In 2004, US military planes conducting a training exercise off the California coast noticed something strange in the sky. A foreign object with a peculiar shape was darting through the ether, initially at an altitude of 60,000 feet. Footage of the strange sight was first revealed by The New York Times last year. The object quickly garnered the nickname the "TicTac UFO," owing to its white coloring and oblong shape reminiscent of a mint.
The incident earned the kind of frothing hype you'd expect of from an X-Files episode brought to life. According to a 2009 military report uncovered by KLAS, a CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, multiple autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) were spotted by the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group between November 10-16, 2004. The AAVs weren't inconspicuous, either: “The AAVs would descend ‘very rapidly’ from approximately 60,000 feet down to approximately 50 feet in a matter of seconds,” the reports says.
Notably, one of the key insights dredged up by KLAS, is the AAVs' reported communication with an object not in the sky, but underwater. According to the Huffington Post, a pilot reported that one AAV may have been preparing for a sort of rendezvous with a massive object in the sea.
“The disturbance appeared to be 50 to 100 meters in diameter and close to round. It was the only area and type of whitewater activity that could be seen and reminded him of images of something rapidly submerging from the surface like a submarine or a ship sinking.”
Littered throughout the report are various other eerie findings, concluding the AAV in question "was no known aircraft or air vehicle currently in the inventory of the United States or any foreign nation," it "possibly demonstrated the ability to 'cloak' or become invisible to the human eye or human observation," and it "possibly demonstrated a highly advanced capability to operate undersea completely undetectable by our most advanced sensors."
As the NYT revealed in its report last year, the Department of Defense spent $22 million between 2007 and 2012 as part of a sweeping investigation into UFO sightings. Although the inquiry closed without offering definitive proof of alien life, unexplained phenomena like this remains as baffling as ever.