Every once in a while, a news item surfaces that prompts you to throw up your hands, sink back into your chair and begrudgingly welcome the impending apocalypse. The most recent item on this docket: A New York Times report confirming that between 2014 and 2015, Navy pilots reported “almost daily” sightings of unidentified flying objects lurking in the air, including one that resembled a “spinning top moving against the wind.”
Well, we had a good run, everyone! Time to pack it in.
According to the Times report, the sightings began in the summer of 2014, with Navy pilots reporting that they spotted the vessels nearly 30,000 feet in the sky while they were conducting training maneuvers between Virginia and Florida. Sometimes, they reported, the vessels reached seemingly hypersonic speeds. One of the Navy pilots even almost collided with one of the objects, which apparently (and justifiably) freaked him out so much that he issued an official incident report about it to the Navy. The sightings apparently grew so frequent that earlier this year, the Navy issued official guidelines for how to report “unexplained aerial phenomena.” To date, no official explanation exists for the sightings, though a Navy spokesperson did say that a few of them could have been unlicensed drones.
The Department of Defense has reportedly been tracking extraterrestrial sightings since 2007, when the Democrat senator from Nevada and then-Senate majority leader (and known proponent of UFO research) Harry Reid started encouraging funding for the secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. While that program officially ended in 2012, it has reportedly continued investigating reports of UFOs, and has looked into such footage as a video of an object resembling a “giant Tic-Tac” off the coast of San Diego, which was spotted by two Navy pilots in 2004.
To be clear, none of the Navy pilots interviewed by the New York Times would go so far as to speculate as to the extraterrestrial origins of the unidentified flying objects (or, as the Times puts it, the Defense Department has “ma[de] no assertions of their provenance,” which is a fancy way of saying that no one wants to run the risk of sounding batshit crazy by raving about giant Tic Tacs doing the Charleston in the sky).
Yet even if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for such sightings — which, let’s be clear, is most likely the case — the fact that they are apparently frequent enough to prompt the Navy to update guidelines about how to report them, doesn’t exactly strike confidence in the hearts of even the most skeptical Americans. Which is why this, combined with the explosive popularity of TikTok, are indicative enough that it might be time for humanity to call it a day.
History channel has unveiled new video footage from its six-part nonfiction series Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation that features Navy pilots Lt. Ryan Graves and Lt. Danny Aucoin, who have reported their multiple sightings of unexplained flying objects to the Pentagon and Congress from the summer of 2014 to March 2015 off the East coast. Check out a clip above.