Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve seen the excellent, short film, “The Nimitz Encounters,” by filmmaker Dave Beaty. I’ve known Dave since the late 80s when we worked alongside each other as videographers/editors for WINK-TV News in Ft. Myers, Florida. When the station needed something to look extra nice, they assigned Dave. For the past 25 years, he’s spent his time as a researcher and TV producer for national cable and PBS documentaries and was bestowed with five Emmys related to that work. At the end of this article, I’ll include a more complete version of Dave’s resume.
In an online conversation about “The Nimitz Encounters,” Dave explained, “My motivation to create the film for FREE was to give back to the UFO research community and writers such as Leslie Kean for their tireless efforts at documenting the truth. The NYT article was my first inspiration for me to create the film. When I read the account by David Fravor, I was inspired to do it.”
In his film, he beautifully and masterfully captured the mysterious events of November 14th, 2004, off the coast of San Diego. If you haven’t watched it, do it now. If you have, watch it again. Over one million views on YouTube!
In the beginning, there’s a disclaimer that includes this:
“The producers have endeavored to stay as close to the known facts as possible. This film is not presented as fact.”
There are people on social media who are getting hung up on that second part. All it means is Dave created the film based on information available to him at the time. There’s lots more data that hasn’t been released and even if it is, there’s no way to know for sure if the re-creation is exactly how it happened. Remember, this happened fourteen years ago and memories aren’t perfect. But from everything I’ve read, I think Dave got pretty close. As you’ll see, I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Investigative reporter and author, Leslie Kean, who helped break the New York Times story on December 16th, 2017, regarding the Pentagon’s UFO program, posted some comments and a link to Dave’s film on her Facebook page.
I was surprised to see Kean mention the accuracy of Dave’s film. Most of the information he used to re-create the F/A-18s engaging with the Tic Tac is now public record. So, I figured Kean, who’s written an excellent book about UFOs, would have devoured everything there is to learn about the encounter. But perhaps she’s just been too busy with her Survival of Consciousness research and upcoming doc-series to stay up on the latest regarding the Tic Tac encounter?
Facebook poster, Carol Rainey, jumped in and had some critical words for Kean:
For the most part, I try to avoid drama on this blog. But I feel it’s necessary to point out that Rainey was married to Budd Hopkins from 1996-2006 and Kean was in a relationship with him until the day he passed away. So, maybe there’s a bias or bad blood there?
Dave jumped in on the conversation:
Dave has posted his cell number in various places and asked folks to call him if they have any questions. Last I heard, nobody has taken him up on the offer. Phone calls? Phone calls are so 2010! 🙂
Kean was listed in the “Special Thanks” section of the film and people wanted to know why. She chimed in on that and more:
Reading that post from Kean upset me. I know for a fact that Dave sent a private message to her several months ago and asked a question about the AATIP program. She never responded. So, while she’s right that she’s never spoken to Dave, it’s not because he didn’t try. And yes, I realize that Kean is most likely bombarded by private requests for comments and information and may have missed his message.
And to say that she wasn’t surprised that Fravor said there were some errors in the video? Kean may not have intended it to come across that way but that looks like she’s taking a shot at Dave. I know for a fact that he worked his ass off and tried to get the film as accurate as possible. He contacted several witnesses involved and some refused to provide feedback to help tweak the accuracy. What else should he have done? Hopefully, Kean will explain what she meant by that comment.
Dave can tell you himself as he did in the Kean thread on Facebook. Here, he’s responding to poster, Dareick Kernz, who pointed out Dave’s unrelenting effort to get things right. If you haven’t figured it out yet: besides the eyewitnesses, Dave knows more about this case than most people on this planet. That’s no exaggeration and that includes most reporters.
If Dave Fravor or any other witnesses believe there are any inaccuracies in Beaty’s film, why not just contact him privately and point them out? He’s easy to find! I appreciate Fravor and Slaight going public but it would only take either one of them a few minutes to point out what they think is wrong and send an email. Seeing how much work Dave has put into this labor of love, I believe it’s the right thing to do.
Leslie Kean did explain her comments a few days after Dave, myself and a few others explained to her how hard he worked on the project.
Dave sent me more thoughts about why he created the film and what’s happened since it was posted:
In addition to documenting the event with a re-creation, which BTW is almost a 1:1 match to the Nimitz sighting description in the NYT article, I wanted to offer military witnesses of unknown aerial phenomena a place to contact me anonymously, to create another group of witnesses that will help bolster the official government and military witness testimony for future disclosure efforts. In the week since it’s release I have been contacted by former service members offering descriptions of UAP sightings such as these:
A Radar Tech aboard a US Aircraft Carrier off the coast of Japan tracked an anomalous object on high resolution radar, and later went outside to see the same object with this own eyes.
Another sighting in 1969 by a radio telegraph operator from the US Navy decoded a secret message stating a ship off Alaska reported, “the crew visually witnessed off the port bow of the ship, emerging out of the ocean was a brightly glowing reddish orange elliptical unidentified object, approximately 70 feet in diameter. It emerged out of the ocean and immediately shot straight up into space. The object was tracked on ships radar to be traveling at an estimated 7,000 mph.”
On a related note, Dave explained to me how his FOIA act requests related to the Tic Tac case have come up empty:
I have a bunch of Nimitz FOIAs. My biggest discovery was the USS Princeton failed, as required, to submit watch officer Deck Logs for the year 2004. Upon looking into this the Navy liaison I was working with said it was highly unusual but could offer no other explanation. The sister ships to Princeton, I was told, did submit deck logs. So I went after them – the USS Chafee and USS Higgins, yet it’s been months with no response from the Navy even though I was assured they have those records. I also have a FOIA out to COMNAVAIRPAC the Naval Air Force Command for Pacific trying to secure a copy of the Event Summary as leaked on Above Top Secret. This is the Nov 14th, 2004 flight log that mentions the intercept by fast eagles 110 and 100 as an UNID.
I asked for deck log of the 2015 USS Roosevelt cruiser USS Normandy and had them in 2 months. Why are USS Princeton’s missing for that Tic Tac time period? And why has it been over 6 months for a record that Kevin Day said I should locate – deck logs of Chafee and Higgins? Should just be a photo copy. These are not UFO related. They are documents created on every ship every day, routine. And during training, not restricted.
“Awesome! I sent it to Fravor. Very cool. Must have been a ton of work.”
~Paco Chierici, Naval pilot who flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats during his 10 year active duty career. Paco is currently a 737 captain and author of the ground-breaking article on the Tic Tac encounter.
“Awesome! Technically and tactically correct. Although I cant vouch for UFOs. Very well packaged and presented. VF- 41 was my sister squadron on Nimitz 81’-83, for our deployments to Mediterranean. Bravo Zulu! In Navy terms – job well done – Dave. Thanks for sharing – lotsa memories rocketing off front end Nimitz in my younger years.”
~Mark Yonchak, Naval aviator on the Nimitz in the 80’s
Dave recently appeared on “UFO News Network Sunday” with Frank Stalter and James Iandoli and shared some breaking news on the Tic Tac encounter. If these witnesses are who they say they are, this is extremely important information. Here is an edited transcript of the relevant segment:
Dave Beaty: “I have a whole collection of…untold UFO stories. I have three that are from the Nimitz encounter. And these are guys who have not been heard of before – no-one knows their names – and they’re very interesting.
“The first witness, his name is Jason Turner. He was on the USS Princeton in November of 2004 and he wasn’t in the Combat Information Center, sitting behind a radar screen. Actually, he worked in the ship’s store and medical department as a Petty Officer, I guess. But, of course, everybody on that ship knew what was going on that next day or whatever. And he had a buddy that worked in the…I guess it would be in one of the intel spaces on the ship. He was like a cryptographic technician, something like that. And he invited Jason…he’s like, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta see this video cause we have it on our console.’ He had clearance to go into that area of the ship called the SSES – the Ship’s Signals Exploitation Space – where these consoles were that they used for…storing intel. And he showed him this FLIR video. And it is the video that we have a copy of. But Jason says that the video he saw…was much higher quality, much higher resolution. And he said that it was much longer.
“The video that we have is about one minute, seventeen seconds. And the one he saw was seven to ten minutes in length. And I said, ‘Well, was there anything cool on it? Or is it just this white blob in the center of he screen like we have?’ And he said, ‘No.’ He goes, ‘This thing was being chased by the jet and it did a ninety-degree turn, which you could see.’ And he said it just took off like hyper-sonic, out of the frame. And I go, ‘Well, is that in the video that we have?’ He goes, ‘No, you don’t see that in the FLIR video we have.’ But it was on this original one that he saw. So, somewhere that’s out there, this ten-minute FLIR video.
“And I ask him, I go, ‘Well, did you see anybody come onto the ship? Or were you asked not to talk about this?’ He said, ‘No,’ they were never told not to talk about it. He said that when the ship docked, after that training in San Diego when they came back to port, he said that guys came on board in plain clothes and secured all the data from the ship. All the radar and everything and took it away. So, that was the last he saw of it and I don’t think he knew who these guys were aside from the officers who were a part of the Navy. So that’s one interesting story. Jason’s out there and he doesn’t mind having his name used.
“So the second guy was on the USS Nimitz and he was in the Wallbanger’s Squadron. This is the E-2 Hawkeye, an early warning aircraft.”
Frank Stalter: “The radar plane. The radar plane.”
Dave Beaty: “Yeah, the one you see in my film, ‘Banger.’ With a giant, round radar dish sitting on top of it. They normally control the fighter jets when there’s missions going on. They get up high and they can see everything. So, they’re like an air traffic controller in the sky. Well, this guy was on there. He was an avionics technician. And his job was when these planes landed, they would do maintenance on the planes. But his job was to secure and remove…part of the avionics are these hard drives. He said that they record the radar tracks on. I guess it’s kept as a copy. And on that day when that particular mission came back and that E-2 Hawkeye – I guess, the one in my film or one of them – landed, the plane was sitting there for like twenty-minutes and they were taking these hard discs off.
“And the skipper or the commanding officer came up and he said, ‘There’s some guys here that are gonna take that material so we need to get those hard drives.’ And he says that there were two Air Force officers or two, United States Air Force personnel that had landed on Nimitz that morning or that afternoon and they were there to take these hard drives off of this E-2 Hawkeye. And he saw them take them and they confiscated theses hard drives and then they were gone. I had never heard that. I said, ‘You sure these were United States Air Force on a Navy carrier?’ He said, ‘Yep. They stood out like a sore thumb.’ You know, I’ve heard of the OSI, so perhaps he’s correct.
“And by the way, I can’t 100% verify these guys because I didn’t go see their ID. But I did go to the USS Nimitz cruise book and look ’em up. And sure enough, they claimed to be these guys and I’m looking at their picture and there’s their name and they were on the ship and that’s their job. So, unless I guess that DD-whatever form, I’m just gonna have to go with it. I’m pretty sure they’re telling me the truth and not just pulling my leg.
“Okay, so the last one. This witness – and this is pretty cool – he was a radar officer with the Wallbanger’s squadron. So he, flew in the Hawkeye. And both of these last two, they don’t want their names mentioned, at least at this point. So, they’re anonymous. He says that they were up there and he heard the jets: Fravor and Slaight and Kurth and all these guys on the radio. He heard the weapons load-out and these intercepts. And he said that it was kind of scary cause they didn’t know if there was hostile intent or what was going on. So it was a very tense day. And he was kind of glad no casualties resulted in any of this stuff. But he said that he and the crew saw the Tic Tacs. That on this Hawkeye, he said that this craft transited very quickly. And then, for a second, he said it joined up on their Hawkeye. I’m not sure if that meant off the wing or whatever and then it took off for like two or three seconds. So he said that everybody on that plane saw the Tic Tac.
“So, finally, the mission’s over and they’re coming back. You know, they’re called back to the carrier to come in to trap on the carrier. And over the radio, they’re told to sit there and not to turn off the motor. And said that that means…it’s called like a hot pump. He said that their engines are running. In a combat situation I guess they would sometimes refuel the plane as it just sits there on the dock and then take off again. He said it was very unusual in this situation to be asked to sit there with the engines running. He said after twenty minutes they were given the order to turn off the engines and come out.
“They were met there on the deck by their CO [Commanding Officer ~Joe] or their skipper and a couple of other individuals. And they were told to follow them downstairs into some secure area on the carrier. When they got into the secure area, they began individually briefing these guys. And they told them, ‘You didn’t see anything. This did not happen.’ And they had them sign affidavits or NDAs or something. So he’s saying…he had to sign something that he would not discuss this incident. He said after that, they were lead back to their ready room. And when they got back, another unusual thing…they were told that they were not going to debrief the mission, which was something that they always did. They would talk about safety issues or post-flight call outs. In this case, they weren’t even allowed to talk about the flight at all. He was told, ‘This didn’t happen.’ And he said after he saw my film, he was like, ‘The is like the first time in fourteen years that I was able to look at that and go, you know what, it’s great to see that. Because for all these years, I was really starting to think, maybe it really did not happen.”
Dave Beaty’s Expanded Resume:
TV Producer, Researcher, Writer, Expert in UAV cinematography, editing, sound design, motion graphics & 3d graphics. Aviation History Documentaries, 25+ years in the production industry including national shows on Travel Channel, History Channel and PBS.
Career origins span 30 years in journalism, film, computer graphics and electronic music.
Achievements in both documentary and entertainment programs:
Emmy Award for craft camera on The Travel Channel’s, “Waters Edge The Bahamas”, and in 1999 received a Emmy Award for editing of the PBS documentary, “Children of the Fourth World”. In 2000 received a Monitor Award for “Uncommon Friends of the 20th Century”. Cable Ace nomination for network programming includes Travel Channel’s “Freeze Frame” series and “Wildlife Encounters In Alaska”, History Channel’s “Fireboats of 9/11” and “The Nazi Plan to Bomb New York”. In 2007 I co-produced the Emmy nominated “Pope John Paul: A Saint for Our Times” for PBS and in 2008 co-produced Emmy Winning doc “Under the Sea With Al Giddings”. Co-produced the 2015 bio-epic “Queen of Swing” on PBS I have also worked on feature segments for Inside Edition, America’s Most Wanted, CBS, FOX, MLB, Animal Planet and Home & Garden Television just to name a few.
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