US pilots claimed to see objects with no visible engines that could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds, The New York Times reports. Lieutenant Ryan Graves and four other US Navy pilots, said in interviews they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in training manoeuvres from Virginia to Florida, from the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Lieutenant Graves who has been in the Navy for 10 years reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress: “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy.
“With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”
Joseph Gradisher, a Navy spokesman, told the New York-based newspaper: “Some cases could have been commercial drones” but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this.”
Lieutenant Graves said he was back at base in Virginia Beach when he encountered a squadron mate just back from a mission “with a look of shock on his face.”
He said he was stunned to hear the pilot’s words: “I almost hit one of those things.”
Lieutenant Graves said: “It turned from a potentially classified drone program to a safety issue.”
The described objects travel in a way that would kill a human crew with sudden stops and turns at such high speeds.
But Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist said the possibility of an extraterrestrial cause “is so unlikely”.
He said: “There are so many other possibilities — bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight.”
In March 2015 the Roosevelt left the coast of Florida and headed to the Persian Gulf as part of the US-led mission fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The same pilots who were interacting with the strange objects off the East coast were soon doing bombing missions over Iraq and Syria.
The incidents tapered off after they left the United States, the pilots said.
The news comes after the US Navy published official guidelines on reporting UFOs.
The Pentagon also admitted earlier this month it has investigated UFOs as part of secretive initiative, after an official used the phrase “unidentified aerial phenomena”.
A representative confirmed the US government investigated the occurrence of unexplained aircraft as a part of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, made public in 2017.