ANOTHER US Navy sailor has come forward to speak out after he witnessed a 40ft ball of light UFO hovering over deck of the USS Ronald Reagan.
Dozens – or even hundreds – of crewmen are reported to have witnessed the object hovering over the flightdeck of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the strange episode from 2004.
The eerie encounter is the latest in a string of incidents of UFOs reportedly being seen approaching US warships and warplanes – with many former servicemen coming forward to tell their stories.
It comes as UFOs are now taking centre stage in Washington DC – with a landmark hearing earlier this week in which intel chiefs revealed there have been 400 sightings and 11 nears misses.
Strange objects seen in the sky – known more commonly known as UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) – have stepped firmly from the realms of conspiracy theories into a serious national security concern.
And the incident aboard the USS Ronald Reagan is potentially one of the most extraordinary UFO encounters in history with the object being seen multiple times over the course of 4 hours and by a huge number of witnesses.
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Documentary filmmaker Dave C. Beaty – who produced 2019 film The Nimitz Encounters about the famous 2004 US Navy encounter with the "Tic Tac" object – has been investigating the case.
And he put The Sun Online in touch with Derek Smith, a former Boatswain’s Mate Seaman, who was working on the aircraft carrier on the night in question and also saw the UFO.
He is one of eight former US Navy crew who have confirmed they either saw the object or heard about the encounter the following day.
Mr Smith, 42, said he remembers the incident "as if it occured yesterday" and added it was by the far the "most mysterious" thing he has ever seen.
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He said he would have thought he was "crazy" if not for all the other witnesses on the flight deck looking up and pointing at the ball of fire hovering near the Reagan.
"I [can] still visualize this object in my head to a tee regardless of 18 years having passed," Derek told The Sun Online.
The sailor was on starboard forward watch at the time, meaning he was stationed on the massive aircraft carrier's central island and looking forward out over the flight deck.
And so he was in a prime position to witness the encounter with what crew aboard the carrier have dubbed "the blob" or "the thing".
It is alleged that crewmen aboard the vessel were told to not record the encounter in the ship's log,with one being told by one senior officer to "rip that sh*t out"according to another witness.
With UFOs becoming a hot topic in Washington, Derek admitted it would be "nice to have some answers" over what he saw on the Reagan.
All I know is, it was something I could not explain.
" I do believe the government knows more than what they lead us to believe," he told The Sun Online.
Derek has never had another paranormal before or since and says he has "no theories" on what the strange object could have been.
" I am an average Joe. I work a second shift factory job. I am a single father of three boys. In my off time I enjoy playing [Call of Duty:] Warzone and spending time with my boys," he told The Sun Online.
"All I know [is], it was something I could not explain. I could say now though I am starting to feel like I witnessed something special."
Derek witnessed it alongside another sailor, who also confirmed she saw the object in an interview with Mr Beaty.
She described the object as an "orange globe floating over the flight deck" that was keeping pace with the ship – which is believed to have been moving around 22 knots.
Derek's colleague claims she tried to report it to the bridge, but was told to "quit smoking crack" .
And she also claims that while speaking to the ship's bridge, they said they were tracking the object on radar as it followed them doing "swoop" maneuvers.
Some of the witness testimonies vary, offering different times of day and duration of the encounter – but all agree the orange fireball was spotted near the ship.
Derek went on: " I have never really paid too much attention till a few years ago hearing that the Pentagon was releasing files on the subject.
"So, a lot of them people wearing tin hats were on to something all along."
One of the most peculiar elements of the encounter was how calm everyone was, almost as if they were used to seeing such phenomena.
Derek said: "I just continued to stand there on starboard forward and just kept observing it with [mounted binoculars].
"I had no fear whatsoever. The object was just there. I did not feel threatened. I was blown away and amazed by it.
"It was as if I was in a trance. After rotating down to the bridge everything was normal.
"We just stood there and chatted about what we were seeing. No one seemed scared at all. All while this unusual object is hovering above our flight deck."
Derek described how the next day was simply "normal" – but his shipmates were discussing it, some dismissing the giant object as a "weather balloon" – too which he said "hell no".
He believes the object was witnessed by at least 40 people, but other accounts have described the number of witnesses in the "hundreds".
"The airmen I hadon the flight deck looking up at the object did not appear to be frightened in any way," Derek told The Sun Online.
"I remember them pointing up and looked like they were chatting with each other. From what I remember they stayed on the flight deck and carried out their duties."
Reagan encounter witness Karol Olesiak, a former US Navy quartermaster, previously spoke to The Sun Online and he said he believes "the thing" followed them for four hours and being spotted around 8pm.
He described it as reminding him of Biblical descriptions of the "burning bush" and having "negative energy".
Mr Olesiak believes its "possible" someone may have taken photos and videos of the object – but the incident occured before camera phones were common and crew did not carry their mobiles.
"It’s hard to believe somebody would be sitting on it for this long," he told The Sun Online.
USS Ronald Reagan was the ninth in class of the supercarriers – and had a crew of 5,680 sailors, an airwing of 2,480, and 80 warplanes.
The 101,000 ton, 1,092 feet long vessel is powered by two nuclear reactors – making her maiden active deployment in 2006.
And the exact date of the encounter is unknown – but it is believed to have occured in early 2004.
The incident occured while the new nuclear-powered carrier was undergoing a shakedown before being moved into active service.
US lawmakers this week grilled two top security chiefs in the first UFO hearing for 50 years.
The intelligence bosses attempted to explain how difficult it is to track these objects, and showed congressmen two videos.
And while they did not mention aliens, they did admit there are some of the 400 encounters they have on their books which are truly unexplained.
Intel chiefs also urged servicemen to come forward and said they hoped the stigma around reporting was now breaking down.
Much of the discussions however were moved into a classified section of the hearing after the two hour long public session.
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However, some of the lawmakers were left frustrated as the two security officials could not answer questions – citing a lack of data.
And former US Air Force Captain Robert Salas has offered to testify before Congress about his own experience – claiming a UFO appeared over a nuclear missile base.
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