While most people will admit earthlings are almost certainly not alone in the vast expanses of the universe, UFOs — which is to say sightings of possible alien aircrafts within the boundaries of our planet — have long been the purview of conspiracy theorists. Indeed, every now and then Tucker Carlson takes a break from floating white supremacist propaganda and defending the failed MAGA insurrection to try and scare his viewers about them. But after decades of secrecy, there’s a big government report about UFOs coming out, and on Sunday night, 60 Minutes gave us a taste of what we’re in for — and it’s pretty freaky.
The segment finds correspondent Bill Whitaker chatting with a number of government employees, most notably two former Navy pilots who describe an unsettling run-in with a UFO — or, as per the official government lingo, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, aka UAPs for short. In 2004, Cmdr. Dave Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dietrich, who were in training at the time, were tasked with investigating what were deemed “multiple anomalous aerial vehicles,” about 100 miles southwest of San Diego.
What they found remains hard to describe. Fravor called it a “little white Tic-Tac-looking object,” which he said was about the size of his F/A-18F. Dietrich, in a separate plane, said it had “no predictable movement, no predictable trajectory.” Fravor claims that as soon as he tried to cut it off, it accelerated quickly, disappearing off his radar. When it reappeared on his system mere seconds later, it was 60 miles away.
Later, another crew happened upon what they believed was the same UAP, which they captured via infrared photography. The footage shows…something. What’s more, Fravor and Dietrich later learned a ship had been tracking this UAP for days.
Whitaker also spoke to Christopher Mellon, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence for presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, who said he believes the UAP Fravor and Dietrich saw displayed demonstrated advanced technological capabilities. He also spoke about the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, which was formed in August of 2020 with the aim of exploring these types of phenomena.
“What [the Pentagon is] acknowledging is that there are indeed aircraft that are… violating restricted airspace. This has been happening and continues to happen,” he said, “and we don’t know where they’re from, and we don’t understand the technology.”
Next month a report from the force will be presented to Congress.
When the 60 Minutes segment aired, some pointed out what appears to be a sharp 180 the U.S. government has taken on UFOs and extraterrestrial phenomena, especially after decades of secrecy, as well as cultural fascination with things like Area 51.
Kind of amazing how quickly the Pentagon has gone from “UFOs? Just weather balloons and swamp gas” to “yeah, everyday we see shit we can’t explain.” Don’t know what to make of it. https://t.co/iKkgK7RSky
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 16, 2021
Some believers in UFOs felt vindicated.
My friends in the UFO community after tonight’s @60Minutes pic.twitter.com/WuUxkXtldA
— Duncan of Ravenfeld Manor (@duncantrussell) May 16, 2021
Others, though, dwelled on a little surprise at the segment’s end: the appearance of Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who’s often ridiculed for his beliefs, or his inability to stand up for them. That he’d take an interest in UFOs but not other serious matters did not escape some viewers.
Why am I not surprised to see Marco Rubio on 60 Minutes demanding answers about flying saucers instead of demanding answers about what happened on 1/6? What a loser.
— Kenny BooYah! (@KwikWarren) May 16, 2021
Mind you, no one in the segment says they witnessed alien technology. Everything they said remains “unidentified.” Still, the report due to Congress next month should be fascinating…unless it’s fascinatingly uninteresting.
You can watch the full segment in the video above.