US military drone spotted UFO over Middle East – Pentagon
The Pentagon on Wednesday declassified a video shot by a US MQ-9 Reaper drone after it encountered an unidentified flying object zooming over the Middle East. The incident, which was reported last year, is the first such encounter by an unmanned aircraft with what the military has renamed Unexplained Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).
Explaining the video’s contents during a Senate hearing, Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), listed the attributes of the bright and shimmering “metallic orb” the military drone saw.
“Silver. Translucent. Metallic. 10,000 to 30,000 feet [in the air] with apparent velocities from the stationary to mach to no thermal exhausts usually detected,” he said, noting the object had behaved “consistent with other ‘metallic orb’ observations in the region.”
In the past, a human observer has been all but required for UFO sightings, as human judgment was previously required to determine whether a craft’s movement exceeded the range of what was possible with existing technology. However, the Reaper’s camera was able to track and follow the orb without a human pilot present.
Kirkpatrick did not rule out that the orb could be “adversary breakthrough technology,” but said it could also fall under the heading of “known objects or phenomena” or “extraterrestrials.”
Most of the time, however, the AARO manages to determine what its airborne quarry is, Kirkpatrick told the Senate, hinting he had even tipped off the Defense Department and intelligence officials that Washington's adversaries had technology the US was unaware of.
The AARO was established in July with the aim of uniting all Defense Department and other federal agency efforts to detect, identify and attribute “anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, submerged, and transmedium objects.” The department was established after a Senate bill the previous year demanding US intelligence agencies spill their guts about “unidentified aerial phenomena” left legislators with more questions than answers.