Would-be alien overlords, be warned.
The Defense Department late Tuesday night formally created a new office to track and organize UFO sightings across the U.S. military, acknowledging that persistent cases of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) “raise potential national security concerns” that cannot be ignored.
In a memo to Pentagon leaders, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group will coordinate all UAP-related efforts across the military and will serve as the Defense Department’s primary point of contact for other federal agencies working on the issue.
The creation of the office is a major step for the Pentagon, which until just several years ago said virtually nothing publicly about UFOs or its extremely secretive research into the unexplained. But following the release of a string of videos showing close encounters between military pilots and UFOs, Ms. Hicks and other officials now openly discuss the potential security concerns that stem from UAP and the need for the Pentagon to do much more to understand what’s happening in the skies over America.
In her memo, Ms. Hicks said that the presence of UAP “represents a potential safety of flight risk to aircrews and raises potential national security concerns.”
The director of the UAP office hasn’t yet been named, but that individual will oversee a wide portfolio related to UFO sightings.
“The director … will address this problem by standardizing UAP incident reporting across the department; identifying and reducing gaps in operational and intelligence detection capabilities; collecting and analyzing operational, intelligence and counterintelligence data; recommending policy, regulatory or statutory changes, as appropriate; identifying approaches to prevent or mitigate any risks posed by airborne objects of interest; and other activities as deemed necessary by the director,” the memo reads in part.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also will participate in the group, Ms. Hicks said.
The Pentagon and ODNI collaborated on a major UFO report released earlier this year. That report, released in June, determined that most UFO sightings by U.S. service members remain unexplained but could involve “breakthrough technologies” that represent a deep threat to national security.
The study did not rule out visitors from galaxies far, far away as the cause of more than 100 unexplained UAP sightings by U.S. military personnel.
The Pentagon announcement comes as a bipartisan group of senators, including Democrat Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Republican Marco Rubio of Florida, are pushing an amendment to the pending National Defense Authorization Act to create an Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence work regarding UFOs.
“If it is technology possessed by adversaries or any other entity, we need to know,” Ms. Gillibrand told Politico last week in an interview. “Burying our heads in the sand is neither a strategy nor an acceptable approach.”
• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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