By Andrew Dyer
The San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO — Strange flying objects captured on video by Navy fighter pilots off the coast of San Diego in 2004 and in Atlantic waters in 2015 were acknowledged by the Navy as “unidentified aerial phenomena” last week, the first time the service has acknowledged the objects are real.
The three videos, published by former Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge’s “To the Stars Academy,” appear to show small, airborne craft flying and maneuvering at high speeds. The videos were shot by the Advance Targeting Forward Looking Infrared pods on Navy F/A-18s.
The news was first reported by The Black Vault, a website that publishes declassified government documents.
A Navy spokesman told The Black Vault that the Navy had no “descriptions, hypothesis of conclusions” about objects in the three videos. The videos are labeled on YouTube as “FLIR1,” “Gimbal” and “Go Fast.”
The Navy also told The Black Vault the dates on which each video was shot. FLIR1 was shot by an F/A-18 Super Hornet assigned to the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego on Nov. 14, 2004. The other two videos were shot on Jan. 15, 2015. On the “Gimbal” video, one pilot says on the radio, “Look at that thing, dude.”
Politico reported in April that the Navy was drafting new guidelines for pilots and other naval personnel to report such encounters and to de-stigmatize them.
The acknowledgment comes amid heightened public interest in UFOs.
A viral Facebook event, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” is scheduled for Friday at the remote Nevada Air Force base. The event proposes that masses of people “Naruto run” toward the gates of the base in order to expose any alien-technology that conspiracy theorists have long suspected exists on the base.
“Naruto running” refers to the animation in a popular Japanese animated series of the same name, in which characters are depicted running with their arms pinned back.
“Lets see them aliens,” the event description says.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told a reporter Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference that the Air Force was taking the “Storm Area 51” event “very seriously.”
“Our nation has secrets,” he said. Extra security and barricades have reportedly been added to the base as well.