Sunday, September 24, 2023

What do we know about the early 2023 Gulf Of Mexico UAP encounter?


Information concerning an early 2023 UAP incident, involving an aircraft from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, USA, has been limited. While there has been much talk from a number of U.S. Congressional figures, about their interaction with US military personnel, on the incident; there have been few data points of actual information about the incident itself. I found three sources, which gave some information.

The Mid Bay News 

Dated 21 July 2023, Christopher Saul wrote an article titled "Members of Congress lambast Eglin general over UFO information." The article mentioned that at a press conference on 20 July 2023, members of Congress Anna Paulina Luna; and Tim Burchett described their encounter with Eglin Air Force Base Commander Brigadier General Jeffrey Geraghty.

JEFFREY T. GERAGHTY > Air Force > Biography Display (

Burchett reportedly stated they visited Eglin Air Force Base for a briefing on the UAP incident but were actually briefed on another subject. A discussion ensued, following which only Representative Matt Gaetz was briefed. The article revealed that this visit to the base had occurred on 21 February 2023 and the Luna said it was pilots who had originally contacted Representative Gaetz.


On 27 July 2023 a tweet appeared on the official account of US Congressman House of Representatives member for Florida, Matt Gaetz. It read:

"Several months ago, my office received a protected disclosure from Eglin Air force Base indicating there was a UAP incident that required my attention. I sought a briefing regarding that episode and brought @RepTimBurchett and @RepLuna with me. We were initially denied access to images, radar and conversation with all members of the flight. After demanding access, the information was exclusively shown to me, and I was able to speak with one member of the flight crew who took the photo. The image was of a UAP that I am not able to attach to any human capability, either from the United States or from any of our adversaries. The pilot said he encountered a fleet of UAPs in diamond formation over the Gulf of Mexico, which was confirmed on radar that I reviewed. He said approaching the UAPs caused video and other aircraft security features to malfunction. He saw what I can only describe as an orb - not of any human capability that I'm aware of."

Embedded in the tweet was a video extract from the 26 July 2023 Oversight and Accountability Committee's sub-committee: National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs' public hearing on UAP.

The following additional information was gleaned from this video recording:

* The incident involved at least one United States Air Force aircraft

* The aircraft was on a test mission

* The airspace was supposed to be clear

* There were four "craft" in a clear diamond formation

* One pilot checked out the formation and saw an orb

* His radar went down, and the Forward Looking Infra-Red equipment malfunctioned

* He manually took the image which Rep. Gaetz viewed

* The pilot told Gaetz explicitly that reporting UAP was being discouraged.

Liberation Times

In an issue dated 20 September 2023, journalist Christopher Sharp, advised that he had received a statement from Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough. Gough confirmed that Gaetz had been briefed on the incident and that All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) had received a report on the incident and would look to post a public report when it was cleared. 


1. Note that it was the USAF whose aircraft was/were involved in this incident, not the US Navy or US Marines. The USAF has been almost invisible in the recent debates about UAP.

2. The Mid Bay News item cited above, reports that representative Luna said it was pilots who had contacted Gaetz. If this is correct, then a question arises in my mind as to why USAF pilots contacted Graetz? Why not report up the line within the Air Force? Could it be because the USAF, unlike the US Navy, only trialed a UAP reporting system for six months?

Other questions which occur to me include:

* If there were four objects in a diamond formation and one was observed to be an orb, what shape were the other three?

* Can we assume that because one of the objects was described as an orb; that the photographic image obtained was of an orb?

* Was the radar observation mentioned; ground radar or aircraft radar, or both?

* If the aircraft radar went down and the FLIR malfunctioned due to the nearness of UAP, at what point did the radar and FLIR come back into operation, if indeed they did?

3. The major units at Eglin Air Force Base includes the 96th Test Wing; 33rd Fighter Wing and the 919th Special Operations Wing.

Note that Gaetz on 26 July 2023 stated that the aircraft concerned were on a test mission; which might suggest they belonged to the 96th Test Wing. This Wing is Commanded by Brigadier General Jeffrey Geraghty. 

4. The incident must have taken place sometime between 1 January 2023 and no later than 21 February 2023. 

5. If the claims of interference with radar and FLIR are substantiated, and that also radar tracked the formation of UAP, then this incident is important.

6. AARO now needs time to analyse the radar and other data, such as the captured photographic image, to determine if it can assign a cause to the incident.

7. Hopefully, the reporting of this incident will lead to other military aviators coming forward with other accounts.

Update: 8 March 2024

Following FOIA requests by researcher Abbas Dharamsey, dated 22 and 23 August 2023, the Headquarters Office of Special Investigations, Department of the Air Force, released a number of pages of relevant documents, including a one-page sketch of one UAP, and a declassified summary of the event.   Most of the pages were heavily redacted. The summary read:

"DECLASSIFIED SUMMARY: On 26 Jan 23, an USAF pilot gained radar lock on four separate UAP. Upon approach, the pilot was able to make visual contact and employ sensors to obtain a screen capture of the first of these objects. The remaining three were only detected by radar. UAP-1 likened to an "Apollo spacecraft" in size and shape, with an "orange-reddish" illuminated rounded bottom and the top section "a three-dimensional cone shape" comprising "gunmetal gray segmented panels." UAP-1 operated at an altitude of about 16,000 above ground level (AGL). The second and third UAPs were noted at altitudes of 17,000 and 18,000. The fourth was lost from radar and no altitude was noted. Moreover, no airspeeds were noted for any of the UAP in this report. Of note, upon closing to within 4,000 feet of UAP-1, the radar malfunctioned and remained disabled for the remainder of the event. Post-mission investigation revealed that a circuit breaker had triggered, but that maintenance technicians were unable to conclusively diagnose the fault."

Update: 1 May 2024.

AARO published its case resolution document about the Eglin case. 

Update: 12 May 2024

On episode 52 of the Need To Know podcast, aired 10 May 2024, Ross Coulthart reported some new information. Ross stated that he had spoken to a pilot who was amongst a group of pilots going out into the same training range, subsequent to the 26th January incident. This pilot said they were informed that there had been two USAF aircraft involved in the incident, not one. Both aircraft pilots had seen four objects on their radar, and both independently saw the same single object. Both pilots thought the object was anomalous. 

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