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The Pentagon Has Officially Released 3 UFO Videos

The Pentagon confirmed the veracity of videos circulating online and their 'unidentified' status.

pentagon releases UFO videos
Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) has declassified three videos that show Navy pilots spotting "unidentified aerial phenomena" or UAPs. Those are also known as UFOs, though that doesn't necessarily need to bring to mind Fox Mulder and visitors from another planet. (It definitely does mean Twitter jokes, though.)

On April 27, the Pentagon said a "thorough review" determined these three infrared videos don't show "any sensitive capabilities or systems." Additionally, the release of the videos "does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of [these types of] military air space incursions." The first of the three videos dates back to November 2004, and the other two are from January 2015.

The videos are grainy, and it's tough to get a good sense of what you're seeing with any certainty. The servicemembers heard in the audio respond with enthusiastic awe, and one speculates they may be seeing some kind of drone.

The videos were previously leaked by the To the Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences. The leak was later followed by the Navy acknowledging the legitimacy of the videos in September 2019. The 2004 video was highlighted in a 2017 New York Times report that contained interviews with the pilots who saw the object. Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released "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 pilots told the Times that the object was around 40 feet long and hovered about 50 feet above the water. As they got closer, the object ascended out of sight. "It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," said one of the pilots.

The 2015 videos were the subject of a 2019 Times story as well, which featured a handful of pilots who say they've seen unidentified objects speed through the air. Despite the investigations and the release of the videos, the DoD says it has reached no definitive conclusion as to what the videos reveal. "The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified,'" it said. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.