For decades, unidentified flying objects (U.F.O.s) have been repeatedly investigated in the United States.
The Air Force began a series of studies in 1947. They investigated over 12,000 U.F.O. sightings before the studies ended in 1969.
In 1952, Project Blue Book determined that the majority of the sightings could be explained as stars, conventional aircraft, clouds, or spy planes. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that 701 U.F.O. sightings were left unexplained.
In 2007, officials for the Defense Intelligence Agency wanted to visit Robert Bigelow’s Utah ranch where he conducted his own U.F.O. research. Bigelow is the founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace, LLC, which is headquartered in Las Vegas. The general contracting, research and development company concentrates on “achieving economic breakthroughs in the costs associated with the design, development, and construction of habitable space structures for private enterprise and government use.”
Bigelow told “60 Minutes” in May that he is “absolutely convinced” aliens exist and U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
Together, Bigelow and the program produced documents describing aircraft moving at high rates of speed with no visible signs of propulsion, and hovering aircraft that had no apparent means of lift.
Harry Reid was a Nevada senator when the DoD met with Bigelow and he was intrigued. Reid helped to obtain funding for a government U.F.O. research project called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
In 2017, The New York Times discovered that $22 million out of the $600 billion for the annual Defense Department budget went to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that was thought to have been such down in 2012. Apparently, even though federal funding for the program was dropped, it was not shut down. According to backers, officials associated with the program have continued to investigate sightings reported by service members while attending to their other DoD duties.
On Monday, April 27, 2020, the Pentagon released three videos of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” which was previously released by a private corporation.
Two of the three videos feature the reaction of service members to the fast-moving objects they are watching. One of the service members suggests the object could be a drone.
In September 2019, the Navy acknowledged the veracity of the videos. The reason they opted to release them was “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos,” reported Sue Gough, Pentagon spokesperson.
“After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.”
Now, the Navy has formal guidelines for pilots to follow when they believe they have seen U.F.O.s.
Originally, the Navy videos were released between December 2017 and March 2018 by a company called To The Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences, which was co-founded by former Blink-182 musician Tom DeLonge. It studies U.F.O.s.
In 2017, a pilot reported to CNN that he saw a U.F.O. in 2004 that moved in ways he could not explain.
“As I got close to it … it rapidly accelerated to the south and disappeared in less than two seconds. This was extremely abrupt, like a ping pong ball, bouncing off a wall. It would hit and go the other way.”
Reid is glad the Pentagon released the U.F.O. videos. He tweeted, “The U.S. needs to take a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications. The American people deserve to be informed.”
M.I.T astrophysicist warns, “When people claim to observe truly unusual phenomena, sometimes it’s worth investigating seriously. What people sometimes don’t get about science is that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained.”
Former NASA space shuttle engineer and spaceflight author James E. Oberg is doubtful. “There are plenty of prosaic events and human perceptual traits that can account for these stories. Lots of people are active in the air and don’t want others to know about it. They are happy to lurk unrecognized in the noise, or even stir it up as camouflage.”
By Jeanette Vietti
CNN Politics: This former senator isn’t surprised by the new UFO tapes
CNN Politics: Pentagon officially releases UFO videos
CNN Politics: US Navy introducing guidelines for pilots to report UFO sightings
The New York Times: Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program
Bigelow Aerospace: Who We Are
Image Courtesy of David Grant’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License