One question humanity has always wondered, are we alone in this universe? Is Earth the only planet where life exists? In the last few centuries, we’ve radically embraced science and technology. The speed of innovation knows no limit since we went from flying a few thousand feet to stepping on the moon within a few decades. This craving to know more about our existence gave birth an entirely new genre — sci-fi.

This passion inherently fuels warpcore. From Star Trek to Star Wars. And amid the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Department of Defence has released three videos taken by American navy pilots revealing mysterious UFOs (Unidentified Flying Object) that to this day remain unidentified. That being said, it must be noted, there “unindentified flying object” remains the operative term and there is no talk of extraterrestrial life.

The footage shows unidentified objects flying at high speeds in the Earth’s atmosphere along with audio of the pilots expressing shock and awe, was initially leaked in 2007 and 2017. The authorities officially declassified these videos to “clear up any misconceptions” about the video being real or fake.

The pilots are heard saying, “There’s a whole fleet of them … My gosh, they’re all going against the wind, the wind is 120 knots to the west. Look at that thing dude!”

However, the most crucial part of the release is their statement — “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified’.” Adding to this, the U.S. admitted in 2017 that it had a long-standing programme responsible for investigating alleged UFO sightings.

Intelligence officer Luis Elizondo served as the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), an initiative launched in 2007 to study reports of UFO encounters. He confirmed to the New York Times that the program existed and its purpose was to investigate these sightings. However, he exited the agency because the Pentagon won’t take the findings seriously and he believed these encounters could be dangerous for the Navy as well as Air Force personnel. Furthermore, in a 2017 CNN interview, he revealed, “my personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

Conspiracy theorists have long alleged that the U.S. Government knows a lot more than it’s revealing publicly. A United States Air Force facility located in Nevada is popularly called Area 51 and often the centre of extraterrestrial discussions because of its greatly secretive nature.

There’s a long history of unexplained UFO sightings

  • In 1947, Kenneth Arnold reported the first sighting of UFOs when he was flying near Mount Rainier, Washington, U.S. He claims to have seen nine objects flying extremely fast in a formation, more quickly than anything man had ever built then. He immediately reported this after landing and described the objects as “flying saucers.” Fred Johnson, who further backed his claim spotted six of them via a small telescope around the same time. This was when the hunt and paranoia around UFOs started building up.
  • These sightings have a few things in common — unmatchable speed, erratic movements, and weird shapes or structures. AATIP has observed similar anomalies in their investigated incidents. While Arnold’s account could be dismissed as hallucinations or psychological stress, seasoned armed forces personnel have seen similar events and their reports cannot be shelved off easily considering their experience and training.
  • During that time, the U.S. government also thought that these sightings could be experimental aircraft being used by its then-rival, USSR, to spread panic among the American people. Similarly, there have been incidents when American classified projects like the SR-71 were mistaken to be UFOs because of their peculiar or unusual designs.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird / Picture by USAF
  • However, in the coming decades, these sightings have been prevalent across the globe. It includes regions like India, where neither Americans nor the Russians had any physical presence during the Cold War. A cigar-shaped UFO was spotted near Delhi Flying Club, and its movements were eerily similar to other accounted reports.
  • Those who believe in these sightings say authorities are purposely trying to hide or suppress these reports because it could lead to wide-scale panic and hysteria. The video released recently by the U.S. comes around a time when radar systems are technologically modern, and it’s near impossible for objects to just bypass them.

The ones who believe extraterrestrial life exists usually are called conspiracy theorists in today’s world. But declassification of videos like these further push their point — why aren’t governments across the world more open about discussing them in the public domain? And even if they are investigating, why is it clouded under a thick blanket of secrecy?

The video’s declassification further deepens our belief in the question, are we really alone in this universe? 


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