CBS 60 Minutes Claim – UFOs / UAPs are real

The highly reputable CBS 60 Minutes ran a segment titled “UFOs regularly spotted in restricted U.S. airspace, report on the phenomena due next month“.

Quick primer: UFO is “Unidentified Flying Object”. The more popular modern term is UAP – unidentified aerial phenomena.

The CBS segment is claiming that unidentified flying objects are real. Their source was not a crackpot telling you this, but rather, a claim that the United States government is telling you that. 

Case closed, job done, aliens are real and they are here.

I’d hit pause on that. The problem here is that if you actually dig into all this, the “evidence” very rapidly collapses like a house of cards. So let’s do exactly that and dig a bit into what was been presented.

Examining the 60 Minutes UFOs segment

It was broadcast on Sunday May 16, 2021. You can also of course find it on YouTube. Here it is …

It starts with them talking to a guy named Luis Elizondo. He is making various claims.

Hey that’s a familiar name. He is very much a solid UFO believer, and was once also the AATIP program director. AATIP was started by Senator Harry Reid to investigate UFOs. It ran from about 2007 until 2012 and burned $22 million of taxpayers money. An anonymous former congressional staff member stated that, ….

“After a while[,] the consensus was [that] we really couldn’t find anything of substance,” … “They produced reams of paperwork. After all of that there was really nothing there that we could find. It all pretty much dissolved from that reason alone—and the interest level was losing steam. We only did it for a couple of years.”

Anyway, back to the CBS segment. We hear Elizondo claim “the Government has already stated for the record that [UFOs] are real.”.

Let’s clarify that. UFO does not mean aliens, it simply means that something was spotted and has not been identified. A balloon qualifies. The key word is “Unidentified”.

Elizondo goes on to claim that craft have been spotted doing amazing things … 600g and speeds of 17,000 mph. That is just his claim, and is not an official US Government claim. His “evidence” for this does not withstand analysis.

Cue the usual familiar videos as “evidence”. I can only assume they picked the best possible most robust examples and not the worst, however what they ran was the same tired old clips, nothing new. We are shown the famous “Go fast” – a craft supposedly travelling low over the ocean at an amazing speed … except it is actually something far above the ocean that is moving at exactly the same speed as the wind. Yep, it is actually a balloon, and not aliens. Does the interviewer point out this well documented rebuttal?


Next comes the flashing green triangle that was filmed by a night vision camera on a Navy Ship. Well respected UFO skeptic Mick West, established that the flashing green light is an exact match for a commercial airliner. (See that debunking here). When directly above you it looks like a triangle. This is supposedly a mystery, except the inconvenient truth is that the answer is out there and bloody obvious once it is explained.

The only factual thing here is that the Pentagon confirms that the videos are real and were not faked. Once upon a time they were indeed unidentified, but that is simply no longer the case.

The other brief clips are more of the same.

We are shown “FLIR1” to supposedly confirm the huge acceleration. Nope, that has been revealed to have been caused by the camera moving and changing mode.

“GIMBAL” is the classical flying saucer. Nope. Infrared glare from a distant mundane ordinary aircraft.

Moving on, we are told about the 2004 Nimitz encounter. David Fravor and Alex Dietrich tell their story in conjunction with a very blurry video. The initial version of this story was published in 2008, but has changed and evolved over time. We are faced with descriptions of what they think they saw, not evidence of what they actually saw. Compare their accounts and they don’t match.

Alex does also confess that it could have been a drone.

They then roll in Christopher Mellon. Clearly he believes. He is the guy who leaked the videos, the ones that we can actually explain and are not “evidence”.

To end, we have Senator Marco Rubio who wants the military to look into this stuff, oh, and there is a report coming next month. Tip: Don’t hold your breath.

To be wholly clear the military are always interested in anything that is apparently not them, and it generally pans out to be an illusion caused by something quite normal. AATIP was a huge nothing burger that consumed $22 million. They might as well have taken that cash, dumped it into a heap in the nearest parking lot, and set fire to it to send smoke signals to the “aliens”. It would have been as equally effective as the “work” they actually did.


CBS did a horrible job with this segment. Totally uncritical and very much pandered to the myth rather than the truth. Understandable, because they want and need the clicks.

Truth matters. Understanding the full conversation also matters. Sadly the segment will convince a new generation unfamiliar with the history and not party to the far more reasonable analysis conducted by folks who look for the best possible explanation and don’t rock up with a specific preconceived conclusion.

I’d really love it if it was actually true and aliens were visiting. Sadly, the evidence is just not there. Blurry fuzzy images that are misunderstood and misinterpreted simply don’t cut it. And remember, this is the best they have. In a world where almost everybody carries high resolution smartphones in their pockets you would perhaps expect something more, but no, so far, after many many decades, we still have nothing at all except the same old blurry images that popped up from the 1940s onwards.

Further Reading

UFOs on CBS – Tweets from Mick West

And finally …

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