The former Navy pilot who shot famous video footage of a UFO encounter near the USS Nimitz carrier group has broken his silence 15 years after the incident.
Chad Underwood spoke out in an interview with New York Magazine published on Thursday, detailing for the first time his experiences over the Pacific in November 2004.
Underwood is the one who coined the description ‘Tic Tac’ for the oblong, wingless object, and it was his in-flight video that caused a sensation in 2017 when the Pentagon confirmed that the footage was authentic.
In the new interview, Underwood gives a detailed description that backs up other personal accounts of the incident, and admits that to this day he can’t be sure whether the object he encountered was from this world or another.
Chad Underwood spoke out in an interview with New York Magazine published on Thursday, detailing for the first time his experiences over the Pacific in November 2004
The incident unfolded during carrier group exercises in the Pacific, off the coast of Mexico.
For about two weeks, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton, part of Carrier Strike Group 11, had been tracking mysterious aircraft intermittently for two weeks on an advanced AN/SPY-1B passive radar.
The radar contacts were so inexplicable that the system was even shut down and restarted to to check for bugs — but operators continued to track the unknown aircraft.
Then on November 14, Commander David Fravor says he was flying in an F/A-18F Super Hornet when he made visual contact with the object, which seemed to dive below the water, resurface, and speed out of sight when he tried to approach it.
As Fravor landed on the deck of the Nimitz, Underwood was just gearing up to take off on his own training run.
Fravor told Underwood about the bizarre encounter, and urged Underwood to keep his eyes open. Underwood replied that the Princeton’s radar crew had already reported an object that they wanted the fighters to attempt to track.
‘So, we go out to where our designated training area is. We’re not necessarily looking for something, but the Princeton had a specific object that they wanted us to hunt, for lack of a better word. And all of a sudden, I got this blip on my radar,’ Underwood recalled in the new interview.
Underwood was flying in an F/A-18F Super Hornet as part of the USS Nimitz (above) carrier group when he encountered an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’
Navy Commander David Fravor and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight had been flying about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego (pictured) in each of their F/A-18F Super Hornets (pictured) when they encountered an unidentified flying object described as a ‘Tic Tac’
Underwood estimated the object was about 20 miles away, and he was able to pick it up on his infrared gun-pod camera (FLIR).
‘The thing that stood out to me the most was how erratic it was behaving. And what I mean by “erratic” is that its changes in altitude, air speed, and aspect were just unlike things that I’ve ever encountered before flying against other air targets,’ Underwood told the magazine.
‘Because, aircraft, whether they’re manned or unmanned, still have to obey the laws of physics. They have to have some source of lift, some source of propulsion. The Tic Tac was not doing that. It was going from like 50,000 feet to, you know, a hundred feet in like seconds, which is not possible,’ he said.
‘If it was obeying physics like a normal object that you would encounter in the sky — an aircraft, or a cruise missile, or some sort of special project that the government didn’t tell you about — that would have made more sense to me. The part that drew our attention was how it wasn’t behaving within the normal laws of physics,’ Underwood continued.
‘Normally, you would see engines emitting a heat plume. This object was not doing that. The video shows a source of heat, but the normal signatures of an exhaust plume were not there. There was no sign of propulsion,’ he said.
Underwood said that the object was flying far to high to be birds, and dismissed the notion of a weather balloon because of its erratic and sudden movements.
Underwood estimated the object was about 20 miles away, and he was able to pick it up on his infrared gun-pod camera (FLIR)
Underwood joins Fravor as well as these former Nimitz and Princeton crew members in speaking out about the unexplained encounter in 2004
The Navy flyer also scoffed at the notion that it was some kind of weather event, given the multiple radar and visual contacts made by both the Princeton and multiple Hornet pilots.
Underwood wasn’t able to rule out the notion that the object was some kind of highly advanced, classified U.S. military project — but he did note that he was not given a debriefing warning him of the secret project, as he had in other scenarios as a pilot when he’d accidentally encountered classified planes.
To this day, Underwood isn’t sure what the object was, and he refuses to speculate.
‘I’ve never said that this is what I think it was or speculate as to what I think it was,’ he said. ‘That’s not my job. But I saw something. And it was also seen, via eyeballs, by both my commanding officer, Dave Fravor, and the Marine Corps Hornet squadron commanding officer who was out there as well.’
At no point did I want to speculate as to what I thought this thing was — or be ‘associated with, you know, “alien beings” and “alien aircraft” and all that stuff. I’m like, “No. I do not want to be part of that community.” It is just what we call a UFO. I couldn’t identify it. It was flying. And it was an object. It’s as simple as that,’ he said.
‘I’ll let the nerds, like, do the math on what it was likely to be. I just happened to be the person that brought back the video.’
This content was originally published here.