The Pentagon on Monday released three unclassified videos showing "unidentified aerial phenomena" in an attempt to "clear up any misconceptions" regarding whether the videos – which have been circulating for years – are real.
The three videos, the first of which was leaked in 2007 and discovered by the U.S. Navy in 2009, show small, flying objects. In one of the videos, a person exclaims, "What the (expletive) is that?!"
Two of the videos were recorded in January 2015, according to the Department of Defense. The other was taken in November 2004. In a statement, the Defense Department said the Navy "previously acknowledged" the videos were Navy videos.
"After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena," the Department of Defense said in a statement Monday.
The videos, known as "FLIR1," "Gimbal" and "GoFast," were previously published by The New York Times and To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, which was co-founded by former Blink 182 band member Tom DeLonge.
A Navy spokesman in September told USA TODAY that the videos were real and referred to the objects as “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAPs instead of UFOs. The spokesman at the time said UAP was preferred over UFO because of the stigma surrounding the latter term.
He added that using "UFO" discourages pilots from reporting incidents for fear of being ridiculed.
"The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as 'unidentified,'" the DOD said in Monday's statement.