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'What the f--- is that thing?': Mysterious new video shows US navy pilots encountering a UFO

Ben Brimelow , Business Insider US
 Mar 12, 2018, 08:55 PM

A screenshot from a video provided by the the Stars Academy of Arts & Science that purports to show a declassified instance of US Navy jet tracking a UFO in flight
To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science/YouTube
  • Declassified footage from a US Navy F/A-18 shows a UFO flying at high speeds somewhere "off the East Coast of the United States in 2015."
  • It is the third known declassified video the US department of defense has released.
  • The group that posted the video hopes that the release of the footage will spark more debate about UFOs.

Recently declassified footage shows a new instance of the American military tracking an unidentified flying object.

The footage was recorded in 2015 on a Raytheon ATFLIR pod, a targeting pod mounted underneath aircraft that is equipped with a camera with a laser rangefinder and a laser spot tracker.

The pod was mounted underneath a US Navy F/A-18 jet flying approximately 25,000 feet at a speed of Mach 0.62. The camera makes three attempts to lock on to an object moving extremely fast, but fails the first two times. 

On the third try, the pod manages to get a lock, and the pilots speak out about their excitement and amazement at what they are seeing. 

"Whoa! Got it!" one of the pilots, yells out loud after locking on to the UFO. "What the f--- is that thing?!" the other asks.

The object continues at a fast rate of speed and the pilots appear to be amazed. "Wow! What is that, man?" one says. "Look at that flying!"

Footage from an F/A-18 that shows another recorded UFO encounter that was released last December.
Department of Defense


One of the pilots from the declassified videos published by the Times told ABC that he though the aircraft he saw was "not from this world."

"After 18 years of flying, I've seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close," Commander David Fravor said.

The footage was posted online by To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a private scientific research group that aims to "help push science, technology, and ultimately humanity forward."

It is not the first time UFO footage recorded by the American military has been declassified.

The New York Times published videos in December 2017 of declassified UFO flights recorded by the US military. The Times later reported that the US department of defense fielded a program that investigated the incidents, but that it was terminated in 2012.

"The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 time frame. 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 spokesperson from the DoD said at the time.

"The DoD takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed."

Chris Mellon, an adviser to TTSA and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence for the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, wrote a piece in the Washington Post on Friday, calling for more attention to the UFO issue.

Mellon wrote that "we have no idea what's behind these weird incidents because we're not investigating."

He said that one of the reasons it isn't investigated to the extent that it should be is because of stigma attached to UFOs.

"Nobody wants to be 'the alien guy' in the national security bureaucracy; nobody wants to be ridiculed or sidelined for drawing attention to the issue," he said.

"This is true up and down the chain of command, and it is a serious and recurring impediment to progress.

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