The Defense Department on Monday released a series of previously classified videos of flying craft that it has simply labeled as “aerial phenomena” — that remain “unidentified.”
The Navy video consists of one video taken in November 2004 and two more captured in January 2015, according to a Pentagon statement.
The video has “been circulating in the public domain after unauthorized releases in 2007 and 2017,” and after “thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems,” according to the Pentagon statement.
“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. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified.'”
A voice heard in the video, presumably that of a pilot, appears to report seeing more than one phenomenon.
“My gosh, they’re all going against the wind! The wind’s 120 knots out of the west!” he marveled. “Look at that thing, dude.”
Retired Sen. Harry Reid, whose home state, Nevada, houses the famed military testing ground Area 51, spiritual home of the world’s UFO followers, welcomed the disclosure.
“I’m glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but it only scratches the surface of research and materials available,” Reid said in a tweeted statement.
“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.”
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The Pentagon disclosure came as millions of Americans remained trapped at home, sheltering in place to curb spread of the coronavirus. The video amounted to much-needed entertainment for some.
“Phase 1 of lockdown: Release Tiger King. Phase 2 of lockdown: UFO,” Pittsburgh-area grocer Chris Goldby quipped on Twitter in reference to the hit Netflix documentary about an Oklahoma zookeeper. “Lockdown protocol to be continued as needed.”
Caitlin Fichtel and David K. Li contributed.