Discussions around UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects) and UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) have gained a lot of traction over the last few years. While for decades many have speculated the Government’s knowledge of such incidents, small steps have been made where the Pentagon is acknowledging there are aerial phenomena out that they can’t explain. Moving away from the popular term we know as UFO, they refer to these as UAPs. My own thoughts on this name are to distance it from a term that is highly associated with ‘little green men’. While the government may admit there are things in the sky that they can’t explain, they aren’t going to admit off the bat they aren’t of this World.
Over the last few years, we have been slowly drip-fed information with images from the Navy showing they have indeed tracked aircraft that remain unidentified. While videos had been leaked previously, in 2020, the Pentagon released 3 videos to the general public. In a statement they said
“After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorised release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena. DOD [Department of Defense] is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified’.
In December 2020, a provision was signed alongside the 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act, called on the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of various pertinent agencies, to produce an “intelligence assessment of the threat posed by UAP and the progress the UAPTF (unidentified aerial phenomena task force) has made to understand this threat. The World then waited with both scepticism and bated breath for a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which promised to analyse and address this strange craft in the sky. While people waited with excitement, the scepticism came from a place of just exactly how much information would be divulged. It was described as an intelligence assessment as to how much of a threat such craft are from a National Security standpoint. While this was indeed addressed in the report, in terms of identifying what the craft is, the results were inconclusive and underwhelming. You can read more about that specific report here:
UFO/UAP report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence June 2021
In January 2023, the Director of National Intelligence released their Annual report for 2022 in relation to UAP/UFO sightings.
In a new report just released, it seems the US Government have received over 500 reports of sightings since 2021 and a large number of them remained unexplained.
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) reporting is increasing, enabling a greater awareness of the airspace and increased opportunity to resolve UAP events. In addition to the 144 UAP reports covered during the 17 years of UAP reporting included in the Office of the Director of National Intel ligence (ODNI) preliminary assessment, there have been 247 new reports and another 119 that were either since discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period. This totals 510 UAP reports as of 30 August 2022. Additional information is provided in the classified version of this report.
The Government states that the sightings are not evidence of an Extra-Terrestrial threat, however, it still poses a safety concern when it comes to air traffic.
UAP events continue to occur in restricted or sensitive airspace, highlighting possible concerns for safety of flight or adversary collection activity. We continue to assess that this may result from a collection bias due to the number of active aircraft and sensors, combined with focused attention and guidance to report anomalies. AARO, in conjunction with NIMAviation and the IC, will continue to investiga involvement in UAP events. te any evidence of possible foreign government 2 UNCLASSIFIED
It also goes into detail to offer alternative explanations for this phenomena.
Assumptions Multiple factors affect the observation or detection of UAP, such as weather, illumination, atmospheric effects, or the accurate interpretation of sensor data. Regarding review or analysis of UAP events, ODNI and AARO operate under the assumption that UAP reports are derived from the observer’s accurate recollection of the event and/or sensors that generally operate correctly and capture enough real data to allow initial assessments. However, ODNI and AARO acknowledge that a select number of UAP incidents may be attributable to sensor irregularities or variances, such as operator or equipment error.
Even though however these explanations are offered, there was still a number of reports that remain unexplained.
The ODNI preliminary assessment on UAP discussed 144 UAP reports and had an information cut-off date of 05 March 2021. Since then, AARO received a total of 247 new UAP reports. An additional 119 UAP reports on events that occurred before 05 March 2021, but were not included in the preliminary assessment, have been discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period. These 366 additional reports, when combined with the 144 reports identified in the preliminary assessment, bring the total UAP reports catalogued to date to 510. Since its establishment in July 2022, AARO has formulated and started to leverage a robust analytic process against identified UAP reporting. Once completed, AARO’s final analytic findings will be available in their quarterly reports to policymakers. AARO’s initial analysis and characterization of the 366 newly-identified reports, informed by a multi-agency process, judged more than half as exhibiting unremarkable characteristics:
- 26 characterized as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or UAS-like entities;
- 163 characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities; and
- 6 attributed to clutter.
Initial characterization does not mean positively resolved or unidentified. This initial characterization better enables AARO and ODNI to efficiently and effectively leverage resources against the remaining 171 uncharacterized and unattributed UAP reports. Some of these uncharacterized UAP appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities, and require further analysis.
The majority of new UAP reporting originates from U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aviators and operators who witnessed UAP during the course of their operational duties and reported the events to the UAPTF or AARO through official channels. Regardless of the collection or reporting method, many reports lack enough detailed data to enable attribution of UAP with high certainty.
What is interesting about this report is that these are not necessarily reports from everyday citizens seeing weird shapes and lights in the sky. They are from U.S Navy and U.S Air Force aviators which is something I at least find significant. In my eyes, they are not going to mistake a bird for example as a UFO and are likely to be able to explain and know a lot of the things that the untrained eye may not know.
Realistically, this report isn’t really telling us anything more than the last one except that there are more and more sightings being reported and some cannot be explained. While it may still seem underwhelming, the fact that these are even being acknowledged at a Government level is important. Maybe we are well on our well to disclosure or maybe this is as much as we will get. Either way, it has confirmed what we already know. Whether or not these sightings are paranormal or just a misunderstanding it is a phenomenon that exists, even if we can’t explain it!
You can read the full 2022 Annual report here