Current & Future State of Advanced Drone Technology In Relation to UFO Sightings

-by Cooper
Since late 2017 there has been an rash of mainstream media reporting discussing various types of anomalous air vehicles that have been claimed to infiltrate American aircraft carrier groups with ease and without consequence. These reports often cite the unusual flight dynamics of the craft as observed by pilots, and also captured on aircraft targeting pods and ship-based radar systems. These capabilities have been described as "beyond known physics" and not in the current known inventory of any nation, neither friendly nor adversary. The general public has called these strange aircraft "UFOs" for decades, but the Department of Defense apparently prefers the term "UAP" (Unknown Aerial Phenomena). 

Let's examine some current drone technologies and see if the descriptions of these UAPs truly are beyond "known physics."

Yanko Design bladeless, rotorless, air-induction drone.

The 5 Observables

Luis Elizondo, claimed former head of the Pentagon's AATIP UFO investigation program and now a member of the Tom DeLonge-founded entertainment company, The To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, went so far as to name the "5 Observables" that are commonly associated with UAPs.

They are described accordingly (via 

"1) Anti-gravity lift. Unlike any known aircraft, these objects have been sighted overcoming the earth’s gravity with no visible means of propulsion. They also lack any flight surfaces, such as wings. In the Nimitz incident, witnesses describe the crafts as tubular, shaped like a Tic Tac candy.

2) Sudden and instantaneous acceleration. The objects may accelerate or change direction so quickly that no human pilot could survive the g-forces—they would be crushed. In the Nimitz incident, radar operators say they tracked one of the UFOs as it dropped from the sky at more than 30 times the speed of sound. Black Aces squadron commander David Fravor, the Nimitz-based fighter pilot who was sent to intercept one of the objects, likened its rapid side-to-side movements, later captured on infrared video, to that of a ping-pong ball. Radar operators on the USS Princeton, part of the Nimitz carrier group, tracked the object accelerating from a standing position to traveling 60 miles in a minute—an astounding 3,600 miles an hour. According to manufacturer Boeing, the F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jet typically currently reaches a maximum speed of Mach 1.6, or about 1,200 miles an hour.

3) Hypersonic velocities without signatures. If an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound, it typically leaves "signatures," like vapor trails and sonic booms. Many UFO accounts note the lack of such evidence. 

4) Low observability, or cloaking. Even when objects are observed, getting a clear and detailed view of them—either through pilot sightings, radar or other means—remains difficult. Witnesses generally only see the glow or haze around them.

5) Trans-medium travel. Some UAP have been seen moving easily in and between different environments, such as space, the earth’s atmosphere and even water. In the Nimitz incident, witnesses described a UFO hovering over a churning "disturbance" just under the ocean's otherwise calm surface, leading to speculation that another craft had entered the water. USS Princeton radar operator Gary Vorhees later confirmed from a Navy sonar operator in the area that day that a craft was moving faster than 70 knots, roughly two times the speed of nuclear subs."

Let's have a look at several types of known aircraft and see if they match any of the "5 Observables".

Advanced Maneuverability

First let's consider the ADIFO drone, on the manufacturer's website they describe thier highly maneuverable prototype drone this way, "The final propulsive touch is a set of two lateral thrust nozzles pointed out to each side, which operate like the reaction control system thrusters on a spacecraft. In horizontal flight, these allow the ADIFO to rapidly push itself sideways in either direction, or to rotate extremely quickly as it flies. That, according to Sabie, gives it maneuvering capabilities unmatched by anything else in the air, without the need for separate wings, ailerons, rudders or flaps."

They go on to describe the ADIFO as, "There's more: it'll fly upside down, either in quad mode or in horizontal flight, with the right jets it'll be extremely efficient as it goes transonic and supersonic, and Sabie says the team's modeling suggests there will be no traditional sonic boom created when it does."

We can see that this drone in and of itself achieves Observables #1, #2, and #3.  Of course no one can say what an "unknown" air vehicle is powered by, so the anti-gravity suggestion is based purely on observations, which can be explained by highly maneuverable drone bodies. 

We have noticed that most often it is pilots and experts in manned flight that are interviewed by media outlets when perhaps it should be those who work with unmanned aircraft and drones, as it has been well established that the maneuvers achieved by these UAPs would eliminate the possibility of a human pilot due to the biological stresses of G-forces alone. Such stresses would have no discernible effect on an autonomous craft.

Even amateurs have been able to build drones that can achieve high speeds, instantaneous maneuverability, and low observability. 

TicTacs and Fighter Pilots

Moving on, we know there already exists several types of commercial drones that can transition from underwater to the air, including submarine-launched drones such as those as mentioned at the 0:32-minute mark in the video here:

A submarine-launched drone might align with some pilot sightings of a long, cylindrical object that was described as being elongated and shaped somewhat like a commercial passenger plane's fuselage with churning, foaming water noted above the submerged object. This is unsurprisingly the same appearance a large military submarine takes on prior to surfacing, or just after it dives below the surface, perhaps after launching a drone. 

Submarines surfacing.

In this video we can also see possible launch and recovery scenarios for potential future drone tech. 

In the famous case of Cmdr Davd Fravor and the TicTac object, he not only described this possible submarine shape and water disturbance, but went on to describe what could have been a vehicle launched by the submarine, and stated that the TicTac object had "feet" or "antenna" which one could surmise would be necessary either for launching and recovery if they were feet, or to maintain communications with the sub below in the case that they were antennas.

TicTac image via "JMK" on Wikimedia Commons.

In subsequent interviews with various crew members from the Nimitz carrier group, several indicated that they felt there was a possibility what they had seen was possibly owned and operated by the U.S. Military. 

USS Princeton radar ship crew members made their opinions known at the 2019 UFO Megacon (below excerpt via Joe Murgia

Robert Kiviat (moderator): "Was it our tech?"
Jason Turner: “I mean, if it was from us. You know, why are they even doing this to us?”
Gary Voorhis: “I did have some thoughts about that. There is a chance that it is extremely advanced technology that either we reverse engineered or just actually came up with ourselves. I mean, they would know where our fleet is.”
Jason Turner: “Right.”
Gary Voorhis: “They would know where we’re at. And they’d know we were not armed. Honestly, it would have been the perfect proof of concept. You know, see whether these systems are as viable as they think they are.”
(If you're not familiar with the Nimitz TicTac event, check out this incredibly well-made documentary from filmmaker David Beatty titled The Nimitz Encounters.)

Full disclosure; I have personally met and had brief conversations with Cmdr Fravor. I am also honored to count as acquaintances several USS Princeton and USS Nimitz personnel. Our personal conversations remain private. I find all of them to be credible witnesses and I believe their stories without reservation. I'm compelled to believe these honorable men and women have only the best intentions. 

Cube Within a Sphere

We can dive even deeper into the more esoteric descriptions of UAPs seen on the East Coast by fighter pilots from the USS Roosevelt, these described as being a visible cube within a transparent sphere. 

British website The Engineer describes some unusual methods to control aircraft with plasma that could match some of these visual cues. "Plasma would be ejected from a source near the nose, and would stream down the top of the aircraft. A magnetic field would then be applied to the plasma to move the aircraft in different directions. researchers are conducting initial calculations into whether this would produce sufficient force to steer the vehicle, said Morgan."

It went on to explain how this would mitigate traditional control surfaces; "Using plasma to control the aircraft’s dynamics could dramatically simplify their design, as there would be no need for the complicated systems currently used to operate flaps and ailerons, said Prof Ken Morgan, a member of the research team and a specialist in computational fluid dynamics at the university."  

Further research into intersecting lasers has produced similarly shaped and appearing objects. This article even goes into some detail surrounding supposed tests of this technology, "It involved a clandestine military project with a goal so outrageous that, even now, it is difficult to comprehend. The story was set in the late 1980s, at an undisclosed military research facility hidden in the New Mexico desert. Here, researchers working with high-power laser weapons discovered that they could create a glowing ball of fire in the sky by crossing the beams of two powerful infrared lasers. The beams were invisible to the naked eye, but where they intersected, their electric fields became so intense that they ripped apart molecules in the air, creating a plasma—a luminous mix of high-energy ions and electrons.
By moving the laser beams around the sky, the researchers found they could shift the plasma ball back and forth at very high speed. They even discovered that by switching the beams on and off quickly and redirecting them to different spots, they could maintain several plasma balls in the air at the same time. At night, they demonstrated their skills, flying their glowing creations in formation high above the cold desert."

This amateur video demonstrates what intersecting lasers can accomplish when pulsed to form a controllable ball of plasma in mid-air.

The technology can be adapted to create fully-formed images in 3-Dimensional space that can be manipulated to perform any number of maneuvers in an almost limitless array of appearances. (Thanks to NewFumes for the vid.)

This brings up the possibility that the East Coast objects may have been advanced drones, physical or laser targeting decoys, or loiter surveillance craft, among many other possibilities. (See "Update" below for more detail on this.)

This article, from all the way back in 2000 (4-years before the Nimitz TicTac encounter), describes some of the advantages of plasma-capable aircraft, detailing the myriad advantages; "There are more clandestine applications. The way plasmas interact with radio waves around aircraft is causing more than a little excitement in the secret world of military aerospace research. Could they provide the ultimate invisibility shield for stealth aircraft? Other researchers have found that plasmas can dissipate shock waves from supersonic aircraft, stifling troublesome sonic booms.
There are even indications that plasmas might influence airflow at subsonic speeds. If that were the case, tiny plasma generators could replace control surfaces such as ailerons and flaps. Planes of the future might not need any moving control surfaces at all. There's no doubt about it: plasma is the height of fashion in aerospace research."

Update: The War Zone coincidentally published a piece today offering another possibility for the Cube Within a Sphere UAP, check out that reporting here: Are Some of the UFOs Navy Pilots Are Encountering Actually Airborne Radar Reflectors

The below patent for a similar Radar Reflector device was also discovered and posted to Twitter.

Hypersonic Drones

We know that several governments are developing and testing hypersonic drones, some theorized to achieve speeds upwards of Mach 5. This article describes many of those advancements and when we consider the statements made by Nimitz and Princeton crew members about how one TicTac traveled over 60-miles in less than a minute (3,600mph) to reach the CAP point, we can see that this speed coincidentally matches the same Mach 5 number named as a target goal for hypersonic drones (Mach 5 = 3,836mph). 

We are also aware of super cavitation underwater vehicles that can travel well in excess of the sonar speeds for the UAPs indicated at 70-knots, or "twice that of a nuclear powered attack submarine." In fact, super cavitation torpedoes are believed to be able to travel at more than 200-knots underwater. 

Even more incredible are the descriptions of Chinese supercavitating submarines that are being developed with a theoretical underwater speed of 3,320 mph. That's quick enough to travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in under 2-hours. 

Are These UAPs Manmade or ET?

We can see by this thought exercise that there are several currently-known technologies that could achieve maneuvers and appearances similar to what various pilots and sailors described seeing over the last 10-15-years off America's coasts.

We do not, however, know of any one single operational device that completely matches either the TicTac or Cube Within a Sphere objects, tho it's very likely that we, as members of the general public, would not have such knowledge of what would surely be closely held Top Secret military technologies. 

Some of the observed capabilities truly are astounding and would be very difficult to pull off with a single air frame

What we do know for certain, regardless of whatever the TicTacs and dazzling Spheres turn out to be, is that Extraterrestrial civilizations surely exist in our Universe, and likely in nearly infinite numbers owing to the vastness of space itself. Many of these civilizations would naturally be far more advanced than humans when it comes to technological capabilities, and if countless eye-witness testimonies are to be believed (this author's own included), there is also a likelihood that alien species have already visited Earth, or sent probes to investigate our planet. Whether these currently-fashionable "UAPs" truly are from an off-panet source, or if they were built by DARPA out in the Nevada desert, or in secret facilities in Russia or China, it doesn't change the fact that extraterrestrials have possibly had a presence of some form or another here on Earth for centuries, and those early and ancient sightings cannot be explained away so easily by agile aircraft or other manmade objects when the most advanced technology we had at the time was a horseshoe.

UFOs exist. Most of them are misidentified natural phenomena, some of them are manmade, but countless others remain a mystery and very likely have extraterrestrial origins.