Several media reports are making much of recent statements from Joseph Gradisher, the spokesperson for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, as relayed by John Greenewald of TheBlackVault.com. Before I get into that, let's recap what I think are the most reasonable hypotheses for the three videos in questions: Flir1 (also called Nimitz, or TicTac) is a fuzzy blob in the distance. It does not move (although it jumps around when the camera changes zoom settings or does a gimbal lock correction). There's what looks like a final "zipping away at high speed" at the end of the video, but it's actually just the camera no-longer tracking the object, combined with a change in zoom that gives the illusion of speed. See: https://www.metabunk.org/2004-uss-nimitz-tic-tac-ufo-flir-footage-flir1.t9190/ Gimbal is a saucer-shaped infrared glare. It rotates because the camera is rotating to counter gimbal lock. We can prove this because there are other light patterns in the sky that rotate at the same time the glare rotates. The video is consistent with a jet engine several miles away. it does not have any sudden acceleration. See: https://www.metabunk.org/nyt-gimbal-video-of-u-s-navy-jet-encounter-with-unknown-object.t9333/ Go Fast is what looks like a cool object moving rapidly across the surface of the ocean. However, the angles and range on the screen allow us to triangulate the position and speed of the object. It turns out it's actually moving quite slowly (under 50 knots) and is quite high (13,000 feet). It does not accelerate at all. In fact, it most closely resembles a balloon, or possibly even a large gliding bird. See: https://www.metabunk.org/go-fast-footage-from-tom-delonges-to-the-stars-academy-bird-balloon.t9569/ The statements are generally framed with a lot of commentaries, paraphrasing, and older statements, which can be rather confusing - especially in secondary stories, but also in Greenwald's originals. Greenewald has not released the actual emails, so I've extracted here what was reported in his article as attributed to Gradisher. https://www.theblackvault.com/docum...ial-phenomena-not-cleared-for-public-release/ https://www.theblackvault.com/docum...ally-acknowledged-encounters-with-phenomena/# https://www.theblackvault.com/docum...ated-circumstances-behind-leaked-ufo-footage/ Summary: there's something in some videos that's unidentified that was observed in military airspace and the Navy did not authorize the public release of the videos and are looking into how Gimbal and Go-Fast got out. A variety of different headlines arose from this Greenwald: "U.S. Navy Releases Dates of Three Officially Acknowledged Encounters with “Phenomena”" Fox News: "UFO videos are footage of real 'unidentified' objects, US Navy acknowledges" Live Science: "UFOs Are Real — and You Were Never Supposed to See Them, Military Official Says" The Brag: "US Navy confirms Tom Delonge’s videos contain UFO footage" Really the headline should be: "Navy Confirms Unidentified Flying Objects are Unidentified." It's an old conflation of meanings. Of course "UFO's" are "real". But "real" here means that there are objects that people sometimes see that they can't identify. Maybe they are planes, bird, or ballons, maybe they are alien spaceships or ghosts. But to the UFO enthusiast who thinks that UFO = Aliens, then "UFO's are real" has a very different meaning. UFOs exist in what I call the Low Information Zone (the LIZ). That's the physical region around you (or your camera) just beyond the distance where you can make out what something is. The LIZ is a curious thing in that it expands and contracts based on the lighting conditions, the size and shape of the object, the quality of your eyesight, the presence of optical aids like telescopes, and the resolution and zoom of your camera. The Navy pilots have a LIZ in any given situation (they probably even have an acronym of their own for it). Radar can only go so far and does not always give you much information beyond position and sometimes speed. FLIR cameras have only so much zoom. The human eye has shorter limits and is subject to a variety of confounding factors. So, regardless of any belief about aliens or secret technology of some sort, whenever you detect something flying in the LIZ, then that's automatically being to a UFO simply because there's not enough information to identify it. If you were to suddenly change the size of the LIZ, to expand it by getting out your 10x binoculars, then the UFO often becomes an IFO. Sometimes the expansion does not work, because the object is still in the Low Information Zone, the LIZ. And that's what we have here. There are three objects, Flir1, Gimbal and Go Fast, that are far enough away that you can't make out what they are. All the videos use the maximum optical zoom, so the pilots have pushed out the LIZ as far as it will go. Flir1 (Nimitz) is tens of miles away and in a very low-resolution video, and so appears as in indistinct blub. Gimbal has no range specified but seems to be obscured by an infrared glare, probably from the engines. it rotates optically. Go Fast is "only" 3.4 nautical miles away, but is so small (maybe six feet wide) that it occupies only a few pixels on-screen, and so again is an indeterminate blob. None of the objects in these three videos performs any physics-defying So yes, "UFOs" are real because there are always going to be objects flying in the LIZ, the Low Information Zone, that we can't identify. I see them every day. I assume they are planes, birds, balloons, spider webs, etc, but I don't always have my binoculars with me. I'm not always able to expand the LIZ far enough. As many people have observed in different ways since the dawn of UFOs, the border of the LIZ has been expanding over time. XKCD did a famous cartoon about this: Of course, it's not actually settled, just pushed things back a long way, and raised some very difficult questions about why the distance to UFOs always just exceeds the power of the camera. You can't eliminate especially sneaky or lucky aliens, but it really does seem to point to the phenomena being just ordinary things that are too far away. Back in the good old days when you were luck to be carrying a Kodak Instamatic when you saw a UFO, the photos were relatively close, just a few feet away, like this one from the 1950s. But as technology improved, the LIZ got further away, but the UFOs move with the LIZ, just beyond where we could tell what they actually were, and the quality of the images remained about the same, even though now the LIZ is tens of miles out. Is it possible that there are alien craft flying around out there in the LIZ? Sure, although it does not seem particularly likely. A huge strike against the alien hypothesis is the somehow the Aliens would have to know exactly what the megapixels and a megazoom capabilities were of everyone near where they were flying, and stay in the LIZ.