[Update May 15 2019] The following video is a quick overview of the material in this thread, culminating with the addition of the video of a similar glare from Dave Falch. I think the combination of factors all point very strong towards the rotation of the object being an artifact of the forward gimbal-mounted camera, which is probably why the video was titled "Gimbal"
This video should answer most remaining questions
The remainder of this post incorporates various findings which are discussing in more detain in subsequent posts in the thread below.
First of all make sure you are talking about the right video. There's two that are often confused. Here we are talking about the GIMBAL video, which is not from the Nimitz incident, which is discussed here:The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.
This is related to Tom DeLonge's "To The Stars Academy", discussed at:
Link contains video. Sample frame:
I'm thinking the black shape around the object is some kind of IR flare/glare. We know that the shape of a very bright IR source, like the engine of a plane, can be much bigger than the object itself, as explained here:
Here's the type of motion we are talking about rotation, and tracking on the exterior. This will be combined with internal camera movements to keep the horizon level.
Something that can immediately be explained is the New York Times headline of "Glowing Auras"
Here's some footage from an ATFLIR:
[Addition: Jan 22 2018] As @igoddard notes, the flare around the (much closer) engines rotate independently of the rotation of the plane.
Of note is the "cold" glow around the hot sources, indicating that's just a camera thing. And [Updated Jun 2019] probably a sharpening adjustment called an "unsharp mask"
If people try to describe this as some kind of "aura" or "field" then they obviously have not done their homework.
[Update Dec 23 2017:]
The indicator in the top left of the display "NAR / Z 2.0" indicates maximum magnification. NAR (Narrow) is a FOV of 1.5°, so with Z 2.0 (Zoom 2.0x) (probably digital zoom) that's an effective FOV of 0.75. (By comparison the 2000mm P900 mega zoom has a FOV of about 1.0°)
We can get some ballpark figures for distance from this. Let's say the target is about the size of an F/A-18 Hornet, 44 ft wingspan with a bit extra for IR flare, like 50 feet.
If the apparent long axis of the object is representative of the wingspan, then it's 64/1074 of the width of the image. i.e. 0.75°*64/1074 = 0.0447° (note: linear to angular conversion are fine for small angles)
So converting that to distance, tan(angle) = object size/object distance
50/tan(0.0447 degrees) = 64089 feet. (12 miles away).
Alternatively if it's actually a distant airliner with a 200 foot wingspan, and the "saucer" shape is actually flare, then the effective length on the long visual axis there would be more like 500 feet. Hence 120 miles away.
[Update Dec 24]
Preliminary analysis of the angular motion of the clouds suggests that it's a smaller object around 15 miles away.
[Note: this post is a summary post, incorporating info from the following thread, and will be changed and updated]