The Pentagon officially released three declassified videos showing UFOs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena" on Monday. The videos were previously released by a private company, and the Navy confirmed they were real last year. They show incidents recorded in November 2004 and January 2015. The videos were only released after a "thorough review."
The Department of Defense found the unclassified videos do not "reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems" and "does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena." They chose to release the clips 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.'"
Between December 2017 and March 2018, Blink-182 musician Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences released the Navy clips. In September 2019, Navy spokesperson Joe Gradisher confirmed to CNN the videos were real. David Fravor, the retired U.S. Navy pilot who saw the scene captured in the 2004 video could not figure out what was happening. He told CNN he saw a "white object, oblong, pointing north, moving erratically."
"As I got close to it ... it rapidly accelerated to the south, and disappeared in less than two seconds," Fravor, who was a naval commander at the time the video was captured, said in 2017. He said the unidentified object could not be a helicopter. "When helicopters move side to side, they kinda slow, and then they pick up speed going the other way," he explained. "This was extremely abrupt, like a ping pong ball, bouncing off a wall. It would hit and go the other way."
The 2004 video was also published by the New York Times in 2017. Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight and Fravor told the Times they saw an object of some kind hovering 50 feet above the water. The oval-shaped white object was about 40 feet long, they said. Fravor said he flew straight towards the object, but it "accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," adding he was "pretty weirded out."
Former Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, whose home state is the location of the famed Area 51, praised the Pentagon for officially releasing the new videos. He previously pushed the Pentagon to launch a program studying encounters with unknown objects, but the program was closed in 2012. "I'm glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but it only scratches the surface of research and materials available," Reid 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."