The Pentagon has confirmed that a set of images and videos showing unidentified flying objects buzzing over Navy warships off the coast of California in 2019 ‘were taken’ by branch personnel.
The photos were leaked from a Pentagon investigation of UFOs by the UAP Task Force, which has been gathering evidence for a report for Congress that’s due in June, according to Mystery Wire.
In the images, which were obtained by filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, show unidentified objects flying above four US destroyers, including the USS Kidd Navy destroyer, in 2019.
One of the images appears to be a pyramid-shaped object while others were thought to be drones or balloons; however, the Navy has listed them as unknowns.
In a statement, a Pentagon spokesperson told Mystery Wire: ‘I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF has included these incidents in their ongoing examinations.’
The Pentagon has confirmed that images and videos showing unidentified flying objects buzzing over Navy warships off the coast of California ‘were taken’ by branch personnel. Critics have said that this image appears to show a balloon but it’s classified as unknown
One of the images appears to be a pyramid-shaped object (pictured) hovering over the USS Russell
The confirmation comes a week after Admiral Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, admitted that he has no idea where the swarm of mysterious Tic Tac-shaped drones that menaced four US destroyers in July 2019 originated.
Gilday led an investigation into the incident in which a group of what some have called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) chased the destroyers for up to 100 nautical miles off the coast of California.
Flight logs revealed as many as six mystery aircraft swarmed the warships close to a sensitive training area at the Channel Islands at speeds of up to 40mph and with a greater maneuverability than US military drones.
When asked directly if the Navy had confirmed the identity of the drones at a media event last Monday, Gilday responded: ‘No, we have not.’
Gilday’s response appears to rule out the theory that the drones could have come from a secret US military program. That has led to growing speculation that they were either built by a rival military power or ‘something else beyond our understanding is going on’.
The Drive obtained ship logbooks and internal emails from the Navy under the Freedom of Information Act, and eyewitness descriptions from the staff on board to establish the UAVs had a far greater aeronautical capability than any previously known drones.
The sighting has eerie parallels to previous UFO encounters, in particular an infamous 2004 incident when six Super Hornet pilots made visual or instrument contact with a mystery aircraft in November 2004.
Other images show what were thought to be drones; however, the Navy has listed them as unknowns
The photos were leaked from a Pentagon investigation of UFOs by the UAP Task Force, which has been gathering evidence for a comprehensive report for Congress that’s due in June. The USS Omaha observed this spherical shape moving towards the surface of the water
In the most recent documented encounter in July 2019, USS destroyers on patrol were suddenly swarmed by flashing, Tic Toc-shaped drones, which were able to travel long distance at high speeds
Scores of similar sightings have been reported dating back to the 1960s, but most of the US military investigations into them remain classified.
Lawmakers have been calling for the Pentagon for years to open up its classified records about the encounters, citing national security concerns.
In January, as part of a COVID-19 relief package, Congress set a deadline of June 1 for US intelligence agencies and the Defense Department to release UFOs and unidentified aerial phenomena.
Speaking to the Defense Writers Group in Washington this week, Gilday, the senior ranking Navy officer, was quizzed about his knowledge of recent UFO encounters.
‘I am aware of those sightings, and as it’s been reported, there have been other sightings by aviators in the air and by other ships not only of the United States, but other nations — and of course other elements within the US joint force,’ Gilday said.
‘Those findings have been collected and they still are being analyzed,’ he said.
A detailed account of the 2019 encounter published by The Drive shows the drama began on the night of July 14 2019.
Deck logs from the USS Kidd show that just before 10pm that night two drones were spotted.
An onboard intelligence crew responsible for documenting and investigating contact with unknown vessels – known as the Ship Nautical Or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation and Exploitation team – or SNOOPIE – was engaged to figure out who, or what, the mystery flying objects were.
A detailed account of the 2019 encounter shows the drama began on the night of July 14 2019. Deck logs from the USS Kidd (file image) show that just before 10pm that night two drones were spotted
Within a few minutes of the sighting, reports show the USS Kidd moved into quiet mode, minimizing communications as it sought to work what the threat level was.
It contacted a nearby warship also on patrol, the USS Rafael Peralta, who also engaged their onboard photo intelligence team, or SNOOPIE.
Several other US Navy destroyers on patrol nearby began noticing strange lights.
The USS John Finn also reported UAV activity, and noticed a ‘red flashing light’ at 10.03pm, according to its logbook.
Just over an hour later at 11.23pm, the USS Rafael Peralta spotted a white light hovering over the flight deck.
The drone was able to remain hovering above the destroyer’s helicopter landing pad while traveling at speeds of 16 knots and in low visibility.
The nearly 90-minute encounter was well beyond the capability of commercially-available drones.
The next night, the drones returned, this time as the warships were patrolling closer to the Californian mainland.
They were first spotted by the USS Rafael Peralta and the ship’s SNOOPIE team was engaged at 8.39pm.
At 8.56pm, logs show the USS Kidd had also come into contact with drones.
‘The drones seem to have pursued the ships, even as they continued to maneuver throughout the incident,’ The Drive reported.
Logbooks onboard the USS Russell show drones were swarming all over it, dipping in elevation from 1,000 to 700 feet and seemingly able to move in any direction.
The USS Russell had separate contact with drones nine occasions in less than an hour.
Then at 9.20pm that night, the USS Kidd noticed ‘multiple UAVs’ around the ship.
The USS Rafael Peralta was also swarmed by as many as four drones. It was contacted by a passing cruise ship, the Carnival Imagination, to say they too had spotted up to six drones.
The three-hour frenzy of activity continued until close to midnight, with none of the warships able to say with certainty where the drones had come from.