Footage Gimbal, the first of three US military videos of unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP)
Footage Gimbal, the first of three US military videos of unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP)To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science

Conspiracy theorists and enthusiasts of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) keep coming up with strange stories of mysterious objects being spotted flying across the skies. Several alleged videos of UFOs captured by ordinary people have been shared online, sparking off speculations of aliens' existence. Most people won't take such "barely visible" videos seriously but it's a different thing altogether if the US military actually encounters mystery aircraft that travel at incredibly high speed.

Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, has argued in an article published on The Washington Post that the US Navy and Air Force have encountered several unidentified aircraft in the last few years. He wrote that the Defense Department declassified two videos of US military's encounters with mystery aircraft in December last year.

The New York Times also published the videos in December 2017. It reported that the US Defense Department had spent $22 million on Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that's meant for investigating reports of UFOs. It reported that the videos of two US Navy F/A-18F fighter jets attached to the Nimitz carrier chasing an oval-shaped object off the coast of San Diego in 2004 were also studied under the program. It went on to say that the program continues to exist despite the Defense Department's claim that it was shut down in 2012.

Mellon wrote that the Defense Department officials have confirmed over a dozen encounters with mystery aircraft off the East Coast alone since 2015. He cited a failed attempt by F-15 fighters in intercepting an unidentified aircraft that flew across the Pacific Northwest at an incredibly high speed in October last year.

Mellon, who is also an advisor to the private research firm called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, wrote that the sightings of highly advanced aircrafts much superior to the ones in the US have hinted at a possibility of some countries going much ahead of others in technology or an evidence of an alien civilization.

However, he wrote that sightings of strange and mysterious objects are not new to officials in the defense department and intelligence agencies but "nobody wants to be 'the alien guy in the national security bureaucracy; nobody wants to be ridiculed or sidelined for drawing attention to the issue."