New Air Force UFO Near-Miss Reports

On July 25, 2015, an MC-130P Combat Shadow search and rescue tanker had to take evasive action to avoid hitting an unidentified object during a nighttime training mission near Niagara Falls International Airport in New York State. While on approach to the airport, the pilot saw through night-vision goggles an object that appeared to be illuminated by a single external light accelerating from left to right in front of his plane. The pilot executed an emergency climb and roll to the left, and the wing of the plane passed directly over the object. The same object showed up as a hot spot on the planes Infrared Detection System.

Disclosure keeps trickling out.

Only a few days after the Senate Intelligence Committee demanded disclosure of all secret government UFO research, the Air Force released a stack of safety reports detailing near misses between Air Force planes unidentified flying objects (UFOs) between the years 2013-2019. The timing is a coincidence. The 25 reports were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The War Zone which has now published them here. The reports tell of air crews making emergency evasive maneuvers to avoid striking what appear to be unidentified drones and other unidentified aircraft. They are, in substance, similar to the batch of safety reports released by the Navy last month.

The pilot said the object came within fifteen feet of the aircraft, passing it above and to the left.

The War Zone notes that reports involving tactical aircraft such as fighter jets are suspiciously absent from the collection. That’s unfortunate since “fighter jets with more and more capable radars and other sensors, which will soon include the widespread deployment of Infrared Search and Track Systems, have already proven to be particularly well-positioned to spot and track small, unidentified objects.” Those reports, apparently, are filed elsewhere within the Air Force and for security clearance reasons are not considered to be subject to FOIA requests. Instead, the Air Force simply released a pile of safety reports which seem to describe encounters with conventional drones. But do they?

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The 25 seemingly benign reports contain several interesting cases which sound more like encounters with good old-fashioned flying saucers and UFOs than conventional drones. They follow the same predictable patterns. Since 1947 (long before unmanned drones were a thing), our pilots have been reporting near collisions with unknown objects that seem to buzz their aircraft at high speed, often passing within a few feet of the aircraft. Typically, the pilots see the object or light only moments before realizing they are on a collision course. They execute evasive action and the object passes within a few feet of the plane. Here’s several incidents that fit the profile and follow the pattern:

  • May 21, 2015, an Air Force Reserve C-17A Globemaster III nearly collided with an “unidentified remotely piloted aircraft” while on approach to March Air Reserve Base in California. The pilot said the object came within fifteen feet of the aircraft, passing it above and to the left.
  • April 21, 2016, the crew of an EC-130J initially thought they saw a bird “until they saw a flashing red light pass three feet above the left wing” of their plane.
  • June 9, 2017, a T-6A Texan II trainer near Mobile Bay Bridge Alabama passed within one half to one wingtip of a “red unmanned aerial system,” i.e., a UFO.
  • November 1, 2017, an F-15E Strike barely evaded an “unidentified flying object” near its home base at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. The object passed within 100 feet over the right side of the aircraft.
  • January 20, 2018, a T-1 Jayhawk had a near-collision with an “unidentifiable unmanned drone” near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona. The pilots initially thought it was a bird, but then realized it was hovering and executed an evasive maneuver. They saw a small white steady light emanating from it as they passed directly beneath it.
  • February 5, 2018, the pilot of a T-6A “noticed sun glint off of metal” and “realized the black object was not a bird and that it was moving to the southeast.” It passed approximately 1,200 feet off his left wing. Investigators could find no trace of the drone or an operator.
  • September 10, 2018, a C-130J over Germany nearly collided a spherical object with what appeared to be a six-foot diameter top-mounted rotor.
  • March 13, 2019, a C-17A Globemaster III over Ohio executed evasive maneuvers to avoid a small white unmanned aerial system with brown or black accents or propellers. They passed within fifty feet of the craft.
  • July 25, 2019, the crew of a C-17A Globemaster III departing RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom saw “an orange colored small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) as it passed approximately 50′ below the left wing.”

Our pilots have been reporting near collisions with unknown objects that seem to buzz their aircraft at high speed, often passing within a few feet of the aircraft.

We’re not saying these could not have been conventional drones, we’re just saying that they sound a lot like the same type of encounters that pilots have documented for seven decades. The near misses with UFOs became such a problem that it inspired the formation of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) which just in 2019 put out a new Advisory for Pilots, Aircrews, Air Controllers, and Aviation Professionals regarding “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, UAP, UFOs, and Aviation Safety.”

And then there’s this one which seems to involve unseen and unknown craft detected by two separate radar systems:

The Stratotanker’s Collision Avoidance alarm went off and warned the crew to make an emergency ascent.

On May 15, 2015, a US Air Force Stratotanker had a close call with UFOs. While the enormous fuel tanker was on approach to land at its home base RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, the crew received an urgent warning from the Radar Approach Control, informing them of multiple contacts along its route. The crew searched the sky but could not see a single object. As they descended, the air traffic controllers warned them about another craft that, according to radar, appeared to be directly below them. Five seconds later, the Stratotanker’s Collision Avoidance alarm went off and warned the crew to make an emergency ascent. The crew put the plane into a sharp climb, but they never saw the unidentified flying object which their equipment claimed they had narrowly missed.

It’s very likely that if the above reports had not been filed in a stack of safety reports about near misses with unmanned drones, they would never have been cleared for public release. One wonders what the still-classified files detailing such encounters might hold.


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