A screenshot from a video from 2015 that shows an "unknown aerial phenomenon".
For years, UFO enthusiasts have been excitedly sharing three videos shot by US Navy pilots showing unknown aerial phenomena. The videos, recorded in November 2004 and twice in January 2015, were publicly released a few years after they were recorded. They have been published on the History Channel and elsewhere.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Defense decided to officially release the three videos that can be downloaded here. Prior to the release of the Historical Navy Videos, the military determined that each did not reveal "sensitive capabilities or systems" and would not "affect later investigations into military airspace intrusions" by unidentified objects.
"DOD publishes the videos to address any public misunderstandings as to whether the film in circulation was genuine or whether the video contained more or not," the statement said. "The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as & # 39; unidentified & # 39 ;."
Nimitz Video, 2004.
The videos themselves are fascinating, but far from conclusive. Two of them contain audio from pilots expressing their surprise, such as "Look at that thing, dude." "Gosh," says a pilot. "You go against the wind. The wind is 120 knots."
The first video that pilots of the USS Nimitz encountered off the California coast in 2004 contains no audio.
Go Fast Video, 2015.
These releases are in the midst of a revival of public interest in UFOs after it became known in 2017 that the U.S. government spent $ 22 million from 2007 to 2012 on investigating unresolved aerial phenomena as part of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The work of the program remains cloudy, with no definitive conclusions. A February article from Popular Mechanics provides a good overview of the Pentagon's secret UFO program.
Gimbal video, 2015.
It is not clear whether the publication of these videos will stimulate more federal funding for UFO studies. The videos are certainly interesting – but they don't reveal any new evidence since they were already widely available. People who want to believe in aliens among us will continue to believe. Those of us who want to see more evidence will likely continue to wait.