The New York Times reports that in 2014 and 2015, Navy pilots flying off the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt reported frequent encounters with UFOs and captured video of the sightings. I'm not saying they're extraterrestrials... Really, I'm not. But that's some weird shit. Video below. Apparently it's these encounters that spurred the US Navy to issue new guidelines for its personnel to report "unexplained aerial phenomena" (UAPs). From the New York Times:
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The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.
“These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect...."
The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”
On November 16, 2017, the crew of a Navy EA-18G Growler jet delighted sixth graders, launched a meme, and pissed off prudes everywhere by drawing a penis in the sky with their engine exhaust over the state of Washington. Their prank caused quite a stir in the Navy, even leading to an "official information dispatch" to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. It's still unknown how much trouble the pilots got themselves into but the Navy Times has just received a copy of the full report thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request. The cockpit transcripts are fantastic. From the Navy Times:
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“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the (pilot's cockpit partner, an electronic warfare office [EWO]) advised.
“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot boasted. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other....”
“Balls are going to be a little lopsided,” the pilot advised.
“Balls are complete,” he reported moments later. “I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft.”
“Which way is the shaft going?” the EWO asked.
“The shaft will go to the left,” the pilot answered.
“It’s gonna be a wide shaft,” the EWO noted.
“I don’t wanna make it just like 3 balls,” the pilot said.
“Let’s do it,” the EWO said. “Oh, the head of that penis is going to be thick.”
Good news everybody! If you're in the Navy or Marines, it's now illegal to throw you in the brig and feed you nothing but bread and water as a punishment.
Yes, The American military is still into this sort of bullshit.
From Task & Purpose:
As Navy Times’ Geoff Ziezulewicz reports, the Obama-era Military Justice Act of 2016 and subsequent Trump administration amendment in March 2018 will outlaw the archaic punishment after Jan. 1, 2019.
The military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice previously allowed Navy commanders to confine personnel in the grade of E-3 and below who were attached or embarked upon a vessel to receive only bread and water for up to three consecutive days.
“Rations furnished a person undergoing such confinement shall consist solely of bread and water. The rations will be served three times daily at the normal time of meals, and the amount of bread and water shall not be restricted,” the order reads.
In order to offset the lack of nutrients, personnel that were subjected to the all-you-can-eat penal buffet (get your minds out of the gutter) were, as part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice's deal, to be excluded from any sort of duties or physical exercise. So that's nice.
From what I understand, the punishment was a rare one--but not that rare. According to The Navy Times, the Commanding Officer of the USS Shiloh submitted the cruiser's sailors to it so often that the Shiloh's crew, the base it sailed out of, and even taxi drivers plying their trade in and around the base knew the ship as the "USS Bread & Water." Read the rest
Founded after the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command and the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office were folded into a single agency, the Defense P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Agency (D.P.A.A.) is an incredibly important part of the United States military. They're responsible for the locating and identification of the remains of soldiers who were deemed to be Missing in Action or who died as prisoners of war.
Sometimes, the task of identifying and repatriating remains can be conducted with immediacy. In other cases, the realities of war--that a body can be torn asunder, rendering it near unidentifiable--or discovering the remains of skeletal remains of a soldier decades after they died, can slow this process down. In such cases, forensic experts are brought in to assist in identifying the dead.
This past August, the North Korean government allowed the U.S. military to repatriate 55 coffins full of the mixed skeletal remains of American soldiers who died in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. That nothing's left of these soldiers but bones would make identifying them difficult enough. When the bones are mixed in with one another? That's a puzzle that few people are qualified to deal with. Dr. Paul Emanovsky is one of those few. He's a forensic anthropologist that's worked to bring closure to the lives of the loved ones of missing military personnel since 2002. If you're interested in a fascinating, morbid read, the New York Times recently published an interview with Dr. Emanovsky, where he talks about his work and the recovery projects that the D.P.A.A. Read the rest
A spokesman from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Ault Field, WA, said of the unnamed crew behind the giant sky-dong, "we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable." Read the rest
One of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels surprises the hell out of some people yesterday during the Chicago Air and Water Show.
On a Saturday, a 3.7 magnitude "earthquake" was detected about 168 miles off Florida's Daytona Beach Shores. It now appears that the quake was actually a "shock trial," an explosive test conducted by the US Navy to test the fortitude of the USS Jackson, a new combat ship. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:
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Asked about the reported earthquake on Monday, Dale Eng, a public information officer for the Navy’s Sea Systems Command in Washington, said the Navy is working on a statement it expects to release this week.
Seismographs as far away as Minnesota, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as along the coast of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, registered the event on Saturday, said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist and shift supervisor at the Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in California.
(After being shown the above photo of a shock trial conducted last month) Presgrave said, "That's a smoking gun, isn't it?"
Presgrave planned to contact the Navy to learn more about the charges used in the shock trials as part of the agency's ongoing investigation.
The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States. Read the rest
"Common across the services, autonomous vehicles are being seen as an effective projection of force, both above and below the water’s surface," according to the US Naval Research Laboratory. Read the rest
A solicitation on FedBizOpps from the Navy asks security researchers to sell them their "vulnerability intelligence, exploit reports and operational exploit binaries affecting widely used and relied upon commercial software." Read the rest