“Aliens Exist” might not be just an underrated track from Blink-182’s Enema of the State anymore, although “UFOs Exist” is perhaps a more fitting title. The band’s ex-singer, Tom DeLonge, has long held an interest in the extraterrestrial, even founding the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science to research topics related to alien life. In December of 2017, the organization released videos claiming to be “US military videos of unidentified aerial phenomenon.” And now the U.S. Navy has confirmed this.
Motherboard reports that Navy spokesperson Joseph Gradisher said that “the Navy considers the phenomena contained/depicted in those 3 videos as unidentified.” That’s a big leap from how videos like these have been handled or described in the past.
The videos — named Gimbal, Go Fast, and FLIR1 — were annotated by the To The Stars team, explaining the various readings framing the footage, which shows fast-moving and unidentified flying objects. Or, in contemporary terms, as Motherboard writes, “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
That makes the Navy’s new use of “unidentified” and “phenomena” in its official statement in line with the practices of the UFO community, rather than fighting against it through claims that those reporting these objects saw non-object disturbances (gas, light, etc.) or identifiable objects (meteors, planes, balloons, drones).
Since the time of Project Blue Book back in the 1950s, the military has maintained that UFO sightings were hoaxes, mistakes, or all in the heads of observers. The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program studied similar activity from 2007 to 2012, with its former leader Luis Elizondo saying, "My personal belief is that there's very compelling evidence that we may not be alone, whatever that means."
This development behind the scenes seems to have influenced communication policy, leading to a world in which UFOs are officially real — even if the existence of aliens is still up for debate.