On 3 December 2020, an article appeared on thedebrief.org written by Tim McMillan, a German based, United States (U.S.) citizen. Accompanying the article was a photograph of a purported UAP, said to have been taken from a U.S. military aircraft.
The photograph was reportedly taken in the air by a weapon systems operator in an F/A-18 military jet aircraft, somewhere off the East coast of the U.S. McMillan reported having been told that the photograph had appeared in a 2018 intelligence report issued by the U.S. UAP Task Force. (UAPTF.) The object was said to have been hovering motionless over the ocean. A close-up of the object of interest was also given.
Discussion on the Internet, centered around the possibility of the object being a balloon of some kind. However, it is not the intention of this blog post to engage in a debate as to the identity of the object, other than to say that analyis by a well-known U.S. researcher indicated the object had an apparent angular size of about 0.4 degrees, hence being about seven feet in size, if at a distance of 1,000 feet. Smaller than seven feet if closer; or bigger than seven feet if more distant than 1,000 feet.
In addition, Twitter user Joel @uapresearch published an article on 6 December 2020 which set out a range of arguments for the image not being a re-photograph of a photograph.
"I'm pretty sure I found it whilst rummaging around in one of those sites where we find government documents etc. I have been trying to remember. It's been a while. I just remember seeing it, saving it and sharing it."
"...I had the lower quality version myself back in Feb. 2020. Tim's article was the first time I had seen the higher quality version that I consider to be the original photo."
No doubt, there will be much more to be said about this photograph.
Update: 7December 2020
(Correction note from George Knapp: In the summer of 2019, Mystery Wire did obtain a copy of photo, taken by a Navy pilot from inside the cockpit of an F-18. However, the photo we received does not show the same object that appears in the images released last week. The source who shared the photo with us did so under the condition that we not release it to the public.)
Update: 9 December 2020
Swedish researcher Roger Glassel speculated that part of the reflection on the cockpit window was due to it being a reflection of the pilot's helmet. He reviewed a number of YouTube videos of military aircraft. In a tweet on 9 December 2020, he stated that the helmet showed that the aircraft in the photograph belonged to Strike Squadon VFA-32. Between June and December 2016 VFA-32 was deployed to the Middle East aboard the USS Dwight. D. Eisnehower. Their home base is shown as Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Now, McMillan's article about the photograph, stated that the photo was taken in 2018, off the East Coast of the U.S. Putting all this information together, and noting the debate over when the photo was actually taken sometime in 2018 or 4 March 2019, the best guess is that the photo was taken while VFA-32 was based at Oceana.
Second update: 9 December 2020
Twitter user Blake S. Taylor has been trying to recall where he sighted the photo, in May 2020. In a tweet on 9 December 2020 he wrote:
"...what I do remember is it was a site similar to this https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/ufo/ "
...again it may not be within that site but something very similar in construct..."
Update: 21 December 2020
In a tweet dated 21 December 2020 George Knapp in replying to a number of Twitter users said:
"This shouldn't be this tough to figure out. I responded to this tweet "We want that triangle pic, we know you have it."
I do not have the triangle pic. nor have I seen it. I have different photo. The photo I have does not show a triangle. Get it?"
Update: 21 March 2021
In a post dated 20 March 2021, Tim McMillan of The Debrief.org in part, wrote:
"The Debrief has become aware that the leaked image is one of a series of photographs captured over a period of 32 minutes by Naval aviators. The Debrief has also confirmed the photos were provided to and analyzed by the Pentagon's UAP Task Force, being run by the Office of Naval intelligence."
Update: 10 April 2021
In a Mystery Wire article, Journalist George Knapp reveals details of three photographs taken from a U.S. Navy jet on 4 March 2019. These are:
1. At 2.44pm. A photograph of an object referred to as a "Sphere."
2. At 3.02pm. A photograph of an object referred to as the "Acorn." This shaped object featured in the original Debrief article above.
3. At 3.14pm. A photograph of an object referred to as a "Metallic blimp."