The Pentagon has "a lot more" highly classified videos of so-called unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), the ex-head of a secretive government program has said.
Luis Elizondo—who once led the U.S. government's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which was set up to investigate UAPs—helped facilitate the release of three videos showing unidentified aerial phenomena captured by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015.
In April this year, the Department of Defense published the declassified videos online, which had already been circulating in the public domain following unauthorized releases in 2017 and 2018 by The New York Times and a company co-founded by Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge called To the Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences (TTSA) that researches unidentified aerial phenomena.
Last year, Navy and Pentagon spokespeople confirmed that the videos—which show strange objects appearing to accelerate incredibly fast, travel at spectacular speeds and perform other unusual maneuvers—are real.
"Am I surprised that the government acknowledged the validity and the veracity of those videos? Not at all," Elizondo, currently director of government programs at TTSA, told Newsweek. "It was a matter of time, they didn't have a choice because ultimately, the paper trail goes back to the authenticity of these videos. And anybody who does a little bit of research will recognize that they are real."
"I knew they were genuine and there's also a lot more the Pentagon currently has, unfortunately remain highly classified," he said. "It is truly a historical moment when you have the United States government and multiple agencies in the organization coming forward and saying that the videos are not only real, but they are truly unidentified aerial phenomena."
While the veracity of the videos has been confirmed, this does not mean that they show alien spacecraft, simply that officials cannot explain the phenomena that the clips feature. Some experts caution that there are several potential explanations for the objects that appear in the videos, such as atmospheric effects and technical glitches in the fighter jet imaging systems, The New York Times reported.
Elizondo stresses that we simply don't know what these phenomena are, saying he welcomed this kind of skepticism.
"I think healthy skepticism is important. I think the more data points we get, the better. I would just encourage those who jump to conclusions prematurely to take in all the data that's available, because it's not just eyewitness testimony. It is electro-optical data from some of the most sophisticated intelligence sensors that we have on the planet. It's also radar data all looking at the same object and coming to the same conclusion that the eyewitnesses are coming to."
"So the only thing I would say is, for those who are sceptical, that's fine, remain skeptical but please do due diligence, do your homework, make sure that you don't cherry pick one piece of information or the other. Look at everything collectively and holistically in order to make an informed opinion. Let's not forget that in today's age of social media, anytime a video comes out within 24 hours, someone has been able to disprove it. In this case, that's never happened. They truly are anomalous."
Luis Elizondo is featured in season two of History's "Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation" documentary series, which returns July 11 at 10 p.m. ET.
This article was updated to correct a typo.