On 3 December 2020, an article authored by The Debrief's Tim McMillan revealed the existence of a UAP photograph taken from a United States 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.)
A check by me, of the metadata of the image shown by McMillan, indicated that this particular image was created on 4/03/2019, and not in 2018. I reached out to McMillan to point this out, and he advised that his understanding was that the image shown was a re-photograph of the original photograph. In other words, the metadata attached to the published photograph was not the original metadata. However, like me, a number of other commentators on the Internet felt that this was not a photo of a photo, but an original photograph taken on 4/3/2019. The earliest known appearance of the photograph within the UAP community, was traced back to February 2020.
In December 2020, detective work by Swedish based researcher, Roger Glassel, suggested that the reflection on the cockpit window was due to it being a reflection of the pilot's helmet. Glassel then deduced, that the aircraft was a U.S. Navy plane, belonging to Strike Squadron VFA-32. This squadron's home base was Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A.
So, the best information at that point, was that the photograph was taken on 4 March 2019, off the east coast of the USA in a training area used by the VFA-32.
In an article dated 6 April 2021, Las Vegas journalist George Knapp revealed the existence of at least three UAP photographs taken on the same day, namely 4 March 2019. All by the same weapons system operator in an F/A-18 U.S. Navy aircraft; in the same geographic area, off the East coast of the U.S.A., and using nothing more sophisticated than an iPhone. These were:
1. At 2.44p.m. a photograph of an object referred to as a "Sphere."
2. At 3.02p.m. a photograph of an object referred to as the "Acorn." This shaped object featured in the original The Debrief article. Thus, confirming that the original The Debrief photograph had indeed been taken on 4 March 2019 and not in 2018, as McMillan reported having been told.
3. At 3.14p.m. a photograph referred to as a "Metallic blimp," which appeared to have a number of appendages.
Interestingly, another article on the unidentified-net, has the times of the photographs as 2.44; 3.02 and 3.16pm. and provides some metadata from all three photos, which I image below:
As the images provided by Knapp did not have any available attached metadata; I wondered where the unidentified website had gained the above three pieces of metadata? A possible explanation lies in the unidentified website article, where the author writes that their understanding comes "...from a very informed source who actively had access to all photos and data..." Combined with Knapp's source of the photographs, it would appear that the UAPTF is leaking badly.
Initially, some researchers suspected that the photographs may not have been authentic. However, this was soon put to rest by U.S. researcher John Greenewald, who contacted the Pentagon. The response, by Pentagon UAP spokesperson, Susan Gough, included the statement:
"I can confirm that the referenced photos...were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF included these incidents in their ongoing examinations."
Weather at the time
Each of the three UAP photographs in the Knapp article show blue sky with some cloud and appear taken from an altitude of perhaps 30,000 feet (9,100 metres.) I checked the University of Wyoming's upper atmospheric soundings database for details. I image the information for the time nearest the UAP photographs, from station number 72402, situated at Wallops island, Virginia; and station 72403 situated at Stirling, Virginia.
This indicates that at the time, at an altitude of 9,100m the outside temperature was -45.7 degrees Celsius, pressure was 300.0hPa; relative humidity 17%; the wind was from 240 degrees at a speed of 82 knots.