Pro-UFO Witness Versus Skeptic Mick West

Lex Fridman interviewed David Fravor. David Fravor is a navy pilot of 18 years and a primary witness in one of the major UFO sightings.

The Tic Tac video and encounter is described by David Fravor.

David Fravor addressed some of the points made by skeptic Mick West and Mick West addressed those points.

The disagreements are over the size of the object. David Fravor says his experience tells him the object was 40 feet in size. He judged that based on looking over F-18 Hornets many times. David felt it was that sized object in the Tic Tac (FLir1) video.

David Fravor believes that the object then accelerated away at 13000 mph. Mick West notes that the camera was tracking the object at one-quarter of a degree per second. The object leaves at one-quarter degree per second. Mick West proposes that the camera stopped tracking and the object kept moving at one-quarter of a degree per second. There is also disagreement of the gimbal mounting and tracking.

The 2004 USS Nimitz aircraft carrier incident gave us the FLIR1 video. Two pilots, David Fravor and Alex Dietrich, repeat a story they (mostly Fravor) have been telling for over a decade. Lauded as the greatest UFO encounter of all time. The one blurry video has been consistently misinterpreted (including by Fravor) as showing rapid motion. There are accounts of unusual radar returns showing rapid motion, but unfortunately there’s no solid evidence for these, and the account has changed somewhat since it first appeared in a bizarre short science-fiction story written by the chief radar operator in 2008.

Dietrich and Fravor describe an encounter and short dog-fight with a “Tic-Tac” shaped craft. This is perhaps the most compelling story, and one that’s difficult to explain. But their accounts don’t exactly line up, and I suspect that they saw the same thing, but both had different illusions of motion based on parallax. Unfortunately, the passage of time might mean we will never know what they saw.

Mick West theory is that the other object was another jet aircraft. Mick West goes over the 60 minutes investigation of UFOs.

David Fravor goes over why he feels he is right. He dismisses the Go Fast video (a different video) bird theory based upon the object being cooler than the ocean. The skeptics say that a high-flying bird would have cold feathers and insulating fat. If it was emitting heat then it would be dead. Mick West’s primary theory is that the object was a balloon. David Fravor did not address the balloon theory.

Mick West also interviewed another Nimitz witness. Patrick “PJ” Hughes was an aviation technician onboard the USS Nimitz in 2004, during the famous “Tic-Tac” encounter. Before he became aware of Commander Fravor’s intercept of a strange object, he had an unusual encounter himself, where hard-drives containing recordings related to the incident were unexpectedly removed.

PJ has been interviewed several times regarding his experience, and what happened over those days. He’s also a member of UAP Expeditions, a UAP/UFO research group with other people from the Nimitz Encounter.

We’ve talked a few times on Twitter, and have a variety of disagreements. But we both agree it would be good if people could sit down and figure things out. So that’s what we tried to do here.

Mick West went over the videos and his analysis and the history of the claims on the BBC.

SOURCES – Mick West, Lex Fridman, David Fravor, BBC
Written by Brian Wang,

59 thoughts on “Pro-UFO Witness Versus Skeptic Mick West”

  1. Joe Rogan Book the following debate please

    Mick West, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Shermer,
    Chris Mellon, Robert Bigelow, Luis Elizondo, Jacques Vallée, Graham Hancock

  2. I concur. I don't see us moving into space in a really big way until we are no longer fully biological. Although that is probably coming sooner than most would expect.

    That whole "too short a lifetime" thing has always been my bugaboo. With a long enough life there is nothing we couldn't eventually have, nothing we couldn't eventually try, and nothing we couldn't eventually learn.

  3. Unfortunately, I find that, for most people that argue for UFOs (of Alien origin), their belief has become a religion, not an exercise in logic. Debate is futile.

  4. I've seen small (sparrow sized) birds in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They, on rare occasions, can hop from one ship to another. OTOH never saw a bird that small show up on radar.

  5. Yes, I suspect that such a multi-century hibernation would only develop on something like a planet with a cometary orbit. Frozen for a century then 6 months of frantic living.

    If this means that all development (at least once life leaves the liquid oceans underneath the near-permafrost surface) would develop at 1/200 of the rate on Earth, that might be a show stopper.

    Life on Earth once it left the oceans took a further 430 million years to develop the bicycle (the point at which we can declare a species truly civilized) and if that was slowed down by 200 times then that blows out to 86 billion years which is 6 times the age of the universe.

    Hmm… needs further work and/or unlikely assumptions.

  6. Some of the evidence Mick provides is indisputable. E.g. the gimbal video shows rotation of light in the sky in sync, with the “ufo” as it rotates. There is only one explanation for this – glare rotation. The other videos are almost as dodgy. It’s hard to dispute the oral accounts but the videos are not credible.

  7. Radars can have artifacts.
    Remember the “rods”?…and I don’t mean kinetic bombardment. They were just bugs that resolved as long blurs. The helicopter that seemed to rise with a stopped rotor? No, the frame rate matched the rate of rotation. Digital cameras are the worst. Dust looks like “orbs”…birds ‘hover’ without flapping…a woman who was gently raising a baby up and back looked like she was shaking the hell out of it on a low frame rate baby monitor. Radars are no different. Ouamuamua is the only extra-terrestrial object of which we are absolutely sure isn’t a fish story.

    That having been said…there is supposed to be footage of something 50 ft away. We will see. The old atomic bomb cameras with high frame rate hooked to SOFIA optics modified for severe weather observation? That’s what you need…not gun cameras.

    UFOTOG inventor and special effects man Doug Trumbull could have a go. I would want a high end film, camcorder and digital camera to look at the same object with FLIR and starlight scopes too.

  8. I’m talking about clear parts of the image rotating WITH the apparent object. If the object was indeed rotating on its own, there would be nothing else going along with it. In my mind this is conclusive evidence of glare rotation.

    As for the engineer rebuttal, the question he answered was not the question that needed to be addressed.

  9. LOL
    So now the alternative theory is a magical, convenient unknown physics.
    Tell me, what proprosed physical phenomena look like craft described and mimick FLIR, RADAR and sonar data? Satellite?

    What are you talking about? The gimbal certinly rotates but you have an obvious cloud line to compare the craft to. It starts at a low angle(maybe 15 degrees) and rotates counter clockwise to almost a 90 compared to the clouds.
    And one of the guys at Raytheon that helped developed their FLIR systems said this is not artifactual.
    And, you know, the trained pilot who uses this stuff saying
    "It's rotating."

  11. So you are claiming that a migratory bird crossing the ocean (or getting lost on the ocean if you think birds cannot do it willingly) is less likely than an invisible civilization that developed what appears at first glance as physics defying tech (but in truth has the same performance range of a bird flying on the ocean) and came to spy on us?

  12. Let's take one example. The rotation seen in the Gimbal video. As Mark demonstrates, if you play that rotation back and forward you can see elements of the whole field rotate. How can you deny that indicates rotation of the gimbal?

  13. I agree that the humans have limitations. That is why we build the equipment — to try to overcome our limitations. I didn't think it was necessary to point that out, but you are right that it probably is good to make that explicit.

  14. I'm pro alien. I'd love to see them. The world is boring with only one advanced tool using species.
    Using Occam's razor, I'd say unknown natural phenomenon, and misidentification of human works are simpler explanations. For it to be aliens, you need a whole alien "civilization", and biology(substrate), with tools generally in advance of ours.

  15. I am on the side that thinks it is something unexplainable. I also think that 99.9999% of the things regarded as UFOs have a worldly explanation.
    That being said, the footage we are seeing looks like a rocket booster descending with a parachute attached.

  16. The most impressive technological advantage of these objects seems to be the ability to render all photos of them grainy, shaky and out of focus.
    If they are really showing up daily, or even weekly as claimed, it should be no problem to set up a ultra high quality rig to film and photograph them with amazing details. But no, can't be done…

  17. If they are machines, then why the interest in our biosphere?
    They could just as easily gather resources in hard vacuum, closer to home.
    Still skeptical. If they are alien, then they must have travelled using warpdrive to get here (following WLW radio- so within 50ly radius). If they are humans, then there must be some time-travel involved.
    Tinfoil hat stuff.

  18. Have you seen the RADAR footage?
    It puts things in a whole new light and that it's not just "reported" RADAR data but legit.
    -Several hours of loiter time
    -About 6ft or so (or at least)
    -Can accelerate up to 150mph + in a few seconds
    -Swarms around a US naval ship (again, hours)
    -Disappears off radar and into the ocean(it doesn't just go over the horizon, which made no sense, like some have said).

    One impressive bird/balloon, huh.

  19. Yep. Just saw that one. Really, really hard to explain all of that together.
    Mick West and others said the "Splash" was an aircraft disappearing over the horizon. Nevermind that if it is in the air, it would have to be dozens of miles away for that to happen and it doesn't appear to get any smaller. NOW we have RADAR tracking to prove there were over a dozen of them, surrounding a US warship

  20. What birds have a migratory path that is hundreds of miles off the Atlantic coast (namely right where the footage was taken)?

  21. What evidence? A few leaked blurry, second hand images vs an apparent bonanza of data that hasn't been released? One of which was analyzed by University of Albany's physics lab and found the acceleration of one craft to, conservatively, be 80 g's?
    That magical UFO tech?
    Or the fact that the DoD and Congress, former Directors of intelligence services, a former President, dozens of highly trained military personnel and others are stating they have no idea what this stuff is, that it is pulling off maneuvers well beyond our capabilities or any nation on Earth and that it is a safety hazard?

  22. There are also freeze tolerant insects. There's a cockroach (Cryptocercus punctulatus) which can survive freezing solid for 7+ months at -10 C, and there's a type of fly (Chymomyza costata) that survives freezing in liquid nitrogen at -196 C. I don't know how long that one has been clocked at, but I'd bet there isn't very much metabolism going on at that point. A sentient species like this might be able to just jump in a liquid nitrogen vat for as long as it takes.

  23. "These are all solved by machine intelligence and 'beings'. I fully expect that if ANY UFO phenomena turn out to be real-and-reliable, then they will not be biological entities."

    Or maybe both GoatGuy; AI/robotics and perhaps "Greys" that are some kind of bio-engineered constructs designed to be compatible with the internal environment of the UFO's. There are accounts about people supposedly entering landed crafts and experienceing medical problems afterward analogous to radiation sickness. Given the insane amounts of energy and or "exotic matter" necessary to "warp space" around the craft and enable the ridiculously high apparent accelerations observed there might be some radiation leakage of some kind into the crafts internal enviroment.

  24. Seriously it should be more pertinent out figuring on the missing physics of how these things fly. Absolutely number 1 imo. If you can’t contact them or shoot them down all you will be doing is conjuncture with no real solution. Physics has solutions. I know some people might not like quantized inertia, but the fact is he is still working with darpa and is doing another test run on a device that has hundreds of times the thrust capabilities of an ion engine. Without propellant. I could try to explain things further but I don’t want a word mess. Control the inertia of systems is the key. Know where the horizons are of your box and just step out of it

  25. I hope you don’t think there we know every physical phenomena, we don’t and having that extra physics that truly explains how the universe works and why we see the things we see in the universe. Taking advantage of that will allow us to create these ufos.

  26. 40 percent of birds species are migratory and several migrate across the ocean. It literally took 1 sec on Google to find it out.

  27. 40 percent of birds species are migratory and several migrate across the ocean. It literally took 1 sec on Google to find it out.

  28. I totally agree with you with one addition:
    As the military tools, human senses and intelligence have also been subject to a lot of tradeoffs during the evolution of our species. Some animals have better eyesight, other can see or hear in a broader spectrum than us. Even our intelligence evolved as tree monkeys then transformed in land bipeds. The more we move away from our original environment of humans walking on the earth surface with clear references all around us, the more the phenomena we encounter might get interpreted in an incorrect way.
    And before people start jumping and claiming that multiple observers cannot all get confused or be wrong, please remember that every day courtrooms are filled with witnesses that in good faith provide very different testimonies of facts they observed and that are well within the common standards of our experience. There are several human professions that exploit the vulnerabilities of our senses and minds, and probably an equal amount that try to find the truth between unusual or diverging descriptions of events.

  29. While I consider FTL, warp drive, or any sort of "space magic" are veeeery unlikely, I also think that exceedingly long lifetimes or the capability to hibernate for long periods might hinder the development of advanced civilizations:
    -If your specie evolved a mechanism capable of keeping you in suspended animation for centuries and possibly more, it probably means that your specie was subject to evolutionary pressure in that direction, and that means that probably your original planet might be subject to very long periods with a very hostile environment unlikely to support the development of a civilization.
    -If you are capable of living very long, you are likely to have a slow metabolism, and/or be quite optimized to an environment that is not particularly hostile. That could remove the pressure to evolve intelligence which is fast and adaptable, but expensive in terms of metabolic cost.

  30. As we sent robotic probes with a certain degree of automation/autonomous evaluation to other planets the same might be true for alien probes. Nevertheless I do not see any compelling evidence for the existence of alien intelligence and civilizations capable of sending dozens of vessels (automated or not) through interstellar distances should have energy outputs that make them very easy to spot in the sky.

  31. So……there’s now radar evidence corroborating at least one sequence of camera images. Presumably both camera and radar simultaneously suffered from the same anomalous malfunctions – whilst crew members were hallucinating? I would imagine if the rumoured sonar tapes also show the sonar to have been malfunctioning too – that would be conclusive proof that the US Navy needs to improve it’s recruiting, training and equipment procurement. I’m not sure who you are Mick West – but – perhaps yin addition to your ‘elementary’ school trigonometry analysis you might also want to consider some elementary school probability analysis too. 
    It’s time for serious open minded academic study where evidence is rigorously followed – without bias – where ever it leads and to what ever conclusions it will reach. More over – this is not the time for either hysterical skeptics or hysterical ET advocates. We – in the wider civilian population at least – simply have no explanation for years and years of any of this data and it’s about time we looked into it properly!!

  32. Or a bird. He even gives a lengthy breakdown about the thermal effects of high altitude birds versus the ocean (and in fact saying they would be 40 degrees colder than the background ocean, hence why they are relatively hot on IR)..without offering up any proof to support that(for example- colder? Colder where in the Atlantic?). And, no, it wasn't just to counter Corbell's "refutal" of that.
    Hence why I don't believe what he says. He is a lay person that is talking out of his hat without offering evidence to support his arguments.

  33. Though, even our planet is not without biological entities that can deal with millenia long voyages. Either because they just live that long (mostly plants, some fungi I think) or because they can go into a suspended animation state (lots of plants, various microbes, some fish).

    Now, none of these have particularly advanced brains (though fish? that's at least 90% of the way to a human in evolutionary terms). But the idea of an alien with biology that suits star travel is, I think, LESS of a leap than the idea of FTL travel.

  34. But he didn't offer up anything.
    He mentions "people agreed with him" and the "patents" show that the FLIR pod can't swivel. Didn't provide any proof of that.

    He goes into the speed that the object in "FLIR" left the scope was about 1 degree/sec. It clearly was not. If he was arguing angular velocity, how could he know that without knowing the range of the craft, which, btw, the F18 was not able to calculate (kept reading 99.99)?

    My issue is that his comments come off as arrogant. "I think you're wrong", " I think I'm right." while talking about a guy who has had 4,000 hours using the exact equipment he is referring to and was specifically trained on it.
    Now, if he had an expert, like the guy that designed the FLIR that the F-18 ran off, or a pilot with more experience, that would be another story.
    But he's just a lay person. So his opinion on contesting things means less.

  35. Mick West is such a clown. The guy literally knows nothing about the subjects he tries to "debunk". Clueless git.

  36. If you want to refute Mark’s arguments do it based on data and logic. Fravor did not do that.

  37. All interesting, but my money is still on the pilots being correct. Granted, I'm incredibly biased since I want that technology VERY badly.

    Don't put your money on what you want to be true. Separate believing and hoping. It would be very cool to have that seemingly magical UFO technology, but it just isn't realistic based on the evidence available.

  38. Wasn't just the crews. It was apparently also the crew of an AWAC that was supporting them that got buzzed by it.

  39. So what can we do to make progress toward figuring out what it is that is causing these sightings? Maybe someone else can suggest something better, but my only thought is to somehow bring better equipment to bear on the problem. And perhaps additional equipment.

    I don't know enough about the systems used on the fighter jets and the carriers to make any specific suggestions about how the equipment should be enhanced or what additional equipment would be helpful. But someone, or some group of people, ought to be thinking about the limitations of the current equipment, how those limitations could lead to confusion in what they display, and what we could change or add to get more accurate views of what is going on.

    If the frequency at which these phenomena appear is as high as some articles I have read say, we should not have to enhance all the planes and ships. Do a small number then wait for some of the enhanced units to encounter some UFOs.

    I think there probably is no way to enhance the humans involved, but that probably isn't necessary. If I am right that the equipment is displaying confusing results, getting correct results from the equipment might be all that is necessary to allow the humans to properly understand what they are seeing with their eyes.

    Of course, this all assumes that these phenomena are not sufficiently advanced technology that appears to be magic, as Clarke told us.

  40. I have not devoted much time to looking into the details of the various people's arguments on this topic. I am confident that would be a waste of time, since I doubt very much I could advance our understanding of what is the cause of these sightings. However, I do have a suspicion about why these incidents have caused so much confusion.

    The equipment installed in the fighter jets and the carriers has been designed with the needs of the military in mind. I feel sure that there have been numerous points in the design, and perhaps also implementation, at which tradeoffs were made to meet cost, size, or weight constraints. Those tradeoffs would have been made in ways that preserve the ability of the equipment to perform the missions the military expected the equipment to perform.  

    Suppose equipment that was developed that way encounters some phenomenon that is outside the range of things it was intended to handle. How likely is it that it would give results that appear not to make sense? I don't know how likely that would be, but I suspect the probability is not 0.

    Please note that I am NOT saying that what we encountered was birds, balloons, interstellar spacecraft, or invaders from ancient Atlantis. All I am saying is that if the equipment was used around something that exhibits characteristics that the equipment was not specifically designed to respond to sensibly, it could give very confusing results. (Damn the length limit — continued in next comment)

  41. The FLIR video must be evaluated in the context of the whole Nimitz event. A lot happened. See, eg,, and radar operator Kevin Day interview:

    – Radar saw "anomalous objects" drop into view several times in the days prior the encounter. Debugging found no "ghost track" flaws in the system.
    – Nov.14 was cloudless & the sea smooth.
    – Day says radar spotted an object at 28k feet. In less than a sec, it dropped to the sea surface.
    – 2 F-18s, incl. one with Fravor & Dietrich, were re-vectored from a combat exercise to investigate.
    – When they reached the spot targeted by radar, they saw the "Tic-Tac".
    – As discussed on 60 Minutes, the 2 crews observed the object for several minutes and Fravor interacted with it before it sped off at high speed.
    – An hour or so later, 2 other jets encountered the object and weapon systems officer Chad Underwood took the FLIR video. (See his interview.) What they saw was congruent with the earlier encounter.

    In a recent show with Joe Rogan, Christopher Mellon said radar data (from ships & aircraft), IR sensor data, and the pilots' reports are all self-consistent. While it's likely there's a mundane explanation of the incident, any alternative interpretation of the FLIR video must be consistent with all the data and extended visual observations in clear daylight by multiple F-18 crews.

  42. It has often been said, that those who straddle the fence eventually are cut down the middle by it. On the one hand, the SciFi guy wants UFOs to be extraterrestrial as evidence that the Universe is FULL of other intelligences. The white Science demon, says, not so fast, Goat.

    Dâhmned fence.

    Hômo's problems are these: too short of a lifespan; too high a cost of transferring knowledge between individuals and whole-civilization; too sensitive to heat, cold, G-forces, fields and vacuums; communicates at speed of smell; far too large a sense of Ego.  

    These are all solved by machine intelligence and 'beings'. I fully expect that if ANY UFO phenomena turn out to be real-and-reliable, then they will not be biological entities. After all, when not, the seeming disparities of UFO phenomenology fade to reasonableness. Seemingly instant accelerations, interstellar flight, blah, blah…

    Anyway, we keep hoping. 
    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  43. The DoD isn't going to be releasing a report to Congress over birds and balloons, I'll tell you that.

  44. Anyone challenging the incident in which Fravor was involved is just seeking publicity, a contrarian or ignorant. There are a few unidentified object stories that need to be accepted. This is one.

  45. All interesting, but my money is still on the pilots being correct. Granted, I'm incredibly biased since I want that technology VERY badly.

    There are some skeptics who kind of have to be correct or their careers are dust. Because, rewriting textbooks and reworking college curriculums due to us suddenly finding out that physics can be manipulated in ways we just didn't realize were possible, simply because not enough people were thinking outside the box… that's a load of cash that would need to be spent. Academia will very likely fight this tooth and nail until it becomes cornered with no alternative but to relent.

    But, I could be wrong about everything. Don't look at me like that, I just live here. 😉

  46. The issue of extra terrestrial is not to be summed up by what some navy pilots saw or not, just in the news now is another mystery object that have seen by multiple witnesses in Indonesia. In truth, we are having this kind of discussion because for too long we were living in a world where some of the phenomena was censored out from pubic knowledge and scientific discourse to diminish of our understanding of the world, ourselves and our potential by forces that are trying to keep us under their thumb.

  47. Mick West thinks Go Fast was explained by a bird out in the ocean. These patrols were occuring a few hundred miles off the coast of the Eastern Seaboard. Anyone know of what birds fly that low out there?

  48. Former video game programmer versus men and women that were actually trained to use this exact equipment and do so on a daily basis and are apparently supported by flight characteristics provided by radar data.

    Boy, who to believe.

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