The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its first annual report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena new federal Thursday. It details more than 350 reported Unidentified Aerial Phenomena reported mostly by U.S. defense pilots, since March of 2021.
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs, is what the government calls UFOs so they don’t have to write UFO in a government report. The report preliminarily details 163 of the sightings as drones, debris, or “ballon or balloon-entities” as well as a few sightings that can likely be explained by weather events or bird flocks. The report points out that a preliminary identification doesn’t mean the sighting is completely discounted as an unidentified phenomena. Plus, that still leaves 171 sightings which illicit a big ol’ “I dunno” from our nation’s military intelligence community. From the report:
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 Intelligence (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.
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.
Which is to say that the military intelligence community still has no clue what these highly reliable sources are seeing up there. No matter what they turn out to be, they pose a serious risk to the security of our skies considering these UAPs don’t respect restricted or sensitive airspace designations. Despite encroaching on our airspace the report mentions zero collisions—or really any direct contact at all—with these mysterious flying objects.
Following congressional hearings regarding UAPs, the Department of Defense partnered with the Director of National Intelligence to established the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office to coordinate efforts to research UAPs across federal departments. The list of departments covered by the AARO is an alphabet soup of very serious G-men:
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (USD[I&S]), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Energy (DoE), ODNI/NIM-Emerging and Disruptive Technology (NIMEDT), ODNI/National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), and ODNI/National Intelligence Council (ODNI/NIC)
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By combing through reports from these multiple federal organizations, AARO was able to find more UAP reports than the 144 initially identified over a 17-year period by the ODNI’s July 2021 report. Of the original 144 reports, the ODNI identified a preliminary cause of only one of the events, according to CNN. In that time, more incidents have occurred as well, bringing the grand total of UAP sightings to 510 since August 2022.
All these scientists, military intelligence officers, and researchers, and still many UAP sightings don’t even have a preliminary explanation. Due to lack of information, they may never be explained.
In the meantime, the Department of Defense is devoting tax dollars to researching just what went down in a New Mexico desert in 1945 following multiple UFO sightings and, as some believe, the crash of a spacecraft, according to the New York Times. NASA joined the search earlier this year with a 16-scientist panel to investigate the phenomena.