The “Tic Tac” UFO’s purpose, what was it? Why a former Navy pilot saw an object in 2004 that was “perfectly white, smooth,” and “far superior to any human craft” .


Evidence: retired US Navy fighter pilot David Fravor (pictured) once again reminded the world about his infamous encounter with a 'Tic Tac' shaped UFO 15 years ago, during a bombshell US Congress hearing

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UFOs have long captured the public’s imagination, but never more so than during yesterday’s US congress hearing into claims the American government is covering up its knowledge of alien craft.

On a day that sparked huge interest in the US and across the globe, the landmark panel heard from three key witnesses who shared their encounters with unexplained objects.

Among them was retired US Navy fighter pilot David Fravor, who once again reminded the world about his infamous encounter with a ‘Tic Tac’ shaped UFO 15 years ago.

‘I’d like to say that the tic tac object we engaged in 2004 was far superior to anything that we had at the time, have today or looking to develop in the next 10 years,’ he said.

So what exactly was the ‘Tic Tac’ UFO incident? And could the ‘perfectly white, smooth’ object with no windows that Fravor saw really have been an alien spaceship? MailOnline takes a look back at everything we know.

Evidence: retired US Navy fighter pilot David Fravor (pictured) once again reminded the world about his infamous encounter with a ‘Tic Tac’ shaped UFO 15 years ago, during a bombshell US Congress hearing

What actually happened?

Before we get to Fravor, it’s important to mention another former US Navy pilot first.

Chad Underwood was the man who actually shot footage of the ‘Tic Tac’ UFO in November 2004.

He broke his silence in 2019, detailing for the first time his bizarre experiences while flying over the Pacific.

At the time, Underwood had been taking part in Navy carrier group exercises just off the coast of Mexico.

For around two weeks, their missile cruiser USS Princeton had been tracking a mysterious aircraft on an advanced electronic radar.

Contact with the craft was so inexplicable that the system was even shut down and checked for bugs – but operators continued to track it.

On November 14, then Navy commander Fravor claimed he made visual contact with this object, which seemed to dive below the water, resurface, and speed out of sight when he tried to approach it.

Underwood then also saw the strange object for himself just after Fravor urged him to keep a look out.

The former pilot told New York Magazine: ‘So, we go out to where our designated training area is. We’re not necessarily looking for something, but the Princeton had a specific object that they wanted us to hunt, for lack of a better word. And all of a sudden, I got this blip on my radar.

What exactly was the 'Tic Tac' UFO incident? In 2004, Navy pilot Chad Underwood shot footage of a strange flying object in the sky, which was also seen by Navy commander David Fravor

What exactly was the ‘Tic Tac’ UFO incident? In 2004, Navy pilot Chad Underwood shot footage of a strange flying object in the sky, which was also seen by Navy commander David Fravor

Underwood is the one who coined the description 'Tic Tac' for the 'perfectly white' wingless oblong that was captured from his cockpit's in-flight video (pictured)

Underwood is the one who coined the description ‘Tic Tac’ for the ‘perfectly white’ wingless oblong that was captured from his cockpit’s in-flight video (pictured)

The 2004 'Tic Tac' sighting is once again at the centre of debate as three military whistleblowers spoke at Congress to uncover 'the biggest cover-up in history'. Pictured left to right: Ryan Graves, a former pilot, Air Force and intelligence agency veteran David Grusch and Navy veteran fighter pilot Commander David Fravor

The 2004 ‘Tic Tac’ sighting is once again at the centre of debate as three military whistleblowers spoke at Congress to uncover ‘the biggest cover-up in history’. Pictured left to right: Ryan Graves, a former pilot, Air Force and intelligence agency veteran David Grusch and Navy veteran fighter pilot Commander David Fravor

‘The thing that stood out to me the most was how erratic it was behaving. And what I mean by “erratic” is that its changes in altitude, air speed, and aspect were just unlike things that I?ve ever encountered before flying against other air targets,’ Underwood told the magazine.

‘Because, aircraft, whether they?re manned or unmanned, still have to obey the laws of physics. They have to have some source of lift, some source of propulsion. The Tic Tac was not doing that. It was going from like 50,000 feet to, you know, a hundred feet in like seconds, which is not possible.’

Underwood is the one who first coined the description ‘Tic Tac’ for the white wingless oblong that was captured from his cockpit’s in-flight video.

While he dismissed the idea that it was aircraft, a bird or even a weather balloon, he is still unsure whether the object was human or non-human.

The Tic Tac incident caused a sensation in 2017 when the Pentagon confirmed that the footage was actually authentic.

It then resurfaced once again on Wednesday when Fravor joined two other military whistleblowers to speak at a US Congress hearing.

He assured officials that he was not a ‘UFO fanatic’ and said that the Tic Tac was ‘far superior to anything that we had at the time’.

‘If we, in fact, have programs that possess this technology, it needs to have oversight from those people that the citizens of this country elected in office to represent what is best for the United States and best for the citizens,’ he added.

Fravor described the Tic Tac object as being ‘perfectly white, smooth and had no windows,’ with ‘two little objects that came out of the bottom’.

‘I’m not like a UFO fanatic ? that’s not me. But I will tell you that what we saw with four sets of eyes over five minutes, still, there’s nothing we have nothing close to it,’ he said.

What else could it have been?

One theory is that it might well have been a radar reflector balloon used to gauge the abilities of enemy air defences.

Launched by a submarine, these specially-designed airborne devices actually date back to 1955, during the days of the Cold War.

It is unclear if such balloons are still used today, but given the covert nature of submarines it’s not exactly something that defence chiefs would be shouting from the rooftops about.

One theory is that it might well have been a radar reflector balloon used to gauge the abilities of enemy air defences (depicted)

One theory is that it might well have been a radar reflector balloon used to gauge the abilities of enemy air defences (depicted)

The War Zone, an online magazine oriented towards national security and geopolitical coverage and analysis, first came up with the theory.

It said that being able to deploy balloons with radar reflectors while submerged would be a ‘highly effective way’ of getting a feel for an enemy’s air defences.

‘By sneaking in or near enemy territory, releasing these devices under the right weather conditions, and raising their low-observable electronic intelligence gathering masts, they could theoretically improve the quality of the intelligence gathered remarkably,’ the magazine added.

It concluded that the Tic Tac UFO witnessed by the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group during its training exercise in 2004 could therefore have been ‘a bunch of radar reflector and/or electronic warfare payload-carrying balloons’.

What could come of the congress hearing?

Fravor’s testimony comes as the US Senate is considering a UFO Disclosure Bill which seeks to make make all information relating to ‘unidentified anomalous phenomena’ (UAPs) public.

If passed, records will be publicly disclosed no later than 25 years after they are created unless the president believes their release would threaten national security.

WHO WERE THE OTHER WHISTLEBLOWERS AT CONGRESS YESTERDAY?

David Grusch

Grusch is a former high-ranking intelligence official – is one of three military whistleblowers who testified under oath that they had firsthand encounters or knowledge about secret government programs involving technology that is ‘non-human.’

He claimed that the US has been in possession of UFOs since ‘the 1930s’ and has been secretly back-engineering them and carrying out a public disinformation campaign to prevent the details from leaking publicly.

At one point during the first-of-its-kind hearing, Representative Tim Burchett (R-Tenn) asked Grusch: ‘Personally, have you heard anyone [has] been murdered?’ Grausch said: ‘I have to be careful answering that question. I directed people with that knowledge to the appropriate authorities.’

Ryan Graves

Graves is an esteemed former pilot who told the committee that he and more than 30 aircrew members and veterans have experienced UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomena, along with members of Congress who have confided in him.