Though unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have captured the imagination of science fiction fans and conspiracy theorists for decades, a former Pentagon official is claiming that it's time that the general population starts believing that the flying devices have become more fact than fiction.
"I think we're at the point now where we're beyond reasonable doubt that these things exist," explained Luis Elizondo, a former head the U.S. Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was tasked with investigating UFOs. Elizondo made the comments in an interview with Live Science.
"We know they're there — we have some of the greatest technology in the world that has confirmed their existence," he added.
Between the 1950s and 1980s, the U.S. government, specifically the Air Force, documented sightings of foreign aerial devices in two investigations -- one known as Project Blue Book, and the other via the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.
Though the vast majority of cases were found to be incidents either involving human technology such as weather balloons or unusual weather patterns such as heavy cloud coverage, 700 cases still remained unsolved.
Elizondo's comments come just a few months after the U.S. Navy released several tapes that showed videos of the long-rumored UFOs.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, one of the pilots who captured footage of an object known as the "Tic-Tac" claimed that "it wasn't behaving by the normal laws of physics."
As a result, Elizondo is now calling for world leaders to not only take the possibility of UFOs seriously, but also have a plan in case the unexplained objects do not have good intentions.
"There's something in our sky and we don't know what it is, we don't know where it's from. Is that a problem? From a national security perspective, yes, it's a problem," stated Elizondo, who had also previously served as a military intelligence officer.
"We need to understand what these are, in order to make a determination if they're a threat," he added.
Elizondo specifically pointed out that many of the UFOs appeared to be using technology that was beyond the scope of human capability. For example, many of the objects appeared to be flying at hypersonic speeds -- more than five times the speed of sound -- despite not having visible wings.
In addition, some of the maneuvers would have subjected pilots in the aircraft to 700 times the normal pull of gravity. Humans can only endure nine times the normal pull for a few seconds max before losing consciousness.
That said, it should be noted that these are Elizondo's estimates from the videos and are not undisputed fact.
Nevertheless, he hopes that world leaders will take notice, and either take the threat of UFOs seriously or offer some explanation for the odd and recurring phenomena.