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Topic

The Newly Released Pentagon Videos Are Not Proof That UFOs Exist

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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3

With 3 votes and 11 points ahead, the winner is ...

CaptainSceptic
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The Pentagon has recently released three videos supposedly showing UFOs. The definition for a UFO is "any aerial phenomenon that cannot immediately be identified " However, I do not believe so. Today, we shall be debating on the fact that these videos are actual proof of Unidentified Flying Objects.

Round 1
Pro
Thank you, sir, for accepting this debate. The resolution is the fact that the aircraft captured in the videos are not UFOs, and I shall win if I prove it so. Alternatively, my opponent should win if he proves otherwise. For this round, I shall present my substantives that revolve around the fact that the flight characteristics of the aircraft in the videos do not present any similarities with helicopters, and thus UFOs.

Firstly, I would like to present a clarification of a famous flying saucer incident.  The Rockwell Flying Saucer incident, one of the best known incidents due to the fact that an "alien" was captured, was simply a hot air balloon gondola, piloted by Colonel Joseph William Kittinger II on a training flight, and that was simply no UFO. The residents in the area obviously failed to correctly identify the aircraft. Furthermore, the “alien” that was captured was one of his crew, who wasn’t wearing a helmet when the gondola hit the ground. His head immediately swelled to an unrecognisable size, and he was mistaken for an extraterrestrial creature. Now, the purpose of this example, as I hope it has made clear, is to give proof that there are two sides to even the UFOlogists' best stories.

Now, my substantives:

The flight path of the aircraft in the videos is regular, being absolutely normal and nothing to suggest that it's control surfaces were anything different. The same characteristics are exhibited by, say, a E/A-18G Growler. It is widely believed that the flight path would be very erratic on an UFO, but I urge you to study the videos all you want, and I beg you to take into consideration the fact that there is nothing weird in their flight characteristics, and thus cannot be classified as from space. Take as an example the starting video section. The turn of the aircraft is nothing we would not expect. It exhibits a normal turn to port, but it is far from an uncoordinated turn, also known as turning on a dime or a flat turn. So, would you expect a UFO to behave that modestly? Hardly. On top of that, to get back to and from space, the craft would have to regularly do two-point latitudinal rolls, so as to keep his heading straight. Cartoon depictions of UFO flights are simply a pile of balderdash.

I shall now quote a minister whose name I shall not mention:

Displays no characteristics like anything we have right now.
You may point all you want to this as evidence for your cause, but I respond to that by saying that it does display nothing of the kind that would be an expected routine of a patrol aircraft, true, but the fact remains that the flight characteristics are normal and far from supernatural.

So you see, there are no wings. You think: well, its a helicopter. But no, no helicopter could ever turn like a ping pong ball like in the videos.
Let me break this down:

"So you see, there are no wings." The HUD images are captured from a great distance, and such a video from a few miles away (the aircraft in question would look like a mustard seed) are not of very high resolution, and thus can be very easily mistaken indeed. 

"You think: well, its a helicopter." For one thing, the videos were captured of the Atlantic coast. Helicopters simply don't have the range for such Atlantic operations, so it is definitely not a helicopter, but also not a unidentifiable aerial phenomenon.

"But no, no helicopter could ever turn like a ping pong ball like in the videos" This is proof that it is indeed not a helicopter. However, this also demolishes the possibility of a UFO, because UFOs should perform almost exactly the same as helicopters if they are from space. On the other hand, we do know that military aircraft, say, a F/A-18C Hornet, can perform such uncoordinated turns, and thus that possibility is the highest.

It was not like anything possible in the next decade or 2.

This statement remains true for helicopters (And thus UFOs, mind you), but not military jet aircraft. 

I shall leave my argument thus far, and pass the floor to my opponent. I wish you good luck, sir.


Con
DEFINITION:

A UFO, is an unidentified flying object.  The new nomenclature is an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAP.  


SUMMARY:

The video released depicts an Unidentified Arial Phenomena,  This is made clear by the narrative of the pilots, and by Military personal thereafter.  Whilst there could be speculation as to what the video depicts. the actual identity was not, and is still not known.  


FOUNDATION:

The video referenced, is actually a combination of three videos from three different flights over two different dates.  The three flights are "FLIR," "GOFAST" and "GIMBAL", and were made officially available for download on the militaries release website HERE. The FLIR and GOFAST were recorded in 2015 in Jacksonville Florida.  GIMBAL was recorded in 2004 in California.

These videos had previously been leaked and had been the subject of a History Channel Documentary called Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation.
The declassified status was only confirmed this April 2020.  

The videos were recorded from an F/A-18 Hornet,  in November 2004 and in January 2015

The military official release can be found here, which references and confirms the pilot's engagement with UAP's

"GOFAST"

In this first video, the recording jet is cruising at  FL250, at 250 knots.  A very fast small object bolts underneath it.  It appears as if the auto track tries to engage it, and after 15 seconds finally locks on.  The pilot sounds very excited and starts cheering.  At 0:20 seconds, he then says

"What the fuck is that?" over the radio to either a co-pilot (we don't know if this is a one or two-seat version of the Hornet), or a wingman.    Ths other persons asks if it was a manual or auto-tracking, and the pilot confirms it was an auto track.    At 0:26 you can here the other pilot say 

"What the hell is that"

Two pilots clearly had no idea what it was, and their expresses and responses seemed genuine.   A few things to note.  There is no wing shape to the object, and no exhaust or contrail.  

"FILR"

In this video, the recording jet is cruising at FL200, and cruising at around 250 knots. This video shows a very odd-shaped object in a few different spectrum   Towards the end of the 1:16 length video you see the UAP bolt off with no exhaust fumes or contrail. 

"GIMBAL"

This is also known as TicTac as a reference comparing the UAP to the candy because of its shape.   The recording plane is at FL250, cruising at 240 knots.

At 0:02 the with the auto tracker focused on a TicTac shaped object, the pilot starts by asking

"What is fucking going on bro?".   The response from another pilot was

"There's a whole fleet of them.  Look on the SA". Pilot 1 replies

"My Gosh".  The second pilot states

"They are going against the wind.  the wind is 120 knots."  "Look at the thing dude".  The second pilot then asks a clarification categorization question which the first pilot disagrees with.  Finally, at the end of the short clip, you can see the UAP start to rotate.   The rotation is commented on by both the pilots.

No contrail, or exhaust.  No visible structure/wings/tail etc.  Genuine surprise and concern from the pilots.   This would qualify as a UAP.


"ADMIRAL ROUGHEAD"

Interviewed in 2020, Retired Admiral Roughead confirmed that after extensive military investigations, there was no conclusion as to what the source of the UAP was/were.    Admiral Roughead used to be America's Chief of Naval Operations.    The interview and quotes are here on the US Miltary news site and he states the following.

"I've seen the videos and, at least in my time, most of the assessments were inconclusive as to what it was,"  

If the Chief of Naval Operations goes on record to confirm that the contents are UAP, I would call that compellingly persuasive.  

OPPONENTS COMMENTS

My opponent tries to convince the readers that his visual interpretation of the video is sufficient to prove the identity of the UAP's, thereby meeting his debate objective.  He fails to give a clear identification.  He speculates saying things like " say, a E/A-18G Growler".  He speculates about what would be required to enter and exit space with o evidence.  He then states that cartoon depictions of UFO flights are simply a pile of balderdash.  Has he see a UFO flight to compare?  Has he any evidence to his speculations.

My opponent briefly touches on a comment by an unnamed or referenced source, but tries to qualify those remarks as a category of  "patrol aircraft".  He further states that because he believes the flight characteristics are not supernatural, they are not a UAP.

But he won't tell us what they are.  As such as he has not identified them, they remain unidentified.  

I trust my references above, the conduct and reaction of the pilots, and the quote from the Chief of Navy Operations,  An article on space.com also states

"There is as yet no explanation or identification — official or not — for the mysterious aircraft that the pilots recorded."

I ask my opponent to identify the UAP's in the three separate videos, meet his debate criteria, or concede.







Round 2
Pro
Thank you sir, for your statement. First of all, I agree with your definition, but would like to make some amendments:

Definition:

A mysterious object seen in the sky for which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found. The new nomenclature is an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAP.  

Following, my rebuttals and substantives:

Summary:

The video released depicts an Unidentified Arial Phenomena,  This is made clear by the narrative of the pilots, and by Military personal thereafter.  Whilst there could be speculation as to what the video depicts. the actual identity was not, and is still not known.  

The video does supposedly depict something that is not immediately recognised by the pilots. However, this statement does not equate to it being completely and, after thorough investigation, unidentifiable. This might be made clear by narrative of personnel on the scene, but many normal aircraft, like Colonel Kittinger's balloon, were mistaken too, which means that the personal on-the-spot narratives may not be accurate. There could be speculation, but the Rockwell Incident also had speculation but turned out nothing from normal. However, the identity of the Rockwell aircraft, although already found out, is still not known by many.

Foundation:

The video referenced, is actually a combination of three videos from three different flights over two different dates.  The three flights are "FLIR," "GOFAST" and "GIMBAL", and were made officially available for download on the militaries release website HERE. The FLIR and GOFAST were recorded in 2015 in Jacksonville Florida.  GIMBAL was recorded in 2004 in California.
Yes, I do admit the fact that they are from two different dates and three flights, but the fact remains that this piece of information does not certify that the aircraft in the videos are UFOs.

GOFAST Flight:

In this first video, the recording jet is cruising at  FL250, at 250 knots.  A very fast small object bolts underneath it.  It appears as if the auto track tries to engage it, and after 15 seconds finally locks on.  The pilot sounds very excited and starts cheering.
25000 feet is normal for a jet, and so is 250 knots. No proof of extraterrestrial craft there. AutoTrack is a "vehicle swept path analysis software program used for analysing the movements of steered and wheeled vehicles including cars, trucks, trams, aircraft and other more specialist vehicles" There is nothing to suggest the craft in question is not a normal one at that.

"What the fuck is that?" over the radio to either a co-pilot (we don't know if this is a one or two-seat version of the Hornet), or a wingman.    Ths other persons asks if it was a manual or auto-tracking, and the pilot confirms it was an auto track.    At 0:26 you can here the other pilot say 

"What the hell is that"

Two pilots clearly had no idea what it was, and their expresses and responses seemed genuine.   A few things to note.  There is no wing shape to the object, and no exhaust or contrail.  
I do not deny that they cannot immediately identify the aircraft, but pilots have been known to mistake Korean MiGs for UFOs in the Korean War. This is nothing new. The craft in question having no obvious wing shape at that moment and no contrail seems to support the hot air balloon idea, such as the example of the Rockwell Incident.

FLIR Flight:

In this video, the recording jet is cruising at FL200, and cruising at around 250 knots. This video shows a very odd-shaped object in a few different spectrum   Towards the end of the 1:16 length video you see the UAP bolt off with no exhaust fumes or contrail. 
Again, 20000 feet and 250 knots is normal for a jet, but mind, could be easily miscalculated. "This video shows a very odd-shaped object in a few different spectrum" Odd shapes in the sky have become a norm since the Flying Flapjack was invented, there is no proof of extraterrestrial aircraft in that statement. Different colours can be easily explained: A steel craft flying will reflect the rays of the sun, and due to a complex chain of scientific terms, the craft may easily be seen as having changing spectrums. And mind, even a Cessna sometimes may be able to fly without fumes or contrails.

GIMBAL Flight:

This is also known as TicTac as a reference comparing the UAP to the candy because of its shape.   The recording plane is at FL250, cruising at 240 knots.
The supposed "UAP" looking like a TicTac is no proof of it being a UFO as even a normal aircraft looks like a mustard seed at distance. Again, nothing strange in the altitude and airspeed. 

At 0:02 the with the auto tracker focused on a TicTac shaped object, the pilot starts by asking

"What is fucking going on bro?".   The response from another pilot was

"There's a whole fleet of them.  Look on the SA". Pilot 1 replies

"My Gosh".  The second pilot states
Flying in a fleet is nothing weird. This does nothing to prove the fact that they are abnormal aricraft.

"They are going against the wind.  the wind is 120 knots."  "Look at the thing dude".  The second pilot then asks a clarification categorization question which the first pilot disagrees with.  Finally, at the end of the short clip, you can see the UAP start to rotate.   The rotation is commented on by both the pilots.
The "UAP" rotating does not proof its extraterrestrial quality because the fact remains that any aircraft can turn, any flying thing on earth can turn. Even WW1 fighter aircraft can do that, it is nothing new.

No contrail, or exhaust.  No visible structure/wings/tail etc.  Genuine surprise and concern from the pilots.   This would qualify as a UAP.
You obviously are of the opinion that all aircraft must have contrails at all times. That is not true. You are of the opinion that every structure of an aircraft can be identified miles away. That is not true. You are of the opinion that genuine surprise and concern from the pilots is proof that the craft in question is a UAP. That is not true. Thus, they do not yet immediately qualify as a UAP.

Admiral Roughhead's statement:

"I've seen the videos and, at least in my time, most of the assessments were inconclusive as to what it was,"  

If the Chief of Naval Operations goes on record to confirm that the contents are UAP, I would call that compellingly persuasive.  
I'll eat my hat if the assessments based on only three HUD videos can be more conclusive. The Chief of Naval Operations only mentioned that currently, they are unable to reach a definite conclusion due to the lack of evidence, he did not say anything about those aircraft in the videos being completely unidentifiable.

Opponent's comments:

My opponent tries to convince the readers that his visual interpretation of the video is sufficient to prove the identity of the UAP's, thereby meeting his debate objective.  He fails to give a clear identification.  He speculates saying things like " say, a E/A-18G Growler".  He speculates about what would be required to enter and exit space with o evidence.  He then states that cartoon depictions of UFO flights are simply a pile of balderdash.  Has he see a UFO flight to compare?  Has he any evidence to his speculations.
"My opponent tries to convince the readers that his visual interpretation of the video is sufficient to prove the identity of the UAP's" That is a misinterpretation. My point was to say that they perform no strange activities, and can easily be classified as being normal aircraft, not that my visual evidence is enough to prove their identity. However, that does not mean that they are unidentifiable. "He fails to give a clear identification.  He speculates saying things like " say, a E/A-18G Growler". " Again, my point here is that I am just giving an example to what the aircraft may be, but I am certainly not speculation that they are Growlers. "He speculates about what would be required to enter and exit space with o evidence." [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb4prVsXkZU] "He then states that cartoon depictions of UFO flights are simply a pile of balderdash.  Has he see a UFO flight to compare?" By saying that cartoon depictions are rubbish mean that the flight characteristics of spacecraft is incorrectly depicted. I may not have seen a UFO to compare, but we have spacecraft on earth, whose characteristics may be used to identify the aircraft in question. On the other hand, my opponent has also not seen a UFO to compare, and thus he cannot be definite that the aircraft in the videos are UFOs. "Has he any evidence to his speculations." Yes, I do. You, however, are insisting that they are UFOs on an unfounded basis.

My opponent briefly touches on a comment by an unnamed or referenced source, but tries to qualify those remarks as a category of  "patrol aircraft".  He further states that because he believes the flight characteristics are not supernatural, they are not a UAP.
I do not definitely place them under the category of patrol aircraft, I am simply stating the highest possibility. My point for the latter is that a to qualify as a UFO, there should, and must, be differences from normal aircraft. Now, however, there are none.

But he won't tell us what they are.  As such as he has not identified them, they remain unidentified.  
I cannot clearly identify the exact type of aircraft, but I do say that they are not unidentifiable, and that they should, if not definitely, be an earthly aircraft.

I trust my references above, the conduct and reaction of the pilots, and the quote from the Chief of Navy Operations,  An article on space.com also states
The sites you have quoted are not entirely conclusive proof of UFOs, nor do the pilots' reactions or the quote from Adm Roughhead, because they are simply nothing new, there have been multiple similar cases, only to slip out of people's memories, and resurface a few decades later, proved to be only a normal aircraft.

"There is as yet no explanation or identification — official or not — for the mysterious aircraft that the pilots recorded."
There may be no conclusive or exact identification, but proving that it is nothing extraterrestrial is identification enough.


Con

Thank you for the response.

The debate title is "The Newly Released Pentagon Videos Are Not Proof That UFOs Exist", qualified by myself to include UAP, and qualified by my opponent to include the "which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found."   There is nothing in the definition that supposes an extraterrestrial involvement. 

My opponent's statement 

There may be no conclusive or exact identification, but proving that it is nothing extraterrestrial is identification enough.
is incorrect.

I quoted the Chief of Navy Operations in 2020 stating that there was no know explanation for the footage from the flights in 2004 and 2015.  There have been 15 years to present a reasonable scientific explanation.   No scientific explanation has been offered within that time.  

The aerial phenomena are still unidentified.


My opponent in Round 2  Makes 5 references to extraterrestrials, effectively stating that UFO's = extraterrestrials. That is a scientifically flawed assumption.  If a weather, celestial, or other event occurs that cannot be explained, that does not mean it is aliens.  500 years ago people did not know what lighting was.  People did not know what thunder was, often attributing unknown phenomena events to deities.

Events happening that cannot be explained through current reasonable scientific methods does not mean they won't be identified at a future time when new science or technologies are available.    Nor does it mean the events are unexplainable by our understanding of physics and the universe.

As 15 years have gone by without an even reasonable explanation, the videos still depict  UAF/UFO's.     Therefore. they still exist.















Round 3
Pro
I appreciate your enthusiasm, sir.

The debate title is "The Newly Released Pentagon Videos Are Not Proof That UFOs Exist", qualified by myself to include UAP, and qualified by my opponent to include the "which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found."   There is nothing in the definition that supposes an extraterrestrial involvement.  
Yes, I do very much agree with the debate title. However, we both seem to have a different aim in this debate. Let me get his straight: The debate resolution is that the videos are not proof of UFOs because of the fact that the aircraft in question are not UFOs. It is qualified to include UAPs, but with the intention to prove or disprove the fact that the aircraft recorded in the videos are not UFOs. The main resolution still revolves around the fact that they may not be immediately identified, but are not totally or completely unidentifiable. Do not mistake it for the debate being about whether the aircraft are immediately identifiable. I do apologise if you have taken the wrong view of the debate all along, but I hope to clear up the tiny misunderstanding.

My opponent's statement 

There may be no conclusive or exact identification, but proving that it is nothing extraterrestrial is identification enough.
is incorrect.
I do not believe it incorrect, sir. My point is that they may not be exactly identified, but are not unidentifiable. 

I quoted the Chief of Navy Operations in 2020 stating that there was no know explanation for the footage from the flights in 2004 and 2015.  There have been 15 years to present a reasonable scientific explanation.   No scientific explanation has been offered within that time.  
Having no conclusive explanation for the flights currently does not point to the aircraft being completely unrecognisable, neither does it equate it to being UFOs. There have been 15 years to come up with an explanation for the 2004 flight, yes, and yet there is no known explanation. However, this fact also does not support the thinking that the aircraft are UFOs, because look, we have waited for a century for an explanation for the Flying Dutchman. However, is there any known explanation yet? No. Does this mean that it’s a UFO? No. 

The aerial phenomena are identifiable:

My opponent in Round 2  Makes 5 references to extraterrestrials, effectively stating that UFO's = extraterrestrials. That is a scientifically flawed assumption.  If a weather, celestial, or other event occurs that cannot be explained, that does not mean it is aliens.  500 years ago people did not know what lighting was.  People did not know what thunder was, often attributing unknown phenomena events to deities.
Of course a weather or celestial event is not because of aliens, but my opponent is now effectively stating that Normal Aerial Phenomena = Unidentifiable Aerial Phenomena, which is a logically and scientifically flawed assumption as well. 500 years ago, people did not know what lightning (As I shall assume) and thunder was, yes. However, this does not equate to the fact that the aircraft in the videos are UFOs because firstly, we are not attributing the aircraft to nonexistent deities, and secondly, lightning and thunder are not the same as strange, but identifiable, aircraft showing up in the sky.

Events happening that cannot be explained through current reasonable scientific methods does not mean they won't be identified at a future time when new science or technologies are available.    Nor does it mean the events are unexplainable by our understanding of physics and the universe.
This statement on you part is a contradiction and goes directly against your debate criteria. You are effectively saying that they are identifiable, which is what I’ve been trying to explain all along. This statement supports my stance, and does nothing to prove yours. Thus, I ask that voters will take this contradiction from my opponent into consideration. 

As 15 years have gone by without an even reasonable explanation, the videos still depict  UAF/UFO's.     Therefore. they still exist.
Firstly, take note that 15 years have gone by for the 2004 flight, but only 4 for the 2015 one. And 15 or 4 years passing without an explanation of the video footages in question do not support the fact that they are completely unidentifiable. 

Thus, sir, do correctly understand the debate resolution, and mind that you either present a valid case backed with evidence and meet your criteria, or concede this debate.

Sources and credits:
[1] Clark, Jerome.  The Ufo Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial. Visible Ink, 1998. ISBN 1-57859-029-9
[2] Ruppelt, Edward Jr. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. 1956.
[3] Dolan, Richard M. UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-up 1941–1973, 2002, ISBN 1-57174-317-0
[4] Fawcett, Lawrence and Greenwood, Barry J. The UFO Cover-Up (Clear Intent) New York: Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster), 1992. ISBN 0-671-76555-8
[5] Rose, Bill and Buttler, Tony. Flying Saucer Aircraft (Secret Projects). Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-85780-233-0
Con
I thank my opponent for their response.  I will go straight to a quick summary.

Summary

My opponent agrees with the definition of UFO and UAP.

Nowhere in the definition is the word unidentifiable.  That word renders the intension of the expression UFA/UAP moot.  In theory, everything could be identified with enough time, money opportunity, education etc etc etc.  Unidentifiable is a permanent state.  It.is an absolute.   Whereas unidentifed means a state at a certain period of time.  The purpose of the expression UFO or UAP is to capture what the pilot said in the GOFAST flight

"What the fuck was that?"

Anything remains unidentified until it is identified.

My opponent agrees that the images in the videos have yet to be identified.  That makes them unidentified.  


Therefore the videos are proof of the unidentified objects, (UFO's) exist.
Therefore the resolution is incorrect.