Former Navy pilot told Congress that UAP sightings are not rare but routine. Pic credit: NewsNation/YouTube
Ryan Graves, one of three witnesses who testified before Congress on Wednesday (July 26), said UAP (UFO) sightings were not rare or isolated but routine.
According to Graves, most reports came from military and commercial airline pilots.
Who is Ryan Graves?
Graves is the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace and the host of the Merged Podcast. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a former Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet pilot and a T-45C Goshawk instructor pilot.
In 2012, he served with the Red Rippers (Strike Fighter Squadron 11/VFA-11) aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) during Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2015, his squadron served on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
He testified before Congress alongside two other witnesses, former intelligence officer David Grusch and former Navy pilot David Fravor, who commanded the Black Aces squadron (Strike Fighter Squadron 41/VFA-41).
[You may learn more about Ryan Graves here.]
UAPs are grossly underreported, but sightings are routine
Graves encountered UAPs firsthand and wanted to voice the concern of commercial and military pilots who shared their experiences with his organization.
Graves said UAPs regularly intruded into U.S. airspace but were grossly underreported. However, incidents were not rare or isolated but routine.
He noted that military and commercial pilots were trained observers whose lives and safety depended on their ability to identify objects they encountered while flying.
However, frequent encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) complicated their work.
The stigma attached to UAPs is real
Graves pointed out the stigma attached to reporting UAPs was real and challenged national security. The situation where pilots feared the repercussions of reporting sightings compromised the ability to collect information about them.
The situation was further compounded by the government questioning the credibility of eyewitnesses.
He added that the authorities were more aware of UFOs than they admitted but used excessive classification to hide crucial information.
The official secrecy impeded understanding of UAP phenomena and fueled speculation, rumors, conspiracy theories, and mistrust.
A dark gray or black cube inside a sphere
In 2014, he served as a F/A-18 pilot with the Red Rippers Squadron (Strike Fighter Squadron 11/VFA-11) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia Beach.
Their radar systems began detecting multiple UAPs operating in their air space. At first, they thought they were radar errors, but they soon began correlating the radar tracks with other onboard sensors, including infrared systems.
During a training mission 10 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, two pilots flying F/A-18 Hornets sighted a UAP. The object was a dark grey or black cube inside a clear sphere.
It came within 15 feet of the fighter jets. They estimated it to be about 5-15 feet in diameter.
The mission commander called off the flight and returned to base. They reported the sighting, but there was no official acknowledgment or mechanism for further reporting.
The encounters became so frequent that they became part of the routine of pre-flight briefs.
Graves started the Americans for Safe Aerospace
Graves started Americans for Safe Aerospace to address the challenges of UAP encounters and reporting.
He said more than 130 witnesses have come forward, and more than 5,000 Americans have joined them to fight for transparency and safe aerospace.
The majority of witnesses were veteran pilots who worked with major commercial airlines. Many have decades of flying experience.
He called for an end to the stigma associated with reporting UAPs because it was long overdue for Americans to know what was happening in their skies.