On Monday, the Pentagon formally Reuters on Wednesday, calling it a "hell of a video."unclassified footage of "unidentified aerial phenomena." President Trump reacted to the footage in an interview with
The three unclassified videos were taken by Nay pilots and have circulated for years without confirmation. One of the videos shows an incident from 2004, and the other two were recorded in January 2015, according to Sue Gough, a Defense Department spokeswoman.
"I just wonder if it's real," the president lightheartedly told Reuters. "That's a hell of a video."
The videos were made public following unauthorized leaks in 2007 and 2017, and the Navy previously verified their authenticity. They appear to show unidentified flying objects (UFOs) flying very quickly as Navy pilots react, astounded.
"Dude, this is a f--king drone, bro," a pilot exclaims in one of the videos. Another person says "there's a whole fleet of them."
"They're all going against the wind. The wind's 120 knots to the west. Look at that thing, dude!" the first person says. "It's rotating!"
In another video, an object is shown from above speeding over the ocean, prompting the pilot to excitedly remark, "What the f--k is that?"
Gough said the department was formally releasing the videos to address questions about their veracity.
"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," Gough said. "The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified.'"
While the president has a history of acknowledging and apparently supporting some conspiracy theories, he's expressed skepticism surrounding the existence of UFOs, which the government have been tracking for decades.
"I did have one very brief meeting on it," Trump told ABC News in June 2019. "But people are saying they're seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly."
"I think my great pilots would know. Our great pilots would know," the president said at the time regarding the potential existence of extraterrestrial life.
David Martin and Stefan Becket contributed reporting.