Increased sightings of UFOs - or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena according to the government - are "massive" intelligence failures.

That is from former Department of Defense official Christopher Mellon this week. He says in an interview with 60 Minutes and then CNBC the next day.

"First of all, we have a massive intelligence failure on our hands. This has been going on for years," Mellon said. "It's extremely disturbing to think that, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars for so many years, and believing our airspace to be secure, in fact, we've had vehicles operating restricted military airspace with impunity on a recurring and sustained basis for many years."

In April, the Pentagon declassified three videos taken by U.S. Navy pilots that show unidentified objects traveling at high speeds in the Earth's atmosphere, as well as audio of Navy pilots voicing shock and awe.

There is footage of a mysterious "pyramid-shaped" craft flying across the sky, as well as photographs of three other objects, one of which appears to have been posted online in 2020.

Other sightings, all captured on the same day in March 2019 by an F-18 weapons systems officer using his iPhone's camera, show three UAPs near Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

A video taken from the deck of the USS Russell appears to show multiple unidentified flying triangles "flashing" in the clouds off San Diego's coast. The brief video was shot in July 2019 with a night-vision camera.

The U.S. Navy formalized a reporting process in 2019 for pilots to report incidents of UFO sightings.

Congress is scheduled to be briefed on UFOs in June, but Mellon told CNBC that the classified information exchanged with senators is unlikely to be shared with the public. This is because details about strategic defense systems, such as those used to deter nuclear warfare, may be revealed, putting U.S. safety at risk.

Mellon urged that when it comes to unidentified aerial phenomena, the federal government should "overcome our self-inflicted ignorance and start collecting data."

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