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Pentagon aims to reduce “stigma” around reporting UFOs

The UAPs (formerly UFOs) could be undocumented weather phenomena, returned space junk, or advanced surveillance craft that hostile powers are not telling the United States about. Or…

From Futurism, we hear that government officials are clashing over how much of their accumulated UFO (now called UAP) information they should share with Congress and the public:

In interviews with Politico, government officials — who, unsurprisingly, spoke on condition of anonymity — said that there are those within the Pentagon who are “protecting very interesting information” from being released to the public, even as others within and outside the Defense Department are trying to bring daylight to this subject of increasing interest.

“They fetishize their secret society,” one intelligence official told Politico in interviews ahead of tomorrow’s House Intelligence Committee hearings on unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAPs, which is the military’s rebranding of what were previously known as UFOs), the first of its kind since 1966.

Noor Al-Sibai, “There’s a “Secret Society” in the Pentagon Hiding UFO Secrets, Officials Say” at Futurism (May 16, 2022)

Depending on your taste, it could sound like a thriller, potboiler, or conspiracy theory. But behind the revelations is a new attitude at the Pentagon, starting last year, when the military agency relabeled UFOs (unidentified flying objects) — with all the nonsense the idea attracts — as UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena). The new attitude seems to be: We can’t explain them but we need not explain them away. We will just observe for now.

As Al-Sibai notes at Futurism, most “sightings” are phenomena we can account for. But, quoting an official, the “five things out of 5,000” that we can’t account for with present knowledge drive the controversy. In late 2021, a new agency was created to study the question.

Here’s one that Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray presented to the hearing on UAPs last week:

U.S. Navy videos of alleged UFO sightings were previously available but had not been officially declassified.
U.S. Navy videos of alleged UFO sightings were previously available but had not been officially declassified/U.S. Navy

The object, captured through the cockpit window of an FA-18 fighter jet in 2021, was also seen by the Navy pilot flying the jet and picked up by the plane’s sensors. But what exactly it could be remains a mystery.

Ben Turner, “Footage of hypersonic metallic UFO shown by Pentagon officials at historic hearing” at Live Science (May 17, 2022)

Bray offered some figures:

Of the 144 UAP sightings included in the June 2021 report, 18 displayed extremely unusual flight behaviors, with the mysterious objects appearing to “remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,” according to the report. Released video clips also showed some of these ostensibly propulsionless craft moving at hypersonic speeds, Live Science previously reported, and one piece of footage (captured by the U.S. Navy) appears to show a spherical UFO hovering in midair while bouncing from side to side, before plunging into the ocean.

Ben Turner, “Footage of hypersonic metallic UFO shown by Pentagon officials at historic hearing” at Live Science (May 17, 2022)

Now, the UAPs could be advanced new surveillance craft that hostile powers are not telling the United States about. They may be programmed to hang around military installations. Bray seems disposed to treat them that way.

Some may be space junk or currently unidentified weather phenomena that can look like aerial objects. Among quadrillions of phenomena, some will inevitably appear to be something they are not. (see, for example, the recent sighting of a “door” on Mars.)

And, of course, they could be ET checking us out but let’s not jump the gun.

Significantly, the new Pentagon attitude is to “eliminate the stigma” around the topic:

“Our goal is to eliminate the stigma by bringing our operators and mission personnel into a standardized data gathering process,” Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie said during the hearing, which was broadcast live on the committee’s YouTube Channel. “We believe that making UAP reporting a mission imperative will be instrumental to the effort’s success.”

The Department of Defense established an office dedicated to overseeing the collection and processing of UAP sightings’ reports. The chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Counterproliferation (the subcommittee hosting the hearing) Andre Carson said that pilots have often avoided reporting these incidents, or were laughed at when they did. “Today, we know better,” Carson said during the hearing. “UAPs are unexplained, it’s true, but they are real. They need to be investigated and the many threats they pose need to be mitigated.”

Passant Rabie, “Pentagon Reveals 400 UFO Sightings, Aims to Eliminate Stigma Around Reporting Mysterious Objects” at Gizmodo (May17, 2022)

Will the new openness mean that lots of nonsense gets publicized? Of course. But ironically, a more tolerant attitude makes nonsense easier to sift out of the mix. A less hostile atmosphere makes reasonable standards for credibility easier to establish and defend.

In any event, we can surely learn more by investigating a phenomenon than by trying to explain it away.

Here’s some vid declassified by the Navy in 2020 of more such phenomena:

You may also wish to read: The Pentagon’s UAP (UFO) report signals a sharp attitude change. The brass have committed themselves to going “wherever the data takes us.” No, they didn’t report UFOs. But they reported enough mysteries to stop merely debunking and discrediting… and follow the evidence.

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Pentagon aims to reduce “stigma” around reporting UFOs