Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.
The U.S. government has declassified a third video showing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) moving at high speed below a U.S. Navy jet, in a brief encounter recorded with a high-tech military camera in 2015.
The video shows an oblong object moving rapidly at an unknown distance from the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet, which is flying at 25,000 feet above sea level. Data imprinted in the footage shows the jet is moving at Mach 0.61, and that the UFO is keeping pace below it and to the left.
The incident was captured through a high-tech camera pod called a Raytheon Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking, or ATFLIR, sensor.
One of the pilots can be heard registering his astonishment in the video, as he attempts to lock onto the object with the auto-tracking sensor set to infrared mode. The object zips across the frame, from right to left, three times before the pilot manages to pan the camera fast enough to achieve a sensor lock.
“Whoa! Got it!” he says in the video. “Hahaha, wohoo!”
He then adds: “What the f*** is that thing?”
The object appears to be oblong in the 33-second video, and registers as extremely hot through the infrared camera. The camera remains fixed on the object once the pilot achieves a sensor lock. It also briefly switches between “black” and “white” infrared modes, which alternatively show hot objects as white and black, respectively. The object appears hot in both modes.
“Oh my gosh, dude,” the camera operator says to the other pilot. The two then engage in an excited back-and-forth, during which it becomes difficult to determine who is saying what.
“Wow, what is that, man?” someone says.
“Look at that flying!” says another.
The footage abruptly ends with the object still in view of the camera.
The Department of Defense declassified the video clip on Monday for To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a research organization dedicated to the study of “exotic science and technologies.”
The object does not appear to have obvious wings or a tail, nor does it emit an exhaust plume, To The Stars researchers note in an analysis posted on their website.
“An exhaust plume is clearly visible on conventional aircraft in the mid-wave infrared frequency used by the ATFLIR,” the analysis notes.
Video released to former head of secret government program
To The Stars was co-founded by Luis Elizondo, the former head of the DoD’s secret, US$22-million program dedicated to studying “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” (UAP) from 2007-2012. The Pentagon acknowledged the now-defunct program’s existence late last year, when Elizondo came forward with details in a published New York Times report from Dec. 16.
“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” a DoD spokesperson told the Times.
The Times story was published along with two declassified UFO-military encounter videos, which were declassified for To The Stars.
One video, which was recorded by a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet off the coast of San Diego in 2004, shows an oblong object hovering in the sky. The object appears hot in black and white infrared modes, and looks dark against the daytime sky in television mode.
The second video, also recorded by a Navy jet, shows another oblong object travelling at high speed into strong winds of 120 knots. The object tilts perpendicular to its original orientation at the end of the video. Pilots can be heard saying in the video that the object is part of a “fleet” of similar objects.
All three videos were released with chain-of-custody documentation to confirm that they come from the U.S. government, and have not been altered in any way.
Former U.S. senator Harry Reid came forward last December to say that he was the one who pushed for the UAP program to be funded through money hidden in the U.S. budget.
“We don’t know the answers but we have plenty of evidence to support asking the questions,” he tweeted in December, following the release of the first two videos. “This is about science and national security. If America doesn’t take the lead in answering these questions, others will.”