The US Navy finally confirmed that mysterious videos showing pilots spotting UFOs are genuine after years of speculation
US Department of Defense/Business Insider
- The US Navy confirmed that it is treating videos published by the New York Times in 2017 - which showed pilots baffled by mysterious, fast objects in the sky - as containing UFOs.
- A Navy spokesman said the objects are considered "unidentified aerial phenomena," which is a term typically now used by the military instead of UFO. Neither term means that the object is extraterrestrial.
- Spokesman Joseph Gradisher told The Black Vault that the videos, which have audio of pilots confused and unable to describe what they are seeing, were not meant for public release.
- The New York Times spoke to pilots who said the saw objects travelling at hypersonic speeds and that they could stop, turn, and accelerate in ways that existing aircraft cannot.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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The US Navy has confirmed videos that show pilots confused by two mysterious flying objects over the US contain what it considers to be UFOs, after years of speculation since their release.
Joseph Gradisher, the Navy's official spokesperson for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, confirmed that the Navy considers the objects in them to be unidentified.
"The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena," he said in a statement The Black Vault, a civilian-run archive of government documents.
He also later gave the statement to online news outlet Vice.
The term UFOs, which stands for "unidentified flying objects," is now used less frequently by officials, who have instead adopted the term "unidentified aerial phenomena," or UAP.
CNN/Department of Defense
Neither the term UFO or UAP means that the unknown object is deemed extra-terrestrial, and many such sightings end up having logical, and earthly, explanations.
Gradisher also said that the videos were never cleared for public release: "The Navy has not released the videos to the general public."
Susan Gough, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, previously told The Black Vault: "The videos were never officially released to the general public by the DoD and should still be withheld."
Gradisher said in his September statement: "The Navy considers the phenomena contained/depicted in those three videos as unidentified."
"The Navy has not publicly released characterizations or descriptions, nor released any hypothesis or conclusions, in regard to the objects contained in the referenced videos."
The Department of Defense videos show pilots being totally confused by what they are seeing. In one video, a pilot says: "What the f--- is that thing?"
According to The Black Vault, Gradisher said the videos were filmed in 2004 and 2015.
You can see the 2004 video here:
John Greenwald, the curator of The Black Vault, told Vice: "I very much expected that when the US military addressed the videos, they would coincide with language we see on official documents that have now been released, and they would label them as 'drones' or 'balloons.'"
"However, they did not. They went on the record stating the 'phenomena' depicted in those videos, is 'unidentified.' That really made me surprised, intrigued, excited and motivated to push harder for the truth."
Two of the videos were shared by The New York Times in December 2017, and one of the pilots told the outlet: "These things would be out there all day."
Pilots, many of whom were part of a Navy flight squadron known as the "Red Rippers," reported the sightings to the Pentagon and Congress, the Times reported.
The pilots, who said they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015, claimed that the objects could accelerate, stop, and turn in ways that go beyond current aerospace technology, the Times added.
The pilots said they were convinced the objects were not part of a secret military project, like a classified drone program.
Joseph A.D. Phillips/U.S. Navy via Getty Images
"Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds," the Times report said.
Hypersonic speed is more than around 3,800 miles per hour - five times the speed of sound.
The videos were also shared by The To Stars Academy, a UFO research group co-founded Tom deLonge from rock group Blink-182, in December 2017.
It hints at non-earthly origins of the videos, claiming that they "demonstrate flight characteristics of advanced technologies unlike anything we currently know, understand, or can duplicate with current technologies."
Gradisher, the Navy spokesperson, told Vice that the Navy changed its policy in 2018 to make it easier for crew to report unexplained sightings as there were so many reports of "unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled training ranges and designated airspace."
"The Navy and USAF [United States Air Force] take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report."
Scientists told The New York Times that they were sceptical that these videos showed anything extraterrestrial in origin.
US President Donald Trump said in June that he had been briefed on the fact that Navy pilots were reporting increased sightings of UFOs.
And one Republican n the House Homeland Security Committee is accusing the Navy of withholding information on such sightings.
Rep. Mark Walker told Politico in June that "there is frustration with the lack of answers to specific questions about the threat that superior aircraft flying in United States airspace may pose."
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