A pilot with the U.S. Navy almost collided with an unidentified flying object during a mission near Virginia Beach in late 2014, according to a New York Times report published Sunday. The UFO, which the Super Hornet pilot said resembled a “sphere encasing a cube,” was one of many “strange objects” reportedly seen by Navy pilots in the skies over the East Coast between the summer of 2014 and early 2015.
Pilots said they reported these inexplicable sightings to Navy leadership.
The flying objects “had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds,” several pilots told the Times. The objects were seen performing maneuvers “beyond the physical limits of a human crew” like turning instantaneously, the pilots said.
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Some of the sightings described by the Times have been reported on before. A declassified military video made public last March showed two Navy pilots being caught off guard after a flying object without a wing, tail or exhaust plume crossed their path in 2015.
“Wow! What is that, man?” one of the pilots is heard saying in the clip. “Look at that flying!”
The Times’ article comes a month after the announcement of the Navy’s new UFO policy.
The Navy said in April that it was updating and formalizing the process by which pilots can report unidentified or unauthorized flying objects. It did not believe that aliens had intruded into U.S. airspace, a Navy official told CNN at the time, but the Navy said in a statement that it had received “a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years.”
“These kinds on incursions can be both a security risk and pose a safety hazard for both Navy and Air Force aviation,” the statement said. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the USAF takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”
Lt. Ryan Graves, a Navy pilot who said he’s seen these strange flying objects with his own eyes and has reported them to his superiors, told the Times that safety concerns were raised among members of his squadron following his colleague’s close call with the UFO in 2014.
They feared that it “was going to be a matter of time before someone had a midair” collision, he said.
As the Times noted, neither Graves nor any of the pilots interviewed by the paper wanted to speculate as to the source of these flying objects. As one pilot quipped, “we’re here to do a job, with excellence, not make up myths.”
Some of the pilots’ stories will be included in a new six-part History Channel series about the mysterious UFO program run by the Pentagon. “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation” is slated to air beginning Friday.