© US Navy
U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Force-11.
Editor's note: This series by Robert Powell chronicles his discovery and investigation of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Force-11 investigation. It is a three part series.

I am going to tell you about a Navy-UFO encounter that deserves a congressional investigation to determine if this happened or not. I am going to create three posts related to a recent UFO event that occurred in November of 2004 and involved the Navy's Carrier Strike Group 11 off the southwest coast of California. This will be the first post and it will include the information that I initially obtained on the incident. If after reading these three posts you are reasonably convinced that this event happened then I will ask you to join me in a letter-writing campaign to a congressional subcommittee requesting that they ask for a debriefing of the incident from the Navy. Please share this story with anyone that you know who would be interested. You can use the hashtags: #F18UFO #UFO.

I was first told of this UFO incident in July of 2016 by an individual who was involved in the investigation of this event. He told me that the incident had been partially leaked to the internet, so that I could begin my investigation without involving my friend. Knowing a few of the key words I was able to locate the leaked story here: https://fightersweep.com/1460/x-files-edition/ (Ignore the UFO photos in the article as those are just add-ons by the author for effect and are not related to the actual event.)

What attracted me to this story was that it was not on a typical UFO site but was found on a site authored by a formal naval aviator and who predominately writes about naval aviator stories, not UFOs. So he had no UFO agenda to push. And the author went out of his way to establish the excellent background of the commanding officer of the F-18s known as the Black Aces. The story was full of "navy talk" and I spent considerable time deciphering that WSO = weapons system officer, SPY1 = phased array radar, E-2C Hawkeye = type of airborne early warning aircraft, BFM = basic fighter maneuvers, etc. Once I had read the full story, I felt that there was a strong likelihood that the event my friend had directed me to had actually occurred.

USS Nimitz
I next began online investigations to verify the identity of the individuals in the story and I found that those officers were all legitimate and had served in the Navy during that time. I searched additional websites for clues to this event. First, I found a Navy Event Summary document that had been leaked to the internet by an unknown source that mentioned this event. The document had much of the same information as was provided in the naval aviator's story: dates and locations match up; USS Princeton detects objects on radar and dispatches the F18s; F18s don't find a radar target but detect the object visually; F18s engage the unknown; and F18s are outmatched by the unknowns. I then ran the Navy Event Summary document by a retired naval officer and he indicated that the document looked legitimate in terms of its format. A copy of this summary document can be found here.

My friend who had originally told me about this case indicated that there had been video taken of the object and that it had been released to the internet several years ago and then was later removed. A copy of that video was obtained using the WayBack machine which is an internet site that maintains historical website data. The video is taken in the infra-red and depicts a hot object in the video cross-hairs for about 75 seconds before the object rapidly moves out of the video frame and towards the left. The altitude shown on the video matches the approximate altitude of the jets and the shape of the object in the video matches the pilots' descriptions. A copy of this video can be found here.


Of these three documents, the one that I find the strongest is the story by the naval aviator. The Navy Event Summary and the F-18 video support the story but more was needed. The question in my mind then became - could I support this information from another source. In December of 2016 I submitted nine FOIAs to various departments of the Navy and Marines to try and verify this event. In Part II of this series, I will share the information on the FOIAs that I submitted.

Part 2: FOIA

In December 2016 I submitted nine different Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Navy and the Marines in an effort to establish whether the information on the UFO encounter that I discussed in Part I was real. Here is a link to one of the actual FOIA requests for those that like to see the details click here.
Notice that I never used the term "UFO" in the request as this lessens the likelihood of success because of the negative connotations with the use of that word. This type of FOIA request was made for five different Navy assets that were involved in this incident; a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz; a guided missile cruiser, the USS Princeton; an F-18 part of a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA-232); two to four F-18 Super Hornets from a Navy Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA-41); and a carrier based airborne early warning aircraft (an E-2C from VAW-117). Requests were sent to Naval Intelligence, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Marines Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval Research, Naval Surface Forces in the Pacific, Naval Air Warfare Center, Naval Facilities, Naval Sea Systems Command, and Naval History.

By April of 2017 I had received replies on all nine of my requests for information. In every case the Navy replied that they had no information responsive to my request. I appealed two of what I considered the most important of the nine FOIAs to the Navy's Judge Advocate General (JAG). The first appeal came back denied. In the second appeal, I pointed out to the Navy JAG officers that another appeal denial would indicate that on November 14, 2004, that they had no records on five different Navy assets. I copied my senators and congressman on my appeal. This time I had success. Although the Navy again indicated that they could find no documents, this time they provided me emails with some very interesting information that establishes the encounter with the unknown craft did occur.

Remember in Part I of this story that the F-18 pilot referred to the objects encountered as resembling the oval candy known as "tic tacs." JAG provided me an email they received from a Marine Lieutenant Colonel that began as follows: "I am definitely aware of the 'flying tic tac'! We were aboard the USS Nimitz attached to CVW-11. The CO of VFA-41, CDR Fravor had the video footage on his ATFLIR and several pilots in VMFA-232 saw the video." Bingo! Not only did this event happen, the video was witnessed by a number of Navy and Marine officers. Is the video the same one that was leaked to the internet? We can't know for certain but I think if the Navy has done their due diligence then they still have a copy of that video.

And then a second email was provided to me by JAG from a Marine Major. In that email he states, "MAG-11 (Marine Air Group 11) Operations should have a Point of Contact at the archive to facilitate recovery of these files." This clearly indicates that the Major would expect the Marine archival group to have copies of these records. And would it not be reasonable to expect that the Navy would have the records archived of such an extraordinary event!

In total, I have the names of nine different Marine and Navy officers who either participated in the encounter with the unknown craft or have direct knowledge of the event. I will again appeal for the actual case files but the only way to really get to the bottom of this mystery is to ask a Congressional subcommittee to get involved. In Part 3 I will give you step by step instructions on how you can help petition your congressman. Please share this story with others on Facebook.

Part III: Call to Action

In Part I of this series I told you about an amazing UFO encounter that occurred between the USS Nimitz, USS Princeton, an E-2C airborne early warning aircraft, four Navy F-18 Super Hornets and a Marine F-18. In Part II I told you about emails that I received from the Navy JAG where a Marine Lt Colonel and a Major confirmed that they were aware of this UFO encounter as were at least seven other Navy and Marine officers. Now in Part III I will explain how you can help and make a difference. This is your chance to pressure your congressman to investigate this incident. If everyone acts together, there is a reasonable chance that the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services will ask for a debriefing on the incident.

The Senate Armed Service Committee is the congressional organization that would receive a debriefing and this is why we are also sending a letter to John McCain who is the Chairman of this committee. The four steps below will guide you. The letter to your congressman has already been written and the wording of the letter has been carefully chosen to provide the best chance at success.

Step 1 - Share/forward this information with all of your friends that are interested in a solution to the UFO phenomenon. This is the most important action that you can take. Let's get thousands of letters sent!

Step 2 - Go to the following link to identify your congressional representatives by entering your address including your state: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/

You will have two senators and one representative. Click on their "Official Website" to obtain their physical address and use their address that is in Washington, D.C.

Step 3 - Download the following letter: Letter to Congressman

Add the appropriate name of your senator or representative, print, sign the letter, use the address from Step 2, and then mail it. You will have three letters for your two senators and one representative. Physical mail with a personal signature has more effect with your congressman than an email.

Step 4 - Download the following letter to Senator John McCain here: Letter to John McCain

Sign your name and use the address shown in the letter heading to address your envelope.

Thank you for support! Once you've sent your letters, please send an email with the subject line "I voted from 'name of your state'" to robertmaxpowell@gmail.com This will allow me to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.