Witnesses described an encounter with a UFO in 2004 while aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan

(ORDO NEWS) — Several US Navy personnel who served aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) claim to have encountered a mysterious balloon-shaped flying object in 2004 while on duty off the US East Coast. Nearly two decades later, this incident still defies explanation.

Witnesses who were on the Nimitz-class nuclear supership on the night of the incident say they saw a glowing round object 20 to 40 feet wide suddenly appear and begin to hover above the ship’s flight deck.

What makes this event even stranger is that the sailors who witnessed it say that their naval commanders did not seem to be interested in the large luminous ball flying over the ship, and continued normal operations without issuing any orders to take protective measures.

Now reporters have spoken to nearly a dozen eyewitnesses to the 2004 incident, finally allowing this remarkable UAE sighting to be documented by several US Navy personnel.

Witnesses described an encounter with a UFO in 2004 while aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan 2


On July 12, 2003, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was commissioned and became the ninth Nimitz-class nuclear supership. The ship is currently 1,092 feet long:

– A total crew of 5,680 people (they are often called “76s”, based on the designation CVN-76).

– Air wing crew of 2,480 people

– 80+ aircraft

– Two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors

– Power up to 260,000 hp and a maximum speed of 30 knots

In 2003, during sea trials, the USS Ronald Reagan called the East Coast home. This area of ​​operations in the Atlantic Ocean extended from Florida to Virginia using the Virginia Capes Range Complex (FACSFAC VACAPES), the Cherry Point and Jacksonville Naval Operations Areas (FACSFAC JAX).

Between January and May 2004, the aircraft carrier underwent a secondary flight deck certification off the East Coast as part of the Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) program, a certification process for newly acquired naval vessels to correct deficiencies discovered during the initial cruise.

On May 27, 2004, the Reagan left Norfolk to begin an extended circumnavigation of South America to its home base in San Diego, California.


During USS Ronald Reagan’s post-cruise readiness, various flight deck certifications continued, and squadrons used the ship for training.

The VX-23 “Salty Dogs” Test and Evaluation Squadron conducted flight tests from the ship in July 2003, and VFA-15 “Valions” also conducted flight deck evaluations in May 2004, although there does not seem to be any access to the ship at that time. a permanent air wing was attached.

In May 04, the 11th Aircraft Carrier Wing, normally assigned to the USS Nimitz, transferred 25% of its aircraft aboard the USS Ronald Reagan for transit around South America.

It should be noted that VFA-41, the Black Aces made famous by the 2004 Tic-Tac collision by Commander David Fravor, were also aboard the ship (although it is not known

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During the ongoing investigation, journalists interviewed five witnesses who were aboard the USS Reagan at the time of the incident and were able to give first-hand accounts of being UAP eyewitnesses.

As part of this process, a military service audit was conducted using DD-214 Army discharge papers, the official 2004 USS Ronald Reagan cruise book, and corroborating witness statements.


Karol Olesyak was Petty Officer 3rd Class and Quartermaster on the USS Ronald Reagan at the time of the incident. His job was to steer the ship, he worked from the main bridge at the navigation table. He was also responsible for maintaining the USS Reagan’s official ship’s logbook at the time of the incident.

On the day of the incident, Karol was in charge of the watch from 20:00 pm to 12:00 am. This duty required him to report to the navigation table on the main bridge and coordinate the ship’s maneuvering.

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Olesyak said that when he arrived in the evening to change the previous watch, the outgoing watch commander indicated that something was already happening at that time, although this person did not offer any additional information. However, it soon became clear to Olesyak that something was going on outside above the flight deck.

I’m pretty sure ‘it’ was there,” Olesyak said. “And they said, ‘I don’t know what it is. I don’t care.’ Do you understand what I mean? It’s like they had this attitude: “I’m going to my desk. I don’t care. … don’t even bother me about this shit” … So this “thing” is there, throughout my entire tour, and since the officers ignore her, I have to ignore her.”

Olesyak stressed that everyone works in 16-hour shifts and, unless the problem is life-threatening, most problems are a priority. He stated that his previous training at a military camp taught him not to challenge orders.

According to him, the watch officer continued the normal operation of the bridge. Olesyak said he saw a large round glowing orange object with a fiery surface hovering about 100 feet above the flight deck.

He said that he saw this object directly through the windows on the bridge at eye level. Olesyak says the surface of the object reminded him of the biblical descriptions of the “burning bush”.

“In the Eastern Orthodox Church, a burning bush is explained as unburned energy,” Olesyak reflects. “When you see it, you’re fascinated by its newness.

You’ve never seen it before. Right? You’ve never seen negative energy… but it’s there. You don’t know what it is – the experience of seeing something you haven’t seen before.” “.

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Olesyak noted that the officer of the watch (OOW) and the bridge officer were not alarmed by the object. They continued to work as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. When asked to explain why he did not report the sighting,

Olesyak stated that his training required him to obey senior officers. Since they observed this and did not react, then it was his duty to not be distracted from work. “It’s a problem when someone says it’s a problem. It’s a problem when someone tells you it’s a problem,” he said. Karol said he was surprised that the aerial work was continuing.

“And this is watching the planes, this is watching the launch of the planes,” he said. “For me, even though I’ve never seen it before, I thought it was natural and that, you know, it’s an organic thing that we might be a different life form, maybe, but something that we’ll figure out in the future. “.

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Karol could only see the object from his position on the bridge. He does not remember seeing the object approach or move in any way other than according to the speed of the ship, which he says was ahead at 22 knots based on operational data. He believes that the object was in the same place during his entire four-hour watch.

Olesyak first wrote about this sighting on his website in October 2021 (UAP investigator Keith Busterfield brought this article to Dave Beaty’s attention for this report). You can also learn more from Karol Olesyak in this video interview with Dave Beaty (below):


Derek Smith joined the Navy in February 2002 as a Seaman (SN) in the Deck Department, responsible for the maintenance and operation of ships. Smith has also been trained as an observer. Rangers are trained to visually recognize aircraft, ships, and marine mammals.

According to Smith, at the time of observation, he was outside on the upper level of the podium that surrounded the ship’s island superstructure. This starboard viewing position is approximately 50 to 75 feet above deck.

Smith reported that at the time of the observation he was with a female trainee (hereinafter referred to as “Witness 3”).

Shortly after arriving on watch, their attention was drawn to a large glowing orange object hovering over the flight deck several hundred feet ahead of them, just above the ship’s centerline ahead of the island.

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“I was sitting here looking at this thing and I couldn’t figure out what it was,” Smith said in an interview. “It had some shape. It was oval…it didn’t look solid, but it was shaped.”

Derek said he reported the sighting to the carrier’s tactical operations center (TOP), as required, using the monitors’ microphone and sonic-powered headset. He also stated that he viewed the object through “big eyes” binoculars mounted on the deck. He said the object looked like a “luminous, gaseous” self-luminous object.

It also appeared to have a “moving” vortex surface, but was unable to identify it as an aircraft or helicopter. Smith recalls observing the object for several minutes.

“From starboard forward in front of you was, I would say, about 70% of the flight deck. I remember that we looked down at the flight deck, there were pilots, and she and I just looked at each other. Then we looked down at the flight deck deck, and all the people on the flight deck were looking up at (object).”

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During this event with BMSN Derek Smith, there was a female trainee or “UI” (in training) at the observation post, referred to here as “Witness 3” who wished to remain anonymous. The journalist spoke to Witness 3 in April 2022 about the sighting, and at that time she was able to confirm some of the details given by Smith and Olesyak.

Witness 3 states that in the past 19 years she has not been in contact with any of the other witnesses and has never read Olesyak’s article about the surveillance. According to Witness 3, she did not arrive on the ship until November or December 2003, at the Newport News Navy Yard.

At the time of the meeting, according to Witness 3, she was in training with Smith, whom she refers to as “Smith D”. At some point, they both spotted a large, “round, glowing object hovering over the flight deck” several hundred feet above them and circling the ship, which was underway at the time.

Witness 3 said that Smith told her to call the operations center to report an airborne contact, and that when she reported it, she was greeted skeptically on the radio and asked if she “smoked crack”.

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Contrary to the testimony of Olesyak and Smith, Witness 3 stated that she remembered that the first sighting was before sunset, around dusk, and that it was cloudy at that time.

Then she remembered that she saw an object going into the clouds. Witness 3 said that she recalled that tactical operations also reported contact with air search radar during this event.

“After I reported it, they said, ‘Tell us what’s going on. And then he stayed with us. I don’t remember how long he stayed with the ship, but he stayed with the ship for a while. …It just followed us. And they asked: “How do you feel about the sun?” I said, “It’s not the sun.”

Witness 3 also said that people working on the flight deck were watching the object, some of them with growing concern.

“There was a group of people,” recalls witness 3, “who saw them down there, they looked up and pointed up, and they all flew away…

They just ran away from the airfield. They dropped their things and flew away, and then we looked up and said, “What is this?”…there was a huge ball over their heads, see?…they all flew away.”

Witness 3 described the object as a large “round object with a glowing orange color and indistinct edges”, hard but not defined edges.

According to her, the inner color was swirling, like in a “science video of the sun up close.” She described a sudden series of semi-circle-like maneuvers just before he “blew off into the clouds” at great speed.

Witness 3 said that at the time of observation they were not involved in flight operations. These drills had been completed earlier and the air department was busy guarding the equipment when the sighting took place.

According to her, her watch ended after dark, and she remembers being on the bridge at the post of helmsman on duty with Derek Smith and heard other watchmen comment on UFOs. She also remembers the instructions that no log entries should be made about this event.


Patrick Goki joined the Navy in August 2003 and after basic training and “A school” in November 2003 was assigned to the USS Ronald Regan. He boarded a ship at the Newport News Navy Yard as a sailor.

Goki reports that he believes the sightings occurred during sea trials, when the aircraft carrier went to sea for 1-2 weeks for qualification tests between December 2003 and May 2004. He recalls being told, “We are in the Bermuda Triangle.”

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On the night of the meeting with the UAP, he said he was on watch from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am, and for the first time he observed the object from the starboard side of the bow observation post on the island’s catwalk.

According to him, during this period there were up to 10 people at the observation posts, and they replaced each other every hour.

“I just saw this orange, bright orange ball, it was wavy, but somehow remained solid like plasma,” Goki said. “And he just appeared over the airfield. Maybe 200 feet from the airfield. He was sitting there for about 30 seconds.”

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Goki said that, according to his recollections, there were flight operations, and on the airfield below him were dozens of people of the flight crew. According to him, after a while he watched the object, which was quickly moving away.

“He didn’t seem to move at all, we moved during the flight and he seemed to stay with us. But without any movement to notice. After that, he just did three semi-circles, just 1, 2, 3 and disappeared. I mean, just in the blink of an eye, it disappeared. And it was kind of weird and, you know.”

“I reported it,” Goki said, noting that “other people have already reported it.”

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During one of his rotations, Goki revealed that he was placed in a lookout position on a fantail. This location is a catwalk at the very rear of the carrier, below the flight deck, and provides an unobstructed view to the rear of the ship. It was during this watch that he spotted the object again.

“I was alone on the fantail and it’s the same,” said Goki. “He came back on our tail and hovered, you know, maybe a hundred or two hundred feet in the air at the same, you know, maybe the same distance behind, made three semicircles and flew away.”

Goki stated that he thought the object was closer this time and had the same characteristics and description as the first object.

Based on his description of an object that paced behind a ship and made three identical semi-circular movements just before the object quickly “shot back”, he believes that the object was under intelligent control.

“Yes. They were controlled in some way,” Goki said. “It just couldn’t be an accident.”

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At the time of the sighting, the person identified here as “Witness 5” (who also wished to remain anonymous) was the boatswain’s officer in charge of the watch (BMOW).

His duties included watching all viewing instruments and maintaining the boatswain’s logbook at his post inside the bridge, and he reported to the officer of the watch (OOW).

Witness 5 said that he was in contact with all of the monitors, including Derek Smith, Witness 3 and Patrick Goka, as well as with the other monitors on duty.

In his testimony, Witness 5 says that when he took over the watch that evening, he was approached by his superior, who told him to go outside and see why the observers were “talking on the intercom about UFOs.” Witness 5 said that he immediately went outside, ready to “reprove” the observers.

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As he approached the starboard forward lookout, he said he immediately spotted a large round object about 200 feet above the airfield in front of him.

He reported that the object “glowed orange” and seemed somewhat “blurred” and similar to a “clot”. It did not illuminate the ship’s flight deck, but was similar in color to the orange work lights used on the ship at night.

He noticed that the pilots working below on the flight deck were looking up at this object, but said that no air operations were taking place at that time. According to him, he did not see the UAP fly in, fly out, or make any movement for several minutes when he watched him.

“It was like a translucent clot, very translucent,” he said. “You could see through it, and it was… like a lava lamp. It had this movement… It seemed almost viscous, but in the air, and it moved.”

Witness 5 testified that while it may seem unusual to most civilians that the officers were not alarmed by the sight of this facility, he said that everyone was working due to lack of sleep and a lot of physically strenuous work. Witness 5 said that at the time he was surprised at the inaction of the officers, but concluded that it was “beyond my strength”.

Even more disturbing, however, was that when Witness 5 returned to his watch post on the bridge and began to record the sighting in his log, his superior told him to “pull it out.” (Editor’s note: “Debrif” has contacted Witness 5’s Naval Public Relations Office, requesting permission for the soldier to speak on duty, but has yet to receive any response.)


Establishing the exact date of the incident, which occurred almost two decades ago, is fraught with certain difficulties. Carl Olesyak originally believed that this event could have occurred during the September 2003 Hurricane Isabel preemption.

As a major hurricane threatened the east coast, the USS Ronald Reagan and 40 other ships left Norfolk Naval Station to ride out the storm.

However, two other key witnesses stated that they did not board the ship until November 2003. Based on the testimony of these witnesses, it can be assumed that the event took place between December 03 and May 04, when Reagan left Norfolk and headed to San Diego.


The various descriptions of the object given by primary witnesses were largely consistent. Assuming that the witnesses accurately described the object they were witnessing, then it had the following apparent characteristics:

“About the size of a jet fighter (10-40 feet wide).

– Hovered at an altitude of 100-200 above the airfield in the bow of the island

– Yellow, orange, reddish, fiery color

– Round or side oval, “clot”.

– Gaseous surface view with movement on the surface

– Burning-like appearance of the surface – like in “science videos about the sun”

– The edges are not even and not symmetrical. Rough edges. fuzzy edges

– Possibility of translucency

– Self-luminous – not reflected light

– The object does not illuminate the airfield

– No sound or smell from object reported

– Two witnesses observed hovering and semi-circular movements as the object departed

– Two witnesses watched the object move away at high speed


One of the most puzzling aspects of this meeting was the lack of response from US Naval Command Reagan. Karol Olesyak recalled that the captain was not on the bridge and, to his knowledge, he was not called or informed while he was present. He stated that there was no common wardroom or defensive measures on the bridge.

Several witnesses reported jokes that referred to the “Bermuda Triangle”. Olesyak said that the lack of reaction from everyone present reminded him of the folk tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in which the emperor travels around the city in “invisible” clothes, and the townspeople do not pay attention to him, afraid that he will stare and admit that in fact he is naked.

Luis Elizondo is a former U.S. Army counterintelligence special agent and a former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Office of Intelligence officer. He is also the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a government program that he says once studied UAP military sightings.

Elizondo said that he was aware of similar cases where attempts were made to ignore ongoing events.

“As unbelievable as it may seem, this is not the first time reports of UAP eyewitnesses have behaved in this manner,” Elizondo said.

“There are cases that we’ve come across in AATIP where some of the observers were almost mesmerized or, I think in a less dramatic sense, almost mesmerized by the event to the point that after the event, just after the event, people sort of scratch their heads and say Oh God, did we just see what we saw?

Another disturbing note from witnesses is that they say they saw and heard officers instructing the crew not to record this event in the official ship’s log. In addition, Patrick Goki was on the bridge and, according to him, watched as one officer ordered his subordinates to remove pages from his journal.

“I remember how one of the officers on deck ordered someone to tear out the pages from the deck magazine,” Goki recalls, “which was the most surprising thing for me, because in the Navy they always told me that everything you write in the magazine is legal record, and you can’t, you know, just destroy it by ripping out something like that. So that was the most amazing thing for me.”

Witness 5, who was the boatswain’s mate on the watch, recalled that when he recorded the observation in his “Green Log” or the official log of the boatswain’s watch, the senior officer ordered him to “pull out that crap.”

He said that it was not the official deck log kept by the quartermasters, but a less formal one kept by members of the watch.

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Witness 3 said that the observers were told not to record this, and Karol Olesiak, who kept the official ship’s logbook, says that he did not record this observation either.

“I asked if I should write it down in a log? You know, and I think I might have asked the officer and I don’t remember exactly what he said, but the impression I got was that it shouldn’t be in the official journal. “Karol Olesyak QM3

Elizondo said he was familiar with UAP cases that he studied where the very stigma of an official case report in the log was avoided in order to keep the record clear of what was considered “off topic or unauthentic topic.”

“Actually there is a term they used which… was basically ‘check in and strike out’,” explains Elizondo. “So basically they were required to file these incidents, but then basically they crossed them out as if it didn’t happen… they do what they are told to do, but at the same time they are not told.”


Since 2017, new details have come to light in several incidents involving US Navy personnel who claim to have observed UAP while on duty.

These events include the well-known 2004 incident involving the 11th Naval Aircraft Carrier Strike Group, commonly known as the “Nimitz Incident”, as well as a series of radar-visual encounters reported by Navy personnel aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt that took place in 2014-2015.

years. Several similar incidents involving US Navy personnel have been reported since 2020, and the Pentagon’s involvement in ongoing investigations into such incidents has also been confirmed.

The glowing submarines reported by the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan bear similarities to other reports of military submarine strikes decades ago. In March 1967, Lieutenant Robert Salas was second in command of the missile combat crew at the Oscar Race missile launcher at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

It was a Minuteman ICBM silo facility, and according to Salas, the base’s security guards radioed him and reported a “glowing red ball” over the base’s entrance gate. Shortly after this call, he reported that 8-10 Oscar Race ICBM missiles had failed.

Another guard from a nearby Echo Flight launcher later told him that he saw an object “of a red or orange-red color” flying past that “glowing” and looked “like a fireball”, “had no clear shape and seemed round”.

Then another 8-10 nuclear missiles were disabled at the Echo spaceport. These documented missile shutdowns, ostensibly related to UAP sightings, remain unexplained and are detailed in Salas’ book, The Faded Giant, co-authored with James Klotz.

Orange fireball-like objects have been reported to have appeared at other military nuclear facilities. On October 28, 1975, at Loring AFB, Maine, Sergeant Steven Eichner, B-52 bomber crew commander, was working with Sergeant R. Jones and other crew members when Jones spotted a “red-orange object” over a nuclear weapons storage area. According to Eichner, it looked like “an elongated soccer ball”.

The crew gave chase and soon spotted an object 300 feet away, hovering 5 feet above the ground. It made no sound and was “reddish-orange in color” about 4 car lengths in size. Eichner described the object “as if all the colors were mixed together, as if you were looking at a desert scene…

There were waves in front of the object and all the colors were mixed together. The object was solid and we didn’t hear any noise coming from it” (events , as well as relevant government documents, have been detailed by researchers Barry Greenwood and Larry Fawcett in their book Manifest Intent: The Government Coverup of the Ufo Experience).

Elizondo revealed that he was familiar with these types of ULAs, adding: “What appeared to be these orbs or glowing orbs were almost, like, plasma-like orbs, and some even suggested they looked like something we’re familiar with, ( i) can be compared to unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, or drones, basically probes if you will, that are associated with the NLA and potentially even launched and deployed from a real NLA ship.”

Linda Thompson, a MUFON field investigator who scoured the UFO sighting organization’s private database for “fireball” reports, said that “a total of 91,190 reports were received from 1/1/95 to 4/24/22 with 4,773 orbs and 839 Saturnian. For example, several of them may fit the description, and several are also described as an orb.

Another national database for UFO reports is the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC). According to the NUFORC website, “The main function of the Center over the past four decades has been to receive, record and, where possible, confirm and document reports from people who have witnessed unusual, possibly UFO-related events.” Of the 138,017 messages on the Internet, 9,605 are in the form of a “fireball”, which is about 6.96% of all cases.


The collision with USS Ronald Reagan in 2004 is both profound but also puzzling given the testimony of witnesses.

UAP cases are often criticized for lack of physical evidence, and this case is no exception. However, what distinguishes this meeting is the sheer number and quality of the witnesses. Most of them have been trained as observers to spot known aircraft.

Of the ten Navy veterans, five are key witnesses who personally saw the facility and independently recalled the event. Some of these people have never spoken about this incident in the 18 years since the incident. Although most of them do not remember the exact date and time, they claim to remember what they saw.

The details vary slightly, but there were no major differences in testimony or clear signs of deception. According to each of them, many more of their shipmates witnessed this event from the flight deck or other bridges and squads. According to them, according to various estimates, between 50 and 300 people were present during the hours-long event.

The lack of reaction from the watch officers and the order not to record this event is also puzzling, but perhaps due to the reluctance to acknowledge the strange phenomenon in an era when people who reported UFO sightings were still stigmatized. According to the pilots and officers we spoke with, this could also affect promotions.

One thing is clear today: incidents like these are mandatory reported under newly developed Navy guidelines and forwarded to the new Aircraft Identification and Control Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) under the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD(I&S)).

According to a memo from Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, this department is tasked with coordinating with other federal agencies to “detect, identify and attribute” SSNs, and “evaluate and, as appropriate, mitigate any associated threats to air safety and national security.” “.

One thing is certain, if the USS Ronald Reagan incident happened today, it is unlikely that the public would ever know details like those presented here, as they will now be kept secret.

Recent Navy briefing cards, obtained as a result of a request from researcher Marc Cecotti of the Naval Information and Information Administration (CHINFO) Communications Section, describe “assistance in responding to UAP-related media inquiries” and state, that “information obtained in any form or from any source in connection with the UAP is classified.”

In other words, there will be no unauthorized PBN information from military personnel in the future, as all military PBN reports will now be considered secret.

In light of this, the significance of the testimony given here, which was taken from many members of the military and women aboard the USS Ronald Regan in 2004, is key to providing a broader public understanding of what countless members of the military said they experienced during services.


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