The 8 Spookiest Details About That Reported UFO Encounter Everyone's Talking About

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Do you believe in life outside Earth? If you don't already, the spooky details about the UFO sighting that has everyone talking might change your mind. On Saturday, the Pentagon officially acknowledged the existence of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, a Defense Department operation intended to analyze "anomalous aerial vehicles," better known as UFOs. It may sound like something straight out of a monster-of-the-week television show, but the program was reported by the New York Times and Politico over the weekend. So put on your tin hats, folks — it's time to delve into some seriously otherworldly shenanigans.

According to the Times, researchers with the $22 million program studied sightings of aircraft that moved through the air through unseen means as well as encounters between the American military and unidentifiable objects. Now, one Navy pilot's story is drawing increasing amounts of attention for being, in a word, inexplicable.

Back in 2004, Cmdr. David Fravor was out on a training mission in the Pacific when he was diverted to investigate a strange aircraft hovering over the ocean. More than a decade later, the footage from his cockpit camera has been released to the public, and he was interviewed as part of the Times' report on the aviation program.

Frankly, the story is enough to give even a skeptic pause. Read on for the strangest, most outlandish details from the former pilot's supposed UFO sighting.

They Had Appeared Before

Cmdr. Fravor told the Times that the Princeton, a Navy cruiser, had been tracking mysterious aircraft for weeks before he and his lieutenant commander were sent out to investigate. The objects would appear suddenly at 80,000 feet, then shoot down toward the ocean. At 20,000 feet, they would hover until they sped toward the sky again or disappeared out of radar range.

It Was Undetectable... At First

When the two fighter planes arrived at the spot where the Princeton said they should have been right on top of the mysterious object, neither pilot could spot anything. It was as if the object didn't exist.

The Ocean Was Agitated

When Cmdr. Fravor looked down, the waves were choppy and frothy, like they were breaking over something just below the water. Just above the agitated spot was an oval-shaped object, darting around the water.

It Seemed To React

When he began a descent to get a closer look, the mysterious object rose to meet him — like it had spotted him. Cmdr. Fravor headed straight for it, but the craft shot away into the distance at a speed "like nothing I've ever seen," he told the Times.

It Traveled At Absurd Speeds

The fighter pilots headed to a rendezvous point about 60 miles away. In a seriously creepy coincidence, the Princeton radioed to inform them that somehow, the object beat them to the meeting place while the jets were less than halfway there. By Cmdr. Fravor's estimation, it took less than a minute to reach the spot.

The Object Vanished

But by the time the fighter jets got to the rendezvous point, the object was long gone. Cmdr. Fravor said he had absolutely no idea what it was, but he knew it had no visible wings or rotors that would explain its ability to fly at such great speeds.

Footage Was Taken

According to the Washington Post, a separate crew flew after the object and tracked it for about a minute and a half. In the end, the sighting was not taken particularly seriously, and it was dropped.

Cmdr. Fravor Isn't The Only Story

Cmdr. Fravor's encounter was hardly the only one investigated by the program. Its leader, military intelligence officer Luis Elizondo, has said that he believed there was strong evidence that extraterrestrial aircraft visited Earth. "We found a lot," he said, referring to potential anomalous aircraft sightings. In one of its two articles published over the weekend, the Times reported that the government even recovered unidentifiable metal alloys.

When he retired from the Pentagon in October, he negotiated for the release of videos to the public. For his part, he is clear that he thinks UFOs are a real possibility. "My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone," he told CNN.

So are we really alone in the universe? In the end, it's up to you to look at the evidence and decide for yourself.