Why The US Military is Studying UFOs
(speech muffled by static) - [Pilot 3] Oh my gosh, dude. (suspenseful music) - [Johnny] It's November 14th, 2004, about a hundred miles off the coast of San Diego, California. The USS Nimitz, one of the US Navy's largest aircraft carriers is preparing for deployment to the Persian Gulf. But the radar technicians aboard notice something weird. The military report from that day says that they notice quote, "multiple objects descending from around 60,000 feet down to 50 feet in a matter of seconds."
Very high velocity. 60,000 feet. A reminder that commercial airplanes fly at like 36,000 feet. The report goes on to say that these objects quote, "hover for a short time and depart at super high velocities" with, quote, "advanced acceleration capabilities." At first, these radar techs thought that their fancy new radar system was messed up, so they recalibrated the radar, but the signal remained. Something was up here.
- They're telling us they have a contact on their radar. They don't know what it is. They just have a blip. Well, they've been watching these things, and what he told me is they had been looking at these things as we're driving. I says, sir, we've been tracking these things for about two weeks. That's, we had been at sea for two weeks.
He goes, this is the first time we've had planes airborne. We want you to go see what these are. - [Johnny] So they sent out two F/A-18s to investigate.
The report from that day describes a day of blue skies, no clouds and unlimited visibility. These two Navy pilots arrive to the scene, each with a weapons officer in the back. They look around and notice something strange in the water below.
- So, as we're looking down off the right side, the back seater in the airplane, Jim, he says, "Hey, skipper, do you," and that's about what he gets out of his mouth and I go, "What the hell is that?" - [Johnny] It looks as if some cross shaped object the size of a massive airplane is submerged right underneath the surface of the water, and above it, it appears to be boiling. And just above the boiling water, an object is hovering. - And we saw this little white Tic Tac looking object, and it's just kind of moving above the whitewater area. - Like no predictable movement, no predictable trajectory. - Yeah. - I guess it was just- - It was just like a ping pong ball.
- No acceleration. - Very, very random. - Acceleration. - [Johnny] The Navy report describes this object as quote, "an elongated egg or a Tic Tac that was uniformly white across the entire body." It was approximately 46 feet in length. One of the pilots with his weapons officer in the back wanted to get a closer look.
- So then I go, hey, I'm gonna go check it out. - [Johnny] So, he turns this jet down towards the object. The other pilot's staying back to get a wider view.
- So, I'm coming down, and as I get to 12 o'clock, as the Tic Tac's doing this, it literally, it's like it be, it's aware of us and it just goes bloop, and it kind of points out towards the west and starts coming up. So, now it's obviously knows that we're there, whatever this thing is, it knows that we're there. So, I'm kind of almost coming out co altitude as this thing's coming up. I'm gonna meet it, and it just, as it crosses our nose, it just, it accelerates and literally, in less than, you know, probably less than a half second, it just goes, and it's gone. - And you saw no visible propulsion? - Right.
- [Interviewer] No wings or anything- - No. - [Interviewer] To no make it fly in our atmosphere. - [Johnny] As these two pilots are heading back to their aircraft carrier, they get a radio call from one of their radar techs. - I mean, he's like, hey, sir, you're not gonna believe this, but that thing is at your cap. It showed back up. It just popped up. The other, this is like 60 miles away.
It just reappears. - [Johnny] Within seconds, 60 miles away, just like that. By the time they get back to the Nimitz, the object is gone. So, they gear up and get ready to send another jet out to investigate, and this time, they make sure that an infrared camera is strapped to the bottom. With the camera recording, they found the Tic Tac again. Okay, so now we're looking at real data, real evidence that we can analyze, get us away from relying on someone else's memory.
What you're seeing is an object that is somehow flying through the sky. These infrared cameras will usually show a heat signature of exhaust or some kind of energy that shows how an aircraft is being propelled, something. But here, there's nothing. And yet suddenly, this object in the blink of an eye blasts away. And to be clear, we just showed you the raw clip. We didn't edit this in any way.
This was back in 2004, but no one knew about it and likely never would until it was leaked in 2007 on a fringe UFO website called Above Top Secret. It honestly looked like some kind of BS conspiracy UFO stuff, totally disregarded. But 10 years later, the Pentagon confirmed that, actually, it's totally legit. This is authentic Navy footage recorded by some of the best pilots on earth showing an unidentified flying object. "The New York Times" would go on to report on this pretty deeply and revealed that this video, as well as the firsthand accounts by people who saw this object, would lead the Pentagon to create a secret program to study what's happening here. And not just this encounter, but dozens of others.
Something the public wouldn't hear about until recently. And that's what this video is about. - [Reporter] US military officials have gone before a Congress hearing, releasing once classified videos from fighter pilots' cockpits.
- [Reporter 2] 144 unexplained sightings. (speech muffled by static) - Wait, pause. Yes, I know some of you are asking, am I actually doing this? Yes, I'm actually doing this. We're doing a deep dive on UFOs and no, it's not some bait and switch storytelling device where I try to trick you into believing me and then, like, tell you to not believe everything you see.
I'm actually doing this. I'm applying my journalistic lens to a topic that, in my opinion, has been thoroughly bastardized and sensationalized by the likes of the History Channel, UFO fanatics and Hollywood. I wanna do the opposite of all of that. I wanna actually evaluate the facts, because, honestly, there are some really compelling facts here. So this is not Roswell.
It's not aliens landing at a school in Zimbabwe. It's not Bob Lazar claiming that he worked on UFO tech back in the '70s. I'm not touching any of that stuff.
Maybe if this video does well, I will open up those cans of worms. Today, all I'm looking at are the hundreds of evidence-based sightings of stuff flying around in the air that the US military has observed but has concluded they don't know what it is. That's it. Let's do this. Oh, and by the way, next week's video is live right now over on Nebula.
You can watch it ad free right this minute if you go sign up for Nebula. Link in the description, no code necessary. Okay, let's get back to it. In many ways, the 2004 Tic Tac event is the starting point for a new era of UFO investigations. And again, big props to "The New York Times" for breaking the news that the Pentagon had been investigating UFOs in secret since at least 2007.
It was a program that Harry Reid, a Democratic senator from Nevada, had personally been asking for. Big alien guy, that Harry Reid, huh? "The Times" reporting also revealed that there were other videos. In 2014, a Navy jet was chasing a fleet of strange objects on the east coast of the United States.
I mean, listen to this radio chatter. - [Pilot] There's a whole fleet of them. Look on the ASA. - [Pilot 2] Oh my gosh. They're all going against the wind. The wind's 120 knots from the west. - [Pilot] Well if there's- - [Pilot 2] Look at that thing.
- [Pilot] It's rotating. - The next year in the same area, a Navy pilot captured a small round object traveling at what looks like very high speeds over the water. - [Pilot 3] Whoa! Got it. Woo hoo! What the fuck is that thing? - [Pilot 4] Did you box a moving target? - [Pilot 3] No, I took an auto-track. - [Pilot 4] Oh, okay. - [Pilot 3] Oh my gosh, dude. Wow.
(speech muffled by static) - [Pilot 4] Look at that fly. - In 2019, some Navy sailors were on board this destroyer when they pointed a camera through their night vision goggles and captured this video. On March 4th, 2019, a weapons officer sitting in the back of a fighter jet captured these pictures of a quote, "metallic blimp, a sphere and an acorn."
And then, there was this incident in 2021 where a Navy pilot was filming out his window with a phone and caught this. Yeah, you probably missed it. Let's just slow that down. This.
Like, what is this thing? These videos and images were shot by Navy pilots who were on duty and have confirmed to be authentic by the United States government. And these are just a few of hundreds of sightings under investigation by the Navy, many of which remained classified for, we all know what I'm gonna say, national security reasons. Not undermining it. I'm just saying like, ugh. It's just like the catchall for all things I want to know. Got a little outta control there.
(suspenseful music) As more and more of these unidentified flying objects were being reported and talked about in the public, the Department of Defense finally assembled an official unidentified aerial phenomenon task force. UAPs is what the government now calls UFOs because UFOs, you know, again, has been completely tainted by this stuff. - [Narrator] A UFO sighting over multiple cities. - [Speaker 2] I don't know what the hell it is.
- [Narrator] An extraterrestrial event that changed the course of history and an alien abduction witnessed by no less than six people. - When you read through these reports and you can start to see why the government wants to study this stuff. And no, it's not just because Harry Reid is, like, into aliens or whatever. The government says it itself that it's interested in this because of national security. Who's flying around in our airspace without our authorization, and why are they behaving in weird ways that we don't understand? But they also mention the safety of their pilots and their very expensive hardware. This new committee has been coming out with reports, and they state very clearly why they're doing this.
First, the Pentagon is worried that these UAPs may be quote, "part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary." Counterintelligence, quote, "UAP pose a hazard to safety of flight and could pose a broader danger if some instances represent sophisticated collection against United States military activities by foreign governments, or," crucially, "demonstrate a breakthrough aerospace technology by a potential adversary." Translation, we don't really know what these things are and that kind of scares us. Oh, and safety.
- When do you start getting a thought that, like, what is, what the fuck is this thing? - So, that happened when we visually saw one. There were two aircraft from my squadron, VFA 11, and they flew, took off as a flight of two. That means they're essentially flying in a formation like this. And as they hit the area, one of these objects went right between the aircraft. - We have a very strict system for controlling who is flying in our airspace to make sure that things don't run into each other because random stuff flying around could risk the lives of the pilots and these $67 million weapons. So, when something like this happens, it's a huge deal.
They immediately abort whatever they're doing, and they return to their ship to, like, discuss what the hell just happened. - And you know, he was just sitting there saying, "Hey, you know, I almost hit one of those damn things," and we all knew what he was referring to, even though we didn't necessarily have a name for it just because we were seeing these so much. And he described it, you know. He described it just as a black or dark gray cube. And that cube was inside of a clear or translucent sphere, and essentially the the apex with the corners of that cube, best he could tell, were touching that inside of that sphere. - Wait, hold on. Did you catch that?
Not the weird cube inside of a translucent sphere, whatever. We'll get to that later. To me, what's actually more compelling about what this guy just said is.
- Because we were seeing these so much. - He is saying that these pilots have been seeing these things. - You know, essentially, all the time. - Wow. Yeah.
Like yeah, I get it. The translucent cube thing is, like, more tantalizing, but, like, the fact that these pilots report seeing these UAPs, these UFOs, all the time, day after day, week after week, that, to me, is more compelling evidence that we need to evaluate here. And, like the 2004 Tic Tac case that we talked about at the beginning.
- This was happening because we upgraded our radar, the best we could tell. - These Navy personnel at first don't believe what they're seeing. They think that their instruments are probably broken. - And then people started to try to fly by it and see it. And at this point, you know, I would say maybe 80 to 90% of our squadron had probably seen one of these on the radar at this point.
Everyone was aware of it. - So, according to some of these accounts, you've got a bunch of Navy pilots seeing weird stuff all the time, both on radar but also with their infrared cameras. But are you gonna be the guy who goes to your superior in the Navy and say, like, hey, I saw another UFO today. You don't wanna be like the UFO crazy. You're gonna get kicked out of the freaking, like, most superior pilot corps in the world because, like, you're seeing UFOs.
These pilots have talked about how there's a real stigma with reporting this stuff, so a lot of 'em just sort of keep quiet. But it was when that near crash happened that now these pilots are literally required to file safety reports of what happened. And this is where the Pentagon and lawmakers who fund them were forced to take these UFOs more seriously. - We know that our service members have encountered unidentified aerial phenomenon, and because UAPs pose potential flight safety and general security risk, we are committed to a focused effort to determine their origins. - This is where I start to get pretty excited about the potential here because, look, this is like a real high up person in our intel community in the military who's talking about getting more data on this, on studying it. Keep going. Mr. Moultrie.
- Our effort will include the thorough examination of adversarial platforms and potential breakthrough technologies, US government or commercial platforms, allied or partner systems and other natural phenomenon. - Scientists, military leaders, even some politicians are joining the crowd of true believers with the US Navy task force called in. - So, by 2020 this is now, like, becoming a thing, and this is probably why you've heard about it recently.
This task force was formed, and it represents the first time since 1969 that the US government has officially or at least publicly acknowledged the significance of studying UFOs. - There is something there, measurable by multiple instruments, and yet, it seems to move in directions that are inconsistent with what we know of physics or science more broadly. And that, to me, poses questions of tremendous interest and, as well as potential national security significance. - Okay, wait, pause, just, yep. Inconsistent with the laws of physics. Yep.
Very tantalizing. Let's just pause. We're talking about UFOs here, and I feel obligated to just check in and make sure we're all on the same page, okay? First, we know it is a fact that the US government has observed stuff in the air that they can't explain. The evidence that I've presented here is solid, solid sources, solid reporting.
If I had evidence like this for any other story that I'm doing, I'd be like, this is solid evidence. Let's put it in the story. Okay? We know that it's true. (suspenseful music) Oh, and it's not just the few events that I've mentioned here. According to this report, there's been 144 of these instances either from the US military or government personnel, and 80 of these reports have been gathered from quote, "multiple sensors," meaning from multiple perspectives, multiple perspectives or tools, which is like a thousand times better than, like, one pilot just saw something and is remembering it. Even if said pilot is someone like Lieutenant Commander Alex Dietrich, who, when you read this profile from "The Washington Post" on her, seems to be a pragmatic, highly credible Navy pilot from one of the most specialized flight programs in the world.
- I don't identify as a UFO person. - Like, these pilots don't have incentives to make this stuff up. And yet, the fact remains that their instruments for measuring and observing the world is the human eyes, brain and long-term memory, which is a pretty faulty and inaccurate data collection tool. So, when I see something like 80 of these sightings being collected from multiple sensors, it makes all the difference for me.
Okay, so that's number one. The US government has seen this. They don't know what it is, and it's been collected well. Number two, the other thing we know is that they've taken it seriously. This is a concern for them. The US Department of Defense is funding an effort to investigate, study and analyze what is happening here, which, again, is awesome.
Funding research is the only way that we know anything about the world. It's so much better than hearing a few people riff on what they saw. Science and research is our best antidote to the faulty, story driven human brain. And indeed, the task force has come to some pretty useful conclusions.
- Since the release of that preliminary report, UAP task force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports. - They went back and they looked at every one of these reports, analyzed all the data they could. And when you do that, you start to see these incidents come into perspective. Remember this video of the fast moving round thing that the pilot was freaking out about? Turns out that the Pentagon analyzed this, knowing everything they know about where the jets were and what tools were being used to record this moment.
And they calculated that this was actually just, like, an optical illusion. Like, this object actually isn't moving that fast, only like 30 miles an hour. Or remember this video of the triangles in the sky filmed off of that destroyer? It turns out that this was more just quirky optics. - [Scott] We're now reasonably confident that these triangles correlate to unmanned aerial systems in the area.
The triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an SLR camera. - These objects are probably foreign drones trying to spy on US military maneuvers, yet they might not be triangle in shape, but, like, that's still really useful information. We should know if there are foreign adversaries floating over our Navy destroyers. Or this video of a UFO shaped object being chased by an F-18.
- [Pilot] There's a whole fleet of them. Look on the ASA. - What makes this video so weird is how the object is behaving, unexpected ways, kind of turning and rotating. - [Pilot 2] Look at that thing. - [Pilot] It's rotating. - Well, once again with a little bit of analysis, this weird movement is actually just another quirk of the image sensors that they use in the military on these specialized cameras that make objects look like they're moving in strange ways, when, really, if you just saw it with your eye, it wouldn't be that weird.
There's this guy, Mick West, who's probably the most passionate debunker of, like, anything weird going on here. He does a really compelling deep dive on an explanation for this, why this object looks like it's moving so strangely. I mean if you want to go into it, it's like another optical mixed with camera sensors mixed with gimbal equipment and rotating compensation mechanisms. Yeah, you get the point, but we still don't know what this object is, but at least we have more clarity on why it looks weird to us with our eyes when we're watching on a video on the internet. The Pentagon recently came out and told "The New York Times" that most of this stuff is actually just foreign spies flying around, spying on US military activities or weather balloons or other airborne tracks, and further specifying that a lot of this stuff that looks weird to us looks weird because it was recorded on gear that is classified and is built for a specific purpose that we don't have access to understanding, leading to some strange looking imagery.
Really convenient, Pentagon. And yet, another fact in all of this is that many of these videos have not been officially declared a foreign drone and, in fact, remain unexplained. And that's after analysis.
One of those unexplained sightings was this one from 2004, the one we started this video on, the Tic Tac incident. (suspenseful music) The report often cites lack of good data and, indeed, what we have here is not the best, but we still have four sets of eyeballs. We have an official Navy report gathering facts from that day, technicians seeing this thing descend from 60,000 feet down to 50 feet in a matter of seconds, hovering stationary on the radar for a short amount of time and then departing at high velocities, high turn rates.
This video, which is kind of uninspiring and grainy and not very long, but still shows us something, with its infrared not capturing any heat signature, any means of propulsion as this thing flies around at mind boggling speeds. Since these pilots went public with their account, a handful more of Navy witnesses have come forward telling their stories of what they have seen. And again, I take this all with a giant grain of salt, especially when you see some of these accounts putting fuel on the fire in the form of crazy claims that, I'm intentionally not gonna go into into them here because I consider them deeply outside of the realm of useful evidence.
But yeah, if you're interested, you can easily go down the rabbit hole. This stuff is like clickbait for every human. If you do go down the rabbit hole on some of these other testimonies or witnesses, just be careful. This is powerful, intoxicating stuff.
We all secretly want to believe that this isn't just, like, China spying on us. That's boring. Our brains are really good at filling in the gaps to construct a faulty narrative.
Be careful. But yeah, that aside, there's still no satisfying theories that I could find that explain the 2004 Tic Tac case. Could be Russia or Chinese secret drones or even experimental aircraft that we ourselves have been developing. I mean, it's no secret that powerful countries spend a lot of time and resources trying to get a leg up militarily, trying to find the next big technological thing. Like, you can actually find patents from the US military that claim to revolutionize propulsion tech using, like, anti-gravity spacecraft, like, really out there, wild, weird, theoretical tech that may or may not exist.
Again, another rabbit hole I'm not gonna go down. The 2004 Tic Tac case remains a mystery, and I have a feeling that it will be a mystery forever. We'll probably never know what this thing is, and that's because real answers only come when you have real inquiry with real tools to measure and analyze real data from the real world. People's eyes and brains and memories are about the worst thing you can count on, and yet, we can't ignore credible sources. - They were always out there, you know. - [Joe] Always.
- They were out there when we took off. We'd see them and then we'd go to land. They would still be out there. - Like every day? - Every day. - But that's not proof of anything.
To me, if they're always out there, we should be able to come up with a way to study them, and the US government agrees. - This often limited amount of high quality data and reporting hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP. - Step one in all this is gonna be to decouple the study of UFOs, which is something we should totally do, from the quick conclusion that people jump to that we are being visited by aliens from a different star system. That is what created the stigma in the first place. That is why people are embarrassed to talk about this stuff. We need to decouple them. There are UFOs.
We should study them and see what they actually are. But am I saying that these absolutely aren't alien spacecraft coming from other planets? No, I'm not saying that at all. I don't know. What I'm saying is that I haven't seen anything close to the burden of evidence required for me to believe that that's what these things are. What I have seen is evidence of weird, unidentified things flying around, behaving in ways that are potentially beyond our mainstream understanding of physics. I mean, potentially. So yes, I'm totally open to these things being aliens.
I'm open to literally anything. My issue is that people see this, and our brains automatically do the easy thing, which is to fill in the blanks. Suddenly, aliens are the explanation. My brain does it, too.
It scares me. It's not the right approach here. I mean, I'm aware that it literally is almost a statistical impossibility that we're the only intelligent life forms in this universe. Definitely not the the case. So yeah, maybe they found a way to travel to our little speck of dust planet, and they wanted to visit and look at us or something. I don't know. I'm totally open to it, but again, I have zero reason to believe that because there's no evidence that points to that as the explanation.
- [Announcer] Seven, six, five. - But then there's the flip side, the juicier part of this for me, which is, who's to say we aren't the awe inspiring creatures ourselves? A hundred years ago, most people were still riding around on horses. They would've looked at our modern world, all of this and thought that, certainly, aliens had come to take over.
Certainly, some crazy magician had come and reshaped the entire planet, and that's exactly what happened. Crazy scientific breakthroughs happen all the time. I mean, just this year, the Nobel Prize in physics went to a team of physicists laying the foundation for quantum communication, like real-time communication that essentially bypasses the classical laws of physics. What I'm trying to say here is we don't need to treat UFOs like religion. We don't need to believe. Instead of cobbling together the scant evidence that we have to fit some narrative that we want to believe, let's go out there and gather data and analyze it and build a body of knowledge about this.
Let's poke at these phenomena and figure out what the hell is going on in our airspace, at the very least to keep us safe, but potentially so that we can discover something new, something that we can observe, measure, analyze and learn from. Wait, wait, wait, don't go yet. They released the report. The Pentagon released the report, like, right before we published this video. Like, we were waiting for them to release the report, and then they didn't.
So, we filmed the video and I cut my hair, and then they released the freaking report about the update, the 2022 Annual Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, UAP, baby. We've gone through this, and the update is that they're actually studying this stuff. This report goes through and shows a Pentagon that is very interested in doing more to gather data on this, which is really great news. There have been 366 new reports of UAP. They think that over half of them are, like, airborne clutter or drones or balloon like entities, but 171 of these reports remain totally unidentifiable. They don't know what they are, and they even mention that some of them continue to demonstrate quote, "unusual flight characteristics."
They even say that they're talking to allies about this to try to get to the bottom of what these UAP are. So yeah, the report is out. I'll link it in the sources. It's a pretty good read if you're into this stuff. I want to tell you that next week's video is live right now.
You can watch it right this second. It's over on Nebula. I publish all of my videos a week early, and it's over on Nebula, no ads. The video is a map explainer that goes over all of the major coups that the US has committed over the years to, like, depose leaders and put in leaders that they like. Spoiler alert, there's been a bunch of 'em, and we mapped them. You can go watch that video right now, but it's not just me.
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