It’s not every day you email comes through like the one that did last week. So much so that the UFO GUY just had to make a break to a local beach bar to meet up with its sender for a cold cola.
Chris Lehto is not your average kind of guy, unless you class average as roaring around the sky in a fighter jet or the type that gets invited to lunch in the CIA super-secret lunchroom, I wonder are the contents of the menu there considered “TOP SECRET”?
Chris is a retired F-16 pilot for the United States Airforce and now currently makes YouTube videos covering UAP’s (unidentified aerial phenomenon), future tech and theories of nature and the very fabric of reality.
He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry-Materials Science from the Air Force Academy and a Masters in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University.
He has been stationed in South Korea, Italy, Alaska, Turkey, Spain and several locations in the contiguous US.
When not flying F-16s he was investigating crashes as a safety investigator, building and managing simulator systems, and instructing teams of air fighters how to coalesce into a team.
After retiring in 2020 he moved to Lagos with his wife and 3-kids to live the Expat lifestyle.
Like I said, Chris is “NOT” your average kind of guy!
His YouTube channel is popular too. Hundreds of thousands of views of his videos and with over 7,000 subscribers. The content is informative, intelligent, educational and refreshing.
Chris has also been involved in an ambitious project called SKY360, imagine if you will a network of cameras and sensors designed to run as an observational citizen science program to study the UAPS/UFOS phenomenon, but more on that later.
So, with the introductions done let’s fire up the afterburners and ask Chris some questions…
Q. Chris, thanks for taking time out today to speak to me. First and foremost, welcome to the Algarve with a well-earned retirement. Can you tell me what made you and your family decide to settle and come live here on the Algarve after retiring from the Air-Force?.
A. No problem at all, thank you for the welcome! And the opportunity, it is very humbling, One of the best parts of flying fighters was my family and I got to live in several amazing places around the world, Italy, Alaska, Turkey, and Spain. This was the first time in 20 years we got to choose where we were going to live and we thought Lagos Portugal would be the best. So summer 2020 we moved from my last assignment in Spain to Lagos and it’s turned out better than I could have hoped.
Q. How and when did you find yourself drawn to the UAP/UFO field and decide to become an investigator/researcher?
A. I have always been amazed at life and perplexed by big, deep questions such as what is time? Not only how does gravity work, but why does gravity work? I was the annoying little kid that kept asking “why?” until the grown up said, “I don’t know…because that’s the way it is!”
I studied chemistry and materials science for that reason. Science said the universe was too big and since we haven’t detected anything we must be alone. So, I had honestly never considered UAPs as a real possibility until last December when I watched the 3 hour long interview between David Fravor and Lex Fridman, a big time YouTuber. Commander Fravor was the F-18 pilot who intercepted the Tic Tac during the famous Nimitz incident in 2004 off the coast of San Diego.
I flew the F-16 for 18 years using almost the same equipment. The words he used and the way he explained the encounter made me feel like I was there. So I have never actually seen a UAP or UFO in my life but the testimonies of that case changed my mind and now I think it could be possible. My initial reaction was I just ignored it for several months. But after the 60 minutes Documentary in May 2021 I just couldn’t ignore it anymore and started making targeting pod analysis videos on my YouTube channel. Those videos resonated with people it has been a rocketship ever since.
Q. You have a popular YouTube Channel with some excellent content, can you tell the readers a little about it.
A. Thank you! Definitely. To be honest I didn’t plan to work so hard after retiring and hanging up my flight suit for a wetsuit! It wasn’t in the original plan but I was personally inspired by YouTubers in the past. When my kids said “I want to be a YouTuber when I grow up” I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make an impact in the world hopefully in a positive direction and do it the way I want to do it. So I took the plunge and started making videos.
Investigating has opened my mind to the fact that there is still so much we don’t know about the universe and yet we think we already have it figured out. To me that is really exciting because there is still so much to learn and explore. Especially today, everyone seems so gloom and doom, I feel almost like I have to hide my excitement for the future. The follow on to the Hubble telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, launches next month. It feels like amazing discoveries are right around the corner. I have never been more excited for the future.
That’s all for this week folks but remember to keep watching the skies and if you have a photo/video/story to share. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 2 of the interview will be published next week in The Portugal News.