I went through a passionate X-Files phase in my early teens. I read everything I could on UFOs and so-called alien encounters. It fired up my imagination in a way few things have managed to since. But once early adulthood arrived I began to understand the logical inconsistencies in alien abduction stories and UFO sightings, namely the unreliable, anecdotal nature of the ‘evidence’ put forward. It was fun whilst it lasted.
I don’t reject the possibility of alien life out there—in fact I’d love humans to discover we are not alone in the universe before I shuffle off. It’s a bucket list item of mine and I’d settle for as little as a fossilised alien microbe.
It’s just that I don’t believe aliens have already visited us. And I especially don’t believe that they have visited us just to dick about with crops and anally probe some Americans.
Most UFO footage seemed to range from the blatantly fake to the “what exactly is it I’m supposed to be looking at here?” variety. That was until The Pentagon declassified some videos in 2022 showcasing a number of “unidentified aerial phenomena”.
These videos are much more difficult to dismiss as camera trickery and were interpreted as confirmation of alien life by many UFO enthusiasts and alien conspiracy theorists.
Amongst the numerous videos released, the one that generated the most excitement and discussion was footage of an incident witnessed and recorded by American fighter pilots in 2015. The footage of the UAP would become known as the ‘GOFAST’ video:
What made these various sightings even more credible was the accompanying first-hand accounts of Lieutenant Commander Alex Dietrich and Cmdr. Dave Fravor of an experience they had in 2004. Whilst both pilots are careful to distance themselves from any definitive claims about alien visits or foreign technology, they did affirm they saw a large metallic object that manoeuvred and travelled at speeds unlike anything they had ever known:
Unlike the underwhelming UFO footage we had become accustomed to seeing in years past, these videos seemed very different. The objects in the videos are being observed by military equipment. There is undoubtedly something physically there—something that appears to defy all known laws of physics—or at least any propulsion technology we are currently capable of. And furthermore, credible personnel in the military were willing to speak publicly about the UAPs they had seen.
Well, what the hell are we looking at in the ‘GOFAST’ video? I must admit, I had no idea and I’m still not sure, but it was exciting to consider that we finally had concrete evidence of something truly extraordinary. Or did we?
Not according to The Corridor Crew. Corridor Digital is a visual effects production company in the United States. Their excellent YouTube channel mostly details how certain movie special effects are achieved.
The declassified UFO Pentagon videos are the subject of one of their videos titled ‘VFX Artists DEBUNK Pentagon UFO Videos’:
In the above episode, Niko Pueringer of Corridor Digital posits the idea that what we are witnessing in the ‘GOFAST’ video is the product of something called “parallax motion”. They re-create this very effect to show how a slow moving or stationary object can be perceived to be moving at fast speeds in resulting footage.
So, once we have a credible, rational earthly explanation for the object observed in the video, it is more difficult to link it to personal testimony of the two pilots. AKA, ‘anecdotal evidence’.
And whilst I wouldn’t dream of accusing said pilots of being liars—the fact remains that their descriptions of what they saw is the claim, not the evidence. And, as the late great Christopher Hitchens liked to remind us: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. And their claims are certainly extraordinary.
Looks like I won’t be dusting off my “I Want to Believe” T-shirt just yet.
What are your thoughts? Does the ‘bird’ and ‘parallax motion’ explanation cut it for you? Do you believe we have been visited by little green men? Have you had a personal UFO sighting? Let me know in the comments. The Truth Is Out There.
CORRECTION 17 Nov 2022: When I first published this piece, I mixed up the so-called ‘GOFAST’ footage with what has been described as the ‘TIC TAC’ footage and directly linked it to pilot sightings. I have since corrected these mistakes.
Parallax motion is certainly one explanation for the perception of the footage, but is it a bird? Pilots of any ilk, never mind military ones, should know what birds look like in flight in relation to the aircraft, and bird encounters would be very common; why does this one stand out?
I don't think it's extraterrestrial but it's certainly intriguing.
Two words, dear sceptic. Mick. West.