The UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) community of researchers and enthusiasts was put into a tailspin this week with the release of the declassified UFO video from the Chilean Navy, a 10-minute clip that, when all was said and done, was classified as a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) by the Chilean government. The intriguing video clip quickly became headline news around the world. But many of the reports have omitted (purposefully or unknowingly) the followup review of the incident conducted by the French image analysis company IPACO, which concluded that the UFO being chased by the Chilean Navy helicopter was, more likely as not, an airplane.
The Huffington Post called the just-released Chilean Navy UFO video a “groundbreaking” clip. Britain’s Daily Express labeled the image a “REAL UFO.” That ruling by the Chilean Navy, relying on the investigation conducted by the CEFAA (Committee for Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, the Chilean equivalent to the Federation Aviation Administration), still categorizes the image in the video as a UAP.
The 10-minute recording was captured in broad daylight by a Chilean Navy helicopter’s Surveillance and Reconnaissance (SAR) camera making a routine patrol along the Chilean coast in November 2014. The crew, who also had a line-of-sight view of the object, immediately contacted local airports and military facilities to confirm a radar contact. None of the systems picked up the UFO. Subsequent checks indicated that no air traffic was authorized to be in the area at the time.
Attempted communications with the mysterious craft with standard civilian frequencies received no response.
In the video itself, the object can be seen to have two major heat signatures. A couple times, there appears a third glowing heat signature, somewhat smaller, between the two.
The object being tracked visually and via infrared camera was also observed twice ejecting an unknown substance into the air, but the material ejected was only detected on the infrared camera. After only a few minutes, all of which was captured to video, the UFO outdistanced the helicopter and vanished from sight and camera.
The helicopter video was immediately turned over to the CEFAA, the Chilean UFO investigations branch (which is under the jurisdiction of the Chilean Air Force) known for its scientific approach to identifying unidentified flying phenomena. The agency went on to conduct a two-year investigation into the aerial encounter.
General Ricardo Bermudez, Director of CEFAA during the investigation, was accompanied by nuclear chemist Mario Avila, a CEFAA scientific committee member, when interviews were conducted with the two Chilean Navy officers at their base.
“I was very impressed by these witnesses,” Avila told Huffington Post. “They were highly trained professionals with many years experience, and they were absolutely certain that they could not explain what they saw.”
CEFAA shared the video with French image analysis experts IPACO, which has worked with French defense experts and does extensive work in UFO image analysis. Their final report gauged the speed (relative to the Chilean Navy helicopter), measured the distance between the heat signatures, and used other data to conclude that the UFO in the Chilean Navy video was “most probably a medium-haul twin jet airliner in a landing phase.” The third heat signature (“hot spot”) that appeared briefly in the video was consistent with the use of an APU, an Auxiliary Power Unit, a small jet engine sometimes used prior to landing. The ejection of the unknown substance from the object was explained as the jettisoning of cabin waster water. Lack of a radar return was seen as the object possibly being too far away to be detected. And the radio silence? The report noted that the operators of the airplane may have thought the queries were not directed toward them.
The CEFAA, the Chilean Navy, and the government dismissed the IPACO findings as “impossible,” citing that an airplane would have been seen on primary radar, that such an airplane would have been cleared for landing at a nearby airport (which it was not), and it would likely have responded to radio communications. Additionally, the government noted that planes do not dump their cabin water without prior approval, nor do they do it prior to landing. Besides, they maintained it was difficult to believe that an experienced pilot would not have recognized a jet plane.
(Note: None of the agencies acknowledged the possibility of an unauthorized airplane in Chilean airspace, a presence that could explain the radio silence, the lack of a clearance for landing, and the possibility of flying low enough to evade radar detection.)
So why are the Chilean Navy UFO video and the incident still being treated as if the object were unidentified? Because the French company’s report could not say for certain that the object in the video was actually an airplane, just that it fit the parameters of a plane. And then there are the ancillary details — the material streaming from the plane on two occasions, the two occasions a third heat source appeared, the fact that the vehicle did not appear on radar, and the fact that the object in question never transmitted a signal, identified itself, nor answered queries from other parties.
In short, likelihood (“most probably”) that the UFO was an airplane does not equate to certitude. Therefore, the UFO remains a UAP, which, for all intents and purposes, is the same thing.
General Ricardo Bermudez told Huffington Post’s Leslie Kean, “We do not know what it was, but we do know what it was not[italics original].”
And, according to the Chilean government, what it was not was an object identifiable as an airplane. It was a UAP — a UFO.
[Featured Image by Oliver Tindall/Shutterstock]