Patrick Hughes wasn’t a direct witness to the Nimitiz UFO encounter, but as an Avionics Technician during the incident he was able to detail specifics on how it was viewed behind the scenes. He was a 2nd Class Petty Officer (AT2)/ an Avionics Technician with VAW-117 (the world famous Wallbanger) at the time of the incident. He left the Navy in December of 2010 after 11 years, and worked for Northrup-Grumman as a Tech Rep on the E-2C/D Hawkeyes for several years. Hughes left the Navy as a 1st Class Petty Officer, but still remembers the historic Tic-Tac UAP sighting, and is a part of the “Nimitiz Encounters” short film.
“I never directly saw the Tic-Tac object; I’ve only seen the short clip most of the public has seen,” Hughes said. “ As I’ve stated in Dave Beaty’s ‘Nimitz Encounters,’ I dealt with behind the scenes stuff. The E-2C Hawkeye was my plane, and with its suite of sensors, it’s pretty unstoppable. Most of what the sensors see is recorded onto hard drives. After a specific flight, (Dave) Fravor’s flight of my memory is correct (but definitely same day and near the same time) two Air Force Officers accompanied my Commanding Officer, and took the hard drives from the flight and never gave them back. Specifically, I believe they were after our CEC data. Can’t really elaborate on why because much of CEC is classified. You can google CEC to get a basic idea. I can also relay things witnessed by one of my friends/coworkers who was airborne in the Hawkeye at the time. ‘Roger’s’ portion of the story. He signed an NDA and is why he isn’t coming forward other then brief confirmation.”
Hughes wasn’t asked to sign a NDA. He was also not interviewed about this subject outside Beaty’s film while other colleagues like Fravor, Beaty and Kevin Day have been featured( Punk rock and UFOs was one of Day’s first interviews).
“I was never signed a NDA regarding this event, nor was I ever talked to about or asked about it,” Hughes said. “ The closest thing to any of that was our Chief who said shut our mouths when ‘Roger’ started sharing what happened. It boils down to compartmentalized information. All I did was hand over classified material to my CO. Something that’s not exactly rare. It’s amusing how the NDA topic is being tossed around. … I’ve signed NDAs for programs I worked with that my own chain of command wasn’t aware of because they weren’t read into the programs. The reason I believe Fravor is unaware of NDAs being signed specifically deals with CEC. F-18s didn’t have CEC. Only airborne asset with it was the Hawkeye. Fravor would have no reason to be kept in the loop about anything CEC other then possibly basics.”
Fravor along with journalist George Knapp and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell recently appeared at the McMenamin’s UFO conference in Oregon. While leaked YouTube footage has caused some division and confusion within the UFO community since Fravor suggested some witnesses were wrong. Beaty even had to remove Fravor’s scenes in his previously released “Nimitz Encounters” short documentary, which has just added to the UFO in-fighting as of late.
“Fravor is a fighter pilot, and has the ego of one,” said Hughes. “ He is a great pilot, and a decent CO from what I’ve heard. Other than ego, or the possibility he’s being coached by someone... I have no understanding for his motives. As for the (UFO) community, I was warned before I became associated with it. I stay on the outskirts because of that reason.”
Since Hughes reached out to Beaty, he’s become good friends with Gary Voorhees, Day and Jason Turner from the Princeton. There are other witnesses who haven’t come forward or aren’t allowed to come forward with their stories yet.
“I can speak for myself and three co-workers at the time; only two have given permission to be used via alias and out of that only ‘Roger’s’ story has been shared,” said Hughes. “ The group of us have talked privately about the events, but that’s where most of their stories will stay. Frankly, the only reason ‘Roger’ reached out to Beaty was to support me so i didn’t look like a complete wacko. I do know who the remainder of the Hawkeye Crew is during that flight, and while I’ve reached out to one of them, he is still active duty and deployed, so it’s highly unlikely he’ll respond or come forward. The remainder I know won’t come forward at all. I’ve also reached out to some friends who were in VFA-41 and VAQ-135 at the same time of the events, but we’ve lost touch over the years so I haven’t heard back.”
As for the Nimitiz incident as a whole, more news will be coming soon from the efforts of mainstream journalists like the New York Times, shows like History Channel’s “Unidentified” and the work of To The Stars.
“It’s an insanely credible event,” said Hughes. “Everyone wants their part of the pie. I just want to know what it is.”
By MIKE DAMANTE