(NBC News) - Are there alien spacecraft flying above us?
A highly anticipated government report sheds little light on the mystery, finding no evidence of extraterrestrial activity but not ruling it out either, according to two U.S. officials.
The report also does not rule out the possibility that the flying objects seen by U.S. military planes are highly advanced aircraft developed by other nations, the officials said. Further deepening the mystery, the report says the objects also do not appear to be evidence of secret U.S. technology but it doesn’t definitively rule that out either.
One of the officials said the report suggests the videos do not appear to show any known U.S. assets.
The revelations about the unclassified report, compiled by the director of national intelligence and the secretary of defense, are likely to only stir public fascination over the unexplained aircraft. The report is due to Congress at the end of the month, but it's not clear whether it will be released to the public, a spokesperson for the Office of Director of National Intelligence said.
The Department of Defense established the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force last August to investigate and “gain insight” into the “nature and origins” of unidentified flying objects. Earlier that year, the Department of Defense declassified three videos taken by Navy pilots — one from 2004 and two from 2015 — that showed mysterious objects flying at high speeds across the sky.
“The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified,’” Pentagon officials said in a statement at the time.
The three videos had leaked years earlier, but Pentagon officials said they declassified the footage to “clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”
A separate leaked Navy video, captured in July 2019, showed a sphere-shaped unidentified object flying over water near San Diego. The footage, obtained by a documentary filmmaker and shared with NBC News, appeared to show the mysterious object flying for a few minutes before disappearing into the water.
In an interview with NBC News that aired in February, a former Navy pilot, Cmdr. Dave Fravor, described the 2004 encounter, calling the object “the strangest, most obscure thing I’ve ever seen flying.”
“As soon as we looked down, we see the whitewater, and then we see this little white Tic Tac,” Fravor told NBC’s "The Overview." “It’s pointing north-south and it’s just going forward, back, left, right,” he said, adding that it was bouncing around “like a ping-pong ball.”
Fravor said he approached the mysterious object to take a closer look, and it began mirroring his movements. When the pilot got to within a half-mile of the UFO, it suddenly vanished, he said.