At a Tuesday congressional hearing, Pentagon officials tasked with studying sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) revealed they’ve documented about 400 different sightings. Many of the sightings continue to baffle researchers, including in one instance where a spherical object was caught on video.
During the hearing, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray showcased three different sightings of UFOs — or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) as the U.S. military refers to them. In two of the videos, taken of a triangular flying object under similar circumstances, military researchers determined that they were simply seeing human-made unmanned aerial systems through a single-lens reflex night-vision camera. In the other video, however, military UFO researchers aren’t sure what to make of the spherical object they saw flying through the air in broad daylight.
Bray shared a short shaky video of the strange spherical object taken through a window on an aircraft. In the video, only a small blurry dot could be seen quickly passing by the U.S. aircraft, moving in the opposite direction.
“There it was, that’s — in many cases that’s all that reports may include. And in many other cases, we have far less than this,” Bray said during his opening remarks before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
Bray said when most UAP sightings are eventually resolved, they typically fall into one of five categories: airborne clutter; natural atmospheric phenomenon; U.S. government or U.S. industry developmental programs; foreign adversary systems; and a “holding bin of difficult cases and the possibility of surprise and potential scientific discovery.”
With often limited amounts of high-quality data, Bray said many sightings remain difficult to resolve.
“By nature, we are all curious and we seek to understand the unknown,” Bray said. “And as a lifelong intelligence professional, I am impatient. I want immediate explanations for this as much as anyone else.”
Later on in the hearing, Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Bray to return to the video of the still unidentifiable sphere.
“I do not have an explanation for what this specific object is,” Bray said.
Last year, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a UAP report, which provided few answers about these strange aerial phenomena. The report listed 144 documented UAP encounters, of which 143 remained unexplained. The single instance in which a UAP was later explained involved a “large, deflating balloon.”
Since the release of the 2021 report, the number of documented UAP sightings grew to about 400. Bray said the stigma surrounding reporting such strange sightings has been reduced and military pilots are being encouraged to document their sightings.
During the hearing, Bray also explained that there have been no collisions between U.S. military pilots and these UAPs during their close encounters, but there have been “at least 11 near misses.”