Former President Barack Obama on Monday offered a blunt assessment of the videos of unidentified aerial phenomenon that have continued to gain attention in the United States.
"What is true, and I'm actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don't know exactly what they are," he said.
Obama's comments add to the growing legitimacy of the reports of the unidentified phenomenon and the government's awareness of them at high levels.
Appearing on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" on CBS, Obama offered some levity on the question of aliens and his personal curiosity before assuming a more serious demeanor.
"We can't explain how they move, their trajectory," he said. "They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so I think that people still take seriously, trying to investigate and figure out what that is."
The U.S. Navy has for years confirmed the legitimacy of videos from jet fighters that tracked unidentified objects, some of which moved in ways that aeronautics experts have struggled to explain.
An upcoming Pentagon report combined with a newly leaked video, a "60 Minutes" segment and a feature in The New Yorker have reinvigorated interest in the videos.
The new video, recorded by Navy aircraft in July 2019, shows a spherical object flying not far above the ocean before it dives into the water.
"It splashed," military personnel say on the video.
The topic has drawn the attention of some senators who are calling for deeper investigation into the phenomena.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has urged the government to "take it seriously and have a process to take it seriously."