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Ex-Navy fighter pilot in spotlight for in-air UFO encounter claims

A former Navy fighter pilot from New Hampshire is in the national spotlight over his claims of an unexplained encounter with a suspected UFO over the Pacific Ocean more than a decade ago.

“It looked like a flying Tic Tac with incredible capabilities,” retired Cdr. David Fravor of Windham, N.H., told the Herald yesterday of his mysterious encounter in 2004. “I’d say I doubt it was something we developed — Earthlings, people of this planet.”

Except for military and intelligence debriefs, Fravor kept his bizarre experience largely to himself since that day.

But the calls started flooding in yesterday after Fravor’s real-life “X-Files” episode was featured in Sunday’s New York Times. He’s been contacted by ABC News and the Daily Mail of London — and fielded plenty of good-natured ribbing from friends. He was asked to be on “Good Morning America” today.

“I honestly don’t think they’ll ever get to the bottom of what we saw,” Fravor said. “I think they should put an effort into it. We’d be foolish not to, honestly. To think of an infinite universe with multiple galaxies and we’re the only ones out there? That’s a pretty lonely place, isn’t it?”

It was Nov. 14, 2004, sometime between noon and 2 p.m., “not a cloud in the sky,” Fravor recalled, when he and the other pilots in his squadron were diverted from a training mission to investigate a U.S. Navy cruiser’s report of a strange craft at 80,000 feet suddenly dropping and hovering at 20,000 feet.

Fravor described a 40-foot-long oval object with no wings or plume from any engine — the “flying Tic Tac” — randomly moving around.

“It wasn’t an airplane,” said Fravor.

Fravor cut his F-18 across to approach the unidentified flying object, getting to within a mile.

“Then all of a sudden, it just accelerates and — poof! — it’s gone,” Fravor said, adding that the otherworldly ship jammed their radar. “It accelerated beyond any airplane we have. I’ve seen just about everything and there’s nothing I know of that we were making at that time that has that kind of performance.”

Fravor resumed the training mission, only to be informed that the UFO had returned. By the time Fravor and his squadron arrived, however, it was gone.

“We all knew it was weird and we were all trying to figure out what it was,” Fravor said. “We didn’t know if someone was going to talk to us or not. No one said a word about it.”

Five years later, he was contacted by “someone from an intelligence agency,” declining to name the person or government department.

Pilots have been reporting unexplained objects in the sky since the dawn of aviation, calling them “foo fighters” and later UFOs.

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Defense Department spent $22 million a year on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, investigating strange airborne phenomena. The Pentagon said in a statement that the UFO program was halted in about 2012 because “there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding.”

Experts remained skeptical yesterday that Fravor’s encounter provides any evidence of the existence of aliens. One astrophysicist contacted by the Herald declined to comment, saying he “would rather not contribute to spreading these silly stories.”

Laurence Young, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology astronautics professor, said the incident may be beyond our comprehension.

“My belief is that it’s something that could be explained, but we may or may not currently have the background to offer the explanation,” Young said. “I certainly don’t believe it’s unexplainable.” ___


This article is written by Chris Cassidy from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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