Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s report divides those 144 events reported by mostly Navy pilots into five categories based on explanations for what they could actually be. The categories are airborne clutter (from birds to plastic bags), natural atmospheric phenomena (e.g., ice crystals), secret U.S. technology, foreign adversary systems (think hypersonic Chinese drones), and the wide-open category called “other.”
Of the 144 incidents, one was positively identified as a large, deflating balloon, placing it in the airborne clutter category. That leaves 143 occasions when military pilots encountered something for which they had no explanation. Last April the Pentagon declassified three previously leaked top-secret videos taken by Navy pilots. The videos purportedly capture images of UAPs. Those images are grainy, but the conversation between the pilots is especially illuminating:
“There’s a whole fleet of them…”
“My gosh, they’re all going against the wind, the wind is 120 knots to the west.”
“Look at the thing, dude!”
What were they seeing? Runaway plastic bags? Fugitive weather balloons? Ice crystals? Chinese drones? “Other?”
Of course, even if a sighting falls in that catchall “other” category doesn’t necessary mean Mork is arriving from Ork, as cool as that would be. It’s still a leap from an unexplained object to extraterrestrial life. That said, Americans have long suspected the government is hiding its knowledge of aliens. Polls show only a third of U.S. adults attribute UFO sightings to alien spacecraft while 60% believe such sightings can be explained by human activity or natural phenomenon. But nearly 70% of those polled believe the government has been holding out and knows more than it’s telling us.