If you’re an enthusiast of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and alien visitation, this is a gift from the heavens: three videos depicting U.S. Navy pilots encountering mysterious and fast-moving objects surfaced on the Internet in 2017 and 2018.
The videos were made public because of a report made by The New York Times and efforts by To The Stars Academy, a research, development, and media center for high-end science and technology.
One of the UAP videos was captured in November 2004, and the other two were taken in January 2015. They were all shot by Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet jets with pilots using Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) technology, hardware that identifies heat, and creates images.
The three videos are called ‘Gimbal,’ ‘GoFast,’ and ‘FLIR1,’ with the latter also known as the ‘Tic Tac’ video.
A New Task Force to Hunt for UFOs
The previous week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) revealed it created a task force to ‘analyze and understand’ the nature and origins of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs. The Department of the Navy, under the management of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, will be leading the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
UAPTF’s mission is to allegedly ‘detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security,’ DoD officials said in a short statement released on August 14th.
However, before you set up welcome signs for the incoming aliens, a little standpoint and context are right.
“The formation of a task force on UFOs is another welcome development in the recent renewed interest and attention to these reports by government agencies and political actors,” said Mark Rodeghier, president and scientific director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in Chicago.
With no other details, it is impossible to determine how well-positioned the task force will be to really investigate reports, Rodeghier added, ‘but I remain cautiously optimistic for now.’
He also said he would hope that ‘as much information as possible is released to the public so we can all be informed on this potentially world-shattering subject.’
Why Do They Care, After Denying For So Long?
“I have no doubt that military intelligence services around the world have always been interested in ‘UFO reports’ — whether or not a real ‘unexplainable’ phenomenon is behind a few of them,” Jim Oberg, a noted space journalist, historian, and a debunker of a slew of UFO sightings says.
He is a professional rocket scientist with a career of more than 20 years at NASA‘s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Oberg also noted that there are numerous non-extraterrestrial reasons why the Defense Department is interested in UFO reports as well.
“Perceptive observers of the UFO scene over the last two-thirds of a century have noted a telltale feature of the evolution of reports,” Oberg said. “Their nature has been changing, keeping uncanny pace with the progress in human observation and detection technologies.”
The expert added that every year, the ‘old UFOs’ fade away before the emergence of new technologies that would have definitely documented them come in view, to be replaced by new types of vehicles that accurately meet the limits of vision of new technologies.
Interfering With Their Sandbox
Military operations areas (MOAs) are obviously designated on aviation maps, and civilian aircraft are usually supposed to avoid them, UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer pointed out. Most of the recent Pentagon comments regarding ‘unidentified objects’ note ‘range incursions,’ according to Sheaffer, which means unknown objects that appear to be entering one of these MOAs.
“So, it seems that the military is worried about unidentified objects that might be intruding into their sandbox. If unidentified objects turn up elsewhere, the military doesn’t care,” Sheaffer said. “The ‘Tic Tac’ and ‘Gimbal’ videos appear to show distant jets, which are probably well outside the MOA, quite far away. The military is investigating out of an abundance of caution, and a sensitivity to criticism.”
However, not many agree with Sheaffer. What’s your standpoint?