The Pentagon has declassified three previously leaked top secret U.S. Navy videos that show "unexplained aerial phenomena" and that some believe could show Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) in an effort "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," said a Pentagon spokesperson.
"The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified'", the spokesperson added.
The videos, previously acknowledged by the Navy as being real, captured what Navy fighter pilots saw on their video sensors during training flights in 2004 and 2015. They were published by the New York Times in 2017.
"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," said Susan Gough, a Defense Department spokesperson in a statement released Monday.
"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," said Gough.
Two of the videos were included in a December 2017 New York Times article that explained how the U.S. government ran a program for investigating reports of unidentified flying objects until 2012.
The third video was released in March 2018 by To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, a private scientific research and media group.
The releases triggered renewed interest in what the U.S. military may have learned from the videos and whether they were proof of the existence of UFOs.
"I can tell you, I think it was not from this world," retired Cmdr. David Fravor told ABC News in 2017 of what he saw during a routine training mission on Nov. 14, 2004 off the coast of California.
"I'm not crazy, haven't been drinking. It was -- after 18 years of flying, I've seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close."
"I have never seen anything in my life, in my history of flying that has the performance, the acceleration -- keep in mind this thing had no wings," Fravor said.
In April, 2019 the Navy acknowledged that the release of the videos had prompted the development of new guidelines for how pilots should report sightings of "unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft."
This report was featured in the Tuesday, April 28, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
"Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.