A hotly anticipated government report on UFOs, also known as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), has been publicly released, revealing what U.S. intelligence agencies know about the mysteries that have long turned Americans’ gaze to the skies in wonder.
The unclassified report’s release comes nearly a year after the Department of Defense announced it had established a UAP Task Force with a mission “to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”
The nine-page report focused on 18 incidents of UAP sightings primarily around U.S. training and testing grounds.
“Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,” the report said. “In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency (RF) energy associated with UAP sightings.”
While the report suggests the UAPs could be a result of things including “airborne clutter,” it concludes that for now, many of the mysterious sightings remain unsolved.
“With the exception of the one instance where we determined with high confidence that the reported UAP was airborne clutter, specifically a deflating balloon, we currently lack sufficient information in our dataset to attribute incidents to specific explanations,” the report said.
As part of a provision in former President Donald Trump’s $2.3 billion pandemic relief package, the DOD and Office of the Director of National Intelligence were given six months, which was until June, to deliver the task force’s findings to Congress.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who requested the report back in December as acting chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reasoned that any evidence of UAPs should be taken seriously and “constantly analyzed.”
“I don’t think we can let the stigma keep us from having an answer to a very fundamental question,” he said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “I want us to take it seriously and have a process to take it seriously.”
The report’s release follows the Pentagon in 2017 admitting for the first time that it had been studying UFOs as part of a program known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. Two years later, in 2019, the U.S. Navy confirmed for the first time the authenticity of a series of leaked UFO videos.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which no longer exists, was funded with help from former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D), whose jurisdiction included the Air Force testing site Area 51, which is famously known by UFO enthusiasts.
Reid, in an opinion piece published in The New York Times late last month, said he advocated for the program out of concern that national security could be harmed and technical advancement limited if honest conversations on the topic were prohibited or kept in the shadows.
“I believe that there is information uncovered by the government’s covert investigations into unidentified aerial phenomena that can be disclosed to the public without harming our national security,” he wrote.