In November 2004, Navy Senior Chief Kevin Day, an operations specialist aboard the USS Princeton, became a key witness to one of the most notable UFO events. Now, in advance of the early September 2019 UFO Congress in Phoenix, Day says he will set off with a crew of scientists and UFO hunters to seek out the paranormal once again.
The initial encounter occurred November 10, 2004, to November 16, 2004, when Day was part of the USS Nimitz Strike Group on the California coast.
During training exercises, Day noticed abnormalities on the radar display.
“The first time I saw them, there were six of them I believe, and they were in a tight group formation right off of Catalina Island,” Day says.
Day marked their altitude at about 28,000 feet and their speed at around 100 knots, approximately 116 miles per hour, which is “really, really slow for that altitude,” Day says.
“It was almost like watching snowflakes fall on a really calm winter day. They stayed at relatively the same spacing from one another, they were going from north to south on my display, from top to bottom, really slow.”
Although Day attempted unsuccessfully to identify the objects, he did not consider them a threat as the objects mostly maintained their snow-like behavior.
“I wasn’t really worried about them until the morning of the 14th,” Day says. “We were going to do a big huge air defense exercise, the air wing had just arrived on the carrier, and we were ready to go out there and play, but it was in the same piece of sky. At that point, I became concerned because I knew that at the very least these things were a safety of flight concern.”
Day consulted with the captain, suggesting someone investigate the strange objects that were unidentified. The captain agreed.
“So, I found the closest (pilot), Cmdr. (David) Fravor happened to be up, we just happened to take his flight, we vectored him in that direction and that intercept changed the course of human history, it appears,” Day says.
Fravor approached the oblong, pill-shaped object. On Day’s radar display, a two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional space, Fravor approached the merge plot, a point at which two objects occupying different space look like they are in the same position on the radar display.
“As soon as he was ‘merged’ with that contact, that object fell out of the sky from 28,000 feet down to the surface of the ocean in less than one second,” Day says. “No sonic booms.”
According to Day’s instruments, the object fell in exactly .78 seconds, which means the object had to be moving at about 24,000 miles per hour. According to NASA, the current air speed record for a manned flight is 7,000 miles per hour, a mere 32% of the speed of this unidentified craft.
Fravor pursued the object to the surface of the water, at which point the object went back up to 28,000 feet and continued on its southward course at 100 knots.
More interceptors were sent up to investigate the other objects.
“They started going that direction and these things reacted to them just by falling out of the sky,” Day says. “At one point, it was actually raining UFOs.”
Despite the strange behavior of the objects, there still did not seem to be any hint of hostility.
“The feeling at combat was one of profound bewilderment,” Day says. “We didn’t know what the hell these things were. If they had been hostile, there is absolutely nothing we could’ve done to protect ourselves from these things.”
Fortunately, the objects simply continued south at their patient pace.
Recently, the Navy and the Air Force have created a formalized process for reporting encounters with UFOs, now commonly referred to as UAPs (unexplained aerial phenomena) to destigmatize such reports, according to a report from Politico.
“I am so damn proud of my Navy right now I could hug it,” Day says. “To stand up and say to the world, ‘We confirmed the existence of UAPs and we’re going to change our policy’ that’s huge. That’s never happened before.”
Official reports from the Navy and the Air Force do not confirm or deny the existence of UAPs or UFOs but emphasize that enough sightings and encounters from credible personnel have occurred to merit an official reporting procedure and subsequent investigations.
“I wouldn’t call it disclosure. I would call it confirmation though,” Day says.
At the time of the Nimitz encounter, however, the formal guidelines did not exist. Despite this, Day intended to write an after-action message about the encounter. When Day went to review the records from the previous day, all the data was gone. He never wrote the after-action message.
“I don’t think anything nefarious happened,” Day says. “I don’t think this was a planned experiment on top of our exercise. First of all, that’s illegal, you can’t do that because people could get hurt. It’s just not the way we do stuff in the Navy. If I could summarize Navy exercises in a single word it would be ‘safety.’”
Day speculates the objects appeared on his display because of a top-secret upgrade to their cooperative engagement capabilities.
“I think big Navy was just as surprised as I was, that we could suddenly track and see UFOs,” he says.
“That’s my speculation on it. I could be wrong, I understand that. I don’t know what else to think, that makes the most sense to me,” he says.
In recent years, as exemplified by the updated Navy and Air Force guidelines, the attitude toward these encounters has shifted as more light is shed on the subject.
In 2017, the New York Times released an article detailing The Pentagon’s clandestine Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program run by intelligence official Luis Elizondo. According to the article, the program was run from 2007 to 2012, although Elizondo claims the only thing that ended in 2012 was the program’s official funding.
The only remaining evidence from the USS Nimitz encounter was also released in 2017 and it shows infrared footage of what appears to be a large, oblong, floating object in the sky.
“I think there’s been a paradigm shift just in the last few months,” Day says. “People are openly talking about it.”
Day also credits the type of alien and UFO programs that appear on the History Channel with the normalization of UFO and UAP discussion.
On September 7, Day will speak at the UFO Congress in Phoenix, a gathering of those with an interest or experience with UFOs. He will partake in a question-and-answer segment and make a special announcement.
“Long story short, we’re going back out there,” Day says. “We’re going to rent a research vessel and we’re going to anchor off San Clemente Island in November of 2020. We expect to see a UAP go by.”
Day has teamed up with the Silicon Valley UFO Hunters and assembled an eclectic crew of quantum physicists, NASA scientists, physics professors and a trained astronaut. He has even invited Elizondo to join them on the excursion.
“These are all real sober people,” Day says. “We all know we could be wrong.”
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 340 N. Third Street, Phoenix, ufocongress.com, 8 a.m. Thursday, September 4, to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 8, various ticket packages available.