NORFOLK, Va. — In one of the videos, a small object streaks across the sky before the U.S. Navy fighter jet’s tracking system locks on and follows it.
“Whoa. Got it,” the pilot yells, laughing as the dot moves on his screen. “Woohoo!”
Another pilot asks: “Wow. What is that, man?”
The Navy isn’t offering an explanation — at least not publicly — for exactly what that object was. But the service is confirming the authenticity of that video and two others taken from its planes in 2004 and 2015.
The release of the videos, which have been circulating online and in news reports, was not authorized, Navy officials said. But the footage has prompted the Navy to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation into sightings by its pilots of what it describes as “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAPs in U.S. airspace on both coasts.
“We are not going to try to characterize anything that may have been seen out there,” Navy Spokesman Joseph Gradisher said. “But the number of sightings has increased since about 2014 when the advent of new technologies such as drones and quadcopters have come into being.”