Originally aired Feb. 1, 2018, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas.

MYSTERY WIRE — Remember the UFO videos released by the Pentagon late in 2017?  It turns out there are even more videos lurking in the military files.

A man who spent 10 years working on the government’s secret study of UFOs says there have been many dramatic encounters with unknown technology that is far more advanced than anything in the U.S. military.

Much of the secret UFO study was carried out in southern Nevada.

A former intelligence officer, saw more of those files than anyone.  His name is Luis Elizondo, and most of us first heard his name last October when he stood on a stage with rock star Tom DeLonge and other government insiders. 

“It was in this position that I learned the phenomena is indeed real,” Luis Elizondo said.

Until he stepped out on a stage last October alongside rock star Tom DeLonge and other former government insiders, most of the world had never heard of Luis Elizondo, which is how he liked it. Elizondo’s government career was spent in the shadows, mostly as a pentagon intelligence officer. 

“I was at the top of my game in my career field and I left it all to have this conversation with the American public,” he said.

The conversation is about UFOs. For almost 10 years, Elizondo was a central figure in a secret Pentagon program to study unknown aerial threats. These days, he’s preparing to relocate to the sleepy beach town of Encinitas, which is where Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy is based.

That organization made public a pair of UFO videos which Elizondo helped to declassify before he left Washington. The videos were recorded by military pilots during encounters with far superior technology. in December, the New York Times reported on Elizondo and the videos, which set off a flurry of mainstream news coverage. Critics questioned whether Elizondo had released the videos on his own, as if he hid them in his lunch pail.

“The Department of Defense made the decision to release them. Released at the unclassified level through the DOD, approved the release for exactly the reason why the request was made. So, it was completely on the up and up,” Elizondo said.

One video recorded off San Diego in 2004 capped off a week of encounters between UFOs and the USS Nimitz battle group. Navy pilots got up close and personal with an object they described as a large Tic Tac but which was capable of seemingly impossible movements and acceleration. Critics have come up with many theories about why the video and the chief witness are not legitimate.

“When he tells you, he’s seen something go from a near hover or something over the water going 450 knots and all of the sudden it takes off over the horizon in two seconds, you’d better believe he is telling you something he has seen. And by the way that’s backed up by three other individuals that were also on that same flight and were backed up by three other individuals that were on the same flight in two other aircraft and then layered by radar operators. It frustrates me when someone says, oh, that’s an IR glare or IR fuzz, you know, that’s atmospheric conditions,” Elizondo said.

George Knapp: Or bugs on the windshield?

Elizondo: Right. Atmospheric conditions. You cannot lock radar onto, I’m sorry, it’s not atmospheric or IR fuzz.

An initial cursory report about the Tic Tac encounter was tossed in a drawer at the Pentagon, but the case was revived after Nevada Senator Harry Reid and colleagues initiated a formal program to study UFO incidents involving the military.

The civilian contractor was Bigelow Aerospace in North Las Vegas. Investigators interviewed 18 witnesses to the Tic Tac case and declared it to be a legitimate unknown.

Knapp:  The Tic Tac. That’s not Russian. Not Chinese. And not ours, right? It’s somebody else’s?

Elizondo: Right, right.

Knapp: From somewhere else?

“I think even more compelling, if this was a Tic Tac we saw in 2004, that would have been extremely advanced technology and capabilities for 2004. I think everyone agrees it is considered extremely exotic technology today, let alone 2004 but these observations match with previous observations going well before that,” Elizondo said.

In other words, there have been other Nimitz-type incidents both before and since. There is a second video released by the Pentagon. It shows an object dubbed the Gimbal. It is not related to the Tic Tac case, Elizondo confirmed. Other independent sources said the video was recorded off the coast of Florida in 2015.

There are many other dramatic encounters not yet made public. 

“The Nimitz is an example of one case, one of many that we looked at,” Elizondo said. “When it continues to happen as a pattern, that’s when we get to the point where we’re increasingly concerned, because it is not an anomaly, now it’s a trend.”

People familiar with the UFO study say about two dozen UFO videos are being declassified for release to the public in the coming months.  Elizondo says the technology displayed by the UFOs is beyond anything we have, but that scientists think they now understand how it works.