The Pentagon on Monday formally released three unclassified videos taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
One of the videos shows an incident from 2004, and the other two were recorded in January 2015, according to Sue Gough, a Defense Department spokeswoman. The videos became public after unauthorized leaks in 2007 and 2017, and the Navy previously verified their authenticity.
“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,” Gough said.
The 2004 incident occurred about 100 miles out in the Pacific, according to The New York Times, which first reported on the video in 2017. Two fighter pilots on a routine training mission were dispatched to investigate unidentified aircraft that a Navy cruiser had been tracking for weeks.
The Navy pilots found an oblong object about 40 feet long hovering about 50 feet above the water, and it began a rapid ascent as the pilots approached before quickly flying away. “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” one of the pilots told The Times.