A senior Navy official said drones that circled a U.S. destroyer for hours off the coast of California remained unidentified more than a year and a half after the incident.
Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, spoke about the July 2019 flights on Monday at the Defense Writers Group event in Washington.Gilday said the incident – and other similar sightings – is still being evaluated.
Asked if the Navy identified drones flying close to a US warship near the Channel Islands outside Southern California, Gilday said, “No, we don’t have.”
“I am aware of those sightings, and as reported, there are other sightings not only by pilots in the air and by other ships. But only in the US But also other countries – and other elements of the United States’ Joint Armed Forces, ”Gilday said.
“Those findings have been compiled and are still being analyzed,” he said.
The Admiral said there was “a well-established process in the Joint Forces to collect that data and put it in separate repositories for analysis.
Gilday appears to be referring to a pending report requested by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which asked the Director of National Intelligence to discuss with the Defense Department to provide a report by June 25 on sightings of planes and drones. The unexplained advanced level provided by the military.The report should determine whether foreign opponents are behind the unidentified aircraft.
Asked if the plane was “extraterrestrial”, Gilday said he “had no indication”.
The flight was first reported by The Drive website, based on ship records and e-mails published under the Freedom of Information Request, NBC News received the same document.
As many as six drones fly around the ship at a time in low visibility conditions, often over several days, with drones flashing lights and providing a safety precaution on board.
Drones can stay high for 90 minutes or more, surpassing the capabilities of commercially available drones.
According to the record, drones can also fly at the same speed as destroyers traveling at 16 knots in low visibility conditions, requiring less than 1 nautical mile of visibility.
Now, it poses the possibility that there will be a serious security breach.
The drone flights take place near San Clemente Island, home to sensitive military facilities, including a Navy SEAL training facility, ship-to-shore live shooting range and airport.
The mysterious drone flight was immediately questioned by investigators and intelligence officers in the Navy and the FBI, as well as special agents at the Naval Crime Investigation Unit, the FBI’s Field Office in Los Angeles. List and director of the Maritime Intelligence Operations Center within the 3rd Fleet, according to an email received from NBC News.
The e-mail made it clear that the issue was gaining a high level of attention to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations.