The Quick Report

The 6 Most Credible UFO Reports in U.S. History

One of the most difficult obstacles in discussing and researching UFOs has been what’s called the “giggle factor.” Since the first alleged sightings in the late 1940s, no one wants to admit to taking the matter seriously for fear of being branded a little wacky.

That stigma has caused aviators and astronauts over the years to withhold speaking about what they have seen for fear of being ridiculed. But now, the government has acknowledged that something is going on in the skies, and they need to set up a system for reporting encounters in sightings without the worry of one’s reputation or career being damaged.

Over the years, the US military has had encounters with what were previously called UFOs, and are now referred to as unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP).

One reason the military is taking these sightings seriously is that they have captured credible data over multiple devices simultaneously, proving it’s not simply the figment of someone’s imagination. And while no one has a definitive answer for precisely what they are observing – they admit something is out there that they can’t yet explain. In terms of national security, the US government realizes they can’t allow craft in US airspace that cannot be explained.

Thanks to more than one whistleblower in recent years, evidence has leaked to the public and given us a tiny glimpse of what the government knows, including videos and recordings of the observations and reactions of US military personnel.

Historic government hearing reveals US may have “nonhuman” biological material

In an unprecedented moment, on July 26, 2023, three former military officials spoke at a hearing on UFOs before a House Oversight subcommittee.

Retired major David Grusch, a former U.S. intelligence official who served as a representative on two Pentagon task forces investigating UAPs – turned whistleblower – testified that he learned of “a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program” during the course of his examination of classified programs in which he conducted interviews with over 40 witnesses during four years.

In perhaps the most startling revelation, Grusch made, he testified before Congress that the government possess “nonhuman” biological matter, which he called “biologics,” that had been recovered from some downed, apparently alien, craft.


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The two other men who testified before Congress were former Navy pilot Ryan Graves, who had an incident off the coast of Virginia Beach in 2014 while flying an F-18. He spotted an aircraft unlike any he had ever seen that looked like a “dark gray or black cube inside of a clear sphere.” He says the craft could remain stationary despite hurricane-force winds. Graves previously told 60 Minutes that UAP sightings are routine, and “in our airspace, but they are grossly underreported.”

David Graves during UFO testimony

Also testifying was David Fravor, a retired navy commander, who was the commanding officer when the incident occurred with the now-famous “Tic Tac” UFO sighting and video that was recorded off the coast of California in 2004.

Agencies formed by the US government to investigate UFOs/UAPs

The US government after more or less abandoning investigating UFOs (as far as we know) suddenly got interested again over a half-decade later in the late 2000s.

The first US government program studying unidentified flying objects operated under the codename “Project Blue Book.” It was initiated by the U.S. Air Force and ran from March 1952 until December 1969, and was headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. 

Two other programs were also in operation, Project Sign established in 1947, and Project Grudge in 1948.

In 2007, a secret project funded by the Department of Defense and formed by the U.S. Navy to investigate UFOs/UAP sightings was called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). It was disbanded in 2012. There is a significant controversy that AATIP was never the actual name of this project. But we won’t go down that rabbit hole right now.

In 2012, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) was launched by the U.S. Navy to pick up where AATIP left off, and oversight was later transferred to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

In 2021, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) was formed by the ODNI and tasked with coordinating all of the government’s responses to UAP sightings and incidences.

6 UFO/UAP encounters the government admits but can’t explain

In this section, we’ll explore seven of the most credible UFO (now officially referred to as UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) reports in U.S. history. These encounters have not only captured public fascination but have also led to recent official investigations and hearings by U.S. lawmakers.

Case #1. The Nimitz Encounter (2004)

The infamous Nimitz Encounter, involving the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, remains one of the most credible UAP incidents. The event was corroborated by multiple pilots, radar operators, and the advanced tracking systems of the Nimitz group. A declassified video released by the Pentagon shows an object exhibiting extraordinary speed and maneuverability, qualities that defy our current understanding of physics.

Still shot of Nimitz UFO encounter

Case #2. The Gimbal Encounter (2015)

Similar to the Nimitz case, the Gimbal encounter involves a U.S. Navy video of a UAP captured by an advanced infrared camera on a jet fighter. The object, which appears to rotate while in flight, was part of a series of sightings over the East Coast over several months. The credibility of this sighting is underpinned by the video evidence and the eyewitness account of experienced Navy pilots.

Still shot of Gimbal UFO encounter

Case #3. The Go Fast Encounter (2015)

The third Navy video, known as the Go Fast Encounter, shows a fast-moving object skimming the ocean’s surface. Released along with the Gimbal video, these sightings, seen by Navy pilots with years of flight experience, add to the credibility of the UAP phenomenon.

Still shot of the GOFAST UFO encounter

Case #4. The O’Hare International Airport Sighting (2006)

A saucer-shaped UAP was reported by multiple witnesses, including airport employees and pilots, hovering over O’Hare International Airport in 2006. The object shot upwards and punched a hole through the clouds, leaving many bewildered. Despite the FAA’s dismissal of the incident as a “weather phenomenon,” the multiple eyewitnesses make it a credible sighting.

Unfortunately, there is no confirmed footage of this encounter.

Case #5. Phoenix Lights (1997)

One of the most famous mass UFO sightings occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997. Thousands of residents, including the state’s governor, witnessed strange lights forming a V-shape in the sky. The Air Force’s explanation of flares does not sit well with many witnesses, maintaining the event’s credibility.

Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, who treated initially treating the incident as a laughing matter by trotting out an aide dressed as an alien during a press conference, later said he regrets ridiculing the incident. At the time, he explained, he did not want people to panic. He now admits to personally seeing a large triangular “craft of unknown origin.” That’s something he did not originally say publicly. Symington says the craft was “bigger than anything that I’ve ever seen,” describing it as “enormous.”

Image from the Phoenix Lights incident

Case #6. The Washington D.C. Sightings (1952)

In 1952, a series of sightings over Washington D.C. made national headlines. The objects were seen by multiple eyewitnesses and picked up on radar at three separate airports. The sightings led to a press conference by the Air Force, which attributed the sightings to temperature inversions. However, many remain unconvinced by this explanation.

Due to the time period, no footage exists of this encounter.

Something’s out there… But what?

These compelling and credible reports made in recent years have led to a significant shift in U.S. policy. 

On May 17, 2022, the House Intelligence subcommittee held the first Congressional hearings on UFOs in half a century, where Pentagon officials testified about efforts by the Department of Defense to investigate, analyze and organize reports of UAPs.

Also notably, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force was established by the Department of Defense in 2020, tasked with investigating these encounters. 

Furthermore, lawmakers have been holding hearings to discuss these incidents and the potential security threats they pose.

The conclusion? The truth is out there, folks if we want to find it. While these UAPs remain unidentified, they are undoubtedly real, as testified by credible witnesses and supported by video evidence. They challenge our understanding of physics and provoke questions about our place in the universe. As investigations by established U.S. agencies continue, we can only wait, watch, and wonder what we might discover next.

Will it be a technological leap, a security threat, or even proof of extraterrestrial life? Or is the government playing a mind game to fool our adversaries, and thus, the American public as a result? Only time will tell. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the skies!