Classic UFO stories often include shadowy government agents and top secret investigations. From Close Encounters of the Third Kind, to The X-Files, the idea of the U.S. government being interested in UFOs has dominated popular culture. But last week, the New York Times broke a story that added some fact to the fiction. And with it, we’re introduced to a UFO video that has taken the internet by storm.

The article in the New York Times details a top secret Pentagon program to investigate UFO sightings and encounters, mostly as detailed by pilots in the U.S. military. The program began in 2007 and still exists today, although the Pentagon cut funding in 2012.


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When revealing the details of the program, the defense department released a video recorded by a U.S. Navy Jet. The video shows a mysterious oval shaped object moving at an incredible speed. It’s surrounded by glowing light, moving against the wind, and rotating as it does. Audio features two pilots reacting in fascination and disbelief. One pilot exclaims “There’s a whole fleet of them!” though the video only shows one object. It’s likely the clip made history as the first officially released footage of a UFO encounter. The video has already gone viral, prompting repeat viewings, study, and speculation across the internet.

Experts, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, caution that viewers shouldn’t jump to conclusions when watching the clip, or in the case of an UFO sighting. Tyson emphasizes that UFO merely means “unidentified flying object.” The idea that it’s an otherworldly craft piloted by aliens is not necessarily the explanation we should consider first. Tyson goes on to express his support for programs investigating sightings like this.

Whether you’re a diehard UFO fan or a skeptic, there’s no doubt the video is compelling. I’m not sure if it’s aliens myself, but it’s pretty darn spooky and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And it’s amazing to know that at one point, the Pentagon was committed to finding out more. I guess the truth really is out there.