Pentagon UFO videos

  (Redirected from USS Nimitz UFO incident)

The Pentagon UFO videos are selected visual recordings of cockpit instrumentation displays from United States Navy fighter jets based aboard aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2004, 2014 and 2015 with additional footage taken by other Navy personnel in 2019. The three grainy, black and white videos, widely characterized as officially documenting UFOs, were the subject of extensive coverage in the media in 2017. The Pentagon later addressed and officially released the first three videos in 2020,[1] and confirmed the provenance of the leaked 2019 videos in two statements made in 2021.[2]

"FLIR" video
"GIMBAL" video
"GOFAST" video

Publicity surrounding the videos has prompted a number of explanations, including drones or unidentified terrestrial aircraft, anomalous or artefactual instrument readings, physical observational phenomena (e.g., parallax), human observational and interpretive error, and, as is typical in the context of such incidents, extraordinary speculations of alien spacecraft.[3]

BackgroundEdit

On November 14, 2004, fighter pilot Commander David Fravor of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group investigated radar indications of a possible target off the coast of southern California.[4][5][6][7] Fravor said the operator had told him that the USS Princeton (CG-59), part of the strike group, had been tracking unusual aircraft for two weeks prior to the incident. The aircraft would appear at 80,000 feet before descending rapidly toward the sea, and stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering.[4] Fravor reported that he saw an object, white and oval, hovering above an ocean disturbance. He estimated that the object was about forty feet long.[7][4] Fravor and another pilot, Alex Dietrich, said in an interview that a total of four people (two pilots and two weapons systems officers in the backseats of the two airplanes) witnessed the object for about 5 minutes.[8] When Fravor spiraled down to get closer to the object, the object ascended, mirroring the trajectory of his airplane, until the object disappeared.[8] A second wave of fighters, including pilot Lieutenant Commander Chad Underwood, took off from Nimitz to investigate.[9] Unlike Fravor, Underwood's fighter was equipped with an advanced infrared camera (FLIR).[9] Underwood recorded the FLIR video, and coined the description "Tic Tac" to describe the infrared image, but did not himself see any unusual object.[9]

During 2014–2015, fighter pilots associated with the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group were operating off the East Coast when they recorded the GIMBAL and GOFAST videos while reporting instrument detections of unknown aerial objects which the pilots were unable to identify.[10][11]

Release of videosEdit

On December 16, 2017, The New York Times reported on the incidents and published three videos, termed “FLIR,” “GIMBAL,” and “GOFAST” purporting to show encounters by jets from Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt with unusually shaped, fast-moving aircraft. The reports became subject to "fevered speculation by UFO investigators".[12] Those stories have been criticized by journalism professor Keith Kloor as "a curious narrative that appears to be driven by thinly-sourced and slanted reporting". According to Kloor, "Cursory attention has been given to the most likely, prosaic explanations. Instead, the coverage has, for the most part, taken a quizzical, mysterious frame that plays off the catchy 'UFO' tag in the headline."[13]

The videos, featuring cockpit display data and infrared imagery along with audio of communications between the pursuing pilots, were initially provided to the press by Luis Elizondo, the former head of Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, the Department of Defense's investigation. Elizondo had resigned from the Pentagon in October 2017 to protest government secrecy and opposition to the investigation, stating in a resignation letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis that the program was not being taken seriously.[14] According to Wired magazine, a copy of one of the videos had been online in a UFO forum since at least 2007.[15] In September 2019, a Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed that the released videos were made by naval aviators and that they are "part of a larger issue of an increased number of training range incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena in recent years".[16] On April 27, 2020, the Pentagon formally released the three videos.[1][17][18][19]

In February 2020, the United States Navy confirmed that, in response to inquiries, intelligence briefings presented by naval intelligence officials have been provided to members of Congress.[20][21][22][23]

2019 videosEdit

 
Still from the USS Russell video

In April 2021, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough confirmed that publicly-available footage of what appeared to be an unidentified triangular object in the sky had been taken by Navy personnel aboard USS Russell in 2019.[24][25] Skeptic Mick West suggested the image was the result of an optical effect called a bokeh which can make out of focus light sources appear triangular or pyramidal due to the shape of the aperture of some lenses.[26] The Pentagon also confirmed photos of objects described as "sphere", "acorn" and "metallic blimp".[27]

The following month, Gough further confirmed a second video had been recorded by Navy personnel and is under review by the UAP Task Force. The video, recorded on July 15, 2019 aboard the USS Omaha, purportedly shows a spherical object flying over the ocean as seen through an infrared camera at night, moving rapidly across the screen before stopping and easing down into the water.[28][2][29][30]

Potential explanationsEdit

As of 2020, the aerial phenomena recorded from the Nimitz and Roosevelt events are characterized by the Department of Defense as "unidentified".[31][32] Widespread media attention to these events has motivated theories and speculations from private individuals and groups about the underlying explanation(s), including those focused upon pseudoscientific topics such as ufology. Regarding the pseudoscientific explanations, writer Matthew Gault stated that these events "reflect the same pattern that's played out dozens of times before. Someone sees something strange in the sky ... and the public jumps to an illogical conclusion."[3] Writing in The New York Times, author and astrophysicist Adam Frank stated that with respect to claims of "evidence of extraterrestrial technology that can defy the laws of physics," the pilot's reports and cockpit instrumentation videos "doesn't amount to much".[33]

 
Animation of the parallax effect shows how a moving observer would perceive considerable differences in velocity between objects at varying distances.

Mundane, skeptical explanations include instrument or software malfunction, anomaly or artifact,[34][35] human observational illusion (e.g., parallax) or interpretive error,[10][36][37][38] or common aircraft (e.g., a passenger airliner) or aerial device (e.g., weather balloon). Science writer Mick West argued "Any time something unidentified shows up in restricted airspace, then that’s a real problem," but cautioned that believers in "alien disclosure" are "encroaching on these real issues of UAPs".[39] West cautioned that "the report suggests the majority of cases, if solved, would turn out to be a variety of things like airborne clutter or natural atmospheric phenomenon. A lack of data does not mean aliens are the likely answer."[40][31][32][3]

Following the congressional intelligence briefings and in order to encourage pilots to flag disturbances that "have been occurring regularly since 2014", the US Navy announced it had updated the way pilots were to formally report unexplained aerial observations.[17] Commenting on these updated guidelines, a spokesman for the deputy Chief of Naval Operations said, "The intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace."[10] Regarding the new guidelines, the spokesman said that one possible explanation for the increase in reported intrusions could be the rise in availability of unmanned aerial systems such as quadrocopters.[17]

United States Senator Marco Rubio, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, said that he feared the UFOs in the videos may be Chinese or Russian technology.[41]

Retired Admiral Gary Roughead, who commanded both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets before serving as Chief of Naval Operations from 2007 to 2011, said in 2020 that in his time, "most of the assessments were inconclusive" as to what these videos showed. In the context of a lecture on China's 21st century military strategy, Roughead commented that development of unmanned autonomous aircraft that had the capability to be used as submersible military assets was a priority of the US, as well as other nations such as China and Russia.[42] Physicist Adam Frank speculated that it was possible the UFOs in the videos are "drones deployed by rivals like Russia and China to examine our defenses — luring our pilots into turning on their radar and other detectors, thus revealing our electronic intelligence capabilities".[33]

June 2021 Pentagon UFO reportEdit

On June 25, 2021, the US Government released a preliminary report on UAPs[43] largely centering on evidence gathered in the last 20 years from US Navy reports. The report came to no conclusion about what the UAPs were, based on a lack of evidence,[44] though they indicated they were recordings of unexplained actual physical objects, and not false readings, as individual instances had been detected by different types of sensors at the same time, including visual observation.[45] The report theorized that they may have been the work of foreign governments, but that there was no evidence to indicate that. An article in The Guardian, quoting two experts in the area, said it was unlikely they were the work of either China or Russia, as, in their opinion, neither country has the capabilities currently to produce craft capable of achieving the sophisticated reported performance.[46][47]

The report indicated investigation into the area would continue, including developing protocol for reporting.[48] The report indicated, that of the sightings recorded, all except for one (which was confirmed as a weather balloon) remain unexplained[44] clarifying that "UAP probably lack a single explanation" and naming five categories of potential explanations for the objects observed between 2004 and 2021.[45]

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Statement by the Department of Defense on the Release of Historical Navy Videos". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  2. ^ a b "Leaked Navy video appears to show UFO off California". NBC News.
  3. ^ a b c Gault, Matthew (2020-05-06). "The Skeptic's Guide to the Pentagon's UFO Videos". Vice. Vice Media LLC.
  4. ^ a b c Cooper, Helene; Kean, Leslie; Blumenthal, Ralph (2017-12-16). "2 Navy Airmen and an Object That 'Accelerated Like Nothing I've Ever Seen'". The New York Times Co. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  5. ^ Bender, Bryan (December 16, 2017). "The Pentagon's Secret Search for UFOs". Politico. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Mellon, Christopher (March 9, 2018). "The military keeps encountering UFOs. Why doesn't the Pentagon care?". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Finucane, Martin (January 16, 2018). "This former Navy pilot, who once chased a UFO, says we should take them seriously". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "UFOs regularly spotted in restricted U.S. airspace, report on the phenomena due next month". CBS 60 minutes. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Phelan, Matthew (19 December 2019). "Navy Pilot Who Filmed the 'Tic Tac' UFO Speaks: 'It Wasn't Behaving by the Normal Laws of Physics'". New York Magazine. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Cooper, Helene; Blumenthal, Ralph; Kean, Leslie (2019-05-26). "'Wow, What Is That?' Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  11. ^ McMillan, Tim (2020-01-17). "The Tale of the Tape: The Long, Bizarre Saga of the Navy's UFO Video". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  12. ^ a b Eghigian, Greg. "The Year of UFOs". airspacemag.com. Air & Space Magazine, February 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  13. ^ Kloor, Keith. "Will The New York Times Ever Stop Reporting on UFOs?". wired.com. Wired. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  14. ^ Hart, Benjamin (December 16, 2017). "Reports: The Pentagon Spent Millions on UFO Research". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  15. ^ Scoles, Sarah. "What Is Up With Those Pentagon UFO Videos?". Wired. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  16. ^ Taylor, Derrick Bryson (2019-09-26). "How Blink-182's Tom DeLonge Became a U.F.O. Researcher". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  17. ^ a b c Epstein, Kayla. "Those UFO videos are real, the Navy says, but please stop saying 'UFO'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  18. ^ "Navy Confirms Existence of 'Unidentified' Flying Objects Seen in Leaked Footage". Time. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  19. ^ "Yep, those are UFOs, Navy says about 3 videos of strange sightings". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  20. ^ Bender, Bryan. "U.S. Navy drafting new guidelines for reporting UFOs". POLITICO. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  21. ^ Bender, Bryan (2019-06-19). "Senators get classified briefing on UFO sightings". POLITICO. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  22. ^ "Congress receive classified briefing on 'UFO encounters with US navy'". The Independent. 2019-06-20. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  23. ^ McMillan, Tim (2020-02-14). "Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  24. ^ Chandelis Duster. "Defense Department confirms leaked video of unidentified aerial phenomena is real". CNN.
  25. ^ "Pentagon confirms leaked video of UFO 'buzzing' Navy warships is genuine". The Independent. April 13, 2021.
  26. ^ "Pentagon Confirms That Leaked Video Is Part of UFO Investigation". Futurism.
  27. ^ "Pentagon confirms leaked photos and video of UFOs are legitimate". The Guardian. April 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "Leaked video appears to show UFO plunging under water off California". Global News.
  29. ^ Hanks, Micah (May 14, 2021). "Pentagon Confirms Leaked Video Showing "Transmedium" UFO is Authentic". The Debrief.
  30. ^ "Newly leaked video shows a UFO disappear into the water - CNN Video" – via edition.cnn.com.
  31. ^ a b Kooser, Amanda (2020-04-27). "The Pentagon releases three classified 'UFO' videos filmed by US Navy". cnet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  32. ^ a b Kooser, Amanda (2018-03-14). "UFO caught on video? Skeptics weigh in on weird footage". cnet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  33. ^ a b Frank, Adam. "I'm a Physicist Who Searches for Aliens. U.F.O.s Don't Impress Me". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  34. ^ April 2020, Mindy Weisberger 28. "'UFO' videos declassified by US Navy". Space.com. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  35. ^ Kreidler, Marc (2018-05-01). "Navy Pilot's 2004 UFO: A Comedy of Errors | Skeptical Inquirer". Archived from the original on 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  36. ^ Plait, Phil (2020-05-01). "So, those Navy videos showing UFOs? I'm not saying it's not aliens, but it's not aliens". SYFY Wirs. SYFY. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  37. ^ Lincoln, Don (June 21, 2019). "Why pilots are seeing UFOs". CNN. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  38. ^ Overbye, Dennis (December 29, 2017). "U.F.O.s: Is This All There Is?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  39. ^ David, Leonard. "Experts Weigh In on Pentagon UFO Report". Scientific American.
  40. ^ June 2021, Leonard David 28. "Up in the air! US government's UFO report stirs range of reactions". Space.com.
  41. ^ "Marco Rubio Hopes UFOs Are Aliens, Not Chinese Planes". vice.com. 20 July 2020.
  42. ^ Cox, Billy (2020-01-15). "Former Navy Admiral Says UFO Analyses 'Inconclusive'". Sarasota Herald-Tribune, on Military.com. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  43. ^ "READ: US intelligence community's unclassified report on UFOs". CNN. Cable News Network. A Warner Media Company. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  44. ^ a b "US report on Pentagon-documented UFOs leaves sightings unexplained". www.abc.net.au. 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  45. ^ a b "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (PDF). www.dni.gov.au. 25 June 2021. |first= missing |last= (help)
  46. ^ "Why the Pentagon UFO report is deeply troubling for US security experts". The Guardian. 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  47. ^ "It came out of the sky: US releases highly anticipated UFO report". The Guardian. 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  48. ^ "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (PDF). www.dni.gov. 25 June 2021. Retrieved 26 June 2021. |first= missing |last= (help)

External linksEdit