UFO enthusiasts rejoice: The Pentagon has officially released video of “unidentified aerial phenomena," its new name for unidentified flying objects.
“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,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough said on Monday.
Bryan Bender of Politico and Helene Cooper of the New York Times reported last year that Navy pilots had reported seeing unidentified aircraft flying near U.S. warships in 2014 and 2015. These seemingly otherworldly flying machines had no visible engine exhaust, yet they could reach altitudes of 30,000 feet and remain on station for 12 hours.
The videos released by the Pentagon on Monday show three such encounters: One in November 2004 and the other two in January 2015, Gough said in a statement.
The Navy has already acknowledged that the three videos are genuine after “unauthorized releases” in 2007 and 2017, she said.
“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,” Gough said. “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified.’”
But UFO chronicler Danny Silva said he believes the video show aircraft that are more advanced than anything humanity has yet developed. For example, one video shows an aircraft accelerate much faster than any plane that the U.S. military has acknowledged it has.
While Silva said he is happy the Pentagon has confirmed these Navy videos are real, he feels the U.S. government as a whole has not been transparent enough when it comes to UFOs “maybe because they don’t know what’s going on.”
“It’s been very promising that these [videos] did come out in 2017 and there’s been a lot of positive movement,” Silva told Task & Purpose on Monday. “We’re still not there yet with them being as open and honest as they could be, but there’s been a massive amount of forward progress since 2017.”
The Defense Intelligence Agency looked into unidentified aircraft from 2008 until 2012 under the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was meant to see if U.S. adversaries had developed advanced technology.
Ultimately, the program was ended after a 2009 review found it was not producing data of value.
Retired Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was responsible for most of the program’s funding.
“I’m glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, which further illustrates the need to study this phenomena,” Reid told Task & Purpose on Monday. “This only scratches the surface of the research and materials available and in need of release. The United States should be taking a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications. The American people deserve to be informed.”
More recently, Task & Purpose asked Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman if the Defense Department has any evidence that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth.
“I have nothing for you on that today,” Hoffman said at a Feb. 19 Pentagon news briefing.