5 Past UFO Sightings As UAP Report to Be Released by Task Force

Next month, a report ordered by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee detailing information about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) is due to be published by a government task force.

Interest in the mysterious sightings of what are popularly referred to as "unidentified flying objects" or "UFOs" has surged in the past few years, particularly after the Department of Defense (DOD) officially released three unclassified videos showing UAPs in 2020.

The videos were captured by U.S. Navy fighter jets between 2004 and 2015. Known as FLIR, GOFAST and GIMBAL, the clips had been circulating in the public domain following unauthorized releases in 2007 and 2017, according to the DOD.

The videos were published by To the Stars... Academy of Arts & Sciences—an organization set up by former Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge to investigate UFO sightings—in late 2017 and early early 2018.

The New York Times also reported on one of the videos in December 2017 in an article about the Pentagon's secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which began operations in 2007.

"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. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified,'" the Pentagon said in a statement accompanying its official release of the videos in 2020.

While the veracity of the videos has been confirmed by the government, this does not necessarily mean that they show alien spacecraft, simply that officials do not have an explanation for the observed phenomena.

Skeptics say there are several other potential explanations for what can be seen in the videos, including unidentified terrestrial aircraft and human observational or interpretive error.

"FLIR" video

The FLIR video was captured in November, 2004, off the coast of San Diego, California, by Navy Pilots based on the USS Nimitz.

There is no pilot commentary but the video shows an oblong-shaped object being tracked by an infrared camera, before it accelerates rapidly to the left and moves out of the frame.

"It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen," one of the pilots, Cmdr. David Fravor, told The Times in a 2017 interview.

"GOFAST" video

The GOFAST video was captured by a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet jet associated with the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group in January, 2015. In the footage, taken by an infrared camera, Navy pilots and weapons systems operators can be heard expressing their amazement at what they are seeing.

The video shows a small object traveling fast above the ocean at high speed. Initially, the weapons systems operator is unable to lock in on the object but is eventually successful on the third attempt.

"What the f*** is that thing?" one of the individuals featured in the video says.

"Wow, what is that man?" says another.

"GIMBAL" video

The GIMBAL video was also captured in January, 2015, by another F/A-18 Super Hornet associated with the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The infrared camera footage shows an unusual object flying above the clouds as pilots discuss what they are seeing in the instrument display.

One of the pilots suggests that it could be a drone.

"Look at that thing, dude!" one of them says.

He then comments that "there's a whole fleet of them," although no other objects can be seen in the footage.

Roswell UFO incident

While the three videos above are the only publicly available UAP clips that have been verified by the U.S. government, there have been other notable cases of UFO sightings in the United States.

Perhaps the most famous of these sightings is the Roswell incident of 1947. This incident gave rise to the conspiracy theory that the U.S. military had reportedly recovered two flying discs, which had crashed in a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.

While this version of events has been debunked on several occasions, some still believe that U.S. authorities covered up the true story of what happened.

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release saying that a "flying disc" had been recovered, but this was quickly retracted and officials later stated that the crashed object was actually a conventional weather balloon.

2006 O'Hare International Airport UFO sighting

On November 7, 2006, several witnesses, including a dozen United Airlines employees, reported seeing a metallic, saucer-shape craft hovering over one of the gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport at around 4:15 p.m..

Witnesses said the object was dark gray, measuring around six to 24 feet in diameter, the Chicago Tribune reported. The silent object reportedly appeared just below the clouds before shooting off back into them, leaving behind a circular hole shape.

The Federal Aviation Administration refused to investigate the incident, dismissing it as a "weather phenomenon."

GIMBAL, UFO
A screenshot taken from the GIMBAL video. Department of Defense