Videos said to have been captured by US fighter pilots and purporting to show UFOs are real military records of unexplained aerial encounters, the US Navy has reportedly said.
The provenance, content and validity of the footage had been subject to significant debate during its circulation online over a number of years.
A spokesman told blogger John Greenwald Jr, of declassified document repository The Black Vault, that “the Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)”.
An additional statement confirmed the service had extended that designation to three videos made public in 2017 and 2018, called “Go Fast”, “FLIR1” and “Gimbal”, according to Vice’s Motherboard.
In some of the footage, an unknown object was seen to accelerate at apparently impossible speeds – “like nothing I’ve ever seen”, said one – and perform manoeuvres outside the capabilities of current American aircraft.
But earlier this year the US Navy unveiled new ways for its pilots to report UAP encounters, which it admitted had become increasingly frequent.
Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for office of the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, and the same spokesman who made the most recent statements on UAPs, said in April: “Since 2014, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis.
“We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.”
In a 2017 interview with the New York Times, retired US Navy commander David Fravor described an encounter with a UAP in 2004 that left him “pretty weirded out”.
The strange, 40ft oval craft “accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen” after he approached it in his F/A-18F Super Hornet. A navy cruiser had been tracking the object and Cmdr Fravor encountered it hovering a short distance above the sea, over a “boiling” disturbance in the waves.
After it disappeared Cmdr Fravor and his wingman were ordered to fly to a different area 60 miles away – but were told the craft had beaten them to it before they had travelled one-third of the distance. When they arrived, the object had disappeared.
The Times reported that Cmdr Fravor’s account related to one of the three videos recently addressed by the navy.
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