A military official said the three allegedly declassified videos of US Navy pilots following some unidentified flying objects are real, but the public was never supposed to see them.
The New York Times released the said videos in December 2017 and March 2018, showing the mysterious aircrafts flying at hypersonic speeds above tens of thousands of feet above the Earth and without any visible signs of wings, engines or propulsion.
In one of the videos, The New York Times wrote that one of the unidentified objects "appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering." The newspaper added that the object either "dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up."
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No one knew what the flying objects were, not even the pilots chasing after them—and it turns out that the US government doesn't have a clue either, as per a statement from Joseph Gradisher, a spokesperson for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare.
According to Live Science, Gradisher said Navy officials consider the craft in the three videos as "unidentified aerial phenomena." This alone confirms the authenticity of the footage and that the objects weren't supposed to be in the restricted military training spaces.
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The military official, whose statement was delivered to the intelligence news website The Black Vault, also said the UFO videos never received permission to be publicly released. This means people were never supposed to know the existence of the three unidentified phenomena.
A former Pentagon employee may have improperly released the footage, as per The Black Vault, adding that the employee may have only applied for permission to share them to several government agencies as part of a database on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) he was said to be gathering.
Paperwork obtained by the intelligence news website indicates that the man did receive permission to share, but for "[US Government] Use Only." Even with the leak, Gradisher never declassified the footage for public release.