The Department of Defense (DoD) began to declassify the recordings in December 2017 and were released to the public by To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a privately funded scientific research group led by NASA advisers and former CIA employees. The three videos show Navy pilots tracking and commenting on an unidentified object as it traveled through the sky at high speeds.
Each of the recordings released by the Pentagon was taken by an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet while flying over the United States. According to a New York Times report in December, the DoD ran a $22 million program dedicated to investigating UFO sightings but it was reportedly shut down in 2012.
“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” a Pentagon spokesperson said of the discontinued Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
Christopher Mellon, an adviser at the To The Stars Academy, wrote that he was concerned by the lack of government research into UFO sightings. “The current approach is equivalent to having the Army conduct a submarine search without the Navy,” Mellon said in an op-ed for The Washington Post. The Pentagon has not commented on latest recording since its release.