When it comes to UFOs, it seems everyone has an opinion. On June 1, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will release information to the American public, a fact which is largely already known to those who follow such things. For the rest of the world, a benign interest in what the government refers to as UAPs or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena may blossom or wither on the vine depending on one’s perspective. However, it is doubtful new answers will emerge about what has been flying around and remains thus far unexplained.
Roll the Videotape
Several videos recorded in the 21st Century have added fuel to the ongoing debate about life on other planets. Millions have watched three of these clips in particular:
The GIMBAL video – Recorded in January of 2015 by a F/A-18 Super Hornet Jet, the footage shows something flying about in the clouds. A voice recording of the pilot is of particular interest here: “Look at that thing, dude!” and “There’s a whole fleet of them” are among the comments, though one pilot suggests perhaps they could be drones.
The GOFAST video – Recorded around the same time as the GIMBAL video and again by a Navy F/A-18, this recording shows a small object scurrying about close to the ocean surface. Similarly, the pilot reaction is of particular interest: “What the f— is that thing?” and “Wow, what is that, man?” are two remarks made by Navy pilots.
The FLIR video – Recorded in November of 2004 off the coast of San Diego. This one has no pilot commentary, but the video reveals an oblong-shaped object that quickly accelerates. Later one of the pilots told The New York Times: “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
For sure, there is other unexplainable footage of UAPs doing maneuvers that make no sense to the scientific mind, but these three are the motherlode. These video clips have circulated in the public domain for a while with little comment from the Department of Defense. Meanwhile, a surge in interest in the unexplained aircraft has reached a fever pitch. Those who believe UFOs should be taken seriously as proof of life on other planets anticipate what they consider to be a long-overdue vindication when the report is released next week. Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird explains:
“Imagine being told for decades by everyone around you that you’re crazy. Then suddenly, all those same folks who gaslit you turn around and admit they believed the same things you did all along – and may even have proof you were right. A feeling of vindication might war with a keen sense of outrage in you. This is the current plight of the ‘tinfoil hat-wearing’ UFO ‘conspiracist.’”
UFO believers are also feeling emboldened by prominent Americans who have given voice to their point of view on the subject, including former presidents, astronauts, and elected officials. But what really galls UFO followers is what they see as a government cover-up of these sightings. Again, Pennel Bird opines:
“[T]he official denials from the government and derision from the culture at large did nothing to quell the burgeoning belief among many we may not be alone in a vast universe. Or at the very least, that we possess highly advanced technologies of which virtually the entire world is ignorant. And our government itself we now know was engaged in a kind of ‘psy-op’ (psychological operation) with the public at large by stigmatizing any UFO reports as the provenance of crazies and conspiracists.”
It’s Always the Cover-Up
The concern over whether UFOs are real or not largely dates to something known as the Roswell incident, which occurred in 1947. This event “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,” according to Newsweek. The magazine went on to say:
“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.”
Such denials confounded those who understood the sighting to be more than the government was willing to admit. Perhaps it was the event’s timing – post World War II – but the response only served to promote increased interest in the subject of life on other planets. Undoubtedly, these and other allegations of a government cover-up have invigorated the UFO debate to where it now sits.
A 2019 Gallup poll revealed 33% of Americans believe that these UFO sightings are alien spacecraft visiting planet Earth. About 60% say they remain skeptical, and 7% say they are not sure. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe maintains that the June report contains information that is “difficult to explain.”
Despite such heartfelt fascination by many regarding the subject of UFOs, it is improbable the June report will clarify what has been enigmatic thus far. But at least the government will come clean and put what they know on the table and let the American people decide for themselves whether life beyond planet Earth exists.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.