Science & Tech

Pentagon Releases Videos of ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’

The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The Pentagon on Monday released three Navy videos the Defense Department says show “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

One of the videos, recorded by Navy pilots via infrared camera, was taken in 2004, while the other two were recorded in January 2015. The videos have been circulated since they were leaked in 2007 and 2017, respectively.

The videos appear to show unidentified flying objects moving quickly through the air.

The 2004 video was taken about 100 miles off the Pacific coast, when two fighter pilots investigated a 40-foot oval, light-colored aircraft hovering about 50 feet above a churning ocean. The object began to move toward Cmdr. David Fravor’s F/A-18F Super Hornet but then flew up and away as he approached closer.

“It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Fravor said in a 2017 New York Times interview about the incident.

The two videos of similar incidents in 2015 were taken over the Atlantic Ocean off the southern East Coast. In one video, the object begins rotating in the air.

“Wow, what is that, man?” one pilot can be heard saying in one of the videos. “Look at it fly!”

The incidents prompted the Navy to issue new classified guidance last year on reporting unexplained aerial phenomena or unidentified flying objects.

The Pentagon decided to officially release the videos now “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,” Sue Gough, a Defense Department representative.

“After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena,” Gough said. “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified.'”

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