This Monday, the Pentagon released videos of UFO’s claiming that the footage was real. President Trump said of the video, “I just wonder if it's real”. What does this mean for anyone? Why isn’t everybody all over this announcement? Is there any extra consideration now than there was since they are now confirmed as “real”?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/us/pentagon-ufo-videos.html https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/13/politics/navy-ufo-incident-reports/index.html

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    Please clarify the usage of the word "real"" here. Any unidentified Frisbee, kite, balloon, aircraft, rocket, missile, drone, etc., domestic, foreign, or pirate, ambiguously captured on out of focus video would be real and common enough. See also Are these UFOs on the videos released by the Pentagon still unidentified? – agc May 15 at 5:58
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    Not "this monday", but nearly three weeks ago. This is already answered on skeptics skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/47488/… – James K May 15 at 7:03
  • The media didnt treat corona seriously until the market plunged in March. The media wont treat this seriously until its 100% officially confirmed as aliens. No one wants to be the first to stick their neck out and be mocked for it. It's normalcy bias: we assume something has never happened before, therefore it cant happen. – SurpriseDog Jun 4 at 20:15

What does 'real' mean in this context?

  • Is the video the genuine recording of a Navy aircraft or a hoax?
  • Is the unidentified flying object still unidentified or does the Pentagon know what it is, even if they don't tell their own pilots? (Pilots might be shot down and captured, better not tell them too much top-secret stuff.)
  • If it is still unidentified, is it extraterrestrial or is some nation other than the US testing new tech over the Atlantic? (It seems reckless to buzz the US that way, unless somebody wants to find out if they can penetrate US defenses.)

The video seems to be real in the sense of the first bullet point. That doesn't make it real in the sense of the second and third bullet point. I would expect the US government to deceive the public to protect their own secret projects or intelligence about foreign secret projects. And sometimes "we cannot confirm or deny ..." says too much, it has to be "we don't know."

That being said, a statement by President Trump is evidence that the President made a statement. He contradicted himself too often to take anything he says at face value.

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First of all, what is an "UFO" in aviation terminology?

It's an "Unidentified Flying Object". That means nothing but an object which is flying and not yet clearly identified. And those are actually very common. In fact every object one sees in the sky or on a radar screen is classified as an "UFO" until it is identified and becomes an "IFO". Usually that does not take long. The flying object identifies itself through a radio call, someone confirms what it is by visual contact or someone derives it from behavior and flight plans. But there are also flying objects which never happen to get identified.

But that does not mean "extraterrestrial" or "paranormal". It just means "we re not 100% sure what it was". And that's rarely a result of desparation but rather a lack of data, resources and interest to find out. Assuming that it got to be something sensational, as opposed to a weather phenomenon, technical malfunction or an aircraft which forgot to submit a flight plan, is jumping to conclusions.

In fact, after these UFO videos were declassified and brought to the attention of a wider audience, some people found pretty mundane explanations for them.

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