In 2004, Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets were called in to investigate a UFO encounter by the USS Princeton (CG-59), Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser off the Baja Peninsula, southwest of San Diego, CA.
The story has surfaced over the years as the pilots came forward to tell their tale, and this footage was even unofficially leaked as well, but it was written off by the public as another likely hoax. However, the Department of Defense not only just acknowledged that the event took place, but they released F/A-18 FLIR footage of the encounter as well.
Significantly, this is the very first time that the US Government has ever released official footage of a UFO encounter. In fact, this is only the second time any government has officially released UFO footage. The Chilean government previously released their own footage of a separate incident in which a military helicopter crew recorded Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon in 2014.
The Princeton had been using their advanced AN/SPY-1 radar to successfully track mysterious aircraft in the days leading up the the encounter displayed in the footage. Strangely, the object(s) would appear unexpectedly at 80,000 feet and would then plummet toward the ocean, where it would instantly stop and hover at 50 feet for a time. The object would then shoot off with seemingly physically impossible speeds while making seemingly physically impossible turns.
When the Super Hornets arrived at the scene, they weren't picking anything up on radar, but saw an object, described as a white oval aircraft, approximately 40 feet across, jumping around erratically while hovering 50 feet off the surface of the ocean. Directly under the craft, "waves were breaking over something that was just below the surface. Whatever it was, it was big enough to cause the sea to churn."
The pilots moved in for a closer look, and that is when the object seemed to notice them. At that point, it sped off at incredible speeds. In just a few minutes, the object then incredibly reappeared on radar... 40 miles away at the Super Hornets' rally point. By the time the fighter jets made it there, the UFO disappeared. The flight crew was now low on fuel and had to return to base.
They met up with the next crew of pilots who were going to conduct a very similar training mission in the same area, warned them of the UFO encounter, and told them to record the action. This second batch of fighters had more advanced targeting equipment and as they neared their objective, they picked up the unexplained objects.
Suddenly, multiple objects were detected by the aircrafts' AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) multi-sensor targeting pods. In the video, you can hear the pilots tracking a whole "fleet" of the objects while not having any clue as to what they were experiencing.
In the F/A-18 footage released by the Department of Defense, you can see the aircraft rotating and emitting some sort of thermal signature, yet the Anomalous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) showed no signs of propulsion from a jet engine or propeller. At the end of the second video, the object can be seen accelerating so fast, the targeting computer is no longer able to track it.
The unexplained event, now acknowledged by our own government, suggests there is an entity out there with technology so advanced, our conventional military cannot effectively confront it.
One has to hope that this technology is a black project belonging to DARPA or some other American Defense subsidiary and not a foreign entity. The SR-71 Blackbird and stealth bombers were kept secret from the public for a long time, and surely plenty of civilians encountered the technology with bewilderment.
That area of the Pacific is no stranger to Black Ops type government activity. The secretive San Clemente Island just off the coast of southern California is owned and operated by the US Navy. The high security island hosts an entire MOUT/CQB range complex city built specifically for the Navy SEALs. The island is also home to a rocket-test facility. It's likely to be sitting on, or floating on, an extensive subterranean/submarine military installation, not visible from the sky.
Interestingly, San Clemente hosted the SEALAB III project in the late 1960's, which was an experimental underwater habitat developed to study and support humans living and working in underwater isolation for extended periods of time. The project was repeatedly and mysteriously sabotaged until it was officially ended. That research project took place roughly 50 years before this encounter, so is it really all that strange to see unexplained technology in the area?