Navy still has no idea what the mystery drones were that stalked its ships for days

C C Offline

EXCERPTS: The U.S. Navy still has no idea who sent a swarm of drones to buzz warships off the coast of California in July 2019, or really even what kind of drones they were or what they were doing, NBC News reported on Monday. [...] The combination of ship logs and AIS data showed that the drones were in operation for well over 90 minutes, beyond the capabilities of typical commercial units, and that their existence was independently confirmed by sightings by the cruise liner Carnival Imagination. Naval investigators attempted to identify what the craft were or who was operating them to no avail (a nearby catamaran, the ORV Alguita, denied having drones capable of carrying out such an operation).

As the Drive noted, it’s curious that despite using their sophisticated sensor suites and deploying onboard intelligence teams to record the craft, the vessels involved weren’t able to produce a better picture of what happened, and the matter went unresolved despite reports reaching the “highest level of the Navy hierarchy.” The FBI was also involved in the investigation, according to NBC. It’s possible the drones in question were something else entirely.

[...] The Navy has acknowledged a number of bizarre incidents involving sightings of unidentified phenomena [...] Michael Gilday referenced the Navy’s ongoing efforts to streamline the reporting process around those types of incidents, as well as a forthcoming report the Senate Intelligence Committee requested the Defense Department and Director of National Intelligence finish by June.

Asked if the Navy had identified the drones, Gilday responded, “No, we have not. I am aware of those sightings, and as it’s been reported, there have been other sightings by aviators in the air and by other ships not only of the United States, but other nations—and of course other elements within the U.S. joint force. Those findings have been collected and they still are being analyzed [...] a well-established process in place across the joint force to collect that data and to get it to a separate repository for analysis.” (MORE - details)
Yazata Offline
I suspect that the military may know what those drones were and where they came from, but would rather not say. The fact that they were spotted near San Clemente Island is telling, since there have been secret facilities there for decades. I've talked to civilian sailors who point out that if you go around the island in a boat, you can see all kinds of brightly lit facilities on the far side not visible from shore. I know that it was big in antisubmarine research during the cold war. They test naval shipborne missiles there. So... why not drones?

I suspect that they like to try out new weapons concepts against real warships on alert during training maneuvers without warning the ships first.

I was thinking of that when I wrote about the 'tic tacs' in the other place.

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