WASHINGTON, D.C. (KETK/CNN) – We’re not saying it’s aliens, but …
Military members have reported a number of close encounters with UFOs recently, and some of those encounters were captured on camera.
Military leaders briefed a group of lawmakers on the claims Thursday.
One report involved a veteran fighter-pilot surprised by an object outside his cockpit window in a training mission off the coast of Florida in 2015.
Video from the incident shows a UFO, and American military pilots have seen so many of them in recent years that the Navy says it has briefed members of Congress this week on what it calls “threats to the safety and security of our aviators.”
The Navy won’t comment on what it told members of Congress.
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-chair Mark Warner is one member who got a classified briefing.
“One of the key takeaways I’d have is that the military and others are taking this issue seriously, which i think in previous generations that may not have been the case,” Warner said.
President Trump said he’s received at least one briefing on the subject of UFOs. As for his verdict …
“Do I believe it? not particularly.”
But former Navy pilots say they still can’t explain the objects they spotted.
Ryan Graves flew Navy FA-18 Super Hornet fighter-jets. He was on that same mission off Jacksonville that spotted this object.
Graves said that object was similar to what he saw on training missions off the southern coast of Virginia throughout 2014 and 2015.
“That was one of the most amazing things, to us or at least to me, is that these things would be out there all day,” said Graves. “And the speeds that they were exhibiting, as well as the flight characteristics, there’s no platform or really energy source that I’m aware of that can allow something to stay in the air as long as these objects were.”
Graves said he and his fellow pilots first thought these objects were drones – until a near-disaster.
“Someone accidentally had one of the objects fly in between his aircraft at very close range and gained a visual,” he said. “I realized it was very unlikely that it was a U.S. drone program.”
Another former Navy fighter pilot, David Fravor, said he saw a UFO during a training mission off San Diego in 2004 on a clear day.
What surprised him, he said was that the object had no visible propulsion and was much more agile than a plane or a helicopter.
“This was extremely abrupt, like a ping-pong ball bouncing off the wall,” Fravor said. “It would go the other way and change directions at will.”
Skeptics say these objects could simply be military hardware being tested on classified missions unbeknownst to the pilots who spotted them.
“It’s probably one part of the military not telling the other part of the military what they’re up to, for a good reason,” said Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.”
Still, Graves is happy that the Navy has a newly-upgraded process for pilots to report these sightings.
“If these things are in our airspace, the smallest amount of damage they could do is take out a couple of lives in an aircraft, and I think that alone is worth an investigation,” he said.
A Navy official says they are working with the air force and other branches to better understand what pilots are seeing.
Another official says the navy does not believe aliens have been flying in U.S. airspace, but they do have to investigate all reports of unidentified aircraft.