UFO dogfights, near misses and disabled weapons – inside France's UAP probe as Pentagon report doesn't rule out aliens
UFO dogfights, near misses and fighter pilots reporting disabled weapons – these are just a few of the incidents recorded by French investigators probing mysterious aerials encounters.
Pentagon officials last week released their highly anticipated dossier on UFOs – revealing more than 100 unexplained encounters with the military and not ruling out a possible alien origin.
However, the US are not the first nation to take a serious interest in UFOs – with France's less shadowy counterpart to the Pentagon's task force quietly continuing its own probe under the radar.
It has access to data such as military flight paths, is in direct contact with the French air force and air traffic control, and was founded in 1977 – claiming it has analyzed 8,000 encounters over the last 40 years.
For them around 4% of these encounters, more than 300, remains truly unexplained after investigation, and it notes in its mission statement that it also cannot rule out aliens.
"An absence of proof cannot be proof of absence," the team state on their official website, and also make clear they are a "public service" rather than a security or defence organisation.
The team also made all of its files open to the public in 2007, meaning anyone can spool through their reports of the strange encounters.
Known as GEIPAN, which stands for Groupe d’Études et d’Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés (Study and information group on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), and based in Toulouse – the unit reports directly to France's Space Agency (CNES).
The organisation also sticks with the classification of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), rather than UFO – the more popular term often being adopted to shrug off the stigma around the topic.
And one study compiled by one of GEIPAN's experts, former police chief Dominique Weinstein, alongside US-based non profit National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP) back in March 2012 analysed some 600 encounters from across the world between pilots and UFOs.
The paper concentrates on 290 of these incidents when the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) had an impact on flight safety.
Shockingly the most common event with an impact on aviation safety was "UAP approached aircraft on a collision course."
In 81 cases pilots reported alleged electromagnetic effects on one or more aircraft systems.
Everything from radios to weaponry was impacted, with the autopilot system failing to operate normally in three incidents.
And, even more disturbing, it was found that in four cases military aircraft weapons systems were allegedly momentarily ineffective when targeted toward the UFO.
Finally in 31 cases pilots had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a UFO, injuring several passengers in five cases.
The 25-page report concluded: "This analysis confirms the potential impact on aviation safety and the need for a serious study of these phenomena by governmental aviation departments and the International Civil Aviation Organisation of the United Nations.
"Pilots must be informed of the flight characteristics of these phenomena and motivated to report them on a detailed basis.
"Only a systematic collection of detailed testimonies from pilots and crews will enhance the scientific research on these phenomena and contribute to aviation safety."
Pilots claimed that the “UAP circles aircraft and/or moves close to aircraft” during 24 encounters.
In Argentina in 1995, a pilot of a B-727 saw a UFO the size of an airliner "bearing down on him" and then halt 300ft in front of his aircraft as he came in to land.
He steered to avoid the saucer which then made a strange turn and flew parallel to the B-727 as he made his final approach.
Suddenly all the lights went out on the runway and airport and he had to climb to 9,000ft still accompanied by the object.
The pilot asked if there were any other air traffic in the area and was told there was only a Military Piper aircraft 1,800ft above the B-727.
When the lights came back on the ground, the pilot tried to land again and the UFO shot off an incredible speed.
During the blackout instruments in the control tower were affected.
In 117 cases (20%), pilots reported sightings of two or more UAP. In 12 cases, groups of more than 10 UAP were observed at the same time.
A pilot recorded the lowest estimated altitude as 500 feet, while it notes the highest reporting sighting of a UAP was 246,000 feet – allegedly made by X-15 test pilot Major Joe Walker in the 1960s.
The UAP sightings recorded by military pilots are the most common among the 600 sightings: 251 instances, while commercial pilots reported 233 instances, while private pilots recorded 105 cases.
There were two or more eyewitnesses in 415 incidents. The pilot or co-pilot was the lone witness in 185 incidents.
The phenomena approached the aeroplane on a collision path in 78 occasions, and there was a near-collision with the aircraft in six more.
The pilot was required to take evasive action in 31 incidents to avoid colliding with the UAP, including three cases (all commercial aircraft) in which passengers were injured during the near-miss.
In another terrifying encounter three crew members of a B747–300 saw an extremely rapid white rocket-like object overflowing their plane between 200 and 400 feet above in the opposite direction.
The UFO, which they described as cylindrical and lacking wings, flew just above their heads and was close enough that the flight officer lowered his head, fearing it might strike them.
There was no apparent smoke or flames coming from the item, while air traffic control observed no radar echo in the aircrafts opposite direction.
The National Transportation Safety Board could not reach a conclusion on the identity of the object and the matter is considered closed.
What is going on with UFOs in the US?
UFOS have stepped from fringe conspiracy theories to a genuine national security debate in the US.
Pentagon officials last year took the unprecedented step to confirm a trio of remarkable videos which showed US encounters with UFOs.
The debate is still open as to what the phenomena caught on film were – but it made clear to everyone, something is in the skies.
Perhaps the most striking was a video known as the “Tic Tac” – which showed an unidentified object being pursued by fighter planes.
The US also confirmed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) – a Pentagon programme set up to study UFOs before being disbanded in 2017.
However, it was replaced by the UAP Task Force in June 2020 after a vote by the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
Defence chiefs have since confirmed a number of leaked UFO videos and photos which were submitted to the Task Force for investigation.
Why this sudden rush for transparency?
No outside the secretive wings of the US government currently knows for sure.
And as a tacked on addendum to a 5,500 page Covid relief bill passed in December, the the Director of National Intelligence’s office was ordered to compile a report on UFOs within 180 days.
The UAP report dropped as expected on June 25, and while not giving much away – it did not rule anything out either as much of it remains classified.
The US appear to have acknowledged that UFOs – whatever they are – are real and are a potential threat to national security as they appear to be able to enter restricted airspace with total impunity.
Is it aliens? Officially the US position is simply, "we don't know yet" as further disclosure is expected in the coming months and years.
The Pentagon's long-awaited report was released late Friday afternoon after being commissioned by the US Congress on a 180 day deadline back in December.
Released on the website of the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, the dossier examined 144 reports of encounters with what the government deemed "unidentified aerial phenomenon."
The unclassified nine page report did not rule out aliens and did not rule out a technological jump by an adversarial nation such as Russia or China.
It did however seem to confirm there is something in the sky that cannot be explained, and more attention must be paid to figure out what is going on.
US lawmakers commissioned the report after a stunning string of leaked videos which showed military encounters with objects that appeared to defy all understanding of how aircraft move.
It marks a stunning turnaround after the government dismissed UFOs at the conclusion of Project Blue Book in the 1960s.
And a classified version was briefed to congress, with former Pentagon insider Luis Elizondo confirmed much of the report is likely still hidden – and rumours of other stunning photos and videos.
“The government has formally and officially come out and informed Congress that these things are – A, they’re real – and two, that they’re not ours and that they seem to be performing, at least some of them … in remarkable ways,” Elizondo told Fox News.
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