WASHINGTON – A long-awaited U.S. government UFO report released on Friday clarifies at least one thing: The truth is still out there.
Investigators couldn’t find any extraterrestrial links by examining 144 sightings of planes or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or paths. But they drew few other conclusions and instead emphasized the need for better data collection on what is increasingly viewed by Democrats and Republicans as a national security issue. In all but one of the observations studied, there was too little information for investigators to even comprehensively characterize the nature of the incident.
There have been 18 cases in which witnesses saw “unusual” movement patterns or flight characteristics, the report said, adding that further analysis was needed to determine whether these sightings represented “breakthrough” technology.
Long the domain of science fiction and so-called ufologists, the subject of UFOs has been the subject of serious study in recent years by the Pentagon and intelligence agencies. The prospect of an adversary spying on unknown technology has alarmed lawmakers on both sides.
Last year’s convention demanded the creation of the report delivered on Friday. While its lack of conclusions has already been made public, the report on what the government calls “unidentified aerial phenomena” is still an important step in the study of the issue.
US officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said there was “no clear indication” that the sightings could be linked to extraterrestrial life. There is also no definitive link between the sightings and potentially unknown technology from an adversary like Russia or China.
“It is clear that we need to improve our ability to further analyze the remaining PSU sightings, although we accept that there are limits to our ability to characterize and understand some of the sightings we have,” said a manager.
The report was published online and handed to the House and Senate intelligence committees with a classified appendix. Lawmakers were briefed on the investigation last week. One person who attended the classified briefing and spoke on condition of anonymity said lawmakers had received little information beyond what was publicly available and the only videos released had already been made public.
The report lists five potential categories, including the possibility that alien adversaries could fly unknown technology to naturally occurring events in the atmosphere.
But only one case was classified as “overhead congestion” and considered a large deflating balloon. The others are not classified due to a lack of information. This includes three cases of potential sightings captured on videos that have been declassified and released in recent years. .
The Ministry of Defense will develop a new strategy for collecting and tracking information on potential sightings over the next three months.
Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said the UAP report highlighted the problem of theft risks on or near military shooting and training ranges. She ordered the Pentagon’s top intelligence and security official to establish a more formal means of coordinating the collection, communication and analysis of UAP information. This body would also make recommendations on securing military testing and training fields.
“It is essential that the United States maintain the safety and security of operations in DoD firing zones,” she wrote in a memo released Friday. “To that end, it is equally essential that all US military crews or government personnel report any time aircraft or other devices interfere with military training. This includes observation and reporting of UAPs.
Part of the data collection effort is to de-stigmatize UAPs and push pilots to report what they see, even when what they see is implausible.
“A big issue around UAPs has been cultural stigma,” Rep. Andre Carson, Democrat from Indiana and member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview last week. “It has been largely relegated to science fiction.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, who as the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee has long called for more disclosure on NAPs, called the report “an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is not only a first step “.
“The Department of Defense and the intelligence community have a lot of work to do before we can truly understand whether these air threats present a serious national security concern,” Rubio said in a statement.