LAS VEGAS - Science Writer Arthur C. Clarke once said that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." According to the Pentagon, something magical has been flying around the Las Vegas skies for a long time, now.
A secret study of Unidentified Flying Objects was made public last year. Much of the analysis was done in southern Nevada, and a main purpose of the study was to figure out how UFOs work.
The I-Team interviewed the man who ran the program at the Pentagon to ask about the physics of flying saucers.
"Look at that thing," one Navy pilot said.
You can tell from the voices of the navy pilots that the encounter with the so-called Gimbal UFO was hardly ordinary. It happened back in 2015, and it wasn't in the sky alone.
"There's a whole fleet of them," the pilot said. "Look at the ASA. My gosh, they are going against the wind. The wind is 120 knots."
The pilots wondered if it might be a drone, but an advanced sensor system showed the unknown object had no detectable propulsion system, seemed oblivious to the powerful winds at that altitude, and slowed to a near stop before rotating.
"Like I said before if this was a court of law, we are beyond reasonable doubt," said Luis Elizondo, former Pentagon Intelligence Officer.
Until last October, Elizondo was the point man in the Pentagon's secret study of unknown aerial objects. AATIP was the acronym for the study authorized by senators including former United States Senator from Nevada, Harry Reid, with the analysis conducted by a civilian contractor, Bigelow Aerospace of Nevada. The primary goal of the study, Elizondo said, wasn't to guess where these things originated but rather, how they worked.
"I think we've come very close to understanding the physics of how it works, and that's very exciting," Elizondo said. "For the first time, we have a compelling picture that what we are seeing is explained in our current understanding of physics, advanced physics, and quantum mechanics.
Elizondo left the Pentagon, in large part, because he felt the issue wasn't getting the attention it deserved. The military is still collecting and studying UFO data, according to Elizondo. The analysis by Bigelow's team ended in 2012.
The now, famous Tic Tac UFO case from 2004 is an example of how things worked. The case sat in a file at the Pentagon until it was resurrected during the study. An abbreviated video clip was released last year.
After seeing weird radar returns for days, advanced warplanes attached to the U.S.S. Nimitz Battle Group off the coast of San Diego went to take a close look. F-18 pilot Dave Fravor, the commander of the Elite Black Aces, wrote in an initial report that the pilots detected a huge object, the size of a 747 just under the surface of the ocean. A 40-foot "Tic Tac" shaped object hovered above it. Fravor flew around then closed in on the object, which turned to face his plane, then displayed its full capabilities.
"It takes off like nothing I've ever seen. Poof, it's gone," Fravor said.
Fravor said he believes the Tic Tac is not of this world, but he also said he sure would like to fly one. Elizondo says there have been multiple other Tic Tac encounters with the U.S. military both before and since. Scientists now think a single technology explains the amazing things these aircrafts can do.
"We do believe all these observables we've been seeing, sudden and extreme acceleration, hypersonic velocities, low observability, trans medium travel, and last but not least, positive lift, anti-gravity -- is really the manifestation of a single technology, Elizondo said. "So it's not five exotic technologies we're trying to figure out, it's one. and we think we know that one too."
One of the scientists who helped figure it out is a physicist named Dr. Hal Puthoff. He wrote the proposal that helped Bigelow land the contract to study UFOs, and in a recent radio interview, he said he commissioned 38 scientific papers during the study to explore exotic propulsion ideas, including what he calls space-time metric engineering. In essence, the idea that the Gimbal and Tic Tac craft can create their own space-time bubbles.
"We believe it has to do with a high amount of energy and the ability to warp space-time, not by a lot, but by a little," said Elizondo.
Elizondo first went public back in October, when he was on a stage with rock star Tom Delonge, who formed something called "To the Stars Academy. Dr. Hal put off is part of the team, along with Steve Justice, the former top engineer at Lockheed's skunkworks, who says he wants to build something that can do what the Gimbal can do.
For Elizondo, the question is no longer an 'if' question, it's a 'when' question.
Luis Elizondo confirmed that special materials would likely be needed to manipulate space-time. The I-Team will have more on that in a future report.
To hear an extra excerpt from the interview about how space-time distortion works go here.
Here's also a link to a full interview with the Navy pilot who encountered the Tic Tac.