- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2020

The Pentagon on Monday released raw footage of three close encounters with “unidentified aerial phenomena” over the past 15 years, drawing fresh attention to the military’s highly secretive research into those fabled UFOs over American skies.

The three Navy videos — one from 2004 and two from 2015 — were posted to the Naval Air Systems Command website, though they had been leaked to outside organizations years ago and military officials have previously confirmed their authenticity.

But Monday marked the first time the short, startling clips were released through official government channels, and the unusual public disclosure of such footage was done to address critics and conspiracy theorists who have openly questioned whether the Pentagon hid the nature and full extent of its brushes with what some believe are extraterrestrial craft or machines from another dimension.

You can watch the videos HERE.

Military officials insist they’re not keeping secrets, while also conceding the most disturbing fact behind the footage: Years after the grainy videos were taken, there’s still no good explanation for the objects seen in them.

“The U.S. Navy previously acknowledged that these videos circulating in the public domain were indeed Navy videos,” Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” she continued. “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified.’”

The videos themselves are stunning and, depending on one’s point of view, deeply perplexing. The first video, taken by fighter pilots based aboard the USS Nimitz off the coast of California in 2004, is the most well known.

In the 76-second clip, the pilots follow an unknown object through the sky, and the UFO appears to be moving at an extremely high rate of speed.

The other two clips were taken by military pilots in January 2015, Pentagon officials said. Unlike the 2004 video, the more recent footage contains audio that offers a window into the confusion experienced by those tracking the aircraft.

“My gosh, look at that thing, dude,” a pilot is heard saying in one of the videos.

“It’s rotating,” another says as the craft clearly moves end over end.

A pilot also notes in one of the videos that the craft is “going against the wind,” while also appearing to move remarkably fast.

Wake-up call

Advocates for greater government transparency in the realm of UFOs say Monday’s official release should serve as a wake-up call for the public and, given the military’s admission that it still doesn’t know the origin or makeup of the objects, should spur a release of additional information that’s been kept hidden for years.

“I applaud the Pentagon’s and U.S. Navy’s move to authenticate these 3 videos. It removes any lingering doubts in the minds of some that the videos are not real and, more importantly, reinforces the fact that UFOs exist and represent advanced technology flying around our skies that are not from earth,” Jan Harzan, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, a research and investigative group, told The Washington Times.

“I would encourage the Pentagon and the various branches of the U.S. military, and other militaries around the world, to release all videos they have of these objects so that the public knows conclusively that UFOs are real, they are being engaged daily by our military, and they represent advanced technology flying around our skies not from earth,” he added.

Despite research dating back to the Air Force’s famed “Project Blue Book” and continuing until just a few years ago, Mr. Harzan and others say the military’s official response to clear instances of unexplainable phenomena in the sky has too often been to brush them aside. Instead, he and many other advocates argue, it’s time for a concerted government effort to find answers.

“It is time we call upon the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Government to fund UFO Research and allow our best and brightest scientists and engineers to study this phenomenon without fear of ridicule or derision,” he said.

Beyond the military putting its own imprimatur on the videos, Monday’s official disclosure offered little in the way of new information. The footage has been circulating on the internet for years.

Some of the footage was shared publicly by the To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a project founded by Blink 182 frontman and noted UFO researcher Tom DeLonge.

“The Pentagon just officially released my videos … just sayin’,” Mr. DeLonge tweeted Monday.

Public information on the Pentagon’s UFO investigations remains deeply guarded, but it’s become increasingly clear that there’s been an ongoing effort deep inside the Defense Department to investigate unknown aerial phenomena.

In 2017, the New York Times revealed the existence of a Pentagon program to study UFOs that ran from 2007 to 2012. One of its chief backers on Capitol Hill was former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.

“Im glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but it only scratches the surface of research and materials available,” Mr. Reid said on Twitter Monday. “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.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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