Three former cavalrymen revealed their encounter with a UFO at a Middle East US military base in 2014 – and complained they had no official way to report the strange sighting.
Now the three veterans are speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com in a rare on-record interview as the first public Congressional hearings on UFOs in half a century got underway Tuesday.
They said they saw eight bright objects hovering and zipping across the sky at incredible speeds from a desert outpost in Sinai, on the Egyptian border, around December 2014.
The three cavalry scouts, who are trained in identifying aircraft, believe the objects they witnessed were of non-human origin.
One claims he was told ‘keep your mouth shut’ by a senior officer after word spread among his regiment about the sighting.
Private First Class Dovell Engram (front, second from left) and Sergeant Travis Bingham (front, second from right) during their deployment in the Sinai Peninsula
A grab from Dovell Engram’s instagram page showing his view of the Sinai through a night vision scope
E4 Specialist Vishal Singh (left) and Sergeant Travis Bingham said the ‘craft’ appeared to be spinning, as smaller lights emerged from it, which seemed to spiral like fireworks
The three cavalrymen discussed what they saw in 2014 in a Facebook conversation
The men said they were afraid to make official reports about the incident for fear of being sent for a career-damaging psychological evaluation, and said there was no proper process to make such a report anyway.
Their case is an example of the concerning incursions of sensitive airspace by apparently technologically sophisticated craft – and the military’s failure to collect data on such incidents or take them seriously.
Sergeant Travis Bingham, 36; E4 Specialist Vishal Singh, 29; and Private First Class Dovell Engram, 28, were all stationed at Observation Post 3-1 in Sinai near the south end of the Israel-Egypt border.
Their regiment, 3rd Cavalry, was part of a Multinational Force and Observers mission (MFO) deployed to monitor the border for nine months.
Engram was the first to spot something strange while on watch in the guard tower one December night.
He described being ‘scared s***less’ after seeing a bright, apparent craft in the night sky.
The ‘craft’ appeared to be spinning, as smaller lights emerged from it, which seemed to spiral like fireworks.
He said he radioed other outposts at least 200 miles away, and they replied they could also see the lights.
Private First Class Dovell Engram was the first to spot the UFO. He said he was ‘scared s***less’
After watching for two minutes, Engram called his sergeant, Bingham.
Now living in Fort Hood, Texas, Bingham had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and thought he had seen it all – but was unprepared for the inexplicable sight.
‘I would describe it as a big object with several smaller objects, which appeared to be communicating, or scuffling, like a dogfight in the air,’ he said. ‘We knew it wasn’t our military and it was baffling.
‘The objects were glowing – you could clearly see them with the naked eye, and it was clear how fast they were moving.
‘To this day, I’ve never seen anything like the craft, covering such distance with extreme speeds.’
Singh said after spotting the craft he focused on it using his night-vision goggles.
He said it was difficult to identify a shape, as the edges seemed blurry, but he could roughly see an oval-shaped object in a horizontal position that was the size of a jumbo jet.
‘The craft and smaller objects began moving like fireflies, left, right, up and down,’ Singh told DailyMail.com. ‘They were turning everywhere instantaneously. They must have been 30,000 ft high in the sky.
‘I cannot imagine any military that has this type of technology. We’re talking u-turns while at hypersonic speeds.’
Although unable to get precise measurements of the objects’ speed or elevation, Singh said they flew from one end of the horizon to the other in just seconds, and estimated that they were traveling at several thousand miles per hour.
‘All of a sudden the smaller objects rejoined the craft. The craft appeared to shrink smaller and smaller until it just disappeared. It didn’t fly into space, it just disappeared gradually,’ he said.
A senior staffer at a US defense contractor with knowledge of advanced aircraft told DailyMail.com they knew of no technology held by the US or other major militaries that could exhibit such behavior.
‘The USA, Europe and China are all pursuing drone mothership technology where a mothership aircraft launches and recovers swarms of drones,’ said the contractor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
‘However, the capabilities I am describing here do not match the description of moving like fireflies or making U-turns at high speed.
‘For example the X-61A is a small UAV that weighs 1500 lbs and measures about 14 ft long. It’s powered by a small turbofan and can make small maneuvers at its top speed of Mach 0.6.
‘I don’t know what these soldiers saw but it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever seen.’
The troops were left shaken and stunned by what they witnessed.
All were trained observers and familiar with all military aircraft they could expect to see in the region.
Engram told DailyMail.com that while in his watch tower he asked his international comrades to check with Egyptian and Israeli authorities, but said neither knew what the ‘craft’ were.
Although their mission was to observe potential military activities in the region, the three soldiers said they were unable to report what they had seen.
‘We could have reported an aircraft sighting, but how could we have described the fuselage when it had none?’ Bingham said.
In December last year congress passed a bill mandating a new UFO office to help take such sightings seriously.
The new law, part of the latest defense spending authorization bill, requires the government to establish ‘procedures to synchronize and standardize the collection, reporting, and analysis of incidents, including adverse physiological effects, regarding unidentified aerial phenomena across the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.’
An artist’s reconstruction of the view in the Sinai in 2014 when the three cavalrymen say they saw the UFO
Vishal Singh, pictured in the Sinai, told DailyMail.com that he was disproportionately punished for minor violations and that his commanders tried to get him fired over allegations about his mental health
The barren landscape and clear skies of the Sinai Desert made the sighting of the UFO clearer for the US soldiers
Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray plays a video of an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’, commonly referred to as UFOs, duringTuesday’s UFO hearing
The House Intelligence Committee is set Tuesday to grill defense officials on their progress following through on the new requirements.
Bingham said more support is needed from senior military personnel to ensure credible UFO sightings are reported effectively.
‘We need a set of procedures so that we can report such events. Give me a format, give the soldiers some training,’ he said. ‘It could be really lethal… If these things were hostile, we couldn’t defend ourselves.’
Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff announced last week that he would be holding public hearings into the government’s handling of the UFO phenomenon – also known as Unidentified Arial Phenomena or UAPs, to help ‘break the cycle of excessive secrecy’ around the topic.
Singh believes he was a victim of that cycle, even claiming he was targeted for talking about his experience with his comrades.
Rep. André Carson of Indiana is chairing Tuesday’s Congressional hearing into UFOs
He told DailyMail.com that he was disproportionately punished for minor violations and that his commanders tried to get him fired over allegations about his mental health.
‘It didn’t make sense. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I was a good soldier. I had recently received counseling statements that contradicted the reason for my attempted dismissal,’ he said.
He complained to the Army Inspector General and successfully overturned the attempted dismissal, but was left with lingering suspicions.
‘My fellow veterans who have been through the same experience as myself all strongly suspect that senior Pentagon officials were responsible for the persecution and intimidation efforts so that military personnel would not speak out in public about what they had seen,’ he said.
He left the Army three years later after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
US forces encountered UFOs in the Sinai peninsula in a famous incident in 1985.
At an international military base in El Gorah, troops from the US, Norway, Fiji and Colombia saw an object hovering outside the perimeter fence of their base.
‘The whole camp went on alert and the Fijians were in their underwear and running to their positions with machine guns ready to go and everyone was screaming “don’t shoot at it!”’ said paratrooper Matthew Heines, who witnessed the event.
According to the Fijian forces, the UAP sat by the fence for ten minutes, humming and emitting orange lights, before shooting up into the sky.