Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Eight incident reports released this week by the US Navy have revealed new details about a series of encounters between Navy pilots and unidentified flying objects (UFOs) off the US east coast.
Each of the eight incidents occurred in a patch of airspace off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina, with all but one occurring between 2013 and 2014. The reports refer to the UFOs as “unidentified aerial devices.”
In one March 26, 2014 report, a pilot described seeing a “metallic object,” which was “small in size, approximately the size of a suitcase, and silver in color.”
The pilot came within 1,000 feet of the object, but “was unable to positively determine the identity of the aircraft. The pilot subsequently “attempted to regain visual contact with the aircraft, but was unable.”
Other reports described some of the flying objects as likely being unmanned aerial systems, or drones. These reports include:
- A pilot in describing one object seen in November 2013 as having an “approximately 5 foot wingspan and was colored white with no other distinguishable features.”
- Another pilot in December 2013 receiving “small white visual return” at the location where the radar had identified an unidentified object.
- A pilot in June 2013 seeing an aircraft that was “white in color and approximately the size of a drone or missile.”
Those reports note that the pilots were unable to identify who was piloting the drone-like aircrafts. However, after the June 2013 incident, the Navy noted that “unmanned aerial vehicles pose a significant mid-air collision threat.”
In one April 2014 incident, pilots were able to follow and lock in a UFO with their missile systems, but were unable to see the object.
The latest incident report released came in February 2019, when pilots reported seeing a “red weather balloon” despite none being reported as active in the area to aviation authorities.
I’m glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but 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. The American people deserve to be informed. https://t.co/1XNduvmP0u
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) April 27, 2020
The publication of the reports follows the Pentagon's release last month of three videos showing encounters between Navy pilots and what they call “unidentified aerial phenomena” between 2004 and 2015. They do not show any of the incidents cited in the reports released this week.
The videos, filmed using infrared camera systems, show the black objects floating near Navy jets and sometimes accelerating at incredible speeds against the wind, and pilots reacting with bafflement.
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