'There it goes': UFO spotted by Reaper drone in the Middle East
The Pentagon has released rare declassified footage of an unidentified flying object (UFO) spotted in 2022 in the Middle East by a reaper drone.
The footage, displayed before a congressional committee on Wednesday as part of a defence update on UFOs, tracks a small, shimmering, spherical object as its flies above houses and empty fields.
The exact location of the footage has not been identified by the Pentagon.
“You’ll see it come through the top of the screen, there it goes,” Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), told the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
“This is essentially all the data we have on this event,” Kirkpatrick added.
The 2022 footage from the Middle East tracks what Kirkpatrick said was the usual appearance of UFOs: “Silver. Translucent. Metallic,” he said, with “no thermal exhausts usually detected”.
Kirkpatrick didn’t comment on the potential origins of the UFO but said there is a range of explanations.
“That range spans adversary breakthrough technology on one hand, known objects and phenomena in the middle, all the way to the extreme theories of extraterrestrials.”
UFO cases have been on the rise in recent years. The Pentagon is currently investigating about 650 incidents. Kirkpatrick said the Middle East UFO sighting was unresolved because of a lack of data, but sought to downplay speculation.
The newly declassified footage offers a rare glimpse into the Pentagon’s investigations and marks the first public instance of a military drone spotting what the Defence Department calls unexplained anomalous phenomena (UAP).
“I should also state clearly for the record that in our research, AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics,” Kirkpatrick said.
“Only a very small percentage of UAP reports display signatures that could reasonably be described as anomalous,” he added.
“The majority of unidentified objects reported to AARO demonstrated mundane characteristics of balloons, clutter, natural phenomena, or other readily explainable sources.”
Congress has demonstrated renewed interest in UFOs since the disclosure that a Chinese spy balloon floated through US territory. The Biden administration ordered subsequent UFOs to be shot down but has revealed scant evidence about their origin.
Kirkpatrick said his office hasn’t seen evidence that the UFO sightings it is examining were caused by Russian or Chinese technology, but that they exhibited “concerning indicators” that could point to Chinese involvement.
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.