least something very fishy?

i believe the reason for the disturbance in the water is a key piece in this puzzle and it gets way to little attention.

PS: its also highly unlikely Fravor did a dog fight with a balloon who then showed up at CAP point again, but we explore the possibility as well :)
 
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Harabeck

New Member
This theory is impossible given the procedures and systems involved.
If we accept the timeline outlined in the OP, then that heavily implies that the procedures and systems failed at some point, because neither Fravor nor his wingmate were aware of Kurth's presence in their airspace. Given that all of this started by bizarre radar contacts, I'm not so sure we can simply say that the tech involved, and its operators, were working without fault.

To me, the biggest hole in this theory is how Fravor would mistake an F-18 in flight for anything else. Under what conditions would an F-18 in flight be rendered so unrecognizable that a veteran pilot of the same aircraft wouldn't understand what he was seeing? What condition would do that and be present near the water and at the CAP point?
 

folly4

Member
i agree its highly unlikely. but i also think its highly unlikely theres no mentioning of the FA18 of Kurth in all these interviews and the timeline and altitude just matches, dont you think theres at least something very fishy?

Yes. I think it's notable.

In Paco Chierici's telling of the story, Kurth is at the location of the Tic Tac sighting at virtually the same time as Fravor and Dietrich. He sees a disturbance in the water, but apparently does not see the Tic Tac.

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.

Fravor only mentions Kurth in passing (if at all) when telling the Tic Tac encounter story. Why?

Kurth was the first pilot on the scene, saw the disturbance (but not the Tic Tac), and this doesn't get mentioned in the Fravor's story? (A story that often include lots of little details and Navy jargon.) Why?

i believe the reason for the disturbance in the water is a key piece in this puzzle and it gets way to little attention.

I think I agree.
 

Domzh

Active Member
Kurth was the first pilot on the scene, saw the disturbance (but not the Tic Tac), and this doesn't get mentioned in the Fravor's story? (A story that often include lots of little details and Navy jargon.) Why?



I think I agree.
Cross or oval shaped disturbance: https://media.defense.gov/2019/Oct/04/2002191006/-1/-1/0/190930-N-AY639-104.JPG

-> is there a chance the uss lousiville launched a missile and was causing the disturbance? i watched footages of tomahawk missiles launched and they first stay almost still in the air, then accelerate, move "erratic" if observed from the top and fly in a arced trajectory. But i see zero chance how they could have aimed at CAP point lol

The Kurth thing is a weird one..
Also how Dietrich remained silent for so long and then on CNN used exactly Fravors words to describe the object. I believe a) she was too far away and inexperienced as "junior at the time" indicates and b) it could be her perception and memory got massively influenced a lot by her commander.

We should have all of them in a room, so they can settle the contradictions and inconsistencies
 
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folly4

Member
Cross or oval shaped disturbance: https://media.defense.gov/2019/Oct/04/2002191006/-1/-1/0/190930-N-AY639-104.JPG

-> is there a chance the uss lousiville launched a missile and was causing the disturbance? i watched footages of tomahawk missiles launched and they first stay almost still in the air, then accelerate, move "erratic" if observed from the top and fly in a arced trajectory. But i see zero chance how they could have aimed at CAP point lol

The Kurth thing is a weird one..
Also how Dietrich remained silent for so long and then on CNN used exactly Fravors words to describe the object. I believe a) she was too far away and inexperienced as "junior at the time" indicates and b) it could be her perception and memory got massively influenced a lot by her commander.

We should have all of them in a room, so they can settle the contradictions and inconsistencies

I don't have any conclusions, or really even any hypotheses about what happened that day.

I'm torn on Dietrich. She seems credible, though I do often feel like she is "vouching" for Fravor's version of the story, rather than providing independent attestation. And her being a "junior" pilot at that time might be a significant detail. We've all seen examples of lower status members of any organization or hierarchy feeling pressure to conform to their superiors' narrative and "fall in line" with the established talking points.

As far as having them "all in the same room": That is actually the problem. The accounts all seem hopelessly conflated at this point. Having them in separate rooms, giving separate accounts, in 2004 would have given us a better chance of getting to the bottom of this.

Kurth apparently seeing the disturbance but the not the Tic Tac seems like a key to me. It's possible corroboration from a different pilot & branch of the military that something happened, but it also casts doubt on the Tic Tac sighting itself.
 
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Domzh

Active Member
btw, the USMC "Red Devils" were red team during these exercises.

Could this mean the Nimitz (probably Princeton) and the Black Aces didnt recognize the plane (all USMC ones) on radar as friendly (no data link identifying his FA18 as the one of Kurth / Friend)?
 
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folly4

Member
btw, the USMC "Red Devils" were red team during these exercises.

Could this mean the Nimitz (probably Princeton) and the Black Aces didnt recognize the plane (all USMC ones) on radar as friendly (no data link identifying his FA18 as the one of Kurth / Friend)?

It would be funny if the FLIR footage associated with the Nimitz encounter ended up being Kurth's F18, and his aircraft was designated as "unknown" for the purposes of the exercise.

I don't know enough to say. It makes some intuitive sense, but I'm ignorant as to the protocols and procedures in these exercises.

My understanding is that Kurth was at the Tic Tac sighting location, along with Fravor & Dietrich, saw the disturbance, but not the Tac Tic. Kurth was "waived off," yielding the investigation to Fravor and Dietrich, in part because he had less fuel.

Did Kurth then go to the Cap point? Where Underwood captures the FLIR footage?
 

folly4

Member
Well , Fravor did say it was the size an F-18 :)

I don't see much reason to attribute what Fravor saw with his eyes to Kurth's F18. Maybe? But I don't see it. Certainly he could identify another F18.

But now I am curious as to Domzh's mention that perhaps the red team aircraft are designated as "unknown" (or even "hostile") for the purposes of an exercise meant to simulate a real world dogfight with the enemy. In that case, it seems plausible Kurth, or another aircraft that was a member of the red team, could be the object in the Underwood FLIR video.

Kurth seems like he might be a key piece to this puzzle. And very few people are talking about him, even though he was an eyewitness in the same place & time as Fravor and Dietrich.
 

saucerpilot

New Member
I can kind of see how an f18 might look the shape of a tic-tac from the right angle, distance, and lighting conditions. It would help to have poor eyesight. Maybe Fravor's eyesight was giving out, and it hadn't been caught yet.

Source: https://imgur.com/dmJQWbK


By the way, I can also see how the gimbal video might be explainable as an airplane coming out of a banking turn, or going into one.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
I don't see much reason to attribute what Fravor saw with his eyes to Kurth's F18. Maybe? But I don't see it. Certainly he could identify another F18.

But now I am curious as to Domzh's mention that perhaps the red team aircraft are designated as "unknown" (or even "hostile") for the purposes of an exercise meant to simulate a real world dogfight with the enemy. In that case, it seems plausible Kurth, or another aircraft that was a member of the red team, could be the object in the Underwood FLIR video.

Kurth seems like he might be a key piece to this puzzle. And very few people are talking about him, even though he was an eyewitness in the same place & time as Fravor and Dietrich.
Kevin Day said he was settiing up a wargame between red and blue. I had posted a video of this a while ago.
 

folly4

Member
Kevin Day said he was settiing up a wargame between red and blue. I had posted a video of this a while ago.

I'd imagine that would mean the red targets might be denoted as such on radar and imagining systems, correct? So that a friendly U.S. Marine plane might look like an enemy Chinese/Russian aircraft on all the sensors?

Do you have any sources to verify something like this?

(My pet theory on some of the sightings is that the various branches of the U.S. military/advanced technology programs simply miscommunicate and/or fail to communicate about when aircraft will be in certain areas. This leads to legitimate UFO sightings.)
 
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Domzh

Active Member
the marines were playing red team. and they were airborne during this event. day described it as very chaotic traffic wise.

i dont say i dont believe Dietrich, but she shared her story for the first time after 17 years on the CNN interview. She was also a junior, felt anxiety and stayed on 25-20k feet, thats almost 8km. She first framed her recollection of what happened by stating "It was a very long time ago and my memory could be flawed" (paraphrasing) before she used the exact same words and description of the events as Fravor. And Fravor changed quite some details since I first heard his story on "unidentified". So I guess thats enough pointers to assume her memory got influenced a lot by her boss.

I can totally imagine a junior that witnesses something different than his boss, adapting his reality because of "authority bias".

Fravors co pilot was contradicting Fravor in the AATIP report from 2009. Fravor described the tic tac as "holding like a harrier" while his co pilot said it was moving at appx 500 knots and 500-1000 feet of altitude.

Based on my interpretation of the AATIP report and all testimonies, Kurth was below Fravor when he arrived. And yes he got called home but decided to check out the disturbance first. He left the moment when it ceased, just like the tic tac. Guess where he was stationed? On the Nimitz, so he returned to his CAP point, just like the tic tac.

If his jet was set to "unknown" or "hostile" or nothing at all, given all the chaos described and excitement of Fravor chasing a ufo, I (from my naive POV on these things) can totally see how he shoots out of the merge-plot (remember he should already have left, so no one was expecting him to be there anylonger) and reappearing on CAP point as an unknown aircraft.

The princeton received a briefing about a weather phenomenon that causes ice crystals. I did some research. The NE pacific is very known for tropical cyclones. What if the disturbance was like the pre stage of such a cyclone forming? I researched pics, it looks like a disturbance because it is and it also causes sea smoke and mixing of air above it. Mist and water particles could have led to the tic tac FA18 illusion from the post above mine.

Ice crystals form due to salt particles traveling up into the sky because of the turbulences. Ice crystals can return radar signal (it was even mentioned in the briefing that no one took seriously). Ice crystals can melt (disappear on radar).

Iirc the weird radar tracks werent zooming across the sky ever. They were moving with wind speed and occasionally jumping from altitude to sea level? (the ice crystals explain everything instead of jumping. Maybe its melting and forming from
new ones? Radar glitch due to melting?).

The disturbance in the water could have ceased BECAUSE of the FA18 flying over it, resolving the air turbulences.

Underwood could have filmed a USMC FA18, as Kevin Day said, it was pretty chaotic. He had no radar lock, he was tracking passive pixels with his FLIR and lost track when switching modes. Already lost track, zoomed in to 2x, object zooms out of view.

To me this sounds plausible. We have cases like the Rendlesham incident (highly credible witnesses, primed to something supernatural because of a environmental phenomenon, further mystified by a single witness who loved his public exposure a little bit too much (Fravor..? :) )

PS: Fravors copilot, the one behind him in the same plane, he is basically operating the radar and screens etc, correct? If he actually looked at the screens and didnt try to look around like Fravor, then the FA18 illusion must only be perceived as such by Fravor.
 
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folly4

Member
i dont say i dont believe Dietrich, but she shared her story for the first time after 17 years on the CNN interview. She was also a junior, felt anxiety and stayed on 25-20k feet, thats almost 8km. She first framed her recollection of what happened by stating "It was a very long time ago and my memory could be flawed" (paraphrasing) before she used the exact same words and description of the events as Fravor. And Fravor changed quite some details since I first heard his story on "unidentified". So I guess thats enough pointers to assume her memory got influenced a lot by her boss.

I can totally imagine a junior that witnesses something different than his boss, adapting his reality because of "authority bias".

A speculation on Dietrich's motivation: She may see this as a noble lie/embellishment. Maybe, as a junior pilot, she kind of just goes along with the Tic Tac story back in 2004, because it's this very senior pilot (her commanding officer) who said it happened. What would a rookie have to gain by contradicting her boss's eyewitness testimony?

Now, 17 years later when she is retired, she hears the stories of Ryan Graves and the Navy pilots on the east coast—saying they encounter potentially dangerous UAPs "every day for years," and she sees her active public corroboration of Fravors' Tic Tic story as a way to add momentum to a movement to protect Navy pilots from drones. Most of us could imagine ourselves doing something similar out of solidarity with our friends.

I believe the east coast Navy pilots might be seeing drones and balloons on a regular basis, and they may be Chinese or Russian. Dietrich may have been persuaded by people in the "movement" to add to the effort for greater research and transparency by corroborating Fravor.

When she tells the Tic Tac story, in my view, she is far less confident than Fravor in her account.

All is this is just my speculation. Overall, she seems pretty credible. The 60 Minutes piece was the main reason I'm thinking about UFOs at all.
 

saucerpilot

New Member
Has it occurred to anyone that if the solution to all this is something truely embarrassing, that there will be a lot of resistance to finding that solution? Who wants to suggest that our pilots would fail to recognize a friendly plane at relatively close range? Let alone believe that? Even Mick sounds like he doesn't want to entertain that possbility.

Whatever happened, it must have happened under unusual circumstances. Hence why stories like the nimitz encounter aren't happening all the time. Yeah, maybe an experienced f18 pilot and wing commander is unlikely to mistake another f18 for a ufo. But perhaps that is exactly why it doesn't happen all the time. And a goof up like that will give everyone involved strong motivation to come up with far out explanations that sidestep the actual truth.

All of us might have failed to find the true solution to this because the true solution, on the surface, seems too dumb to be seriously entertained. It makes me think of software debugging. You can spend hours trying to find a really technical cause for your bug. When in reality it often is just something reaaaaaally simple that you took for granted. And it takes you ages to find it because you had a blind spot to that possibility.
 
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folly4

Member
Has it occurred to anyone that if the solution to all this is something truely embarrassing, that there will be a lot of resistance to finding that solution? Who wants to suggest that our pilots would fail to recognize a friendly plane at relatively close range? Let alone believe that? Even Mick sounds like he doesn't want to entertain that possbility.

Whatever happened, it must have happened under unusual circumstances. Hence why stories like the nimitz encounter aren't happening all the time. Yeah, maybe an experienced f18 pilot and wing commander is unlikely to mistake another f18 for a ufo. But perhaps that is exactly why it doesn't happen all the time. And a goof up like that will give everyone involved strong motivation to come up with far out explanations that sidestep the actual truth.

Yes, I've definitely considered this. This is my model for most UFO cases. Simple misperception/misunderstanding.

I'm trying to steelman the case for something more. I think Fravor seems credible, and he truly was one of the best trained pilots in the world. His skills and experience likely means he was in the 99th percentile of all humans in history at identifying flying objects from a jet cockpit. I think we should reasonably treat his testimony differently than the average Joe who swears he keeps getting abducted.

Even if you're right, I'm not sure anyone involved knows that. It might have been a friendly F18, but Fravor, et al all sincerely believe it was aliens in exotic aircraft.
 
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Domzh

Active Member
Has it occurred to anyone that if the solution to all this is something truely embarrassing, that there will be a lot of resistance to finding that solution? Who wants to suggest that our pilots would fail to recognize a friendly plane at relatively close range? Let alone believe that? Even Mick sounds like he doesn't want to entertain that possbility.

Whatever happened, it must have happened under unusual circumstances. Hence why stories like the nimitz encounter aren't happening all the time. Yeah, maybe an experienced f18 pilot and wing commander is unlikely to mistake another f18 for a ufo. But perhaps that is exactly why it doesn't happen all the time. And a goof up like that will give everyone involved strong motivation to come up with far out explanations that sidestep the actual truth.
We have astronauts not identifying the ISS, we have workers in the Rendlesham incident not recognizing their own tree marks, we have special ops units shooting their own team mates and we have US navy flight instructors die due to human error

Its rare yes. Unlikely yes!

But all it takes is ONE overconfident fighter pilot, not expecting (probably the last thing he would have expected) a friendly F18 and anticipating a weird unknown object, seeing said object from the right angle, at the right time, with the right circumstances to misidentify it. Maybe its plus sunlight reflection, plus priming, plus mist / distortion and excitement.

Shit happens to everyone, no one is superhuman and as I said, we already have his copilot wo contradicted him when describing what they saw! Both "highly trained observers" cant be right.

Funny thing is, some cant imagine how Fravor could possibly misidentify a FA18 under certain circumstances, yet are discussing balloons and blimps that magically disappear or even missiles shot from a submarine that show no signs of propulsion and are targeted towards CAP point

btw, commercial airplanes reflecting sunlight look like tic tacs all the time. just browse r/ufos on reddit, its full of tic tac sightings that really are just airplanes. they are double the size of an F18 and observed at 30000 feet. So why couldnt a F18 observed from 15000 feet create a similar illusion?

https://www.ufobeat.com/post-qjfz0/tic-tac-shaped-ufo-near-youngstown-ohio


----
Fridman: From a human factors perspective how often in your experience of those 16 years do you find that [your] eyes, what you see is the incorrect state of things, so like how often do you make mistakes with vision?

Fravor: You, actually you make vision issues a lot because you're –, and the sad part is your brain believes what your eyes see. We are actually trained to do the opposite of that, especially when you instrument-fly because your brain and eyes can tell you one thing but you got to trust your instruments


Fravor had no FLIR equipped and had no radar tracks. He is a "trained observer with instruments and sensors, because you cant trust your eyes". He was judging solely with his eyes..
 
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jackfrostvc

Active Member
For what it's worth, in the year Fravor encountered the object.
SCORE had conducted the following wargame training exercises in the SOCAL range complex (Where the Tic Tac event occured)

Look at the FY05 line - Financial year 2005 . Tic Tac was Nov 2014 ie start of FY05

For reference, here are the acronym meanings

USW - Undersea Warfare
C2W - Control and Command Warfare. The doco this came from uses this to note Electronic Warfare, and uses the EW and C2W together and interchangeably. That said, C2W technically also includes PSYOPs and Military Deception which I'm sure some will raise an eyebrow to
MIW - Mine Interdiction Warfare
SUW - Surface Warfare
NSW - Navy Special Warfare
AMW - Amphibious Warfare
AW - Air Warfare
STW - Strike Warfare
RDT - Research, Development & Testing
GTD - Ground Truth Data


1622944488133.png

1622945089482.png

From Wikipedia re: C2W:

1622944962593.png
 
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saucerpilot

New Member
Apologies for this tangent. But building on my software debugging analogy. For those asking why they should be listening to a video game programmer's take on ufos.... a software developer is actually the perfect person to investigate ufos. Especially, anyone who has had to debug software is well experienced in the realm of challenging theirs and others' assumptions. Looking past what seems to be happening, and finding the cause.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The meteorological officer (METOC) onboard the USS Princeton handed out a briefing discussing a weather phenomenon that includes the building of ice particles that could return false radar tracks. Based on various accounts "no one" believed this to be the leading cause.
Sea smoke, sea devils and tropical cyclones are known phenomena and the north-eastern pacific is especially known for it.
What could have happened here is the beginning of such an event, without actually happening. The mixture of hot and cold air with saltwater could also explain lower temperature and building of ice particles at various altitudes. The FA18 flying through the air could have resolved the disturbance (temporarely?).
I would like to know more about the meteorological phenomenon. Do we have more information on this?

Your timeline posits that Kurth and Fravor were in the area at the same time because they witnessed the disturbance in the water cease. This is corroborated by Kurth sensing the both F-18s above him.

Obviously, if the weather conditions were right, there could have been more than one such disturbance, or a single disturbance "touching down" and lifting off at various times.

If the disturbance involved the mixing of hot and cold air, that would result in a visual disturbance in the air as well, possibly distorting the shape of anything seen through it and making identification difficult.

The question remains why Kurth reported seeing the other two F-18s on the radar, but they did not report seeing him, assuming the ranges were set the same. Generally, radar returns would be less cluttered looking up than they would be looking down onto a possibly disturbed water surface. But we'd need to also resolve Kurth's identification not being displayed for whatever reason.

Generally, many UFO sightings get resolved here simply by finding a record of another aircraft in the same vicinity at the same time that could have been the object of the sighting. By that standard, your hypothesis already comes fairly close to an explanation.
 

Domzh

Active Member
I'm getting conflicting message about this. Over in the main Fravor thread there's a claim that Kurth has always said he was above Fravor, not the other way around.
In the 2009 AATIP report he said he never saw the tic tac or the other FA18. His and Fravors reported altitudes can suggest Kurth was below Fravor when he arrived.

Now, 17 years later he said he was above and saw them.

Note: In both cases the info was presented by a third person. So misinterpretation must be taken into account.
 

Domzh

Active Member
btw the FLIR engineer who was interviewed by Mick (assuming Mick did some confirmation of him really being a FLIR technician) literally accused Fravor of lying, when he analyzed the videos on JRE.

so why would he do that? to support his own story? to defend another colleague?

Everyone else of these pilots seem not willing to talk really and if they do they are not pushing a narrative and state multiple times their memory could be flawed or they cant say this or that for sure.

Many testimonies around the tic tac incident dont line up with Fravors at all.

The only one who leaves zero wiggle room for misinterpretation or human error and is pushing the alien narrative hard is Fravor.

I wonder why
 

folly4

Member
btw the FLIR engineer who was interviewed by Mick (assuming Mick did some confirmation of him really being a FLIR technician) literally accused Fravor of lying, when he analyzed the videos on JRE.

Link? Source? Who is this FLIR engineer who said Fravor was lying?
 

Domzh

Active Member
Link? Source? Who is this FLIR engineer who said Fravor was lying?
"K: Right well when they are offering no proof, there's nothing, they are not proving anything. They're lying. You know I watched the Joe Rogan with Fravor, and you've got Jeremy Corbell, when you've got him ... I think this was the first video I ever saw of yours of the unsharp mask, and when I see Fravor nodding along to this guy saying that there's a pocket of cool air around this thing, he's a liar. I know that he turns that on and off, I do that in my ops-check. He knows exactly what that is."

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/av...flir-targeting-pods-tracking-and-glare.11392/
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
"K: Right well when they are offering no proof, there's nothing, they are not proving anything. They're lying. You know I watched the Joe Rogan with Fravor, and you've got Jeremy Corbell, when you've got him ... I think this was the first video I ever saw of yours of the unsharp mask, and when I see Fravor nodding along to this guy saying that there's a pocket of cool air around this thing, he's a liar. I know that he turns that on and off, I do that in my ops-check. He knows exactly what that is."

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/av...flir-targeting-pods-tracking-and-glare.11392/
My take there is that it's possible that Fravor simply didn't give it much thought.
 

Domzh

Active Member
My take there is that it's possible that Fravor simply didn't give it much thought.
:) there seems to be a pattern though..


(friedman part where he says you cant trust your eyes without sensors and then dismisses your theory of the object being closer than estimated and smaller in size, his own story that changes, kevin day, etc)
 

folly4

Member
My take there is that it's possible that Fravor simply didn't give it much thought.

I'd agree.

I'd also speculate there is a strong sense of solidarity among members of the military. They generally want to support each others' testimony and analysis (even if only passively, by nodding along and not applying much critical thought), and feel very uncomfortable contradicting the accounts of others. (I'd venture to say it's part of why Mick can't find military pilots to go on the record.)

We all do this to some extent. We all belong to various tribes and privilege "in group" viewpoints over "out group" viewpoints.

In the case of the military, there is reason to believe this allegiance to the in group viewpoint might be even stronger than in civilian life. This is for good reason, and we ought to have respect for it (even as we acknowledge the biases it introduces). This is a group of people—a team—whose literal survival can rely on functioning within a tight chain of command. Placing personal opinions and interpretations aside to support one other, and support the larger mission, is part of that.
 

Domzh

Active Member
definitely a factor (marcus luttrell, chris kyle, dietrich & fravor? :) ) and definitely problematic when you try to find the truth
 

Domzh

Active Member
"2012 Cocoa Beach Airshow Saturday. When a plane flies through a region of high humidity, the change in air pressure can cause condensation to form. This effect tends to be very short-lived. As the plane passes, the condensation may appear and disappear several times per second."

Chain of events and cause:

- There was a disturbance in the water, i believe caused by sea smoke (NE pacific is a hot spot for tropical cyclones, they start like this but dont have to evolve into a full cyclone)

- Cold and hot air mixes above the ocean surface. The smoke is visible due to water particles. i havent found historic weather data for 2004 but took 2010 as an indicator of the climate in November around San Clemente island. Up to 100% humidity, mixed sunny days and rain. Perfect conditions for this phenomena.

- The princeton received a briefing prior about a possible weather phenomenon and ice particles who could give false radar tracks

- Ice particles form around dust or salt particles (sea water)

- The salt water particles traveled up with the mixing air, forming the ice, causing the false radar pings over this spot

- Kurth was on site first. He checked out the disturbance before Fravor arrived but should have left already. Based on testimony he was below Fravor's altitude when Fravor arrived at the scene (AATIP Report 2009)

- Kurth was flying in a RED TEAM FA18 Hornet and was on different radio coms. I believe his signature due to the air training did not identify him as "friendly" over data link

- Kurth, flying through the mist, caused the white clouds around his FA18 as seen on the picture

- Fravor not having any sensor saw Kurth from a distance, identifying him as "matt white tic tac, probably the size of an FA18"

- Kurth didnt saw Fravor (AATIP report) and flew away to CAP point

- Kurth saw the disturbance cease when he left, Fravor reported the disturbance ceased when the tic tac left

- Because the disturbance was caused by mixing of air, I believe the disturbance got cleared by the Jets flying through the turbulence, resolving the phenomenon

- The tic tac reappeared at CAP point on radar

- The radar operator described the time as "chaotic" because a lot of planes were in the air. He might didnt realize the tic tac was a "red team" usmc Hornet.

Supporting notes:

- Dietrich was an inexperienced Junior and anxious (her description), at 20-25k altitude distance. I believe Authority Bias came into play, believing Fravor it was a tic tac over her possible own perception of being a jet. She never gave a testimony that we know off until 17 years later, using Fravors exact words and latest description of the event (his description of events changed)

- Fravor said the tic tac was hovering with erratic movement, his copilot said it was moving at aapx 500 knots (AATIP Report)

- I believe his WSO was focusing on radar screens rather than looking outside during the event. We dont have a tic tac confirmation of him.

- Full sized passenger planes get misidentified all the time for "tic tacs" at distance and we have enough accounts of fighter pilots misidentifying planes and balloons. Cockpit reflections, parallax, pre framed expectations and lack of sensors can increase the likelihood of it.

@Mick West More likely than a hypersonic tic tac drone, a magically disappearing balloon, a lunched tomahawk missile or Zorg from Uranus?

change the point of view and you have a tic tac. the phenomena can even "blink" what could be an explanation for a perceived erratic movement.

D06F83D8-B175-4FB3-89E8-331453F0BAF0.jpeg50D46165-3BB7-497D-ADCF-DE117B54E949.jpeg39286B70-211D-4943-9715-EDE88E502957.jpeg
 
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Alphadunk

Member
The vapor shown in those photographs typically lasts for less than a second, often much less than that, and I've never seen a photo or video of the vapor completely obscuring the jet. Many people here have an extremely low opinion of pilot's observational prowess but it's a little hard to believe Fravor would have been fooled by a phenomenon that he would almost assuredly be extremely familiar with. We're also still left with Kurth's assertion he was above Fravor & Dietrich. Are there any accounts of him flying below Fravor other than the report mentioned earlier? Was that report ever substantiated as being official?

Vapor displays are common at air shows, here are a few examples.


 

Domzh

Active Member
there never was an official report, because they never investigated it afaik

the 2009 is an AATIP report. i just find it weird how Kurth said he never saw the FA18 but then 12 yeas later say he saw them below him.

what could have been is Kurth said in the AATIP report he saw them on radar approaching the scene at appx 5000 feet. but these 5000 feet make no sense what so ever, even if you compare it to the accounts of Fravor and Dietrich from nowadays. They came in at 20-25k feet and Dietrich stayed at this altitude.

I read the clouding effect lasts for less than a second 'at a time' but can "blink", such as going on-off-on-off. btw your video showed the clouding for a solid second sometimes. If in fact the disturbance WAS caused by air mixing than it could be this effect lasted longer or more often because of the more humid air. add in some sunlight and unlucky POV.

humidity is already quite high in this area anyway, so this would add even more opportunities for clouding.

regarding the pilots ability, Fravor came in at 20-25k feet, without radar data, without a targeting pod (atflir) thats quite a big distance to identify an airplane. he and others said it themselves, you cant trust your eyes.

we have contradicting testimony from Fravor and his WSO / Copilot from the same plane.

we even have pilots arguing if the gimbal / flir1 show an airplane or not. even fighter pilots make mistakes. they are human after all.

all it takes for everything to make sense, is a single pilot who couldnt identify a clouding jet without any sensors and without expecting one within this area.

we dont even know for how long he had his eyes on it for a longer time and not just "short peaks", he had to fly an fa18 after all and was several thousand feet above it. its not as if he drove next to another car on the highway at 120 mph

after all, i dont think its likely at all. i also dont find it likely they misjudged a balloon or bird for a 40 feet tic tac that "just zipped away". i also find it hard to believe how Dietrich and Fravor allegedly saw the tic tac but Kurth who was there first and left when the disturbance cleared did not.

i find it hard to believe how multiple fighter pilots cant identify a plane on the gimbal video.

we have three options:

1) we massively over estimate their abilities and they really cant identify planes or missiles with their eyes or atflir screen

OR

2) they can but blatantly lie and cover each others asses

OR

3) it really was a hypersonic, matte white, unidentified tic tac shaped "craft" with super advanced technology having a blast
 
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