Pentagon Authorizes Release of U.S. Navy Videos Showing 'Unidentified' Flying Objects
The Navy previously acknowledged the existence of the videos in September
The U.S. Department of Defense has authorized release of three unclassified U.S. Navy videos that appear to show “unidentified” objects floating through the sky, the Pentagon said on Monday.
One of the videos was taken in November 2004, while the other two were filmed in January 2015, though they have been circulating since 2007 and 2017 respectively following an unauthorized release, the Pentagon said in a press release.
“The U.S. Navy previously acknowledged that these videos circulating in the public domain were indeed Navy videos,” the release said.
The DOD said it had done a thorough review, and determined that releasing the videos in an authorized capacity would not reveal “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” and would not have any effect on subsequent investigations into similar instances.
“DOD is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos,” the release said.
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It went on to clarify that whatever aerial phenomena seen in the videos — namely mysterious, oval-shaped objects — is still considered “unidentified.”
In one of the clips, the Navy pilots try to make sense of what they’re seeing, with one person wondering whether it’s a drone, and others marveling at how quickly the objects are moving.
Two of the videos were initially published by The New York Times in December 2017 in an article detailing the existence of the DOD’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which shuttered in 2012.
The third came to light in 2018 thanks to To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a research group founded by former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge.
Retired Cmdr. David Fravor witnessed the events of the video shot in November 2004 while on a routine training mission off the coast of California, he told ABC News in 2017.
“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world. I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close,” Fravor said. “I have never seen anything in my life, in my history of flying that has the performance, the acceleration — keep in mind this thing had no wings.”
The Navy acknowledged that the objects in the video were real in September 2019, five months after it updated and formalized the process of reporting unexplained sightings.
“To be clear, the Navy isn’t endorsing the idea that its sailors have encountered alien spacecraft,” Politico explained at the time. “But it is acknowledging there have been enough strange aerial sightings by credible and highly trained military personnel that they need to be recorded in the official record and studied — rather than dismissed as some kooky phenomena from the realm of science-fiction.”
Meanwhile, following Monday’s formal release of the videos, Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader who pushed to help fund the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, weighed in on Twitter, writing that it “only scratches the surface of research and materials available.”
“The U.S. needs to take a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications,” he wrote. “The American people deserve to be informed.”