"I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF has included these incidents in their ongoing examinations," Gough told The Black Vault.
When pressed for more details, the spokeswoman said that the Pentagon does not publicly discuss the military's UFO encounters or reports about such events to maintain operations security and avoid disclosing information that might be valuable to American adversaries.
Filmmaker Jeremy Corbell and journalist George Knapp on April 8 released the footage along with the UFO photos and information about a Pentagon briefing. Corbell received the materials from an anonymous source and deferred publishing them until he was able to verify their custodianship.
In a website post containing the materials, the filmmaker claimed that he and Knapp confirmed the materials' authenticity after mining for metadata and approaching people who were familiar of the events depicted.
"These are authentic photos and video from actual military encounters with UFOs, generated to educate high-level intelligence officers within our military on the nature and presentation of the UAP/UFO phenomenon," Corbell stated on his website Extraordinary Beliefs. (Related: Top secret UFO hunting department in Pentagon to publish reports about claims it found vehicles “not made on this Earth”.)
According to Corbell, the 18-second clip was taken in 2019 from USS Russell, a Navy destroyer, off the coast of San Diego, California. Captured with the aid of night vision equipment, the video opened to three faint orbs floating in the sky. The camera then panned to show a triangular object surrounded by two other faint shapes, though it was not clear if these were more than lens flares.
The unexplained event appeared to tally up with a report by The Drive last month. The website reported that a number of unidentified aircraft swarmed above Navy vessels, including USS Russell, over a couple of days in July 2019.
Besides the clip, Corbell also shared three photos of a spherical aircraft, which were taken from another Navy destroyer, USS Omaha. According to Corbell, the craft was suspected to be a "trans-medium" vehicle capable of traveling in the air and underwater. It was observed descending into the water without breaking apart.
"It is noted that the 'spherical' craft could not be found upon entry to the water and that a submarine was used in the search," Corbell said.
The filmmaker also shared information about three UAP sightings in March 2019 by a pair of Navy officers. The three UAPs – named "acorn," "metal blimp" and "sphere" due to their shape – appeared within minutes of each other. One of the officers snapped photos of each UAP, one of which was leaked in May last year while the rest were made public just this month.
There was speculation that these three aircraft were weather balloons or spy drones, but Gough did not confirm this. She also declined to answer whether the flying objects were still unidentified or if the materials were used only as training tools for identifying UAPs.
"I have nothing further for you beyond what I provided," the spokeswoman told the Black Vault.
People familiar with the matter informed Corbell that the Office of Naval Intelligence, which oversees the UAPTF, held a classified briefing in May last year. The goal was to de-stigmatize "the UAP problem" and promote intelligence collection regarding UAP incursions and encounters with the military. The briefing was a build-on to another UAP-related meeting in October 2019, the filmmaker said.
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