The subject of UFOs in the US is getting serious
treatment from mainstream media and heavyweight politicians. Next month
Congress is set to review a report from the director of national
intelligence about the government’s secret files on the subject.
UFOs are now serious business.
serious, in fact, that they have been given a new name. No longer
called UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects, a term often associated
with people of questionable sanity, the mysterious objects that have
been reported by the hundreds, are now the source of discussion in
serious scientific circles and have been rebaptised with the more
serious-sounding moniker Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs.
June, officials made public the existence of the Unidentified Aerial
Phenomena Task Force, housed within the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Six months later, the 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act asked the
director of national intelligence work and the secretary of defence to
put together a report detailing everything the government knows about
The report, which Congress is expected to review in June,
will draw on classified military files and will address decades of
sightings and videos, which date back to the 1940s.
That such objects exist is increasingly becoming gospel; Officials from
former president Barack Obama to Senator Marco Rubio to former senate
majority leader Harry Reid are publicly saying that earth has been
visited by flying objects that we don’t understand.
is true – and I'm actually being serious here – is that there's footage
and records of objects in the skies that we don't know exactly what
they are,” Obama told “The Late Late Show” on May 17. “We can’t explain
how they move, their trajectory, they did not have an easily explainable
Also that month, the CBS magazine show “60 Minutes”
interviewed two Navy pilots from the USS Nimitz who were diverted in
2004 to investigate an peculiar radar signal. They described seeing an
object shaped like a Tic Tac that was able to move straight up and down
at inexplicable speeds.
In the same broadcast, Christopher Mellon,
who served as deputy assistant secretary of defence for intelligence
under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the government
had observed on radar objects capable of manouvres that could not be
approximated. “There’s nothing that we can build that would be strong
enough to endure that amount of force in acceleration,” he said.
In an interview with
Fox News a month earlier, former intelligence director John Ratcliffe
said there have been far more sightings than the public is aware of and
described the phenomena like this: “We are talking about objects that
have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by
satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to
explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the
technology for or are traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier
without a sonic boom.”
Encounters of which kind?
government has slowly been opening up about UAP sightings for more than
a year. In April 2020 the Pentagon released three short videos showing
such objects, and earlier this year Reid said the footage “only scratches the surface of research and materials available".
called for further investigation. “The US needs to take a serious
scientific look at this and any potential national security
implications,” he said. “The American people deserve to be informed.”
officials went public with stories of similar sightings decades ago. In
1999 a group of a dozen retired French generals and other experts
issued a report called “UFOs and Defence: For What Must we Prepare Ourselves?”
What officials and scientists aren’t saying
is that these are aliens coming from another planet to visit us. They
simply don’t know what these objects are, they say. The discussion is
still largely couched in distinctly concrete terms and centers around
the concern that these craft may represent a threat from enemies here on
At least one official has been willing to go further,
though. In December 2020, Haim Eshed, the former head of the space
directorate of the Israeli Defence Ministry, told the Yediot Aharonot
newspaper that humans have been in contact with extraterrestrials and
have signed a co-operation accord with them.
is an agreement between the US government and the aliens,” he told the
newspaper. "They signed a contract with us to do experiments here."
president Donald Trump was in on the secret, he said, and had been “on
the verge of revealing” it but was asked not to due to fears of “mass
Eshed’s assertion doesn’t seem to represent the
consensus view in Israel. The chairman of the country’s Space Agency,
Isaac Ben-Israel, told the
Times of Israel that while the scientific community thinks the chances
that there is life in outer space is “considerable, not small,” he
doesn’t believe “there were any physical encounters between us and
NBC News followed up on
Eshed’s statements about the agreement with aliens with the White
House, Israeli officials and the Pentagon, but were unable to get a
comment from any of them. A NASA spokesperson told NBC that the agency
was searching for life in the universe, but had not yet found it.
saucer watchers who are hoping for clear answers from the government
are likely to be disappointed. While the report presented to Congress is
expected to be detailed, the public will be given only the unclassified
version, which is likely to be far less complete.