Last month, the United States Navy confirmed formally that two high profile videos allegedly captured from the nose of an F/A-18 Super Hornet attempting an intercept on an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena were real and notably, weren’t meant for release to the public. The Navy did not suggest that the strange craft shown in the videos was alien in origin, but rather did acknowledge that they truly didn’t know what they were seeing that night in January of 2015.

“I truly thought the official word on these videos would be ‘drones’ or something similar; but explainable,” John Greenewald, Jr, who runs the popular website The Black Vault, told SOFREP at the time. Greenewald was the man that got the Navy to discuss the videos, leading to a landslide of headlines throughout the media in the weeks that followed.

“We have official documents that have surfaced through FOIA that state just that. However, for the Navy to contradict that, and say that this ‘phenomena’ represents something ‘unidentified’ – that’s pretty amazing to me and proves yet again why we can’t lock ourselves into any one way of thinking or assume anything.”

Reports of unusual lights in the sky date all the way back to the beginning of recorded history, but there’s another unusual phenomena that often seems to coincide with these strange sightings that gets far less attention in the press: USOs, or Unidentified Submerged Objects. Like UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects), USO is a sort of catch-all term used to describe anything seen operating beneath the surface of a body of water that defies explanation. Legends of USOs have permeated the maritime community for centuries, and remain a common facet of discussion among UFO researchers to this day. In fact, many UFO witness statements, including those provided by military aviators, have suggested that the unusual crafts they’ve spotted flying in the sky seem to operate just as readily in the far denser medium of water — suggesting that these unusual objects can function beneath the surface of the ocean just as well as they can in the air.

Even Christopher Columbus reportedly had a USO sighting during his 1492 voyage to the Americas. According to Columbus’ log, he spotted “a small wax candle that rose and lifted up, which too few seemed to be an indication of land.” They soon determined that it wasn’t a light source from land, but had instead been out at sea — leading to a centuries-long mystery that stands to this day. A more contemporary sighting near Shag Harbor in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia saw a UFO apparently crashing into the harbor’s waters in front of a number of witnesses in 1967. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police even launched rescue efforts early on, assuming the sightings were of a downed aircraft. Their efforts however, turned up nothing.

If the idea of an unidentified, fast moving craft operating under water seems just a bit too out of this world, you should know that USOs may not even be all that uncommon — the U.S. Navy just doesn’t make a habit of keeping track of them (much like UFOs or UAPs until recently).

Earlier this year, Tylor Rogoway at The War Zone interviewed a number of veteran U.S. Navy submariners, some of whom were SONAR operators with first hand experience spotting these unidentified underwater anomalies. Rogoway was looking for more information pertaining to an unsubstantiated story posted to social media by Tom Delonge, former Blink 182 front man turned UFO researcher and founder of To the Stars Academy — a high profile media think tank that champions disclosure of UFO related materials.