The Evolution of Official DoD/Pentagon Statements Regarding The Navy UFO Videos and UAP Investigations

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The three US Navy videos that were publicized in December 2017 are partly an object of fascination because the military (specifically the Navy) refuses to get into any detail about them beyond simple details about when they were taken. More interesting questions almost invariably result in some kind of "no comment" response. Maybe people have tried to get more information, but with mostly small incremental clarifications being the only result, if any. I've tried myself. It's an interesting dance, as the Navy spokespeople are restricted in what they can tell you, but it's also their job to provide information.

I thought it might be useful to collate the various statements from the Navy spokespeople, see how they have changed over time, and try discern what actual information they contain.

[This is a work in progress. ]

There have been two named spokespersons, Joseph Gradisher and Sue Gough.


April 25, 2019
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nati...ilots-got-navy-stop-dismissing-ufo-sightings/

May 1, 2019
https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...ef6426-6b82-11e9-9d56-1c0cf2c7ac04_story.html
External Quote:
“Military aviation safety organizations always retain reporting of hazards to aviation as privileged information in order to preserve the free and honest prioritization and discussion of safety among aircrew,” Gradisher said. “Furthermore, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations. Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.”
May 26 2019
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings-navy-pilots.html
External Quote:

“There were a number of different reports,” [Gradisher] said. Some cases could have been commercial drones, he said, but in other cases “we don’t know who’s doing this, we don’t have enough data to track this. So the intent of the message to the fleet is to provide updated guidance on reporting procedures for suspected intrusions into our airspace.”


MARCH 23, 2020 (Gough no response)
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...about-the-air-force-and-recent-ufo-encounters

April 27 2020
https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Re...nse-on-the-release-of-historical-navy-videos/
External Quote:
Statement by the Department of Defense on the Release of Historical Navy Videos
The Department of Defense has authorized the release of three unclassified Navy videos, one taken in November 2004 and the other two in January 2015, which have been circulating in the public domain after unauthorized releases in 2007 and 2017. The U.S. Navy previously acknowledged that these videos circulating in the public domain were indeed Navy videos. After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena. DOD is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as "unidentified."

May 18 2020
https://www.blueblurrylines.com/2020/05/pentagon-answers-on-navy-uap.html
External Quote:

1) In the Navy's effort to investigate sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) is there a centralized office, program or council, that analyse such sightings?

A: Under the cognizance of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), there is an interagency team charged with gathering data and conducting investigations into range incursions. As the preponderance of recent/reported sightings are from naval aviators, the Navy is leading much of the effort. All reports of range incursions are sent to this team for inclusion in the overall effort, thus maximizing the data available for analysis.

2) Are the Navy using the term Anomalous Aerial Vehicles, AAV, in relation to investigation of UAP incursions?

A: When an observed object is NOT immediately identifiable, the Navy/DOD refers to it as UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena). The generic term UAP is used in communications to avoid pre-judging the results of any investigation. If we are able to identify the object, we would use the appropriate term. For example, a quadcopter would be referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The U.S. Navy does not use the term “Anomalous Aerial Vehicles.”

3) If so, what is the definition of AAV used by the Navy and the U.S. Defense Department?

A: Neither the Navy nor the Department of Defense (DOD) use the term “anomalous aerial vehicles.” In DOD, the acronym AAV stands for amphibious assault vehicles. The contractors who prepared the 38 technical reports under AATIP occasionally used the term “anomalous aerial vehicles,” but it is not a DOD term.

4) How many UAP contacts/sightings are still categorized as unidentified by the Navy?

A: As the investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) sightings is ongoing, we will not discuss any aspect of individual sighting reports / observations, including frequency of sightings.

5) Are the Navy's effort to investigate UAP incursions part of the overall C-UAS [Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems] effort?

A: The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report. Any incursion into our ranges by any aircraft, identified or not identified, is problematic from both a safety and security concern. Safety of our aircrews is paramount. Unauthorized and unidentified aircraft pose a risk to flight safety. Additionally, it is vital we maintain security on our operations. Our aviators train as they fight. Any intrusions that may compromise the security of our operations, tactics, or procedures is of great concern.

6) As the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) involved the Navy, which of the 38 DIA reports produced by the AATIP was the Navy involved in?

A: The contractors who produced the 38 technical reports under AATIP consulted with many experts across DoD, including Navy. As these involve intelligence matters, we’re not to comment on specifics.

7) Without going into classified details, what was the Navy's role in the AATIP?
A: The contractors who produced the 38 technical reports under AATIP consulted with many experts across DoD, including Navy. As these involve intelligence matters, we’re not to comment on specifics.

8) Are the Navy proactively investigating UAP, or are investigations only being done after a reported observation?

A: The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report. Documented reports of sightings by military personnel form the basis for the investigation process. The investigation of UAP sightings by the multi-agency task force is ongoing.

Sept 2, 2020
https://www.blueblurrylines.com/2020/09/uap-task-force-pentagon-responds-to.html
External Quote:

1) What is the difference between the newly established UAP Task Force and the previous running task force investigating Unidentified Aerial Phenomena?

Since the majority of recent reporting about UAP observations have come from naval aviators, since approximately 2018, the Department of the Navy has been leading assessments of UAP incursion into DOD training ranges and designated airspace. Over the last year, DOD undertook efforts to formalize the good work done by the Navy for DOD. This effort was an informal task force that I referenced to you earlier. Deputy Secretary Norquist approved the formal establishment of the UAPTF on Aug. 4, 2020.

2) Why did the OSD/OUSD decide to establish a new UAP Task Force superseding the previous task force investigating Unidentified Aerial Phenomena?

The task force was established to meet congressional guidance, including the report directed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Over the last year, DOD undertook efforts to formalize the good work done by the Navy for DOD in leading assessments of UAP incursions into DOD training ranges and designated airspace. Deputy Secretary Norquist approved the establishment of the UAPTF on Aug. 4, 2020.

3) As the OUSD(I) was also the cognizant authority for the previous UAP interagency task force, was this the task force that former OUSD(I) employee Mr. Luis Elizondo was providing coordination and professional connections/liaison for?

No. Luis Elizondo departed DOD in 2017.

4) What was the name of the previous Task Force investigating Unidentified Aerial Phenomena?

There was no previous formal task force.

5) Will the newly established UAP Task Force look into other aspects of the nature and origins of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or will the UAPTF just look at the aspect of UAP being a potential threat to U.S. national security?

The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAP incursions into our training ranges and designated airspace. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAP incursions that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.

6) Will the public be informed about any findings from the UAPTF of the nature and/or origins of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena?

Thorough examinations of any incursion into our training ranges or designated airspace often involves assessments from across the department, and, as appropriate, consultation with other U.S. government departments and agencies. To maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.

7) If an observer initially characterize an observation as unidentified aerial phenomena, that he or she cannot immediately identify, and the observation cannot later be explained after an analysis by the UAPTF, or any other component, what will such observation be categorized as?

Unidentified

My Correspondence, referencing Q 6 and 7 from Glassel
External Quote:

1) What are each of the three videos (FLIR1, GOFAST, and GIMBAL) currently classified as?

A: The objects in the videos remain characterized as “unidentified.” Unidentified means we cannot definitively determine what they are.

2) If, after examination, it was determined that a video had a plausible explanation as an aircraft or balloon, then would that classification publically change?

A: The official designation would change if we definitively identify the objects. However, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations. Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.

3) Would it change if the exact aircraft was identified?

A: The official designation would change if we definitively identify the objects. However, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations. Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.

4) Has the military determined that
4a) FLIR1 shows an object essentially in level flight, making no sudden maneuvers
4b) GIMBAL shows an IR glare that rotates due to the camera's gimbal rotation.
4c) GOFAST shows an illusion of speed, a high slow object appearing to be a low fast one.
A: To maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.

5) Other than being designated UAP's What more can you tell me about what is thought to be show in each video?
A: To maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.

6) Have any of the videos been used in pilot training?
A: No.

[Second email]
One follow up regarding question #1:
7) Would a distant plane of undetermined type and origin "remain characterized as 'unidentified'" even if could be determined that it was a plane.
A: To maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.

 
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If, after examination, it was determined that a video had a plausible explanation as an aircraft or balloon, then would that classification publically change?

A: The official designation would change if we definitively identify the objects. However, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations. Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.

These replies are one big middle finger to the interested public. It's Schrödinger's categories: simultaneously both identified and yet unidentified.

Because it'd be oh so difficult for the Pentagon, with its meagre resources, to take the time, effort and colossal risk of saying, "Yeah, after checking it out, the acorn is a Batman balloon." Just imagine the jeopardy to "operational security" and the terrible dangers doing something like that would place American warfighters in...
 
These replies are one big middle finger to the interested public. It's Schrödinger's categories: simultaneously both identified and yet unidentified.

Because it'd be oh so difficult for the Pentagon, with its meagre resources, to take the time, effort and colossal risk of saying, "Yeah, after checking it out, the acorn is a Batman balloon." Just imagine the jeopardy to "operational security" and the terrible dangers doing something like that would place American warfighters in...

I've done work for a military contractor and have access to classified engineering documentation. Looking it at, a lot of it seems pretty trivial and harmless, like a stray current corrosion report for a naval vessel. But I know that if I had a stray current corrosion report for an enemy vessel, or even just an admission that a thruster VFD contributed to stray current on a port bulkhead, I could combine that with other information about the enemy to make a clearer picture about their capabilities and weaknesses. The thing is that we don't always know what an opponent knows or doesn't know, so the military typically errs on the side of caution. Without knowing a lot about specific military avionics, it's conceivable that just letting too much information about the capability of avionics detection could contribute to an opponent deducing information that we might want to keep secret. Maybe admitting that this one time we detected a Batman balloon is not risky on its own, but combined with other information might be released could allow someone to piece together more of a puzzle that we want.
 
The thing is that we don't always know what an opponent knows or doesn't know, so the military typically errs on the side of caution.
I totally appreciate your point. It's just that one can't really know when erring on the side of caution is officialdom hiding things because of legitimate national security, hiding things to cover up their own malfeasance, attempting to confuse the enemy and deliberately or inadvertantly confusing the public at the same time, or simply hiding things for the sake of it because secrecy and/or dishonesty are standard operating procedures in all respects.

Without knowing a lot about specific military avionics, it's conceivable that just letting too much information about the capability of avionics detection could contribute to an opponent deducing information that we might want to keep secret.
Again, I take your point. As before, though, I still fail to see how a totally limited disclosure, e.g. "It's now an IAP not a UAP, and its origins are mundane, but that's all we're going to say," could conceivably hurt anyone. Utterly, painfully naive, I know, but these are taxpayer-funded organisations with a theoretical level of accountability. Cue mocking laughter.

puzzle2.jpg
 
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I still fail to see how a totally limited disclosure, e.g. "It's now an IAP not a UAP, and its origins are mundane, but that's all we're going to say," could conceivably hurt anyone.

I tend to agree, but perhaps that's because I view it from a too-pedantically information-theoretic viewpoint. (Or just a Bayesian one, they're effectively the same.) A simple "it wasn't an alien spaceship" contains *exactly* the same information as "it wasn't Jesus hovering, halo aglow" or "it wasn't Monkey on a cloud", namely zero bits (to more decimal places than your casio calculator watch can cope with).
Best of all - the more times they say that, the less information it leaks, it's only their reticence to say it that has given it any perceived information content.
 
These replies are one big middle finger to the interested public. It's Schrödinger's categories: simultaneously both identified and yet unidentified.

Because it'd be oh so difficult for the Pentagon, with its meagre resources, to take the time, effort and colossal risk of saying, "Yeah, after checking it out, the acorn is a Batman balloon." Just imagine the jeopardy to "operational security" and the terrible dangers doing something like that would place American warfighters in...
Yeah.. What they are saying is: we want you to believe that there are anomalous objects around --take our word for it --because we won't release anything definitive. Especially anything that would prove anything.
I totally appreciate your point. It's just that one can't really know when erring on the side of caution is officialdom hiding things because of legitimate national security, hiding things to cover up their own malfeasance, attempting to confuse the enemy and deliberately or inadvertantly confusing the public at the same time, or simply hiding things for the sake of it because secrecy and/or dishonesty are standard operating procedures in all respects.


Again, I take your point. As before, though, I still fail to see how a totally limited disclosure, e.g. "It's now an IAP not a UAP, and its origins are mundane, but that's all we're going to say," could conceivably hurt anyone. Utterly, painfully naive, I know, but these are taxpayer-funded organisations with a theoretical level of accountability. Cue mocking laughter.

View attachment 44085
Right. Why reveal more than you have to when it could cause problems? Better to make statements that get people thinking about things and then provide the worst evidence so that doesn't cause a problem..
I don't think this is being done maliciously; this kind of caution (70 years), ain't much considering the magnitude of the situation.
 
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