In July of 2019, a truly bizarre series of events unfolded around California’s Channel Islands. Over a number of days, groups of unidentified aircraft, which the U.S. Navy simply refers to as ‘drones’ or ‘UAVs,’ pursued that service’s vessels, prompting a high-level investigation. During the evening encounters, as many as six aircraft were reported swarming around the ships at once.
The drones were described as flying for prolonged periods in low-visibility conditions, and performing brazen maneuvers over the Navy warships near a sensitive military training range less than 100 miles off Los Angeles. The ensuing investigation included elements of the Navy, Coast Guard, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
One drone on the first night even “managed to match the destroyer’s speed with the craft moving at 16 knots in order to maintain a hovering position over the ship’s helicopter landing pad… By this point, the encounter had lasted over 90 minutes — significantly longer than what commercially available drones can typically sustain… If the drones were not operated by the American military, these incidents represent a highly significant security breach.”
In a follow-up, they report that America’s chief of naval operations was asked Monday if the Navy had positively identified any of the aircraft involved, and responded “No, we have not. I am aware of those sightings and as it’s been reported there have been other sightings by aviators in the air and by other ships not only of the United States, but other nations — and of course other elements within the U.S. joint force.”
The chief of naval operations was also asked if there was any suspicion that the drones were “extraterrestrial.” He replied, “No, I can’t speak to that — I have no indications at all of that.”
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