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Navy Pilot Reveals How He Came Up With ‘Tic Tac’ for the UFO He Saw and More

A video interview with the Navy pilot who coined the name “Tic-Tac” for the UFO he saw off the coast of San Diego in 2004 has finally been released in its entirety and it reveals why he picked that name and much more. The pilot is Commander Chad Underwood and the interviewee is documentary filmmaker Jeremey Corbell, who has been slowly revealing the videos he has found through his own efforts and with the help of government insiders since the story broke in 2017. The 25-minute video is well worth watching in its entirely (see it here) but here are a few of the more interesting highlights if you need convincing.

Then-Lieutenant Underwood’s F/A-18 Super Hornet was in the air with Black Aces commanding officer David Fravor, who has become the face of the pilots reporting the encounter due to his many media appearances. However, Underwood’s plane was the one that took the famous FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) video. Actually, we now know there was also an 8mm radar video taken, but Underwood reveals that it probably won’t be seen by the public.

Tic-tac UFO

Still image from the footage of the “tic-tac” UFO

“No, and they’re probably not going to see it for a long time. Because the radar tape is are … there’s two types of sensors that we record on the aircraft, active sensors and passive sensors. The FLIR is a passive sensor, the radar however, is what we call an active sensor. So it’s shooting emissions out and receiving data in and an active sensor can be exploited by our enemies if they can see the data that’s on that screen.”

That’s disappointing, because Underwood says the active radar recording would show his initial contact with the UAP. Speaking of contact, Underwood also gives more details on the report that his radar was jammed – that would be an act of war, yet there was no military response to it, leading some to believe Underwood was mistaken or there was no jamming.

“I was not consulted for that report. I have been interviewed 1/10 of 1% from the government, as I have from yourself. I did get jamming cues on my radar tape, and you can see cues of jamming on both your radar and your FLIR tape. You know when Commander Fravor described on your FLIR tape, when you see like 99.9 range to target. That means you’re being jammed.”

Of course, the best part of the video is Underwood’s explanation for how he came up with the Tic Tac description. He was talking about the encounter to other personnel on the USS Nimitz after landing.

“And so we popped the tapes in and they were like, what would you describe this as? And my thoughts going through my head where the scene from Airplane where the reporters are asking that guy Johnny, one of the ground controllers, “Can you describe this plane? And he’s like, Oh, it’s a big white shiny plane with wheels. And you know, it looks like a big Tylenol.””

 

“And I knew if I described it as a big Tylenol that that’s too much not taking it seriously. And anyone who knows me, I don’t take a whole lot of things seriously, but I was like, ah, I probably shouldn’t say that. It’s just it’s too on the nose. And so I was like, well, it looks like a big Tic Tac, you know, and it did. Like just kind of this white, oblong, featureless thing. It looks like a Tic Tac and it just kind of became the name for it for the next few days, little did I know that 17 years ago, it would still be a thing.”

The interview gets serious as Underwood gives a minute-by-minute account of what he saw, the actions he took, the conversations he had with on-ship personnel and the unbelievable actions of the “Tic Tac.” His radar and FLIR should have been able to track it, but didn’t.

“And so once it shot off to the left, immediately aggressively maneuver my fire to the left to try to require and it moved with a velocity that I’ve not seen, I should be able to reacquire that aircraft, or whatever it was. And that’s just, I mean, we’re talking an $80 million fighter, you know.”

He saw no exhaust or heat.

“And my estimation at this point is that was about 10 to 15 miles off my nose, I should be able to see an exhaust plume on my FLIR, you should be able to see that heat, I should be able to tell that it’s an aircraft, it’s got wings, I should be able to tell what type of aircraft it is, I should be able to know that. And I wasn’t seeing any of that.”

Underwood also makes an interesting observation about the possibility that the UAP was our own secret technology – a “black project.”

“What happens is, when you’re in the Intelligence Center, CVIC, you describe what you saw, they describe what you’ve seen, they make you sign a nondisclosure agreement or an NDA. And they say, this is the project name. They don’t describe what it is or what it does, or, you know, anything like that. It’s just, you know, you shall not speak of this again.”

That didn’t happen with Underwood or Fravor, so he feels it was not ours – especially since it would have had to have been kept secret for 17 years. So, what was it?

“I have no idea. Like, it was just this weird thing that I should normally be able to identify or identify with characteristics. Yeah, it had no flight characteristics, you know, a method of lift, propulsion, things like that. And it was at a range where I should be able to distinguish flight characteristics, and that just just didn’t happen.”

Aliens? See for yourself what Cmdr. Underwood thinks of that question in the video or read the transcript at Mystery Wire. Kudos as always to Cmdr. Chad Underwood for continuing to address the famous and still unexplained sightings, and to Jeremy Corbell for his uncanny ability to obtain the videos and the interviews.

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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