The Pentagon says it can explain three previously leaked videos of supposed UFOs, and the explanation is simple: they’re real, and they’re still a total mystery.
The U.S. government declassified three top-secret videos of “unexplained aerial phenomena” on Monday, confirming that clips that first surfaced in 2017 are legitimate.
That’s not to say that the videos contain real footage of aliens, but only that the objects seen flying in the videos remain “unidentified,” according to the Pentagon.
Unidentified. Flying. Objects. In other words, UFOs.
The U.S. Navy is officially releasing the footage “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,” Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said on Monday.
“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.”
The announcement is more vindication for Tom DeLonge, the Blink-182 band member and alien enthusiast who released the videos to the New York Times in 2017 through his UFO research organization, To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA).
The U.S. Navy didn’t acknowledge the videos when they surfaced in late 2017, though a spokesperson for the navy eventually confirmed that they were real in late 2019.
“This is all about frequent incursions into our training ranges by UAPs [unidentified aerial phenomena],” said Joe Gradisher, spokesperson for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, in an interview with CNN last September. “Those incursions present a safety hazard to the safe flight of our aviators and security of our operations.”
Gradisher said at the time that transparency around the sightings was important so that pilots won’t feel ashamed to report something that could be dangerous.
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DeLonge celebrated the Pentagon’s decision on Twitter on Monday.
“The Pentagon just officially released my videos,” he wrote. “Just saying,” he added, along with a sunglasses emoji.
All three videos released by DeLonge’s organization were captured by U.S. military fighter pilots.
The first video, nicknamed “FLIR1,” shows pilots examining a UFO through a sensor camera that flips through several different scans. The object abruptly zips away at high speed, eluding the pilot’s efforts to lock onto it. It was recorded in 2004 off the coast of San Diego, Calif., according to TTSA.
The second video, called “GIMBAL,” shows a disk-shaped object with a small protrusion at the bottom of it. It was recorded by a U.S. Navy fighter pilot using an infrared camera in January 2015, the Pentagon confirmed on Monday.
Two pilots can be heard marvelling at the sight in audio from the clip.
“It’s a f–king drone, bro,” one says.
“There’s a whole fleet of them,” the other says. “My gosh!”
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One of the pilots then points out that the object is flying at high speed against the wind.
“The wind’s 120 knots out of the west,” he says. “Look at that thing, dude!”
The object then tilts 90 degrees, and the video ends.
The third video, titled “GO FAST,” shows an object doing exactly that. The unidentified object can be seen moving at an extremely high speed over water and below the fighter jet recording it. The fighter tries to lock onto the object with infrared sensors but the instruments can’t keep up.
The Pentagon has indicated that “GO FAST” was also recorded in January 2015.
All three videos are now available through the Pentagon’s reading room, where they have the same names as those used by TTSA.
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, a UFO enthusiast, hailed the Pentagon’s move on Monday while calling for even more disclosures.
“It only scratches the surface of research and materials available,” he tweeted. “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.”
Reid is a former Senate majority leader who once earmarked $22 million for UFO research in the U.S. federal budget, from late 2008 through 2011.
The Pentagon did not release any additional footage or content along with the three clips, but it has stoked a flurry of excitement among UFO enthusiasts with its simple acknowledgement that the videos are legitimate.
In other words, the truth was out there.
Now, the real mystery is identifying those flying objects.