People are suddenly taking UFOs very, very seriously.
Over the past few years, military sightings of unidentifiable aircraft of apparently supremely advanced technology have been sighted, forcing the US intelligence services to reopen their investigations into just what these things are.
The US Senate has gotten wind of the ongoing investigations into UFOs – or what they term the less sci-fi sounding unidentified aerial phenomenon or UAPs – and ordered the Pentagon to release all the information they have on the subject.
That report is set to drop on Friday and Congress has been briefed on the contents of the findings.
While they don’t actually confirm not only the existence of aliens but the fact they might be regularly visiting our planet, they don’t rule it out either. In fact, we can say with confidence that UFOs (as in, unidentified flying objects) exist. Aliens? A little harder to prove.
Queue up the X-Files theme song, here’s what we know about the current UFO craze gripping the world.
We’re not saying it was aliens, but…
Ever since a military weather balloon crashed in a farmer’s field in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, people have been fascinated and terrified by the possibility that we might not be alone in the universe.
That one incident, which the police at the time told reporters was indeed aliens in order to cover up the military operations, sparked a generational interest in UFOs that spawned much of the sci-fi movement from ET, to Star Wars, to The X-Files and continues to this day.
That being said, for many of us, this stuff is just a silly fantasy that no serious person puts a lot of stock in. Sure, it’s fun to speculate, but to tell someone you’re fully signed up to the idea that aliens not only exist but fly around in our atmosphere, occasionally abducting people with beams of light, will lead to raised eyebrows at best and social exclusion at worst.
That fear is exactly why Captain David Fravor and Lieutenant Alex Dietrich were hesitant to report what they had seen off the coast of Florida in 2004.
The US Air Force pilots, both with passengers in the back, witnessed a “little white Tic-Tac looking object” flying erratically above the water. Fravor says it was about the same size as his F-18 fighter jet but moving in strange patterns, with no discernable propulsion system or wings.
As he went in for a closer look, the object began to mirror his movements, flying directly toward him. As he got close, the object then vanished. All four of the crew witnessed the encounter and none of them could explain it.
While it might be easy to dismiss as a trick of the light or some kind of strange weather phenomenon, the object was picked up on radar and other tracking technology.
That’s the kind of thing that’s very hard to fake or mistake. It’s also exactly the sort of thing that the Pentagon has been investigating under The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme – or ATIP – from 2007 to 2012.
The government spent $22 million on the project, largely at the direction of Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid. The US Government only confirmed the existence of the project in 2017 and, while it was shut down, another project, the UAP Task Force, continues to investigate the existence of UFOs.
This Is Serious
Last year, the Pentagon released footage of things flying through the air that they say they simply can’t explain.
UFOs or UAPs or whatever we call them do not immediately mean aliens exist. What they do mean is that there is technology out there that is way more advanced than what the US government say they have and that’s worrying for all of us.
Aircraft that can enter our air space without detection, fly faster than our own, and possibly leave and enter the Earth’s atmosphere as they please is a national and international security threat.
If it’s not some top-secret military project from Earth, then what the hell is it and what does it want?
In some of the released footage, aircraft can be seen flying around US military aircraft before disappearing. Does that mean it wants to be seen? Does that mean it’s simply showing off, mocking our comparatively primitive technology? Are aliens just f*cking with us?
In a 60 Minutes special on the topic of UFOs, navy pilots describe seeing phenomena like this “every day” for years at a time. If it’s not aliens, what is it? And why is it so common?
The answers to these questions and more may – but probably won’t – be answered on Friday.
Last year, President Donald Trump passed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill which senators also manage to tack on a provision requiring the Pentagon to continue investigating UAPs and release their findings of past projects to the public.
The full report will be released on Friday but leaked copies show that the Pentagon is basically as stumped as the rest of us.
The report determines that the vast majority of the 120 or so incidents the Pentagon has been studying over the past two decades are not aircraft of American origin. That’s pretty much all they can tell us.
Senior officials who have been briefed on the intelligence concede that the government cannot rule out aliens, but they also cant confirm it either.
What they are worried about is the fact that it could be Russia or China experimenting with hypersonic aircraft. If that were the case, it would mean either of those countries has technology much more advanced than the US.
So, the mystery continues. It could have a very mundane but fairly concerning answer for national security, or it could be something far more profound.
Even President Obama has said he’s interested in the video evidence and doesn’t rule out the possibility of aliens.
“There’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory,” Obama said in an interview with CBS.
“They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so, you know I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is.”
While we still have questions, the fact that this topic is being taken far more seriously than it might have been a few decades ago suggests that if aliens do arrive, at least we’ll have our eyes – and our minds – open.