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The 60 Minutes UFO Segment That Blew People's Minds

Since its premiere in the 1960s, "60 Minutes" has been dedicated to exploring world issues with a commitment to responsible, investigative journalism. Correspondents have consistently delivered honest and probing questions about a range of topics to various interviewees while maintaining fairness, which is the gold standard of responsible journalism. Despite some viewer fatigue in recent years, the news magazine program still receives consistently strong ratings across many demographics, which is a testament to its influence over the decades when it comes to investigating pertinent topics.

The show's ability to explore science and the unknown is just as engaging as its testimonies from politicians, world leaders, or those who battle on conflict frontlines. "60 Minutes" has never been afraid to confront controversial subjects or individuals, even if it means the program itself becomes open to intense scrutiny. But sometimes audiences agree when it concerns an unexplainable topic. This was the case for the episode that aired back in May 2021 concerning naval sightings of UFOs (unidentified flying objects) that led to a report from the U.S. Congress shortly after. Even for skeptics who always associate the phenomenon with extraterrestrials, it was a segment that blew the minds of many viewers.

Viewers are equally as baffled as the navy pilots who witnessed UFOs

The 2021 segment on UFOs may go down as one of the most chilling segments ever to air on "60 Minutes," thanks to its credible reporting on aerial phenomena. For nearly 14 minutes, Bill Whitaker interviews and reports on a range of unidentified aircraft sightings from eyewitness navy pilots. This includes credible radar images of the aircraft in question. Roughly a month after the news section aired, the National Intelligence Department released an unprecedented assessment of unidentified aerial phenomena after decades of relative silence on the matter.

Shortly after the episode aired, viewers shared their excitement and confusion. On the subreddit r/Television, u/mewhead3 shared, "This is wild and it's awesome that this was just broadcast on US mainstream media last night." Viewer u/Krinder agreed and added, "For real. Especially when they put the former DOD expert in charge of some of our most classified weapons programs saying 'whatever it was it wasn't us.' That's terrifying," before sharing how they were confused by the segment.

Not everyone was on board with the report, with u/drive_chip_putt stating how the program usually reports on "major events," and sharing their confusion by the segment, when other topics — such as the ongoing struggles in the Middle East — could have been covered. A deleted account said, "Any confirmed cases of these UFOs in space? I assume that would help us to explain if these are terrestrial or not."