Left to right, stills from FLIR, GIMBAL and GOFAST videos released by the Pentagon of unidentified aerial phenomena

  • The Pentagon has declassified three videos of UFOs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena," after years of speculation about them.
  • The videos, which can be seen in full below, were taken by Naval aircraft cameras and show small floating objects that baffled some of the pilots filming them.
  • The clips were taken between 2004 and 2015, had previously been leaked by media outlets and UFO research groups.
  • The Pentagon admitted their authenticity last September, but said in January that the material it had about the UFOs would cause "grave damage" to national security if released.
  • In a statement on Monday, the Pentagon said the videos themselves don't reveal "sensitive capabilities" and won't hurt future UFO investigations.
  • Retired Sen. Harry Reid, who authorised a research program into UFOs as Senate Majority Leader, tweeted that this release only "scratches the surface" of what the Pentagon has on file.
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The Pentagon has declassified and released three videos of unidentified aerial phenomena - commonly known as UFOs - after years of speculation about them.

The videos, captured on Naval aircraft cameras with infrared targeting systems, show black shapes floating and sometimes accelerating at incredible speeds against the wind, as baffled pilots watched.

All three videos had been previously leaked, prompting the Pentagon to confirm their authenticity in September 2019 in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

In January, it stated that the briefing materials it held about the videos were classified as top secret and would cause "exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States" if released.

A still from GIMBAL, one of three videos released by the Pentagon showing unidentified aerial phenomena or a UFO.

Despite longstanding popular association with stories of aliens, the Pentagon term for UFOs - unidentified aerial phenomena - does not imply extraterrestrial origin.

Take a look at the videos - which have the file names FLIR, GOFAST, and GIMBAL - here:

FLIR, also known as the Nimitz video, November 2004

This shows footage taken by Navy pilots off the coast of San Diego on November 14, 2004, according to The New York Times. It has also been called the Nimitz video, due to the name of the pilots' ship, the USS Nimitz, according to Vice.

FLIR has no pilot commentary, but shows a dark oblong shape being tracked by the infrared camera. At one point, the object accelerates unexpectedly to the left, causing the sensor to lose its fix on it.

"It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," one of the pilots, Commander David Frevor, told The New York Times in 2017.

GOFAST, November 2015

This clip shows what looks like the ocean surface as a small object skims past the camera at high speed.

Tracking pilots can be heard giving a whoop of satisfaction when the camera gets a fix on it, adding: "What the f--k is that?"

GIMBAL, November 2015

In the 34-second footage, the aircraft's infrared camera tracks a flying saucer-like shape above a vista of clouds, as pilots discuss what it could be.

One believes it's a drone, while another comments that "there's a whole fleet of them," though no other shape is visible. The object then begins to rotate in the air.

"My gosh. They're going against the wind, the wind's 120 knots to west," the first pilot can be heard saying.

The three videos were previously published by the the New York Times and the To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, a UFO research group founded by former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge.

The Pentagon said in a Monday statement that the release of the videos "does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena."

"DOD is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos," it added.

"The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified.'"

This release 'only scratches the surface' of what the government knows

On Monday, retired Sen. Harry Reid - who helped fund the US government's UFO investigations - said the Pentagon's release of the videos "only scratches the surface" of what the government has on file.

As Senate Majority Leader, Reid had funneled $22 million of funding to the investigation in 2007, according to Axios.

He tweeted Monday: "I'm glad the Pentagon is finally releasing this footage, but it only scratches the surface of research and materials available."

"The U.S. needs to take a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications. The American people deserve to be informed," he added.

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