The Pentagon announced the creation of a task force to examine the possible threat to national security posed by unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force will work with the Office of Naval Intelligence to “improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs.”
Recently declassified photos and videos have shown several aircraft with astonishing capabilities flying close to U.S. Navy warships and missile silos. Since the end of World War II, the military has seen potential alien spacecraft as possible threats to our national security, so the task force is only the most public reaction by the Pentagon to a problem they’ve been working on for decades.
Who or what is so interested in our military capabilities?
Nick Pope is one of the most recognizable authorities in the world on the response of the U.S. and UK militaries to UFOs. He is skeptical of anything coming from the U.S. military establishment on the topic.
This move has been rumored for some time, and the task force was specifically mentioned in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 as existing within the Office of Naval Intelligence (see the previous blog entry), so there’s a debate to be had about how new this task force really is. There’s also a debate about the relationship between this unit and AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program), which is widely believed to have investigated UFOs, though the DOD has flip-flopped on this issue and is currently working on a statement clarifying the position on this.
There will be predictable controversy about the exact remit of the UAP Task Force, and use of the phrase “incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace” is doubtless designed to ‘spin’ the mission as being about people flying drones over military bases. But there’s no getting away from the fact that UAP is the term that the government, the military and the intelligence agencies use for what the media and the public commonly refer to as UFOs. It was a term we popularized in the Nineties at the UK Ministry of Defence, when I worked on this issue.
There was great excitement a few months ago when the Pentagon “officially” released three videos that had already been leaked online taken from Naval aircraft on a training mission.
Turns out that the military had been seriously studying the phenomenon for years prior to the release of the videos, which isn’t surprising given the potential threat.
“The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern. The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report,” the department said.
“This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.”
Yes, it’s hard to identify an object that defies the known laws of physics. But scientists still carry a healthy skepticism into the investigation and have drawn no conclusions — publicly. Privately may be a different story.
“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,” retired Cmdr. David Fravor told ABC News in 2017 of what he saw during a routine training mission on Nov. 14, 2004 off the coast of California.
“I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.”
“I have never seen anything in my life, in my history of flying that has the performance, the acceleration — keep in mind this thing had no wings,” Fravor said.
It’s doubtful that any task force will ever prove conclusively where these aircraft originated from. If one were to crash and be recovered, that might change the narrative. But since whoever or whatever is in control of the vehicles has so far refused to reveal themselves, we’re not likely to solve the mystery of UAPs conclusively.