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What we know about UFOs: Pilots tell their stories

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 12:14 PM EDT
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(CNN) – Several former Navy pilots are talking about their encounters with UFOs.

For years, the U.S. government and military have largely ignored reports of the mysterious flying objects. That handling is now under investigation.

One of the few videos the Pentagon has confirmed as authentic shows an object skimming the surface at what appears to be high speed.

The pilots heard on the video can barely contain their excitement.

Former Navy pilot Alex Dietrich had her own UFO experience and talked with “60 Minutes.”

“I think over beers, we’ve sort of said, ‘Hey man, if I saw this solo, I don’t know that I would have come back and said anything because it sounds so crazy,’” Dietrich said.

“Your mind tries to make sense of it. I’m going to categorize this as maybe a helicopter or maybe a drone. And when it just disappeared ...”

Dietrich is one of several Navy pilots who spoke with “60 Minutes,” who have seen or picked up on sensors similar objects, often moving fast with odd shapes and no obvious method of propulsion.

“There’s definitely something that … I don’t know who’s building it, who’s got the technology, who’s got the brains. But … there’s something out there that was better than our airplane,” former Navy pilot David Fravor told “60 Minutes.”

The Pentagon calls them UAPs – unidentified aerial phenomena.

In 2004, pilot Ryan Graves picked up a group of UFOs on his infrared sensor off the coast of San Diego.

“There’s a whole fleet of them,” the video says. “Look at that thing. It’s rotating.”

Late last year, the Pentagon created a task force to look at the “nature and origins of UAPs.”

The government sees this as a possible threat, something that may be able to outperform military capabilities.

Lawmakers are demanding that it be taken seriously.

“We have things flying over our military bases and places where we are conducting military exercises, and we don’t know what it is and it isn’t ours, so that’s a legitimate question to ask,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“If it’s something from outside this planet, that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary.”

Next month, the director of national intelligence and the defense secretary are scheduled to deliver an unclassified report on UAPs to Congress.

James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence, applauds the transparency but isn’t expecting too much to come from it.

“I expect this report will be filled with ambiguity as well, and people, depending on their leanings, will extract what they want out of this report,” Clapper said.

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