The U.S. military and intelligence agencies gathered 366 reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP), the military’s terminology for UFOs, since March 2021. This was when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued its preliminary assessment on UAPs, according to a report released by ODNI on Thursday. Only 144 UAP sightings had been reported to the military in the preceding seventeen years.
As explained by ODNI in Thursday’s report—an unclassified twelve-page summary submitted to Congress—the increase in reported UFO sightings is “partially due to a better understanding of the possible threats that UAP may represent” and “partially due to reduced stigma surrounding UFO reporting.”
About half of the 366 newly reported sightings had “unremarkable characteristics.” For instance, 26 were identified as drones, 163 turned out to be “balloon-like entities,” and six were merely “clutter,” such as birds or flying plastic bags.
In terms of the remaining reports, ODNI says that certain UAPs “appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities.”
However, Ronald Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, told reporters that the Pentagon and ODNI had “not seen anything” that would “lead us to believe that any of the objects that we have seen are of alien origin.”
“If we find something like that,” said Moultrie, “we will look at it and analyze it and take the appropriate actions.”
UFOs in U.S. as national security threat
The report from the UAP and the establishment of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) is part of “a growing campaign by Congress in recent years to force the military and spy agencies to take the sightings more seriously and better coordinate efforts to study them as a potential national security threat,” as reported by Politico.
The 2023 National Defense and Intelligence Authorization Act, enacted in December, is a part of this effort. It calls for solutions to “provocative and hotly debated questions that have swirled around the UFO topic for decades.”
Since 1945, the government has been working on UFOs, and, according to the military authorization bill, AARO must report on its activities by 2024. This includes “any program or activity that was protected by restricted access that has not been explicitly and clearly reported to Congress.”
Furthermore, as reported by Politico, the Pentagon and ODNI are obligated to set up a safe way to report “any knowledge of retrieved materials from unidentified craft, or any secret efforts to reverse engineer UFO technology.”
To date, no aliens have been spotted
The word “alien” isn’t used even once in the whole report. Weeks prior to the report’s release, journalists questioned two high-ranking officials on whether or not their investigation had uncovered any anomalies that may be indicative of alien visitors to Earth.
“At this time, the answer is no,” Moultrie stated.