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Unidentified: A Science-Fiction Thriller
Author:Douglas E. Richards

“The Times story unveiled a classified UAP program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP. A program initiated by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007. In 2012, this program was renamed the UAP Task Force and was placed under the auspices of the Office of Naval Intelligence.”

I paused. “It turns out that for more than a decade, the Pentagon had been giving classified briefings on the subject of UAVs to congressional committees, aerospace company execs, and other government officials. Telling them of confirmed military sightings of UAVs that performed in ways considered to be impossible.”

I smiled. “But astonishingly, in what I had always considered to be impossible, the Pentagon finally confessed that everything in the Times story was true, and officially released the same three videos to the public. Despite this monumental breakthrough, Harry Reid remained unsatisfied, tweeting, ‘I’m glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but it only scratches the surface of the research and materials available. The US needs to take a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications. The American people deserve to be informed.’

“The Times story set off a flurry of activity, and much more information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Including a January 9, 2018, letter to key members of Congress, in which the Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed that they had researched anti-gravity, warp drives, wormholes, and other means of interstellar travel.

Why? In their words, to determine the ‘advanced aerospace weapon threats,’ these technologies represented. Which I presume also included a better understanding of how alien visitors managed to get here.

“Much of this work was declassified and published in 2019. I encourage you to read three of these DIA-sponsored reports that I found especially fascinating.”

I threw the cover pages of all three onto the screen. “The first is entitled Warp Drive, Dark Energy, and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions. The second, Traversable Wormholes, Stargates, and Negative Energy. And the third, Advanced Space Propulsion Based on Vacuum Engineering.”

I paused to give Mark Russell a chance to ask a question, but he remained silent, apparently transfixed by what I was saying. This came as quite a relief. Although I had yet to introduce anything that wasn’t in the public domain, my hope was that I could present it in a novel way, and in a comprehensive enough context that I would disclose information that would be new even to the most ardent UFO seekers.

“I’ll continue on to the present day shortly,” I continued, “but first I want to go back and explore what all the fuss is about. Go back to 2004, in fact, to the subject of the earliest video Chris Mellon provided to the New York Times. This footage involved sightings made by the USS Nimitz Battle Strike Group, also known as the “tic-tac” incident.

“These sightings, this incident, has become arguably the most famous in the history of UFOs. And since advanced sensor technology recorded this incident, and the government actually acknowledged it was real, I believe it will eventually eclipse even Area 51 and Roswell in the public’s imagination.”

I nodded solemnly. “In my own view,” I continued, “and in the view of many others, this was the pivotal game changer. One that finally broke through the most hardened walls of skepticism. Not just a demonstration of the reality of UFOs, but a demonstration of capabilities thought to be impossible.”

I paused to glance at one of several pages of notes I had placed out of sight of the camera and gathered my thoughts. Given how notorious this incident had become, how well known, it was going to be a daunting task for me to keep the audience fully engaged.


“For two weeks in November of 2004,” I began, “US Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven was conducting a training exercise off the coast of San Diego. This force consisted of the Nimitz, a nuclear aircraft carrier that served as the flagship, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser called the Princeton, two destroyers, and an attack submarine. Along with over seven thousand sailors.”

I glanced down at my notes once again as the video played, showing aerial footage of this full armada moving crisply through a majestic blue ocean. I wanted to describe the armada in some detail, thinking it important to emphasize the size, scope, and seriousness of the strike group. This would help me pound home the point that this wasn’t a sighting by a single drunken fisherman name Cletus, but by a truly awesome collection of military hardware, technology, and trained personnel.

“And lest I forget,” I continued, “the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group also included numerous pilots and an ungodly amount of airpower, including,” I added, reading from my notes, “Marine fighter and electronic attack squadrons, an airborne early-warning squadron, a helicopter sea combat squadron, a helicopter maritime strike squadron, a fleet logistics support squadron, and three strike fighter squadrons.”

I paused to catch my breath. “The USS Princeton was responsible for air defense protection for the strike group and possessed the most advanced radar system deployed anywhere in the world. For several days, this ship detected as many as a hundred UAVs—UFOs—flying in low Earth orbit.

“A number of these craft later descended to an altitude of about twenty-eight thousand feet. Periodically, one or more UFOs would then drop to sea level, or even under the surface of the ocean, at jaw-dropping speeds. How fast did they move? They were recorded traveling twenty-eight thousand feet in less than a second.”

I paused for this to sink in. “That’s a five-mile drop in the blink of an eye,” I pointed out with awe in my voice. “But I should warn you,” I added with a wry smile, “this was accomplished by professional extraterrestrials, so don’t try this at home.”

I glanced at Mark Russell, relieved that he was grinning at this horrible joke. These were definitely my people.