Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It's Tic vs. Tac as the Media Goes Into a Frenzy

Back on December 16, 2017, the New York Times published a now-famous article on about the previously unknown Pentagon UFO study program, as reported by Tom DeLonge and his To The Stars Academy (TTSA), titled "Glowing Auras  and Black Money - The Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program." It set off a media UFO frenzy that still continues. To show how little TTSA's people understand about what they are doing, the so-called "glowing auras" surrounding the objects represent nothing more than a processing artifact of the infrared image, but TTSa's "experts," as well as those who look up to them, don't know that and think it's mysterious.

Most people didn't notice that Leslie Kean, one of the authors of this piece, is a dedicated UFO promoter who has written a popular UFO book. She is also very gullible, at one point promoting a video of a fly buzzing around as if it were some great proof of high-performance UFOs. (And she still has not admitted that she was fooled by a fly.) Another author, Ralph Blumenthal, has also been a UFO believer for years.

Now the other shoe has dropped. On May 26, the New York Times carried another article by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean - the same three authors as the earlier piece - headlined "Wow, what is that?' Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects."
The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.

“These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years
One seriously wonders why, if unknown objects were supposedly seen "almost daily" for nearly a year, and hung around "all day," we don't have overwhelming video, photographic, and instrumental evidence of them, removing all doubt about their appearance and behavior? In reality, all we see are the same three blurry infrared videos promoted by Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy, over and over again. This makes no sense at all. Doesn't the Navy have any cameras?

The so-called "Tic Tac" UFO video, much hyped by "To The Stars," and now by the media.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times story spurred an avalanche of me-too stories in the Washington Post (which proclaimed "UFOs exist and everyone needs to adjust to that fact"), Fox News, and many other media outlets.

Researcher Curt Collins of the Blue Blurry Lines blog notes on Facebook's UFO Updates that
The NYT story is previewing and promoting material from TTSA's show "Unidentified," not making news of its own. The story is getting spread far and wide, but so far just other sites quoting from it, not verifying or reporting anything else.
Exactly - just the sort of story that lazy reporters love, because they don't need to do any investigation of their own. Collins notes that Blumenthal said in a recent interview,
We knew the History Channel had put this series together, and we watched that and give them credit in the piece, and saw what they said in the series and went after them (witnesses) because obviously we weren’t going to take it from the TV; we wanted to conduct our own interview...
Collins also notes that Blumenthal admits they are trying to maintain the illusion of being an independent effort from TTSA:
We really try to keep our distance from To The Stars because we think it helps our credibility to be separate...
But apparently, they are not. The New York Times' reporters are simply repeating Tom DeLonge's "spin," and other journalists in major publications are copying them. Skeptical blogger Jason Colavito explains how "New York Times' UFO Coverage Still Just a Front for To the Stars and History Channel."

People seem to forget that DeLonge describes TTSA as an “independent multi-media entertainment company.” Apparently it is becoming a very successful one indeed.

But underneath all the hype, there are still so many unanswered questions about TTSA's claims, the exact provenance of their videos, and so on. On April 29, reporter George Knapp wrote a story purporting to show that the Pentagon really did release the videos, based on a form provided by Luis Elizondo. But the indefatigable John Greenewald of the Black Vault has shown how that claim, when closely examined, falls apart.
we have no proof of any [official Pentagon] release, let alone what is being touted [the videos] is even the same evidence connected to this DD Form 1910. If we see a blatant disregard for the truth by Mr. Elizondo on display with this DD Form 1910, and we see the same disregard for the truth by To The Stars Academy as they have touted documents proving a public release – how can we believe everything or anything else from the same sources?
 If TTSA expects to be taken seriously by anyone other than credulous reporters of the New York Times and the Washington Post, they will have to do better than this.

As for the so-called Tic Tac video of 2004, the best-known animal in TTSA's menagerie, serious fault lines are starting to appear in the differing accounts of various persons involved. David Fravor, the pilot who was vectored to the supposed location of the Tic Tac UFO but didn't see anything in the air at that location. Looking down, he saw a disturbance in the water, which he presumed was caused by the object that presumably had just been airborna. Of course, it is a big assumption that the two must necessarily be the same.

Fravor spoke at the recent UFO Fest in McMinnville, Oregon (held annually to honor the famous Trent UFO Photos, taken just outside that town). Reporter George Knapp and documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell were also on the panel. Fravor  sharply criticized the accounts of certain other people who were involved and have been speaking about the incident. He seemed to be singling out the account of the radar operator, Kevin Day, as being non-factual. He dismissed claims of Air Force personnel coming on board the Nimitz and confiscating evidence as being untrue. Fravor also  referred to Dave Beaty's "Nimitz UFO Encounters" documentary as a "cartoon."  This prompted Knapp to say to Fravor, "I guess you're being diplomatic, but some of the stories and claims that have been made by people, who may have been on those ships, are just bullshit." When people began commenting about these remarkable disagreements, Corbell pulled the video off YouTube.

We have seen this happen before with major UFO cases. What starts out as a tiny acorn of an unexplained sighting or incident gradually becomes a mighty oak tree of misinformation. That process is obviously well underway with the Tic Tac UFO incident.


  1. Yes! I saw an ABC story yesterday much like the Tucker Carlson bit from before. And then another Carlson bit today much like his first congratulating himself for promoting this nonsense from the first NYT piece two years ago. Oh, the ufoolishness!

    He suggests keeping an "open mind" on the topic when if he knew anything about this ongoing AATIP/Bigelow/Reed/Delonge/Elizondo SCAM and transparent hoax he might have a clue and might actually do his job as a reporter and advocate of truth and rationality.

  2. Greenewald's conclusion: "...we have no proof of any release, let alone what is being touted is even the same evidence connected to this DD Form 1910. If we see a blatant disregard for the truth by Mr. Elizondo on display with this DD Form 1910, and we see the same disregard for the truth by To The Stars Academy as they have touted documents proving a public release – how can we believe everything or anything else from the same sources?"

    1. An important enough quote for me to move into the main text.

  3. > David Fravor, the pilot who was vectored to the supposed location of the Tic Tac UFO but didn't see it, spoke at the recent UFO Fest in McMinnville

    Minor correction, David Fravor (at least by his own account, and 2 of the other 3 pilots in planes flying with him at the time) saw the tic-tac UFO with their own eyes for a few minutes.

    1. I should have written that more clearly. He didn't see anything in the air, but he did see a disturbance in the water. I've updated the text.

    2. It is still not clear enough. As reported, Fravor actually saw the white Tic Tac object in the air above the sea level. He vectored his airplane towards it. Object "reacted" and started to fly in the circular fashion. Fravor chased it and at certain moment tried to intercept it cutting the circle in half. Tic Tac object quickly outmanoeuvre Fravor and left the area with the high speed. Witnesses: 2 pilots and 2 WSOs. Keeping the narration of the incident only with the water disturbance is a serious omission of the main counter-arguments.

  4. "with their own eyes " -- clarify, was it out the window in visible light, or was it on an instrument screen?

  5. The '5 observables' allegedly demonstrated by the bizarre events reported by Navy pilots are NOT ‘observations’, they are INTERPRETATIONS of what the raw obervations might mean. What IS ‘observable’ is that the author of the list knows less than zero about the proper function of a military intelligence officer or any investigator of unknown causes of eyewitness perceptions, which is to observe and record, NOT to interpret or explain. To jump to such interpretations preemptively is a notorious intellectual fallacy that REAL invesigators knowhave learned must be avoided because once formulated, an explanatory theory can subconsciously flavor the interpretation of new evidence, and even skew the direction of follow-on research, and through lines of questioning, even skew the memories of direct witnesses. As NTSB accident investigators know, pilots are among the MOST susceptible witnesses to memory editing, probably because of their entirely proper professional instinct to reach fast assessmsnts of unusual observations in terms of potential hazard to themselves. This is a very valuble bias in terms of flight safety, at the cost of dispassionate intellectual curiosity.

    So what was really observed?

    Anti-gravity lift. [objects] have been sighted overcoming the earth’s gravity with no visible means of propulsion.

    This would be ‘observable’ only through its effect on the motion of the object, or more precisely, on changes in its measured azimuth/elevation relative to Earth horizon [not to a viewscreen]. With objects of unknown size, any eyeball estimate of range is worthless.

    Sudden and instantaneous acceleration. The objects may accelerate or change direction so quickly that no human pilot could survive the g-forces

    Effective acceleration determination requires knowledge of a time history of the object’s angular rate, observer-to-object range rate, and accurate range value. There seems to be no description of reliable capture of any of these parameters, so ‘acceleration’ CANNOT be observed.

    Hypersonic velocities without signatures. If an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound, it typically leaves "signatures," like vapor trails and sonic booms

    Determination of raw velocity requires these same parameters, so without them the ‘velocity’ is not observable.

    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.

    ‘Observability’ can be observed qualitatively but needs more details about which sensors are involved, from human eyeball [under what attenuation/illumination conditions] to visual sensors [visible light, IR, etc] to ground or airborne skin-track radar, lidar, or other technology. Without time history of quantifiable measurments in an environment of potentially rapidly changing range and aspect angle, the ‘observation’ observability is a dubious characteristic.

    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.

    This is yet another INTERPRETATION of low-observable imagery, involving a target of unknown size and range.

    Some of these interpretations may well be validated by investigation of the actual raw observables, but beginning an investigation based on pre-existing conclusions [and then selecting the evidence that fits] is a recipe for confusion and frustration and dead-ended detours. It demonstrates the sad unsuitability of such confused methodology to attempting to make sense of these undeniably interesting reports.

  6. I like Jim Oberg's take on this, for his view is good scientific reasoning, not flights of fancy. I've seen many people ruin and confuse the UFO field for others, because they want to believe in UFOs as ETs, hence all the baloney they print. And just some of them are mentioned here: Elizondo, Tom De Longe, Leslie Kean, Blumenthal - it's sad really. And for serious investigators, their silly actions have muddied up the field for them. But as long as they get a buck for their written UFO nonsense, it will continue! BUT, who really has the power here? WE do, for we don't have to be dummies and buy their books and videos as they come out, instead, we can be smart, and not buy them. Once they see that their pure speculations is not providing them an income...they might go away, and leave the field for serious people!

  7. "Fravor spoke at the recent UFO Fest in McMinnville, Oregon... When people began commenting about these remarkable disagreements, Corbell pulled the video off YouTube."

    Corbell's version from Facebook:
    "About the interview with Cmdr. Fravor that George Knapp and I conducted. Please have patience for the release. You should let the McMenamins UFO Festival and me put the video out on our own timeline. The premature leak of the footage was an accident by the McMenamis editor who was exporting a TEST export in LOW-RES and accidentally had the settings to automatically publish to the McMenamins YouTube page."

  8. I finally got around to reading the NY times article. I guess it is a case of priming the pump for the TTSA show. Some points I think need to be considered:

    1)The Navy pilots never saw anything from what I can tell. All they have are radar contacts. These radar contacts did not appear until the new radar system was installed. Every time they closed to where they could supposedly see the targets, there was nothing there. Sound familiar (Think about all the other radar UFOs from the 1950s)? Either the targets were very small such they could not be seen by the pilots or the targets are something else. Maybe the new system is registering ice particles or some other atmospheric phenomenon. Without more data it is hard to say. I bet the developers of the radar are examining this since they probably have this data. It is too bad we won’t be privy to the communications regarding their analyses. I suspect the radar will be modified in the future if these are false returns or atmospheric in nature.
    2)None of these pilots claimed to have been involved in the “Gimbal” or “Go fast” videos. Correct me if I am wrong here.
    3)The one time anybody reported seeing something, it was reported second hand when a pilot had a near collision with an object that flew between him and his wingman. He described it as a transparent sphere with a cube in it. It did not sound large since the two planes were only 100 feet apart. In the case of a near collision, the best the pilot could have had was a brief glance at the object (maybe a second or two?). I don’t care what kind of pilot you are; this is little more than a blur and could have been anything airborne and not some form of exotic craft. I have to wonder if it weren’t some kind of balloon.

    The rest is just fluff. Kean et. al. pontificating about UFOs and the government’s cover-up while promoting the TTSA’s program. Is there anything I am missing here? A whole lot of noise but nothing really significant IMO.

    1. Your correct, Kean, Pope, Elizondo and, their close friends are always promoting TTSA, as if they are doing important things. BUT, what have they done so far? NOTHING that I can see and know. Of course, they are still begging for money from the common folks, instead of MIT, NASA, et. al. for their "research"?!


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