It didn’t just happen once to one ship. Written on deck logs obtained by The Drive you can see it occurring over several days in July 2019.
The Drive writers were able to piece together the erratic nature of the incursions from the ship logs and emails handed over by the government through a Freedom of Information Act request, along with publicly available ship tracking data.
The destroyers involved were the USS Kidd, USS Rafael Peralta, USS Russell, USS John Finn, and the USS Paul Hamilton. All of the reported incidents took place relatively close to San Clemente Island, which the Navy uses for life-fire testing, SEAL training, and an airfield.
According to the emails, details of the incidents made it up the chain of command all the way to the office of the chief of naval operations. It also includes mentions of Navy intelligence officers, the FBI, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the director of the Maritime Intelligence Operations Center within the Navy’s 3rd Fleet.
The Drive found the Navy reported some drones were flying near the shifts for around 90 minutes, which is much longer than any publicly available drone on the market.
At this time, no one or agency is publicly saying if they believe these were civilian or military drones, or something else.
You can read the deck logs and emails on The Drive’s website.