Three videos purporting to be leaked military footage of UFOs are genuine, the US Navy has revealed.
The clips – published by the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science In December 2017 and March 2018 – showed several mystery objects travelling through the air at high speed.
One of the videos was from 2004, while the other two were recorded in 2015 and featured audio from US fighter pilots expressing disbelief at what they they were seeing – unsure if the objects were drones or something else.
While the US Navy remains none the wiser as to what the pilots saw, it has confirmed that the leaked footage is real and that the objects have been classified as “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
Spokesman Joseph Gradisher told NBC News: “The three videos show incursions into our military training ranges by unidentified aerial phenomena. The Navy has characterised the observed phenomena as unidentified.”
To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a group co-founded by Blink 182 singer Tom DeLonge to research UFOs, had claimed the clips went though a “declassification review process” and were approved for release.
Mr Gradisher has disputed those claims, with the 2004 clip taken aboard an aircraft from the carrier USS Nimitz,
He said it had been widely shared by the crew of the ship and first posted online in 2007 – and that the Navy decided it was too late to pursue the matter by the time it came to the attention of officials two years later.
But he said the US Navy “has no information” on how the 2015 clips ended up in the public domain, as they were also published by The New York Times at the time they first surfaced.
Mr Gradisher told NBC News that sightings of “unidentified aerial phenomena” were on the rise – and added that all of them were thoroughly investigated.
He said: “Any incursion into our training ranges by any aircraft or phenomena, identified or not identified, is problematic from both a safety and security concern.”
The US Navy is reluctant to give in to pop culture norms and describe such sightings as UFOs.
Mr Gradisher said the “unidentified aerial phenomena” phrase had been borrowed from the UK and covers “any aerial phenomenon that cannot immediately be identified”.